Day 1: Cusco – Playa Rosalina
We leave Cusco around 5:00 AM and drive for four hours towards the Andean community of Cachora. In Cachora we will meet our muleteer and pack all of our equipment onto the horses. We then begin a fairly flat walk to La Colmena. After La Colmena we hike uphill through the high pass of Capuliyoc, and at the pass we will have a great view of the Apurimac Canyon. We descend to Playa Rosalina (1.550m/5.115ft) to end the day on the banks of the Apurimac River, the main tributary of the Amazon River.
Day 2: Playa Rosalina – Choquequirao
Early in the morning we will have breakfast and start walking uphill through a long and narrow trail. We will stop for lunch and later arrive at Choquequirao (3.103 m/10.178 ft) around 4:00 PM. Here we will enjoy some free time to explore the terraces and buildings. When the sun starts to set, you can sit and enjoy the canyon. Condors are often spotted here.
Day 3: Choquequirao – Maizal
We start the day ascending until we reach 3.300m/10.890ft. After we begin descending, we will pass through the archaelogical site of Pinchi Unuyoj (2.750m/9.075ft). At this site we will observe birds, orchids, and coca plantations. Afterwards, we descend to the Rio Blanco (1.900m/6.270ft), and then ascend to Maizal (3.000m/9.900ft) where we spend the night.
Day 4: Maizal – Yanama
We hike mostly uphill and observe along the way impressive Inca trails and Inca mines, also known as Minas Victoria. After we peak for the day at 4.150m/13.695ft, we will descend to our campsite (3.800 m/12.540ft).
Day 5: Yanama – Colpa Pampa
After an early breakfast, we will ascend to the highest pass in the trail at 4.670m/15.410ft. The view from here will be amazing, and we will be surrounded by snowcapped mountains such as Sacsarayoj Padreyoj. After peaking, we will descend to our campsite at Colpa Pampa (3.630m/11.979ft).
Day 6: Colpa Pampa – La Playa – Santa Teresa
After breakfast at 6:00 AM we begin our day hiking until we reach our lunch site at La Playa. After lunch we will have a fairly easy descent where you will be able to experience Ceja de Sela, the jungle highland. Here, you will see coca, coffee, fruit plantations, birds, orchids, and begonias. We will then have a bus drive us for two hours down to the village of Santa Teresa where, we have dinner and spend the night in tents.
Day 7: Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes
You can choose from one of the two following options. Depending on your interest and level of fitness, you should discuss each option with your guide.
We have breakfast and after an hour-long bus ride, we walk for two hours to get to the Urubamba River and the hydroelectric station for lunch. We then continue on our three-hour walk towards the town of Aguas Calientes. There, we will check into our hostel, dine, and rest up before the next day in Machu Picchu!
NOTE: If you don't want to walk after lunch, you can take a train from the hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes, but it leaves only in the late afternoons and can be a long wait.
We will make our a three hour ascent to 2.810 m/9.273 ft. After our ascent we will have an excellent view of the lost Inca’s city of Machu Picchu. Then we will walk along the Urubamba River to the hydroelectric station. From here we will walk or take the train to Aguas Calientes and spend the night in a hostel.
Day 8: Machu Picchu – Cusco
After breakfast we will take the bus to Machu Picchu. A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you still have energy, you can also climb Huayna Picchu (2.720m/8.923ft). It takes 45 minutes to reach the top of Huayna Picchu. In the afternoon, we will take the train from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco and arrive at 9:00 PM.