What is the ultimate Peru trekking experience? An off-the-beaten-path alternative Andean trek PLUS the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu!
That’s right – add the famous Inca Trail and Machu Picchu to just about any of our alternative treks in Peru for the perfect mix of off-the-beaten-path adventure in Peru and no-miss classic experiences.
The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu 2D Extension is available for the following treks:
Cusco can experience every season in a single day, so you should be prepared for sun and rain, cold and hot weather! We recommend a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, sweater, rain gear or plastic poncho, winter hat or toque and gloves. In addition, you should bring:
Visiting Machu Picchu
The first part of this Inca Trail and Machu Picchu extension follows the same itinerary as is standard for your alternative trek. On the last day of your trek, instead of returning to Cusco, we will transfer you to the village of Ollantaytambo. You will spend the night in Ollantaytambo in a standard hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hotel with breakfast included and private bathroom. You can also upgrade to a higher quality hotel.
The next day, Day 1 of your Inca Trail and Machu Picchu extension begins!
We pick you up early this morning and head to the train station where we will catch the train to Km 104, the start of the Inca Trail for us. It’s a lovely 2 hour train ride on a very picturesque route. Before we begin the hike, we’ll cross the bridge over the Urubamba River to visit Chachabamba (2050m / 6725 ft), a lovely archaeological site known for its flowing water channels and fountains.
From this point, we hike uphill for about 3-4h until we reach Wiñay Wayna (“forever young” in Quechua), an amazing Inca agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector (2680m / 8792 ft). This is a tough stretch with lots of stone steps, so be prepared for a leg workout! We’ll take plenty of breaks to rest our weary legs and admire the vista stretching out before us. We’ll rest at Wiñay Wayna and enjoy our boxed lunch here. Many consider Wiñay Wayna the most impressive site along the entire Inca Trail!
After lunch, we continue another hour to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate (2730m / 8956 ft), from where we will have our first dramatic views of Machu Picchu (2400m / 7874 ft). As we will be arriving late in the day, you have the view all to yourself! After getting those classic shots of Machu Picchu, we will walk down the last part of the trail towards the site. We deviate to the side in order to walk down towards the area where we will catch the bus to Aguas Calientes below, where we will spend the night in order to have a full day at Machu Picchu on Day 2. We check into our accommodations and enjoy a celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes before hitting the hay in preparation for an early start tomorrow.
Total Walking Distance – 13 km
Total Walking Time – 7 h
Minimum Altitude – 2400m/7,874ft / Maximum Altitude –2670m/8,759ft
After an early breakfast, we’ll take the first bus up from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. Your 4h visit to Machu Picchu can be spent exploring some of the alternative routes, like the Inca Bridge, after which your guide will give you a 2-3h walking tour of the historic citadel.
If you’re feeling adventurous you may wish to hike Huayna Picchu (2720m/8923ft) or Machu Picchu mountain, but take note: this requires an extra permit, and they can sell out well in advance! Be sure to tell us at booking if you would like to add one of these hikes. For more recommendations on what to see, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.
After an included boxed lunch, you will return by bus to Aguas Calientes in order to catch your train back to Ollantaytambo, where our private car will be waiting to return you to Cusco.