At GOTOPERU, we have created the best itinerary that an adventurous traveler desires; the Inca Trail and Rainbow Mountain Tour is perfect for any visitor looking to trek the legendary Inca Trail and hike to Vinicunca Mountain or Rainbow Mountain. Visit these two impressive destinations with the best comforts that GOTOPERU offers our clients.
Welcome to Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire and one of the most iconic cities in the world. We will be waiting for your arrival at the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport and then transfer you to your hotel in the city of Cusco.
You will have the morning free to take a short walk and take some photos around the Historical Center of the city before your half-day city tour begins. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a guided City Tour of Cusco and the surrounding archaeological sites, such as Qorikancha temple – most known as the Temple of the Sun and Sacsayhuaman Fortress – a place that served for the Inti Raymi to take place. You will also visit Tambomachay which is located in the upper part of the beautiful city of Cusco.
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 will stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo around 6:30–7:00 a.m. on the way to refuel for our first major day.
We'll have some time when we arrive at Km 82 (around 8:30 a.m.) to organize ourselves, use the toilets, and apply sunscreen and insect repellent before starting your trekking. 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. Be prepared to show your passport 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 (2,720 m/8,923 ft). 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 (5,860 m/19,225 ft), also known as W'akay Willca, are all visible. At Hatunchaca, you have your first meal, then three hours of walking to camp.
Our first camping site is about 2 hours past Wayllabamba (3,000 m/9,842 ft), a little settlement located in the temperate green valley of the same name. Depending on the season, night 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.
Meals included: B, L, D
Accommodation: Base Camp
Distance: 12 km/7,5 mi (about 6 hours of trekking)
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
At 5:30 a.m., your guide will wake you with a mug of tea or coffee. Before getting up for breakfast, enjoy your hot beverage in your sleeping bag. You begin a tough ascent towards the highest pass, Abra de Warmihuausca, commonly known as Dead Woman's Pass, at 4,200 m/13,779 ft, with your daypacks as light as possible. Reaching the summit on this day will give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment! After a well-deserved photo stop, you continue the descent to Pacaymayu (3,550 m/11,646 ft), where you will have lunch.
You'll witness a variety of hummingbirds and other bird species as you make your way up to the pass. There will be a lot of opportunities to admire the variety of wonderful local species, as well as the Polylepis, or Q'ueua trees, which thrive in the spectacular cloud forest at 3,650 m/11,972 ft.
After lunch, you will begin the second two-hour ascent up Runkuraqay Pass (4,000 m/13,123 ft). By 5 p.m., you've arrived at your campsite, where afternoon tea and snacks await you. During the night, the temperature at this camping site is around 4°C.
Meals included: B, L, D
Accommodation: Base Camp
Distance: 16 km/10 mi (about 9 hours of trekking)
Difficulty: Moderate – Challenging
Do not forget that this is the most impressive day so far as you soar on day three. Before you get up for breakfast, your guide will wake you at 6 a.m. with another hot mug of tea or coffee in your tent. The day begins with a gradual ascent to the Phuyupatamarca archaeological site or Village in the Clouds. We reach the third highest point of the Inca route (3,680 m/12,073 ft) here. The mountain, canyon, and surrounding area views are breathtaking.
A little distance from the third pass is the enormous Inca site of Phuyupatamarca. After visiting this site, we will continue walking through the cloud forest for another 3,000 steps to the spectacular Inca site of Intipata. The temperature will elevate as you descend from the highlands. You're getting close to not only Machu Picchu but also the Amazon jungle. After visiting Intipata, you continue to Wiay Wayna (2,680 m/8,792 ft), your third campground. You will only stroll for 4 to 5 hours today. By midday, you'll be in camp! The nighttime temperature is around 12°C.
The famed Inca site of Wiay Wayna, which means "Forever Young" in Quechua, is just a short walk from your campsite. It was named for a unique orchid that thrives in the area.
Meals included: B, L, and D
Accommodation: Base Camp
Distance: 10 km/6,2 mi (about 5 hours of trekking)
It's time to get up at 4:00 a.m. with more hot drinks and begin day four of the Inca Trail. This is the last leg of your journey, and you should arrive at the Sun Gate, also known as Inti Punku, by 6:00 a.m. The majestic Machu Picchu Citadel, full of mystic energy, will be in front of you at that point, an incredible sight for anyone to view. As the sun rises behind you, you can see sunlight spilling down like a molten goal over the fortress from the Sun Gate. Finally, we will descend to Machu Picchu Citadel (2,400 m/7,872 ft). We access the citadel from the top through the "House of the Guardians" after a 40-minute trek. We then go to the control gate, where we register and drop off any bulky backpacks or walking sticks. Only small bags, such as camera bags, are permitted inside the citadel. Walking poles are not allowed due to the risk of damaging the stones.
Your tour will last approximately two hours and will be led by your guide. The Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sun Dial, the Quarry, and the House of the Inca are all included in your Machu Picchu tour. You'll also learn about the three sectors that Machu Picchu is separated into: agricultural, residential, and religious.
Those who have booked extra hikes up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain in advance will have the opportunity to enjoy the views on their own after your tour. You'll take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch once you've had your fill of the amazing views of Machu Picchu (not included). Depending on your train schedule, you may have time to go shopping, sightseeing, or visit a museum or hot springs.
The train will return you to Ollantaytambo via the beautiful Urubamba River. The canyon is tight in Aguas Calientes, and the river has numerous excellent whitewater parts. If you gaze up high on the steep canyon wall, you can see Wiay Wayna from the train. Your driver will meet you at the train station exit in Ollantaytambo and drive you back to your Cusco hotel in our private vehicle.
Meals included: B
Distance: 6 km/3,7 mi
The day you will enjoy a full-day tour to Rainbow Mountain. We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco early in the morning and start driving through the South Valley to the trailhead at Cusipata. After a delicious breakfast, we will begin our walk, following a beautiful path that finishes with an amazing view of Vinicunca Mountain, popularly known as Rainbow Mountain. At the top of the Rainbow Mountain, you can have a panoramic view of Ausangate Mountain. When we come back to the base, we will travel to Cusipata to have lunch, and then you will return to the City of Cusco.
We will escort you to the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport to take your flight back home.
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INCA TRAIL AND RAINBOW MOUNTAIN