Welcome to one of the most famous trekking routes in the world, renowned for its biodiversity and rugged beauty almost as much as the final destination: the breath-taking citadel of Machu Picchu. With this 5-day Inca Trail holiday, our aim is to celebrate and give credit to the people that pioneered this trek, the porters themselves. Our version of the Inca Trail honours their ancestral knowledge, experience and culture and invites travellers to become part of the lives of these under-appreciated descendants of the Inca.
Day 1: Your Inca Trail adventure starts by driving to the porter community of Huayllaccocha, 38km from Cuzco, stopping on the way to buy a few donations for your host family like pens, notebooks and other educational materials. After lunch, take a walk to Huaypo Lake where you can try traditional fishing techniques and observe the variety of birds that live there. Back at the village you’ll be treated to a fiesta in your honour and share some time with the porters and their families. A delicious dinner and dances finish this day full of new experiences, before a good night's rest with your new friends - the best possible start to your adventure! (L/D)
Day 2: Km.82 is the starting point of the trek. A couple of hours walk uphill takes you and the porters to the Patallacta archaeological complex, which according to archaeologists was part of the legacy of the Inca emperor Pachacutec. The ruins have a splendid view down onto the Sacred Valley and its communities. After lunch, continue your climb higher up into a semi-tropical valley until you reach your first camp site at Huayllabamba. Upon arrival, the porters will have the camp already set up at an altitude of 3000m. (B/L/D)
Day 3: Your friends will cook a rich mountain breakfast to prepare you for the challenge that awaits. Today is the toughest day, ascending to an altitude of 4200m while appreciating the changes in the landscape from tropical forests to snow-capped mountains and Andean puna grasslands. You will be able to soak up the majesty and drama of the mountains, ensuring a day full of great photos and memories. The last part of today’s route takes you down to the second camp site at Pacaymayu, altitude 3500m. (B/L/D)
Day 4: Your trek continues today towards Runkuracay Fortress, a resting place for the 'chasquis', messengers that ran the Inca Road communicating important information throughout the empire. From here on, you will follow the original route of the Inca Road, visiting the Sayarmarca archaeological complex and traversing tunnels leading to the spectacular Phuyupatamarca or 'City of Mist', where ceremonies took place on massive terraces known as 'andenes'. The descent to the camp site is marked by a big change in landscape, passing through dense cloud forest rich in flora and fauna until you reach Winayhunayna (2650m). (B/L/D)
Day 5: After an early breakfast it's an easy walk to the famous 'Puerta del Sol', truly an unforgettable experience where myth meets reality and where the tough trek really pays off. Welcome to one of the world’s most stunning views - Machu Picchu! You may have seen it in a thousand pictures but the reality is something else if you've travelled there on foot, as the Incas did. Explore the archaeological complex and take your time, but remember your train back to Ollantaytambo and the present day... then you can finally put your feet up and reflect on your experiences as we drive you back to Cuzco. (B)
Prices from: £645 per person
Services included: all transportation, five meals a day and water (menu developed with help of nutritionists) and activities as mentioned, camping equipment (except sleeping bag), Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu entry fees, English speaking professional trekking guide, porters.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.