The Path to the Sun Gate 8D/7N
Price: $1,255USD Per person
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Day 1: Cusco
You will be welcomed at the Cusco airport by our friendly representative and transferred to your hotel. Remember, landing at 3,300 meters can be hard on the body. Do not feel concerned if you have shortness of breath or a small headache. This is common and should go away quickly. You can reduce the symptoms by staying hydrated with water and tea. You will have a free day to acclimatize and visit the impressive main square of Cusco.
Accommodations: Rumi Punku*
Meals: Not Included
Day 2: Sacred Valley
At 8 a.m. we will pick you up to begin your full day tour of the Sacred Valley. On our way to Pisaq, we will stop at some beautiful lookout points for photos. Eventually, we will arrive at the traditional market in Pisaq, which offers great souvenir shopping. We will also visit the Pisaq ruins and begin your history of the Incan empire. Following, you will make the one hour trip to Urubamba, where you can get lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will drive an hour to Ollantaytambo fortress, where you will explore the Sun Temple. You will then drive back to Cusco and head directly to the Alpaca Expeditions office for your trek briefing. You will have the opportunity to ask your tour guide any last minute questions. You will receive a duffel bag to pack for your journey.
Accommodations: Rumi Punku*
Entrance Tickets: Included
Day 3: Inca Trail Day 1
We will be picking you up at 4:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served before you continue the journey to the Inca Trail at Km 82. The first day we hike along the valley, and up to the first campsite. Along the way, there will be incredible views of the Urubamba Valley. We’ll pass plenty flora and fauna, such as hummingbirds, falcons, orchids and other native plants. We will enjoy beautiful views of Mount Veronica, the third highest mountain in the Cusco area. After this, we’ll arrive at our first Inca site, Patallacta. After lunch we hike for two and a half hours until reaching the first night’s campsite (Ayapata, 3,300 meters). On this last stretch, we pass through two small communities. We’ll arrive at our campsite by 5:00 p.m. By 7:30 p.m. our dinner will be ready.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Walking Distance: 14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite Altitude: 3,300 meters high above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy
Day 4: Inca Trail Day 2
You will wake up early to a hot cup of coca tea. Breakfast will be at 6:30 a.m. to accommodate a 7 a.m. departure. We’ll hike for roughly four hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4,215 meters). Along the way, there will be beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and lots of flora, such as Unca trees, ferns, begonias, bromeliads and orchids. We’ll also see bird life, such as finches and hummingbirds. If we’re lucky, we may spot a condor soaring above us. Upon reaching the pass, we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views, before descending to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley– Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley. We will then stop for lunch and refill our water bottles. After lunch, we'll ascend two hours to the second pass of the trek. Along the way, we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay). Two huge waterfalls will be visible, cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, the magnificent Inca site is one more hour downhill. We’ll stop here to watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. Following, we will hike only 20 minutes until our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3,600 meters).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking Distance: 16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite Altitude: 3,600 meters high above sea level (chilled weather)
Considered: Top day (we will survive two passes)
Area: Andes and the cloud forest
Weather: Cold and rainy
Day 5: Inca Trail Day 3
Breakfast is at 6:30 a.m. for a 7 a.m. departure on what many believe is the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We will travel through a cloud forest, look across to snow-capped peaks and gaze upon lush valleys below. There will be a two hour hike to the last peak (Phuyupatamarca 3,600 meters). We will take an easy walk down for approximately three hours to our last campsite. During the descent, we will visit two Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarca (the Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (terraces of the sun). We will arrive at our campsite around 1 p.m. to have lunch, followed by a relaxing afternoon. You will visit the spectacular Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking Distance: 10 km (5 hours)
Campsite Altitude: 2,600 meters high above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Easy day (downhill only)
Area: High cloud forest
Weather: Warm and very humid
Day 6: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
We will begin our trek by 5:30 a.m. We will depart from our porters and chef and go forward to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). There will be spectacular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu. We will reach the Sun Gate by sun rise, illuminating Machu Picchu. From the Sun Gate we will trek another hour to the lost city of the Incas. Following, we will enter Machu Picchu and begin our two hour guided tour. After the tour, make your way down to Aguas Calientes for a three or four hour stay. Typically the train departs Aguas Calientes at 4:22 p.m. for a two hour ride to Ollantaytambo. From here, we will drive you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive around 8 p.m.
Accommodations: Rumi Punku*
Meals: Breakfast Only
Walking Distance: 5 km
Altitude at Machu Picchu: 2400 m
Considered: The most exciting and magical day
Area: High cloud and tropical forest
Weather: Hot and very humid
Day 7: Free day in Cusco
You will have a free day to celebrate your achievement of hiking the Inca Trail. Possible activities include: a city tour in the afternoon with Alpaca Expeditions.
Accommodations : Rumi Punku*
Day 8: Cusco to Lima
You will have one last chance for souvenir shopping in Cusco. There will be optional time to visit the Weaving Center Museum on El Sol Avenue. We will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Lima.
Meals: Breakfast Only
*hotels subject to change based on availability
- All transportation, including transfers to and from airports
- All entrance fees, including your permit for the Inca Trail, entrance to Machu Picchu and entrance for the Sacred Valley tour sites
- For the Inca Trail we provide a tour guide, food, and equipment
- Four nights in a hotel in Cusco (based on availability)
- Rain ponchos (made in Cusco by Alpaca Expeditions)
- Day pack rain covers (made in Cusco by Alpaca Expeditions)
- Flights and taxes
- Meals that are not mentioned on your itinerary
- Some hiking equipment that you might need to rent (sleeping bags, inflatable sleeping pads and trekking poles)
It is important that you attend your briefing at the Alpaca Expeditions office. Your tour guide will provide you with tips and a duffel bag for your Inca Trail trek.
With 3 Star Hotels: $1,255 per person
With Upgraded Hotels (Mix or 4 and 5 Star): $1675 per person
* prices are based on a shared room
Book Without Hotels: $1015 per person
Single Room (with 3 stars): + $225 per person
Single Room (with 4 stars): + $625 per person
$35 discount for all children under 16-years-old, or those with a valid ISIC card.
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid Green ISIC card at the time of the trek or who is 16-years-old or younger. For those using an ISIC card to receive the discount, we need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 16-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The hotels listed in itineraries are always our first options when booking, but a similar hotel will be booked if they are unavailable. Your Alpaca Expeditions Representative will give you the name of the confirmed hotel after booking.
- An additional day can be added before and/or after your tour. Ask your Alpaca specialist for prices and options.
- Groups of six or more qualify for a discount.
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.
Because there are so many logistics to plan and pay for before your trek occurs, payment for your trek is due even if you are unable to complete the hike. Please read our Booking Conditions carefully so you know what is due. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged. This way, if something happens, and this is rare, you will not be out of pocket a tremendous amount of money. Alpaca will provide a letter and your invoice to submit to your insurance in this case to help expedite your processing.
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 air mattress.
Each Alpaca Expeditions porter is given a proper uniform, salary and insurance. They are the backbone of our company.
- Good day back pack
- Copy of your passport
- Good hiking gear like hiking boots, warm jackets, gloves, hat warm fleece and socks
- Sleeping bag
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Hat and gloves
- Warm clothes: Layers for variable temperatures, especially at night
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun protection cream
- Insect Repellent
- Re-usable plastic or metal water container or camel bags
- Water (only for first 4 hours of trek, then we will provide you with drinking -previously boiled- water)
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Walking stick
- Bathing suit for the hot springs
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips