8-Day Package with Inca Trail Hike
If you want to hike the historic 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu but still visit and tour Cusco and the Sacred Valley, then let us organize your entire tour! We provide your accommodations, guides, transportation, and entrance tickets so that you do not have to worry and can just relax and enjoy your trip!
|Day 1:||Arrival in Cusco, City Tour|
|Day 2:||Sacred Valley|
|Day 3:||Community Visit|
|Days 4-7:||Inca Trail|
Day 1 – Cusco City Tour. We will pick you up at the Cusco airport and take you to your hotel. You will have some time to settle in, and then we will return at 1:00 pm to start the Cusco City Tour. We will begin the tour at the most important temple of the Inca Empire, the Sun Temple, known as the Qoricancha. Here, you can observe detailed and intact architecture, and within the temple you will see smaller temples dedicated to the moon, rainbow, stars, lightning and thunder, among others. Today, the Santo Domingo church stands on top of the temple. From there, we will go to an important religious site called Sacsayhuamán which features immense stones. Although the site was religious, the Spanish considered it a military fortress because of its location and the way it was built. Next, we will visit Qenqo, a site built in a natural rock formation which was created to represent the Andean constellations and the concept of the three worlds, each one representing sacred animals: the condor, puma, and snake. After that we will travel to Puka Pukara, which was a shelter for travelers coming to Cusco from the Amazon. It was also a military center and used to protect the nearby temple located at Tambomachay. Our last stop is Tambomachay, known as the Temple of Water, where the Incas practiced religious traditions tied to water in order to rejuvenate the land. This tradition is known as the fountain of eternal youth. From there, we will return to the city and drop you off at your hotel at around 6:00 pm.
Day 2 – Sacred Valley Tour. We will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco at 8:00 am. In our private vehicle, we will drive to the Animal Refuge which has Andean animals such as llamas, alpacas, condors, and pumas. Afterwards, we will head to one of the most important archaeological sites in the region, called Pisac, to see Inca burial grounds, ancient irrigation systems and astronomical centers. We will hike around the ruins and terraces for about an hour, and after our tour here will then go down to the town of Pisac located at the bottom of the valley. In this town we will first stop by a local silver factory and will see a demonstration of how they process and form beautiful jewelry. Next, we will walk through the cobble-stoned street to the plaza to see locals selling produce and souvenirs in their stands. You will have some free time to browse and do some shopping here as well. After finishing our visit in Pisac, we will drive to the town of Urubamba to have a buffet lunch which includes both delicious Peruvian and Western cuisine. From there, we will head to Ollantaytambo where we will visit the ruins built up on terraces that features massive stones at the top. This site was an important religious and astronomical center, and was also used as a military fortress in one of the biggest battles the Incas had against the Spanish. After this, we will start to head back to Cusco, and on the way we will stop at another local village called Chinchero where we will see the remaining Inca buildings and terraces here that were important for the administration of farming. We will then return to Cusco and will drop you off at your hotel around 6:30 pm. We will then have your briefing for your hike and will go over the itinerary and provide you with your Therm-a-rest air mattress and air pillow. If you hire an extra Quechua to help carry your belongings, we will also give you a duffle bag that your Quechua will carry for you on the hike.
Day 3 – Community Visit. You will have the morning free and then we will pick you up from your hotel at 1:00 pm for the Community Visit. We will first drive for about 45 minutes to the town of Chinchero. Here we will visit a weaving co-op where we will learn about the ancient weaving process which is still practiced today. Then we will head to the Andean village called Mahuaypampa where many of our Quechuas (porters) live. We will walk around the village to learn about local crops and will also see locals shepherding and tending their livestock including sheep, pigs, cows, and donkeys. After walking through the farms we will visit a local house to have supper. They will serve us a traditional meal which is made from the crops that they harvest from their fields (which may include a vegetable soup, boiled potatoes, corn, and lima beans). Inside their house, we will learn about the local family’s traditional Andean culture. Most locals here only speak Quechua, but your guide will be able to translate so that you can talk to the family and get to know them. After that, we will camp nearby for the night. Please note that on the Community Visit the houses we visit are very simple with dirt floors and basic necessities. It is normal for locals to keep small animals inside their houses such as guinea pigs. The meals we have are also very simple, and since this is meant to be a cultural visit we eat the same foods that the locals generally do.
Day 4 – Inca Trail Day 1. After having a traditional breakfast with the family, our car will arrive to take us to the beginning of the hike. We will thank the family and then drive through the Sacred Valley to the town of Ollantaytambo where you can buy any last minute supplies for the hike. Then we will continue until we arrive at a site called Kilometer 82 where we will begin the hike. The altitude here is 2,673 meters (8,770 feet) and on this first day we will hike about 11 km (7 miles). The first part of the hike is relatively flat, and we will trek for about 3 hours to our lunch site, starting in an area that is dry with cacti and arriving in a green valley where we will visit our first archaeological site called Patallaqta. The name means “City over the Terraces” in the Quechua language, and here we will be able to explore the ruins and also look down and see more located in the valley. Then we will hike 20 minutes more until we arrive at our lunch site located at Tarachayuc. After enjoying a filling lunch, we will start the next stretch of the hike to our campsite which will take 2 hours. This part of the trail has small ascents and descents, and we will hike through a wooded valley until we reach our first campsite, Wayllabamba which is at 3,000 meters, or 9,842 feet.
Day 5 – Inca Trail Day 2. This day is the most challenging since we will climb over 1,200 meters (3,940 feet) to reach the highest pass and will hike 12 km (7 miles) in total. After having breakfast, we will start our uphill hike which will take about 5 hours to reach the pass. On the way, we will pass through different climactic and ecological zones as we climb higher and higher. We will start in green mossy forests and will end in the grassy highlands where there are no trees. Once we reach the highest point of the trail, known as Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,215 meters (13,828 feet), we will take a well-deserved break and will be able to enjoy the amazing view of both valleys below. Then we will start our descent to the campsite which will take about an hour and a half. We will climb down Inca stone steps heading down through the highlands until we reach our campsite called Pacaymayo which is at 3,630 meters or 11,910 feet. Here we will have our lunch, then have time to rest and explore the area before having supper in the evening.
Day 6 – Inca Trail Day 3. On this day we will hike the farthest distance (16 km or 10 miles) and will also see the most archaeological sites along the way. After waking up early and eating breakfast, we will hike up the opposite side of the valley to reach the second pass which will take about 2 hours. About halfway up we will see a small, round, roofless stone building, known as Runkuracay. This building was a shelter and a checkpoint for travelers following the trail to Machu Picchu. After our history lesson here we will continue to the second pass, Runkuracay, at 3,941 meters, or 12,800 feet. Then we will descend for about 2 hours to our lunch site, stopping first at another Inca site called Sayaqmarka, translated to “Town in a Steep Place.” Here, we will see an important temple for the Salkantay mountain, which is the highest mountain in the area. Then we will arrive to our lunch site and once we are full will continue hiking 4 more hours to our last campsite. The first part of the trail will involve little ascents and descents until we reach the next archaeological center called Phuyupatamarka which means “City above the Clouds.” Here, we will see where the Incas took their final baths before reaching Machu Picchu. This location is also a second option for the last campsite. After our tour, we will hike downhill and will visit the farming terraces at Intipata. From there we will continue to our campsite called Wiñaywayna, which means “Forever Young,” and is located at 2,650 meters, or 8,694 feet. If we arrive here early enough, we can also go and visit the Wiñaywayna ruins located 10 minutes from the campsite. This is our last night camping, and in the evening after supper we will get to thank our amazing Quechuas for their hard work.
Day 7 – Inca Trail Day 4 to Machu Picchu. On the last day of the hike we will wake up very early (at about 3:15 am) and after having breakfast will wait in line until the Control opens at 5:30 am. Once we pass the Control, we will start hiking to Machu Picchu which will take 2 hours and we will hike for 6 km (4 miles) following the trail which is relatively flat until we reach Intipunku, the famous Sun Gate. Here, we will have our first view of Machu Picchu below us and depending on the season we may get to see the sunrise. From there, we will descend down to Machu Picchu which sits at 2,400 meters or 7,874 feet, and we will first check any large backpacks at the entrance. We will then have our 3-hour tour where you will see and learn about the most important sites including the Temple of the Sun, the main plaza, Intiwatana, and the Temple of the Condor. After your tour, you will have some free time to explore the ruins on your own and take more pictures of this amazing place. When you are ready you can take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, and in the afternoon you will take the train back to Cusco where we will pick you up from the train station and drop you off at your hotel.
Day 8 – Departure. We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and take you to the airport for your departure flight.
Food: We include lunch in the Sacred Valley (drinks are not included), a traditional supper and breakfast during the Community Visit, and all meals during the hike (lunch on the seventh day in Aguas Calientes is not included). Your hotel will provide breakfast.
Accommodations: We include the first, second and last nights in a hotel in Cusco (Cusco B&B or Andenes al Cielo), the third night camping at a local community, and camping during the entire hike. Please note that all hotels are subject to availability. For hotel upgrade options, please see the “Additional Options” tab.
Guide: Your guide will be with you for the Cusco City Tour, Sacred Valley, the Community Visit and the multi-day hike. All our guides are licensed and speak fluent English, Spanish, and Quechua.
Transportation: We will provide you with private transportation to and from the airport, as well as to and from our tour destinations. We also include your bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes as well as your train ticket in the Expedition service from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco.
Entrance Fees: The Inca Trail permit and entrance to Machu Picchu are included, as well as the full tourist pass that will admit you into all major archaeological and historic sites in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Camping Equipment: We include 2-person North Face Mountain 25 tents, Therm-a-Rest mattress and pillow for each hiker, and all other camping equipment such as a kitchen tent manned by a professional cooking staff, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a bathroom tent. Please note that sleeping bags and trekking poles are not included, although they can be rented from us.
What to Bring
- Original passport and student ISIC card (if applicable)
- Sleeping bag (or you can rent one from us in Cusco)
- A backpack to carry your things
- Trekking poles (or you can rent a pair from us)
- Bathing suit (if you would like to enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
- Good sneakers or light hiking boots, and one pair of flip-flops or light sandals
- Camera and extra batteries
- Rain gear (especially if traveling in the wet season, from October to March)
- Comfortable hiking clothes, including warm clothes for the nighttime
- Bug repellent
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Cap for the sun
- Warm clothes for the nighttime including thermals, warm hat, and gloves
- Travel towel
- Toilet paper
- Water bottle and about 1 liter of water for the first day until lunch, and after that we will supply you with boiled water for the rest of the hike
- Tips for your guide, Quechuas, and chef (optional)
Quechuas (Porters): Depending on your level of physical fitness, the hike can be strenuous. If you would like to reduce the load you have to carry, you can hire an extra Quechua to carry your belongings. You can hire a Quechua to carry 8 kg (18 lb) for $80 USD, or 15 kg (33 lb) for $150 USD. Included in this service is the porter’s salary, entrance fee to Machu Picchu and his food. If you decide to use this service, the Quechua will carry your packs until we reach Aguas Calientes. You must reserve your extra Quechua at the same time you reserve the trip, because the extra porter is counted as part of the 500-person limit on the trail.
Huayna Picchu: If you are interested in climbing Huayna Picchu, the mountain overlooking Machu Picchu, there is an additional fee of $65 USD per person for us to buy your entrance ticket. Spaces are limited, so please let us know when booking whether you would like to hike Huayna Picchu, and we will reserve it for you. For information about this hike, please visit our Huayna Picchu page.
Hotel Upgrade: Included in this package are accommodations in a comfortable B&B Hotel in Cusco. However, if you would like to upgrade to a 3, 4, or 5 star hotel, we offer the following prices and options for a double/matrimonial room:
- 3 Stars: $60 USD per person (Tambo del Arriero or Rumi Punku)
- 4 Stars: $180 USD per person (Costa del Sol or Casa Andina Private Collection)
- 5 Stars: $390 USD per person (Palacio del Inka or Casa Cartagena)
*Please note that all hotels and room types are subject to availability, and that during holidays prices will increase. Also, we work with many hotels in Cusco, so if there is a specific hotel not listed that you prefer, please let us know and we can provide you with a price. Please contact us at email@example.com for upgrade prices for single rooms.
Sleeping Bags: If you would like to rent a sleeping bag from us, the price is $25 USD per person in total for this 4-day hike.
Trekking Poles: We recommend taking trekking poles on the hike especially when hiking downhill. If you would like to rent a pair for the whole hike, the price is $15 USD per person.
Private Tent: In our service we include North Face Mountain 25 tents that are 2-person tents. However, if you would like to reserve a private tent the price is $40 USD.
Vistadome Train: Our price includes a return train ticket in the Expedition train, however, if you would like to upgrade to the Vistadome train the price is an additional $25 USD per person.
Mantanay Hike: There is also the option to substitute the Inca Trail for the 4-Day Mantanay Hike in this package. The Mantanay Hike is ideal for those looking to get off of the beaten path, and also is a great alternative for when Inca Trail permits are sold out. In this case, the package itinerary is exactly the same except for the 4-day hike.
Customized Itinerary: Although this is our suggested itinerary for this 8-Day Package, we can personalize your itinerary to better fit your preferences. For example, please let us know if you will be spending more or less than 8 days in Cusco, if there are additional tours you are interested in, and if there are any other services we can help organize for you.
Additional Information: For more information on rules and regulations of Machu Picchu, please see our Rules and Regulations page here. To see information on cancellations and other policies, please see our Cancellations page here.
How to Book
If you are interested in this package, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to check the availability. Please let us know the package you want to do, the date you would like to start, how many people are in your group, and we will send you back the availability.
When you are ready to book your package, please send us the following information for each traveler:
- Full name
- Passport number
- Date of birth
- Food restrictions (if any)
- Would you like to climb Huayna Picchu for an additional $65 USD per person?
If you would like tickets to climb Huayna Picchu after your tour of Machu Picchu, we will reserve a ticket for you as long as there is availability.
After sending your personal information, the next step is for each person in your group to make a deposit of $500 USD to reserve your package. To make your deposit, please pay by selecting the correct amount below or by visiting our Book Now page. To receive the student discount, you must send an email at the time you reserve your spot with a scan of both sides of your student ISIC card. This is the only student card accepted by the National Park and you can find more information about this student ID on the ISIC website here. The remaining balance is due in Cusco. You may pay in cash (either in US dollars or Peruvian soles) at your briefing, or if you prefer you may pay with a Visa credit card at our office. To pay with a credit card, before your briefing please visit our office which is located at Calle Union #140 in the reception of the Cusco B&B Hotel.
Click the Amount to Deposit via Visa: