Luxury Inca Trail trek, Peru
Description of Luxury Inca Trail trek, Peru
Do the most famous trek in South America – with a dash of luxury style, including large two-person tents, specialist Inca Trail guides, porters and a cook team. Just bring your own sleeping bag and a sense of adventure!
This spectacular walk along the original Inca highway reveals extraordinary ruins scattered through dramatic peaks and a range of distinctive climatic zones. Begin with a gentle hike into the Urubamba canyon, visiting sculpted Inca farming terraces and a riverside village before a short climb to Huayllabamba. Next day, follow a stream through the Llullucha valley into enchanted native unca woodland that transforms magically into puna - the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. Gasp at views from the 4200m Warmiwañusca pass, then descend to camp in the forested Pacamayo valley.
Climb an Inca stairway to the ancient site of Runkuracay, then onto the ruins of Sayacmarca (Inaccessible Town) - a labyrinth of ancient houses, plazas and water channels perched on a rocky spur above the Aobamba valley. From here, the Inca Trail is an imposing walkway of buttressed granite paving stones brushing beautiful cloud forest lit up by orchids and ferns. Camp by Inca viewing platforms overlooking the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Cloud-level Town), whose stone towers, fountains and stairways you'll explore the next morning.
From Phuyupatamarca, descend through cloud forest to the wonderfully-named Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites. Walk on through lush greenery to the Intipunku (Sun Gate) that frames the iconic Inca city of Machu Picchu against twisting gorges and forested peaks. Spend a full day exploring all its corners - or hike to Wayna Picchu for an amazing overview of the site.
Planet and peopleWe recognise that tourism has the potential to cause damage, so we try to minimize this and create benefits in a number of ways. We aim to minimize our impact on the environment, becoming as paperless as possible and using recycled materials in our office.
In Peru we work together with local people, paying them a fair price, and putting money into the local economy. We do this by using local agents, local trek staff and experienced and qualified local mountain and cultural guides who have an in-depth knowledge of their own country. We have regular staff training in responsible tourism management, on-going assessments and quality control of staff conditions, health insurance policies for porters and staff, and provide staff with suitable clothing and equipment.
Our guides ensure our clients are informed on environmental issues relevant to their trips and also about local customs and issues. We use locally owned services such as hotels and restaurants, paying a fair price for those services.
We buy fresh local produce for all of our treks from markets and small shops in each departure town. We are developing new menus to minimise the use of canned and packaged products and encourage cooking with local Andean products. In preference we choose local over imported goods. We use public transport whenever possible and feasible.
We are committed to working in conjunction with local communities in all the countries in which we operate and to to encouraging sustainable tourism projects in conjunction with local communities.
Since 2006 we have been able to support the Huchuy Yachaq community project in the marginalised neighbourhood of Hermanos Ayar, on the outskirts of Cusco, with the help of everybody who has travelled with us. We donate USD $3000 a year to this community project.
The project has been set up by volunteer social workers and teachers to provide much needed social and educational support to the children and families of this neighbourhood. Children are encouraged to attend study and games sessions held each afternoon and participate in holiday projects. Our contributions so far have paid for educational books and games, tables and chairs, improvements to the structure of the basic community owned building and the addition of functioning toilets, materials for the children to take to school, school books, holiday programmes.
We are now also financially supporting the UK registered charity Amantani which is running boarding houses for children in the remote Andean region around Cusco. It is very much in keeping with our ethos of small scale, targetted help which is educational & sustainabale.
And we are planting trees as part of a reforestation project in Peru.