Day 1: Hiking to Machu Picchu
You will be picked up from your hotel at 4 a.m. Following, we will go to the train station and leave on the 6:10 a.m. train, from Ollantaytambo. The train follows the Urubamba River, until we reach Km104, where we’ll begin our trek. Along the way, you will see spectacular views of the farmlands, snow-capped mountains and the mighty Urubamba River, one of the sources of the Amazon River. At 104 km (2,000 m), we will begin our trek. Once you have everything you need, we will provide you with a packed lunch, energy drinks and take a group photo, before visiting our first Inca site. After an orientation and tour of the Inca site, we will begin hiking upwards, as we head for the Classic Inca Trail. If the weather is clear, we’ll have tremendous views of Machu Picchu, the Urubamba River and other surrounding Inca Sites.
After hiking for thee hours, we will reach the most beautiful Incan site on the Inca Trail, Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) at 2,600 m/8,500 ft. Most people do not get the opportunity to see an elaborate water fountain, temples and some agricultural terraces, which provide a perfect opportunity to learn about the history of the Incas. The backdrop of this site drops off a cliff, with beautiful mountains surrounding the area. From Wiñay Wayna, we will walk to the Sun Gate, where we will see the picturesque landscape of Machu Picchu. After taking in the once-in-a-lifetime views, we will begin our descent to Machu Picchu.
A big advantage of this hike, is that by the time we reach Machu Picchu, most of the day travelers will have returned home, so you will have the area to yourself. After taking photos, we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and head to your hotel. Following, we will head to Indio Feliz for dinner (included). This restaurant is considered to be the best food in Aguas Calientes. After dinner, we recommend going to bed early to make the most of the next day.
Day 2: Visit the “Lost City of the Incas”
We will wake up early in the morning in order to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu. You will have a two hour guided tour by your private English speaking guide. After that, you will have time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. Those who have tickets to Huayna Picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half, round-trip. When you are done exploring, you can either take a bus, or walk, down to Aguas Calientes for a free afternoon before your train which will depart later that afternoon back to Ollantaytambo and then we will drive you back to Cusco.
Professional Guides: All of our guides studied English and tourism at Cusco National University. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Permits: As soon as we receive your details and a deposit, we will purchase your permits (pending availability, check our Inca Trail Availability link). These permits are for a specific date and in your name. They can’t be changed, once confirmed. Only your passport number is allowed to be updated. The permit includes an entrance to Machu Picchu.
Hotel: This trek includes one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu. We include a three star hotel. Your booked hotel will be listed on your confirmed invoice. Upgrades are always possible.
Transportation: All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 4 a.m. (unless you are staying in Ollantaytambo) and brought to KM 104, to begin your trek. The train back from Aguas Calientes is included. This is Expedition class but can be upgraded to the Vistadome train for $75 per person. Once you arrive at the train station, you will be brought back to your hotel in Cusco. Your round-trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is also included.
Food: We will make sure that you enjoy some amazing food on the way to Machu Picchu. Lunch will be served around Wiñay Wayna ruins, and dinner will be in the best restaurant in the town of Aguas Calientes, called Indio Feliz. Breakfast will be enjoyed at your hotel the next morning. Lunch the last day is not included.
Water: We will give you a bottle of water for your morning hike and another bottle during lunch. We encourage you to bring extra on your own, as being well hydrated is the key to feeling great in the mountains.
First Aid: Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training sessions every February, which every single Alpaca tour guide must attend. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. We will get you off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible, if needed, and ensure you get directly to a clinic for treatment.
Satellite Phones: Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While we are prepared and all our guides are trained for most of the issues clients have on the mountain, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe. Radios, which all our guides have, are limited in how far they can reach, so Alpaca Expeditions has added Satellite Phones to every trek. Every guide will have a fully charged phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to connect us anywhere in the world. And they can be used by our clients for non-emergencies as well. While they are not cheap to use, they are available just in case you need to check in on the puppy you left at home with grandma.
Rentals: Because there is no camping on this trek, the only possible needs would be an extra porter, or walking sticks. The items are listed below:
Porter up to 7kg: $65
Walking Sticks (Pair): $10
Porters: Because this is just a one day hike, without camping, porters are not used. Your day pack should include anything you need for the evening and next day at Machu Picchu. It is your responsibility to carry that yourself. If you prefer to include a porter, it can be arranged for a fee based on how much you need him to carry. This must be arranged at the time of your booking, since he will also need a permit.
Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep, if you are scared of heights. This is done after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $75. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance, due to popularity. Please understand that weather is out of our control.