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The Inca Trail

11 days
from
£1,999
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
TPT
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Follow in the footsteps of the Peruvian Incas as you trek the classic Inca Trail

Offering an unrivalled combination of history and dramatic scenery, the ancient Inca Trail winds its way from the powerful Urubamba River, across mountain passes and through cloud forests, passing several crumbling fortresses before reaching the lost city of Machu Picchu. This itinerary is specifically designed to maximise the time spent at Machu Picchu with an early morning tour of the ruins, quieter at that hour before the crowds of day trippers and other trekkers arrive. (Alternative remote Moonstone trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out.)

Highlights

  • Trek the classic Inca Trail to the Sun Gate for the iconic view of Machu Picchu
  • Climb Inca steps to the top of Dead Woman's Pass (4215m)
  • Have a guided tour of Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive
  • Discover Cuzco with its distinct Inca-Colonial fusion architecture
  • Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out

Key information

  • 5 nights hotels in en suite rooms, 3 nights full-service camping with dining and toilet tents
  • 4 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 4215m, average 3050m
  • 7kg personal weight limit on Inca Trail
  • Travel by private bus and by train

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • 5 nights en suite hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Inflatable sleeping mat while camping

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$20)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 6-8 hours walking per day

Terrain:

High altitude; good paths, lots of steps

Day by day breakdown
Day 411.0km/6.8miles
Day 510.0km/6.2miles
Day 612.0km/7.5miles
Day 79.0km/5.6miles

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus, we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

We operate a zero‐impact policy on the Inca Trail, removing all waste from campsites and separating it so that it can easily be recycled or composted. Using a toilet tent at our lunch stops and in camp removes the need to dig holes at campsites, and alleviates the waste problems caused by the fixed toilet blocks. Our camp staff are paid a fair wage and receive all accommodation, transport and food during the trek. They are also trained and encouraged to put environmental protection practices to use in their own communities. The porters we work with are not directly employed by our local partner but we work with the same communities each year; we supply uniforms, walking shoes and provide safe transport and community support for them. Our Trek Manager is a leading figure and consultant for the Porters' Federation, which campaigns for the fair treatment of porters in the region.

In Cuzco and Aguas Calientes there are opportunities to visit the markets and purchase local handicraft products or to sample Peruvian street food; try the Mercado San Pedro in Cuzco for local produce and the artisan market in Aguas Calientes for textiles. This helps to spread the income from tourism to the wider community. Although Machu Picchu is the highlight, Cuzco itself is awash with magnificent Spanish churches and Inca Museums ‐ your entrance fees to these historic and archaeological treasures (and the cost of your Inca Trail permit) contribute towards their preservation.

Café Daria is the first vocational training site for young adults with special needs. Students are trained across all aspects of hospitality and the food is prepared by the students on site. It's a great way to interact with locals, while also giving those who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Exodus support this cafe, and you will have the opportunity to visit it in Cuzco if you wish. 

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Cuzco
to
Cuzco
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    The overnight group flights to Cuzco leave London this evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Cuzco (3400m); free time to explore the Inca capital.

    Set amidst hills in the altiplano, the Imperial City of the Incas, Cuzco (3,400) was the geographical, cultural and political centre of a vast empire which, at its peak, stretched from present day Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile. After the Spanish conquistadores invaded the city, they started building on top of the Incan structures, resulting in unique architecture, a fusion of the Incan and Spanish colonial styles.

    The group flight usually arrives around midday and there will be time for a short orientation tour of the city or free time to wander the cobbled streets admiring the old houses, visiting its interesting museums, churches and pre-Columbian buildings, or to sit in a café and sample a coca-tea.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3,400m).

    There will be a welcome briefing in the hotel lobby this afternoon/evening.

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)

  • Day 3

    Free day; optional Sacred Valley excursion.

    Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America's most beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people-watching, and Qorikancha – the Sun Temple, located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery, are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. Cuzco is also the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and should you wish to visit the sites, your leader can help organise an excursion, including Pisac Market (optional).

    If you fancy something more active then there are an array of other optional activities available from Cuzco, although you may wish to leave these until your return to the city after the Inca Trail trek, by which time you will be fully acclimatised. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

    In the evening you will need to pack and weigh your duffel bag ready for the Inca Trail tomorrow – remember to keep your passport somewhere accessible for the Inca Trail checkpoint.

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur / Emperador (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    The Classic Inca Trail: Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

    The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.

    We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo, our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

    Walk Profile: approx. 11km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Huayllabamba Camp

    Moonstone Trek: Trek past ruins and hamlets to the village of Chillipawa.

    An early start as it's a very busy first day! We take a private minibus to the trailhead, stopping first to explore the nearby ruins from which the trek takes its name. This is a large site with several distinct Inca remnants, clearly of religious importance. As with the rest of the trek, we are most likely to have the site completely to ourselves. The Moonstone itself is a large carving on an enormous boulder, and its significance is not yet understood.

    The trailhead is in a quiet, dusty valley and we soon climb high enough from the floor to enjoy some great views. At around lunchtime we stop to explore the imposing pre‐Inca fortress of Wata that straddles the trail. The ruin has not yet been accurately dated and pottery can often still be found lying on the ground. The path then traverses along a green side valley as we make our way above a few tiny villages before entering the village of Chillipawa, where we camp.

    Walk Profile: approx. 10.5km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    The Classic Inca Trail: Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4215m), then descend to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) Pass – at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

    Walk Profile: approx. 10km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Pacamayo Camp

    Moonstone Trek: Up the Accoccosa Pass and onto the high pampas.

    A long, steady climb with plenty of rest stops to aid acclimatisation takes us above the villages and into the high pampas ‐ rugged meadows of long grass. We normally stop for lunch shortly before the crest of the Accoccosa Pass (and the very rare Andean Flicker is sometimes seen (although often heard!). The last leg of the pass is on loose red scree, but the view from the top makes it all worthwhile: a broad, hidden valley surrounded by snowy peaks ‐ the Huayanay Range on the left, the Urubamba Range straight ahead and beautiful, triangular Mt Veronica (5,800m) to the right. We have time to explore this plateau and experience walking in the high altiplano before returning to our camp for a well‐deserved hot dinner. The camp's isolation, well away from any settlements, results in spectacular night skies when clear.

    Walk Profile: approx. 8.8km / 4‐5hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    The Classic Inca Trail: Over Runquracay Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

    We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. As we leave behind the ruins of Sayajmarca, we suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We spend the night at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

    Walk Profile: approx. 12km / 5-6hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Phuyupatamarca Camp

    Moonstone Trek: Continue along a narrow canyon and Incan aqueduct before crossing over to the Inca quarry of Canchiqata.

    We start after breakfast by following the stream from down this hidden valley into a narrow canyon. Rare polylepis trees grow here and we pass through a small grove as we leave the canyon. Our path then turns North and traverses very high above a deep and steep valley separating us from the Huayanay Mountains. This is probably the most spectacular section of the trek and we roughly follow a (now defunct) Inca aqueduct spectacularly carved out of the cliffs to take water from the hidden valley of our campsite to the Sacred Valley several miles away. At the end of the traverse we have a short but steep climb up to our lunch spot, a flat, ridge‐top meadow facing straight across the Sacred Valley to the snowy Urubamba Range.

    After lunch we walk down to Huayrapunku. Meaning "Gate of the Wind", this is a ridge‐top Inca shrine oriented to Mt Veronica, of which it has a simply incredible view. Finally a short walk brings us to our final campsite in amongst the granite stones of the Canchiqata Quarry. It was here that huge blocks were cut from the rose‐coloured granite before being dragged down the mountainside and across the river to the Sun Temple at Ollantaytambo.

    Walk Profile: approx. 11.8km / 5‐6hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    The Classic Inca Trail: Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

    From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.

    Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow.

    There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Moonstone Trek at the hotel this afternoon.

    Walk Profile: approx. 9km / 6-7hrs walking

    Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Moonstone Trek: Descend to Ollantaytambo where the trek ends; catch the train to Aguas Calientes and re-join the rest of the group.

    Photographers are advised to wake up before dawn this morning, to watch the sun rise over the Sacred Valley from our campsite high above it. The sun's first rays catching the glaciers of Mt Veronica certainly makes the effort more than worthwhile. This is our last day on the trek and we descend from the pampas down into the lush valley floor along the enormous stone ramps on which the Incas dragged the stones. We cross the river and explore the huge Sun Temple complex to see where the stones ended and what use they were put to. Our trek ends as we board the train to Aguas Calientes, where we join the rest of the group at the hotel.

    Walk Profile: approx. 8km / 2‐3hrs walking

    Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Guided tour of Machu Picchu; free time to explore further; return to Cuzco by train and road.

    In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance, and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. 

    Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. 

    New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, we will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; we select the most comprehensive route. 

    We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free day in Cuzco; optional activities available.

    Today has been left free to relax after the trek or explore Cuzco further. Again, your leader can help to arrange optional excursions and activities for you.

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Depart Cuzco.

    For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport to catch the overnight flight back to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Arrive London.

    The group flights arrive into London this afternoon.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (from Cuzco)

Code: XPC

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Lake Titicaca extension

Code: XPT

Journey across the spectacular high altiplano to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable freshwater lake (3,800m). Explore its waters by boat and visit the descendants of the Uros Indians who live on floating reed islands, and are also known for producing fine textiles. Back on the mainland, we visit the pre‐ Incan site of Sillustani, comprised of burial towers with fantastic views over the region. The Titicaca Extension is only available after your main tour as we do not recommend arriving straight into Puno due to the altitude. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the tour. 

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Drinking water is included throughout the holiday as the tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from. 

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all locations – if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food.

Where lunch and dinner are not included in Cuzco/Aguas Calientes we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants.

During the Inca Trail (or Moonstone Trek) hearty breakfasts are served and good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also provided. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.

 

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate between different regions.

Cuzco and the Andes have a temperate climate. December to March is the rainy season in Cuzco/the Andes and April to November is the dry season; characterised by clear skies and strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. Daytime temperatures are usually pleasant (approx. 20 degrees C on average) but night times only 5-10 degrees C, except for May, June, July and August when days are cooler and nights are often close to, or a few degrees below, freezing. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud, rain or even snow, with rapid and unexpected changes! 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged. Cold fronts sometimes occur from July-August.

Peru is affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon whereby warming of Pacific Ocean surface water off South America drives a shift in the atmospheric circulation, resulting in abnormally high levels of rainfall over parts of South America. These events occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and last nine months to two years. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2014-16. 

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Is this trip for you?

This is a Moderate grade trek (level 3) – please refer to our activity level guidelines. There are four days point-to-point walking with full porterage, reaching a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman's Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner's trek to anyone with no previous walking experience. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation beforehand. The trek is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek. The use of trekking poles will help to reduce strain on the knees.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend two days in Cuzco (3400m) acclimatising before starting the trek.

Protest action/strikes are not uncommon in Peru, and whilst these are generally peaceful, they can involve roadblocks and cause disruption to travel. Occasionally your leader may have to adapt your itinerary in response to this. 

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Inca Trail Regulations

There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible. 
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased on your behalf. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure. 
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities. 
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking and keep it somewhere safe.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options. 

Alternative Moonstone Trek

Once Inca Trail permits have sold out for a given date, we can no longer accept bookings for the classic Inca Trail trek. However, we can offer an equally spectacular alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place. The remote high altitude Moonstone Trek takes in a number of recently discovered Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites and there are practically no other tourists along the route.

If selected, the Moonstone Trek will replace days 3 to 6 of the standard land only itinerary. The maximum altitude on the Moonstone Trek is 4625m (higher than that of the classic Inca Trail) and the route is slightly more strenuous. Therefore we class it as a Moderate/Challenging trek (level 4).

Depending on the split of the group between the Inca Trail and Moonstone Trek, you may find small group sizes on the Moonstone Trek. Please ask your Sales Consultant if you would like to know how many people are booked on each.

Whilst the Moonstone Trek can also be booked preferentially while Inca Trail permits are still available, a small group supplement may apply. 

New List of Regulations for visiting Machu Picchu (which apply from July 1st 2018).

The main points impacting your visit are the following:

  1. The tickets are valid only for one entry which means that you cannot leave the site and re-enter.
  2. Once you have done the chosen circuit with your guide, you cannot walk back to view anything already visited and once you finish the circuit, you will have to leave the site. You can no longer explore the site further after the guided tour.
  3. The two visit times for visiting the site, either 6am-12pm or 12-16.30pm.

These new regulations will affect how long you are able to spend at Machu Picchu.  In the past, after the guided tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site, this is not possible anymore. The alternative that we are implementing on our visits to allow you further time, is to explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun Gate and Inca Bridge) before starting the guided tour.  The guided tour will be about 2 hrs in duration, and unfortunately at the end of it, you will need to exit the site.

 Schedule of visit to Machu Picchu on this itinerary:

  • Early bus to Machu Picchu and explore upper part with the tour leader until 10am.
  • 10 am start the guided tour
  • 12.30pm passengers leave Machu Picchu.

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camping

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary, however, accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. All of our Cuzco hotels are small and locally-owned with en-suite bathrooms and breakfast facilities. All are located within walking distance of the central Plaza de Armas. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at the reception.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug-in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

The Inca Trail (and Moonstone trek) is on a full-service camping basis with full porterage, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your daypack. There is a separate dining tent for meal times, as well as a toilet tent for use both in camp and during lunch stops. On the Inca Trail we stay in organised campsites which are administered by the Regional Cultural Directorate, whilst on the Moonstone Trek we use wild campsites.

Should you wish to extend your stay, we can book extra nights accommodation in Cuzco for you. While we endeavour to book your pre/post tour accommodation in the same hotel that you will start/end the trip, it may not always be possible. If your extra accommodation is in a different hotel to where the group will start/end the trip it is your responsibility to make arrangements to get to/from that start/end hotel.

We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post-tour accommodation. Single accommodation (including tents) can be arranged, subject to availability. Please request this at the time of booking.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed November 2018

    Superb

    Fantastic atmosphere, brilliant guide, porters and support team. Just wish it was longer!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, day three on the trail was the best, as we moved into the forest and the soaked up the atmosphere, including many Inca ruins previously unknown to me. And of course, arriving at the Sun Gate and looking down on Machu Picchu, just as the late afternoon sun lit it up, almost devoid of day trippers!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frank was incredible. He was inspirational in getting us to gel as a team and ensure we all helped each other to get through the tougher sections. His knowledge of Inca and current local culture was encyclopaedic and he was so funny! He was also something of a talented photographer with all our cameras (is there a camera he doesn’t know how to operate better than we do?). It’s hard to imagine anyone better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of our party struggled a bit and sadly one (plus her husband) had to drop out through altitude sickness. Though that can affect even the fittest, it’s fair to say that this is quite a tough trek (most of us felt it could be rated a bit higher than the grade 3 “moderate” rating). To enjoy it fully, make sure you do plenty of training on hills or similar - it is almost constantly up and down and often steep steps. Those who had trained by walking on the flat found it difficult.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make sure you bring spare batteries or a charging pack for your phone / camera. Some of us had exhausted our batteries before reaching The Sun Gate. It was also very cold at night after days 2 and 3, so make sure your sleeping bag is properly 4 seasons and you also bring thermals. Finally, the 7kg baggage limit on the Inca Trail is strictly applied, so plan carefully what you need to take on the trail and weigh it before you set off (surplus stuff can be left at the hotel). A slightly bigger day pack, to enable you to pack things that would take your baggage over the 7kg limit, would give some flexibility.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Daivd Richardson

    Breathtaking trek to the Inca Capital of Machu Picchu

    The Inca trail, organised by Exodus, was a thrill ride from beginning to end. I was so impressed with the organisation of the trip. We were looked after so well that I didn't have to think about how I was going to get around, or where my next meal would come from. The two guides were a constant source of fascinating facts, and helped keep the group motivaated. The group of Porters were superhuman. The camp site was stripped down as we left. They marched (And sometimes ran) past us during the trek. And always had the camp ready when we arrived. If this wasn't impressive enough, the meals were already in the process of being prepared. The food provided by the chef were delicious. Hadn't expected to be eating such great food. Fish, meat and chicken were the evening meals. Also popcorn was provided as an after trek snack. So impressed I would recommend this trek to anyone. And if this is how Exodus organise their trips, I will definitely use them again!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the Sun Gste and looking down on Machu Picchu for the first time. Utterly breathtakingly!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was a font of knowledge. He was always full of energy and enthusiasm. He was also very good rumoured, which fitted in with our all-british group perfectly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book with Exodus, and don't worry about a thing. Take your time on the trek. It's not a race. The second day is a big asscent, and you don't want to rush it. If you start to feel the effects of altitude, you should take a break and slow down. Many of us had mild headaches, and a few had digestive upsets. But don't be put off by this. It's all manageable, and the trek leaders are used to dealing with it.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Lyn Williams

    Magnificent Moonstone Trek

    Magnificent trek - wild and unspoilt countryside. Better than doing the main Inca trail I'd say as you are not simply climbing millions of steps, nor do you have to stay on camp sites with forty other tented pitches. You're likely to see only your group (only two women in ours), the guide, chef and horsemen / porters who all work to make your trip safe, comfortable and enjoyable. When it was really cold, they even gave us hot water bottles at night and had a gas heater for the dining tent. Absolutely amazing time - really got away from it all an challenged myself with the altitude, terrain and weather conditions. Everything I could want from an adventure holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of a summit - around 14,500 - 15,000 feet. Not bad for a girl who's afraid of heights!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant - Lennin Tuppa. What a star for keeping us safe and comfortable, challenging us, but also making us laugh.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take layers, a sunhat and a wooly hat - you may go through hot sun, strong wind, snow, hail - all in a few hours in the Andes. Also walking poles are the best investment I made for this trip. Collapsible ones are really useful to put in your case too. Take factor 50 sunblock for use in the mountains. A rubber bath plug is also a good idea - hotels never seem to provide a plug even when there is a bath.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel Warari is AWFUL!! Exodus please stop using it. The noise from restaurant events (next door) and karaoke club (over the road) go on until 4.30am some nights. This is horrendous before and after trek. It is also cold, dark and has concrete floors - noisey when clients leave early morning with cases and has glass panels above bedroom doors, so again, when people leave, your room lights up like sunrise when the automatic corridor lights turn on. I stayed one extra night at Hotel Rumi Punku which is in the old, cobbled town streets and it was great.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Chris Harris

    Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    This trek has been on my 'to do' list for over 15 years and boy was it worth it. What a fantastic adventure which I will never forget. I had a little extra time in Cuzco at the beginning and had a great time exploring this wonderful city. Loads of lovely churches and a cathedral to explore around Plaza de Armas, plus there was the Festival of the Sun happening the weekend after I arrived so there was lots of parades and colourful people about. It was great sampling coca tea for the first time in one of the many cafes around the Plaza. Then it was onto the main event - the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The trek was very challenging, but I loved every minute of it. The group I was with were all lovely people, the food was great, cooked up 3 times a day by the brilliant chef and the porters were superhuman carrying all our gear ahead of us and setting up lunch and evening camps. Our group leader, Julio and his second in command, Cesar also deserve a very special mention as they were excellent in every way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Dead Women's Pass at 4215 metres. Such a sense of achievement and the views were spectacular. Also walking to the final campsite through the cloud forest and seeing Machu Picchu mountain in front of us and snow capped mountains in the distance to the left and right. I managed to phone my wife from this campsite which was great (and also found out England had won 6-1 in the World Cup the day before). Unbelievable views again when I woke up the next morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was a really great group leader, very informative, helpful and encouraging throughout the whole trip. How he remembered everything he explained to us when we stopped off at the many Inca sites on the way I will never know. He showed a great deal of care towards all of us and also towards the environment of the trail, frequently seeking out orchids and other flora in the cloud forest (and pointing them out to us) to check on the health of it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If trekking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is something you are thinking about, all I can say is Just Do It. You will not regret it, it's fantastic. Don't worry too much about the altitude - as long as you take your time and drink plenty of water you should be fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is the first time I have used Exodus and I will be using them again for my next adventure, from the moment I paid my deposit to landing back in the UK they were excellent.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Lisa Hamblin

    Trip of a lifetime

    One of the best experiences of my life. Thank you

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Machu Pichu for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Best. Holgier. Just simply the best.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light. You will need half the clothes you think you need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yes, we want to help one of our porters I have just returned from a trip with yourselves. I had the most wonderful, amazing time, it was everything and more that you advertised. So, firstly – thank you so much. I went to Peru and walked the Inca Trail. Our guides were named Holgier, Oscar and Javier. They were amazing – I cannot praise them enough. The reason for my email, is not though, just to thank you. One of our superhuman porters was called Juan de dio Cruz Quispe. He had unfortunately damaged a few of his fingers on his right hand before our trip. He could afford a doctor’s appointment, who advised him he needed an operation if he wanted to save his fingers. This we are aware is beyond his financial capabilities. It was very obvious to all 14 of us on this trip that as the days went on – his pain was getting worse. So, as a group we wish to approach you to ask your help in helping us fund his operation. It is something that all of us in the group wish to contribute to. We could have paid him direct but feel the best options is to go through you. Is this something that has happened before and do you know the best way to get this actioned? .
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Stephanie Mckay

    Inca Trail

    Cusco is a good starting point as the capital city of the Inca empire there is lots to see. Good restaurants and a vibrant atmosphere add to the sense of anticipation ready for the trek. The four day trek was for me the highlight despite 24 hours of altitude sickness prior to setting off and a visit from the doctor. The Trail was for me challenging despite my level of fitness As i had not truely realised how the altitude would take my breath away. The struggle was more than worth it for the views and the cloud forest was fascinating. Throughout the trail we were well looked after well informed. My fellow travellers added to the sense of achievement and although busy Machu Picchu did not disappoint. All our guides and short team were excellent

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sense of achievement , the views and the Cloud Forest.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was knowledgable, caring and approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t underestimate the possible impact of altitude sickness. Seek medical help promptly if you need it as recovery can be quick and it didn’t stop me completing the trek.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take a game or a book on the trek.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Elizabeth Prosser

    Greatest adventure ever!

    Myself and my father embarked in a trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. It started with several days exploring Cusco where we were met by our guide Julio who gave us a quick tour and took us all to a restaurant. The next day we visited the Inca sites of Sacsayhuaman and Qenqo. These were very interesting a well worth our time. Then it was the start of the Inca trail! An early morning took us on a bus ride for several hours through Peru and the landscape was beautiful. The entire trail was wonderful I barely even noticed the altitude change until the day of Dead Womans Pass. Visiting all the Inca sites was brilliant and finishing at Maccu Piccu was an experience I won't forget!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As much as everyone is excited for Maccu Piccu I was most taken by some of the other Inca sites we saw along the way. Small and relatively big settlements were nestled into the mountains and they would be hidden until the cloud cover suddenly lifted and you would get a glimpse of these terraces and buildings from a distance. Then throughout the day you would get closer and closer until you could stand right in the middle of it. These were the times I found most inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was a wonderful group leader! Very knowledgable about everything: history, visiting sites, food and basically anything you wanted to know he had the answer. Whilst on the hike he was super encouraging and knew how to keep the spirits of the group up!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The website may tell you its the dry season and it barely rains. IGNORE THAT! Our group hiked in August... it rained...it hailed....IT SNOWED! Always invest in decent waterproofs and when your guide recommends you buy a poncho do it. We didn't and I regretted it so badly when my waterproof coat and trousers were soaked through.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Elizabeth Prosser

    Greatest adventure ever!

    Myself and my father embarked in a trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. It started with several days exploring Cusco where we were met by our guide Julio who gave us a quick tour and took us all to a restaurant. The next day we visited the Inca sites of Sacsayhuaman and Qenqo. These were very interesting a well worth our time. Then it was the start of the Inca trail! An early morning took us on a bus ride for several hours through Peru and the landscape was beautiful. The entire trail was wonderful I barely even noticed the altitude change until the day of Dead Womans Pass. Visiting all the Inca sites was brilliant and finishing at Maccu Piccu was an experience I won't forget!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As much as everyone is excited for Maccu Piccu I was most taken by some of the other Inca sites we saw along the way. Small and relatively big settlements were nestled into the mountains and they would be hidden until the cloud cover suddenly lifted and you would get a glimpse of these terraces and buildings from a distance. Then throughout the day you would get closer and closer until you could stand right in the middle of it. These were the times I found most inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was a wonderful group leader! Very knowledgable about everything: history, visiting sites, food and basically anything you wanted to know he had the answer. Whilst on the hike he was super encouraging and knew how to keep the spirits of the group up!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The website may tell you its the dry season and it barely rains. IGNORE THAT! Our group hiked in August... it rained...it hailed....IT SNOWED! Always invest in decent waterproofs and when your guide recommends you buy a poncho do it. We didn't and I regretted it so badly when my waterproof coat and trousers were soaked through.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Siobhan Partington

    The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    This was my first experience of travelling outside Europe. I absolutely loved it and it has made me so excited to see the rest of the world. I met some really great people and it was so great to experience this with them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the Sun Gate and looking out over Machu Picchu after four days of trekking was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was absolutely brilliant. from start to finish he made this a wonderful experience. Our luggage didn't make it to Columbia and he was phoning at 3am and going to the airport to make sure we got it in time for the trek. Nothing was too much for him or Jonny the second tour guide and they really made the trip a wonderful experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would definitely do this trip again. I would advise travelers to take waterproofs and a good poncho (available cheaply in Cuzco) even when not in the rainy season as its better to be safe than sorry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The whole group - Porters, chefs and tour guides/leaders were so brilliant. However, the support from our tour leader Julio was exceptional. He organized everything so well including day trips we wanted, restaurant recommendations and bookings in Cuzco and even took us personally to the airport at the end of the trip. He was so knowledgeable and his passion for his country shone through. Can't thank him enough.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Julian Hartley

    A well balanced adventure.

    A superb introduction to Peru. This was the first time we have used Exodus and we can’t wait to use them again. The trip way very professionally organised from start to finish. Cusco exceeded expectations...a surprisingly interesting city with lots to do and see during the day and a variety of good restaurants and bars. The group we were with were great fun and as well as having a common interest in the trip itself we soon realised we had a very similar sense of humour...which came in handy during periods of inevitable minor adversity. The Inca trail itself was perfectly planned with good food (no idea how the chefs did it really), porterage and general support. The walking was just challenging enough and the rewards in terms of scenery and sights were well worth it. Our guide, Julio, had the complete skill set...language skills,local network,man management and empathy with the group. He set expectations well throughout.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As well as the clear thrill of realising we were actually at Machu Picchu the real thing for me was the way the team bonded ...due in no small part to the initial cohesive impact of Julio.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First rate...the complete skill set. He made it look easy...when I am sure it wasn’t.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weathers...it can be very cold and wet ...even in the dry season. Take lots of layers. Set up a Watsap group to share photos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want a relatively short trip that gives you some spectacular scenery and one of the greatest sights on the planet (M C) whilst starting and finishing in relative luxury this is a great option.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Inca Trail Permits: An Inca Trail permit is required to walk the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6-8 months in advance to avoid disappointment. 2019 Inca Trail permits are now on sale so don’t delay! On dates where Inca Trail permits have sold out we can offer the spectacular remote Moonstone Trek in its place – please enquire for details.

 

Inca Trail Permit Status: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. Inca Trail permits are strictly limited and are only released one year at a time. We cannot reserve or pre-purchase them. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options.

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Call us on 020 8772 3936