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The Inka Trail

Inca Trail Route Map
Inca Trail Altitude Map

Sample 4-day/3-night itinerary
Sample 2-day/1-night itinerary

Chicago Tribune Article
by John Biemer Jan 2005

 

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INCA TRAIL - SAMPLE ITINERARY
2-day/1-night trek

Peru’s best-known hike visited by thousands of tourists every year. This still thrilling 2-day program covers a 13-km Inca Trail, joining the classical 4-day route at the impressive archaeological site of Wi˝aywayna, continuing through the famous Inti Punku or Sun Gate, and finally devoting the second day to a full day visit of the world-famous Inca citadel of Machupicchu. This program is recommended for those having less time or those looking to hike a shorter version of the Inca Trail without camping.

Itinerary 

Day 1: Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo
We pick you up from your hotel at 05.30am and take you to San Pedro train station to board the train that will take us to km.104 km on the Cusco – Machupicchu railroad (starting point of the trek), where we will arrive at around 10:00 am. We start visiting the Chachabamba archaeological complex (2150m/7052ft), located very close to the control point, to then embark upon an 8 km ascending trail, which after four hours takes us to the archaeological complex of Wi˝aywayna (2650m/8692ft). This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. On the way up we will have magnificent views of the Urubamba River valley and the Choquesuysuy archaeological complex located on the other side of the river, and also of a beautiful waterfall located just a few minutes away from Wi˝aywayna. We then go on and climb to Intipunku, or The Sun Gate.

This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may contemplate the sacred citadel of Machupicchu. From Intipunku we descend to Machupicchu and then by bus to Machu Picchu Pueblo. We are then accommodated at the selected hotel/hostel.

Meals: L (box-lunch)
Total distance: 13 km (8,08 miles)
Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
Maximum altitude point: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,400 m (7,872 ft)

Day 2: Machu Picchu Pueblo to Cusco
We wake up early and board a bus, which will take us up to Machupicchu where we begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. You will then have free time to walk around, climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machupicchu, the vMachu Picchu Pueblo where, if you like, you can visit and relax in its hot springs. From here we take the train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.

Meals: -

 

Difficulty degree of this hike:
Moderate

Departure dates:
Daily departures are available along the year. Exception: one-month closing period of all Inca Trail routes in February. Please contact us to check departures to alternatives routes. All private service departure dates are adapted to your request.

Inca Trail - Important Notice:
According to the Resolution #002-2004-UGM-CD, published in El Peruano on Nov 12, 2004, modifying chapter III of the Inca Trail Regulation which refers to Inca Trail space bookings, bookings will only be guaranteed by the governmental institutions when providing full names, nationalities and passport numbers of passengers, and when having paid the full amount of passengers and staff (cook and team of porters) entrance fees.

Appropriate clothing along the Inca Trail:
Hiking pants and T-shirts are commonly used during the day, complemented by a sweater or fleece and waterproof jackets if cloudy or rainy. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required in Aguas Calientes and Machupicchu, although the temperature is usually warmer than in Cusco due to the lower altitude. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.

Climate:
Cusco’s climate is divided into two differentiated seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.

Along the Inca Trail, temperatures range from 15-20║C during the day if it’s sunny, to 05-10║C if cloudy or rainy. At Machupicchu and Aguas Calientes, at lower altitude, temperatures are usually warmer though warm clothes are still recommended at night.