ALTERNATIVE INCA TRAIL (11D/10N)
Hike an alternative Inca Trail, explore Machu Picchu, and see beautiful Andean scenery. You’ll experience remote mountains and authentic Peruvian food. You’ll also get to interact with people from the rural communities we pass through and learn about their lifestyle. Get off the beaten track and have an authentic experience you’ll always remember!
DAY 1 LIMA
You’ll arrive at the international airport in Lima (the majority of flights arrive at night between 8pm and 2am). Our team will be waiting with a private vehicle to take you to the hotel of your choice. Depending on your itinerary, you’ll visit some of the most important museums in the city. (Optional)
DAY 2 LIMA – CUSCO
Early in the morning, you’ll return to the Lima airport to take your flight to Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Upon your arrival, the Land of the Inkas team will be waiting to greet you. During the trip to the center in a private vehicle, you’ll have the chance to see the historic Plaza de Armas. You’ll have the rest of the day free to acclimatize, relax and enjoy the exceptional atmosphere in Cusco, home to the some of the most amazing history and culture in South America.
DAY 3 CUSCO AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
On the third day, we’ll visit the most important tourist sites in the city and its surroundings. This is an opportunity to try new things and to learn about the history of Cusco and the daily life of its people. Our destinations today include churches, museums and archeological sites. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the fortress of Saqsaywaman and the complexes of Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. All of these were highly important sites in the Inca religion and are located close to Cusco. After our explorations, we’ll return you to your hotel to spend the night.
DAY 4 CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
We’ll continue our excursion by heading out to the Sacred Valley, which awaits us with its warmer climate. The town of Pisac is our first stop. All along the road out to the ruins there, you can see remains of Inca agricultural activity. You’ll take in the sweeping panoramic views of the Andean mountains and visit the towns of Calca and Urubamba. After lunch, our journey continues towards Ollantaytambo, whose layout still shows signs of Inca planning, with its cobbled streets and Inca fort. We will spend the night in a hotel here.
DAY 5 SACRED VALLEY
We’ll leave Ollantaytambo and drive 30min in a private vehicle to the village of Socma. Before starting the hike, we’ll pass by a small school, meet the children there and donate school supplies to them. We’ll then say goodbye to the kids and start a steep two-hour climb to the breathtaking Piruchayoc waterfalls. A little further on and we’ll arrive at the ruins of Raccaypata for lunch. With our energy restored, we’ll hike two more kilometers to arrive at Rayan. We’ll camp in this relaxing little spot and continue our adventure the following day.
DAY 6 RAYAN – CANCHACANCHAYOK (CAMP)
The adventure continues with an early start and a walk up to Charcauaylla. During the walk you’ll see imposing Andean mountainscapes and learn about the lifestyle of the local people. After a brief break, we’ll begin descending. Before it gets late, we’ll arrive at a small mountain village named “Canchacanchayok” where we’ll camp for the night.
DAY 7 CANCHACANCHAYOK – QHESQA (CAMP)
Early on, after an energizing breakfast, we’ll start ascending the trail. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the early morning light playing off Anccascocha Lake. We’ll rest a moment to recover our energy and then follow a steep trail up Huyanay Mountain. From here, we’ll walk to a valley with excellent views of the Salkantay mountain, which translated from Quechua means “Wild Mountain.” Many consider this to be a sacred mountain, calling it Apu (“Mountain God”) Salkantay. We’ll camp in a small nearby village named Qhesqa and dine on a traditional Peruvian feast called “Pachamanca.”
DAY 8 QHESQA – QENTE (CAMP)
We’ll visit the school in Qhesqa and meet the local children. Our guides will help translate as you share your experiences and play with them. Afterwards, we’ll continue our journey along the same paths that the Incas used to arrive at the ruins of Paucarcancha and later the village of Huayllabamba. At this point we will join up with other hikers who have taken different Inca Trail alternatives. From here on, we’ll travel close to the Urubamba River, which will guide us to Llactapampa, a ceremonial and industrial site for the Incas. Just a little further on we’ll arrive at Qente, our final camp site during the trip.
DAY 9 KM 88 – MACHU PICCHU
This morning we’ll walk to Km 88 to take the Vista Dome train to Aguas Calientes, the modern town below Machu Picchu. Upon our arrival, we’ll be taken to the hotel before taking the bus up to Machu Picchu citadel. You’ll have some free time to enjoy the Machu Picchu ruins and the imposing peaks that surround them. Afterwards, we’ll return to Aguas Calientes to soak our weary bones in the hot springs there. Dinner and the comforts of a soft hotel bed await you after many days of camping.
DAY 10 MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
We’ll return to Machu Picchu early today to enjoy the ruins in all their splendor. You can choose to summit either Machu Picchu Mountain (meaning “Old Mountain” in English) or Huayna Picchu (“Young Mountain”). If the idea of climbing one more mountain doesn’t appeal to you, you can choose to descend to the Moon Temple. In the afternoon, we’ll catch the train back to Ollantaytambo and then continue on in a private car to the textile market in Chinchero. At the market, you’ll be shown the process of making alpaca wool textiles and have the opportunity to buy some before we return to the hotel in Cusco.
DAY 11 CUSCO – LIMA
On the final day, we’ll take you to the Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima and your connecting flight home.
* In case you want to visit any additional sites, you can add extensions on to your original package. If you choose an extension, we’ll organize the connection to your next destination. Someone from the Land of the Inkas team will accompany you to ensure that you make your connection and that everything goes smoothly.
- A bilingual guide for all the tours described in the itinerary.
- All flights within Peru.
- All ground transportation during the trip.
- The entrance costs for all the tours/sites mentioned.
- All hotels (Double beds, with continental breakfast)
- All the meals mentioned. (The guide will carry a first aid kit)
- An additional room can be obtained at the client’s request.
- Transportation (e.g. international flights) to and from Peru.
- Lunch and dinner in cities (aside from those specifically mentioned)
- Hiking boots and personal equipment.
- Personal costs (tips and gratuities, alcoholic beverages, travel/medical insurance, medical costs, laundromat charges, airport taxes, etc.)
- Av. La Cultura N° 1318 Wanchaq, Cusco.
- +51 84 233451 (Cusco)
- +51 1 2241816 (Lima)
Our hours are in Peruvian time (GTM -5)