These treks are within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but you must be prepared.
On the Inca Trail you will hike up to 45 kilometres often on steep terrain. The maximum altitude reached is 4,200 metres above sea level and each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch.
The Inca Trail has a limited amount of permits available each day so booking early is a must if we wish to opt for this option. If permits are unavailable, you can also chose to hike the less crowded Quarry trail.
The Quarry trail is less established than the Inca Trail yet it offers the same magical scenery, visits three small archaeological sites and is overall less touristy. Overall the distance hiked on this trek is 26km, the maximum altitude reached is 4,450 metres above sea level. Since permits are not required for this trek, there are no restrictions as when you book your trip.
Accommodation during both treks is camping in two-people tents (twin-share). Comfortable foam camping mats and sleeping bags are provided.
Both trek options are subject to permit availability.
Classic Inca Trail
Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the ruins of Llactapata, which was burnt to the ground by the last Inca emperor to discourage Spanish pursuit down the trail. In the evening, set up camp while the cook makes dinner.
Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometres long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.
Notes: The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.
Classic Inca Trail
This is the most challenging day of the trek, as we ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, which is only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.
Classic Inca Trail
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps, which takes you to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.
Classic Inca Trail
The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists).
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular sunrise over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.
Peru trek Packing List
In addition to the general packing list on your trip notes, please ensure you bring these items if you are trekking in Peru.
You MUST take your passport, a photocopy is not sufficient. It's important the passport matches the details your proivided us when booking this trip (Keep it in a plastic bag in case of rain)
You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the trek. Sleeping bags can be hired for US20-25, please let your Tour Leader know at the trek briefing. A four season (or -10) bag is recommended especially for the winter months. At other times you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -5) bag although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given as a guideline only.
Silk sleeping bag liner:
Especially recommended if you plan to hire a sleeping bag but can also give your own bag added warmth.
Trek poles are not requires, it's a personal preference. We recommend hiring these at the pre-trek briefing for approximately US$10 as it will save you carting them around for the remainder of your travels.
A day bag that has easy access to water bottles (external side pockets) or a day pack with a built in hydration bladder. This bag only needs to be large enough to hold the few things you need during the day (hat, water, camera, snacks, rain jacket etc)
You should be carrying at least 2 litres of water daily, while trekking. Depending on whether you have a hyrdration bladder in your bag or not we recommend bringing two (1 litre) bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied daily.
Waterproof, well worn-in walking boots:
Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well-worn in pair!
Walking clothing in layers:
(e.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts). It’s a personal choice as to how many items you bring however please remember there’s a 5kg limit. We recommend the following;
- 2 Pairs of long Walking Trousers (Zip off are a very hand choice but not a necessity)
- 2 T-shirts
- 1 Pair of shorts
- Rain Jacket or Poncho (Poncho can be purchased locally for a $2-3)
- 4-5 Pairs of Thick socks
Warm clothing for night time:
Fleece, long pants, woollen hat, gloves.
Thermal wear is highly recommended, being light, warm and will keep you warm at night.
Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
Personal medication and basic first aid kit:
Band-Aids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration sachets.
Camera and spare batteries, memory cards or film:
Please note: there are no electrical outlets on the trek so make sure you fully charge and or have spare batteries.
Chocolates, chips, biscuits, energy bars. Snacks are provided during the trek but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case. If you have a dietary requirement then be recommend bringing some suitable snacks from home. We will accommodate you for Breakfast, lunch and dinner however for snacks it’s recommended to bring some just to be safe.
Head torch or Standard Torch (flash-light)
(Very Important) and spare batteries.
Tropical strength insect repellent.
Antiseptic hand gel.
Flip-flops / thongs / jandals:
If you wish to have a shower on the third night and to wear around camp after a long day of trekking.
In case your tent ‘roomie’ is a snorer.
To keep your belongings and clothes dry (wrap everything in plastic bags).
Most important! Also small plastic bags or zip lock bags for rubbish which can then be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters. Please don’t dispose of your toilet paper on the ground!
Wet wipes and or Face wipes:
These are an essential and will come in handy after a long day of trekking and no showers.
Small towel and basic personal toiletries:
On the third night of both the Inca Trail and the Quarry there is an opportunity to have a shower so bring travel size shampoo and shower gel if you would like.
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