Thousands of miles of Inca roads interconnect in Peru; however, the section that reaches the citadel of Machu Picchu is among the world’s most popular treks due to the natural beauty of its surroundings and because it was one of the main routes used in the time of the Incas.
This journey of 43 kilometers (27 miles), ideal for adventure and history lovers, is a perfectly preserved trail, combining different ecological zones, from high-altitude deserts to rainforests. The trail passes through important archeological centers where one can also observe incredible wildlife.
The journey ends when crossing the “Intipunku” (The Sun Gate) to reach the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of Inca architecture and engineering, considered a world heritage site and one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
The trek begins at km 82 (mile 50) in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in the Piscaycucho community. Here the porters will be waiting for you with all the equipment ready. They are an essential part of this experience and will accompany you along the entire route.
Hike parallel to the Urubamba River, with beautiful views of the imposing, snow-capped Verónica Mountain, until you reach the village of Miskay. Then, ascend to the viewpoint of Llactapata and be amazed by this ancient and masterful archeological center.
Say goodbye to the Urubamba Valley and enter the Huallabamba Valley, where you will camp in a village carrying the same name, built on the pillars of an ancient Inca settlement.
Begin the day’s trek by ascending to Llulluchapampa. The route crosses a forest of Uncas (native Andean tree) and then a dwarf forest until finally reaching the top of the Inca Trail at the Warmihuyñuska Pass, where the landscape transforms into an arid high Andean puna.
From here, a descent with large stone steps will bring you, slowly and magically, to the cloud forest. Flora and fauna will change in front of your eyes and will allow you to appreciate different types of plants and endemic birds until you reach Pacaymayo.
Today is, without a doubt, the most rewarding day of the entire journey.
In the morning, we strategically wait for the rest of the groups to go ahead so that you can enjoy a less crowded Inca Trail for the rest of the day.
Ascend to the Runkurakay Pass, from where you will see the Warmiñuska Pass and the valleys that descend to the Amazon.
Along with a wide, cobblestone, and well-preserved Inca trail, amid orchids, ferns, and brambles, you will enter the cloud forest and continue to the remains of Sallacmarca. This is the ideal habitat for hummingbirds and the spectacled bear, which with luck can be seen in this area.
Finally, continue to Phuyupatamarca, where you will camp with a breathtaking view of the Urubamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges, which blend in front of our eyes to give way to the Amazon. Simply amazing!
This morning appreciate from the campsite one of the most spectacular sunrises in the Andes with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountain ranges, including the Pumasillo Massif and the imposing Salkantay.
Descend to the ruins of Intipata, an ancient agricultural experimental center with a spectacular panoramic view of the entire Urubamba Valley.
Continue to the most important and impressive archeological site of the entire route: Wiñaywayna. Then, along a path covered with tropical vegetation, cross the Intipunku (the Sun Gate) and be amazed by a fabulous view of Machu Picchu.
Briefly visit the citadel, taking advantage of having arrived at an advantageous hour, since it is less crowded during the late afternoon.
Take the day to explore Machu Picchu at length. Discover the Inca’s history as you walk through squares, temples, fountains, monuments, and residences of the most important religious, political, and cultural center of the Empire.
Optionally, you can climb to the summit of Huayna Picchu, a natural viewpoint that allows you to appreciate the citadel from a different angle. There you will see the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding mountains and the Urubamba Canyon.
In the afternoon, you will board the train that will take you back to the city of Cusco or to the Sacred Valley.
To ensure the well-being and safety of our travelers and staff throughout our operational chain, Terra Explorer will comply with the health and safety measures and protocols established by the Peruvian Association of Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism (APTAE), and implement the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines for adventure tourism developed by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
Our experiences are designed considering the least possible exposure, where the final destinations are usually remote places. By their very nature, our adventure activities are considered to be low risk, mainly because they are performed outdoors where ventilation is constant and making it easy to achieve social distancing.
During these times we are working together with a small staff of honorable people who have been part of the Terra Explorer family for many years. They and their families are aligned with the established health and safety measures. Employing these staff members also seeks to reactivate the local economy.
We guarantee a safe, soul-fulfilling trip to all our travelers for whom we make these adventures possible.
Terra Explorer will strictly comply with the safety, cleaning, and hygiene protocols during our internal processes, third parties, and throughout your trip. This involves:
Follow the instructions related to health and safety given by the Terra Explorer team and your guide, before and during your trip.
Stay home if:
With the intention of delivering the most flexibility at the time of confirming your trip, we will determine the amount of the initial deposit individually and according to your itinerary characteristics.
Secure your trip with a deposit and pay the rest in one or more payments, at a time that suits you best. Please make sure you adhere to our policy and pay in full at least 31 days prior to your trip date.
If you need to cancel your trip, we will apply the following flexible policies.
For more detailed information on our terms and conditions and Covid-19 policies, please contact us at [email protected]