DAY 1: CUSCO - KM82 – AYAPATA
The first day of the Inca Trail is easy going to help you settle in to the trek. Covering 14km of the trail climbing gently up the Cusichaca Valley you pass by the Inca site of Llactapata, enjoy great views of the snow-capped peak Veronica (5900m / 19000ft) and get to see a variety of native plant life and birds throughout the day.
Our campsite for the night is at Ayapata (3300m / 10829ft) which is a little further along the trail than most groups go; as we're camping further up the trail the next day's trek up to the pass is a little easier for us and with fewer tourists at the campsite we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place.
DAY 2: AYAPATA – CHAQUICOCHA
Today is considered by many to be the hardest day of the trek; with 2 high passes (Dead Woman's Pass is the highest at 4200m / 13779ft) to cross and nearly 16km to walk today really tests your spirit. There's no need to worry though as thanks to our enthusiastic guides and team of porters helping you along you'll have all the morale and physical support you need to make it.
Today we get fantastic views of the high mountain ranges as we cross the 2 passes and will have the chance to visit 2 Inca sites (Runcuraccay and Sayacmarca). We will also see a variety of plant and life in the Polylepsis forests that cover this area and hopefully spot White Tailed Deer as we near Dead Woman's Pass. Our campsite tonight is at Chaquicocha (3600m / 11800ft) which like Ayapata is one of the quieter campsites and affords beautiful views of the sunsetting over the mountains in the distance.
DAY 3: CHAQUICOCHA - WINAY WAYNA.
Having made it over the 2 passes yesterday we're now treated to a relaxing day through some of the most beautiful scenery the Inca Trail has to offer. With a relatively short distance to cover along what is known as Inca Flat (gentle ascents and descents) we get to enjoy the lush and verdant cloud forest around us and the spectacular views of the Andes in the distance.
With visits to 2 Inca sites (Phuyupatamarca and Winay Wayna) this is by far one of the most impressive days of the trek. Our campsite for tonight is at Winay Wayna (2680m / 8792ft) which we will arrive to be early afternoon and get to have an extended guided tour of once we have settled in.
DAY 7: WINAY WAYNA - MACHU PICCHU.
Today is the highlight of the trek. Waking up early you head straight to the checkpoint to enter Machu Picchu and once the site opens can carry on to the Sun Gate where you'll get your first fantastic views of Machu Picchu.
On arrival to Machu Picchu you'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourslef and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.