Inca Trail Private Journey 5 Days

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QUICK OVERVIEW

Trek the famous Inca Trail, with a full day at Machu Picchu: The Inca Trail is a spectacular trek through the high Andes on an original Inca highway with a chance to visit extraordinary ruins, enjoy beautiful mountain views, walk through strikingly different climatic zones and finally experience the unique feeling of arriving at Machu Picchu by foot. The return to Poroy is by train. This is an exciting way to view the mighty Urubamba River and where you have just trekked.

What you need to know about our trek?

Day by Day Itinerary

Day by Day Itinerary

* Price based in sharing one tent 2 people and double room in the
Hotel

Type Service: Privately Guided
Itinerary: Fixed
Destinations: Cuzco, Machu Picchu
Activities: Trekking and Walking,Cultural and History,Famil

Day 1 - Cusco – KM 82 – Llactapata

Our Inca Trail guides pick us up this morning at
7:00am at the Hotel for a drive past the impressive Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo and a chance to buy any last minute supplies. After an interesting drive to the end of the road at Chilca we meet our support team of traditional porters before embarking on the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu. The trek undulates along the banks of the Urubamba River and we camp the night at Llactapata (2650m/8692ft) beside some spectacular ruins which, if you have the energy, we have time to explore. This is camping and trekking in style. Whilst walking all you need to carry is a daypack, all camping equipment is carried by the porters. All camp chores are done for us and delicious food is served by a cook and his helpers.
 
Meals Included: Box-lunch, Dinner


Day 2 - Llactapata – Lluluchupampa

 
We trek up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huallyabamba, the last inhabited place on the trail. The path continues on up past humming birds and stunted cloud forest. Our camp is the beautiful grassy area at Llulluchupampa (3600m/11808ft), this has out-standing views down the valley.
 
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3 - Lluluchupampa – Phuyopatamarca

Possibly the hardest day of the trek, we rise early and head to the highest point of the trail - the impressive Warmiwanusca (Dead woman’s
pass 4200m/13776ft). We then descend into the Pacasmayo valley and then climb again passing the Inca ruins Rucuracay. Our second pass of the day (3970m/13022ft) gives us spectacular views of the Vilcabamba range. Walking on incredibly well-preserved Inca pathway we pass Sayacmarca ruins with plenty of time for an in depth tour and explanation. We continue along the ridge, passing through tunnels and fantastic views and a slight ascent brings us to Phuyupatamarca ruins (the place above the clouds), where we camp (3700m/12136ft).
 
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 4 - Phuyopatamarca – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes

After an early morning chance to catch the sunrise on the surrounding snow capped mountains of Salcantay (6200m/20336ft) and Veronica (5800m/19024ft), we say a farewell to our porters with a traditional song and dance.
Our final day hiking brings us down into the cloud forest on a series of Inca stairway to Wiñay Wayna, another interesting ruin full of swallows and orchids. Finally we contour through cloud-forest to Inti Punku, the gateway of the Sun and our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. We pass through the ruins and catch a bus down to our hostel in the colorful town of Aguas Calientes and celebrate our return to civilization. (2000m/6560ft) Overnight at Aguas Calientes Hotel.
 
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 5 - Visit Machu Picchu full day / Back to Cusco

Breakfast at the hotel; full day Excursion to Machu Picchu, early transfer to the Bus Stop for the short ride (25 minutes) up to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you will participate in a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial (the most important preserved Intihuatana), the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, houses, warehouses, a large central square; and all connected by narrow roads and steps that are surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side. After the tour you'll have time to stroll around the Archaeological Site at your leisure. Opportunity to climb to the top of Wayna Picchu, with a magnificent view of the whole Sanctuary, returns in the afternoon by train to Poroy Train Station and transfer to your Cusco hotel.
 
Meals Included: Breakfast

Includes

Transportation:

  • Private transport from your Cusco hotel to km 82 (head of the trail)
  • Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes (up and down)
  • Return train from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
  • Transfer from Poroy train station to Your Cusco hotel
 
Camping equipment:
 
  • 4 season tents, 2 people in each 3-people-capacity tent
  • Therma-Rest self-inflating mattress
  • 2 foam mattresses, a table, and seat for each tent
  • Food and drink utensils
  • Dinner tent and Kitchen Tent for the group
  • First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
 
Team:
 
  • Professional, knowledgeable bilingual guide
  • A cook to prepare your meals
  • Porters to carry provided equipment and food (additional porters are
    available for rent to carry your personal belongings)
  • One extra porter each two people (to carry up to 9kg/20 pounds per
    person)
 
Food:
 
  • High quality meals to provide the necessary energy for this challenging
    trek
  • In addition to three meals daily, you will be given revitalizing snacks
  • Hot drinks such as Tea and Coffee as well as enough water for your
    canteens (taken from local streams and boiled while on the trek)
  • Entrance ticket to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
  • One entrance fee to Machu Picchu (Day 5th)
 
Optional extras you may want:
 
  • Chocolates and candy. Sugar boosts are great for keeping you going
  • Coca leaves and tea for relieving altitude sickness – can be purchased in
    Cusco
  • Wooden walking sticks to help you climb the trail. Trekking poles with metal
    tips are not permitted as they can ruin the trail

Not included

  •  Sleeping bag (can be hired in our office for US$ 30 for the 4 day trek)
  • Extra porter to carry your personal things like sleeping bag, clothes, etc
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Domestic airfare to and from Cusco (+/- US$ 290 per person round trip)
    Visa fees (if required)
  • Passport & Visa Costs
  • Vaccination Costs
  • Personal Spending Money
  • Drinks
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Border taxes or fees
 

Optional Services

  •  Upgrade the train to Vistadome Class: add US$ 25
  • Sleeping bag during the tour ( -10°C): add US$ 30
  • Extra porter to carry your personal equipment: add US$ 140
  • Single supplement (single tent): US$ 60

Peru Travel Facts

All of this combined makes Peru one of the most interesting places to volunteer in Latin America.
 
Here are some of the most interesting facts about Peru.
 
General facts about Peru
 
1) There are three official languages
 
Spanish, Quechua and Aymara are all official languages in Peru.
 
Spanish is the most widely spoken of the three, with over 80% of Peruvians speaking this language.
 
But these languages are only the tip of the linguistic iceberg in this South American country.
 

Once you travel towards the Amazon Jungle, the people local to this region speak an additional 13 languages. Impressive, right?

 
2) The capital city of Peru is Lima
 

Prior to the invasion of Peru by the Spanish, Peru was known as Tahuantinsuyo (or the Inca Empire as it is known today), and the most important city in that empire was Qosqo (or Cusco), which means navel of the world. Tahuantinsuyo was the largest empire in the Americas at that time, hence why the city was given its name.

 
In 1535, Francisco Pizarro – a sixteenth-century Spanish coloniser – established the city of Lima to serve as the seat of power for the Spanish colonists. Lima is still the capital of Peru today.
 
Today, Lima is home to a third of Peru’s population.
 

Most visitors to Peru will skip Lima in their excitement to get to Cusco and Machu Picchu. But, Lima has so much to offer to travellers, including the different architectural styles visible in the city centre.

 
3) The population of Peru is over 33 million
There are more than 33 million people currently living in Peru.
 
This population is made up of groups from different cultures and backgrounds – including the Uros people, many of who live on islands built of reeds in Lake Titicaca,  and the Mashco-Piro tribe, which lives in the Amazon rainforest.
 

These communities have inhabited the land for over five centuries.

 
Machu Picchu facts
 
Erected in the fourteenth century, Machu Picchu – a fortress built by the Incas – lies more than 2,400 metres above sea level in the Sacred Valley.
 
The Inca city was “lost” for over 400 years when Peru was invaded by the Spanish empire. It was rediscovered in 1911 by explorer, professor and archaeologist Hiram Bingham.
 

Today, Machu Picchu is a designated United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

 
1) Machu Picchu is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World
 
Intrepid travellers flock to Peru every year to tackle the Inca Trail – a well-known four-day hiking trail on the Andes mountain range that leads to Machu Picchu.
 
And why is Machu Picchu so popular? It’s  one of the places where you can see a number of great examples of Inca architecture and learn about Peruvian history.
 
In 2007, the site – often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” – was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
 
2) Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory
 
Archaeologists have learned that the fourteenth century Incas had an excellent understanding of the alignment of the stars.
 
The civilisation built each sun temple and the sacred Intihuatana stone to line up with the sun for each solstice.
 
3) No wheels were used to build Machu Picchu
 
Despite the fact that Machu Picchu is made up of many stones weighing over 23 kilograms, no wheels were used to transport these rocks up the mountain. It is believed that hundreds of men pushed rocks up the steep mountainside to build this wonder of the world.
 
Peru natural wonders facts
 
1) Peru has one of the highest sand dunes in the world
 
The Cerro Blanco sand dune is the second-highest in the world, towering over the Sechura Desert at 1,176 metres.
 
The sand dune is located 14 kilometres east of the city of Nazca, so excursions to see the dune are usually organised from there.
 
When you arrive at the dunes, you can hire a dune buggy or sandboard, and spend hours sliding down one of the largest natural wonders in the world.
 

2) Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake

 

Located between Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca has an elevation of 3,810 metres above sea level.

 
But that’s not the only thing that makes this natural wonder stand out.
 
In the 1970s Jacques Cousteau, a French conservationist, found ruins of a city beneath the surface of Lake Titicaca.
 
Today, the descendants of the Quechua people who called this lost city home, live on 120 self-made floating islands on the lake.
 
3) One of the deepest canyons in the world is in Peru
 
The Cotahuasi Canyon has a depth of more than 3,500 metres.
 
To put this into perspective, this canyon is twice the depth of the United States’ Grand Canyon.
 

4) Peru is home to the Nazca Lines

 

The Nazca Lines are a display of more than 70 giant human and animal geoglyphs – works of art made by rearranging objects within a landscape.

 
These images are scrawled across the Peruvian terrain near the city of Lima.
 
They were first brought to the public’s attention by a Peruvian archeologist in 1927.
 
Today, these lines in the desert plateau between Nazca and Palpa are considered one of the world’s greatest archaeological mysteries.
 
Some people believe that the Nazca Lines are an ancient alien landing strip, while others think it forms part of a sophisticated astronomical calendar.
 
Interesting facts about Peru’s food
 
Did you know that Peru is considered one of the top foodie destinations in the world?
 
Michelin-star chefs from many different countries fly to Lima and Cusco to learn how to master their trade.
 
Need more proof about Peru’s gastronomic clout?
 

Every year since 2012, the country has been named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination by the World Travel Awards.

 
1) You can eat over 3,500 varieties of potatoes in Peru
 
The potato is a superfood, containing almost every kind of vitamin you need. It’s birthplace? Peru.
 
With more than 3,000 types of potato grown in the country, why not sample as many as possible in between conducting English classes, conservation work or community development volunteer work in Peru?
 
2) Peru is home to one of the best superfoods in the world
 
Ever heard of the camu camu fruit?
 
It grows in the Amazon rainforest and has a higher concentration of vitamin C than any other food in the world.
 
So, if you’re feeling a little jet-lagged after arriving in Peru, stop by the local supermarket, purchase a camu camu and take a bite to give your immune system a much-needed boost!
 
3) Guinea pigs aren’t pets
 
If you’re volunteering in Peru during an important cultural festival, keep a lookout for cuy. Cuy is a traditional dish that’s made from roasted guinea pig.
 
For the adventurous eaters that try this delicacy, it’s worth knowing that guinea pig meat is an even healthier choice than llama meat – and it contains even more protein.
 
4) Pisco sour is Peru’s national drink
 
Pisco sour is a Peruvian brandy that is mixed with lemons, sugar, water, egg whites, ice and bitters.
 
It was invented in the early 1920s by an American bartender. You can also try a version of the drink called chilcano, which is made without the egg whites.
 
Peru wildlife and flora facts
 
1) Peru is home to one of the world’s largest flying birds
 
The Andean condor is native to the Andes mountain range in Peru. It has a wingspan of 3.2 metres, stands at 1.2 metres tall and can weigh up to 15 kilograms. Because of their large size, these birds like to live in windy areas like Peru’s Colca Canyon, where they can use the air current to glide for hours with minimal effort.
 
The bird features on four national shields: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.
 

The Andean condor is listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. They are under threat due to poisoning, habitat loss, illegal hunting and the wildlife trade, as well as increased competition for food by feral dog populations.

 
2) Peru is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world
 
One of the most interesting facts about Peru is that it has 90 different microclimates – climates that are restricted to a small area, and different from surrounding climates.
 
So it’s no wonder that the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plant species.
 
One of the best places to go to grasp the sheer range of its diversity is the Manu National Park. This park holds a biodiversity record after recording more than 1,000 species of birds, 1,200 species of butterflies, and 287 species of amphibians and reptiles in 2014.
 
Another great place to experience this is in the Yanachaga-Chemillen National Park, home to the Amazon cloud forest. With GVI, you can live and work in the park, which will give you the opportunity to experience the incredible biodiverisity found in this special place. You’ll assist in monitoring the return of certain mammals to the area, including armadillos, agoutis and ocelots. Most recently, we have even captured images of pumas and a spectacled bear in the area – a good indication that more animals are returning to the forest.
 

3) The tallest flowering plant grows in Peru

 

The Puya raimondii can grow to a height of five metres.

 
This plant takes between 80 and 150 years to flower. And, once it does, it can produce over 30,000 white blooms.
 
It’s only found in the high Andes, growing at an elevation of 3,000–4,800 metres above sea level.
 
4) The Amazon rainforest covers almost two thirds of Peru
 
Part of the Amazon rainforest, the Peruvian Amazon covers 60% of the country and is home to around 20% of all bird species in the world. You’ll also find 700 types of ferns and 7,322 different species of flowering plants, as well as roughly 180 species of reptiles, 262 amphibians, 293 mammals, 697 fish, 806 birds and 2,500 butterflies.
 
5) Three-quarters of the world’s alpacas live in Peru
 

Over 3.5 million alpacas call Peru their home. So don’t be surprised if a curious alpaca or two find their way into your picture when you visit this beautiful country.

 

Frequently asked questions!

The best way to prevent altitude sickness in Cusco is to be prepared. During your first 2 days you should take things easy. This means you shouldn’t take part in any strenuous activity. You should rest a lot and drink plenty of water. Alcohol and smoking isn’t a good idea as it can agitate you and make you feel a lot worse.

You can avoid altitude sickness by spending a few days taking it easy in Cusco before you head off on any kind of trek. Trying to do a tough activity too soon could make you very ill. You should also eat lightly and avoid alcohol to feel your best.

There’s no definite answer to this as there are many options. The Inca Trail is the most popular and needs to be booked months in advance as there are only a certain number of spots each day. The best alternative trek is considered to be Salkantay, which offers a real adventure and fantastic scenery. Inca Jungle is great for those seeking a thrill and Lares is a top option if you want a quieter and more rural experience. If you have a lot of time and want to experience two incredible Inca sites, you can opt for the Choquequirao trek.

This depends on the individual who wants to trek. The Inca Trail is extremely popular as it takes you along the real trail where the Incas once walked. However, many say that the scenery on Salkantay is more beautiful. For this reason we would say go for the Inca Trail if you’re a real history lover and like to hike well-known treks, but go for Salkantay if you want to witness stunning landscapes and a variety of different climates.

The trek isn’t dangerous. You’re with fully qualified guides all the way to make sure you always stay on track. They are there to help you if you feel sick at all along the way. The path can be uneven, but if you take it slowly, you’ll have no issues. During wet season, November to April, you’ll have to take more care when you walk to avoid slipping.

The trek is moderately challenging. This means that most people will be able to complete it if they are well-prepared. Most of the trek isn’t too challenging. It’s just the second day where you walk up to the Salkantay pass. You’ll trek for a total of 10 hours that day. What makes this trek difficult is the high altitude at which you hike and the different terrains as well as changing climate.

The Salkantay Pass sits at 4,600 masl.

Along the trail you’ll experience a lot of different climates. You’ll need to pack for the cold on the first two days. The first night will get below zero, so you need to make sure you have warm clothing and an excellent sleeping bag.

 You don’t need a permit for the Salkantay trek. You do need to pay S/10 upon entering, but this doesn’t need to be reserved in advance, meaning that there is always space available.

To prepare for trekking at high altitudes we recommend you start to prepare a few weeks before. You should start a fitness regime that includes daily stretching and exercises, particularly for your legs. We recommend taking hikes at home weekly before you come to do the trail.

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  • star rating  Hernan is an absolute legend! Professional, friendly and well organized. His English is perfect, which was nice as Americans.

    Look no further. He's the best guide... read more

    Andrew G
    October 13, 2022

    star rating  Based on the great reviews here, I contacted Hernan in hopes that he would guide my group of four on a Sacred Valley tour, overnight in Ollantaytambo, and then a... read more

    JourneyWithJason
    September 8, 2022

    star rating  Hernan met us at the Cusco airport and we drove through the Scared Valley the first day. Hernan is a native of the area and has the most wonderful... read more

    melrosetraveler
    August 10, 2022

    star rating  Hernan made our trip to the Sacred Valley so incredible! I reached out to him a few months before we traveled to Peru, and he suggested the itinerary (gave... read more

    T6081FGcatherinew
    July 25, 2022

    star rating  I can't recommend enough. An excellent tour guide who knows all the best places and people. He works hard to make sure your group is safe, well taken care of,... read more

    Christy N
    July 11, 2022

    star rating  Hernan is excellent. I gaurantee this will be the best tour to Quillabamba and choquequirao you can find. He is a great guide, both thorough and knowledgeable. He is one... read more

    Tayter T
    July 10, 2022
  • star rating  What an amazing experience! Hernan exceeded every expectation we could have had. The hike itself was just incredible. Hernan is very well versed in the trail. ... read more

    Storyteller519049
    May 16, 2022

    star rating  We had the best rip with Hernan and Jonathan. Hernan was our tour guide for four days through the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Hernan ensured we had a seamless... read more

    kd_moran
    April 18, 2022

    star rating  My favorite part of this whole experience was the relationship we developed with our tour guide, Hernan Hermoza. We are leaving Peru with a forever friend. Hernan... read more

    scollinsmason
    July 9, 2021

    star rating  The Best Private Guide Extraordinaire! We were nervous to go on this trip with Covid, but Hernan assured me it was safe to come, and yes - we felt... read more

    Jill D
    May 28, 2021

    star rating  How to describe Hernan, the perfect guide. When you arrive, you will meet a fantastic guide and when you leave, you will part good friends. Read all the... read more

    T8184PLrandys
    May 11, 2020

    star rating  Hernan was an amazing tour guide! My family and I travel all over the world. We have used many different tour guides. However, we have never had a tour guide... read more

    DrewKlayman
    January 16, 2020