Eager to do Peru your own way but still looking for guidance on the tough but rewarding Inca Trail? Then we've got the trip for you. This four-day guided tour takes you past rambling rivers, ancient ruins, and scenic mountain views with the guidance and support of porters, cooks, and guides hired from local communities. The terrain is rugged and steep but the sense of accomplishment you'll feel is unparalleled once you reach Machu Picchu by sunrise.
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Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata. A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Get your blood pumping on this first day of hiking the Inca trail. The trekking is fairly easy and serves as good training for the next few days. Pass rambling rivers and a small village, and enjoy scenic mountain views; it’s just a taste of what’s to come.
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Trek over progressively spectacular and steeper terrain on your way to Warmiwañusca (aka Dead Woman’s Pass), the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass. Take the hike slow, and drink lots of water along the way – amazing views are waiting as a reward. Enjoy some ample time to rest and relax after reaching the camp; most campers arrive around early afternoon.
Cross two more passes and ruins on today's trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Cross two passes and more ruins along the Inca Trail on the last full day of hiking. Traverse Runquraway at 3,950m (13,113 ft), and then reach the second pass at 3,700m (12,136 ft). Spot the gorgeous Cordillera Vilcabamba and the Urubamba Valley in the distance on a clear day. Camp at either the Phuyupatamarca ruins or the Wiñay Wayna ruins.
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down for a guided tour of the site before returning to Cusco in the evening where the tour ends upon arrival.
Wake around 03:30 to reach the Sun Gate as early as possible. Head to the checkpoint and join the lineup to wait for the gate to open. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu (fingers crossed for a clear day). Hike down to Machu Picchu (about 45 mins) for a 1.5 hr guided tour of the site, and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge (a 15-min walk one way) for no additional charge, if time allows. Catch the bus outside the Machu Picchu gate after your visit for a 25-min downhill ride to Aguas Calientes. Eat and relax before the train ride back to Cusco this evening.
Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4 days). Guided tour of Machu Picchu. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Pass rambling rivers and small villages, Take in scenic mountain views, Hike through the cloud forest, Visit ancient ruins, See Machu Picchu at sunrise, Porters and guides hired from local communities.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Please note it is mandatory to attend a pre-trek briefing the afternoon before the first day of the tour at 16:00. See the joining instructions section of the tour details for additional information.
We highly recommended arriving at least one day prior to the tour in order to acclimatize to the altitude prior to the trek. A full day spent in Cusco (3249m/10659 ft), taking it easy and drinking plenty of water, is usually enough time for most people to acclimatize.
1. INCA TRAIL AND MACHU PICCHU REGULATIONS
The rules and regulations controlling the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are continually changing. Before embarking on your adventure to Peru it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the Inca Trail booking policies and guidelines as described in a document available on our website, at the following URL address:
2. INCA TRAIL MAINTENANCE
Portions of the Inca Trail will be closed for general maintenance during the month of February each year. Also, closures may occur at various times throughout the year due to inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. During these periods, any tour affected will hike the Lares Trek.
In our continued effort to support the rights of the porters on the Inca Trail, we would like ensure that they never exceed the weight limit for their packs as set out by the Peruvian authorities. Porters are allowed to carry no more than 6kg of personal belongings per hiker (for all other Peru treks the limit is 7kg). That means that including your sleeping bag, toiletries, clothing, etc, you are allowed a total weight of 6kg for the hike which will be carried in a duffle bag provided by our local office. Any additional weight must then be carried by you in your day pack. To help achieve this goal we recommend that you carry travel sized toiletries, that you bring sport sandals that can be worn with socks (which are lighter than running/walking shoes) and that you limit electronics to those that you are willing to carry. Any additional baggage can be left in Cusco, but is advised that you bring anything of value (eg. money, passport, credit cards, camera, etc) with you on the trek.
If at the end of your trek you felt your trekking guide and support team did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, please see the Tipping section for guidelines.
4. WET SEASON
Please be advised during the wet season (Jan - April) if there are periods of severe rain some of the campsites on the Inca Trail may become unusable. In the interest of your safety, there may be changes made locally to the trekking itinerary if the conditions of the campsites are assessed to be unsafe.
Please note, the trek starts on day one of this tour, we highly recommend coming in a couple of days early to acclimatize to the altitude prior to starting the hike. Without any acclimatization time, you will be more prone to the effects of altitude sickness.
6. GROUP DYNAMICS
Please note, in most cases, the entire group will not be hiking the Inca Trail together. Members of the group may choose to hike the Lares Trek or spend additional time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley instead of hiking. If you have chosen the Lares Trek or Cusco Stay you may be paired with members of other G Adventures groups for the trek, transportation, and activities included.
7. LUGGAGE STORAGE
This trip does not include hotel nights before or after the trek. Any luggage you do not need to take with you on the Inca Trail should be stored at the hotel you stay at in Cusco. If they cannot arrange that for you, please let your G Representative know the night of the trek briefing and they can store it for you at the G Adventures office in Cusco.
8. ACCOMMODATION PICK-UP
You will receive the early morning pick-up time at the welcome briefing the night before your trip starts. We can pick you up from the historical center in Cusco on streets that are accessible by cars. If your accommodation does not meet these criteria you can also be picked up from the G Adventures office (Calle Teatro, 344) instead. If you are staying in Urubamba or Ollantaytambo pick-ups can also be arranged.
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Max 16, Avg 12
4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Our cooks prepare excellent high-quality meals that are perfect for a day of trekking. The menu usually includes pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables, oatmeal, and eggs. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please add it into your details and we can cater to your needs.
Private vehicle, train, hiking.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Camping (3 nts).
This trip is spent camping, we use three-man tents to accommodate two people leaving room for your sleeping mats and sleeping bags. There are a few places along the trail with permanent (very basic) toilet facilities, we also set up private toilet tents for the use of G travellers.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco, is approximately a 15-minute drive from the centre of the city, where our joining hotel is located. The easiest way to get there is via taxi. After retrieving your luggage you will see tourist information kiosks. You can arrange for an official taxi at one of these kiosks. The rates are set and will not need to worry about sorting out a ride outside the airport facilities, where the situation tends to get more chaotic, with many drivers vying for few clients.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer and a hotel night in Cusco, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
MANDATORY TREK BRIEFING
It is mandatory to attend a trek briefing the night before your trip starts. Please be at the G Adventures office in Cusco at 16:00.
G Adventures Office
Calle Teatro 344
Cusco 08002, Peru
A G Representative will provide you with all the information for your trek, your duffel bag for your 6kg of personal items, and the pick-up time at your accommodation. Rental equipment can also be arranged at the briefing.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact the emegency phone provided in this dossier.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office Cusco, Peru.
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-6pm Local Time): + 51 84 22 62 18.
G Adventures Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +51 1 241 1650 or 01 241 1650 (from mobile within Peru) or 241 1650 (from payphone within Peru)
After hours Emergency number: +51 99 758 2712,
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
This tour ends upon arrival at Cusco's city centre, Plaza de Armas. If you have booked a post-night hotel through us you will be dropped at the hotel.
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night.
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. You will be given a duffel bag at the trek briefing to fill with 6 kg of your items. A daypack is essential for carrying your personal items on the trek such as water, snacks, extra hiking layers. Any additional luggage you may have should be stored at your hotel, if that is not possible you may store it at the G Adventures office in Cusco where you will attend the trek briefing.
Available for Rent:
• Camping mattress/sleep mat (45 soles)
• Sleeping bag (45 soles)
• Walking poles (15 soles each (30 per pair))
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Pack liners to waterproof bags
• Rain gear
• Sleeping bag (Also available for rent)
• Thermal base layer
• Travel pillow
• Walking poles, rubber-tipped (Also available for rent)
• Waterproof hiking boots
Note: The best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials in layers, as this is quick-drying and can keep heat in better. We suggest a base-layer, then a mid-layer such as a light fleece jacket or similar, then a windproof and waterproof layer.
Please note for trekking rentals credit cards are the preferred method of payment.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Debit and credit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs.). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will work in all of the ATMs in Latin America due to their affiliation with certain card systems. Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
If at the end of your trek you felt your trekking guide and support team did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline, we suggest each hiker contributes the following to a collective pool.
Head guide: 10-25 USD
Assistant guide: 5-12 USD
Your trekking crew: 40 USD
Head guide: 10-25 USD
Assistant guide: 4-10 USD
Your trekking crew: 35 USD
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
No optional activities
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.
It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country visited. Please check in with your local health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Care should be taken when wandering around on your own in central Lima, as some areas can be dangerous and pickpockets are daring.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
G Representative in Cusco, specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike.