Inca Trail & Amazon
The Inca Trail is the ancient route used to connect all four corners of the Inca Empire which consisted of more than 30,000 kilometres of foot highways that integrated the vast empire of Tawantinsuyu from southern Colombia to central Chile passing through the cities of Quito in Ecuador; Cajamarca, Huanuco, Cuzco, La Paz and Cochabamba in Bolivia. The trail starts in Cuzco, the old imperial Inca capital that was both the administrative and religious centre of the empire. Spanish invaders seized Cuzco in 1533 after the murder of the Incas Huascar and Atahualpa. Many of the original Inca buildings were destroyed during the invasion and the city was also burned during the rebellion of 1534 but on the trail you will have the opportunity of visiting many Inca ruins.
The trek will take you from the Urubamba Valley near Cuzco to the Lost Citadel of Machu Picchu. And will allow you breath-taking views of the Andes. It crosses hanging bridges as well as climbs to 4100m. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is rated among the ten best trekking tails in the world, due to its striking beauty, ancient Inca ruins and diverse ecological zones. This route includes very different terrains from high desert plateau to tropical Andean rainforest. Following the Inca Trail, we will walk past mysterious archaeological sites half hidden in jungle undergrowth, which gives one the impression they are been discovered for the first time.
Finally, we will arrive at the “Lost City of the Incas” Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most breath-taking and important archaeological discoveries. As we pass through the many temples, terraces, fountains and chambers all displaying intricate stonework, we obtain a clear picture of what the Inca world must have been like.
The trail will be closed one month each year for maintenance (January or February).
We will facilitate this for you on your dates of choice, and are subject to flight and trail availability.
Please note that it takes up to 4 months to arrange the Inca Trail, and as numbers are limited, you are advised to book as early as possible.
Depart for Lima.
Arrival in Cusco. You will be collected from the airport for the 20 min ride into town where you will checked into your hotel. Cuzco is one of the world’s top travel destinations and its activity options are many. There are several wonderful art and history museums that can be visited, countless shops with a great variety of handicrafts, a wide variety of restaurants, pubs & penas, numerous churches, cathedrals; other outstanding historic architecture line the cobble stone streets. (Hotel Novotel – bed and breakfast sharing rooms – lunch and dinner not included).
Day 3: Sacred Valley Tour
(Pooled service with other tourists) Early breakfast and depart for the bus ride through the Sacred Valley to the archaeological sites of Chinchero. It has a commanding view of the snow-capped mountains and the river below. You will then travel to Pisac, which is strategically located on a ridge-top overlooking two scenic valleys that have extensive Inca agricultural terraces. We then continue on through the Urubamba Valley with its spectacular mountain scenery and quaint villages, terraced valleys and towering snow-capped peaks. After lunch, you will travel to Calca and finally to Ollantaytambo for a tour of this ancient Inca fortress and city. (Hotel Novotel – bed and breakfast sharing rooms – lunch and dinner not included). Duration: 6 hours
Day 4: Cuzco – Wayllabamba
Depart Cuzco early morning by bus and drive through the Sacred Valley to the community of Piscaycucho (Railroad K82 – 2700m), where we cross the Urubamba River by bridge and begin the Inca Trail. Following a trail along the left-hand shore of the Urubamba River, we enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped Mount Veronica (5830m.) and the Inca archaeological remains at Llactapata. Continuing through lush farmland and woodlands, we gradually climb for approximately 5 hours to our first campsite at Wayllabamba (3000m).
Meals provided: Lunch, dinner, snacks, tea time. Approx walking time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 12 Kilometres
Day 5: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo
After breakfast and an early start, we begin a steep climb through Andean cloud forest and highland puna to the highest point on our trek, Warminwanusca, or Dead Woman’s Pass (4200m). During our ascent, we can appreciate the wide variety of plant, flower, and bird species supported by this unique eco-climate. Once we reach the pass, our challenge is rewarded by an astonishing panoramic view of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba mountain ranges. From here, we descend into the Pacaymayo river valley and on to our second campsite (3600m).
Meals provided: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, tea time. Approx walking time: 6 -7 hours. Distance: 11 Kilometers
Day 6: Pacaymayo- Wiñay Wayna
On this day we follow ancient stone paths and steps to the well-preserved Inca remains of Runkurakay, Sayaqmarca, and PhuyuPatamarca. Along our visit to the sites we can appreciate the Incas’ complex architectural style and reverence of natural geography and beauty. Heading down the sub-tropical Andean slope we reach another strategic and aesthetically-situated site at Wiñay Wayna, where we camp for the night (2700m).
Meals provided: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, tea time. Approx. walking time: 8 hours
Distance: 16 Kilometres
Day 7: Wiñay Wayna- Machu Picchu
Leaving Wiñay Wayna, we descend gradually further through the highland jungle to our destination: IntiPunku, or the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu. Arriving at daybreak, we catch our first breath-taking view of this historical wonder. We have the rest of the day to learn about and explore the main complex of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary before taking the down to Aguas Calientes. (Overnight Hotel Sumaq Bed and Breakfast – lunch and dinner for own account).
Meals provided: Breakfast & snacks. Approximate walking time: 2 hours. Distance: 4 Kilometres
Day 8 : Aguas Calientes – Cuzco
After breakfast You will catch the hydraulic train from Aguas Calientes to Poroy. Your train time and type will be advised on the day. Once in Poroy there will be a transfer waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cuzco. (Overnight Hotel Novotel – bed and breakfast. Lunch and dinner for your own account). 3 hours maximum on the train.
AMAZON ADD – ON – optional
Day 9 :
After breakfast, you will have the early morning in Cuzco for personal exploration and relaxation.Transfer to airport to catch your flight from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado. (TAMBOPATA JUNGLE RESERVE) (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) Flight to Puerto Maldonado. Reception and transfer from the airport. Short journey by road and then transfer to the Tambopata River. Travel by motor boat along the river. During the trip we may see caimans, turtles and waterfowl, etc. After approx. 3 hours we will arrive at the lodge where we will be received with a welcome drink. We are now deep inside pristine primary rainforest and surrounded by the wonderful sounds. After a short rest we will have a short hike in time to enjoy a jungle sunset at Sunset Point. After returning we will have dinner, at which the Resident Naturalists (RNs) will be available to answer questions or brief us on the Amazon rainforest.
Day 10 : TAMBOPATA JUNGLE – COLPA DE CHUNCHO
(Breakfast, lunch and dinner). At daybreak, transfer by canoe a further 5-6 hours up the Tambopata river deep into unventured, Amazonian rainforest with superb wildlife sighting opportunites. We will pass waterfalls, wonderful sandy beaches with swimming opportunities, interesting basalt rock formations and some gold panning sites. Box lunch on board. Late in the afternoon we will arrive at the Macaw Claylick or Colpa de Chuncho, the largest claylick in the world; a 200 m red soil cliff where, for still unknown reasons, hundreds of macaws and other parrot species converge every morning and afternoon to feed on the mineral rich soil in an unforgettable spectacle of colour and sounds. We will camp at a beach close by and have dinner at the camp.
Day 11: COLPA DE CHUNCHO
(Breakfast, lunch and dinner) Early morning Colpa experience. Breakfast at the camp. We board our canoe to return to the lodge. Occasionally, when the weather and the level of the river allows for it, we will make a short side trip to another saltlick at another river on the way, with an excellent chance of seeing the larger mammals. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 12 : COCOCOCHA LAKE
(Breakfast, lunch and dinner) After an early breakfast, (during which we can hear the howler monkeys calling) guided by one of our RNs, we will start a 3½ miles hike to Cocococha oxbow lake. On the way we will observe exotic plants and insects, colorful butterflies and birds, monkeys and, with luck, perhaps even some of the large mammals. At the lake, canoes will be available for a ride around it watching the wildlife on the shoreline, where we shall see Hoatzin (ancient birds) and hopefully Giant Otters. Return to the lodge for a late lunch. Afternoon is free for relaxing and independent activities. After dinner, we will board a canoe for a short night ride to spot caimans on the river banks by flashlight.
Day 13 : TAMBOPATA – PUERTO MALDONADO-CUZCO-LIMA
(Breakfast) After breakfast, boarding of the canoe to return to Pto. Maldonado. Transfer to the airport for the return flight back to Lima.
Day 14 :
Overnight in Lima if required due to airline constraints (own account).
Day 15 :
Arrive back home.
** Please note this itinerary can change at any time due to unforeseen circumstances.
Phone: +27 82 853 8769