WHY THIS TRIP
While the Inca Trail is the classic, bucket-list trek in Peru, and it is the only way to arrive in Machu Picchu on foot, the traditional 4-day trek is not the best way to do it. On this 5-day trek you begin the trek after the hordes have departed on the traditional 4-day trek, allowing them to clear out so you can hike and camp in relative solitude away from the masses of other trekkers. This schedule also gives you more time to explore ruins along the way and at Machu Picchu. The trip begins with acclimatizing hikes to impressive ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley to help get you ready for the altitude of the Inca Trail, but also because these sites shouldn’t be missed! The guides are world class, the food is inspiring, and the equipment is first rate.
If you are looking for a top-quality Inca Trail trek, complete with acclimitazion hikes to the best Inca ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, this is the adventure for you. It is operated by one of the best outfitters in Peru, which specializes in top-quality guides and seamless logistics.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a fantastic journey on an ancient trail used by the Incas, passing numerous ruins and with fantastic mountain views. Entering Machu Picchu through the Gate of the Sun is something you will remember for life.
While the 26-mile Inca Trail is most commonly hiked in four days (with the last half-day spent at Machu Picchu), this is not the best way to do the trek. This five-day trek allows for a later start (more sleep!) on day one so you avoid starting your trek with the multitudes on the four-day trek, and then puts you on a different schedule so you are not walking and camping with all the trekkers on the four-day trip. This schedule also breaks up the trek so you only cross one high pass a day, making for a much more pleasant experience. You also have more time to stop and explore ruins along the way without feeling the need to rush onward to camp.
Finally, late on day four you arrive to Machu Picchu, entering through the Gate of the Sun. You have time to enjoy the views of the ruin before heading to your comfortable hotel in town, peaceful with the knowledge that you will return the next morning full of energy, and with plenty of time, to fully explore this sacred site.
A team of porters takes care of the work on this remote trek, carrying all the group gear and all your personal items except for those items you will carry in a small daypack i.e water, snacks, camera, raincoat, etc. When you arrive in camp your tent will already be set up and the cook staff will be hard at work preparing your 3- to 4-course meals, which you will enjoy sitting at a table in the dining tent.
The trip begins and ends in Cusco, the fascinating former capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport and given a short orientation walk around Cusco’s central square, the Plaza de Armas, for the latest on where to eat, where to find local markets, and about iconic city sites to check out. In the evening, you’ll meet your guide for a full briefing on the days to come. After the trek you’ll have a free day to explore Cusco on your own.
This trip can be combined with other highlight destinations like the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca or even the Galapagos Islands.
LOCAL OPERATOR: AMAZONAS EXPLORER
For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.