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Peru is one of the hidden gems of South America. Majestic landscapes, a rich culture and history, bustling cities and wildlife galore. Peru has it all. How do you want to explore it?

 

Inca Heartland - 7 Day Tour

Inca Heartland - 7 Day Tour

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The trip at a glance

Start: Cusco                                                                    Duration: 7 Days  
Finish: Cusco                                                                Group size: Max 16
Destinations: Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu         
Difficulty Rating: 3/5 

What you will love about this trip

  • Explore the ancient Inca capital of Cusco

  • Discover the many archeological sites in the Sacred Valley

  • Hike the Inca Trail or The Inca Quarry Trail

  • Visit one of the wonders of the world, the Inca city of Machu Picchu

  • Delicious meals

  • Cultural insights

Is this trip right for you?

  • We will visit places that are at high altitude. Some people may suffer from altitude sickness. Altitude sickness can affect anyone regardless of fitness level or age. However our guides will share ways to mitigate these symptoms such as staying hydrated and limiting alcohol intake.

  • There will be early mornings for us to get to our activities on time.

  • Some of the roads can be windy and bumpy.

  • You will need to bring suitable clothing for trekking. You need hiking boots, comfortable outdoor clothing and warm waterproof gear.

  • There will be lots of exploring so you will need to be able to be on your feet for extended periods of time on uneven ground. A moderate level of fitness is required however let us know your needs and we have plenty of ways to adjust the tour to you.

  • The hiking options require a moderate level of fitness as we walk for up to 8 hours a day on mountain paths. Your duffel bag will be carried by the mules however you will need to carry a small day pack with your daily water, jacket and snacks.

Inclusions

Meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
Accomodation: 3 nights in twin or double hotel rooms, 3 nights with basic camping facilities.
Activities: Entrance to Machu Picchu, city walking orientation in Cusco, entrance to the chocolate Museum, trekking.
Transport: Train to Aguas Calientes, Bus to and from Machu Picchu, Private minivan.

Day 1 - Cusco

To make your arrival to Peru stress free, if you have requested a free airport transfer we will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel. Otherwise you can meet us at the hotel where a welcome note will be waiting for you at reception. We will have an orientation at 1pm at the hotel, this is where you will meet your fellow travellers and dedicated guide. At this meeting we will discuss the trip itinerary. We will also collect your next of kin, passport and insurance information.

From here we will take you on a Cusco walking orientation to help you navigate around the city. We will point out the top tourist spots, museums, best restaurants and amenities. We stop by the chocolate museum where we can sample some delicious locally made chocolate. You will then have some free time to relax and to help you acclimatise to the altitude (3450m).

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Cusco.
Activities: A walking orientation of Cusco.

Day 2 - Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

We travel from Cusco through the Sacred Valley by private minibus to Ollantaytambo. Along the way you can see the meandering river and terraces before stopping to view local handicrafts and have some lunch. In the afternoon we have a tour of the ancient Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo that overlook a beautiful view of the whole valley, here the guide will describe the history and customs of the Incas who once lived here.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Ollantaytambo.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: A tour of the Ollantaytambo ruins.
Transport: Private minibus to Ollantaytambo.

Day 3 - Trekking

Today you leave for your arranged trek. Either to the Inca trail or Inca Quarry Trail. You will be given a duffel bag which can take 6 kg of gear, the rest of your bag will be held safely at the hotel in Cusco. The porters will carry your duffel bag ahead of you on the walk and you can access them each night when you arrive at the camp. You will need a daypack to carry your water, snacks, sunscreen and anything you may need during the day.

The Inca Trail: Today you start out on the 43 km trek that leads you to one of the wonders of the world - Machu Picchu. You will be taken by private minivan to the start of the trek. From here there we hike 10km, an estimated 7 hour mainly uphill hike to the campsite which sits at 3100m above sea level. On the way you will marvel at the Incan ruins of Huillca Raccay, Canabanba and Llactapata.

The Inca Quarry Trail: This morning you start on your 26 km hike that reaches 4450 m above sea level. We will take a private minivan to Rafqà where we start our hike and meet our chefs and porters. Along the way we will stop at Chonquequilla, an archaeological site where the Incas worshipped the moon. We walk all morning past small local farming families and beautiful vistas to our first campsite at 3700 m above sea level. Nearby the campsite there is the archaeological site of Q'orimarca that we can explore after relaxing over lunch.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Camping in a 2 person tent with an inflatable mattress.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Activities: The Inca trail or Inca Quarry Trail with an English speaking guide, professional chefs and porters.
Transport: Private minivan to the start of your trek.

Day 4 - Trekking

The Inca Trail: Today is the most challenging day of the trek, we will walk 12 km in total today starting at 3100 m above sea level. At half way after approximately 4 hours we will arrive at our lunch spot at Llactapata where will provide a delicious meal and provide more water for your bottles. We will then walk up a steep track to cross what is known as the ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ at 4215m above sea level. Here you can see the sweeping views across the Pacaymayo Valley and take the great photo opportunity. You will then descend to the campsite at 3650 m above sea level after approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.

The Inca Quarry Trail: Today we embark on the most challenging day of the hike. In the late morning we should cross the mountain pass of Pucca Qasa. Here you can enjoy sweeping views across the valley. We walk across a saddle before crossing the second mountain pass of Kuychicassa at 4450 m above sea level. We descend to our second campsite for the night.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Camping in a 2 person tent with an inflatable mattress.
Meals: Breakfast,lunch and dinner.
Activities: The Inca Trail or The Inca Quarry Trail with an English speaking guide, professional chefs and porters.

Day 5 - Trekking

The Inca Trail: Today we hike 16 km, starting by hiking through the valley before crossing the second mountain pass, Runkurakay Pass which sits at 3980 m above sea level. We then descend down to a valley where we explore the Sayacmarca archaeological site. We then cross our last pass at 37000 m above sea level, here we find ‘The Town above the Clouds’, Phuyupatamarca at 3550 m above sea level. An approximately 2.5 hour hike down the Inca steps takes us to our campsite next to the Winay Wayna archeological site.

The Inca Quarry Trail: With tired legs from yesterday we complete the downhill walk to the end of the trail. We pass the Kachiqata quarry, which lies unfinished because of the Spanish invasion. We return to Ollantaytambo where we take the glass roofed tourist train to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Town. As you roll by watch the high mountains and flowing river. You will have the afternoon to relax or explore the town of Aguas Calientes which is nestled in the mountains with a beautiful river running along the length of the town.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Camping in a 2 person tent with an inflatable mattress on the Inca Trail option. A night in a twin or double hotel room in Aguas Calientes for the Inca Quarry Trail option.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Activities: The Inca Trail or Inca Quarry Trail with an English speaking guide, professional chefs and porters.

Day 6 - Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail: We wake up before the sun today at 3:45am to hike approximately 1.5 hours to the sun gate. We set off early to the final checkpoint which opens at 5:30am to hike the last 2 and a half hour stretch of trail before entering the site through the famous sun gate. Here we can find a spot to take it all in and watch the mist roll through the mountains around Machu Picchu citadel. Now we have the time to take a private tour with your guide who will bring the city to life with his knowledge of this wonder of the world.

The Inca Quarry Trail: An early rise of 5:30am to make the sunrise over Machu Picchu and beat the heat of the day. We take the 30 minute tourist bus up the winding mountain to Machu Picchu. Here we can find a spot to sit and take it all in. Watch the mist roll through the mountains around the Machu Picchu citadel and the sunrise over the ancient city. Now we have the time to take a private tour with your guide who will bring the city to life with his knowledge of this wonder of the world.

As a group we travel back to Ollantaytambo on the glass roofed tourist train then onto Cusco in a private minivan.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Exploring Machu Picchu with your private English speaking guide.
Transport: Return tourist bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, Glass roofed tourist train to Ollantaytambo, Private minivan to Cusco.

Day 7 - Cusco

Today we finish up our trip. We enjoy one last meal together before saying goodbye to your new friends. You can now choose to spend more days exploring Cusco or take a free transfer to the airport so you can head off for your next adventure.

Inclusions

Meals: Breakfast.
Transport: Optional transfer to the airport or bus terminal.