With the Classic Inca Trail, your lifelong adventure begins today! At 4:30 a.m., your guide will take you up in our private vehicle from your Cusco hotel. From there, we go to Piskacucho, also known as Kilometer 82, the start of the Classic Inca Trail. We stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo around 6:30-7:00 a.m. on the way to refuel for our first major day. (There is no breakfast included.)
We'll have some time when we arrive at KM82 (8:30 a.m.) to organize ourselves, use the toilets, apply sunscreen, insect repellent, and so on. You will hand over your duffel bag to the porters here, leaving only a compact daypack with the necessities for the walk. For further details, see our packing list. If you booked as a student, be prepared to show your passports and student ID card at the Inca Trail checkpoint. All of your permits and tickets will be with your guide.
You will cross the Vilcanota River and follow its magnificent journey at the start of the trail (2,720m/8,923ft). The first day is a gentle warm-up through the rolling 'Inca flat' landscape. The Huillca Raccay Inca Fortress, the vast and incredible Inca site of Llactapata (also known as Patallacta), the Urubamba mountain range that separates the jungle from the Andes Mountains, and the beautiful snow-capped peak of Veronica (5,860m/19,225ft), also known as W'akay Willca, are all visible. At Hatunchaca, you have your first gourmet meal, after which you just have roughly three hours of walking to camp.
Our first campsite is about 2 hours past Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,842ft), a little settlement located in the temperate green valley of the same name. Depending on the season, nighttime temperatures can drop to as low as 5oC. The dry season, which runs from May through September, is generally cooler.
Your afternoon tea and snacks will be waiting for you when you arrive at camp. Enjoy a nice beverage before settling into your tents, which will be waiting for you.
- Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
- Accommodation: Camping facilities
- Distance: 12kms/7.5mls (about 6 hours hiking)
- Difficulty: Easy/Moderate