You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel where you are free to rest, essential to initiate successful acclimatisation to the altitude. Our hotel is located in the historic centre so you may also use this time to explore the city. In the evening you will meet with your guide at 6pm at your hotel for an initial trip briefing and receive your kitbags and jackets for your trek.
Overnight: Casa Andina Standard Cathedral or similar.
Today we have a guided tour of Cusco and its nearby ruins. The city, once capital of the extensive Inca Empire, has seen many changes since Francisco Pizarro's men took the city with such apparent ease in November 1533. We explore the city by foot to appreciate its superbly constructed Inca walls and architecturally extravagant colonial churches and palaces. This also includes a visit of Koricancha, the Golden Temple of the Sun, in ancient times. After this we take a short drive to visit the monolithic walls of Sacsayhuaman along with Tambomachay, better known as ‘the bath of the Inca. Both sites are spectacularly set above the city. In the afternoon you may have time to explore some of the central parts of the city and a chance to look at some of the great varieties of local craft work on sale in open-air artisan markets and shops. Overnight: Casa Andina Standard Cathedral or similar.
We leave Cusco and head to the Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the snow-capped peak of Salcantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. Next we visit the mysterious concentric circular terraces of Moray which, according to some scholars, could have been an agricultural research centre. From here we head to the salt mines of Maras. This village is a salt-producing centre that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times. There are thousands of salt pools all carved into the mountain side. We walk down through the salt pans to the Sacred valley for a lunch break before heading to our hotel in Ollantaytambo. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy beauty of this famous valley. Overnight: Tika Wasi Hotel or similar.
Today we enjoy another day in the beautiful Sacred Valley with a tour of Ollantaytambo. During our time in Ollantaytambo we visit its remarkable temple/fortress set high on a ridge above the village. We also explore the quaint village itself with a fascinating mixture of Inca and Colonial architecture. This evening we have a pre-trek briefing with our trekking guide at our hotel and prepare for the trek.
Overnight: Tika Wasi Hotel or similar.
Today we are collected from our hotel for the drive (approx 5 hours) to the trail head. On the way we stop in the famous Sayhuite carved rock for a short visit. This intricate stone block is adorned with more than 200 geometric figures, which together compose something like a 3D relief. Arrive to Capuliyoc to start our trek. After lunch we continue to Chiquisca camp. Walking time/distance: approx 4 hours/8km.
We descend in places very steeply to the spectacular Apurimac river canyon. At first the descent is quite gentle, then it gets steeper and hotter as we go deeper in to the canyon to Playa Rosalina (1550 mts). Continue to Marampata (2930m) where we have lunch. After lunch we continue to Choquequirao (2860m). If we are lucky we could see some condors and spectacle bears. Camp at Choquequirao. Walking time/distance: approx 7 hours/15km.
This morning after breakfast we explore this marvellous site, which actually is larger than Machu Picchu! There are many similarities with Machu Picchu, this enigmatic monumental site was also built during the mid to late 15th century, it became lost for many centuries as the high jungle in this area soon covered the ruins and it was re-discovered by Hiram Bingham in the early 20th Century. Camp at Choquequirao. Walking time/distance: approx 7 hours/6km.
We walk down through some beautiful terraces and thick, lush vegetation, all the way to Pinchi Unuyoc at 2100mts, where we camp for the night. This is a hot, dusty spot, but we can refresh and wash in this beautiful stream. Camp at Pinchi Unuyoc. Walking time/distance: approx 5 hours/8km.
Descend approximately 2 hours to the Rio Blanco and then ascend 4 hours through some beautiful cloud forest all the way to Maizal (3085mts) for lunch. Walking time/distance: approx 6 hours/8km.
This morning we climb for four hours to the San Juan pass (4150mts), for lunch. Then drop down into the Yanama Valley with great views of Panta and Pumasillo snowed peaks. Camp. Walking time/distance: approx 6 hours/11km.
Today we climb from our campsite to the top of Yanama Pass (4665mts) where we have amazing views of Veronica, Salcantay and Humantay peaks to the south. Then we drop down to Totora (3425mts). Camp. Walking time/distance: approx 10 hours/19km.
Today we continue our descent through very lush cloud forest, full of begonias, orchids and crops like coffee and passion fruit, until Wayracpunku. From here we will take a transportation for another hour or so to our campsite at Lucmabamba (1800 mts). Walking time/distance: approx 5 hours/23km.
Today we ascend from Lucmabamba to Patallacta (2655mts), where we have lunch with incredible, and very rarely seen, views of the back of Machu Picchu. After lunch we descend to the mighty Urubamba River - the main source of the Amazon (1900mts) to catch the afternoon train to Aguas Calientes (200mts) where we check in to our hotel. This evening we will be free to enjoy the town and the hot shower! Walking time/distance: approx 6 hours/13km.
Overnight: El Mapi Hotel or similar.
Today we start early to explore these remarkable and truly enigmatic ruins. We will enjoy a guided tour of the sanctuary followed by time to explore this fascinating site at your own pace (with the accompaniment of the guide). In the afternoon or early evening we depart from Machu Picchu for the train ride back to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to Cusco.
NB: Depending on train schedules, we may arrive into Cusco very late at night.
Overnight: Casa Andina Cathedral Hotel or similar.
OPTIONAL HUAYNA PICCHU CLIMB OR MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN CLIMB - For the more adventurous, you can purchase an additional Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain permit (ask us for costs), and forego the guided tour of Machu Picchu which is non-refundable and non-transferable. Please be aware that this is NOT a guided climb, and it takes a minimum of 3 hours return. Both climbs are very steep (including many small and narrow steps) and can be slippery and are very exposed with vertiginous drops. Before purchasing the permit on your behalf (non-refundable and non-transferable), we require any passengers to sign a waiver form. Note - there are limited Huayna Picchu permits and they sell out fast, if you are interested in this option, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.
*Important: Peruvian authorities have implemented entry restrictions to protect Machu Picchu from the impact of its immense popularity. As of 1st July 2017 there are three time slots in which patrons can enter Machu Picchu for a maximum of four hours and must follow one of three predetermined routes. Admission is not allowed after 4pm. Additionally, all visitors must be accompanied by a guide at all times. These changes have been made to improve the visitor experience and in an effort to deal with overcrowding. World Expeditions endeavours to ensure you get the most of your Machu Picchu experience regardless of these restrictions.
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight where your trip concludes.