Inca Trail & Festival of the Sun
- Trekking & Hiking
our UK team
All trekkers need to organise their own flights to Cuzco Airport (CUZ). From the airport we will arrange an airport transfer for you to our hotel in Cuzco.
To help your acclimatisation we will spend a day in Cuzco. In the morning your guide will collect you from your hotel to take you on a half day city walking tour. Cuzco was once the foremost city of the Inca empire, and is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city. At the heart of the city is the Plaza de Armas. Colonial arcades surround the plaza, while alleyways leading away from the plaza are bordered by Inca walls. On the plaza's northeastern side is the imposing Cathedral, flanked by the churches of Jesus Maria and El Triunfo. On the southeastern edge is the ornate church of La Compania de Jesus.
You will have the afternoon free to rest or explore this beautiful city. This evening you will meet your Kandoo guide and have a full pre-trek briefing.
We will pick you up from your hotel very early and leave by private transport to Mollepata (2800m), stopping for panoramic views of the Apurimac Valley, where you can take a break and have something to eat in a typical restaurant. After that we will drive for a further hour until we reach the trailhead at Challakancha (3400m). There we will start trekking to Soraypampa (3800m), where we will stop for lunch and meet our arrieros (horsemen) and trekking staff. After lunch, we will continue hiking for another 2½ hrs hours until we will arrive at our first campsite, Salkantaypampa (4000m).
At the start of the second day we ascend to the highest point of our trek, the Salkantay Pass (4600m) from where we can enjoy the views of Mount Salkantay, a stunning snow-capped mountain (6271m). A further 3 hours walking with spectacular views of the mountains Humantay and Huayanay will bring us to our lunch site, Huayraqmachay (3700m). We then descend for 3½ hrs until we reach our second campsite, Collpapampa.
On the third day of the trek, we will walk for 7-8 hrs downhill at a steady rate moving into the jungle zone at Ceja de Selva where coffee, coca and fruit plantations can be seen. If we have time you can stop to shower in a waterfall here and with luck can see the famous Peruvian National Bird "Gallito de las Rocas". We arrive at our third campsite, Lucmabamba, in time for lunch. This campsite is located in a coffee farm and in the afternoon we can watch a coffee demonstration and you will be able to taste the best coffee in Peru! There is also an option to visit the hot springs in Cocalmayo.
After breakfast, we walk for about 4 hrs until we reach the archaeological site of Llactapata. From here we can see the Lost City of Machu Picchu in the distance. Then we walk for 2 hours downhill to the Hydro-Electric station where we will have our last camping lunch. We then continue walking for a further two and a half hours following the railway to Agua Calientes where you stay in a hotel for the night.
An early start to take the bus to the Citadel of Machu Picchu where you will have a guided tour for around 2½ to 3 hours. There is also the option of climbing Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Picchu, but you must book your permit in advance. After the tour of the ruins we will take the bus down to Agua Calientes where you will catch the train to Ollantaytambo to be met by our driver who will take you back to your hotel in Cuzco.
We will pick you up early so that you can experience as much as possible of this spectacular festival. Inti Raymi originates from the days of the Incan empire, celebrating the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere and the official Incan New Year. The ceremony honours the Inca god of the sun ‘Inti’ and his wife, the goddess of earth ‘Pachamama’, to ensure good harvests for the year.
The festivities begin at Koricancha, the square in front of the Santo Domingo church that was built over the ancient Temple of the Sun. With the arrival of representatives from the four suyos of the Inca Empire (Qollasuyu, Kuntisuyu, Antisuyu y Chinchaysuyu), the Sapa Inca opens the festivities with invoking praise to the sun god – Inti. Sapa Inca is carried in procession with his Queen through Cuzco, accompanied by musicians, dancers, high priests, officials of the court. We will make our way to the Plaza de Armas where a ceremonial reading of the sacred coca leaf takes place. While the royal entourage proceeds on foot to the archaeological site Sacsayhuman, we will travel by private vehicle, arriving in plenty of time to take our reserved seats in the grandstand before the main ceremony continues. The highlight of the Inti Raymi is in the oration given by the Sapa Inca and the high priest in the original language of the Incas, Quechua. After the festival, we will transfer you back to your hotel in Cuzco. The festivities continue into the evening, with live concerts staged in the Plaza de Armas.
We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Cuzco Airport for your departing flight.
well-fed on your trek is absolutely vital, especially when conditions are such
that you might not want to eat or drink as much as you should.
so many trekkers experience a loss of appetite at altitude, our head chef has
developed special menu plans that are appealing, healthy, and filled with all
the energy you need to make it to Machu Picchu. By default, our meals include
fresh fruit and vegetables every day, as well as fresh meat and fish.
is usually fairly hearty. Of
course, you’ll also have hot drinks, generally a choice of tea, coffee or hot
chocolate. Let your guide know if you are still hungry, or even if you think
you could ‘pack in a few more bites’. Our cooks always try to provide more
food than necessary to ensure everyone gets a good meal.
We stop for a hot lunch, freshly
prepared by our cook.
Tea is served at the end of the days walking, once you get to camp. In
addition to tea and other hot drinks, there are plenty of snacks to help
restore some of the energy you’ve just burned off.
are quite filling. They usually begin with a nice hearty soup, and then a
main course with fresh vegetables, and plenty of rice, pasta or potatoes,
followed by a yummy dessert.
the trek, we filter and boil all the water that we give to you for drinking.
You may wish to bring purification tablets as an extra precaution but they
are not essential. Every morning we will fill up your water bottles or
hydration bladder with at least 2 litres of water.
tea is thought to help relieve the symptoms of altitude sickness. In Cuzco,
all the hotels have dried leaves and hot water available throughout the day
so you can make your own tea whenever you wish.
On the trek we will take coca leaf tea bags for you.
We use only the very best high altitude
mountain tents, Eureka K-2 XT, to ensure you stay warm, dry and comfortable on
your Inca Trail trek. Please bear in mind, these are proper mountain tents,
designed to cope with extreme conditions so don’t expect to be able to stand up
and walk around inside!
Kandoo Adventures operates a strict
limit of 7kg for your main equipment bag. This limit includes your sleeping
bag, even if it is rented from us. This is more than sufficient for your needs
on the trek. Your bag will be weighed before you leave the hotel to start the
trek and if it is overweight you will have to take items out and leave them at
It is much easier for our porters
if you bring a lightweight holdall or duffle bag for them to carry, and not a
large rucksack. You can hire one from us if required.
The Peruvian Sol can be purchased in
advance, although US Dollars are also widely accepted in larger establishments.
If you want to change money when you arrive we can take you to an ATM or
foreign exchange bureau. When changing money, request small denominations
(10’s, 20’s and 50’s) as the larger notes can be hard to spend. If you withdraw
money from an ATM, you are likely to receive 100 sol notes.
If you are relying on a credit or debit
card for emergency funds, make sure you tell your card issuer that you will be
using it abroad, or you may find that it won't work when you really need it.
We realize that tipping may not be a
common practice in all countries but for Peru it is a standard practice that
all operators support. The decision on how much to tip should be determined by
how well the team served you while you were on the trek. Tips are always
discretionary and if you are not happy with the service you have received you
do not have to pay tips. Tips can be made in US dollars or Peruvian Sols. It is
very important that US bills be new (post 2006), crisp and untorn.
We say goodbye to our porters in Winay Wayna
before we visit Machu Picchu. Any
tips that you wish to give to the porters will need to be carried on the trek
you’ve decided to rent gear, then below is a list of equipment available.
Just let our team know what you’d like to hire at your Pre-Trek
payments are made locally in US
Dollars (cash only):
Face 0° Sleeping Bags $15
items must be packed in your main equipment bag.
should not be attached to the outside, as we are not responsible if items
fall off when the bags are being carried on the trek. The sleeping bags weigh
approximately 2kg each
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