INCA TRAIL PROGRAMS
They could have followed the valley but they chose the high route to Machu Picchu, with its gorgeous and climactic mountain views. True Andean highlanders, the Incas knew and loved the countless natural zones that lay within the folds of their vast domain. Their trail to Machu Picchu traverses a startling variety of microclimates, beginning with an arid cactus zone on the Urubamba valley floor, rising through native Polylepis forest to bleak high-altitude grassland, and ending in mossy cloud forest draped with orchids and bromeliads.
We take this challenging trek across high, treeless passes up to 4,200 m (13,776 ft), and down through multi‐layered zones of cloud‐forest, culminating at the threshold of the Sun Gate where we face the final unforgettable view down to Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River.
The Machu Picchu area and surroundings are forested, tropical and rainy. It is found in the middle of steeply sloped mountains and flanked by a profound canyon that Urubamba river forms.
Machu Picchu harbors within its boundaries a diverse fauna and fauna that includes:
- Different mammals like the bobcat, the puma and the endangered spectacled bear. As a cloud forest area there is a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians.
- More than 700 species of butterflies.
- Around 415 species of birds including colorful hummingbirds, ducks, eagles, parrots, quetzals, Toucans, manakins, tanagers, Cock-of-the-Rock, etc.
- More than 190 species of orchids.
To follow the Inca's footsteps on the royal highway to Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience. Few other hikes in the world can offer the variety of breathtaking scenery: from high sierra to tropical jungle. No other will take you through so many well preserved archeological sites.
The Inca trailed formed an important communication and transportation link within the empire, connecting a large area including Cusco and Machu Picchu. Although steep in places, Inca engineers designed it for efficient travel with carefully constructed stone staircases and tunnels. The important archeological ruins we will visit in this adventure are Llactapata, Runkurakay, Phuyupatamarca, Winay Wayna and finally Inti Punco, all on the way to Machu Picchu.
Your Inca Trail trek includes all meals, guides, porters, cook, camping gear, food and supplies, Eureka tents for sleeping, Dining tent and bathroom tent. A knowledgeable and experienced bilingual guide accompanies the group assisted by a cook and several camp helpers and porters who are responsible for setting up and breaking down the camp. Trekkers are free to enjoy the mountains without logistical concerns.
A typical day on the trail begins at 7:00 AM with a hot breakfast. Tents are taken down and the walk begins. Around noon we break for a leisurely lunch after which there will be time to get some sun and just relax. The walk continues until about 4:00 PM when we stop for the night, with time to explore local ruins. Evenings are free for relaxation around the fire.
The Inca Trail is CLOSED during February due to weather conditions. Inca Trail Programs are available all year except February
We offer the following Inca Trail hikes:
Short Inca Trail (Day Hike)
Inca Trail Classic
Inca Trail Discovery
On the above hikes you will share the trail services of a guide, camp staff and porters with a group of hikers. Hiking groups are kept small. This is the most economical way to hike the trail with expert guidance and service. These three great trekking programs have departures on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. PRIVATE service hikes can depart any day.
Inquire about Private Service.
|Chart of what is included
on the Inca Trail Hikes
|Pre-Departure Information for the Inca Trail|
|Archaeological Sites Visited on Inca Trail Hike|
|Cuzco - Machu Picchu - Inca Trail Maps|
|Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu|