Day 01: Cusco - Llulluchapampa
We depart Cusco at 5:00 am in a private transportation, which will drive us to km.82, the starting point of the Inca Trail. We start our hike walking along the left shore of the Urubamba River. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay (2800m/9184ft), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the Inca city of Llactapata (2750m/9020ft). We then continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing until we reach the farming community of Wayllabamba (3000m/9840ft).
All along the way we see spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5832 meters above sea level. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley. Continuing through the trail, we leave Wayllabamba behind to begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of a vertical and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km and reaches the first mountain pass in the Inca Trail, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s pass). We only climb half way up the pass, stopping at Llulluchapampa, where we camp and spend the night. Along the climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation), having the chance to spot domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at that altitude. We also cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows and the Andean bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus).
We advise that on this day and the next one specially, your day-pack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with the altitude sickness.
Day 02: Llulluchapampa - Phuyupatamarca - Wiñaywayna
It’s considered the most beautiful thing and the most difficult section of the trip since we cross the highest point 4,200 m.a.s.l. /13,780 feets, on the level of the sea, named WARMIWAÑUSKA or Dead woman's pass, it will be something extensive as interesting, we will take an average of 12 hours of trek. After the breakfast we will restart the ascent with direction to the highest point of the Inca Trail, then we will initiate an intense and abrupt descend towards to Pacaymayo Valley (3600 m.a.s.l.), then the second highest point is Runkuraqay of 3900 m.a.s.l.) From that point of which we will be able to observe the snow-capped mountain Veronica and the snow-capped mountain Pumasillo in their fullness; during the day we will explore important places and archaeological centers as RUNKURAQAY, SAYACMARCA, QONCHAMARCA, CHAQUIQOCHA, PHUYUPATAMARCA, and INTIPATA.
This route offers us to enjoy eyebrow of the jungle with a variety and diversity flora and fauna on the previous days where we observed different types of forest. Besides we pass through the famous Inca tunnel after we get down Inca steps, which lead us to the famous archaeological complex WIÑAYHUAYNA (2700 m.a.s.l.) place of our last camp site.
Day 03: Wiñaywayna - Intipunku - Machu Picchu
We will get up very early around 4:00 am - to get to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), to view Machu Picchu whit the first rays of the sun. That will be a hike of 1-2 hours, with significant upward stretches in the last half. You will be walking in darkness, so a headlight is strongly recommended. The trail is marked and takes about 1½ hours.
The trail contours a mountainside and drops into cloud forest before coming to an almost vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Intipunku (Sun Gate). Suddenly the whole of Machu Picchu..
A final short hike will bring us to the entrance and into the heart of Machu Picchu itself, where we spend the rest of the morning with 2 hours guided tour and some more exploring on your own. The shuttle bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes is included, departs every 15 minutes and will be available for you descend to Aguas Calientes town.