CUSCO-ACTIVITIES

5 Days / 4 Nights Premium Inca Trail

Overview

The most visited place in South America exceeding over 2 million tourists per year. Cusco is a main gateway to Machu Picchu. Some travellers choose to take a transport from Cusco to Machu Picchu and others opt for the Inca Trail.

CUSCO
Machu Picchu
Duration: 5 Day Tour
Tour Frequency: Per Demand
Difficulty: Moderate

Why Choose Us

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Latest Tours

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Machu + Huayna Picchu by Expedition Train

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From / $395

Itinerary - Day 1 - Cusco to Aquas Calientes

Day1 - Start of your Tour -
Leaving from Cusco to Zurite

Leaving Cusco early in the morning we will go to Chinchero, a small village in the Sacred Pampa where the locals speak mostly Quechua, the language of the Incas. There you will see a weaving demonstration that has been unchanged for a thousand years and you will tour the archaeological site there for another hour and a half. 

From Chinchero we will drive through an area with great views. We will have a lunch in Zurite and then continue to Quillarumiyoc, also known as the Temple of the Moon. We will have a tour of this important archeological site. 

Then we start hiking through the Qapac Ñañ trail portion on the way to Zurite (small Inca/Colonial village; well-known for its long Inca terraces and temples) – picturesque home stay in a house that is full of history from the Colonial and Republican period. In the house we will enjoy a nice dinner of traditional or contemporary food and cultural experience.

Meals Provided: Morning snack, Lunch, Dinner
App. Walking Time: 4hours

Itinerary - Day 2 - Zurite - Rumi Q'hawarina

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Day 2 - Zurite - Rumi Q´hawarina

Distance: 12km/7.5 miles

After a hearty breakfast we leave Zurite and head towards Amaruwatana camp. The walk will take us through Qenteqentiyoc (the Hummingbird temple), where we can visit and admire this archaeological Inca site. Following the ancient path all the way to the top of our first pass at 4.450 meters, where we will have a dramatic view of both mountain ranges, Vilcabamba and Vilcanota. From here we start walking down on the way to our first camp in the Sambor valley where we will spends the night.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
App. Walking Time: 8 hours

Itinerary - Day 3 - Rumi Q'hawarina - Ancascocha

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Day 3 - Rumi Q´hawarina - Ancascocha

Distance: 13km/8 miles Early in the morning after breakfast we trek for 2 hours to get to our second pass (4700m); from there we have fantastic views of the rock formations below us. Sometimes it´s possible to see: Andean ibis, herons, torrent ducks, caracaras, eagles and foxes. After 2 hours we arrive to a nice highland valley, a place named Kenqo Mayu, or Zigzag River, where glacier water flows through the valley. Our lunch will be at the end of the river, and after lunch we will continue downhill and follow the ancient trail, which goes on a little uphill section which leads us to our campsite in a community called Ancascocha. We will arrive to our campsite around 4pm near to a large glacier mount and glacier stream where we will camp. If we arrive on time there is an optional hike to the – it is just a one hour round trip.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
App. Walking Time: 6 – 6.5 hours

Itinerary - Day 4 - Ancascocha - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

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Day 4 - Ancascocha - Aguas Calientes

Distance: 14km/8.7 miles

After eating breakfast and breaking camp we start hiking down the Silque Canyon, we will descend by way of the narrow canyon, following a stream that will gradually get bigger. We can observe tall granite walls on the sides of the canyon, populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when they bloom. We continue on the trail making zigzags. After crossing many little bridges we will reach the community of Camicancha, where we stop in a nice volcanic rock area, with magnificent views of mount Veronica, the snow-capped mountain. From here we are very close to the Chilca community where we finish our trek. A vehicle will transfer us to Ollantaytambo. We will explore the ‘pueblo’. We will continue by train to Aguas Calientes and spend night there.

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch
App Walking Time: 5 hours

Itinerary - Day 5 - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

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Day 5 - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Early in the morning after breakfast a short bus ride (5.30am) takes us to the 15th-century Inca site of Machu Picchu where we have a full day to walk around the ruins with our guide. We arrive back to Cusco late evening.

Meals provided: Breakfast

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Thank you for your donation

Each purchase with Cusco-Activities is contributing to the Associacion de Animales in Cusco. This helps Peruvian street dogs to get fed and provide a neccessary medical treatment.

What is included?

Includes

  • Hotel collection and transport to trailhead.
  • Professional, bilingual tour guide and trek staff.
  • Plentiful, nutritious meals (Vegetarian option available) and snacks.
  • Drinking water provided throughout trek.
  • Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes.
  • Round-trip train ticket to and from Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu.
  • Round trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu-Aguas Calientes.
  • Professionally-guided tour of Machu Picchu.
  • Transfer from Train Station in Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco.
  • Hot water for washing in the morning.
  • High quality, double-occupancy tents and equipment (includes dining tent, kitchen tent, and latrine tent).
  • Pack animals (horses and llamas) to carry baggage and equipment.
  • Emergency horse(s) for riding in case of illness or injury.
  • Transport back to Cusco.
  • Duffle Bag.
  • Camping mattress.
  • First aid kit and oxygen tank.

Does not include

  • Sleeping bag.
  • Breakfast Day 1/ Dinner on Day 4 and Day 5.
  • Tips.
  • Chinchero entrance
Luggage storage Cusco

What to bring

  • Original Passport
  • Day Pack                      
  • Full rain gear or poncho
  • Sunglasses             
  • Sunscreen
  • Cold-weather jacket
  • Long-sleeve fleece/sweater Wool hat
  • Hiking boots
  • Refillable water bottle (hydration bags are recommended) 
  • Your booking is confirmed and a contract exists when the Tour Operator or your travel agent issues a written confirmation after receipt of the applicable deposit amount.
  • Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to the Tour Operator or authorized agent immediately.
  • Please ensure that names are exactly as stated in the relevant passport.

You will pay a fee of 60% which is completely non-refundable in any situation. The remaining amount will be paid upon arrival to Cusco

  • You will be required to show the original passport (not a copy) that you booked with, at the checkpoint to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu
  • If you originally booked with an old passport and then renewed your passport, you must also bring your expired passport along with your new, valid passport to permit entry or they will refuse your entrance to the trail and Machu Picchu.

The only acceptable ID to receive a Student Discount is your University Card with a clear expiration date that must be the same year as a trek. IDs with expiry dates the following year, even though clearly valid, will not be accepted by the Peruvian government. You must submit a copy of this card at the time of booking.

5 Day / 4 Nights Premium Inca Trail

Premium Inca Trail

$ 790
  • Less known unique inca trail for 5 days / 4 nights
Premium

Machu Picchu Classic Inca Trail

$ 760
  • Most popular Ina trail for its breath taking panorama 4Days / 3 Nights
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Machu Picchu Short Inca Trail

$ 475
  • Inca trail for those with less time 2 Days / 1 Night
Short

How to get to Machu Picchu?

Cusco is a main gateway to Machu Picchu. Some travellers choose to take a transport from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and others opt for the Inca Trail. Tours are offered along the Inca trail that connects Cusco to Machu Picchu. It is up to you whether you choose to hike for 2, 3 or 5 days. After walking and camping for many days the experience is more memorable for you.

How far is Machu Picchu? 

The distance from Cusco to Machu Picchu is only 75 kilometers. I takes about 5 hours from Cusco to Machu Picchu. It is your choice if you want take 1 day trip to Machu Picchu or 5 day trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

How,when and where to buy ticket to Machu Picchu?

There are 4 different experiences that Machu Picchu offers you. They are all great but you have to decide which one is the the best

  1. Machu Picchu Solo
  2. Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu
  3. Machu Picchu & Mountain
  4. Machu Picchu & Huchuy Picchu

There is limited availability to Machu Picchu. Especially the most popular Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu has to be booked 3 months in advance. Please contact Cusco-Activities team to help you with availabilty and booking. 

Transport from Cusco to Aguas Calientes

Private buses are operated daily and the usual cost is from $12 USD per person to Ollantaytambo. Trains from Ollantaytambo are operating daily departing from 5am to 9pm. However your train ticket is always booked for specific time and cant be changed to different time. 

Getting from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Travellers have only 2 options to get to Machu Picchu

  1. Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu which takes about 20 minutes and costs around $24 USD return. Buses are departing frequently every 10-15 minutes. Bus ticket can be purchased with us or directly at Aguas Calientes. 
  2. Walk from Aguas Calientes which takes about 2 hours. This walk is not recommended as its short but very steep and exhausting.

Best time to visit Machu Picchu

The best time is really any time. Entrance is scheduled from 6am to 2pm. Some travelers like to sleep overnight in Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu at the earliest hour to take beautiful pictures with sunrise. Some choose to go in the afternoon when there is not as many tourists. 

 

Gallery Machu Picchu

Facts of Machu Picchu

The most visited place in South America exceeding over 2 million tourists per year. In the year 2007 in Lisbon, Machu Picchu has been stated as The New Seven Wonders of the modern World. Machu Picchu known as Lost City of Incas is a place of Wonder and Energy.

What facts do we know about Machu Picchu?  

  • Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

  • Amazingly, no wheels were used to transport heavy rocks for the construction of the city.

  • Structures at Machu Picchu were built with a technique called &ldquo ashlar.” Stones are cut to fit together without mortar. Remarkably, not even a piece of paper can fit in between two stones.

  • The citadel has two parts: Hanan and Urin according with the Inca tradition.

  • In the Quechua native language, “Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.”

  • Many of the stones that were used to build the city weighed more than 50 tons. How did these stones get up the mountain? Some were chiseled from the granite bedrock of the mountain ridge. For others, hundreds of men pushed the heavy rocks up the steep mountain side.

  • On the Inca Trail, many porters sleep with a shiny metal object or mirror beneath them. They believe it sends away spirits coming up through the earth and whisks them away. Ask any guide or porter, and most will tell you that sometimes they have experienced the feeling of being pulled out of their tents by spirits of the past.

  • The exact age of Machu Picchu, the most representative and ancient city of Peru, has been clarified by scientific studies on the geology and archaeology of the site. 

  • Machu Picchu is South America’s most impressive archaeological ruin. 

  • Many people ask: why is Machu Picchu so important? The Citadel of Machu Picchu is considered the main tourist attraction in Peru and one of the most visited worldwide. 

  • Machu Picchu is also known as the Lost City of the Incas. It is a mysterious wonder. A city of stone built without the aid of wheels or iron tools. This is the best example of Inca engineering. More than 600 terraces prevent the city from sliding down the mountain. A water supply system extends over a length of about 1 km.     

History Timeline of Machu Picchu

  • Archaeological evidence shows that people practiced agriculture in the Urubamba and adjacent valleys since 760 B.C.

  • Between 1300 and 1500 AD, the Cusco kingdom developed as a city-state, beginning with the government of Manco Capac. The Vilcabamba region can under Inca control in 1440 during a campaign conducted by Pachucutec, the 9th inca king. This was one of the first phases of territorial expansion for what would become the Tahuantinsuyo Empire.

  • According to scholars, Machu Picchu was a royal estate built for the Inca king Pachacutec around 1450. Others speculate the Inca city was a sacred center where the great political, religious and economic minds of the Inca Empire gathered. The population of Machu Picchu ranged between 300-1000 inhabitants and consisted mostly of members of Pachacutec’s lineage, religious elite, and highly specialized artisans recruited from across the empire, called yanaconas.

  • The valleys in these areas produced a big agricultural surplus. But after the death of Pachacutec, this place lost its importance. His successors built new constructions such as Ollaytantambo that made the route to Machu Picchu less used.

  • During the civil war between Atahualpa and Huascar, the rural population was annexed by Mitmas (laborers from other parts of the empire). When the war ended they left this place and returned to their homelands. In colonial times, Manco Inca was exiled in Vilcabamba and Machu Picchu was abandoned. Over the years, Machu Picchu was lost to official memory.

  • In the  late 1800s, explorers like Antonio Raimondi crossed the grounds of the ruins without knowing where he was. Augusto Berns in 1867 formed a mining company to exploit the treasures of this place.

  • In 1911, Hiram Bingham was a history professor intent on finding the last place where the Incas of Vilcabamba were. Guided by a young boy from Mandorpampa, Bingham arrived at the ruins and thought this is the place where the Incas were established after losing their territory. It wasn’t until after his death in the 1950s that the real Vilcabamba was discovered further west of Machu Picchu citadel.

  • In 1983, Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • In 2012, one year after the 100th anniversary of Machu Picchu’s scientific discovery, all the artifacts excavated by Bingham team’s and shipped to Yale University’s Peabody Museum, were finally returned to Peru. These artifacts are currently on display at Casa Concha (Machu Picchu Museum) in Cusco.

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