Day 1: Cusco – Pisac – Huaran – Cancha Cancha
The excitement to start the Lares trek to Machu Picchu will help you get up early for your pickup at 5:00am from your Hotel Lobby for our 1-hour private transfer to the ancient ruins of Pisac in the Sacred Valley where we have our breakfast on top of the mountain with fantastic views of the Valley, beautiful landscape and impressive Inca Ruins. With any luck we will see Crested Caracara falcons (aka – Mexican Eagle) circling above as they hunt for their breakfast. We will learn about the Pisac Ruins as it has a very interesting history.
Then, we drive another 40 minutes to Huaran to meet our cowboy and horses/mules to carry our gear for a slight 3-hour uphill to Cancha cancha, where we have a hardy lunch prepared by our chef. Cancha cancha is one the most isolated and self sustained indigenous communities with no bus route to the outside world or electricity. See the reality of how people once lived, and obviously still do, with the locals as they share their homes and lifestyle. It would make a lot of children and families happy if you brought some toys, old useful clothes, notebooks, fruit or any other items to share with the locals. We continue for another 2 hours to our 1st campsite to relax, enjoy some snacks, tea or coffee while enjoying amazing views of the snowcapped peaks around us. After dinner, our guide will teach us the Inca Constellations, which are easily seen due to no city lights and were used by the Incas as their agricultural guide and are still used today.
- Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Snack & Tea – Dinner
- Accommodation: Camping facilities – Large 4-person Tents for every 2 people for space and comfort.
- Distance: 12kms / 7 miles
- Time: Approximately 6 Hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Cancha cancha – Quishuarani
After a delicious breakfast, we begin our 4-hour hike on an intense hike crossing over three passes to the highest point of our trek called Pachacutec Pass (4,700 mt / 15,420 ft). It is a challenging but the views of the massive glaciers, crystal blue glacial lakes, llamas, deep valleys and endless farmlands are breathtaking. We head downhill for an hour to have lunch by the translucent glacial lake with views of the Lares Valley and plenty of llamas and alpacas in the wild. Then, we descend for another 2 hours until we reach our campsite located near the Kiswarani community (3,700 m /12,139ft). On these seldomly travelled paths to Machu Picchu, we will see many llama herders and the local indigenous people will interact with us in their native Quechua language (Inca language) which our guide will translate and teach us some Quechua words, plus we get to enjoy the lovely waterfall. Finally, we arrive to Kiswany, where our private van will be waiting for us to drive approximately 2 hours to Ollantaytambo where we will stay the night in a comfortable hotel with warm beds and hot Showers.
- Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
- Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge Hotel
- Distance: 14kms / 10.3 miles
- Time: Approximately 8 Hours
- Difficulty: Challenging
DAY 3: OLLANTAYTAMBO –KM 104– WIÑAY HUAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU
We will pick you up from your hotel at 5:30am by our private transport and drive a couple of minutes to catch the 6:10am train for a 1-hour & 15 minute scenic train ride to KM104 (starting point of the short Inca Trail at 2,100m / 6,927ft). Then, we begin a moderate uphill hike for 3 hours to the ancient archaeological ruins of Wiñay huana (2,650m / 8,747ft) where we will have views of the Urubamba Valley, Inca sites and the connection with the original 4-day Inca Trail. This climb has relatively flat areas mixed with stairs, which is how the Incas built there paths to go uphill.
After we rest and enjoy the beautiful sights, we continue for approximately 1 hour to the Sun Gate for approximately 1 hour (2,730m/9,007ft), which has slight ups and downs. From here, we have our first view of Machu Picchu from where most of the famous photos of Machu Picchu are taken. It is all downhill from here, we walk downhill for about 1 hour to Machu Picchu.
We then take a 25-minute shuttle bus ride down a snaking rode to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), where we will spend the night in a comfortable hotel with warm beds and hot showers and enjoy a celebratory dinner.
- Meals: Breakfast in the Hotel – Box Lunch – Dinner
- Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
- Difficulty: Moderate
DAY 4: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
On this early and very exciting morning we have all been waiting for, we will take the 5:30am shuttle bus back up the zig zagging road to catch the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Our guide will give us a 2.5-hour private tour, teaching us the history and little secrets hidden away by the Incas who once resided there. Then, you have plenty of time to explore on your own until 12 noon.
Here are some other activities you can do on your own:
- Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and enjoy the amazing views of Machu Picchu from above. (Additional fee)
- Walk to the Sun Gate, 2 hours round trip or the Inca Bridge, 1 hour round trip. (No additional fee)
- Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs. (Entrance fee to enter)
Around 12 noon, we will depart Machu Picchu and descend back down the curvy road again to Aguas Calientes. You can have a relaxing lunch and explore Aguas Calientes before boarding the Expedition train at 4:22pm (be there 1/2 earlier – 4pm at the latest), returning to Ollantaytambo Train Station where we will meet our private driver and vehicle for a 90-minute transfer to the doorstep of your hotel in Cusco, arriving around 8pm.
- Meals: breakfast
- Difficulty: Easy
***There are now 2 sessions to enter Machu Picchu; 6am to 12pm and Noon to 5:30pm. If you book Huayna Picchu, you have an extra 2 hours and an extra 3 hours if you hike Machu Picchu Mountain.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
- Transfer from the airport to your hotel in Cusco
- First breakfast
- Private transportation from the hotel to Huaran – Trail head
- Professional guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua
- Round trip train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- 3 Bus tickets between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes.
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Entrance tickets to the Inca Trail
- 2 nights in Hotels with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, storage and buffet breakfast included
- 4 man tents (large and comfortable)
- Thick Foam Mattress
- Delicious meals during the 4 days as indicated in the itinerary.
- Horsemen, horses/mules and porters to carry all camping and personal equipment (7kg / 15 lbs. of your personal items such as extra clothes and sleeping bag will be carried on the Lares Trek portion)
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Boiled water to fill your drinking bottles
- Guided tour in Machu Picchu
- Chef, cooking equipment and kitchen tent
- Rain poncho
- Transfer back to Cusco
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
- Sleeping Bag: $20 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
- Air Mattress: $20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
- Walking Poles: $15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
- Personal tent:$30 USD – (Please request when you book your Trek)
- Vistadome Train Upgrade: $57 USD per person (For the return to Cusco (Poroy) at 4:43pm )
- Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
- Machu Picchu Mountain: $70 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
- Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
- OPTIONAL UPGRADES for Hotel
- Tips for the crew, guide, cook and porters of ORANGE NATION
|No. OF PEOPLE||PRICE|
|2 to 8 people||$ 687 USD per person|
Personal porter included!
*** This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kilograms (15 pounds), we will provide you a duffel bag to put your belongings in.
*** We provide large Eureka 4 person tents for every 2 people.
*** Private service is $100 extra per person
- 18 to 25 years old:$30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
- Under 18 years old:$30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Under 11 years old:$40 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Group of 5 people or more: $30 USD. All you need to do is book the trek together at the same time.
*** The short Inca trail to Machu Picchu is almost always available year round except in February when it is closed for maintenance.
- Sleeping Bag:$20 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
- Air Mattress:$20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
- Walking Poles:$15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
- Personal Tent:$30 USD – (Tent is for single trekkers only)
- Additional Night in Aguas Calientes – From $60 USD (depending on availability)
- Vistadome Train Upgrade:$57 USD per person (For the return to Cusco – Poroy – at 4:43pm )
- Huayna Picchu Mountain:$75 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
- Machu Picchu Mountain:$70 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
- Personal Porter for Inca Trail portion:$60 USD
- Single Supplement:$30 USD 2* for single travelers
ADDED VALUES FOR FREE
Thick Foam Mattresses for every hiker, small pillow, transfer from Airport to Hotel in Cusco only, duffel bags, rain ponchos (provided by Orange Nation) plastic trash bags, and extra blanket for the tent are included in the trek price!
- GUIDED TOUR INTO PISAC INCA RUINS: Enjoy and explore the amazing Inca city of Pisac, which is one of the most important Inca cities in the famous Sacred Valley of the Inca.
- EXTRA PORTER and mules are included in the price and will carry your things up to 7 kgs / 15 lbs. including sleeping bag, mattress, clothes etc. (Lares Trek portion only)
- COLD BOILED WATER will be provided along the trek, there will be hot and cold water at each meal time.
- OXYGEN TANK is available in case of emergency.
- EMERGENCY HORSE is included which can be ridden if you feel tired or sick. (Lares portion only)
- BEST ITINERARY operated by Lares Trek specialist only.
CHECK YOUR SHORT INCA TRAIL TREK AVAILABILITY BY CLICKING ON MONTH OF YOUR CHOICE!
Please read the following information to help answer any questions you may have about our Services and the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
We will be waiting for you at Cusco airport for a private transfer to your hotel, please let us know your flight details at least 14 days prior to arrival. Look for somebody holding an orange sign reading ‘ORANGE NATION’ outside the arrivals hall. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter). We can pick you up any day!
The Briefing will be the night before the trek at 6pm in our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383; office 107 (first floor), next to SUBWAY restaurant, across the street from Sunat and the only 3 story building with 2 balconies.
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:
ABSOLUTELY! During the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free.
HOW TO BOOK
We will need the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). This information is necessary to purchase the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu the train tickets:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person in order to purchase your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket. You can make you deposit by clicking on the PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.
WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?
You can pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco to avoid the additional 5.5% charged by the Credit Card companies and PayPal. We have many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address email@example.com.
HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?
- According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example, if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
- All students from 11 to 17 years have a $30 discount.
- Children between the ages 2 to 11 have a $40 discount.
- Children under the age of 2 are free.
- All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
- Send us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Unfortunately No. Once the tickets have been bought, the government does not allow any changes, so we cannot change any departure date after the tickets has been purchased. Tickets are also non transferable nor refundable. If you cancel your Machu Picchu Tour, the deposit is lost!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE INCA TRAIL?
DEFINITELY! You MUST bring your original passport with the SAME passport number you sent us to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket, other entrances and reservations. They will check when you enter Machu Picchu and to board the train.
In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, please send us a COPY of your old passport to secure your permit, and we can change it when we receive a COPY of your new passport for a fee of $25 USD per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to enter Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter into Machu Picchu or get on the train.
Remember to check your current passport to make sure it doesn’t expire within 6 months of your arrival to Peru!!! The Government of Peru is enforcing the existing law that requires all foreign travelers to have a passport valid for a minimum of six months past the time of entry into Peru. Peruvian authorities will deny entry into Peru for travelers not meeting this requirement.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
The weather is very unpredictable and always changing in the Andes Mountains, so it is difficult to say with any certainty. We recommend that you be prepared for warm weather, possible rain showers (Orange Nation provides rain ponchos) and a warm jacket in case of cold. We also recommend that you dress in layers so you may take off or put on clothes as needed.
The climate in Cusco has temperatures between 10º – 20º C , 50º – 68º F with warm days and cold nights. The best time to hike the Inca trail is between the months of April through October, when the weather is warm. During the months of June, July and August nights are very cold which is why Orange Nation rents good quality 4 season sleeping bags.
The rainy season is during the months of November through March, if you want to hike the Inca Trail during this season, bring warm clothes and be prepared for rain but there will be a beautiful landscape and colorful flowers.
The month of February, the Inca Trail is closed for safety, repairs and restoration.
The Average weather conditions on the Inca Trail:
- Dry Season: April – October
- Day temperature: 20ºC – 25ºC / 68º – 77º F – Night temperature: 1ºC – 7ºC / 33º – 44º F
- Wet Season: November – March
- Day temperature: 17ºC – 22ºC / 62º – 71º F – Night temperature: 4ºC – 7ºC
WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as: shortness of breath, a discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche, quechua for high-altitude sickness.
Don’t do anything other than rest
If you travel from Lima to Cusco, the effect can be immediate. This lack of oxygen, scientifically known as hypoxia, begins to manifest itself at 7,874 ft (2,399 m) above sea level. That’s why right after landing in Cusco, visitors can feel fatigued and have difficulty walking. Walking one block could feel like walking ten blocks carrying a backpack full of rocks. It is advisable to take it really easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.
How do people feel after a night of drinking? Thirsty. That’s how you’ll feel when you arrive in Cusco. As already stated, the body dehydrates quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco. Also, avoid heavy meals since your stomach takes longer to digest food at high altitudes. A diet of low proteins and high carbs is advisable.
No one knew better the effects of high altitude than indigenous peoples. Coca is the best natural medicine to combat altitude sickness. It was even considered sacred because of its curative powers and is still used in the same way now as it was in the time of the Incas. It contains iron, vitamins A, B1, B2 and calcium, among other nutrients. Coca makes it easier for your bloodstream to absorb oxygen, suppresses hunger, combats fatigue, headaches and can ease your stomach. If you do not feel like chewing leaves (which can be bitter, apart from numbing your mouth), you can try drinking coca tea, which is most commonly found in the lobby of hotels in Cusco.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Our groups are between 2-6 persons. Orange Nation specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized service.
HOW MANY COOKS/PORTERS FOR THE GROUP?
You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, there will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.
DUFFLE BAG AND SMALL BACK PACK
The evening before your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFEL BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg / 15lbs. including sleeping bag, so 5kg / 11lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffel bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. A 30 to 50L backpack is sufficient.
IS THE TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?
The trail is fairly difficult and you should be prepared and healthy prior to starting. You have to be relatively fit and exercise regularly.
In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 days in Cusco (3,350m / 11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip is appreciated. It means a lot to the staff, and their families, who will take care of you during the tour. It inspires better service and is a major part of the tourism industry across many ORANGE Nation destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less what you want, depending how you feel about the quality of service and the length of your tour.
ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?
We are a local sustainable & responsible tour operator which functions according to the ethical principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the indigenous communities respecting their culture and religion. We have trained all of our staff to know, understand and respect the local communities and the people living there.
WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU
- Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
- Valid University card (if you booked as a student)
- Good daypack
- Drinking Water: 2-3L (Camelbaks are encouraged)
- Comfortable hiking boots
- Sleeping bag (can be rented from ORANGE NATION)
- Toilet paper
WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR DUFFELBAG
As a Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 15 lbs. including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
- Necessary clothes
- Bathing Suit for the thermal waters
- Warm clothes. It can get quite cold at night
- Gloves (Preferably waterproof)
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash
- Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them
- Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from ORANGE NATION
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal medications
WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR BACKPACK
We highly recommend a small backpack (30 to 40L) for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffle bag at camp.
- Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water at every meal. Please bring your canteens or water bottles
- Sun Hat
- Warm Hat
- Rain gear
- Snacks like chocolate bars, ice cream, cereal bars
- Coca leaves
- Rain plastic poncho (provided by ORANGE NATION)
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips