5D/4N Tour:Cusco City Tour, Super Sacred Valley, Inca Trail 2D with Camping & Rainbow Mountain
Price:$1450USD per person
BREAKING NEWS:Permits for all 2018 Inca Trail treks on sale now.If you are looking to do this adventure in 2018 you need to BOOK NOW.It's never too early, book now for 2019.
Day 1: Welcome to Cusco + Cusco City Tour
Welcome to the Imperial City of Cusco! Our friendly representatives will welcome you at the Cusco airport and transfer you to your accommodation in Cusco. Please keep in mind that landing at 3,300 m.a.s.l. can have its toll on the body. Do not feel concern if upon arrival you experience some shortness of breath or a small headache. This will all go on time. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you take it easy upon arrival and let your body ease into the altitude by staying hydrated.
Your Cusco City Tour will begin at 13:00 hrs, when we will come to pick you up meet at your hotel lobby. In this tour, you will visit the key sights in the city centre and Inca archaeological sites in the surroundings, including Cusco Cathedral, the Q’oricancha Museum, Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay.
To begin, we will head to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas (main square), to visit the famous Cusco Cathedral. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral will awe you with its impressive architecture, extensive collection of original art works and all gold-leafing decorating the altars.
Continuing on, we will continue on foot through an ancient Inca-built street from the Plaza de Armas to the Q’oricanca or the Temple of the Sun. At the Q’oricancha, you will be able to compare and contrast the building methods of the Incan culture and the Spanish conquerors. This was the key spiritual center of the Incas, leading to all four quarters of the Inca Empire. There is also a bronze, high altar to be seen.
From Q’oricancha, your group will walk down Avenida El Sol, where you will take your bus for your 25-minute car drive outside the city to visit the most important archaeological sites around Cusco. You will be taken to the majestic Inca site of Sacsayhuaman, with its enigmatic 200-ton monoliths. Here, you will have a guided tour of the site and then free time to explore on your own. From Sacsayhuaman, you will take a five minute bus ride to the Q’enqo Inca site to see its fascinating Incan altars. Following, you will take another five minute drive to Puca Pucara, a small, circular Inca site. The final stop on our tour is Tambomachay, a water temple with impressive water fountains, thought to be used by the Inca for bathing. We’ll then drive back down to Cusco where the tour ends in the main square.
Accommodation: Rumi Punku (3-star hotel)
Day 2: Super Sacred Valley
Today´s tour will begin with an early morning pick up, at approximately 07:30 hrs, from your accommodation in Cusco. This tour will be a full day tour in which you will have the opportunity to visit the most important and beautiful sites of the Sacred Valley, including the town of Pisac, Moray, Maras and Ollantaytambo.
From Cusco, we will head to the first stop of the tour, the town of Pisac. This will be approximately a 45-minute car drive. On the way, we will stop at some of the most beautiful lookout points from where to see the Sacred Valley. Once in Pisac, we will arrive at the town's traditional market for a brief exposure to all local artisans and their colorful merchandise. This stop will be the perfect opportunity for some souvenir shopping. Still in Pisac, we will continue to the town´s main archaeological site, where you will be first introduced to the day´s learnings about the powerful Inca Empire.
After the guided tour in Pisac, we will continue with your tour by heading on a 1-hour car drive to the next town of Urubamba for lunch. Here, you will have the option to choose where to grab a bite to eat.
Continuing on, we will make our way to Moray after lunch. Moray is an archaeological site located in the Sacred Valley and known for its unusual ruins. The site is composed of deep, circular terraces thought to have been agricultural terraces during the Inca Empire. At this site, you will have the opportunity to contemplate the grandeur of such site and will be amazed by the perfection of such construction.
From Moray, the tour will continue to the next stop at the town of Maras. It is here where you will be mesmerized by the naturally occurring salt mines still cultivated to date. This site will be sure to impress you by the thousands of small salt-evaporating on ponds. Be sure to check the small shop offering some of the most soothing baths slats made from the extracted salt in Maras.
To finish off, we will head to the last stop of the tour – the town of Ollantaytambo. Once here, you will explore the town´s archaeological fortress along with one of the most important Sun Temples of the region.
Your tour will end after your guided tour in Ollantaytambo. We will make sure to drop you off at your accommodation here.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu (3-star hotel)
Meals: Breakfast (at the hotel)
Day 3: Inca Trail Hike 2D with Camping
Your day will begin with an early morning pick up from your accommodation in Ollantaytambo – at approximately 05:30 hrs. From here, we will head to the train station to catch the 06:10 hrs train headed to Aguas Calientes town. The train tracks follow the Urubamba River and will give you spectacular views of the nearby farmlands, snow-capped mountains and the mighty Urubamba River itself. The train ride will be approximately 45 minutes, and will take us directly to the trek´s trail head, commonly known as KM 104 located at 2,000 m.a.s.l.
Once at the trailhead, we will have some time to get ready for the day´s hike. Here you will meet your trekking chef and porters and will also enjoy breakfast before starting your trek. Be sure you bring your original passport, since this is the very first checkpoint along the Inca Trail. After breakfast, you will visit the first Inca site on this trail, Chachabamba - the first ancient Incan checkpoint for entering to the Inca trail, and will have a brief guided tour to understand its importance. It is also here, where we will take a moment to take group photo for the books!
The hike will begin from KM 104 on a gently uphill trail towards the Classic Inca Trail. If the weather is clear, we will have tremendous views of Machu Picchu,the Urubamba River and other surrounding Inca Sites. There will also be waterfalls to be seen. The trail itself has some flat areas, as well as some short uphill and downhill hikes. It also has steps, arranged in sections that can be narrow in some areas, but not dangerous. After hiking for approximately 3 hours, we will reach the most beautiful Incan site on the Inca Trail, Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) at 2,600 m.a.s.l. Here you will visit and learn about the sites impressive and water fountains, temples and agricultural terraces. The backdrop of Wiñay Wayna will also be sure to impress you, dropping off a cliff, with beautiful mountains surrounding the area.
From Wiñay Wayna, it will only be a short walk to the lunch spot, where your trekking chef and porters will be ready with cold drinks and delicious, fresh food, prepared by our cook, and served buffet-style. After lunch, there will be time for a short nap.
After lunch, we will continue trekking to the Sun Gate, used by Incas to observe the sunrise from Machu Picchu during the summer solstice, and from where we will see the picturesque landscape of Machu Picchu. This hike will be approximately 1 hour of gradual uphill and downhill hiking. At this location, we will take enough time to breathe in the beauty of the surrounding sights before continuing on with on. From here, it will be another 1 hour hike to the Machu Picchu ruins. Once in Machu Picchu, you can explore the watchtower area where you can get charming pictures of Machu. A big advantage of this hike, is that by the time we reach Machu Picchu, most of the day travelers will have returned home. This will leave the sights of Machu Picchu to be almost empty.
From Machu Picchu, we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and head to the campsite in Puente Ruinas. When you arrive at the campsite, your tents will be all set up. You will meet your porters, and enjoy a social happy hour with hot drinks and dinner. Later in the evening, we’ll have a small ceremony with your chef and porters in order to say good bye to them. They will still be there the next morning to cook breakfast.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner Entrance
Day 4: Visit To Machu Picchu
Today will be the most important day of your tour. To get the most out of the day, we encourage every group to have an early breakfast before catching one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (starting at 5:30 a.m.). The hotel will hold your bags for you while in Machu Picchu. This way, you will only be required to take your personal backpack with all essentials up to Machu Picchu. The bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu will take approximately 30 minutes.
Once in Machu Picchu, your guide will introduce you the beauty of Machu Picchu. You will head directly to a well-sought out location from where you will watch the sunrise and take photographs. Your guide will then guide you around the main sectors of the citadel, for a total of 2.5 hours. During this guided tour, you will learn some more about the history and culture of the Inca Empire. At the end of the tour, you will have some time to yourself or, if you arranged to hike either extra hike, Huayna Picchu Mountain* or Machu Picchu Mountain, your guide will show you where to begin this hike.
For your return from Machu Picchu, we recommend to begin heading back to Aguas Calientes town by no later than 2 hours prior to your train departure. Your guide will inform you of your train times prior to your return. The train return from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo will take approximately 2 hours. In Ollantytambo, our Alpaca Staff will be waiting for your right by the station´s exit door ready to bring you back to Cusco by car. The car ride to Cusco will be approximately 2 hours and will have you dropped off at your hotel in Cusco.
OPTIONS: *Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain are both additional hikes available once inside Machu Picchu. Either extra hike may be hikes after your guided tour of Machu Picchu and must be arranged ahead of time. Both hikes are subject to availability and at an extra cost of USD $75 per person.
Accommodation: Rumi Punku (3-star hotel)
Meals: Breakfast (at the hotel)
Day 5: Rainbow Mountain
Your day´s trek will begin with an early-morning pick from your accommodation in Cusco at 04.00 hrs. From here, it will be a 3.5 car drive in our private van passing through traditional villages to the trail head. At the trail head, we will stop and enjoy a hearty breakfast, prepared by our trekking chef.
After breakfast, we will begin the hike from Chillca located at 3,700 m.a.s.l., until the famous Rainbow Mountain. This hike will be approximately 4-hours along gradually ascending terrain. Along the way, you will enjoy amazing views of the Andes, glacial peaks, red mountains, rocky hills, and traditional llamas and alpacas grazing along the valley. As you reach the summit of the mountain, you will be able to spot some Andean wildlife too. This is one of the few places in Cusco where you can see wild Vicuñas, the Andean camel. Vicuñas are in the same family as llamas, although they are smaller. Their wool is the most expensive wool in the world.
Once we arrive at the top of Rainbow Mountain, you will have enough time to absorb the majesty of the red mountains that surround this area. You will also see amazing views of the valleys and Ausangate Glacier Peak in front of you. Ausangate is the tallest mountain of the Cusco region (just under 21,000 ft elevation) and is part of the Cordillera Vilcanota Range. While taking in these magnificent views, our staff will bring you some hot drinks and share some information with you about the composition of these mountains and how they became striated in the rainbow of colours.
After taking a few amazing pictures and soaking in the views (perhaps we will even see a few condors floating on the air currents), we will begin our descent back to the trail head. This will be a 2 hour, downhill hike. We will then meet up with our trekking chef and enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared, hot lunch.
After lunch, we will start our return trip back to the Chillca village, to catch our private van back to Cusco. We will drop you off at your hotel around 7 - 8 p.m.
Accommodation: Rumi Punku (3-star hotel)
Meals: Breakfast (at the hotel) Entrance
End of Tour
** All hotels are based on availability. Any changes will be made with your approval. **
In order to hike the Inca Trail, you must have a permit which we will obtain for you. The first step to making this booking is to make sure these permits from the government are still available. These links are updated in real time. You just need a permit for your start date.
JANUARY 2018: SOLD OUT
FEBRUARY 2018: Closed for Trail maintenance
MARCH 2018: AVAILABLE
APRIL 2018: AVAILABLE
MAY 2018: AVAILABLE
JUNE 2018: AVAILABLE
JULY 2018: AVAILABLE
AUGUST 2018: AVAILABLE
SEPTEMBER 2018: AVAILABLE
OCTOBER 2018: AVAILABLE
NOVEMBER 2018: AVAILABLE
DECEMBER 2018: AVAILABLE
Professional Guides: All of our guides studied English and tourism at Cusco National University. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Hotels: Included in this tour is three evenings in Cusco and one evening in Ollantaytambo. We can easily add extra nights before the tour, if needed. Let our team know if you are interested in extending and we will give you a quote. Rooms are based on double occupancy. There is a surcharge for a single room. Upgraded hotels are always possible. We can also book the tour without any hotels, if you prefer to book them on your own.
Transportation: All your transportation is included on this tour. We will pick you up from your hotel around 1 p.m., on the first morning, and will make sure you are escorted until your are brought back to your hotel, around 8 p.m.the final evening.
Tickets: All entrance fees are included ( BTG boleto turistico for City Tour, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu fe , bus tickets for round from/to Aguas Calientes )
Train Tickets: Train tickets are in Expeditions tourist class , from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is at 7.00 pm and from Aguas Calientes to Ollanatyatmbo is at 4.20 pm, if you hoping to upgrade to Vistadome train then is $ 75 one way and $100 round trip, 3:37 pm from Ollantaytambo and 4:43 pm from Agaus Calientes to Poroy.
Transfers: No matter which train you take from Machu Picchu to Cusco, the transfer back from train station to your hotel is included
Meals: Meals are not included unless otherwise noted but our guides will recommend some good places
Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep, if you are scared of heights. This is done without your tour guide, after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $75 per person. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance, due to popularity. Please understand that weather is out of our control.
Flights: Flying to Cusco can be tricky. Delays occur often and it is not uncommon for flights to be cancelled. Please be sure to arrive in the city at least two days before your trek start date. LAN Peru is the most reliable of the airlines. Avianca and Peruvian Airlines are acceptable companies, as well. You will not be return from your trek until around 8 p.m. on the last day, so be sure your flight is not until the next day, when leaving Cusco.
Gratuities: Tipping is always appreciated and should be based completely on your satisfaction. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Travel Insurance: This is not required, but always recommended. For those of you who live at sea-level, landing in Cusco will take an adjustment period. Most people need one or two days to adjust. In case you have a hard time adjusting to the altitude, it is suggested to have protection for missed tours.
We can depart any day of the week, as long as permits are available. Please remember, permits are only needed for your start date.
$1450 Per Person
** Single room supplement: $285 Per Person
$35 Per Student
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using an university student card to receive the discount, we need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 17-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to email@example.com.
More Information about STUDENT CARD
Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Additional Options section for more details.
Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. While this hike is done on your own, your guide will direct you to where this hike begins. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you with advance notice.
$75 Per Person
Machu Picchu Mountain ( you can only climb this mountain if have extra day to visit Machu picchu )
Machu Picchu mountain is the other mountain that stands above the Machu Picchu ruins. It offers even more stunning views than Huayna Picchu, but takes an hour and a half to reach the top. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you.
$75 Per Person
All our tours include the Expeditions (Tourist) Train. This train is normally booked at 4:22 p.m., leaving Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome train is an upgraded train, that offers slightly larger seats, windows and even some entertainment. Normally the Vistadome train is booked for 4:43 p.m. and travels to Poroy, a train station closer to Cusco. While this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel.
$75 Per Student
Getting to Cusco
The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.
The best way to get to Cusco is by air and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive, but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.
Any extra luggage you have with you can be left safely in Cusco at either your hotel or with us at the Alpaca Expeditions deposit while you trek. We will grab from you the morning of your trek and return once you are back in Cusco. Make sure your bags have some kind of identification on them so they are easy to locate.
As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. This is why we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. If you have more time, even better. Cusco is an amazing city with a lot to do, so you won’t be bored.
With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office and we will help you get to a doctor.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
Remember the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness when they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slowly, it will give your body time to adjust to the mountain.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.
You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly. Drink lots of water. And enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you unfortunately get sick, let your guide know right away – all Alpaca Expeditions guides are trained in how to help you get through it.
Of course weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.
Also prepare for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm winter-weight jacket.
Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February – every single Alpaca guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They know how to make you feel better.
In case something unexpected happens and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way off the course and to a clinic. You will never be left alone, you will have a member of the team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.
To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. In fact, we work with a great agency in the United States that has helped to make it easy and affordable. This is a great way to protect yourself while visiting Peru.
If interested in booking through our trusted partner, Ahart, Frinzi & Smith, CLICK HERE.
Alpaca Expeditions uses biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups, as well. We also use environmentally-friendly chemical portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.
Alpaca Expeditions is really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs their families were missing. We have supported local schools by giving them computers and books. We currently sponsor a teacher at the village most of our porters come from to ensure their children are offered the best education.
We buy all our food from local farmers and markets and serve the freshest ingredients. We provide English classes for all our team: guides, porters, chefs and drivers. And we are building a house for our porters to give them a safe and comfortable place to stay before and after our treks so they no longer need to sleep on the floor of a friend.
And twice every year we bring our porters and their families to Machu Picchu. This is our favorite trip to do as the guys who work tirelessly have never visited the Lost Citadel of the Incas. Showing them this place is our biggest honor.
We are always looking to do more for our partners. Please let us know of your ideas and we will work to help.
Personal Porter Included
All of our treks include porters, who are responsible for carrying and setting up all equipment. They will also carry your personal duffel, which you will receive at your briefing the night before your trek. This duffel can not exceed 7 kg/14 lbs, and must include your sleeping bag and an air mattress.
Each Alpaca Expeditions porter is given a proper uniform, salary and insurance. They are the backbone of our company.
- Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
FOR YOUR DUFFEL:
Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
- 2-3 wicking t-shirts
- 2-3 hiking pants
- 4 sets of undergarments.
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
- 1 Rain jacket and pants
- 1 sun hat
- 1 wool hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean - might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Face moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
INSIDE YOUR DAYPACKS:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.
- Water: we supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water only as we won't have time to filter water until your first lunch.
- Rain gear
- Music (IPhone)
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
FAQs on the CLASSIC 4D/3N INCA TRAIL TREK
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
We try to make booking as easy as possible at Alpaca Expeditions. We need a completed booking form that includes all the details for the entire party (on one form, please) and then a $200 deposit per person. The deposits can be paid separately as long as we have one form that we can use to track payments. Once we have all deposits and details, we will then book your permits. When permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% set. All start dates, once confirmed, are guaranteed.
Only licensed Inca Trail tour operators, like Alpaca Expeditions, can secure permits from the government. Once we have secured your permit, the name and start date can not be changed under any circumstance. The only information that the government allows us to change is passport numbers.
UPDATING PASSPORT NUMBERS
The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any government issue ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same.
HOW TO GET TO CUSCO
Most people will get to Cusco by air. Please remember that Cusco airport is for domestic travel only, so if you come directly from overseas through Lima, you must get your bags in Lima and re-check them for flight to Cusco. There are four airline carriers that fly roundtrip between Lima and Cusco: LATAM Airlines, AVIANCA Airlines, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines. All of them offer similar schedules and in-flight service, but we usually recommend either LATAM airlines or AVIANCA as they tend to be the most helpful when unexpected flight cancellations or delays occur.
WHERE TO STAY IN CUSCO
While you can truly stay at any hotel in Cusco, the city is becoming more and more difficult to navigate by car. Many roads, especially by the main square, are open to pedestrian traffic only. We will notify you if it is not possible to pick you up by car and arrange another meeting point for pick up/drop off. For a list of recommended hotels, please ask your Alpaca Expeditions sales rep.
CAN I STAY IN THE SACRED VALLEY
Ollantaytambo is the best place to stay other than Cusco. By staying in Ollantaytambo, you actually get a little more sleep because we will be picking you up about 1.5 hours after the Cusco pick up time. This being said, the pre-trip briefing can only be done in Cusco, so please arrange with your Alpaca Expeditions sales rep a time that works for you and our office team.
CAN I SPEND AN EXTRA NIGHT IN AGUAS CALIENTES
Of course. If you are ok with taking the same train out of Aguas Calientes that is part of your original itinerary, which is typically at 4:22 that evening, than there is no additional charge to move the train back a day. If you need us to secure your hotel or another visit to Machu Picchu, this will be an additional cost. If you do choose to spend one more night in Aguas Calientes, make sure you tell the Alpaca Expeditions office at least one month in advance so your train ticket is purchased for the right day.
WHAT TYPE OF ELECTRICAL OUTLETS ARE USED IN PERU
Most hotels and even homes in Peru now have the standard US outlet and also the South American outlet.
DURING YOUR TRIP
HOW CHALLENGING IS THE TREK
While you don't need any specific training to do the 4 Day Inca Trail, being fit will help you complete the 4 days comfortably. The best preparation for the trek are treadmill exercises with steep inclines and stairs. Day 2 will be your toughest day as you will climb up 2 peeks that day.
DO YOU NEED HIKING BOOTS
We always recommend light hiking boots if possible. Ones with ankle support are extra helpful, especially for the inexperienced hiker. Because you will be climbing down so many steps created by the Incas, now uneven and at varied heights, the extra support helps from twisting your ankles.
SHOULD I USE WALKING STICKS
Walking sticks are always helpful to trekkers, but particularly on this trek. There are SO many stairs that you will be walking down - all made by the Incas 400 years ago. They vary in height and are not all straight. Using the walking sticks can really help take the pressure off your knees while doing this portion of the trail. Plus they will help you get up the mountain as well. All our walking sticks are expandable black diamond poles that can be folded up and tied to your bag for when you are not using them. For those who are bringing your own, make sure you have rubber tips or the rangers will not allow you to use them. Rubber tips can be purchased in Cusco if you forget before you leave.
WHERE DO I STORE MY LUGGAGE
All luggage not needed for the trek should stay in Cusco. All hotels are very accommodating and quite used to storing luggage on site, or you can safely store with the Alpaca Expeditions team.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AS FAR AS WEATHER
Please understand that this is an impossible question for us to answer. Historically April through September is the dry season, November through February is the rainy season and March and October and bridge months - a mixture of both. But the clouds have not followed these rules in the last few years. Prepare for sun and rain no matter when you come. As far as temperature, that is consistent throughout the year. Mornings and evenings are cold, so bring a fleece at least to begin the hike and a down jacket for the evenings. Once the sun is fully up you should be comfortable hiking and touring Machu Picchu in short sleeves. Long pants (yoga or hiking) are encouraged to help from the mosquitos which can be a nuisance in Aguas Calientes.