An ancient Inca ruin hidden in the forest, view from the Inca Trail (Peru)

Pure Inca

Trips/Machu Picchu Trekking

8 days

The Classic Inca Trail is a trail like no other. It follows a challenging up-and-down route through the Andes that was carved by the Incas in the 1500s. En route you walk through beautiful forest and high-altitude grassland, and see various Inca ruins from hilltop fortresses to agricultural settlements, all still in incredible condition thanks to the rock-whispering powers of the Incas!

Detailed Itinerary

Pure Inca Itinerary Map

Day 1: Fly into Cusco

Our local leader meets you at the airport when you land in Cusco and takes you to your hotel in the historic city centre, where you can freshen up. Cusco is the oldest city in the country, and one of its highest, sitting at roughly 3,400 m (11,155 ft) above sea level! If you arrive early enough, you may wish to step out and explore the streets of this fascinating city! Your trek group has dinner together, where your local leader briefs you on all that's to come.

View of the centre of Cusco city with the Cathedral, Peru

Day 2: Explore Cusco

This morning is when you might feel the negative effects of the high altitude, so today can be a day to just rest if your body needs it. But for those who are feeling well, we have a morning city tour on the cards! Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire before it was conquered by the Spanish, so it boasts a fascinating blend of Inca and Spanish heritage. The afternoon is yours to explore further, or rest. You might also like to opt for cooking or chocolate-making class later in the day.

The baroque style facade of the Compania de Jesus in Cusco city, Peru

Day 3: Visit the historic Sacred Valley

Today you're driven to the Sacred Valley, which was the bread basket of the Inca Empire. This 60-km valley is an attractive mix of farmland, Inca ruins and Spanish towns. You start by visiting a weaving co-op. Then it's off to see the concentric Inca terraces of Moray, a fascinating site. Afterwards, you enjoy a home-cooked traditional lunch in the home of a local family. Then you visit the postcard-perfect Maras Salt Flats before heading to your hotel in the valley.

Young woman look at sacred valley in Ollantaytambo. Aerial view of ancient Inca city, Peru

Day 4: Start trekking the Inca Trail!

Today you embark on the Classic Inca Trail! Straight away you encounter impressive Inca ruins, and your knowledgeable guide ensures you appreciate all you're seeing. Today's Inca Trail follows the historic Inca Highway, which played a vital role in allowing the Incas to maintain their vast empire. You sleep in tents during the trek, and your mountain crew prepare you tasty hot meals throughout. Today's hike lasts about five hours and covers 11 km.

Inca Trail in Peru. Trekkers climbing up stone steps in forest

Day 5: Cross Dead Woman's Pass, the highest point on the trail

Today is a challenging day as you climb up into alpine grassland and cross Dead Woman's Pass, which is at 4,215 m is nearly two kilometres higher than Machu Picchu! In total you cover around 7.5 km and hike for about six hours. You see more fantastic ruins today, made even more incredible when you think they were built in such a high and treacherous environment! After the pass, there's a long, steep descent before reaching Pacaymayo campsite.

Trekkers on approach to Dead Woman's Pass on Inca Trail in Peru

Day 6: Trek through beautiful cloud forest and cross Third Pass

Today is possibly the toughest day on the trail, but for many it ends up being their favourite, as you hike through a beautiful, tangled cloud forest. Keep your eyes peeled throughout the trek for Himalayan deer, llamas and alpacas, Andean condors, hummingbirds and more. All in all you hike for around nine hours, covering 16 km. This includes crossing Third Pass at 3,750 m before tackling a very long and steep descent to Wiñaywayna campsite (2,670 m).

Inca Trail campsite at night

Day 7: Visit Machu Picchu

It's an early start today as you try to reach the historic Sun Gate by sunrise for your first glorious glimpse of Machu Picchu below! Tackle the remainder of today's 5.5 km hike to enter the ruins and mingle with alpacas and llamas as you wander through the incredible stonework terraces and buildings. Afterwards, we drive you down to Machu Picchu Town, where you catch a train for the super-scenic journey back to Cusco.

machu-picchu-clouds

Day 8: Departure day

Depending on your flight time, this morning is the time to do anything in Cusco you weren't able to fit in before the Inca Trail. Perhaps learn a traditional craft or dance? Or visit a local market? Later, we take you to the airport, but we hope to host you again soon on another one of our exciting adventures!

Peruvian indigenous Quechua woman weaving a textile with the traditional techniques in Cusco, Peru

Inclusions

Price Includes

Dedicated trip manager

In-depth preparation documents

Pre-trip Zoom consult

All transport on the ground, including airport transfers and your train ticket from Machu Picchu to Cusco

Accommodation in four-star hotel on either side of the trek, breakfasts included

Dinner on arrival day

Price Does Not Include

International airfares

Peru visa

Traveller's insurance (required)

Soft drinks and alcohol

Sleeping bag (available to rent)

Tips for mountain crew and others (customary)

Where you'll stay

Tierra Viva Cusco accommodation courtyard covered walkway, Peru

Tierra Viva Cusco San Blas

This Spanish-colonial hotel is located in the heart of San Blas, the most artistic neighbourhood of Cusco. It's three blocks from the main square, making it not too noisy while still quite central.

Tierra Viva Sacred Valley exterior view with gardens and mountains, Peru accommodation

Tierra Viva Sacred Valley

This delightful hotel is set in the heart of the Sacred Valley. It has a spa, jacuzzi, pretty gardens and incredible mountain views. It's a 3-star hotel but it feels like it should have 4 stars!

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Dec 2023

8 Day Pure Inca

Dec 14, 2023

fromUSD2,390
DepositUSD350

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8 Day Pure Inca

Mar 14, 2024

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8 Day Pure Inca - Special Dates

Mar 28, 2024

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May 9, 2024

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May 23, 2024

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Jun 2024

8 Day Pure Inca

Jun 6, 2024

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Gallery

Man trekking in shorts and wearing a backpack on Inca Trail near Machu Picchu in Peru
Ollantaytambo, Peru. Pinkuylluna, Inca storehouses in the Sacred Valley
Quechua woman working in the Maras salt mines of Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru
Beautiful girl with traditional dress from Peruvian Andes culture. Young girl in Ollantaytambo city in Incas Sacred Valley in Cusco Peru
Machu Picchu in Peru - Ruins of Inca Empire city and Huaynapicchu Mountain in Sacred Valley, Cusco

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