International Mountain Guides Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions

Machu Picchu

Peru  •  Inca Culture Adventure Trek

Machu Picchu Trek with International Mountain Guides

IMG Machu Picchu Itinerary

Our trip to Peru will be an amazing experience, and is designed to give trekkers adequate acclimatization time for all objectives. There are several opportunities in the schedule to allow for shopping, sightseeing and general non-guided touring. Arrangements can easily be made to accommodate non-trekking partners or family members into the program. In many ways, this will be a dream trip for just about any trekker. We'll see some of the most beautiful areas in the world and visit culturally diverse ruins. The trekking on this adventure will be challenging but reasonable. Alternative activities include resting, sightseeing, hiking in the area, or just about anything. Enjoy yourself!

Trip itinerary is subject to change, based on the needs of our group, weather and route conditions, and other foreseen and unforeseen circumstances. Alternative routes and/or schedule may be used as warranted.

Classic Inca Trail Trek Itinerary
Day Itinerary
Day 1-2

Depart from home mid-day. Arrive in Miami or Dallas during early evening. Depart for Lima around midnight and arrive Lima early next morning.

Day 2

Once in Lima, we'll transfer to a national flight to Cuzco (10,988'), arriving by mid-day. Rest and relaxation will be in order, focusing on acclimatization. Our local guide will meet us after check in, make arrangements at a local restaurant for lunch (not included), and perhaps a short tour if desired. The team will meet at 6pm for a briefing on what to expect in the coming days. A team dinner will follow. (Meal included, dinner)

Day 3

An exciting cultural touring day. We'll first visit the local ruins of Sacsayhuaman on the way out of town. We'll travel on to the Sacred Valley where we will tour the famous Pisak market, a good place to purchase local crafts and goods. Our last cultural visit in the Sacred Valley will be Ollantaytambo, which sits above the town in a beautiful setting. We'll overnight in a hotel here, close to our departure point for the Machu Picchu trek. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4

Rise around 4:30-5 AM, have a quick breakfast in our hotel, then a private bus will take us to the trailhead, at km. 82 (2,400m or 7,872'). We'll continue up the trail for some distance, to our tent camp at Llullchapampa (3,600m or 11,808'), and relax and rest up for the next day. Figure on 6-8 hours of trekking on this day and 8 or so miles: There will be awesome views well worth the effort. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5

Wake up around 7, and then start trekking out of the light woodland. The trail continues to climb upwards beyond Llupachayoc, up steeper trail and rock steps. The woodland gives way to scrub, then to puna, bleak grassland and bare slopes. The ascent becomes increasingly steep, and the terrain increasingly rugged. The trail climbs steeply towards the first pass, the Abra de Huarmihuanusca ("Dead Woman's Pass"), 4198m, or 13,769'. This is a somewhat tough day by trekking standards. All trekkers are advised to train in particular for this ascent, as it will be the most demanding of the entire trip. While we will not be carrying heavy packs, the ascent will be challenge enough. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 6

From the valley of the Pacamayo, the trail climbs steeply up the opposite side of the valley wall, towards the second pass, Abra de Runkuracay, 3,998m (13,113'). After the pass, the trail descends towards a valley containing a shallow lake. Here, the trail changes from a dirt path to a narrow stone roadway, the beginning of the "true" Inca Trail. The stones of the roadway were laid by the Quechua people during the period of the Inca Empire. We'll journey along the most classic looking parts of the stone path, so be sure to take plenty of photos as you approach the "Third Pass," and, just beyond it, an Inca ruin, Phuyupatamarca ("Cloud-level Town"). We will camp at the high pass with a spectacular 360 degree panorama. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 7

The final section of the trail to Machu Picchu, from Huinay Huayna to Intipunku, is an easy hike, following a broad level path which winds comfortably through scrub and light woodland. After no more than an hour or two, the trail comes to a narrow flight of stone steps leading upwards into a small stone structure. This is Intipunku, and through the rectangular doorway, you can see the ruins of Machu Picchu. From Intipunku, a pathway leads directly to Machu Picchu itself, and a descent of over an hour will take us down to the actual ruins. We'll have until late afternoon to explore the area. Our cultural guide will take us for a general tour, explaining Machu Picchu's highlights. Following the tour, there will be time for individual exploration and photography. At the end of the day we'll await a bus for our trip down the mountain and then check-in to our hotel in Aguas Calientes, a tourist mecca below the Machu Picchu ruins. Overnight in hotel. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 8

Some morning shopping/sightseeing in Aguas Calientes, then catch a private train for the journey to Cusco. Get off train half way to Cusco, then private bus the remainder of the way. Overnight in hotel. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 9

Departure for Lima, then late flight from Lima to USA (Meal included, breakfast)

Day 10

Flights arrive in Miami/Dallas about 5 AM, which leaves plenty of time to make connections for flight home. Arrive home by mid-afternoon.



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Salkantay Variation Trek Itinerary
Day Itinerary
Day 1-2

Depart from home mid-day. Arrive in Miami or Dallas during early evening. Depart for Lima preferably late evening to allow an arrival in Lima early next morning. (If an overnight is required in Lima, this is at your additional expense).

Day 2

Once in Lima, we'll transfer to a national flight to Cuzco (10,988'), arriving by mid-day. The local trip leader will meet you at the airport and transport you to the local hotel. After check in and freshening up, the guide will make arrangements at a local restaurant for lunch (not included), and perhaps take the team on a short tour if desired. The team will meet at 6pm for a briefing on what to expect in the coming days. A team dinner will follow. (Meal included: dinner at hotel)

Day 3

An exciting cultural touring day. We'll first visit the local ruins of Sacsayhuaman on the way out of town. We'll travel on to the Sacred Valley where we will tour the famous Pisak market, a good place to purchase local crafts and goods. Our last cultural visit in the Sacred Valley will be Ollantaytambo, which sits above the town in a beautiful setting. We'll return to our hotel in Cusco at day's end. (Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Day 4

Departure from Cusco early in the morning, bus ride for about 4 hours to the start of the trek at Mollepata. We will meet with the rest of the staff including the wranglers and horses and then start the expedition at an elevation of approximately 11,500'. We'll hike to Soraypampa and Salkantaypampa, about 6 hours and 1500' elevation gain. Pampa is Quechuan for "flat grassy plain." (Meals included: breakfast at hotel, lunch and dinner on the trek)

Day 5

We take the right side of the moraine and start climbing up to turquoise colored Suyrococha lake at 14,280 feet in elevation. Continuing up to the top of Salkantay Pass at a maximum height of 15,180 feet, we'll enjoy spectacular views of the glacier and the surrounding peaks of the sacred mountain, Salcantay. After an appropriate amount of time resting and taking photos, we descend down to a campsite at Andenes or beyond to Collcapampa hot springs, located at around 12,500 feet. Total walking time is an estimated 8-10 hours, with a gain of about 2,000 feet, and loss of 2-3,000 feet, depending on which camp the team uses in descent. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner on the trek).

Day 6

We head down through valleys eroded by glacier waters. Different ecological zones are passed on the way down following Collcapampa creek, then the Santa Teresa River. We'll be down in warmer zones here, with waterfalls, flowers, fruit trees and exotic birds to view. We climb back up to an Andean community named Paltaybamba, where a bus will be waiting to transfer the group to our campsite named Eco Quechua, located in the small town of Santa Teresa. It's a 7 hour walk this day, with a loss of 2,000 feet. (Meals included, breakfast, lunch, dinner on the trek).

Day 7

Early in the morning we start hiking towards Llactapata the Inca site recently re-discovered . Nice views over the mountains and Machu Picchu's eastern side, finally we arrive at the Machupicchu hydroelectric plant where will take the local train to the town of Aguas Calientes for a check in to our hotel and much needed showers. (Meals included, breakfast and lunch on the trek, dinner at the hotel in AC).

Day 8

Early wakeup for a dawn bus ride up to the Machu Picchu archeological site with a full tour of the area. There will be additional free time to hike around the site, explore and take photographs. If we leave the hotel VERY early we may climb Waynapicchu peak, rising above Machu Picchu. This hike is limited in number each day to the first 400 visitors. In the afternoon we'll take the train to Cusco and transfer to our hotel for a final celebration dinner and the end of the expedition. (Meals included, breakfast, and dinner).

Day 9

Late afternoon flight to Lima, then flight from Lima to USA. We'll try to book the latest flight to Lima allowed to make our international connections in order to allow a few more hours to shop and sightsee in the city of Cusco. (Meal included, breakfast)

Day 10

Arrive in US early morning, with plenty of time to make connections for final flight home. Arrive home by mid-day.

Trip itineraries are subject to change, based on the needs of our group, weather and route conditions, and other foreseen and unforeseen circumstances. Alternative routes and/or schedule may be used as warranted.

Trailhead to the Inca Trail on the IMG Machu Picchu trek
George is great at assessing the abilities of his team members and pushing them without putting anyone at risk. I climb with George because he's been at it so long, and he knows what it takes not just to get to the top, but more crucially, to get the whole team down safely. I trust him implicitly...
~Bob G.
I had a wonderful time on the trek! The places we stayed and ate in were top notch. The guides were great, very helpful, and Jaimi (the guide from the local company) was excellent and very knowledgeable about the area and history. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything that could/should be changed. Thanks again for providing a wonderful experience in Peru!
~Jason G.
I want to compliment both IMG for a great effort on our Machu Picchu excursion... The places we stayed, the quality of the guides, and the overall organization was top notch... I don't think my wife and kids could have had a better overall experience and clearly one that they will cherish for a long time. I purposely booked with IMG because of my experience with your team on Mt. Rainier, and you did not let us down. I am already thinking about a few other trips... and I cannot imagine using any other guide service than IMG.
~John M.
 
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