STANDARD TOUR PROGRAM #008
Footprints of the Incas
10 Days / 9 Nights (Departures: Friday and Sunday)
Lima-Cuzco-Sacred Valley of the Incas-Inca Trail Discovery-Machu Picchu-Cuzco-Lima
Day 01 - Lima
Upon arrival, you will be met at the Lima airport and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at selected hotel.
Day 02 – Lima/Cusco
After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport to take the flight to Cusco. Arrival at Cusco airport, reception and transfer to selected hotel. After lunch on your own, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the nearby Inca ruins including Kenko, the ceremonial bath of Tambomachay and the amazing Sacsayhuaman, a huge fortress of massive stones. We will also take a tour of the city including the Koricancha, temple of the Sun, a nice example of the Inca architecture, The 12-angled stone, the Main Plaza, the Cathedral and much more. Return to your hotel later in the day. Return to your hotel later in the day. (B)
Day 03 – Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Incas
Full day tour, including visits to the colorful Pisac Indian Market and the Ollantaytambo Fortress. At an elevation of 8,500 feet, the Urubamba Valley, or Sacred Valley of the Incas, is the historic heart of the Inca Empire. It was intensively cultivated with terraces increasing its harvest several fold. Small villages lined the valley floor, while the stone fortresses of Ollantaytambo and Pisac served the dual purpose of providing protection and serving as religious centers. Without the benefit of the wheel, the Incas built massive stone cities and ruled an empire stretching 3,300 miles over some of the harshest terrain on earth. Without the use of mortar, the Inca constructed their cities, suspension bridges, and aqueduct systems, with an engineering expertise that has survived five hundred years of natural disasters, conquest, and modern development. Overnight at selected Sacred Valley hotel. (B,L)
Day 04 – Sacred Valley of the Incas/Chillca/Huayllabamba
A spectacular drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas takes us to Chillca, our trailhead. Crossing a footbridge, we take an undulating trek through a dry cactus zone beneath soaring views to the snows of Mt. Verónica, with the turbulent Urubamba river on our right. We pause on a bluff high above the Cusichaca valley for a view of the imposing sculpted terraces of Llaqtapata, a massive Inca farming complex. Then we turn south and follow this side valley upstream to the village of Huayllabamba, where we make camp. (B,L,D)
Day 05 - Huayllabamba/Pacaymayo
From Huayllabamba we begin a steeper ascent, climbing the Llullucha valley along a stream that rushes through enchanted native unca woodland. Crossing the rim of a small plateau, we abruptly find ourselves in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. Here a stretch of open trail climbs beneath mighty crags to our first and highest pass, Warmiwañusca (4,200m/13,776ft). From Warmiwañusca we can look back to the spectacular snowpeaks and valleys of the Huayanay massif, and ahead to a distant view of tomorrow’s trail to the second pass. Descending a stepped stone trail we encounter our campsite in a clearing of the forested Pacamayo valley. (B,L,D)
Day 06 - Pacaymayo/Phuyupatamarca
We pick up an Inca stairway and ascend again past the small Inca site of Runkuracay. As we reach the second pass the landscape opens onto spectacular new views to the snowpeaks of the Pumasillo range. We descend again to the ruins of Sayacmarca (Inaccessible Town), an intricate labyrinth of houses, plazas and water channels, perched precariously on a rocky spur overlooking the Aobamba valley. The Inca trail, now a massive buttressed structure of granite paving stones, continues along the steep upper fringes of the cloud forest through a colorful riot of orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns. At the third pass we camp by pinnacles topped with Inca viewing platforms, overlooking the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Cloud-level Town). (B,L,D)
Day 07 - Phuyupatamarca/Machu Picchu
We explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways spilling down the mountainside at Phuyupatamarca then begin a long descent through ever-changing layers of cloud forest. An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads us finally to the site of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites. In the afternoon we follow the last stretch of trail across a steep mountainside through a lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry – a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu. We walk the last half-hour or so down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and through the heart of Machu Picchu. Overnight at a local hotel in Aguas Calinetes. (B,L,D)
Day 08 - Machu Picchu/Cusco
We return to Machu Picchu by bus and spend the day in both guided and individual exploration, visiting the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement. Some will want to take the optional hike to the summit of Wayna Picchu for an amazing overview of the site, while others may want to investigate Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners. After lunch, we’ll descend by bus around 3:00 p.m. to catch the train to Cusco and then bus transfer to selected Hotel. (B,L)
Day 09 – Cusco/Lima
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, you will be met at Lima’s international airport and transferred to your selected hotel. Afternoon tour of the Lima including the main Colonial sites and modern areas. (B)
Day 10 - Lima
Morning transfer to the airport for your international flight. (B)
|Footprints of the Incas 2016
10 Days / 9 Nights
|Departures: Friday and Sunday|
|PRIVATE SERVICE with Shared Service Inca Trail Discovery|
- Airport transfers.
- Guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary.
- Ground transportation (bus and train).
- Accommodation at selected hotels with breakfast.
- Porters on the Inca Trail.
- Predeparture information meeting and valuable Inca Trail map.
- Overnight in new North Face tents including comfortable sleeping pads.
- A duffle bag to pack your gear for transport by the porters during the trek. (Please return upon your arrival in Cusco.)
- Meals according to the itinerary.
- Bottled water to refill your canteen on the Inca Trail.
- The accompanying staff includes a bilingual guide on the trek and in Machu Picchu equipped with a first-aid kit, an oxygen tank, excellent maps, porters, kitchen crew.
What’s Not Included:
- Meals not noted in itinerary.
- Optional tipping to guides and local staff.
- Airport departure taxes.
- Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).