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The Inca Trail in Comfort

from $2,579.00

Enjoy a little extra comfort as you follow in the footsteps of the Peruvian
Incas

  • Reviews 27 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 16
All about the The Inca Trail in Comfort.

This trip follows a similar itinerary to our popular Inca Trail trek but with upgraded hotels throughout, an included Sacred Valley tour and included sleeping bag hire. While on the trek itself, we also offer a more varied range of meals and a higher personal weight limit than on our standard Inca Trail itineraries, allowing you to take more clothes and personal items to give that little extra comfort. This trip is designed to maximise the time spent at Machu Picchu with an early morning tour of the ruins, quieter at that hour before the crowds of day trippers and other trekkers arrive. (Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail Permits have sold out).

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
* All transport and listed activities
* Sleeping bag hire for trek duration
* Inflatable sleeping mat for trek duration
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport arrival and departure transfers
* Full porterage throughout trek
* Kitbag

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu to discover the ruins
  • Visit the Sacred Valley, including Pisac and Ollantaytambo
  • Explore the museums and churches of the ancient Inca capital, Cuzco
  • Have two days to acclimatize before the trek
  • Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out.  Inquire for details on the itinerary which replaces those days in the trip when the group walks the standard Inca trail.
  • 5 nights premium hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
  • 4 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Altitude maximum 4215m, average 3050m
  • Increased personal weight limit of 10kg on trek
  • Travel by private bus and train
  1. Day 1 Start Cuzco (3400m); free time to explore the Inca capital.

    Set amidst hills in the altiplano, the Imperial City of the Incas, Cuzco (3,400) was the geographic, cultural and political centre of a vast empire which, at its peak, stretched from present-day Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile. After the Spanish conquistadores invaded the city they started building on top of the Incan structures, resulting in unique architecture, a fusion of the Incan and Spanish colonial styles.The group flights usually arrive in the mid-afternoon, giving time to wander the cobbled streets, visit the museums, churches and pre-Columbian buildings, such as Qorikancha – the Sun Temple, or to sit in a café and enjoy a coca-tea.There will be a briefing in the evening.*Hotel San Agustin Plaza / Eco Inn (or similar)** *

  2. Day 2 Visit the Sacred Valley; continue to Ollantaytambo (2800m).

    Today we visit the magnificent Sacred Valley of the Incas and the incredible ruins at Pisac before continuing on to Ollantaytambo, where we spend the night.The Sacred Valley, which runs along the Urubamba River near Cuzco, is the true heartland of Incan culture and tradition, which is still strong today. The high-Andean scenery is dotted with old towns and villages dating back to pre-Columbian times. The ruins of the Citadel at Pisac guarded a road from the lowlands and gives way to a picturesque landscape of terraces carved into the solid rock itself. The Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo give you a sense of the scale of what is to come as huge stone terraces scale the valley sides. This was the royal estate of Inca Emperor Pachacuti as well as being of religious and defensive significance.*Hotel Pakaripampu (or similar)***

  3. Day 3 The Classic Inca Trail: Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

    The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer, Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo; our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.*Walk Profile: approx. 11km / 6‐7hrs walking**Full-service Camping – Huayllabamba Camp*

  4. Day 4 The Classic Inca Trail: Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4215m), then descend to Pacaymayu.teps to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day. A long climb (largely up stone staircases) takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s) pass, at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).*Walk Profile: approx. 10km / 6‐7hrs walking**Full-service Camping – Pacamayo Camp*

  5. Day 5 The Classic Inca Trail: Over Runquracay Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

    We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. We pass the ruins of Sayajmarca and suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We camp at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.*Walk Profile: approx. 12km / 5-6hrs walking**Full-service Camping – Phuyupatamarca Camp*

  6. Day 6 The Classic Inca Trail: Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

    From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two-kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow.There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however, in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Moonstone Trek at the hotel this afternoon.*Walk Profile: approx. 9km / 6-7hrs walking**Hotel Casa Andina, Aguas Calientes (or similar)*

  7. Day 7 Early morning guided tour of Machu Picchu; free time to explore further, then return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it, the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, Exodus will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).*Hotel San Agustin Plaza / Eco Inn (or similar)***

  8. Day 8 Free day Cuzco; optional activities available.

    Today has been left free to relax after the trek or explore Cuzco further. There are a number of optional excursions available which your tour leader can arrange for you. If you still have the energy you could choose to mountain bike in the Sacred Valley, taking in a 30-35km ride through Moray, Maras and then down to Sacred Valley through ancient communities, farming fields and amazing Andean landscape.. Alternatively, you could try your hand at paddle boarding on Lake Piuray near the town of Chinchero. Or, if feeling more subdued, take it easy and watch the world go by in Cuzco’s Plaza de Armas.*Hotel San Agustin Plaza / Eco Inn (or similar)*

  9. Day 9 End Cuzco.

    For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport this morning for your overnight flight to London.

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Where you stay

Premium Hotels & Camping

We spend 5 nights in premium quality hotels and 3 nights full-service camping.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. On this holiday, the hotels that we use offer greater comfort than those on our standard Inca Trail tour – all are a minimum of a local 4-star rating. All of the properties are centrally located, with en suite bathrooms and breakfast facilities and many feature Colonial architecture. In Cuzco the properties that we use are all located within the old town and within walking distance of the Plaza de Armas. All hotels have a safety deposit box in the room.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets.

The trek itself is on a full-service camping basis, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your day pack. We use three-man tents for those on a twin share basis and two-man tents for singles. The tents are relatively spacious with enough room inside for the kitbags. We provide thermarest-type mats which are about 4cm thick when inflated and 3-4 season sleeping bags with a liner.

We also have a dining tent complete with table and folding chairs, and toilet tents for use during lunch stops as well as during the evenings. A hot drink and a bowl of warm water (to wash with) will be brought to your tent each morning.

We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post-tour accommodation. A limited number of single supplements (hotel and tent) are available on this trip; please request upon booking.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the tour.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), Alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

In the hotels breakfasts are normally buffet-style.

While on the trek itself, we also offer a more varied range of meals than on our standard Inca Trail itineraries to give that little extra comfort. For instance, substantial breakfasts including a cooked dish, a cooked lunch including soup or a starter followed by a hot main dish (usually with hot drinks), and a hearty three-course cooked dinner, are typical.

Drinking water is provided. The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from.

This is a Moderate grade trek (level 3) – please refer to our activity level guidelines. There are four days point-to-point walking with full porterage, reaching a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman’s Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner’s trek to anyone with no previous trekking experience. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation beforehand. The trek is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek.

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend one day in Cuzco (3400m) and one in Ollantaytambo (2800m) acclimatising before starting the trek.

Protest action/strikes are not uncommon in Peru, and whilst these are generally peaceful, they can involve roadblocks and cause disruption to travel. Occasionally your leader may have to adapt your itinerary in response to this.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Inca Trail Regulations

There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible.
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased on your behalf. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure.
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities.
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking and keep it somewhere safe.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: While your departure date may be ‘Guaranteed’, your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be ‘On Request’. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options. 

Alternative Moonstone Trek

Once Inca Trail permits have sold out for a given date, we can no longer accept bookings for the classic Inca Trail trek. However, we can offer an equally spectacular alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place. The remote high altitude Moonstone Trek takes in a number of recently discovered Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites and there are practically no other tourists along the route.

If selected, the Moonstone Trek will replace days 3 to 6 of the standard land only itinerary. The maximum altitude on the Moonstone Trek is 4625m (higher than that of the classic Inca Trail) and the route is slightly more strenuous. Therefore we class it as a Moderate/Challenging trek (level 4).

 

Depending on the split of the group between the Inca Trail and Moonstone Trek, you may find small group sizes on the Moonstone Trek. Please ask your Sales Consultant if you would like to know how many people are booked on each.

Whilst the Moonstone Trek can also be booked preferentially while Inca Trail permits are still available, a small group supplement may apply.

New List of Regulations for visiting Machu Picchu (which apply from July 1st 2018).

The main points impacting your visit are the following:

  1. The tickets are valid only for one entry which means that you cannot leave the site and re-enter.
  2. Once you have done the chosen circuit with your guide, you cannot walk back to view anything already visited and once you finish the circuit, you will have to leave the site. You can no longer explore the site further after the guided tour.
  3. The two visit times for visiting the site, either 6am-12pm or 12-16.30pm.

These new regulations will affect how long you are able to spend at Machu Picchu.  In the past, after the guided tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site, this is not possible anymore. The alternative that we are implementing on our visits to allow you further time, is to explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun Gate and Inca Bridge) before starting the guided tour.  The guided tour will be about 2 hrs in duration, and unfortunately at the end of it, you will need to exit the site.

Schedule of visit to Machu Picchu on this itinerary:

  • Early bus to Machu Picchu and explore upper part with the tour leader until 10am.
  • 10 am start the guided tour
  • 12.30pm passengers leave Machu Picchu.
Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

A trip of a lifetime

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was looking forward to the Inca Trail in particular, and saw the visit to Machu Picchu as secondary, and potentially over-hyped, especially after visiting lots of Inca sites on the trail. I am pleased to say that the trail certainly didn't disappoint, I loved every minute of it. I am also pleased to say that Machu Picchu itself actually exceeded expectations; words like awesome and inspiring help but it is difficult to find words to adequately describe the experience, it really does have to be experienced at first hand.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    It helps to have a great leader, and we had one of the best. "Olly" was the glue that held the group together and made the whole experience special. His knowledge was second to none, and his confidence soon spread through the group. With everything being "20 minutes", along with our often recited phrase of "Where's Olly", these memories will live long.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for a long flight(s) and if you are not a good road traveller then I would suggest closing your eyes a lot. Don't worry about any 'altitude' issues, acclimatization will come quite quickly. Don't be squeamish about the use of 'facilities' whilst on the trail, and throw yourself wholeheartedly into it. Prepare for a fantastic lifetime experience.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The extra "in comfort" package is well worth it, if for no other reason than having the ability to have a long soak in the bath at the end of the trail, rather than another night in a tent. A good group makes all the difference and I was certainly lucky to have one of the best.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Inca Trail in confort with Titicca extension

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of dead woman's pass and having a Condor fly pass at the summit!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    First class
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take local currency as exchange rate much better in the UK!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Fantastic experience!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This was my first experience of South America, wild camping and remote trekking, all 3 have provided memories which will last a lifetime! I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to experience the trek with such a great group.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Nothing was too much trouble for "Olly", having completed the trek over 300 times he was an expert in all areas and had plenty of enthusiasm. He can also run up the monkey steps to the sun gate in seconds! Our bags failed to arrive until 2 hours before the trek departed from Cusco (through no fault of KLM or Exodus), and Olly went out of his way to ensure we had a back up plan to hire and buy necessary gear.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have strong bug spray and a buff or bandana to wrap around your neck. It was hot and sunny everyday during an October trek!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The premium version of the trip was well worth the extra cost, the last night being in a hotel with a shower was much anticipated by the whole group!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

A fantastic time on the Inca trail!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cloud city campsite. Spectacular sunrise there.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    He was a superstar.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ask for Wilbert! (And bring walking poles!)

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Wonderful Moonstone Trek!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although I'd have to say Machu Picchu was the crown jewel, seeing the beautiful stars at night, fabulous sunsets, and visiting Incan burial sites were all awe-inspiring!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    For the trek we had Tina, who was great fun and took superb care of us. It was as if we took another friend along! We were able to hike at our own pace and felt very well looked after. During our time in the city, and with the entire group, Fabrizzio was just as good! He was very knowledgeable about Incan history and culture, and had obvious pride in his country and heritage, as did Tina.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is some tough hiking! I'd advise going a few days ahead to Cusco for extra acclimatization. (And drink the coca tea ALL the time!)Being aerobically fit does not necessarily help overcome the altitude issues. Bring a pole or poles! (Even my 22 y-o daughter found a pole useful to steady her footing.) Nights at altitude are VERY cold (near freezing)l although daytime temps are mild. LAYERS! The sun is fierce! Have a good sun hat plus sunscreen.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't overpack. We had more than enough of the right clothes and just used a carry on bag plus a day pack. Consider the Moonstone Trek if you'd like a more challenging and equally beautiful hike with plenty of Incan sites along the way. I personally like the peace and quiet of the trail versus constantly passing and being passed along the trail, so I found it perfect in that regard. I read "Turn Right at Macchu Picchu" before I went, and HIGHLY recommend it as informative and entertaining reading to get yourself in the mindset for the trip!

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