If your aim is to challenge yourself with an epic hike that will unfold a tale of an ancient civilisation and incredible constructions, which although hidden for centuries have stood the test of time, then this is the trip for you. Time in Cuzco will allow you acclimatise to the Andean altitude and give you an opportunity to explore its colonial past. A tour through the Sacred Valley will bring you face-to-face with local life at a women’s weaving co-operative and a chance to purchase quality souvenirs. Towards the end of Inca Discovery you will arrive at the ‘Sun Gate’ for sunrise to watch the sunrise over the breathtaking Machu Picchu.
Arrive in Lima at any time. There are no planned activities so check into the hotel and enjoy the city. There is a welcome meeting in the evening.
Please note: if you booked the Culinary Bundle it does not include extra time in Lima and we highly recommend booking pre-trip accommodation. You will be picked up from the hotel at approx 10:00 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to the hotel around 13:00.
Also note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting with G Representative
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cusco (the flight usually departs early – the group may leave the hotel by 4:30am). The day is free to relax and explore the fascinating city of Cusco, and to acclimatize to the altitude.
Plane (1.00-1.50 hours)
Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.
Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and the small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.
Continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Take a guided tour of the large ruin site adjacent to the town. Ollantaytambo is the first taste of what lies ahead in Machu Picchu.
Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit
Pisac Ruins Guided Tour
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley
Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour
Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley – the elevation descends the whole way.
Private Vehicle (95km)
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you'll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Inca Trail Hike
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Inca Trail Hike
Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.
At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Inca Trail Hike
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.
Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.
Inca Trail Hike
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km)
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Depart at any time.
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I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful guide we had last month. My husband, daughter, and I were part of the Inca Discovery group May 10 and were led by Jaramy, who was assisted by Nelli. My husband and I were celebrating our 50th birthdays a little early, and our daughter's graduation from university. It was a special trip for us since my husband and I normally stay in more luxurious places (!) but our daughter really wanted this trip. We had a fabulous time largely due to the fact that Jaramy especially, but also Nelli, were so supportive even though I was very slow on the uphill parts of the trail. I never felt that I was holding anyone back and they really made the journey great for me. I think the most I finished behind the others was 45 minutes on the climb to Dead Woman's Pass and Jaramy told me it was no big deal, he'd had people finish lots later than that. We have already been searching for our next G Adventures trip. Despite the Cultural Shock rating of the Inca Discovery we found the hotels to be wonderful! Very comfortable and fabulous locales, especially the one in Ollantaytambo. Thanks to Jaramy and Nelli's patience I think we are hooked on this kind of travel! You should be pleased you have such great people working for you! Thanks for making our milestone events memorable!Overall Rating
Although I headed to Peru by myself, I made instant friends with the rest of my group on the Inca Discovery trip. Our guide, Mauro, was a fountain of knowledge and was so supportive the whole way. And I certainly didn’t expect gourmet food in the middle of the Andes – I can’t get the pancakes or guacamole out of my head! From the moment we had our group meeting the night before we departed to the moment I landed back home, the trip was meticulously organized, but still flexible. Going on the Inca Discovery trip with G Adventures has me hooked, I’ve already sent two friends on the same trip and I’m scouring the G Adventures brochures for my next adventure. Thank you, G Adventures! Trip Report Card: Excitement: A+ Landscape: A+ Guide and Porters: A+ Food and Accommodations: A+ Overall experience: A+++Overall Rating
Trip Name: Inca Discovery
Duration: 8 Days
From Price: 1439
Trip Code: 126651
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