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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Multi Sport

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Background

The original and best multi-activity trip available in Peru! Raft, bike and hike your way to Machu Picchu on our nine day self powered journey.  This action packed holiday is ideal for anyone who is relatively fit and looking for a great adventure. All activities are run to the highest standards, using the best equipment and the best trained guides in Peru. All backed up by the most experienced adventure outfitter in the country.

Highlights

  • Walk in the footsteps of the great archeologists Hiram Bingham
  • Ride the mighty rapids of the Upper Urubamba river
  • Mountain bike the Sacred Valley with great views of the Andes
  • Explore amazing Inca ruins culminating in the greatest of all, Machu Picchu
  • Visit Machu Picchu twice once in the late afternoon and once in the morning.
  • Get away from the crowds in our specially designed itinerary
  • Walk among the giant Andes and their wonderous snow capped peaks.

Overview

The valleys and foothills around Cusco are an adventure playground packed with not only amazing rapids and downhills but also ancient ruins that combine in one of the world's most unique mutli activities adventures. We will immerse ourselves in Peruvian culture as well as the growing pastime of adventure travel as we hit the saddle and the waters through a sublime landscape of both natural and human wonders. Our adventure starts in the former Inca Capital and Spanish colonial city of Cusco, known for its wonderful culture, history, good restaurants and excellent hot chocolate. From Cusco we will raft the Upper Urubamba river before drying off for lunch and then onto the famed Pisac Markets. Before you can catch your breath, the next day we will travel down the Sacred Valley via mountain bike through rarely visited vllages giving us an insight into traditional Peruvian life. Finally we will travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, passing the Inca Fortress town of Ollantaytambo, before embarking on the famous Inca Trail to the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. We will follow in the footsteps of Hiram Bingham who stumbled across one of the greatest archeological sites on the planet. This five day, four night trek involves spectacular Andean scenery along an ancient paved Inca trail. We have plenty of time to treasure each view and the many ruins en-route. A night is spent in the colourful town of Aguas Calientes before spending the whole day exploring the awe-inspiring, "new wonder of the modern world", Machu Picchu. The return to Cusco is by "Vistadome" train and private bus. The final day is spent relaxing in Cusco's ancient streets, artisan markets or excellent restaurants and bars.

 

MACHU PICCHU
Perched in a spur of the Urubamba Valley, nestled away in the Andes mountain range, high above the Urubamba River lays the deserted city of Machu Picchu, once home to the thriving ancient civilisation of Incas; a united community situated and dwarfed by the mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Abandoned a century after being built and swallowed by an overgrown extension of the jungle, Machu Picchu sat silent just waiting to be discovered, its existence remaining a secret to the outside world up until 1911.

 

After extensive excavating, archaeologists have been able to identify and develop a layout of the lost city, dividing areas into agricultural and urban sections. The agriculture section made up of both small and large terracing all built in accordance to the natural slope and layout of the land, extending onto the surrounding mountain fields and the urban areas divided into East and West, littered with plazas, temples of worship and staircases with a total of three thousand and something stairs.

 

Construction of the sanctuary of Machu Picchu began approximately around the mid- 15th century, the city flourished for a 100 years before being abandoned when the Incas became under threat from the invasion and conquest of the Spanish. There is no evidence in the Spanish invasion archives that they ever made it to the mountaintop and thus created speculation that the real reason for abandonment of the city was due to an outbreak of smallpox that ravaged the community.

The purpose of Machu Picchu to this day remains unclear. The discoverer of the "City of the Incas" Hiram Bingham, pondered theories that the city provided a convent for Inca women to be educated on how to serve the ruler of the Inca Empire and coterie, Bingham believed that 75% out of the hundreds of skeletons found on site were female, further modern studies deduced that a more accurate split of 50/50 between the two genders. Bingham also theorized that Machu Picchu was actually the fabled Tampu-tocco, the site that the forefathers of the Inca race were said to have originated from.

 

Today, the preserved history, artefacts and culture of Machu Picchu all contribute, to the newly claimed title of being one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

 

The lost city, now found.

Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive in Cusco and transfer to hotel. Town tour.
DAY 2: Raft the Upper Urubamba river.
DAY 3: Cycle the Sacred Valley.
DAY 4: Private bus to KM 82 and start trek, camp beside Llactapata ruins. 
DAY 5: Hike up to just below 1st pass. Camp at Lluluchupampa with great views. 
DAY 6: Over 1st and 2nd pass and camp at Phuyopatamarca "The place above the clouds".
DAY 7: Visit Wiay wiay and arrive late PM into Machu Picchu, overnight hotel Aguas Calientes
DAY 8: Full day with private guide in Machu Picchu, PM luxury train & bus return to Cusco.
DAY 9: Cusco- Home

Note : Flights for Lima to Cusco can be booked through us. Price depends on how in advance you book and if there are school holidays or not. However as a guide prices are between $600 and $700 return.

Please Note: The price is based on twin share accommodation. Single supplement is $300 per person.

Hotels in Lima : We can arrange for accommodation in Lima as well as transfers there. We use the 4 star Hotel Boulevard, Miraflores. Per night twin for room is $160 and a triple room is $240. Transfers to and from airport are $55 each way. 

FLIGHTS TO PERU
There are no direct flights to Cusco. To fly into Peru you must fly into Lima first. Many stay overnight there before flying to Cusco. If you would like we can arrange your flight to Peru and your domestic flight from Lima to Cusco return.

Routes

Day 1 Cusco City Tour

Welcome to Cusco- touch down, collect your luggage and meet your guide, then drive twenty minutes through the colourful South American streets to your hotel.

Meet in the Coffee Museum at 1pm to enjoy a tasty lunch and learn about the story and people behind this popular drink.

After lunch step out into the Cusco streets and explore with one of our carefully chosen guides. They are not only very knowledgeable but also great fun to be with. You do not want to cram too much in on your first day at altitude, so relax and get used to being up high with a gentle walk around this old Inca capital.

Visit the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Qoricancha temple of the sun and perhaps take in the sights, sounds and smells of San Pedro food market too. If you normally shop in supermarkets and farmers markets, you are in for a surprise. Stands full of juicy exotic fruits, counters heaving with cow heads and sheep hooves and cheerful local women selling handmade cheeses, local breads, healthy juices and even toad soup.


The evening is free to relax and wander around the UNESCO World Heritage Site city centre.

 

Day 2 Raft the Rapids

Raft the rapids to Pisac market : Today the fun really begins as you challenge the Grade II-III rapids of the Upper Urubamba river. Our expert guides will give you a thorough safety briefing and the best equipment in the country. Fully prepared you launch from the bank and off down the finest one day section of whitewater in Peru. Whether you are a beginner or expert you are sure to finish with a grin from ear to ear.

Once you have changed into dry clothes you can enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the banks of the river before the short drive to Pisac. Here you can explore this famous handicraft market with the help of your guide. Perhaps you can try one of the tasty empanadas fresh from the old town oven.

Included: breakfast, all white-water & safety equipment, lunch, snacks, water

 

Day 3 Bike the Sacred Valley

Biking in the Sacred Valley of the Incas : This ride is perfect for anyone who enjoys getting out on a bike: its versatility means it can be easily adapted to suit every level and age. It’s an incredibly scenic ride, combining Andean mountain passes, gentle descents and a lovely amble through the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

We begin with a visit to Pisac. At this small town based in the Sacred Valley of the Incas we can stop for a stroll around the lovely plaza and artisan market stalls. 

Here we unload the bikes, kit up and begin the dirt track ride down into the Andean village of Taray and the start of the alternative Sacred Valley descent. This lovely dirt track undulates between local villages and haciendas, where we can see traditional farming methods still in use against the beautiful backdrop of glaciated mountains and Inca ruins. We stop for a picnic lunch en-route. The support vehicle will be on hand for the final section, allowing us to carry on through the villages of Qoya, Lamay and Calca. If feeling strong we can then continue to Urubamba or even Ollantaytambo itself. 

 

Day 4 Inca Trail

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu : Your five day Inca Trail is carefully tailored to avoid the crowds. By leaving later than everyone else, and allowing an extra day, you spend the whole trail out of sync with other tourists. Thus you will literally have the trail to yourselves.
This morning you visit the old Inca town of Ollantaytambo. After a look around and some lunch you have a short drive to the trailhead at Piscacucho (km 82). Here, you meet the porters and cooks that will support your journey to Machu Picchu. With the crowds now long gone, you hike an undulating trail above the Urubamba river to camp beside the spectacular ruins of Llactapata (2,788m / 9,146ft). Your luggage is carried by the porters, your tents are put up for you and your food is prepared for you. All you have to do is shoulder your daypack and enjoy the walking.


Day 5 Inca Trail

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu : After a hearty breakfast you climb gently up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huayllabamba. This is the last inhabited place on the trail. A little steeper now, you head up the beautiful Inca path, past hummingbirds and stunted cloud forest to your camp at Llulluchapampa (3,680m / 12,073ft). This beautiful grassy area has outstanding views and you may be even see the Andean deer that come to feed here.

 

Day 6 Inca Trail

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu : Today is the most challenging day but also the most exhilarating. You climb to Dead Woman’s Pass (4,212m / 13,819ft) the high point of the trail before dropping into the Pacasmayo valley. Climbing once more you pass the Inca control post of Runkuracay to the second pass of the day (3,998m / 13,117ft). On a clear day there are spectacular views towards Pumahuanca mountain in the Vilcabamba range. You continue on well preserved Inca trail to Sayacmarca. Located at the junction of two old Inca roads, historians still argue over its exact purpose. A few more gentle ups and downs and you arrive to your stunning campsite for the night, Phuyupatamarca, or ‘the place above the clouds’ (3,650m / 11,975ft). 

 

Day 7 Inca Trail

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu : This is the day you finally reach Machu Picchu. As you step out of your tent the views are stunning. Perhaps you will see the sun rising over the snow capped mountains of Salkantay (6,200m / 20,341ft) and Veronica (5,800m / 19,029ft). Or perhaps you will have a cloud inversion, with the clouds filling the valleys beneath your feet. 
After saying a fond farewell to your porters it is time to put on your boots and head to Machu Picchu. You descend through the cloud forest on beautiful Inca stairways, to Winay Wayna, another interesting ruin full of swallows and orchids. Finally you contour the hillside to arrive at Inti Punku, the gateway of the Sun. As you step through the old stone gateway Machu Picchu appears laid out before your eyes. After plenty of photos you carry on past this wonder of the world to catch the bus down to the colourful town of Machu Picchu Pueblo and a well deserved hotel and shower.

 

Day 8 Explore Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu tour and return to Cusco : Today you explore the pinnacle of Inca engineering - Machu Picchu.
For years it was lost to the jungle. Rediscovered in 1911 by the Yale professor Hiram Bingham, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, Machu Picchu exceeds all expectations.

This astounding site lies in an even more astonishing location. Perched high on an inaccessible hilltop it is protected by huge cliffs and the raging Urubamba river. Things are slightly easier now than in the time of the Incas and so you start your day with a twenty minute bus ride up to the site.

You will arrive early, allowing you to explore the ruins in the company of your guide, before they get too busy. The guided tour takes around two hours leaving you a few hours free to wander amongst the old Inca walls and just sit and take in the scale of the place on your own. For those who want to walk a bit more, you could take the hour long trail up to the Sun Gate, or a shorter trail to visit the Inca Bridge which once spanned a sheer cliff face.

Eventually the time comes to catch the bus down to Machu Picchu Pueblo and board your train back along the Urubamba River. The scenery is beautiful and the train jolts softly along, allowing you to sit, stare out the window and reflect on a wonderful week.

Day 9 Free Day in Cusco

Free day in Cusco then onward travel : Back once more in the old Inca capital you have time to enjoy all that this city has to offer. Coffee museums, cooking classes, chocolate making, souvenir hunting or even just sitting in one of the many cafes and watching the world go by. The new late flights out of Cusco allow you to really maximise your time and get the most out of this holiday of a lifetime.

For those with more time we can offer you extensions to the Amazon rainforest, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and Arequipa or even to the little visited northern Peru.

Inclusions

  • All airport transfers
  • Cusco walking tour
  • The most professional Rafting and Bike Guides in Peru
  • Top grade rafts and cycling equipment
  • Transport to and from the trail in private vehicle
  • All camping and cooking equipment including Thermarests, spacious two person tents, dining, cook and toilet tent
  • Extensive First-aid kit including Oxygen
  • Professional English and Spanish speaking guides trained in first-aid and C.P.R.
  • Cook team with correct wages, transport to trail head, food, tent and insurance.
  • 3* hotel in Cusco and Aguas Calientes.
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).  

Exclusions

  • National or International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Sleeping bag (available for rent at $10 a night)
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance and tips.

Maps

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