Days
8
Price from
$1,375USD

This is the bout you’ve been waiting for: You vs. the Inca Trail. Limber up in Lima, then fly to Cusco for acclimatization. Spend four days hard slogging it up South America’s most celebrated trek and be rewarded with a Machu Picchu sunrise

Three traits you don’t want to be remembered for on a trek: whinging, laziness and being a sulky-pants. But don’t stress, your support crew will feed you up with lollies, fruit and sugary drinks to help keep the demons at bay.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Cuzco, Peru
Country
Peru
Code
GSCI
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Feel like climbing some mountains, fording some streams and following some rainbows? Where better to fulfil your adventurous dreams than along the epic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Whether you trek the classic Inca Trail, the Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, there's something to suit everyone. Trust us, this is going to be one of the highlights of your awesome life

  • Don't worry, we won't hog all of your time. You'll have plenty of opportunity to bounce around Cuzco, digging deep into the pockets of Incan history

  • Geckos gives you wings! Really big mechanical ones. We'll fly you from Lima to Cuzco so you won't have to think about the logistics of it all

Is this trip right for you?

  • You’ll be camping with very basic, shared facilities along the Inca Trail (where there are drop toilets and no showers). This is all part of the adventure of being among nature.

  • While hiking the 4 Day Inca Trail or 3 Day Quarry trail portion of this trip you may be joined by some non-Geckos travellers, who might be over the age of 29 years old.

  • We’ll be experiencing a mix of hot and cold climates, so pack accordingly and bring layers.

  • It’s important to wear sunscreen and other sun protection, and always drink plenty of water.

  • This trip involves a lot of hiking and walking, so requires a moderate level of fitness. There are a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the trip notes for more information.

  • Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Welcome to Lima, Peru. Your adventure starts with an orientation walk around Peru's capital. You'll be lead around locations such as Miraflores and head from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to the entertainment complex of LarcoMar. At around 2 pm there will be a pre-departure meeting. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform the accommodation as soon as possible. Afterwards, get to know your group with a few pisco sours and a plate of Lima's famous ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime juice, chilli, onions and tomato).


If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).


Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Fitness' sections in the trip notes for detailed information.


Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Say farewell to Lima today and fly to Cuzco, which takes around one hour and ten minutes. Spend the next two days trying to acclimatise to the high altitude of this location (i.e. no strenuous activity). Visit the alpaca farms in the Sacred Valley for knitted creations and the market town of Pisac for leather goods. After dropping your luggage off and having some lunch, your leader will take you on an orientation walk around downtown Cuzco, the local San Pedro market, the main square and past the 12 Angled Stone.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to continue your exploration of Cuzco and its surrounding areas. Perhaps venture out to the great Inca sites of Sacsayhuaman, Quenca and Tambo Machay. Later in the day, meet the rest of your fellow travellers who may be joining today. Use your evening to relax, grab some food and prepare for the Inca Trail if you're heading out tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN135
  • Cuzco - City tour - USD15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depending on your pre-arranged travel arrangements, during the next four days you may: hike the Classic Inca Trail, hike the Inca Quarry Trail or stay in Cuzco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cuzco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cuzco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum).

Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cuzco and only travel with the necessary items for the next few days.

 

Route 1 Classic Inca Trail: 

Today travel by minivan to the 82 km marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the ruins of Llactapata, which was burnt to the ground by the last Inca emperor to discourage Spanish pursuit down the trail. In the evening, set up camp while the cook makes dinner.

Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 km long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

 

Route 2 Quarry Trail: 

Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Notes: The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 km long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

 

Route 3 Train:

For those travellers disinterested in hiking the trail or who are unable to, spend two extra nights in Cuzco before travelling by bus to Ollantaytambo. From here take a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes where you’ll spend a third night.

Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night / 3 Day Quarry Trail)
  • Machu Picchu guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail: 

This is the most challenging day of the trek, as we ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

 

Route 2 Quarry Trail: 

This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

 

Route 3 Train:

Today, perhaps your free day indulging your inner foodie in the eateries of Cuzco. Head to lunch at the arty Fallen Angel restaurant, and if you still have room for dessert, the ChocoMuseo offers tastings and chocolate-marking workshops. All optional activities are at your own cost. 

\Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail: 

Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

 

Route 2 Quarry Trail: 

Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

 

Route 3 Train:

In the morning take a bus and train which is nestled in the hills at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want to, there’s time to visit Machu Picchu independently before the guided tour the next day. If you’d like to do this, please advise your group leader at the welcome meeting at the beginning of the trip. Otherwise, you might like to while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs of Aguas Calientes.

Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail: 

The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists). 

 

Route 2 Quarry Trail: 

Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular sunrise over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

 

Route 3 Train:

In the morning at 5.30 am, take a bus up to Machu Picchu. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cuzco.

 

For all trails - after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.

Notes: Due to Gecko's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Inca Trek & Machu Picchu adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no more activities planned and you're free to leave the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Bus, Plane, Public bus, Taxi

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Hotel (4 nights)

Included Activities

  • Cuzco - Orientation Walk
  • 3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night / 3 Day Quarry Trail)
  • Machu Picchu guided tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

A good level of fitness and pre-trip training is essential for the Inca Trek. You will trek on hilly terrain or mountainous terrain at altitudes of up to 4200 metres, for up to 7 hours per day.

Inca trail Permits:
Very Important - In order to obtain the necessary permit to trek the Inca Trail, we must be provided with accurate details of the passport to be used whilst travelling in Peru. If the name, passport number, nationality or date of birth shown on the permit are different from the passport, park authorities will refuse entry. If passport details have not been supplied, the permit cannot be issued. When we are unable to secure the "Classic Trail", our groups take the "Quarry Trek". This also applies during February each year, when the Classic Trail is closed for restoration.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.