Although most people who come to Peru are usually led here by the attraction of the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, a lot of tourists are aware of the amazing experience that hiking the Inca Trail and exploring the Sacred Valley offer. Actually, the Inca Trail has been ranked as one of the best 5 treks in the whole world and adding a visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas will only increase the pleasant trip. When choosing this tour, after exploring Sacred Valley on the first day, you will have the opportunity of walking for 4 days around the same complex network of roads that were once used by the Incas supposedly on their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu. You will definitely feel the energy of this place where the ancient people used to stop on the way and worship all the “Apus” (mountain peaks) which they considered sacred. Also, by choosing to take the tour with Action Peru Treks, you will support our agency´s initiative of Empowering Women on the Inca Trail. In order to do this, you will climb and descend from heights of 4,215 m(13,825ft) to valleys of 2,700 m (8,856 ft) and then enjoy the lush vegetation of the cloud forest before reaching the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Implementing both the Sacred Valley and the Inca Trail in your journey will require a lot of effort but bring you great satisfaction, after days of climbing and descending, when you can finally lay your eyes on the ancient and marvelous walls of the Machu Picchu Citadel. When you have reached you will know it was all worth your while. In 2020, besides our constant deliverance of good quality services, there is one more reason to join us on the Extended Sacred Valley and Inca Trail tour: Action Peru Treks has dedicated itself to a very important project which involves Empowering Women. They plan to have only women working as porters on the Inca Trail. This is because Action Peru Treks believes women have been underestimated, unappreciated or even mistreated for far too long in Peru. They believe anyone can use a helping hand and an opportunity and Peru should keep up with the worldwide trend of Empowering Women. So they are now trying to give a chance to Peruvian women to finally have the same jobs, and social positions as men, because they deserve it.
Pre-trek briefing: We provide a full pre-trek briefing at our office in Cusco. This gives you the chance to ask questions about the trek itinerary and you will also be given your duffle bag so that you can pack your gear for the trek. Briefings are generally scheduled for the morning or afternoon of the day before your trek starts. If your trek begins on a Monday then the briefing will be scheduled for the Saturday before. Please take this into consideration when booking your travel plans to Cusco, ensuring you arrive in time for the briefing.
You will be picked up from your hotel at 7:30 a.m. and we will transfer you to Pisac. Here we will climb at the edge of the town in order to reach the amazing Inca ruins that bear the same name. You will be amazed by their complex architecture, the multitude of temples, water channels and carefully carved walls. You will enjoy a 2-hour guided service where you will find out all about the cultural and historical significance of this fascinating place. Then we will head back to the town of Pisac to visit the traditional market, with an explosion of colors, where you can buy amazing and cheap local textiles. Afterwards, we will continue our trip in the car, during which you can admire beautiful sceneries of the Sacred Valley and also enjoy your organic box lunch. Near the town of Urubamba, we will be able to visit the Maras Salt Mines and the Moray Inca Site. The Moray Inca site is an interesting presentation of porches. It flaunts three amphitheater-like patios. These patios, which are cut profound into the earth in a bowl shape, were thought to be used to decide the ideal conditions for developing yields. When we get done with learning all about Moray, we will make a beeline for the salt mines of Maras. This town is known as a previous salt-delivering place that goes back right to pilgrim times. The salt mines were utilized by the Incas and keep on being utilized right up until today. There are more than 3000 salt pools cut into the mountain side, which are constantly being filled with water. The territory is stunning and delightful. As we get back in the car, we have about 40 minutes to reach the last ruin we will visit: Ollantaytambo. These ruins were once that last stronghold of the Inca leader, Inca Yupanqui in the face of the Spanish invasion. You can appreciate here a lot of Inca streets and houses, still intact, a great temple and a sanctuary, all of dark pink color. After our tour in Ollantaytambo, you will be transported 45 minutes to our camp at KM 82 (start of the Inca Trail). At the moment, we are the only company camping at the beginning of the Inca Trail. Here you will enjoy a delicious and nutritious dinner cooked by our professional chef and then go to bed so that we can start the next day early and not be bothered by crowds of people.
When you wake up, you will be treated to a hot cup of coca tea, that is sure to protect you from the possible effects of high altitude and then have breakfast before we start off on our way. We will walk 30 minutes until we reach the first Inca ruin of Salapunku. Because this is one of the most significant places used by the Incas, you will have a guided tour here in order to find out everything about it. After this, we will continue to walk for about 1 and a half hour on flat land until we reach km 88, which is a checkpoint and the start of the actual Inca Trail. From here is another 45 more minutes until we will find another Inca ruin- Llactapata (2,750m/9,020ft), which was an Inca Trail checkpoint to Machu Picchu. Here you will have another information session from the guide about the history and significance of this place and also of the Inca Trail. Then we prepare for another 2 hours of walking towards Hatunchaca (2,598 m/8,525 ft) where we will enjoy lunch. After lunch, there will be another 2 and a half hours walk towards Ayapata (3,300m / 10,829ft), where our camp will be for the night. This way, we will not have to mix with the crowds, as this camp is further down the Inca Trail, compared to the regular one at Wayllabamba. This way we can enjoy the peace and tranquility and feel like we have the area all to ourselves.
After having breakfast, we will start on our way to the enigmatic “Dead Woman´s Pass”. We will enjoy a walk through the cloud forest for the first two hours, passing through several ecosystems, from high puna to low sierra. We are bound to see a lot of interesting local flora and fauna and, with a bit of luck, the White-Tailed deer. After trekking for two hours, we will reach Lluchapampa (3,800m / 12,460ft). This is the best opportunity to buy some supplies. We will have 15 minutes to do this and then we will continue on our way. Further, we will hike for another two hours, in the middle of a majestic scenery, comprised of sumptuous mountains and rich vegetation of the Andes. Once we reach the Dead Woman´s Pass (Warmiwañuska) (4,215 m/ 13,825 ft) we will stop to take in the views from the highest point of our trek. We will go down to the Pacaymayu camp for lunch and then climb to another archeological Inca site of Runcuraccay. After exploring these remains, we will continue uphill for one hour to the Runcuraccay Pass (3,950 m/ 12,959 ft). Afterwards, we will descend once again, for 90 minutes, to the ruins of Sayacmarca (3,657m /12,000 ft). A highlight of this place will be one of the most amazing sunsets you can see of Inca Trail. Then we will continue for 25 minutes to our campsite for the night, at Chaquicocha (3,600m/11,800ft). We know most of our tourists enjoy the peace and quiet of nature without having to put up with noisy crowds. That is why we have chosen this tranquil campsite, instead of the traditional one at Pacaymayu.
After getting some energy from a delicious breakfast, we will continue to trek for 2 hours until Phuyupatamarca (3,680 m/ 12,073ft). It is now when we will have the first amazing view of Aguas Calientes, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains and finally see our efforts pay off. We will have a guided tour of the ruins at Phuyupatamarca. Diving into the rainforest, we will descend for 2 and a half hours to our camp and we will visit Inti Pata on the way. It is said that one can take some of the most stunning pictures of the Inca Trail around here. Then we will walk for 30 minutes more towards our camp at Winay Wayna (2,680m/8,792ft).Here we will enjoy lunch and then, if you can handle even more culture, we will have a guided tour of the ruins of the same name. There are not many companies that provide tours to Winay Wayna and we are one of them. These ruins are some of the most beautiful and fascinating on the Inca Trail.
In order to complete our Inca Trail hike, we will wake up early and head to Inti Punku (Sun Gate), which is the entrance to the Lost City of the Incas. This part of the hike doesn´t require a lot of effort and in approximately one hour we will reach Inti Punku (2,400 m/ 7,875 ft), which offers a delightful view of Machu Picchu and an amazing sunrise above the mountains. From the Sun Gate, the hike will become easier, as we descend for about 45 minutes to Machu Picchu Citadel. We will be directed to the best spots for taking the traditional Machu Picchu photos. After a short break, we will start getting all the information about the history and significance of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, during a tour which will last two hours. After recharging our energies and wandering around this amazing citadel, we will head down to the town of Aguas Calientes by bus. Then you will board the train to either Poroy or Ollantaytambo, where our staff will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel in Cusco. Your arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of train departure on your ticket.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or other events which are beyond our control. At Action Treks Peru we will always do our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible.