Peru – Rainbow Mountains Inca Trail & Machu Picchu

Peru – Rainbow Mountains Inca Trail & Machu Picchu

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This beautiful multi day trek is tucked away in the well hidden section of the Vilcanota mountain range where we trek to spectacular Rainbow Mountains with the highest point on the trek being 5,050m. From the Rainbow Mountains we then continue on to trek the Inca Trail which leads us to the iconic Machu Picchu. A truly unique trip!

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INTERMEDIATE

A good level of fitness, building on prior experience to enhance your ability and keep those challenges going on a journey of progression. Enjoys using clothing and equipment that generally work well but forever prepared to learn and share experiences with others. 6-7hrs of walking each day.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION             

Departure is usually London Heathrow, this may vary and the specific location will be provided upon booking.

All international and connecting return flights are not included in the EDGE Travel Worldwide trip price per person. If you would like EDGE Travel Worldwide to book your flights, please note there will be a £100 administration fee applied.

DAY 1    Arrive in Lima.

After picking up your luggage and clearing customs you will meet your driver and guide as you walk towards the exit of the international terminal. This will still be inside the building but just beyond the fence/barrier as you walk towards the exit doors. He will be waiting for you on foot with an EDGE Travel Worldwide sign in his hand. He will walk you to the large sprinter van that will take you directly to your hotel in Miraflores (approx. 45 min drive). Settle into your room and rest up after your travels and have dinner at one of the many, delicious restaurants in Miraflores. You have an exciting trip ahead, filled with ancient ruins, local markets and hiking through the beautiful Andean Mountains!

DAY 2    Lima to Cusco

Rest, Relax, Explore Cusco. Wake up early to have breakfast and take private transport back to the airport (approx. 1 hour depending on traffic) to catch your flight to the Inca capital of Cusco where Quechua and Spanish speaking descendants of the Incas hustle back and forth in the busy plazas and markets. Colonial churches sit atop bases of eerily accurate and smooth Inca stonework laid centuries before the arrival of the Conquistadors.

The afternoon is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow streets and bustling markets. Travelers can explore the churches and surrounding ruins, wander through Cusco’s busy center, shop in local markets, see local artisan workshops in the old San Blas neighbourhood, or just people watch in the Plaza de Armas. There are many half day tours that can be arranged on request if desired. The night is yours to explore and discover the many places to enjoy a wide range of food and entertainment. At 7pm your guide will come to your hotel to provide a briefing about the trek and give each guest a dry bag, in which to put your overnight clothes, toiletries, sleeping bag, mattress pad, up to 8kg per person. (Breakfast)

 

DAY 3    Cusco

Today is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow streets, little shops and cafes. Travelers can visit churches, museums, wander through Cusco’s busy center, shop the local markets, see local artisan workshops in the old San Blas neighbourhood, enjoy a massage, or just people watch in the Plaza de Armas. This day is essential to help also acclimatise for the trek (Breakfast)

DAY 4    Cusco – Tinqui Village – Upis

Early transfer from your hotel in Cusco with 6:00 am departure. We drive for 4 hours on a new highway to Tinqui, passing Urcos Pass (4,000 m/13,123 ft) along the way. Tinqui is a village on the high plains “altiplano” east from Cusco and is where we will start our trek. We follow a wide, gently ascending path toward the northwest face of the impressive Ausangate mountain. We will have a small lunch around noon by the side of the trail. We will continue walking through fields and by scattered stone farm houses, and later in the day we will begin to see llamas and alpacas. We ascend gently to the Upis pass (4,435 m/14,107 ft) and camp at Upis Hot Springs (4,250 m/13,779 ft) where we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains (Ausangate and Maria Huamantilla). Happy hour (tea and snacks) at 4:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm. There are thermal springs at Upis where we can enjoy a soak at the end of the day (10 soles entrance fee). (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 5    Upis – Arapa Pass – Pucaccocha

After an early breakfast we begin our second day of the hike. You will hike very close to the Ausangate Glacier Peak and will have incredible views of this mountain as well as beautiful lakes and waterfalls. We may see some llamas, alpacas and wild vicuñas (the undomesticated ancestor of the alpaca) and perhaps a rare condor soaring above. We will have a 3-hour uphill hike to reach the first pass (4800m/15,748ft) where you will have magnificent views of the surrounding area. After taking a few amazing pictures we continue hiking gradually downhill for another 1½ hours to our beautiful lunch spot. After lunch we hike for another 2½ hours to arrive at our campsite at Puca Ccocha (Red Lake). This spot is one of the most beautiful campsites located at the skirt of the Ausangate peak and at the bank of the lake. (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 6    Pucaccocha – Puca Pass – Anantapata – Warmisaya – Yanacocha Lake

Wake up early with a hot cup of coca tea to start one of the most beautiful days of the trek, enjoying majestic views of some of the highest peaks in the Andes and depths of the beautiful valleys. This morning we will summit the Puca Pass. After an early breakfast we begin our 2-hour steep climb to the Puca Pass at (5050m/16,568ft). Along the way we have gorgeous views of turquoise lakes and the Ausangate glacier. Once you reach the summit of this mountain, you will be located right in front of the Ausangate Mountain and you can enjoy the views of Chillca Valley, with alpaca grazing along these hills. Also, from this pass you will see the beginning of the Rainbow Mountain range with their strikingly striated colours. After taking some great pictures we continue gradually downhill for another 2 hours until we reach our lunch spot located at Anantapata 4400m/14,435ft with amazing views of green hills and snow-capped peaks. After lunch and a little rest and relaxation, we will hike gradually uphill for 1½ hours until we reach the Warmisaya (aka Pitumarca) pass 5050m/16,568ft. After enjoying the views at the top, we descend for 20 minutes to Yanacocha lake where we set up camp for the night. After dropping our bags, we take our gradual 1-hour sunset hike to the Rainbow Mountain Pass and watch as the sun sets over the stunning Rainbow Valley. Once we have finished enjoying the view, we hike 45 minutes back down to camp at Yanacocha to have happy hour (tea and snacks) followed by a hearty dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 7    Yanacocha Lake – Rainbow Mountains – Rainbow Valley – Hanchipata – Cusco

After a very early breakfast (5am) we hike 1 hour up to the Rainbow Mountain Pass (Vinicunca Mountains or Montañas de Colores), the highest pass of the trek, again to see the beautiful Rainbow Valley at sunrise (5050m/16,568ft)! Enjoy the view for an hour without the crowds as we are one of the first groups to arrive. Your guide will walk you to the best spots to get the perfect postcard pictures of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding peaks. Your guide will explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colours of stone striations. This is definitely one of the most stunning places in South America and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Peru. There are Rainbow Mountains in only a few other locations in the world. After enjoying the sunrise view we hike for 4.5 hours further into the Rainbow Valley than any other trekking company. You will be able to walk along the beautiful Rainbow Mountains and hike behind these peaks to experience the Red Mountain Valley with all it’s incredible colours. You will see a small waterfall and some sections of this trail are rocky, narrow and uneven. Enjoy the views as we walk to the small community Hanchipata (3800m/12,467ft) where we will have lunch and end our trek. After lunch our private transport will drive us back to Cusco – about a 3.5 hour drive that provides nice views of the Andes, passing some traditional villages along the way. Once in Cusco we will go to our hotel to freshen up and relax before our celebratory group dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

DAY 8    Cusco

Rest of the day in Cusco before we start the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu (Breakfast)

DAY 9    Wayllabamba

Kilometer 82 to Wayllabamba Very early in the morning private transport will pick you up at your hotel for the 3-hour drive to the beginning of the Inca Trail (known as km 82). On the way we stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo, which is a small town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here you can buy different things for your trek if needed, such as coca leaves, sunscreen, plastic rain ponchos, etc. When we get to KM 82 we show our permits and original passports (make sure you have the same passport number as the one when you made your reservation) at the Control Checkpoint. Then we walk 3 1/2 hours to lunch and another 2 1/2 hours to reach our first campsite Wayllabamba (3,000 m/9,843 ft). On the way we have the opportunity to see the third highest snow-capped mountain in the Cusco region, named Wacaywillca or Veronica (5,800 m/19,028 ft). Walking distance approximately 10km/6.2 miles (6-hour hike).(Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner))

DAY 10  Wayllabamba to Pacaymayu

Hiking Wayllabamba to Pacaymayu We have an early wake up call to continue hiking the Sacred Trail. Today we climb Dead Woman`s Pass, the highest pass of the trek, at 4,200 meters. It will take approximately 5 hours to reach the top of the pass. The views from the Dead Woman’s Pass are spectacular and you can see glaciers, valleys, and never-ending mountains. After the pass we continue downhill for 2 hours to our second campsite called Pacaymayu (at 3,600 m/11,810 ft). At the campsite we will have lunch and you will have the rest of the afternoon free until happy hour and dinner. Walking distance approximately 14 km/8.6 miles (7-hour hike). (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner))

DAY 11  Pacaymayu to Wiñaywayna

Hiking Pacaymayu to Wiñaywayna Early wakeup call again to climb two passes today (Runkurakay and Phuyupatamarca). We will walk up a semi-steep path for 1 1/2 hours to reach the first pass Runkurakay at 3,950 m/12,959 ft. On the way we will visit the archaeological site called Runkurakay. After the first pass we will continue downhill for 1 1/2 hours to our lunch spot Chakicocha (3,500 m/11,482 ft) visiting another archaeological site, Sayacmarca, along the way. After lunch we walk 1 1/2 hours up to Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,650 m/11,975 ft.) This trail is particularly beautiful and from the pass we will see Machu Picchu Mountain, the Vilcabamba mountain range, and the Urubamba river. After the second pass we will continue downhill for 2 more hours to our third campsite Wiñaywayna (2,700 m/8,858 ft). Walking distance approximately 16 km/9.9 miles (7-hour hike). (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner))

DAY 12  Cusco

After waking up at 3am we begin our early morning hike that takes us across a steep mountainside through lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. At the top we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu. We complete the final leg down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and into the heart of Machu Picchu, where we spend the rest of the morning with a guided tour of the city’s highlights and some time for individual exploring among Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and crannies. If you wish you can book one of the extra hikes within Machu Picchu (Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain). These hikes are permitted, incur a fee, and spots are limited. These hikes must be booked well in advance, at the same time the permit is secured. In the afternoon, a shuttle bus takes us to the small town below Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes, where we board our return train to Cusco. (Breakfast)

DAY 13  Flight to Lima and Return Home

Private transport will pick you up from the hotel or a pre-determined location to take you to the Cusco airport for your departing flight home: (Breakfast)

Personal Expenses

You will need extra money to cover the cost of drinks, souvenirs, meals (where applicable) airport taxes, etc. It is advisable to change money on arrival at international airports whilst waiting for your luggage, as opportunities for changing money are subsequently few. Credit cards are generally not accepted.

Altitude

The altitude of the Inca Trail makes the trip most suitable for the more serious walker with previous experience of hill walking. Extreme cases of Acute Mountain Sickness are rare, but if it becomes necessary for someone to abandon the trek in the interests of safety, the Tour Leaders decision on this is final.

Experience

Bearing the above in mind, we ask for a synopsis of recent walking experience from people intending to go on the trip.

Medical Examination

You should visit your GP and specifically mention the maximum altitude the trek reaches, i.e. 5,050m.

Personal medication

Please note all illness, injuries and medication need to be disclosed to EDGE Travel Worldwide at time of booking – please seek advice from your Doctor to your suitability of participating on this trip.

Park Fees

These will vary throughout the year, but early bookings will avoid a possible change in fee. (These are built into the trip cost.)

Tipping

In this area, tipping is a recognised part of life. Although EDGE Travel Worldwide pays most gratuities for the trip, porters and guides on the trips still look to members of the group for reward. Accordingly, you should allow $100 for tipping. (Please carry low denominations of US Dollar currency.)

Meal Plan

Local food and drink: Meals other than those included in the itinerary are paid for separately by the traveller.

Optional Excursions

These maybe available, please contact us for further details.

Clothing and equipment required for the trekking part of the trip

Personal first aid kit including any medication needed

Walking boots

Walking socks

Walking poles

Day sack: 35 to 50ltrs

Fleece

Waterproof jacket

Waterproof trousers

Gaiters

Warm and water proof gloves

Warm and water proof hat

Warm jacket for the evening

Trainers/sandals

Sun glasses

Sun protection for skin/head/hands

Water proof sacks for the inside of your day sack

4 season sleeping bag.

X2 1ltr water containers

X1 3ltr bladder with drinking tube

Included

Not Included

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Customer Reviews

Edge Travel Worldwide

Customer Reviews

Chris, Frodsham

What can I say, this was the experience of a lifetime and was fantastic! Every aspect of the trip for me was handled with professionalism and care with everyone’s safety and enjoyment paramount. The local guides and contacts were fantastic, plainly experienced and some of the loveliest people I have met. Walking at high altitude (19,500 ft at the top) comes with its own risks but I felt that every step of the way our wellbeing and health was being looked after and I am happy to say I would trust my life to Dave and his teams on any of his trips. I got so many things form this trip, meeting new people, walking at altitude, spending so much time laughing and being able to mentally unwind. The achievement of reaching the top of the highest free-standing mountain in the world, seeing the sunrise over Africa, has and will stay with me forever. It has given me the mental strength to do other things in life and when things have got tough afterwards I have been able to say to myself “You walked to the top of the highest free standing mountain in the world, you have got this” and it has inevitably got me through. A massive thank you to Dave and all at EDGE Travel Worldwide for this life changing experience and I can’t wait to go on the next one.

Jayne, Shrewsbury

It has been a privilege to walk with the people I have met. Many of them, friends for life. On my first EDGE Travel Worldwide trip I took my daughter to Machu Picchu. To share such an adventure with her was incredible and we will treasure the memories forever . It changes your mindset seeing the culture and a view if life in a different way .
It’s hard to put into words how much Edge Travel worldwide has changed our lives as a family for the better . Through meeting Sarah and then Dave I have travelled to Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro & I have now reserved my third adventure

This was my second EDGE trip, this time I took my son , we loved it every second of it . Kilimanjaro is so much more than just the summit it’s the journey before and after . The people that care for you, the guides the trek the adventure folds out in pages like a chapter in front of you you can’t wait to turn the next page . The joy of this experience is you take it home with you and the feeling of such an achievement stays with you . I feel healthier, fitter and addicted to altitude. At the time it’s a tough challenge but to push yourself out of normal daily life and out if your comfort zone its an experience I will never forget . For me it’s about making the most of the time we are here and trying to stay fit as long as I can and share these incredible accomplishments in the knowledge the next adventure is out there. Without Dave none of this would have been possible. The encouragement, guidance and kindness extends far beyond a trip. I have seen Dave show my children how to overcome fear of heights, learn about weather conditions, believe in themselves and succeed without any limits. These are priceless travel experiences and we want to thank you for making our dreams come true for me and my family.

Toni, Leicester

IF you’ve seen and have been inspired by the Comic Relief Killimanjaro climb and are interested in finding out how you too could get close to this amazing mountain and have a wonderful adventure!
IF you wish to challenge and grow yourself in the company of other wonderful inspiring people then you need to meet Dave Pickles from EDGE Travel Worldwide.
We had the most amazing time. We were all from different backgrounds ,different age groups , different fitness levels , and Dave brought us together as a TEAM!
We laughed , cried , sang , stumbled , hugged and shared this amazing experience together .
What you can’t see in the Comic Relief film are the amazing porters who carry the provisions , care for the climbers , encourage every step of the way and who make the journey so special .
I reached the summit holding hands with Hilary – he sang softly for hours as we climbed the mountain in the moonlight and this was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life so far .

Yvonne, Kingsmead

Kilimanjaro, wow – I wanted a challenge and that is what I got!

I absolutely loved this trip; the itinerary was well put together with Dave Pickles coordinating every day seamlessly. The local crew of Porters and Guides were so incredibly funny, friendly, humble and kind, I felt that I was always in safe hands.

I was travelling alone, but within minutes of meeting people at the airport, friendships were made and a lovely group was born. Two thirds of the group knew each other previously but this did not really impact on the group dynamics, everyone integrated well.

This trek took me way out of my comfort zone…I have reasonable fitness level, but I found this so hard, particularly the summit night when altitude sickness descended. But it made the success all the sweeter when I reached the very top of highest freestanding mountain in the world. Ages in our group ranged from 19-74, young and young at heart got to the top, so it really is achievable for all with the right mindset and support.

Dave gave clear guidelines to follow from the outset, rest is best, hydration, pace and relaxation…his support, enthusiasm and vast experience gave me so much confidence in my ability to succeed. Dave constantly encourages, jokes, entertains and manages people in a fun and positive way, striving to give each individual person such an epic experience. He balances that comedic, approachable charm with military organisation and calm professionalism – it is most certainly Dave and his ethos that gives Edge Travel the ‘edge’ above other similar operators.

I could have booked this trip directly with any tour guide in Tanzania, but to be able to draw on Dave’s expertise and knowledge leading up to the trip as well as whilst we were away was invaluable.

Only one small flaw in the itinerary, it would have been wonderful to have an additional day by the pool in our hotel at the end with our group to digest our achievements and raise a toast with a few Kilimanjaro beers! That was just the luck of the draw with the flights and not a complaint, I guess I should have just booked that extra week in Zanzibar after all.

I am rather proud to achieved what I have with the help of Edge Travel, it is all still sinking in and already I can’t wait to plan the next adventure…

Paul, Sandbach

I went on the 2019 trek and what an incredible trip! Certainly tougher than I expected especially on the final ascent but well worth it to have the experience of standing on the roof of Africa. The diversity of landscapes that are experienced throughout the trek is amazing. I would like to highlight that throughout the trip Dave and the team in Tanzania were incredible and the whole trip was made easier knowing that I was in completely safe hands and would thank everyone for their professionalism, care and attention. One of the many memorable moments for me was on the final ascent walk the Tanzania team could see that people were flagging and began singing which I know had an inspirational impact on me and certainly helped get me to the top and speaking to others it had a similar effect. I would not hesitate to recommend Edge Travel to others and also am looking forward to going on another Edge trek.

Angela, Sheffield

I did this trip with Dave in 2017. From start to finish it was the most emotional experience of my life. It was bloody hard, testing and satisfying. I choose the right company for my experience that goes without saying. I didn’t know anyone on the trip but from the end of day 1 I made friends for life and I genuinely mean that. I adore everyone of the team I walked with.
If your looking for a challenge I would defo recommend this one.

Paulina, Spalding

Tanzania and Kilimanjaro was my first trip I did with EDGE. I remember I kept asking myself before the trip if it was really happening. So it did happen and even that until today it’s still the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life I feel I found myself on that mountain. Believe or not I actually did it again for the second time six months later! And want to go again.. Am I addicted? 😀
Tanzania feels like another home to me with kind people, tasty food and great scenery. You won’t be disappointed!

Wendy, Llangollen

This was my first EDGE trek with Dave in September 2016. I am 100% certain I wouldn’t have submitted without Dave. He has summited Kilimanjaro over 50 times and his vast experience is very evident. His understanding of every emotion a trekker on this mountain is going through is uncanny. His ability to feed you enough information for a successful trek is invaluable. The pace is slow to allow safe acclimatising. Up until the summit attempt this feels like a trek that only gradually gets more challenging. Summit night was a whole level tougher but reaching the crater rim with sunrise felt like I was on a film set. Summiting was surreal (take plenty of photos) I descended quickly and enjoyed feeling the air thickening again at about the same pace the enormity of what I’d achieved really did start sinking in. I definitely have to do this one again as it still feels like a dream!

Phil, Leeds 20/07/2020

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Mandy, Bury St. Edmunds 20/07/2020

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A great experience from start to finish! Thank you ☺️
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