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The Inca Trail in Comfort

from $2,479.00

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

  • Reviews 10 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 11/11/2019
5/5

Just amazing!!!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say, on the last day of hiking the guide for us up early to climb a little higher and we watched the sun come up over a glacier, the porters arrived with hot tea and it just felt a little unreal and magical. Of course arriving after 4 days of hiking to see Macchu Picchu below you is incredible.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruce was AMAZING, nothing was too much trouble and he knew so much not just about Incas but about all the flowers and everything we saw along the way, it really made the trip.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go prepared for an adventure, and ladies take loo roll in your back pack everywhere, it's often in short supply!!!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you to everyone involved in making our trip so memorable we planned this a year ago and it totally lived up to our expectations!!!!

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Inca Trail incomfort and Amazon extension

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the Sun Gate together as a group after 4 tough days of trekking and seeing Machu Picchu come into view. Our amazing, strong and cheerful porters. Respect! Our leaders Julio, Anthony and Roldan. Jungle wildlife.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio and Anthony on the Inca Trail were outstanding. Friendly, approachable, kind and supportive. Julio also very good back in Cusco etc. Lots of recommendations and advice. All clearly explained. He even came with us to the airport when we left for the Amazon. Could not fault them! Roldan for the Amazon extension. From the moment he met us at the airport he really looked after us. His knowledge and care he has for the jungle are second to none. We were so fortunate to have him as our guide.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the adventure! Look for Exodus sign outside the airport. Do not be taken in by random people who approach you in the airport with offers of help. If you can give yourself an extra day in Cusco to get over the flights. Do the Inkan Milky Way walking tour. Ask for a room at the rear or side of the hotel if you are not used to traffic noise! Stick to kit list. We didn't take rain ponchos but had it rained in the Amazon it would have been useful. Take lots of snacks for the treks (some is provided but you may want more!). Bring inflatable pillow for the Inca camping. Altitude: we took diamox, bought local product recommended to inhale and avoided alcohol to start with and were fine!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's tough and challenging but the most amazing adventure with wonderful people and supported by excellent local guides, porters and chefs.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Very beautiful and interesting trip

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top on the 2nd day of the hike was a big sense of achievement.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Tina is very kind and friendly. She did a very good job of looking after us and checking that we were managing with the altitude.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    One little thing, the kit list is missing toilet paper. Of course you can get it there but I would have preferred to know in advance that you need some for the trek! And yes it really is that cold at night you definitely need to bring properly warm clothes. Walking poles are marked as optional but we wouldn’t have made it without them! The amount of stuff you are allowed for the trek is quite small, smaller than it sounds anyway, so plan carefully.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Amazing Adventure!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the Sun Gate at the end of our trek and glimpsing Machu Picchu below was an emotional moment. Arriving at the summit of Dead Woman’s Pass on day 2 was also special. Both of these moments were enhanced by sharing the experience with a lovely group of fellow travellers.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was a wonderful leader. Organised, knowledgable, friendly and empathetic, his skill in leading our group was superb from beginning to end. As a group, we knew we were in safe hands. He was very ably assisted by Anthony, whose easy going, friendly personality really added to the group dynamic.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trek is graded as ‘moderate’ but day 2 of the trek to Dead Woman’s Pass is quite a challenge, especially in the hot weather in which we were ascending. Combine that with the effects of altitude, and putting in some training, in advance of the trip, is definitely useful. Give yourself an extra day in Cuzco prior to the beginning of the trip if possible. It definitely helped me adjust to the altitude. On the trek itself, walking poles are invaluable. Even members of our group who normally don’t use them, found them very useful in the descents. Although some snacks are provided on the trek, I would recommend taking more. The food prepared by the chefs is excellent (especially given the facilities they have at their disposal) but you’ll burn a lot of calories and I found I needed extra snacks. Finally, if you are travelling as I did in July, the night time temperatures really do drop. I used all my extra layers to keep warm.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I’ve wanted to trek the Inca Trail for a very long time and it lived up to all my expectations. The Inca Trail in Comfort trip was a fantastic trip and I would thoroughly recommend it to others.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Spectacular trek with the best trek leader

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking up over Dead Woman’s pass and the last campsite and 4000m offered breath-taking views.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot say enough good things about our group leader. Easily the best guide I have ever experienced. Friendly, informative without being overbearing. His passion for the mountains and the country of Peru is inspirational. His relationship with our porters one of mutual respect. Amazing knowledge and I genuinely warmed to the man to a degree which surprised me. One of the big highlights of our tour was the tour leader. Cesar Smith (“Smithy”) comes with my biggest recommendation.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. Read the training guide. Those that had not did struggle with some the challenging sections of the trip. Dead Woman’s Pass is a challenge for most people, so do the training for the trip.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very impressed with the porter tea. Our chef Luciano demands specific praise. The food was excellent, and varied. The lead porter Alejandro, ran a tight ship, and each of the porters were constantly busy, supporting the entire group. A really inspirational bunch of lads. They had clear respect for our tour leader, who again, I simply cannot say enough good things about. If you have any choice in the matter, try to book a tour with Smithy as your tour leader.

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