09 DAY: CUSCO, INCA TRAIL – PUNO
These activities are a walk in the park! You will be able to enjoy the scenery, history, and time with loved ones without exhausting yourself. You do not need any special training, gear, or acclimatization for an “Easy” trek or tour. Terrain will be generally flat and comfortable, highly traveled.
A step up from “Easy,” these tours require a little more physical effort but are still 100% manageable to anyone with or without adventure experience. Again, you do not need special training, gear, or acclimatization for a “Mild” trek or tour. Terrain is generally flat but with possible gentle up- and downhills.
Before embarking on a “Moderate” trek or tour, you should be at least partly acclimatized to the high altitude of the Andes as it affects your oxygenation, energy levels, and hydration. These tours are still very manageable without special training as long as you have spent a day or two at high altitude. Terrain often includes moderate up- and downhill walking with possible rough patches or infrequently-traveled sections.
“Challenging” treks or tours require that you are acclimated to the Andes’ high altitude before leaving as it affects your oxygenation, energy levels, and hydration. Spending 2-3 days or more at high altitude will help you on the trek. You will need hiking shoes and possibly trekking poles for these treks. You will need to be in good physical shape, and it’s recommended that you train at least some beforehand, possibly with running, biking, or strenuous workout videos. Terrain is often rough, sometimes with steep up- and downhills and often not highly traveled. Generally, these last several hours.
These “Formidable” treks are our most difficult treks and require serious effort but are also the most rewarding. It is necessary to be in pristine physical condition. Again, you must be acclimated to the Andes’ high altitude before leaving as it affects your oxygenation, energy levels, and hydration. Spending 4-5 days or more if possible at high altitude will help you on the trek. You will need hiking shoes and possibly trekking poles for these treks. It is important to train physically before these treks so that your body is prepared for the strenuous nature of the trip. Generally, these last at least an entire day in infrequently-traveled areas with rough paths.
09 DAY: CUSCO, INCA TRAIL – PUNO
This Tour 09 Day Cusco, Camino Inca and Puno will let you become familiar with the anomalies that the Incas have left behind with this sweet 08 Day Cultural Tour of Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Enjoy the phenomenal views of the Andes mountains during this journey. Feel upon arrival the magic and wonder that permeates the Cusco and Puno regions and how every moment impacts your being with its power and enchantment throughout your visit.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
Shuttle from the airport to hotel. The rest of the morning will be reserved for resting to adapt to the altitude, approximately 3400 meters (11,000 feet).
In the afternoon we will visit the Inka Museum, home of thousands of years of Andean culture
Lodging: Cusco Tandapata Boutique Hotel *** or similar.
DAY 2: CHINCHERO MARAS – MORAY
To start the Maras Moray & Chinchero Tour we will pick you up from your hotel around 8 AM and head to Moray. The drive is about 1 hour and 20 minutes and is absolutely beautiful. You will drive through the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, through lush yellow fields of wheat, past some villages.
Finally you will arrive to the fascinating display of terraces in Moray. Moray boasts three amphitheater-like terraces made by the Incas. These terraces, which are carved deep into the earth in a bowl shape, were thought to be used to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops.
When you are done exploring Moray you will head to the salt mines of Maras, which is about 2 miles away. This village is known as a former salt-producing center that is thought to date back all the way to pre-Inca times. There are over 3000 salt pools all carved into the mountain side, being filled daily by a little stream of water.
The last place to visit will be Chinchero. Here we can admire the well-preserved Inka walls of the main square as well as the many altars. We will also visit the beautiful colonial church, unique for its interior artwork and imagery. Moving on we will participate in a wonderful introduction and learning experience of the art of Andean textiles; throughout the afternoon we will become acquainted with the wisdom of Andean weavings as maintained since long before Inka times.
If you want to see something really different from ruins, this is your tour! The area is amazing and spectacularly beautiful. Once you are done with the visit, you will head back to the city in time to enjoy some lunch on your own.
Lodging: Tandapata Hotel Boutique *** or similar
DAY 3: INCA TRAIL 4D/3N
DAY 3: INCA TRAIL 4D/3N PISKACUCHO KM 82 – TO WAYLLABAMBA
After breakfast in Cusco we will board our bus for the 1.5 hour trip into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Upon reaching the end of the road, , known as kilometer 82, we will briefly introduce you to our crew and upon crossing the bridge at the Urubamba River, here begins our 4 day adventure. This first day is relatively easy going and smooth as we move along visiting ruins such as the city of Patallacta. This ruin, constructed at the foot of a mountain, was a very important center that had administrative, economic, and religious functions. We will also visit Willkarakay, a military post located above the site of Patallacta. After visiting these two sites we will enter the lush valley of Wayllabamba, walking along the banks of the Cusichaca (“happy bridge”) River, also observing the Inca terraces that belong to the previous archaelogical sites. Continuing our gradual walk upward through dense Andean forest, we arrive to our first campsite in Wayllabamba.
- Walking Distance:12km / 7.45 miles
- Starting Elevation:2720 meters ASL / 8923 feet ASL
- Campsite Elevation:3000 meters ASL / 9842 feet ASL
- Weather:Warm and windy
- Meals:Lunch & Dinner (Plus snack and afternoon tea)
DAY 4: WAYLLABAMBA – DEAD WOMENS PASS – PACAYMAYU
We will begin our day very early to reach at the end of the day the highest point on the Inca trail, the mountain pass of Warmihuañusca (dead woman’s pass).
The trek in the morning is rather physically intense for those who are not accostumed to the high altitude, yet it is also one of the most spectacular. The first part of the trail we will walk approximately 1 hour and a half through the cover of a densely vegetated Andean forest until arriving to the campsite of Three Stones, where we will take a short rest.
Continuing on our ascent, the habitat will begin to change as we enter the inter-andean forest full of Unca trees, unique to this area. Two hours later we will arrive to another campsite, Llulluchapampa, where we will take an extended rest with snacks and hot drinks. From here begins the final ascent to the pass of Warmihuañusca, the highest point of the trek – a fantastic opportunity for panoramic views of the surrounding valleys below. Later we will descend a few hours to our final campsite in Pacaymayu for the night.
- Walking Distance:12 km / 6.82 miles
- Starting Elevation:3000 meters ASL / 9842 feet ASL
- Campsite Elevation:3580 meters / 11700 feet ASL
- Maximum Altitude:4200 meters ASL / 13779 feet ASL (Warmy Wañuska Pass)
- Weather:Cold and rainy
- Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner (Plus snack and afternoon tea)
DAY 5: PACAYMAYU – CHAQUIKOCHA – WIÑAYHUAYNA
We will begin ascending about 45 minutes to the arhcaelogical site of Runkurakay, which was in ancient times a “tambo”, or type of resting lodge for ancient pilgrims. Another 45 minute ascent will take us to the second highest pass of the Inca trail, Runkurakay (4000 m, 13,123 ft), after which we will descend to the beautiful archaeological site of Sayacmarca, constructed in a strategic location. After a thorough visit we will continue down the beautifully paved road to our lunch site at Chaquicocha.
From here onward to Phuyupatamarca we will enter the high Andean cloud forest, a maravillous display of Nature’s beauty. Here the trail continues a narrow ridge until arriving to the pass of Phuyupatamarka, a natural viewing area where it is possible to see the Sacred Valley and numerous mountain peaks, as well as our final destination of Machu Picchu. From here we will descend to our last campsite, passing a very important archaeological site and temple designated for offerings to the sacred mountain spirits of the area, as well as a large terraced area for agriculture. Slightly beyond is our campsite for the night, Wiñayhuayna.
- Walking Distance:16km / 9.94 miles
- Starting Elevation:3580 meters / 11745 feet ASL
- Maximum Altitude:4000 meters ASL / 13123 feet ASL (Runkuracay Pass)
- Campsite Elevation:2680 meters ASL /8792 feet ASL
- Weather:Warm and very humid
- Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6: WIÑAY WAYNA TO MACHU PICCHU
We will rise very early to complete the final stretch of the Inca Trail, which brings us to “Inti Punku” or the Sun Gate, the principal entrance of the crystal city of Machu Picchu. The trail here is fairly easy going and after about an hour we will arrive to Inti Punku, an awesome location to observe the citadel of Machu Picchu and, weather permitting, sunrise over the Andes.
Afterwards, a 45 minute descent will take us into the higher area of Machu Picchu, a natural lookout point for the “famous” classic picture and an opportunity for a group picture. Here we will enter as a group to the main entrance for registration before returning to the site for the main tour to learn more about this magical place of beauty and culture left by our ancestors. The tour will last approximately between 2 to 3 hours. The climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain are optional (at an extra cost and must be booked in advance). In the afternoon we will descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes.
You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes for lunch and receive your train tickets for the return journey to Cusco. The train will arrive to Ollantaytambo where our Staff will pick you up to complete the rest of your ride by bus back to your hotel in Cusco.
- Walking Distance :5 km / 3.10 miles
- Starting Elevation :2680 meters ASL /8792 feet ASL
- Maximum Altitude:2730 meters ASL / 8956 feet ASL (Sun gate)
- Weather:Hot and very humid (bring lots of water)
An extra night in Aguas Calientes can be arranged. This option is very popular as it allows more time to explore Machu Picchu. This way you may visit the local hot springs which can be a treat after your 4 days of trekking.
Lodging: Tandapata Hotel Boutique *** or similar
DAY 7: DEPARTURE TO PUNO (ROUTE OF THE SUN)
In the morning we will depart from the bus terminal and head towards Puno. This is a special journey by bus which allows us to visit the many diverse locations along the way on the route of the sun. There will we planned stops to visit the following:
- Andahuaylillas: (the sistine chapel of the Americas, this temple is one of the best examples of the fusion between Catholic and Andean religions)
- Raqchi: A Inka temple dedicated to the god Wiracocha, construction of monumental dimensions, an estimated 100 meters long, 26m wide, 14m high. This is the only known temple dedicated to the God Wiracocha, creator of the Universe.
- La Raya: Midway point on our journey and highest point on the road – 4335 m.s.n.m. The impressive views here allow us to admire the rugged high altitude, full of tall peaks, many of which are snow-capped, and herds of llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. This is the geografic border between two cultures, the Quechua of Cusco and the Aymara of Puno.
- Pucara: This ceremonial center is one of the oldest and most important of the high plains, well known for its lithic structures and tombs.
Lodging: Puno Royal Inn **** or similar.
DAY 8: UROS (FLOATING ISLANDS) – TAQUILE ISLAND
Between 7.40am and 8am we will transfer you from the hotel to the port and by motor boat, we take you to one of the legendary Uros Islands where you can observe the lives of the Uros people who live on floating reed islands, some only 20 meters in length. After a beautiful 3hr boat ride we reach Taquile Island where we will break into smaller groups to stay with the local families. You have the opportunity to trek to the top of the mountain (4150 m.a.s.l) to see the Temples of the Pachamama and Pachatata and enjoy the traditional customs of the island people. Food and authentic music prepared and performed by your designated family. Then we return to Puno and transfer back to your hotel.
Lodging: Puno Royal Inn **** or similar.
DAY 9: PUNO – JULIACA – FLY TO LIMA
A brief transfer from Puno to the neighboring city of Juliaca. Upon arrival in Lima there will be assitence for an international connecting flight, or if prefered, transfer for a hotel. (End of tour)
- 5 night’s accommodations 3 stars hotels.
- 8 breakfasts.5 lunches.3 dinners
- All transportation.
- All transfers.
- Bus to Puno.
- Uros,Amantani tours.
- Turistic bus to Puno.
- Train to Machu Picchu (One Way)
- Tourist ticket
- Buses to Machu Picchu.
- All entrances in Cusco.
- Private guided tour in Machu Picchu.
- Entrances to Inca Trail.
- Entrances to Machu Picchu.
- Tour leader during whole trip
- International flights.
- Intra-flights. (Lima- Cusco / juliaca- Lima).
- Single Supplement US$300
- Meals where are not stated
- Huayna Picchu entrance fee US$35
- Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.
THINGS TO BRING:
- Original Passport
- Current University Card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
- Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Comfortable Trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
- Insect repellant
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
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