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Inca Trail Day 4: Winay Wayna to Machu Picchu 5km
We'll wake early at 3.45am, have breakfast and set off on the trail again by 4.45am to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. The sky starts getting light by 5:30am and the first rays of the sun reach Machu Picchu at about 7:00am. The trail contours a mountainside and drops into cloudforest before coming to an almost vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Intipunku (Sun Gate). From this point you will be able to see sunrise over Machu Picchu which is spread out before, an unforgettable experience.
From Intipunku we will descend for about 40 minutes to Machu Picchu. When you arrive at the ruins you'll have plenty of time to take photos of Machu Picchu from the classic view point. Most groups wait at this point for a while so most of your photos should be 'tourist free'. When the group is back together again we descend to the main entrance where we will have to register and where you can safely leave your large backpacks. You can also go to the toilet and have a quick coffee in the restaurant just outside the entrance. With just your daypack on the group will re-enter the ruins with the same guide for a complete tour of the major sectors. The tour takes about 2 hours so by about 10:30 you'll have free time to explore the ruins alone.
The train back to Cusco departs from Aguas Calientes which is the nearest village to the ruins of Machu Picchu. The train departs at approximately 16:30 (time can vary) and you'll arrive back in Cusco for about 21:00. Included in our standard service is the tourist bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes, the train back to Cusco and a transfer from the station to you hotel. Sometimes, however, we buy train tickets just back as far as Ollantaytambo and then bring you back to your hotel in Cusco by private bus. The later method usually works out about 30 minutes quicker.
We suggest that after visiting Machu Picchu that you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes by 15:30 at the latest (assuming train departs at 16:30). Buses depart every 15 minutes. Check with the guide for actual times. This leaves you plenty of time at the ruins to climb Wayna Picchu (the mountain that you see in the background). It takes about 1 hour to climb and 40 minutes to descend. Most people, however, leave the ruins at about 13:30 and return to Aguas Calientes for lunch (at the ruins there is only one restaurant and it's very expensive). There are several small restaurants in Aguas Calientes to satisfy all budgets. You may also wish to pay a visit to the town's famous thermal springs which feel great after finishing the trail. Entrance to the springs costs US$2, allow 2 hours to really enjoy them.
(Note that this is a typical trekking itinerary and may be subject to change depending on speed of the group, group size and availability of camping space allocated by the UGM. Alternative campsites may be used.)
Machu Picchu, Machupicchu, Machu-picchu, Inca Trail, Inka Trail, Peru Treks.
Andean Life Tour Operator
Main Office N° 1 : Calle Santa Teresa 381, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
Office N° 2 : Calle Plateros 372, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
(Both ones located just half block from the main square of Cusco City)