Day 1: Cusco – KM 82 – Ayapata
On the night before your trek, there will be a briefing with your trekking tour guide, at 6:30 p.m. at your hotel. This can be arranged at a different time, if needed. In the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel with our private transportation (time depending on your location). You will take a stunning drive to the trail head, KM 82 and see a great view of the Andes along the way. Your chef will prepare breakfast at the trail head and display your passport to the checkpoint. Finally, you will start the first two and a half hours of the hike. It will be pretty flat until you arrive to the Inca site of Llacatapata. This is where you will have the first taste of Incan culture, and where our tour guides will begin to explain the history of Peru and the Incas. After your first Inca lesson, it will be another hour and a half until we arrive at the lunch stop. After lunch, we will have some time to rest and then continue for another two and a half hours until we reach our first camp at Ayapata.
Day 2: Ayapata – Dead Women’s Pass – Pacaymayo – Chaquicocha
You will be woken up with a hot cup of coca tea at 4:45 a.m, followed by a nutritious breakfast. At 6:15 a.m., we will begin hiking towards the highest point of the Inca Trail, Dead Women’s Pass (4,215 meters). It will be a four hour climb, through different microclimates, with amazing views of the mountains. It is difficult trekking at this elevation, so there will be a lot of breaks along the way. Once you reach the summit, your porters will be waiting with a hot glass of tea and you will have some time to enjoy. You will then hike for another hour and a half downhill through Inca steps, until you arrive at your lunch spot. After lunch, you will have another four hours, including breaks, you will reach your campsite at Chaquicocha, You will get to visit two Inca sites, Runku Raccay and Sayacmarka. The day will be finished with dinner at the campsite.
Day 3: Chaquiccoha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna
You will be woken up with a hot cup of tea, followed by breakfast. Following, you will begin your two hour hike to the last pass of Phuyupatamarca, which is at 3,680 mm. This section has special views of the Vilcabamba mountain range and Salkantay mountain. On the three hour continuation to our campsite, we will visit two Inca sites, Phuyupatamarca (Village above Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun).
Along the way, you will discover different types of plants, flowers and birds in the forest. After lunch, you may take the five minute walk to the most beautiful Inca site of the trail, Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). This place is filled with impressive buildings and terraces. Around 5:30 p.m., you will go back to the campsite for your last happy hour and dinner, followed by a small ceremony to say “thank you and good bye” to your amazing “green machine” porters. You may leave an appreciation, if you choose. For more information, check our “What’s Included?” section.
Day 4: Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Return to Cusco
Breakfast will be at 4 a.m., and then we will head to the check point. Walking this one hour section to Sun Gate is exciting because you will see Machu Picchu for the first time. After taking some photos, it will be one more hour to the actual ruins.
After you are finished, you will walk to the checkpoint of Machu Picchu, where you can get a stamp on your passport and store your bag if you so choose. Your guide will walk around the Machu Picchu complex with you for two hours teaching, and showing you about this amazing place. Once the tour is over, you will have time to continue on your own, or if you have previously arranged to hike Huayna Picchu, you will begin then. Around 1:30 p.m. you will depart from Machu Picchu and take the bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch, on your own. Your train out of Aguas Calientes will be at 2:55 p.m. or 4:45 p.m., depending on availability. You will return back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy station, and we will transfer you back to your hotel around 7 or 8 p.m.
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.
Briefing: The night before your trek, you will come to our office for your briefing. You will receive your duffel bag that will stay with your porters, while you hike. This bag should not exceed 7kg/14 lbs and does need to include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
Porters: We include a personal porter, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this. You will not have access to your duffel bag until your evening campsite.
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 82, 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.
Equipment: Alpaca Expeditions has the best equipment. We use Eureka Timberline 4 tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent to enjoy your meals in.
Food: The Alpaca Expeditions chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. We honor all food restrictions. Be sure to remind your tour guide of any food restrictions at the beginning of your trek. Food is typically served family-style.
You will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner each day of the trek, along with a happy hour of tea and snacks. You will also be provided a snack each morning for you to enjoy along the hike. Your last meal with your chef will be after breakfast on day four. Lunch the last day is not included.
Water: Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, Alpaca Expeditions will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal.
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.
Extras: We believe it’s the attention to small details that separates us from other tour companies. Every trekker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mat for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best vacation.
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: Every trekker needs a sleeping bag, when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional, but encouraged. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent:
Sleeping Bag: $20
Inflatable Air Mattress: FREE ON PRIVATE TREK
Walking Sticks (Pair): $15
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.