Here’s a week that’ll take care of two bucket list wishes in one fell swoop. Start your adventure celebrating with thousands of international travellers at Inti Raymi, the largest Andean festival in Peru. Tickets can be hard to come by for travellers (but not for us). Then hike the iconic Inca Trail to the once-in-a-lifetime lost city of the Inca, Machu Picchu. Get in touch with your spiritual side with these two unforgettable experiences.
Arrive at any time.
Watch the city come alive with dancers and performers marching up to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman in the ceremony to honour the Sun God Inti. Join thousands of spectators and observe the elaborate reenactment of Incan rituals in a ceremony dedicated to Pachamama, the Mother Earth goddess.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women’s weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, opt to head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and look out over the ruins. Or, wander around the cobblestone streets and visit a local Chicheria (corn beer bar). In the evening, partake in an exclusive Inti Raymi celebration ceremony with the Sacred Valley as a scenic backdrop.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into the adventure with a straightforward day of hiking the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins.
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwausca, better known as Dead Womans 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.
Cross two more passes and ruins on today’s trek. 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 the cloud forest on a 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 Wiay Wayna ruins (forever young) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
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 for a guided tour of the site and enjoy 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.
Depart at any time.