Alternative Inca Trail
TreXperience - 4 days
- Alternative Inca Trail
- 4 days / 3 nights
- Max. group: 16 Persons
- Difficulty: Easy
> Great alternative when permits are sold out
> Sunset at Sungate
> Hike along ancient Inca Trails
Alternative Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is inspired in the Last Inca King who used this trail to move his rebel army in 1536 from Cusco to the Last Capital of Incas which years later would become the “Legendary lost city of the Incas”. Hike to the Machu Picchu along with the first female porters and chefs from Cusco. This is the only hiking tour to Machu Picchu that starts in Cusco, using ancient Inca Trails arrives to Huchuy Qosqo, visit the Sacred Valley, Short Inca trail, arrive in the afternoon to Machu Picchu through the Sungate for the sunset, and visit for a second time this spectacular place the next day to experience the sunrise.
What’s the plan?
DAY 1: CUSCO – TAMBOMACHAY – QENKO
Starting in Cusco city, we head towards the archaeological site of Tambomachay, just outside of Cusco, where we start our expedition to the legendary lost city of the Incas. Passing through local communities, beautiful mountain lakes, large grassland where llamas and alpacas feed. This area is home to a wide variety of birds including Wallatas (lovebirds), partridges and lapwings, all of which are regularly spotted throughout the day. Until we reach the community of Quenko where we will spend the night. Quenko is a typical Andean village with a few hundred inhabitants, all of the farmers. This is a good opportunity to understand their lifestyle, interact with local children, and visit the houses to see how they live and what they have. You can take some gifts if you like.
Campsite Altitude: 3800m/12,467ft
Highest altitude: 3800m/12,467ft
Distance: 10 km/8.1 miles
Duration: 6 hours
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 2: QENKO – HUCHUY QOSCO – LAMAY –OLLANTAYTAMBO
Awakening in the Peruvian Andes with the most amazing views cloud be an unforgettable experience. To make it even perfect this day we will visit the Huchuy Qosqo Inca City, located on top of the sacred valley, a city that more than 500 hundred years ago was inhabited by the Incas. Now lies on top on the mountain offering us a magnificent view with buildings, sacred temples, farming terraces, storehouses, water channels, and an Inca reservoir. After exploring everything and giving time to feel the energy, power, magic, and mysteries of this places we will enjoy lunch to later head downhill to Lamay we will take a bus to Ollantaytambo, a beautiful city located in the middle of mountains with many natural and cultural history. We will have time to explore the city considered like “the last living Inca city”, “world capital of native American”, dinner will be at a local restaurant. Sleep in our Campsite at Cachiccata community.
Campsite Altitude: 2000m/6560
Highest altitude: 3800m/12,467ft
Distance: 8 km/5 miles
Duration: 4 hours hike
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 3: CUSCO – KM104 – MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO (AGUAS CALIENTES)
For the Short Inca Trail, we will wake up in the campsite at approximately 7 am (depending on the train schedule) and drive to Ollantaytambo train station. From here its a 1 hour 30-minute train ride along the Urubamba River from Ollantaytambo (in the highlands) to km 104 at Chachabamba (in the cloud forest). We will head straight to the checkpoint at Chachabamba to start your Short Inca Trail Trek. Please note, you will need your original passport in order to pass through the checkpoint. Our first stop is a beautiful Inca ruin also called Chachabamba. We will then hike along an ancient Inca trail, that was abandoned in the 16th century and leads to Machu Picchu.
The first section of the trail is a gradual uphill hike for 3 hours until we arrive at Wiñay Huayna (the place that never gets old). At this point, we will take some time to explore this stunning archaeological site while enjoying spectacular views of the Andes. A packed lunch and refreshments will be provided. Once fed and energized we will continue our hike to the Sungate to catch your first glimpse of the Lost City of the Incas – a truly unforgettable sight. From the Sungate it’s a one hour downhill walk to the city, with breathtaking views along the way. We will arrive at Macchu Picchu in the afternoon and will, therefore, have the unique opportunity of experiencing the city almost empty. This is the perfect photo taking opportunity! We will then take the bus down to Aguas Calientes where we will have dinner and spend the night in a hotel
Average altitude: 2000m / 6561ft
Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
Duration: 6 hours
Meals: Lunch, snacks & dinner
Accommodation: Killa INN or similar
DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU (LOST CITY OF THE INCAS)
On our final day after the short Inca trail we have to get up very early to prepare for the highlight of your Short Inca Trail Trek; visiting Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas. We will go straight to the line to wait for the first bus going up to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. Arriving at the sky brightens on a clear day, you can watch the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is truly an unforgettable sight. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be booked as far in advance as possible). Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. The TreXperience Team will meet you off the train and return you safely to your hotel.
Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
Distance: 6km / 3 miles
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Meals: Breakfast (hotel)
Accommodation: not included
√ Pre-departure briefing
TreXperience welcome you to our Cusco offices on the evening prior to your trek for a pre-departure briefing for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The briefings take place at approximately 6:00pm. TreXperience understand that many hikers may be nervous or inexperienced and so the briefing is an opportunity to meet your guide(s) who will talk you through what to expect over the coming days. Our trekking guides are very approachable and experienced so feel free to use this opportunity to ask them any questions you may have.
All admission permits to the classic Inca trail trek & Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex are included. In order to obtain all relevant permits for your hike we will require a photocopy of your passport. We kindly request you share this with the team as soon as you book your trek.
TreXperience offer a door to door service in the Inca Trail tour; we will pick up from your hotel on the morning of the trek and drop off back at your hotel on the last day. All required transportation throughout the trek is included, as well as the train back from Machu Picchu Pueblo. The train is Expedition class but can be upgraded to the Vistadome train for $55 per person. In addition TreXperience offer a complementary transfer service to and from the airport and your hotel.
√ Experienced tour guides
The TreXperience Inca Trail team are fluent English speakers and are extremely experienced professional tour guides from the local area. We provide a single guide for groups smaller than 8 people and a second guide for groups with 8 people or more. We very much enjoy sharing our extensive knowledge of local history and culture with you along the trek. All guides are proficiently trained in high mountain rescue, as well as yoga and meditation. We are committed to ensuring all clients have the best possible Trexperience!
√ Camping equipment
TreXperience provide the best possible equipment in the Inca Trail to all clients, as well as staff, to maximise your experience. These include; extra warm sleeping bags, thermarest camping mats, Eureka tents (4 man tents are provided for every 2 people), black diamond trekking poles and more.
Our porters in the Inca Trail carry all belongings that you don’t need in your daypack up to a maximum weight of 7 kg. Additionally our porters carry all food and equipment. You will find your tents and the campsite prepared for you on arrival so all you need to do is worry about enjoying the hike!
TreXperience are proud of their highly talented trekking chefs who never fail to cook up a delightful feast despite being in the middle of the Andean Mountains! We guarantee the biggest foodies among you wont fail to be impressed. All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are provided each day (except lunch on the final day) and the food is both delicious and plentiful. In the Inca Traill we cater for all dietary requirements so please let us know of your needs. We will keep those energy levels high with snacks each day and we make sure you have a tea / coffee every morning to wake up and every afternoon to unwind.
All drinkable water along the trek – from your first lunch to your last breakfast – will be provided (you need to supply your own water bottles / camel back and we recommend carrying at least 2L). The water is boiled, filtered and cooled before it is distributed.
√ Medical kit
All trekking guides have received training in first aid and high mountain rescue. In the event a guest requires medical attention while on the trek our staff will be able to assist you. A medical kit is kept with the team at all times. In extremely rare case of a serious medical emergency you will be evacuated to the nearest medical centre.
We are committed to ensuring your Inca Trail trip is as comfortable as possible. We therefore provide hand towels, pillows, hand sanitizer, hot water for washing, drinkable water, snacks, daypack covers and rain ponchos. All these additional comforts are included in the price of your trek.
√ Satellite phones
To ensure your safety and in case of an emergency we are the first trekking company to introducing satellite phone technology. This is because during the Inca Trail we will be hiking in the mountain with no cellphone service.
√ Taxes and fees
All taxes and permit fees associated with the Inca Trail are included in the listed price.
x International Flights
The total price excludes your flight fare to Peru.
× Accommodation in Cusco including breakfast
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.
× Sleeping bag
You can rent a quality sleeping bag for $20 dollars.
× Inflattable air mattress
You can rent an inflattable air mattress for $15 dollars.
× Trekking poles
You can rent trekking poles for $15 dollars per pair.
× Travel Insurance Including Repatriation
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Peru.
Tips for guides and porters are exclusive. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous.
×Lunch on last day
Lunch on the last day is excluded.
During you trek, you will stay in tents at campsites along the route.
Hotel in Aguas Calientes
On the third night you will spend the nigh in the Killa INN or a similar hotel.
Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks. In addition, the routes are ideally designed to give you enough time to acclimatize.
Altitude Mountain Sickness
If you’re keen on Machu Picchu, you’re obviously headed to Cusco. Once you’re in the city, particularly if you’ve flown in, you’re likely to find yourself huffing and puffing just scaling the stairs to your accommodation. For this reason, it’s recommended you give yourself time to acclimatize to the thin air before setting off up the mountain. If you want to know everything about AMS while trekking in Peru, please read our extensive blog post. For now, keep the basics in mind. Make sure you are hydrated properly, avoid alcohol before your trek, and if you are a smoker, you better at least quit for a few days, or else you are going to have a lot of trouble making it through.
Trekking in the rainy season
The wet (rainy) season lasts from November to April. The mountainous terrain around Cusco means the area is prone to flooding and landslides after torrential rain. It’s always better to go in the dry season. You can’t? At least you won’t be fighting the crowds. Please be prepared and read everything about this season in our blog post.
- Valid, original Passport (a copy will not be accepted)
- Valid, Student Card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given to you on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Trekking boots (light, comfortable and broken in)
- A good quality daypack (light, small and comfortable)
- Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or water bottle(s)
For your daypacks
Below is a list of items that we highly recommend you keep with you at all times in your personal backpack. Remember you will be carrying this with you everyday of the trek so we recommend you bring a good quality daypack which is both light and comfortable. It is important to note that due to local regulations, your backpack should not exceed 25L. All larger backpacks can not be taken into Machu Picchu and will need to be stored outside the gates.
- Hat and sunglasses
- Rain gear
- Warm layers (fleece / long sleeved tops)
- Sun cream, bug spray
- Hand sanitiser
- Toilet paper
- Personal medication
- Band aids, moleskin
- Camera, extra batteries
- Head torch
- Extra snacks, power bars, chocolate
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips (small change is useful for paying to use the villagers’ toilets on the first day)
Additional items for your duffel bag
During the trek will provide you with a duffel bag in which you can pack any items that you won’t need to keep with you during the day. Our porters will carry this bag for you throughout the trek. Please note this bag should weigh a maximum of 7 kg including the weight of your sleeping bag and air mattress (if you bring / rent one). When rented from us these two items weigh approximately 3 kg. During the Inca Trek you will travel through different temperatures as you climb / descend, it can also be cold at night when at the campsite. Therefore layers work best!
- Sleeping bag for Inca trail (can be rented from us)
- Air mattress for Inca trail (can be rented from us)
- Some light, comfortable shoes for the camp
- Warm jacket, hat and gloves for Inca trail
- 2-3 t-shirts (wicking t-shirts are best)
- 1-2 hiking pants / trousers
- 4 sets of undergarments
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket for the coldest nights
- Quick dry towel
- Toothbrush and paste
- Face moisturizer
- Power pack / battery charger
- Plastic bags to keep wet or muddy clothes separate
We are a team of dedicated professionals who love Peru and are passionate about sharing our country’s nature, history and culture. Our experts bring a wealth of experience from their many years of working in the Peruvian tourism industry. It is this experience that enables us to create itineraries that are both authentic and unique. We listen carefully to the feedback and desires of each and every visitor and are committed to continuously improving our service. Our personal approach and pioneering ideas has resulted in some of the most innovating tours in Peru.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time to hike the Peruvian Andes is from April to October when the weather is relatively warm. In the months of June, July and August the nights are cold and a four season sleeping bag is recommended. The rainy season lasts from November to March, with February as the highlight. In this month the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. Rainy season or not, prepare for sun and rain. The mountains make the weather pattern unpredictable.
Dry season (April – October)
Day: 20’C – 25’C / 68’F – 77’F
Night: -1 – 7’C / 30’F – 45’F
Rainy season (November – March)
Day: 17’C – 22’C / 62’F – 71.6’F
Night: 4’C – 7’C / 39’F – 45’F
Trekking in Peru is possible with the endless help provided by porters and horses. They take care of carrying tents, cooking utensils, tables, chairs, gat bottles, food and other essential equipment you can imagine. Without porters, horses, and donkeys there is no trekking in Peru. In this trek we use female porters, we do this to empower women.
On the Inca Trail and other Peruvian trials, it is normal to tip porters, guides and chefs. Opinions on how much are divided. We advise you to bring along an amount of 60 to 120 Nuevo Sol for tips. That is equivalent to USD 25 to 50. This is often given by the group in a pot, towards the end of the trek.
Do you make it to your destinations as planned? Often this depends on the unpredictable weather in the mountains. However, it can also depend on your own physical condition.
One sure way to get fit for trekking and hiking in Peru is to, you could have guessed it: hike more. Do you like walking, have you done trekking at an altitude before and do you sport twice a week on average? With a little extra training, you’ll soon be ready for this beautiful trekking in the Peruvian Andes.
Is this the first time that you are trekking at altitude? Make sure you are well prepared. This is important for your safety, but also for that of your team. Make sure you start six months in advance with an hour’s hike twice a week. Read this blog post and get fit for trekking in Peru.
How To Book
How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.
Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.
After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.
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