The "other" Inca Trail
15 days (12 in Peru)
Level 5 - strenuous 7 days of strenuous hiking at medium elevation (max. 15,750')
Accommodations: 6 nights camping; 5 nights hotels
May 09 -
May 22, 2004
Trek the "Other" Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
To approach Machu Picchu on foot is to walk a trail of living history. And now we’ve designed an even more appealing way to get there - via an unfrequented yet entirely spectacular route that features several days of peaceful, unhurried trekking before connecting with the "classic" Inca Trail leading to the celebrated citadel.
On this challenging trek you’ll delve deep into the former domain of the Incas: over high plateaus, across several passes, into isolated valleys dotted with simple villages and patchwork fields, and past several ancient Inca outposts, including Paucarcancha, considered the gateway to the Machu Picchu region of yesteryear.
And the rewards are grand: eye-popping views of snowy 19,000-foot peaks, a close-up regard of the Huayanay Glacier, and, of course, Machu Picchu itself. The great Pablo Neruda wrote an epic poem inspired by its ruins, and this "tall city of stepped stone" is quite likely to inspire poetic reflections of your own.
June 13 departure features Cuzco’s famous
Inti Raymi, the most important festival of the Inca Empire. This dazzling
celebration of the winter solstice is complete with street dances, a
pageant, and processions of brilliantly costumed people.
Itinerary - the "Other" Inca Trail
Days 1-2 - Fly to Cuzco, Peru.
Day 3 - Tour the Inca ruins near Cuzco.
Day 4 - Visit the village of Chinchero, the ruins of the palace of Inca Sinchi Roca, and the colonial village of Maras. Hike to the saltpans and into the Urubamba Valley. Continue to Ollantaytambo and visit its fortress located on a promontory overlooking the valley.
Days 5-8 - Drive to the trailhead and begin trekking to Wayllabamba, passing several Inca ruins, including Inca Raccay, Incasamana, and Paucarcancha, crossing four passes (the highest is 15,750'), and enjoying views of Salcantay, Verónica, and other dazzling peaks.
Days 9-11 - Join the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, crossing three more passes.
Day 12 - Morning to explore Machu Picchu, including an optional hike to the top of Huayna Picchu. Afternoon return to Cuzco by train.
Days 13-14 - Fly home via Lima.
$2990 (7-9 members)
$3190 (4-6 members)
$220 internal airfare
$750 single supplement
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