Get ready for this amazing adventure into the backwoods of the breathtaking Andean Mountains! Hike up to the impressive hidden Inca citadel of Machu Picchu deep in the Peruvian jungle, along the original stone staircases of the Inca Trail that lead to the Inti Punku (Sun Gate). This invigorating short trek is an excellent alternative to the longer and more physically demanding 4-day Inca Trail trek. You will be rewarded with astounding views overlooking the magical site of Machu Picchu. Enjoy this unique opportunity to experience one of the world's most amazing archaeological sites!
Day by Day Itinerary:
Trek Briefings: All travellers are required to visit the Cuzco office one day prior to the trek for a mandatory briefing. At this meeting you will receive detailed information on the route, a list of what to bring, confirm your accommodation pick-up for the morning of the trek and be able to ask questions.
*Note: You will have a guide during the trek and on the Machu Picchu tour. However, during your bus and train transfers you will not be accompanied by a guide.
Day 1: Cuzco to Ollantaytambo to KM 104, Trek to Inti Punku (Sun Gate), Transfer to Aguas Calientes (L/D)
Accommodation pick-up at 4:00 am and transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station for the journey to KM 104, the beginning point of our trek. A 4-hour hike uphill will bring us to the archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna (2,700m) where our professional guide will explain the culture and history of the site. A well deserved lunch will be served after another short 10-minute hike. In the afternoon we will continue hiking to reach the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) where we will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the majestic Machu Picchu citadel. A tourist-class bus will transfer the group to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) where we will spend the night.
Inclusions: Accommodation pickup, Bus Cuzco - Ollantaytambo, Train Ollantaytambo - Km 104, Bus Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes, 1N Aguas Calientes 3* Hotel, Meals 1L/1D.
Day 2: Depart Aguas Calientes to Explore Machu Picchu & Return to Cuzco (B)
Take a tourist-class bus back up to Machu Picchu first thing in the morning for a guided tour with a professional bilingual guide who will explain the history and culture of Machu Picchu. If you desire to hike Huayna Picchu or return to the Inti Punku, you will have free time to do so. Wander around the site at your leisure after the tour to take photos and absorb the magical vibes of this miraculous mountain top citadel. Return to Aguas Calientes by tourist-class bus. In the town you will find internet cafes, cafes with board games and cards, plenty of shops and places to relax. Visit the local marketplace right next to the train tracks where you can shop until the train whistle blows signaling your return to Ollantaytambo. Take the bus back to Cuzco and get dropped off late in the day at the Plaza San Francisco. Please make your own way to the accommodation of your choice.
DESCRIPTION OF MACHU PICCHU GUIDED SITE VISIT: The one and only, the most spectacular (and not to mention most popular) archaeological site in all of South America. Your guide will take you on a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu walking you through the most important sites and covering the history of the place (if you haven't already heard it all during the Inca Trail Trek). Then you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure.
Take an OPTIONAL hike up the steep peak named Huayna Picchu, which is located inside the Machu Picchu archaeological site. This sometimes muddy peak takes about 45 - 60 minutes to hike up and awards you with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu from a coveted perspective. Keep in mind that if you want to take this optional hike, you must now purchase your ticket at least 2 weeks in advance for an additional cost in order to get one of the 400 passes (200 people are allowed up at 7:00am and 200 more at 10:00am). Trekkers arriving from the Inca Trail will only arrive on time for the 10:00am trek. Most trekkers are usually too tired to do this extra trek, but true adventurers shouldn’t miss out! Please send us an email directly to request this extra ticket.
Inclusions: Round trip Bus Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu, Train Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo, Bus Ollantaytambo - Cuzco, 2-Hour Machu Picchu Guided Visit, Meal 1B.
Brief History of Machu Picchu & Advice:
Machu Picchu was (relatively recently) "discovered" by American historian, Hiram Bingham, in 1911 while searching for the legendary "lost city of the Incas". Hiram Bingham and his local guides stumbled across the site which was then covered in thick vegetation which was later cleared revealing the magical mountain-top archaeological site and opening up the possibility for archaeologists to conduct research on the site by 1915. Whether arriving via Inca Trail or entering from Aguas Calientes don't miss the excellent photo opportunities from the following spots: Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock (a restored building with a thatched roof), Sacred Plaza with views of the Cordillera Vilcabamba in the distance and Rio Urubamba below.
ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS: Single travelers will share a room with another traveler & couples will have a private room.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This hike is Moderate - a 10km trail mostly uphill, with 550 meters of uphill that might be difficult for people who are afraid of heights.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Bring or Rent in Cuzco: hiking poles, rain pants, rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals, warm socks, sweater, thermals, hat, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sun glasses, flashlight/torch, camera, extra batteries and memory card (there is limited to no electricity available during the trek), waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit, water bottle. Bring extra cash for snacks, water, gatorade which doubles or triples in price along the trail.
DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS: Original passport, visa (if applicable), insurance card, personal medications.
** Travellers who booked their trip using one passport, then renewed or replaced it afterward, must carry the old passport they used to make the booking or a photocopy with them on the trip.
Departure dates for trek:
No departures in February due to unfavorable climatic conditions