10-DAY TOUR INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU & TITICACA LAKE

This once in a lifetime trip, 10-Day Best Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Titicaca Lake Tour, takes you on a journey through varied and colorful Peru. Wander through the truly amazing city of Cusco and take in a city filled to the brim with Inca and Spanish history, stunning churches, colorful local markets, weaving demonstrations, amazing restaurants and cozy bars.  For 10 days you will explore this heroic land, reliving the journey of the Incas by hiking the historic Inca Trail, rated by many among the best trips of the world.  In the space of four days during the Inca Trail, you will experience a walk where history, geography, local flora and fauna will fill your senses and take your breath away. Our service includes native “Quechua” porters for your luggage as well as delicious meals during the trip.

Get to know the impressive Sacred Valley of the Incas, and navigate the waters of Sacred Titicaca Lake, the cradle of big pre-Hispanic civilizations. It is the perfect place for the lovers of a personal experience.

On arrival you will get to spend time in Cusco and Sacred Valley whilst acclimatizing to the altitude before heading out onto the trail

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The time when a traveler could roll into Cusco and set up an Inca Trail trek for the following day—or week, or month—has long since passed. To limit damage to the trail, the Peruvian government now limits access to 500 persons per day (300 just between porters, guides and cooks). Permits for the peak summer season sell out months in advance.

 

Why to choose Culturandes Travel & Adventure for this 10-Day Best Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Titicaca Lake Tour?

 

Are you looking for unforgettable memories during this 10-Day Best Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Titicaca Lake Tour?  Culturandes Travel & Adventure help you to fulfill your dream of having an unforgettable trip without any stress and unexpected situations with:

  • reliable and high standard services
  • certified Peruvian tour operator
  • safe transportation according to the highest standards
  • excellent camping equipment
  • delicious meals during the trek
  • detailed and personal pre-departure information
  • 24 hours support during your trip
  • excellent local official bilingual guides who will turn out the star of your trip

We are experts in private and customized tours all around Peru, ask our expert travel advisors to upgrade your experience with additional activities and extensions. 

 


TOUR CATEGORY
  • Active Tour
  • Archaeological
  • Cultural
  • Trekking
  • Nature

LOCATION
  • Amantani
  • Cusco
  • Lake Titicaca
  • Machu Picchu
  • Puno
  • Sacred Valley
  • Ticonata
  • Uros Islands

ACTIVITY LEVEL
  • Moderate to Challenging

DURATION
  • 10 days

WHEN TO GO
  • April to December

CUSCO

  • Feel the very unique atmosphere and energy of the mystical capital of the Inca Empire steeped in deep history and covered in such majestic ruins
  • Wander down cobblestone streets hugged by old colonial buildings and ancient stone walls pieced together by the hands of Inca stonemasons
  • Learn about meticulously preserved traditions and relics back centuries
  • Enjoy Cusco’s nightlife, one of the most famous and thriving scenes found anywhere in the world! with a vast abundance of nightclubs, restaurants, bars and lounges

SACRED VALLEY

  • Walk through the ancient salt pans of Maras, dating from the Inca period
  • Be amazed by the wonderful Inca agricultural engineering in Moray
  • Tour the spectacular Ollantaytambo fortress
  • Explore the wonderful Pisaq considered one of the finest remaining Inca archaeological sites in the country

INCA TRAIL

  • Retrace the steps of the Incas and visit great archeological sites accessible only on foot
  • Take your first look at the “Lost City of the Incas” from the famous Sun Gate

MACHU PICCHU

  • Remain astonished by a place where the legend of the past is so vividly present while you discovered the Incas civilization best-kept secret

TITICACA LAKE

  • Navigate the highest traversable lake in the World
  • Spend a magnificent night on one of its many islands.
  • Enjoy the visit of the main islands of Titicaca Lake

DAY 01 ARRIVE CUSCO – CITY TOUR + 4 NEARBY RUINS

Meet our representative at the Cusco airport and transfer to your accommodation.  You will have some free time to acclimatize to the altitude taking things very slowly wandering around the magic city of Cusco also considered as the Navel of the World.

In the afternoon you will be picked up from your hotel on a vehicle to the city’s greatest landmarks. Explore the magical capital of the Incas in a tour that includes the Plaza de Armas, the famous Baroque style Cathedral considered one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in the Americas, built over an important Inca temple, with amazing altars, intricately wood carved pulpits, choir and multitude of paintings of the Cusqueña school, including a Marcos Zapata painting of the Last Supper with a local specialty, cuy (guinea pig), as the main dish.  You will continue with the visit of the Santo Domingo monastery, which was built over the Koricancha temple, one of the most important temples dedicated to the worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. Stop at San Cristobal lookout point for a magnificent view of the city of Cusco, before proceeding to the nearby remarkable Inca ruins in the area: the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko, and the archeological site of Tambomachay, where the god “water” was worshipped. Return to your hotel.  On your own you can explore the nightlife in Cusco´s varied and exciting pubs where there is plenty of live folk music and good food to enjoy in a lively atmosphere.

MAKE IT DIFFERENT (OPTIONAL)

Love to Cook? The Peruvian Cuisine, is widely regarded one of the most delicious and diverse in the world. Our rustic kitchen set in the countryside of Cusco provides the perfect setting for your hands-on cooking lessons and demonstrations with our talented Peruvian chefs.  Our products are bought from the local markets and providers, whom you will get to know during our market tour, and you will hand-pick some of your own ingredients from our very own on-site garden and greenhouse.
If you are more active, ATV, biking, rafting, yoga classes in front of a beautiful lagoon or Via Ferrata excursions can be arranged according to your preferences.
We recommend you to have an extra day in Cusco to enjoy these optional activities with no rush.

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DAY 02 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS: PISAC, OLLANTAYTAMBO AND CHINCHERO

THE ORDER OF THIS TOUR MAY BE MODIFIED WITHOUT PREVIOUS NOTICE

This day tour takes you to the most famous and popular parts of the Sacred Valley, few places in the Inca Empire could compete against the beauty and wealthy of this valley, for this reason it received that name.  Its character of “Sacred” has survived the pass of the time and that magic continues seducing the visitors.

Your first stop will be Pisac, allowing you to enjoy some of the best archaeological complexes in the area. Its exquisitely carved walls are among the most perfect of all Andean architecture, surrounded by an impressive group of terraces that are still used as well as its granaries and pantries that are still preserved in the hillside irrefutable proof of the wisdom of the men who populated that zone. Then you will go down to the famous market town of Pisac, where you will test your bargaining skills in a colorful and cheerful environment, and you can stock up on souvenirs for friends and family!

You will continue with the visit to the formidable fortress temple of Ollantaytambo, the spectacular archaeological complex that seems to have been a kind of walled gate that stopped in several war expeditions trying to reach the Inca treasure, the great steep andeneria, which protects this spectacular fortress, marks one of the few places where the Spanish conquerors lost an important battle in the year 1537.

In the highest part you will find a ceremonial center with huge blocks of stone perfectly carved in a very fine work. To build it, stones from the quarry located on the other side of the Urubamba River were used 6 km away from distance, which shows the great ability of the Incas to transport these huge blocks using an ingenious technique that would allow them to transport them across mountainous areas and the torrential Urubamba River.

Finally, you will visit the distinctly Inca town of Chinchero, with its archeological site, going through its unique colonial church built by the Spaniards at the top of an Inca palace, where the past persists stubbornly, as if the spirit of a millenary culture clung to this place refusing to disappear. The native settlers, dressed in colorful traditional costumes, come down from their communities and gather in the main square to exchange their products. Seeing this group of people with deep cultural roots is a sight worth admiring.

Return to Cusco.

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DAY 03 MORAY AND MARAS

Today, you will visit the Inca agricultural laboratory of Moray, where several groupings of terraces were formed in an almost perfect circular shape at different heights, in order to achieve a gradient of microclimates with the aim of getting perfect crops. There, the Incas cultivated important foods for their diet such as corn, or the grain of quinoa, also various medicinal plants such as panti, ornamental as the flowers of Kantu and carried out many experiments of cultivation for recreation of their masters. A system of canals where today the rain is deposited assured the irrigation of the hanging terraces of the great amphitheater, the perfection of Moray was such, that to this day, it works impeccably.

Then you will visit to the famous salt mines of Maras, which were very important for the Incas as a salt supply and are still in operation today. For a few Soles you can buy a package of this salt, famous for having many more minerals than sea salt. In addition to its historical importance, the salt mines of Maras also offer an unforgettable view with the stark white of its steeply descending salt pans juxtaposed against the green of the surrounding mountain slopes.

Return to Cusco

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DAY 04 INCA TRAIL: CUSCO - KM. 82 - HUAYLLABAMBA

Lunch, dinner

Early in the morning you will be picked up by bus from Cusco to Km. 82 from where you will start these 4 days trek Inca Trail, a network of cobblestone roads that covered the entire Empire of the Incas. Throughout the trekking you will be able to appreciate totally different attractions, the same ones that combined are wonderful. One of them is the nature that combines landscape aspects, typical flora and fauna in abundant form and on the other hand the incredible constructions of roads, fortresses and aqueducts of the Inca Culture.

At this starting point you should show your permit card of the Inca Trail and your original passport and you will meet your porters who will be very busy taking care of ordering all the camping equipment that they will then carry behind their backs. From this point, start the walk escorted by a long line of porters, for about 2 and a half hours through the Andean flora and beautiful scenery to reach the small town of Miskay, where you will enjoy a delicious lunch. Continue the hike for approximately 2 and a half hours until you reach your first camp located in Huayllabamba (9842f/3000m). When you arrive at your camp you will have a light snack and some free time to walk around, talk with your porters or companions of walk or rest. Dinner will be served at the indicated time.

Overnight camping.

Maximun altitude: 9842f/3000m

Minimun altitude: 9350f/2850m

Walking distance: 6.77ml/10.89km

Approximate walking time: 5 hours

DAY 05 INCA TRAIL: HUAYLLABAMBA - PACAYMAYO

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon snacks

Undoubtedly, this is the most challenging day of trekking, which will start with a lot of energy after a hot drink to wake up and a healthy breakfast. After a few kilometers, you will begin the ascent to the highest pass of the entire route, the Warmihuañusca or also called Dead Woman’s Pass (13779f/4200m) where you will arrive after almost 4 hours. After a short rest at the summit, you will start the long descent down a steep path from where it is possible to see the route that leads to the spectacular ruins of Runkurakay, while observing different ecosystems ranging from the dry puna to the high jungle. At the end of the gorge, you will stop at Pacaymayo (3350m / 10990p), the place of your second camp.

Overnight camping.

Maximun altitude: 13779f/4200m

Minimun altitude: 9842f/3000m

Walking distance: 7.10km/4.40ml

Approximate walking time: 6 hours

DAY 06 INCA TRAIL: PACAYMAYO - WIÑAYHUAYNA

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon snacks

A while after leaving Pacaymayo and following a zigzagging but short ascent (1 hour approx.) you will reach the circular ruins of Runkurakay (12139f/3700m) just surrounded by forests and steep hills.

After the visit to these ruins and a short rest, continue ascending to the pass of Runkurakay (12631f/3850m) to then start the descent and you will realize that from this point the Inca Trail is in excellent condition. Then, you will reach the steps that climb the ruins of Sayacmarca (11745f/3580m) from where the path begins to enter the jungle, the trail crosses the “Dry Lake” and the “Tunnel”, a natural cavity produced by a landslide but adapted by the Incas. This great Inca Trail continues through mountains covered with moss and fern and, after crossing a small pass, you will reach the Ceremonial Center of the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (11811f/3600m) an Inca construction with truncated pyramid structure, consisting of eight fountains liturgical at different levels and an extensive work of terraces and from where you have a spectacular view of the most impressive snowcapped mountains, to finally reach the spectacular archaeological complex of Wiñaywayna (8723f/2650m) with its hundreds of platforms and more than 3000 steps carved in the rock, the second most important after Machu Picchu, and where his last camp will be settled.

Note:  Some itineraries can have Phuyupatamarca as the last campsite as this is determined by the government agency that controls the Inca road network, we will inform you accordingly

Maximun altitude: 12631ft/3850m

Minimun altitude: 8723ft/2650m

Walking distance: 9.94ml/16km

Approximate walking time: 8 hours

DAY 07 WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU -VISIT THE CITADEL – TRAIN BACK TO CUSCO

Breakfast

You will start very early the next morning following the trail, heading then towards Inti Punku or Sun Gate (8923f/2720m) your last pass, from where Machu Picchu (7972f/2430m) appears and will truly take your breath away.

When, in 1911, the American archaeologist and historian Hiram Bingham discovered “The Lost City of the Inca Empire”, he could not imagine that he had reached the most enigmatic Inca ruins, one of the most spectacular and overwhelming places on earth that still conserves its mystery, charm and mystical appeal, despite its enormous popularity, even more so after having been designated one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Exploring the place continues to be an exciting experience, especially at dawn, when the scenic rays of light extend over the Andean peaks. After the guided tour, you will descend from the archaeological zone to the Aguas Calientes train station (6692ft/2040m), and embark on the train, which will meander slowly through the Andean landscape until you reach the town of Ollantaytambo, where you will be transferred to the vehicle that will take you back to Cusco.

Maximun altitude: 8923f/2720m

Minimun altitude: 6692f/2040m

Walking distance: 4.97m./8 km

Approximate walking time: 4/5 hours

MAKE IT DIFFERENT 

Improve your experience spending one night in Machu Picchu to visit the Huayna Picchu mountain from where you will have a spectacular view of Machu Picchu. (ask for the additional price).
Take the option of a Luxury Inca Trail or in case you don´t have much time, take the option of the one day Inca Trail.

ASK OUR EXPERTS TO UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE

 

IMPORTANT TIP

If you do want to see the beautiful scenery and ancient buildings of Machu Picchu, book your trip early. The Peruvian government has placed a limit on the number of people allowed to hike the trails to the city per day. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance. The high season tends to book up quickly!
For those who want to hike the Huayna Picchu mountain reservations has to be made well in advance, as the local authorities just allow 400 persons per day in two shifts of 200 persons each one (there is an additional to pay for this entrance)
You must be interested in upgrading your train experience, please contact our expert travel planners

 

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DAY 08 BUS CUSCO/PUNO: CUSCO- ANDAHUAYLILLAS - RAQCHI – LA RAYA – PUKARA – PUNO

Lunch

After an early start, transfer to the bus station and depart on a sightseeing bus to Puno with a Spanish / English speaking guide.

This touristic bus offers one of the most spectacular trips to explore the “Ruta del Sol” with stops in strategic places to discover the diversity of landscapes, Andean villages and Inca archaeological sites settled in the Cusco- Puno corridor.

The first stop will be the Chapel of Andahuaylillas, referred to as the Andean Sistine Chapel owing to its magnificent frescoes being a superb example of the prominent 17th century Mestizo Baroque style of architecture, which is typical of the Cusco School. Take the time to marvel at the ceiling of carved panels covered with gold leaf.  The next stop will be in Raqchi one of the most important temples dedicated to the Inca God Wiracocha, your journey will continue until arriving at Abra La Raya (4338 m or 14,232 feet), the watershed between the valley that drains into Lake Titicaca and the valley that leads down to Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

Pukara will be the last visit before arriving to Puno, it was the first regional population center in the northern end of Lake Titicaca Basin during the Late Formative Period (500 BC- AD 200), and will provide valuable insights into the origins of Andean civilization in the highlands.

Approximately at 17:00 hours arrival to Puno at 3800 meters of altitude. Reception at the bus station and transfer to the accommodation.

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DAY 09 FULL DAY TITICACA UNCOVERED - TAQUILE AND UROS ISLAND, LLACHON COMMUNITY

Lunch

This excursion begins with a transfer from your Puno hotel to the port. Depart on the fully equipped speedboat with services on board to the south of Taquile Island.  Hike through a pre-Inca trail with spectacular landscapes of the island, visiting families of weavers to learn about their textile art and symbolism that has been declared by UNESCO as world heritage. Leave the island and arrive to the community of Santa Maria – Llachon, on the Capachica Peninsula where you will be welcomed and quickly introduced to an intensive cross-cultural experience, observe their traditions and participate in an ancient ceremony to learn about their magical world. Then experience the preparation of “Pachamanca” a traditional way of cooking meat and vegetables using underground ovens, this is one of the main dishes of the Peruvian cuisine. Enjoy this delicacy in a small, but very scenic, restaurant. For the more adventurous there is an optional kayak along the coast of Llachon (ask for additional price). After leaving Santa Maria, you will arrive at Uros Titino islands, located in a remote area of the National Reserve of Lake Titicaca, these are considered as the last authentic floating islands, less commercial and little visited. Their inhabitants are descendants of one of the oldest cultures in South America. Optional tours in reed boats are available. At the end of the journey, return to Puno and transfer to your lodging.

IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE (OPTIONAL)

If you want a more active experience, go kayaking in the highest navigable lake in the world.

DAY 10 DEPART PUNO. FLIGHT JULIACA/LIMA/HOME

At scheduled time transfer from the Puno hotel to the Inca Manco Capac international  airport of Juliaca for your departure flight.

UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE
ASK OUR EXPERT TRAVEL ADVISORS TO UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN TITICACA LAKE IN A PRIVATE LODGE WITH YOUR OWN BUTLER AND CHEF AND OUTSTANDING VIEWS OR FOR AN EXTENSION TO THE IMPRESSIVE KINGDOM OF THE CHACHAPOYAS, THE ENIGMATIC AMAZON OR THE MYSTERIOUS NAZCA LINES.

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