DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO CUSCO, INKA MUSEUM AND KORICANCHA
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. Here we will become more familiar with the origens and beginnings of Andean civilizations.
Continuing with the tour we will move onto the temple of Koricancha, the famous Sun Temple of Qosqo, that was and still remains the pinaccle of organization, architecture, and religion of Inka civilization. During its construction they had already achieved the greatest advances of their time, and this temple may have been the exact representation of the center, or "Navel of the World" and therefore the center of the world, as dictated by the pre-hispanic Andean cosmovision.
DAY 2: CHINCHERO (TEXTILE INTERPRETATION CENTER) - OLLANTAYTAMBO
Chinchero, the rainbow village, home of the ruins of the royal palace of the Inka Túpac Inca Yupanqui, a picturesque community located on a high plateau overlooking the many snowcapped peaks of the Cusco region. 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. Traditional food will be prepared for lunch here.
We will then continue to the Sacred Valley of the Inkas to the "living" Inka town of Ollantaytambo, which translated into Quechua denotes first "Ollanta," which is a personal name, and "Tambo," a spanish adaptation of the Quechua "tanpu", a term for villages that offered lodging, food, and other necessities for travelers. Ollanta was the name of a general from the Inka Pachakuteq's army, a history that has been preserved in tradition.
DAYS 3 TO 6: 4 DAY INKA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
The Inka trail to Machupicchu, the last dwelling of the Incas, is undoubtedly the most fascinating and spectacular route in the Peruvian Andes, especially in Cusco, the navel of the world in Inca times. This ancestral roadway is not only filled with unique archaelogical sites, but also combines an extense sacred geography home to a beautifully biodiverse flora and fauna. In Inca times this sacred road was reserved only for select and well-prepared individuals, on their way to the citadel of Machu Picchu. The 4 Days, 3 Nights 43Km Trail itinerary is as follows:
FIRST DAY: PISCACUCHO TO WAYLLABAMBA (12 KM)
After breakfast we will travel to the starting location of the trail, known as kilometer 82. 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 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 we will arrive to our first campsite in Wayllabamba.
SECOND DAY: WAYLLABAMBA TO PACAYMAYU (11 KM)
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, more so for those who are not accostumed to hikes in this altitude, yet it is alsoone 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 at 4,215 meters (13,829 ft), the highest point of the trek, a great opportunity for fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding valleys below, before descending a few hours to our next campsite in Pacaymayu for the night.
THIRD DAY: PACAYMAYU TO WIÑAYHUAYNA (15 KM)
We will begin ascending about 45 minutes to the arhcaelogical site of Runkurakay, located mid-mountain, that was in ancient times a tambo, or resting place. Another 45 minute ascent will take us to the second highest pass of the Inca trail, Runkurakay (3950 m, 12,959 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.
FOURTH DAY: WIÑAYHUAYNA TO MACHU PICCHU (5 KM)
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 in 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 2 hours, then you will have time to explore the citadel by yourselves and you can also climb the Huayna Picchu moutain (at an extra cost and have to be booked in advance). In the afternoon we will descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes for lunch, then return to Cusco by train.
DAY 7: WALKING TOUR AND CITY TOUR.
At morning we are going to have a walking tour.
The walking tour will visit the following places:
-Plaza de Armas / Main Plaza, which is home to the main cathedral and colonial houses
-San Blas neighborhood
-The twelve angle stone
-San Pedro local market
At the afternoon City tour. You will visit four main inka sites located on the city limits.