Valley Inca Trail to Machupicchu 4 days / 3 nights - Private Service
Recent discoveries within the 32,952 hectare Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary have revealed a network of Inca highways leading to the sacred city of Machupicchu. On this lesser-known alternative route we follow a trail along the Sacred Urubamba River through tropical forest alive with birds and orchids, maintaining an altitude of between 2000-2900m (6560-9512ft) and avoiding the high passes of the more traditional Inca Trail, making this the less strenuous option for modern-day pilgrims to Machupicchu.
Day 1 Cusco to Pacaymayo Bajo
Between 04.00-04.30am our private transport and staff will pick you up from your hotel. We drive to Piskacuchu (2700m/8856ft), a community located on the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco –Machupicchu railroad, which is the starting point of the Inca Trail. We start our hike following an easy path along the Urubamba River towards the first archaeological site, the impressive Inca city of Llactapata (2650m/8692ft). We then follow a path through eucalyptus forests to the Inca Ruins of Machu Q'ente (2550m/8364ft). After lunch, we follow the Urubamba stream walking through different ecological levels: from arid fields to lush cloud forest vegetation. We can observe torrent ducks, parrots and hummingbirds. In the afternoon we get to our first camp at the base camp of the National Cultural Institute at Pacaymayo Bajo. Our camp will be set on the river shore, in a mild climate, where we enjoy our first dinner (2400m/7872ft)
- B, L, D
Day 2 Pacaymayo Bajo to Chachabamba
We wake up at around 6:00 am and after breakfast we continue our hike still along the Urubamba River, which hundreds of kilometres further along its course enters the Amazon. During our walk we have a couple of gentle slopes to ascend as the surrounding vegetation becomes more and more lush. We can observe an incredible variety of orchids and endemic fauna. We get early to our camp at the archaeological site of Chachabamba, where we can enjoy a semi-tropical climate. We have the afternoon free to visit the site or refresh in the river before we finish the day with a last, exquisite dinner amidst the amazing natural scenery of this location.
- B, L, D
Day 3 Chachabamba to Machupicchu/Puente Ruinas
Early wake-up and breakfast to then embark upon an 8 km ascending trail, which after four hours takes us to the archaeological complex of Wiñaywayna (2650m/8692ft), considered one of the most beautiful ones in the area due to its location and architecture. This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. On the way up we will have magnificent views of the Urubamba River valley and the Choquesuysuy archaeological complex located on the other side of the river, and also of a beautiful waterfall located just a few minutes away from Wiñaywayna. We visit this magnificent site and enjoy lunch in fantastic surroundings before we continue our hike through high cloud forest with its lush vegetation until we reach the famous Intipunku or Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may contemplate the first panoramic views of the sacred citadel of Machupicchu. A short walk brings us down to the entrance from where we continue down to Puente Ruinas, a campsite located just at the basement of the Machupicchu Mountain. We camp and dine at this place. (***)
- B, L, D
Day 4 Machupicchu to Cusco
On this fourth and last day we board a bus to get up to Machupicchu, where we immediately begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. You will then have free time to walk around, climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machupicchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it (please note that there are only 400 visitors allowed per day), or visit the Temple of the Moon or the impressive Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we will meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit and relax in its hot springs. From here we take the train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.
* Departure and arrival times are approximated.
** Campsites are subject to change according to the designation of the governmental institution regulating the use of the Inca Trail, as well as to our guide’s criteria and the group progress.
*** ALTERNATIVE OPTION: A hotel room in Aguas Calientes or Machupicchu can be booked for you for the third night, as an alternative to the campsite at Puente Ruinas. Please beware that in case of choosing this option, the hotel expenses will be charged as extras, and both the dinner on day 3 and the breakfast on day 4 will not be included in the program. Please check the “Optional services to be hired” section in this program.
- Price information
Price per person 2013
Prices per person depend on the group size, the larger the group the lower the price per person.
Please click here to check our prices, specifying:
- trekking program
- number of people in the trek
- departure date
- requested train service: Expedition (Tourist train), Vistadome (Superior) or Hiram Bingham (Luxury by Orient Express)
Available discounts (these discounts are not cumulative)
- Students: US$ 40.00 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please note that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
- Teenagers: US$ 40.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
- Children: US$ 80.00 (up to 7 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
Additional discounts (that may be added to the above-mentioned)
- SAE: 5% on full program price (valid South American Explorers Club membership card required). This discount may not be applicable in case a promotional price is offered
- Early bookings: 5% on full program price for all bookings confirmed at least 6 months in advance. This discount may not be applicable in case a promotional price is offered
- Departure dates
Daily departures are available along the year. Exception: one-month closing period of all Inca Trail routes in February. Please contact us to check departures to alternative routes.
All Inca Trail departures are subject to government space availability, please check the following website: Ministerio de Cultura > Consultas > Centro Arqueológico: please select Camino Inca > Please select year and month.
All private service departure dates are adapted to your request.
- Inca Trail important notice
According to the Resolution #002-2004-UGM-CD, published in El Peruano on Nov 12, 2004, modifying chapter III of the Inca Trail Regulation which refers to Inca Trail space bookings, bookings will only be guaranteed by the governmental institutions when providing full names, nationalities and passport numbers of passengers, and when having paid the full amount of passengers and staff (cook and team of porters) entrance fees.
- ENIGMA Adventure Tour Operator will guarantee the spaces booked provided:
- The booking has been first confirmed by our Reservation Department by e-mail, this meaning that spaces are available on the Inca Trail for the requested date at the moment of the booking.
- The full passenger data have been provided and the required deposit has been paid for.
- Since the Inca Trail has a maximum allowance of 500 people per day (including passengers and agency staff), we strongly recommend to make your bookings as much in advance as possible to make sure you will find spaces on the desired departure date. We are already receiving bookings for departures scheduled as far as one year prior to the trek departure date, so if you wish to travel with us to the Inca Trail, please make sure to confirm your booking as soon as possible. Otherwise, we have also available alternative routes of equally awesome beauty and interest to offer to you.
- The following client information is requested for any Inca Trail booking:
- Complete names and surnames
- Passport number
- Date of Birth
The exact information provided by you will be submitted to the governmental institution in charge of regulating the access to the Inca Trail and will be included in the official permit to enter the Inca Trail on the requested date. Should there be any change in the above-mentioned data (ie. New passport number), we kindly request you to inform the Reservation Department at ENIGMA Adventure Tour Operator via email as soon as possible. The government reserves the right not to allow the entry to any visitor whose data are not the exact ones as those in the official permit. ENIGMA Adventure Tour Operator excludes any responsibility for a no entry in case the passenger information has changed without prior notice to us.
- ENIGMA Adventure Tour Operator will guarantee the spaces booked provided:
- Group size
To suit group requirements.
- What is included
- Pre-departure briefing
- Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transport to km.82 (starting point of the trail)
- Inca Trail and Machupicchu entrance fee (valid for 4 days)
- Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. Our tents are 3-season, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in field. Eureka Timberline 4 Outfitter tents are employed when double accommodation is requested and Eureka Timberline 2XT for single travelers
- One inflatable sleeping pad per person
- One sleeping bag per person: our sleeping bags are -18ºC-comfort (0ºF), mummy form and include a sleeping liner. They are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips
- One pillow per person
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Kitchen tent
- Toilet tent with bio-degradable toilet facilities
- English speaking professional and official tourist guide (2 guides for groups of over 8 people)
- Chef and cooking equipment
- Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
- Porters to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 9kg per person (including sleeping bag and sleeping pad)
- Accommodation for all our staff
- Meals (04B, 03L, 03D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost
- One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment
- Filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onwards
- Bio-degradable personal hand soaps
- Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our kitchen staff
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Round trip bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes – 4th day
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Expedition, Vistadome or Hiram Bingham service, upon request) (*)
- Transfer train station-hotel in Cusco
- 24-h guest service: please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit
(*) Should there be no train tickets available in the direct route Aguas Calientes – Cusco, a train ticket Aguas Calientes – Sacred Valley with an additional private transportation from the Sacred Valley to your hotel in Cusco will be provided. This does not apply for the Hiram Bingham luxury train service
- What is not included
- Lunch and dinner on the last day: after the guided tour at Machupicchu, you can enjoy free time to further visit the ruins and choose to have lunch either in Machupicchu or in Aguas Calientes at your own expense. Arrival in Cusco is estimated after nightfall, dinner being at your own expense too
- Visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes: a relaxing way to end-up the 4-day trek while you’re awaiting the return train to Cusco, only 10 minutes from the village center, entrance fee is s/10.00 (Peruvian Soles). Towels can be hired in Aguas Calientes
- Huayna Picchu entrance fee: if you would like to climb this mountain a new entrance fee applies (S/.155.00 Peruvian Nuevos Soles)
- Tips: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish
- What we recommend that you bring
- A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
- Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping
- Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
- Camera and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
- Sun block
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported
- Toilet paper
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection
- Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into the Inca Trail. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended
- Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far
- Small towel
- Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
- Cash in soles and/or US$
- Original passport
- Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount)
- Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the Inca Trail)
- Optional services to be hired
- Accommodation in Aguas Calientes or Machupicchu instead of camping at Puente Ruinas campsite: please let us know if you wish us to make the hotel booking and, in this case, your requested hotel category and accommodation, and the number of nights you wish us to book. Our Reservation Department will provide you with a list of our selected hotels, services and prices for you to choose from. Our hotel choice is based on previous client reports and regularly updated. Please note that if you wish to visit Machupicchu again the following day, the additional cost of the entrance fee is not included
- Massage sessions: US$60.00 per 1-hour session (US$50.00 per session if at least 2 sessions are booked). Our massage therapists have the highest recognition in Cusco and offer the following treatments: relaxing massage, stress-relieving massage, spinal column massage, energizing massage, Inca massage, altitude problems, aroma therapy, therapy with honey, therapy with glass, therapy with stones, foot reflexology, shiatzu, reiki and puddle of flowering. We recommend massage sessions before and after your trekking program. Services are at the hotel and are only available in Cusco.
- Appropriate clothing along the Inca Trail
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, such as fleeces and a jacket. During the day, if sunny, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machupicchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.
Cusco’s climate is divided into two differentiated seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.
Along the Valley Inca Trail, temperatures range from 10-20ºC 05-10ºC at night, very rarely descending below these points. However, warm clothes are still recommended at night.
- Why choose ENIGMA
- Because all our treks are only and strictly operated by Enigma and its very professional staff. Other agents claiming daily departures operate their treks jointly with other companies in service rotation. Hence, you book a departure with tour operator A, which risks to be finally operated by tour operator B without you knowing. ENIGMA has a quality of service and a high reputation, which is only possible by ensuring that only ENIGMA staff operates ENIGMA treks. Even if we only have a single traveler for a set departure date, this will be operated by us.
- Because we have and can prove an excellent treatment to our staff, including chefs, porters and wranglers. ENIGMA not only complies with the Porter Law and Regulation, but our wages are over the minimum requested by law and above the average paid by most of the tour operators, all our staff eats well and more than enough, they are provided with sleeping bags, thermal clothes, sleeping tents, trekking boots, thick rain ponchos, harnesses and lumbar support for their duty on field. Most importantly, they have a program ensuring them a minimum number of departures per month and hence, a minimum income per month as well.
- Because we are very careful to choose the best guides for each group. About 80% of our guides work exclusively for ENIGMA and are highly trained, have excellent language proficiency and communication skills and are regularly evaluated by the service reports each guest fills in after each service. We have special guides for special requests (ornithology, history and archaeology, flora and fauna and also generalist guides). All our guides have been trained in advanced first aid by the Sierra Nevada Outdoor Education / Wilderness USA. We also have guides proficient in several languages besides English and Spanish, including French, Italian, German, Chinese and Japanese. In all of our treks, not only on the Inca Trail, there will be a guide for every 8 guests with one of them being the head guide. This ensures a higher safety and attention to guests versus other operators.
- Because we have one of the best equipment in field, renewed every year, employing excellent brand and performance tents, surgical steel vaiselle for best hygiene, best water filters, therm-a-rest inflatable sleeping pads, orthopaedical foamy three-level sleeping pads, among others.
- Because we have one of the best meal services in field in the area: our chefs have been trained by several institutes in Lima, Cusco and also by chefs coming from the NY Culinary Institute. They have learned the HACCP method and their operation ensures maximum hygiene. Above all, be prepared to not only have a superb trekking experience but also a culinary one, including generous and delicious breakfasts, snacks, lunches, tea services and dinners that we can adapt to your very specific requests. Our menus include a variety of Peruvian and international food and also cater for vegetarian, vegan and special dietary requests (Atkins, Gluten-free, etc), all at no extra cost. ENIGMA is recognized for its gourmet meals, the quantity and quality of food, as well as for its outstanding menu design. This is another factor for a higher price as we take natural ingredients on the treks and prepare them in the field, we do not take prepared low quality food, the meals being an added experience in all of our programs.
- Because ENIGMA’s responsible operation makes sure to cause a low impact on the environment of the natural protected areas where it runs. We train all our staff in our environment policy and, for example, ENIGMA is so far the only Inca Trail Official Operator to run a yearly Inca Trail Clean-Up.
- Because we pay legal taxes (19% IGV or consumption tax) on all services contributing to the country’s growth and development. Further to this, we pay a 30% tax on all earnings. There are many tour operators who do not pay taxes and do not declare neither their sales nor most of their earnings, or declare them with a lower value, giving them this the possibility of lowering their prices through what to our eyes is an unloyal competition. Our policy will never be not to declare taxes.
- Because all of our Group Services have a maximum group size of 12, whereas most tour operators work with a maximum of 16 on the Inca Trail, since this is the authorized by law, or even higher on other routes. We have established 12 as a maximum since this increases the quality of our service, as there are definitely spots along the treks where being 16 makes it impossible to provide a personalized service and explanation.
- Also, our excellent treatment to our staff is not reduced in the low season: porter wages are maintained, same as guide fees, which is something highly appreciated by our staff, since some operators prefer to decrease prices and wages as they know the porters, guides and chefs do not have as many demand for work as in the high season. We have our own staff which is exclusive and do not like abusing in this way since, basically, the work they do and the quality of performance we demand has to be the same in the sunny or rainy season, whether you book ahead or in the last minute.
- Finally, because all in all and due to all of the above, we have very highly satisfied guests, as our numerous testimonials prove. In our Testimonials section of our website you may find reports dating from 2003 (when we started our operation) to today. The original reports are available at our office in Cusco.
We are aware other operators may offer the Inca Trail or other programs at a lower price. This does not mean they are offering the same program at a lower price: the level of service will not be the same. We understand price is definitely an issue but we kindly request our potential guests and clients to choose a responsible tour operator as otherwise, you risk to be indirectly promoting the exploitation of rural communities and the growth of informal and illegal operators that do not build on the country’s development and growth.
- How to make a booking
If you would like to make a reservation for this program, please go directly to the Booking Online section of this website.
- Once you have chosen your tour, please read the Booking Terms & Conditions, as your booking is subject to these terms.
- Then fill out and submit the Reservation Form that you will find in the Booking Online section of this website.
- In a maximum of two working days, you will receive an email from one of our travel consultants confirming or denying your booking.
- In case your reservation is confirmed, a money deposit will be requested to secure your reservation.
- Once we confirm the deposit reception, your booking is confirmed. A Service Confirmation Form will be sent to you including all the details of your program.
In case you have any doubts, queries or require additional information, please contact us, we will be very glad to assist you. Your request will be answered by return mail within a maximum of 2 working days.
- Booking terms & conditions
1. CANCELLATION BY ENIGMA ADVENTURE TOUR OPERATOR
ENIGMA Adventure Tour Operator reserves the right to cancel a program in case any of the following circumstances occur:
(i) Client's failure to pay the final balance two days prior to departure date.
(ii) Force majeure: Impossibility to operate the program or trek due to unusual or unforeseen circumstances outside ENIGMA's control. Ie. weather conditions not permitting, strike not allowing operation or putting it at risk, sudden inaccessibility of route, etc.
The following refund policies apply in each case:
(i) In the event of a client's failure to pay the due balance, the client will not have any right for the deposit refund.
(ii) In case force majeure occurs, ENIGMA will propose viable solutions to operate the program within the available dates, or if impossible, will then propose an alternative program. If the alternative program chosen by the client is of lower value than that originally booked then the client is entitled to a refund of the price difference. All costs derived will be at the expense of the client. In case none of these would be feasible, ENIGMA would refund all the money paid except all the incurred expenses so far.
2. CANCELLATION BY THE CLIENT
Please note that the program deposit is non-refundable. The deposit is used to purchase the space within the group and once a space is purchased it cannot be resold afterwards.
In case of cancellation by the client, the following refund policies apply:
Inca Trail or any trek including the Inca Trail
(i) Cancellation up to two days prior to departure: loss of program deposit
(ii) Cancellation between two days and the departure date: will be considered a No Show and no refund will be applicable. The unused trek permit will be returned as well as the return train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco and the bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Cusco. Clients may be able to re-use the tickets by presenting them to the respective authorities and paying an additional amount, which varies depending on the ticket.
(iii) If the trek balance is not paid two days before the trek departure date, ENIGMA will assume the client is canceling the trek and the deposit will not be refunded.
All other treks or programs (excluding custom itineraries and mountain climbing programs)
(i) Cancellation with at least one month prior to departure: ENIGMA will refund 75% of the program costs in case the full amount has been paid, or 50% of the program deposit in case only the deposit has been paid. Cost of the refund transfer will be at the client's expense.
(ii) Cancellation between one month and two days prior to departure: ENIGMA will refund 50% of the program costs in case the full amount has been paid. In case only the 50% deposit has been paid, the client will have no right to refund. Cost of the refund transfer will be at the client's expense.
(iii) Cancellation with less than two days prior to departure: will be considered a No Show and no refund will be applicable.
(iv) If the trek balance is not paid two days before the trek departure date, ENIGMA will assume the client is canceling the trek and the deposit will not be refunded.
Cancellations regarding custom itineraries and mountain climbing programs will depend on each specific program and will therefore be agreed upon between ENIGMA and the client by e-mail accordingly. ENIGMA reserves the right to modify the above-mentioned cancellations and refund policies. All modifications will be immediately informed to the affected client through written communication.
3. PRICES AND SURCHARGES
As we publish our prices well in advance, we may occasionally be faced with significant cost increases due to factors over which we have no control. As such we reserve the right to impose surcharges (or price decreases) up to one month before departure due to increases in entrance fees, train fares or other transport costs, taxes, if government action should require us to do so or others. Any surcharge or price decrease will be fully explained and justified by ENIGMA before implementation. If any surcharge results in an increase of more than 10% of the program cost the client may cancel the booking and obtain a full refund less expenses already incurred, provided the cancellation is made with at least one month prior to departure date.
4. ACCEPTANCE OF RISK
Some of ENIGMA's itineraries have been designed to provide participants with an exposure to the true nature of the environment visited. They therefore involve an element of personal risk and exposure to potential, which could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis, death, or damage to the client, his/her property or to third parties. The client understands that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity and therefore assumes them as part of the tour. The client accepts that he/she is aware of his physical and health condition and that, under the knowledge of this he/she decides to undertake the above-mentioned risks. The client excludes ENIGMA from any responsibility linked to any accident or injury that may occur associated to the clients' health, physical condition or other.
5. AUTHORITY ON TOUR
At all times the decision of the company's guide or representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety and well being of the tour group. The client must at all times strictly comply with the laws, customs, and foreign exchange and drug regulations of Peru. Should the client fail to comply with the above, or should the client interfere with the well being of the group then the guide or company representative may order the client to leave the tour without recourse to any refund.
6. TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
The client must be in possession of a valid passport and all visas required for the whole of the journey and the client accepts responsibility for obtaining the same. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
7. FACTORS OUTSIDE THE COMPANY'S CONTROL (FORCE MAJEURE)
The company will do its best to minimize the effects of matters outside its control, but cannot accept any liability for these matters which include political disputes, border closures, refusals of visas, industrial action, delayed flights, unforeseeable climate, landslides, etc. The client accepts to assume all extra costs derived by any of these factors.
The company shall not be liable for any damage or loss if the failure to carry out the contract is:
1) Attributable to the client
2) Attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services contracted for and the event is unforeseeable or unavoidable
3) Due to unforeseen and unusual circumstances beyond the company's control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had to be exercised
4) Due to political disputes, industrial action, climate or other matters of a similar nature and any other force majeure
5) Due to an event, which the company, even with all due care could not foresee or forestall. Any liability is limited to the full price paid for the tour. In all cases the company specifically excludes all liability for indirect or consequential loss or expense including loss of profits.
9. CLAIMS AND COMPLAINTS
If a client has a complaint against the company the client must first inform the trek guide or company representative while on the tour in order that the guide/representative can attempt to rectify the matter. Any further complaint must be put in writing to the company within 7 days of the end of the tour.
I have had sufficient opportunity to read this entire document. I have read and understood it, and I agree to be bound by its terms.