Because Machu Picchu is extreme hiking It is recommended to arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before starting the trek to adjust to the altitude, as you may know Cusco is situated over 3,300metres. During these 2 days in Cusco you can walk to other Inca sites like Sacsayhuaman (A walled complex), Kenko, Puka Pukara and Tambo Machay, these four archeological sites are located about 5 kilometres from Cusco and can be reached on foot.
All international flights to Peru land at Lima airport (British Airways, KLM, Iberia, LAN) most of them arrive in Lima in the evening (Some Iberia and LAN flights may arrive at 06.00am). All flights from Lima to Cusco leave from 05.55am to 13.00pm, there are no late flights to Cusco, this flight takes only 1 hour 10 minutes.
OUTLINE ITINERARY KEY to inclusions (H-hotel, T-teahouse, B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner/evening meal)
Fly Manchester, Amsterdam to Lima
Lima to Cusco. Overnight hotel in Lima morning flight to Cusco. Acclimatization walk. DAY 3: Cusco. Hotel, acclimatizing walks in the sacred valley.
Cusco. Hotel, acclimatizing walks in the sacred valley.
Cusco - Km 82 - Huayllabamba. Early morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven through the Sacred Valley to the trailhead at Km 82, the starting point of the Inca Trail where a crew of Quechua porters will be waiting for us to start our Inca trail hike to Machu Picchu. After crossing the Urubamba river we set off on our four-day adventure, we hike through the eucalyptus groves having amazing views of the Vilcanota Mountain Range and the snow-capped peak Veronica, we stop to have a view of Llaqtapata, a massive Inca complex of agricultural terrace. After passing some small Quechua villages we arrive at our first campsite near the community of Huayllabamba (hiking time: approx 6 hours). (L, D)
Huayllabamba - Warmiwanusca Pass - Pacaymayo. Today is the most challenging day of our four-day trek to Machu Picchu. An early start will give us time to reach the highest point of our trek, the Dead Woman Pass (13,780 feet/4,200 metres). We hike through the thick forest and stop at Llulluchapampa where our guide tells the story of Llulluchapampa. The trail climbs steeply towards Warmiwanusca Pass, known as the dead Woman Pass from where we will have an impressive vista of peaks and our route to Pacaymayo - our next camp site. We start to descend by a rock stepped trail, slowly and carefully, finally we arrive at Pacaymayo valley (11,810 feet/3,600 metres) and our next campsite where we will find our tents already set up by our Quechua porters. (hiking time: approx 7 hours). (B, L, D)
Pacaymayo - Winaywayna. This morning, we will climb up for almost one hour through an Inca stairway to Runkurakay ruins. A construction used by Incan couriers to rest when following the Royal Inca Trail.The trail continues to climb toward Runkurakay pass (12,630 feet/3,850 metres) from where we have spectacular views of the snow covered peaks of the Pumasillo range. Then we descend gradually towards the Inca Complex of Sayaqmarka (11,772 feet/3,588 metres) On the way we will pass through a green tunnel formed by the forest, turning it into a fantasy walkway, beautiful orchids start to appear; it is truly impressive how the Incas built these roads along the mountains and rainforest. We visit one of the most impressive Incas sites; the archaeological centre of Phuyupatamarka (11,722 feet/3,572 metres), a strategic point with a beautiful view. Finally, we camp near Winaywayna (8,829 feet/2,691 metres), the most spectacular archaeological complex of the entire Inca Trail (hiking time: approx 8 hours). (B, L, D)
Sun gate - Machu Picchu - Cusco. After a very early wake up, we start our way to Inti Punku (The Sun Gate) where we are rewarded with our first vista of Machu Picchu! Â (Hiking time: approx 2 1/2 hours). Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour of this impressive Inca city and learn about the history of this site; who lived there, how it was discovered in modern times and why the Spaniards never found it. You will have some free time to really enjoy yourself alone in this spectacularly located site, an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever! 13:00, you will have a buffet lunch in Tinkuy Restaurant Sanctuary Lodge. After lunch we take the train journey back to Aguas Calientes Cusco. Upon your arrival at Ollantaytambo or Poroy train station you will be transferred to your hotel. (B, L)
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE/FITNESS The walking is straightforward on good paths, so you should enjoy walking and have a good level of fitness e.g. you should be able to enjoy two consecutive mountain walking full days in the Lake District (7- 8hrs) without being exhausted.
A TYPICAL TREKKING DAY
Starts around 7 am (not a problem as its usual to go to bed early!). As you get up its easy to pack all your overnight gear into a kit bag before enjoying a hearty breakfast ready to leave the tea house whilst its still fairly cool. The pace on the trek will be leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos, chat to the locals and keep hydrated. Lunch is usually in a teahouse by the side of the trail, a pleasant relaxed affair that will help with your acclimatization. Another couple of hours trekking after lunch and, most days, you will be arriving at your overnight teahouse ready for a well-earned cup of tea and biscuits. This leaves an hour or so to either rest or explore before a fine three course evening meal. It is quite remarkable what the cook team can produce in these remote circumstances. Although it rapidly gets chilly in the evenings it is cozy enough to sit around chatting about the day. The lodges/teahouses are quite basic huts which provide good food, accommodation with 3-4 beds arranged in dormitories (doubles sometimes available, please request). There is a central dining/ sitting room where food and drinks are served. Toilet facilities are usually outside. Despite the basic facilities, it is a great experience to share the company of local families who will often entertain with local songs and dance!
WHAT TO CARRY
This trek is fully supported by a team of porters. You will only need to carry a light daypack at the very most. A 50L rucksack is a useful size to comfortably fit in essential items such as water bottle, camera, sun cream, wet-weather gear and extra layers etc.
Just in case your main luggage goes missing en route, it is a good idea to wear your boots on the plane. Most other things can be replaced but comfortable, well worn-in boots are more difficult to replace. We suggest you purchase and carry a roll of toilet paper; extra can be bought. Rubbish should be disposed of at the end of each day. Try and drink bottled water only during the entire trip.
A detailed equipment list is provided on booking. Specialist items such as sleeping bags and down jackets can be hired from ourselves.
For your own comfort travel light. Normally airlines restrict baggage to 20kg, but you will be wearing boots and one set of trekking clothes. Some items can be left at the hotel for your return. Important items should also be packed in plastic bags. A 50 litre rucksack is needed to carry a fleece, raingear, gloves, water bottle, camera and guidebook daily.
All our leaders hold first aid certificates and carry a fully equipped first aid kit for medical emergencies. However, you should bring your own supplies of plasters, blister prevention pads (compeed), Paracetamol etc. and any medication you are taking. Consult your GP for vaccine information.Â For specialist or professional medical travel advice or visit the website www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk Non spring bottled water should never be drunk without first sterilizing with iodine, chlorine tablets or by boiling.
if this is your first trip to altitude you may have concerns about the effects of altitude. Dont worry, our itineraries allow sufficient time to acclimatize. At worst you may experience a headache or a little breathlessness, the best way to avoid such symptoms is to do everything slowly, walk at a gentle steady pace and drink plenty of fluid. Should you be the exception, we can allow you to stay an extra night at a lower level and follow with one of our local guides.
Insurance which covers mountain rescue, helicopter evacuation and medical expenses is essential. This is available through the BMC or www.etravel ensure. We will require a copy of your insurance prior to departure. You should note there are no official mountain rescue services in most of our destinations and that any evacuation in the event of a serious medical emergency to the nearest hospital will be by land or military helicopter. We will require a copy of your insurance prior to departure.
We allow one extra day in the itinerary for bad weather. If you are delayed longer (unusual) we can re-book your International flight but additional costs will probably be incurred. Tickets can be changed according to availability and the class of ticket, you may need to upgrade and be flexible on your return date. All additional payments would need to be paid for (card payments accepted).
The small print Please note the flights to and from our high altitude destinations can be delayed due to the weather, please be patient and bring a good book to read. If the flight is delayed either way you must pay for all accommodation and food outside the itinerary in cases of longer delays, optional helicopter flights are sometimes offered at an extra cost (variable according to numbers but in the region of £200-£300).
VISAS AND PERMITS For our trips UK citizens and most EU nationals can purchase Visas on arrival. The visa can be paid for in sterling £45. All other countries should check with their local embassy. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the end date of the trip. RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
We employ local staff to work alongside our own group leader giving employment beyond farming. We ask that you restrict showers to those lodges that have electricity or solar power, thus reducing deforestation. Be prepared to wash using bowls of
Mountain Edge recognizes that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement. ACCURACY OF ITINERARY:
Although it is our intention to operate this itinerary as printed, it may be necessary to make some changes as a result of flight schedules, climatic conditions, limitations of infrastructure or other operational factors. As a consequence, the order or location of overnight stops and the duration of the day may vary from those outlined. You should be aware that some events are beyond our control and we would ask for your patience. Deposits are non refundable.
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