Hiking the Inca Trail

Day 1 | Lima – Welcome to the largest city and port of Peru! Today we tour the city (time permitting) and settle in to our hotel. (no meals)

Day 2 | Cusco – After a morning flight to the gateway of the Inca Trail, we spend the afternoon preparing for our hike and touring the sights of this ancient town. The former Inca Capital and Spanish colonial city of Cusco is our base for this great expedition, a wonderful place full of culture, history, good restaurants and fun nightlife. Cusco lies at an elevation of 3 326 m (10 912 ft) and is perfect start for our bodies to start acclimatising. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Cusco Inca Sites - We start our first real hiking day with a drive from Cusco to visit the Inca sites of
Tambo Machay (the Water temple) and Pucara (the red fort) before hiking an ancient Inca Trail back to Cusco (largely downhill) via the rarely visited Temple of the Moon and then onto  the engraved rock of Quenko and a fascinating tour of the impressive Sacsayhauman. En route we enjoy a delicious picnic lunch before heading back to Cusco for dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Cusco – Km 82 - Llactapata – Huallybamba – We leave our hotel and transfer by bus to the trailhead at km 82.  After a briefing and meet up with the support team of porters, we cross and hike along the Urubamba River.  The first section is ideal for acclimatisation purposes. We visit the collection of archeological sites of Wilkarakay and the marvelous Inca Ruins of Llactapata, where we have lunch (2 888 m/9 475 ft) beside some spectacular ruins. Then we trek up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huallyabamba, the last inhabited place on the trail, where we will camp (3 000 m/9 842 ft).  We believe in camping and trekking in style, whilst walking all you need to carry is your daypack. Our support team of traditional porters, carries all camping equipment and perform all camp chores. All food is prepared by the cook. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Huallybamba – Pacasmayo – Possibly the hardest day of the trek, we rise early and head to the highest point of the trail – the impressive Warmiwanusca (Dead woman’s pass 4 200 m/13 779 ft), past humming birds and stunted cloud forest and  out-standing views down the valley. We then descend into the Pacasmayo valley and camp there (3 650 m/11 975 ft).  (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Pacasmayo – Wiñay Wiñay – After an early breakfast we then climb again, passing the Inca ruins of Runcu Raccay, to the next pass (3 998 m/13 116 ft) giving us spectacular views of the Vilcabamba range. Walking on well-preserved Inca pathway we pass Sayacmarca ruins with plenty of time for an in depth tour and explanation. We continue along the ridge, passing through tunnels and fantastic views and a slight ascent brings us to Phuyupatamarca ruins – the ‘place above the clouds. A steep downhill on an old Inca stair case brings us into the Cloud Forest and the outstanding site of Winay-winay (2 600 m/8 530 ft), This is another outstanding ruin full of orchids and swallows. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Machupicchu – Cusco – A very early start and we contour the mountain, through the cloud forest high above the mighty Urubamba river to Inti Punku, the Gateway of the Sun, for our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. After treasuring the moment we continue on down to the ruins for a fully guided tour of the religious, residential and agricultural sectors. We then catch a bus to the colourful town of Aguas Calientes below and board the afternoon train back up the fascinating Urubamba gorge. An awaiting bus finally brings us back to Cusco and our hotel for the night. Hopefully we still have enough energy to enjoy a night-out at Cusco’s famous restaurants and clubs. (B, L).

Day 8 | Cusco – Today, we transfer to Cusco airport in time for your internal and international flights home. (B)

Starting price
10 – 15 students + 1 chaperone: $ 1 870 / student
16 – 20 students + 1 chaperone: $ 1 780 / student
21 – 25 students + 1 chaperone: $ 1 690 / student
(Price depends on the time travelling e.g. Christmas / New Years period are peak season and more expensive)

Price includes:
All the transfers mentioned in the program with van, bus or a train, accommodation in an economic hotel, all the meals as mentioned in the program (B, L, D), all the activities mentioned in the program with entrance fees, Inca trail permit and camping equipment (except sleeping-bag), dining & toilet tent, a Students Journey guide.

Price does not include:
Domestic or International flights, Airport tax (at this time domestic $ 6 and International $ 31 / Pers.), beverages and meals not specified, Sleeping-bag (available for hire $ 30/Pers.), phone calls and personal expenses, travel insurance, all other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.

Please note:

  • Due to Inca trail rules limiting the numbers of porters and the weight they carry, we have to limit your heavy gear to 8kg per person – this is usually more than adequate. Kit bags are supplied for these porter carried items. Any excess gear may be stored in Cusco at your hotel whilst on the Inca trail.
  • We suggest Inca Trail only from 14 years onwards. If your students are younger please contact us for other hiking options in Peru.
  • Inca Trail is closed during the month of February.
  • The purchase of Inca Trail permits is strictly controlled by the Peruvian Ministerio de Cultura. There are only five hundred permits for guides, porters and trekkers per day. This has led to very competitive demand with permits often being sold out months in advance. First comes first, so book your trip NOW!


<< Back to Student Journeys | Central & South America Trips