Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

About the Experience

The trail to Machu Picchu can be lifelong. It’s a trip that’s built on a rock solid dream, a commitment to spiritual enlightenment, mental integrity, dark chocolate and intense physical challenge. 

The Andean mountains are daunting. Camping at 4,200m seems impossible! Isn’t that where the stars are located? Guided by our expert Peruvian Wild Women guide and steadfast porters with calves seemingly made out of granite, the dream becomes attainable. Sharing the dream elevates the experience even higher than our maximum daily altitude!

The Lost City of the Incas is a surreal landscape of terraces, ruins, hanging valleys and cloud forests painted with bright orchids. You’ll experience the buzz of the local markets, a bean-to-bar chocolate workshop and the comfort of strong tea as we break for a panorama-filled picnic. Did we mention the poofy llamas that frequent the trail, completely unaware of their #trending nature?

The scene shifts with our careful, measured steps from the fertile plains of the Sacred Valley to Inca-era cobblestones and rare woodlands to 15th-century citadels and the celebrated Gate of the Sun to Machu Picchu’s marvel.

Feel the pulse of the mysterious, religious, ceremonial, agricultural and astronomical powerhouse crisscrossed by stone terraces. You’ll be changed. Your soul will be revived in the buttery sunrise in this most sacred spot and time in your life.

Wild Women Expeditions continue to introduce more women to the magic of the Inca Trail To Machu Picchu Trek. We are in full support of increasing the number of female porters on the Inca Trail–they are necessary to the trail’s evolution! Read more about this in our feature in Lonely Planet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

About the Experience

The trail to Machu Picchu can be lifelong. It’s a trip that’s built on a rock solid dream, a commitment to spiritual enlightenment, mental integrity, dark chocolate and intense physical challenge. 

The Andean mountains are daunting. Camping at 4,200m seems impossible! Isn’t that where the stars are located? Guided by our expert Peruvian Wild Women guide and steadfast porters with calves seemingly made out of granite, the dream becomes attainable. Sharing the dream elevates the experience even higher than our maximum daily altitude!

The Lost City of the Incas is a surreal landscape of terraces, ruins, hanging valleys and cloud forests painted with bright orchids. You’ll experience the buzz of the local markets, a bean-to-bar chocolate workshop and the comfort of strong tea as we break for a panorama-filled picnic. Did we mention the poofy llamas that frequent the trail, completely unaware of their #trending nature?

The scene shifts with our careful, measured steps from the fertile plains of the Sacred Valley to Inca-era cobblestones and rare woodlands to 15th-century citadels and the celebrated Gate of the Sun to Machu Picchu’s marvel.

Feel the pulse of the mysterious, religious, ceremonial, agricultural and astronomical powerhouse crisscrossed by stone terraces. You’ll be changed. Your soul will be revived in the buttery sunrise in this most sacred spot and time in your life.

Wild Women Expeditions continue to introduce more women to the magic of the Inca Trail To Machu Picchu Trek. We are in full support of increasing the number of female porters on the Inca Trail–they are necessary to the trail’s evolution! Read more about this in our feature in Lonely Planet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL IN CUZCO

Upon arrival in Cusco, the former capital of the Incan Empire, your Wild Women Expeditions guide will meet you in the hotel lobby at 2:00PM. You will receive your Inca Trail Trek duffle, hiking poles, sleeping bag and Thermarest.

We’ll then immediately immerse ourselves in all things Peruvian with a walking tour that includes all the urban must-sees. The fusion of Inca and Spanish influences in the Stone of Twelve Angles at Inca Roca Palace on Hatun Rumilloc street is an impressive sight. We’ll also experience the pounding heart of the city, the Plaza de Armas, which is surrounded by colonial arcades and four formidable churches.

Later, your senses will be overloaded with a sweet fix! We’ll participate in a two hour bean-to-bar chocolate workshop at Choco Museo and learn how to make Peruvian chocolate and tisane (tea) from the roasted husks of cacao nuts. During the workshop, we will be introduced to the entire scratch chocolate-making process from cacao harvest to the familiar “OMG!” tasting. We’ll make our own custom milk or dark chocolates under expert direction with more than 15 different add-in ingredients to choose from. Our biggest decision will be sea salt and toffee bits or sprinkles and gummies? 

After the workshop, we’ll swap stories over dinner at Mamá Seledonia’s, a truly feel-good restaurant that supports young mothers and teens in rural areas. Women who have expressed a passion and talent for cooking but have experienced difficulty in finding employment due to their family obligations are trained in the industry. The restaurant’s spectacular menu offers traditional fare like baked guinea pig, grilled chicken with elderberry sauce, trout ceviche, yuyo (sea algae) and grilled alpaca steak in pepper sauce. 

Today’s first big bite out of Peru is a sweet one!

Disclaimer: Dreams come true on this trip.

Meals Included: Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Los Portales Cusco Hotel

DAY TWO:  SACRED VALLEY

At 8AM, we’ll depart Cusco for the embrace of the Sacred Valley (the drive to Ollantaytamo is approximately two hours). On the way, we’ll stop at El Mirador, for an uninterrupted view of the entire Sacred Valley and Inca History 101 lesson.

The Sacred Valley was a critical settlement area to the Incas. The agreeable climate and fertile plains made for perfect alchemy and an unusual bounty for the high Andes. The Incas intelligently sculpted the mountain flanks with contour terracing and irrigation channels. Gardeners and farmers will appreciate the thoughtful blueprint process and proactive planning.

We will then head to Ollantaytambo. Located on the 725km (450 mile) Urubamba River, the Inca-era cobblestones and adobe buildings of this town are otherworldly. We’ll check in to our hotel and drop off our luggage before exploring Ollantaytambo’s archaeological site to the east of the Plaza de Armas..

This is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning and one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. The upper terraces of this site offer extraordinary photo opps of the tidy square-grid town below. Situated on a hilltop landscape, the surrounding terracing and Ciclopean rock carvings are part of the unspoken story. We will notice the prevalence of cut stones known as “tired stones” in the ancient quarry. These abandoned, carved stones never made it to their intended last stop in the village–adding to the mystery (and understandable fatigue!).

From the tiptop, there is a mind-stretching view of the village below and surrounding countryside. Painters and poets in the group will be making mental notes!

After exploring the ruins, we’ll make our way to the Awamaki community to learn about traditional Andean life and have lunch in one of the community member’s homes. We’ll meet the colourful women of the Awamaki community for an introduction to textiles and the historical connection it provides. After a weaving demonstration, we will each partner with a local Awamaki woman and try our skill at weaving a small and precious souvenir. There will be an opportunity to purchase expertly woven items which will directly support the Awamaki community. Please note–it’s not appropriate to haggle here, however, this is an ideal spot to practice your Quechua! Best to start with “Allillachu!” (Hello!)

After a full day of amazement, we’ll transfer back to our hotel to chill and hang out over dinner. We’ll also begin the process of prepping and packing for our first day on the Inca Trail in the morning!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Samanapaq

DAY THREE: HUAYALLABAMBA

After a big hiker’s fill of carbs and protein at breakfast, we’ll weigh our duffle bags for the Inca Trail. They must weigh no more than 7 kilos (15.4 lbs). Keep in mind that this maximum must include the weight of your sleeping bag and Thermarest. So, in reality, your personal gear should weight no more than 5 kilos (11 lbs) out of respect for our porters. We’ll store our original bags, and any gear we don’t need in Ollantaytambo. On Day 7, we will be reconnected with our baggage before heading back to Cusco so pack thoughtfully! Please note that the duffle bags are not to be kept!

We’ll then drive to Km 82 (Piscacucho) to hike a scenic section that follows the original Inca Trail to the winding Urubamba river. We’ll cross the bridge over the mighty river at Km 88 for a celebratory lunch at Tarayoc trail before continuing to hike another two gratifying hours to reach our maximum altitude for the day at Huayallabamba (3,100m/10,170ft).

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Tent Camping

The skinny on today’s hike:

  • Hiking Distance: 16 km(9.94 miles)
  • Hours: 8–9 hours (*dependent on the group’s pace and skill)
  • Altitude: 2,750m(9,022ft) 
  • Maximum Altitude + Campsite Elevation: 3,100 m(10,170ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 350m(1,148ft)

 

DAY FOUR: PACAYMAYU

We will begin walking around 7AM after a filling early bird breakfast. For 3–4 hours we’ll follow the trail’s steep ascent to Llullcha Pampa (3,900m/12,795ft) below the first pass, where we will have lunch with a killer view of Mt. Huayanay. Along this narrow hanging valley and its unfolding trail, we will begin to see the surreal cloud forest that shrouds the Queñua (polilepis) woodlands, a rare and precious Andean forest of fairy tale-like polylepis trees and shrubs that are only found at high elevation.

After lunch, we’ll continue for 2 hours to the daunting Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,215m (13,828ft). This is the highest point of the Inca Trail (in elevation and heart rate!) and so-named for the mountain crests and their resemblance to a woman’s supine body. 

From here, we’ll continue downhill for 2–3 hours, depending on the group’s pace and affection for taking photos! We will be spending the night in the en plein air serenity of the Pacaymayu campsite.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Tent Camping

The skinny on today’s hike:

  • Hiking Distance: 10km(6.21 miles)
  • Time: 6-8hrs
  • Altitude : 3,100 m(10,170ft)
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,215(113,828ft)
  • Campsite Elevation: 3,600 meters (11,811ft)
  • Elevation Gain : 900m(3,000ft)
  • Personal Gain: OFF THE CHARTS!

 

DAY FIVE: PHUYOPATAMARKA

Today, we’ll kickstart the day by walking uphill approximately 90 minutes. At 3,800m (12,467ft) we’ll visit the unique semicircular complex of the Runcuraqay ruins (*Runkurakay is a Quechua word meaning “collapsed house”) before ascending another 90 minutes to Runcuraqay Pass (3,900m/12,795ft). From here, it’s all downhill, baby!

We’ll descend for nearly 2 hours, following ancient Incan stairs down to the ridgetop ruins of Sayaqmarka to pass through a 20m(65ft) tunnel that the Incas created without the convenience of modern tools or an Ikea Allen key. We’ll slip into the dripping, verdant cloud forest vegetation, spellbound by the transitions. Hungry? We’ll carry on for another 30 minutes to one hour (depending on the group’s pace and selfies) to Chaquicocha (3,500m/11,483ft) where we’ll have lunch.

Satiated and stretched out, we’ll continue hiking for 2 hours until we reach the Phuyupatamarka ruins (3,600m/11,811ft) that overlook the fast flow of the Vilcanto River far below. This is the last pass on our agenda and we’ll spend the night here enjoying a few recovery bites of chocolate, feeling the hum of our hamstrings. 

Phuyopatamarka is suitably named. In Quechua, it means the “City above the Clouds.” The views from our campsite toward the sacred peak of Salcantay are sublime. There are three short trails that split off from the campsite that we can explore if we want to pack some more hiking into our extraordinary day.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Tent Camping

The skinny on today’s hike:

  • Hiking Distance: 12km(7.456 miles)
  • Time: 5-6 hrs
  • Altitude: 3,600m(11,811ft) 
  • Maximum Altitude + Campsite Elevation: 4,200m(13,779ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 600m(2,000ft)
  • Peruvian Chocolate Bar Cravings: SKY HIGH

 

DAY SIX: MACHU PICCHU

We’ll rise early for a short but necessary walk (15 minutes) to the viewpoint to (hopefully) take in the marmalade glow bathing the snow-blanketed mountain peaks of Salkantay and Pumasillo. Mother Nature can be moody and cloud cover can often impede sunrise.

This morning will be our last opportunity to say a grateful thank you to our lean and mean porter team. There will be a formal tipping ceremony to demonstrate our appreciation for their kindness, encouragement, enthusiasm and rock solid backs! Remember, they made this trip as smooth as pudding for us and carried the weight of the world (well, our packs) on their shoulders!

After breakfast and the tipping ceremony, we will descend steeply all day, following the famed Royal Highway through a cloud forest seemingly painted with delicate orchids to Winya Wayna (or Wiñayhuayna) ruins. We’ll first walk 2.5 hours downhill to the Inti Pata Inca site (2,900m/9,514ft). From here, we’ll continue another 45 minutes to reach the Wiñayhuayna campsite (2,600m/8,530ft) where we’ll enjoy a well-deserved lunch. The final part of the trail (on the east side of Machu Picchu) is a gorgeous traverse across the remarkable Inca stonework leading to the iconic Gate of the Sun overlooking Machu Picchu.

Refuelled, we’ll walk for 90 minutes to the iconic Gate of the Sun (2,700m/8,858ft) where we’ll absorb a mesmerizing, panoramic view of the Machu Picchu ruins. Stunned, we’ll float as though in dream, downhill, to the Machu Picchu site. A bus will transport us to Aguas Calientes village (2,040m/6,692ft) where we’ll spend the night and gather for a set menu dinner at a local restaurant. We will celebrate this dream-come-true journey and lap up all the pampering at our hotel in Aguas Calientes. Hot showers! A pisco sour! Real beds! It’s the small things (after the BIG things, of course).

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hatun Inti Classic Hotel

The skinny on today’s hike:

  • Hiking Distance: 9km(5.59 miles)
  • Time: 6–7hrs
  • Altitude: 2,400 m(7,874ft) 
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,600m(11,811ft)
  • Campsite Elevation: 2,400m(7,874ft)

 

DAY SEVEN: MACHU PICCHU/CUZCO

We will return to “the Sanctuary” via a short and rollicking local bus ride bright and early this morning (breakfast will be available at our hotel from 4:30AM onward). Upon arrival to the site, our tour guide will introduce us to the sectors of this impressive Inca City as we follow the circuit to the archaeological zone of Machu Picchu.

Take an unhurried moment to reflect on this sacred spot and time in your life. Our guide will share the unbelievable stories behind Intiwatana (solar clock) and the urban and agricultural sector. This in-depth guided tour of the ridge-top city will allow us to fully appreciate the ancient marvel as the sun rises into the sky.

Machu Picchu stands 2,430m (7,972ft) above sea level, smack dab in the middle of a verdant, tropical mountain forest. The Incan Empire urban design of impossibly giant walls, terraces and ramps appear as if they have been naturally carved into the continuous rock escarpments. Contemplating the origins, mysticism and resilience of Machu Picchu under the rising sun is life affirming. 

After the guided tour, we will return to the town by local bus and in the afternoon, we will board the super scenic tourist train back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a private transfer to the Novotel in Cusco.

In Cusco, we’ll gather for a reflective farewell dinner still giddy and goosebumpy from our Machu Picchu experience.

Note: Machu Picchu visiting regulations require all visitors to follow a predetermined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences, exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site as personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Novotel Cusco Hotel

 

DAY EIGHT: CUZCO

After a nourishing breakfast, the rest of the day is unscheduled! Unless you have a flight to catch, of course! For those who are lingering a little longer, explore the city’s colourful pockets a little deeper. Sit down with Andean mint or toronjil (lemon balm) tea or chicha morada (made with purple corn). Or, sip a genuine emoliente (a medicinal mixture of several herbs).

Note: If you are joining the Amazon extension, you must book your own early morning flight to Puerto Maldonado on this day.

IMPORTANT: If your passport is due to expire before your trip please send in new passport details as soon as possible before the trip commences. If applicable, please bring both passports on the Inca Trail (the original you used to book your trip and your new passport) as officials may request to see both.

What now? Start dreaming about your next DREAM destination with your shiny new Wild Women BFFs!

Meals Included: Breakfast
Other Notes: Option to extend for 4 days in the Amazon Jungle

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

AMAZON RAINFOREST LODGE EXTENSION (4 DAYS)

Want to stay on for a few extra days of high octane adventure and explore the lush and lively Amazon? We are offering the option of a 4-day package based at the Refugio Amazonas Lodge. This biodiverse private 200-hectare reserve is located in a brilliant Brazilian nut forest within the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. The Refugio Amazonas Lodge is located four hours by motorized canoe from the Puerto Maldonado airport. 

What’s included during your stay? Three daily savoury meals, tea/coffee, a rainbow of macaws, activities, guided excursions (a shared service with other lodge guests) and transfers to and from the airport.

Things you should know:

  • The order and scheduling of activities may be modified due to weather. 
  • You will have to bring a small bag to re-pack your luggage for the three nights at the lodge as your main luggage will NOT travel with you. Fret not, it will be securely stored in the lodge’s office in town. 
  • Rooms at the lodge are simple but comfortable with en suite flush toilets, mosquito nets and (brace yourself) showers with cold water only.
  • Your visit to Refugio Amazonas contributes directly to the Wired Amazon Project and its efforts to conserve and learn more about the biodiversity of the Tambopata National Reserve.

Please contact us at adventure@wildwomenexpeditions.com to book! 

 

 

DAY ONE: JOURNEY TO TAMBOPATA

Upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, the “gateway city to the Amazon jungle”, we will be greeted by our energetic bilingual guide and board a bus for a one-hour transfer to our next mode of transport: a one-hour boat ride along the serene Tambopata River to Refugio Amazonas Lodge. Instead of planes, trains and automobiles– it’s a plane, bus and boat! Our first taste of Amazonian cuisine will be alfresco, on the boat!

Be binocular-ready! We’ll scan the riverbanks, branches and skies for our first sightings: the rainbow blur of macaws, stock-still herons, caiman and even capybara! In the treetops, we’ll be on high alert for curious brown capuchin and dusky titi monkeys. 

This jungle refuge with its low-impact design sits in the pounding heart of the rainforest and has all the amenities and necessary pampering pleasures (yes, massage!). 

A gentle 30-minute walk from the lodge will lead us to a 35m canopy tower (a staircase with railings provides safe access to the top for those who are jittery and vertigo-prone). From the top, it’s a mesmerizing view of the National Reserve of Tambopata. Toucans, macaws and raptors enjoy the same view, but often from a little higher in the sky.

We’ll immerse ourselves in the full-throttle jungle hospitality with a welcome drink before checking into our rooms. There will be time to chill out before dinner with the natural soundtrack on HIGH! There’s actually a bird called the horned screamer!

Fun fact: This eco-hostel is the headquarters of Wired Amazon, the first citizen science project that permits guests to be citizen scientists and contribute to the region’s dynamic research on species like the elusive jaguar and white-lipped peccary!  Frequently, a lucky guest discovers a brand new tiger-moth, scorpion-wasp, caddisfly or treehopper species. It could be you!

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Refugio Amazonas Lodge

DAY TWO-THREE: AMAZON RAINFOREST

The next two days will be an awesome and educational combo of birds, Brazil nuts, lessons in sustainability and the goosebumpy thrill of a night walk through the jungle!

DAY TWO: Lake Condenado/Don Manuel’s Organic Farm/Night Hike

Today, we will navigate around Lake Condenado in search of the dramatic hoatzin, a tropical bird of many names! It’s also known as the stinkbird, reptile bird and Canje pheasant. We’ll also look for the brilliant Martin Fisherman (kingfisher), alligators and rare river otters while learning about the differences of a lake and river ecosystem.

Later,  we’ll visit the neighbouring organic farm of Don Manuel, which is just five minutes along the river (by boat)from the lodge. He will show us the typical crops of the area and no doubt surprise us with some of his exotic fruit bounty. 

We will have the option of taking a daring night walk through the jungle just as most of the nocturnal mammals come to life. They might be difficult to see but we’ll definitely hear them! The frogs and their nightly chorus are truly a marvel. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Refugio Amazonas Lodge

DAY 3: Brazil Nut Farm Visit, Medicinal Plant Trail and Wired Amazon Lecture

Today is going to be NUTS! We are going to learn everything about the vital and decadent Brazil nut and its origin at a Brazil nut farm that’s situated close to the lodge. Locally, this nut is often referred to as a ‘chestnut’ but it differs greatly from the North American interpretation of a chestnut. 

Brazil nut harvesting is a valuable, sustainable source of income for residents of Puerto Maldonado who collect and process the divine nut once a year in the dry months between the rainy season. 

Later, we’ll learn about the other treasures that are grown in the forest on a medicinal plant trail. We’ll be introduced to a wide variety of healing plants and trees that the local population has relied on for years. The Amazon forest’s medicine cabinet includes an ever-growing list of remedies like Sacha-Ajos (“forest garlic”), Uña De Gato (Cat’s Claw) and Ayahuasca, a South American psychoactive brew. This ‘tea’ is gaining interest with travelers desperate for enlightenment from its guaranteed high and curative powers. The sacred elixir is still used in ceremony by some tribes. The Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine are cleaned, smashed, brewed and distilled into a highly-concentrated formula. Free samples will not be provided!

Later, we’ll take advantage of a lecture presented by researchers from the Wired Amazon Project about the opportunities and challenges of their unique projects in the Tambopata National Reserve. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Refugio Amazonas Lodge

DAY FOUR: DEPARTURE

After a nourishing early breakfast, we’ll start our trip back to Puerto Maldonado following our original boat and bus route. 

We will be able to experience a surreal sunrise over the river–one that will no doubt lead to quiet reflection and meditation on the amazing Amazon days behind us. 

We’ll emerge from the jungle restored (and probably with an unexpected Brazil nut craving!) and pick up our stored luggage from the lodge’s office in town before continuing to the airport for flights back to Lima and onward! A guide will be present until the departure flight in case there are any last minute changes or needs.

Please note: Flights from Puerto Maldonado to Lima usually arrive between 4pm and 5pm. Please take note of this incase you have an international connection flight.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Refugio Amazonas Lodge
Additional Details


  • April 16 – 19, 2023
  • April 30 – May 3, 2023
  • June 4 – 7, 2023
  • July 2 – 5, 2023
  • September 17 – 20, 2023
  • September 24 – 27, 2023
  • October 8 – 11, 2023
  • October 15 – 18, 2023

Pricing for the Amazon Rainforest Lodge Extension starts at USD$1,995 for 2023. With optional single upgrade $295 USD, and is only offered as an add-on to the Inca Trail Trek To Machu Picchu trip.

The extension officially starts on Day 1 as we arrive on Puerto Maldonado
Wild Women will book your morning flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, (included in the cost of the extension) join the transfer to the lodge upon your arrival.Please note that all flights between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado have a connection in Lima – there are no direct flights between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado.

Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado, you will be greeted by one or more of the guides from Rainforest Expeditions and then taken to a waiting vehicle. You will take a short ride to our operations office in Puerto Maldonado where we will ask you to store luggage you don’t need.

Luggage is hand-carried at various stages in the trip for a long distance so we ask you to please limit your weight to 15 kilos (32 pounds apiece). You can pack separate bags and safely leave them at our offices in Puerto Maldonado on the first day so we won’t be carrying them around uselessly. Your bag will be waiting for you at the airport the day you leave.

After taking care of luggage, we take a 40-minute drive to the Infierno Community Port where we board long, sturdy canoes equipped with outboard motors and head upstream to Refugio Amazonas. The three-hour boat ride is pleasant and often includes our first sightings of macaws, heron, caiman, and capybara.


The extension officially ends on Day 4, as we depart Puerto Maldonado.You are responsible to book your departure flight out of the Jungle, from Puerto Maldonado (PEM) back to Lima (LIM) and onward from there!

  • Please consult with the WWE office prior to booking your departure flight to ensure the timing works with your arrival from the lodge to Puerto Maldonado.
  • Please note that flights arriving into Lima usually arrive around 4 – 5 PM, plan your international flights with this timing in mind.
  • Please provide flight details in your Travel Details Form.

This is departure day so accommodation is not included on Day 4.


  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip prices are based on a twin share (min two women per room), so we’ll team you up with another solo wild woman to share with if you’re on your own, or of course, you can share with your travel partner.

  • Internet/WiFi/Cell Coverage/ Electricity

There is Wi-fi in the common areas but otherwise, you will be “off grid”! The lodge is run mainly on propane. You can charge batteries a few hours a day in the dining room area. Communications are powered by solar energy and there is wireless internet available at night. We use electric bulbs in public areas at night.

  • Luggage Notes

Bring only what you need! Luggage is hand-carried at various stages in the trip for long distance so we ask you to please limit your weight to 15 kilos (32 pounds apiece) and ideally use a duffel bag or backpack for easy handling. If you are visiting other destinations in Peru or South America that require different kinds of clothing, you can always pack separate bags and safely leave them at our offices in Puerto Maldonado on the first day so we won’t be carrying them around uselessly. Your bag will be waiting for you at the airport the day you leave.

  • Laundry

This service is only available on sunny days. Please ask for the rate at the lodge. Clothes are hand-washed using White Swipe biodegradable soap and are sun dried in order to protect the environment.

  • Overnight Arrangements

Refugio Amazonas Superior Rooms

All rooms have an authentic Ese-Eja décor which has been crafted by artists from the local community of Infierno and feature two or three twin beds. All rooms feature private bathrooms with access to hot water showers. The rooms also feature an open verandah to maximize the experience with the tropical rainforest.


Our Amazon lodge is located four hours by motorized canoe from the Puerto Maldonado airport. The Refugio Amazonas lodge is located in a 200-hectare private reserve within the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. 

Weather in the Amazon

The lowland rainforests of Tambopata lie far enough south of the Equator to provide a cooler, drier winter season between May and October. The general weather conditions, are warm and humid. In Tambopata the average daytime high temperature is between 78F and 93F (24C and 31C). The average nighttime low is between 66F and 78 F (20C and 24C).

Cold Fronts – May through September Cold fronts from Argentina can sweep into southwestern Amazonia and push daytime highs down to 50° F (9° C) and the nighttime lows to 43° F (5° C). Thus, during that season always be potentially prepared for cold and drizzle.

Rainy Months – November through April Be prepared for heavy rain that can continue for hours or days. Around 80% of the annual average 3000 mm rainfall occurs during this season.


Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time. If any details change as per the itinerary listed above, you will be notified via email.

Arrival into PeruFly into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) anytime before the rendezvous time. We recommend flying into Cusco two days before your trip, to allow your body to adjust to the altitude.The CUZ airport is small and easy to navigate. Once you collect your luggage, head outside to the arrivals area and if you have booked a transfer with your hotel independently, you will need to look for a sign with your name on it. If you have not pre-booked a taxi with your starting hotel then you can get a taxi in the arrival areas. There will be many airport certified taxi drivers located there.

An airport transfer from CUZ to the first night hotel is included in the trip price if you are arriving either the day before the trip begins (and staying at the same hotel) or arriving the day the trip starts. Airport transfers will be arranged based on the arrival flight and time you list in your Travel Details Forms. ***Please ensure you include the Airport Code, Carrier, Flight #, Arrival Date and Arrival Time.***

 

Group Rendezvous Point



Departure from CuscoBreakfast is included on your last day with us. The rest of the day is yours!Airport transfers are included on the last day of the trip itinerary and will be provided in conjunction with your departing flights. You will verify your preferred time to head to the airport with the Transfer Agent. Wild Women Expeditions has provided your flight departure dates and times already, but best to double check.

Accommodations are not included on this night, so be sure you book this before the trip if you’re planning to stay longer.

 

Drop-Off Point:

  • Date: Day 8
  • Time: In conjunction with your departing flights
  • Location: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ)


You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements. Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact:Megan and Zale | ****Travel Edge Travel Specialist

Email: wildwomen@traveledge.com

 

Note: Travel Edge only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

 

Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

 

Note: Upon booking, we will need a copy of your passport emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office as soon as possible before the trip starts so we can purchase your permit. If your passport is not submitted we cannot guarantee a permit.

If you’ve received a new passport by the time of your trip start, you will still need to bring both – the original passport you used to book AND your new passport to get on the Inca Trail! (Don’t forget- need it to hike!)

  • Visa

Most visitors can stay for up to 90 days without a visa. Check via: Peru Visa – Application, Requirements

Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.

Once permits are purchased (around Jan 1 each year), they cannot be changed/updated/ transferred or refunded. What we ask women to do, if their passport that the Inca Trail is booked on has expired/expiring, is bring the expired passport to match up with the Inca Trail permit so you can get on the trail and then of course, travel on your current passport. So you will need to travel with your old and new passport to get on the Inca Trail.


There is a strong culture around tipping guides, cooks and porters in Peru. Tipping is certainly still a personal decision, but there is an expectation you should be aware of. Generally speaking, if you’re pleased with the service then try to ensure that:

  • Each porter gets $5 – $10 USD from each woman (2 porters per person, total depends on group size)
  • Each cook gets $10 – $15 USD from each woman (1-2 cooks depending on group size)
  • The lead guide $25 – $40 USD from each woman (1 lead guide)
  • The assistant guide $20 – 30 USD from each woman (1 assistant guide)

*EXAMPLE: An average group of 10 women with 20 porters (20 x $5 USD = $100 USD), 2 cooks (2 x $10 USD = $20 USD), 1 lead guide ($25 USD) and 1 assistant guide ($20 USD) would cost each woman in the group a minimum of $165 USD.*

**Note:** Tips can be given in USD or Soles.

 

On the **morning of Day 6,** there is a formal tipping ceremony. Someone in the Wild Women group should take the lead on organizing envelopes for the tips as outlined above the night before. Then during the 1/2 hour ceremony, volunteers should step up to thank each group (porters, chefs, guides) and present them with their tip envelope.


  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip prices are based on a twin share (minimum of two women per room/tent), so we’ll team you up with another solo wild woman to share with if you’re on your own, or of course, you can share with your travel partner.

  • Single Room Upgrade

If you’d prefer not to share a bedroom or tent, we have a single upgrade option. If you have already indicated this preference on your registration form, you will be emailed a quote once availability is confirmed. If you are now interested, please email support@wildwomenexpeditions.com with your request.

  • Internet / WiFi / Cell Coverage

Generally speaking, in the hotels, you’ll have access to wifi and Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes all have cell service. With NO WIFI ACCESS on the trail, being off grid means you can leave social media behind and truly immerse yourself in the awesome scenery!

  • Bathrooms

Generally speaking, in the hotels you’ll have a private bathroom attached to your bedroom. While camping, portable toilets in their own tents are brought along and shared by all group members. You will have to try your best to aim liquids in one bucket and solids in the other. Definitely outhouse style!

  • Potable Water

On the trek: the cooks treat the cooking water with bleach, and boil water for passenger canteens. You will fill your hydration bladder and bottle(s) at the start of the morning trek from the kettle. The guide has a portable water filter in case you want to refill between breakfast and lunch, but on the Inca Trail, the accessible water supplies are few and far between. Most people typically start out with 2-3 litres of water, and few run out before they reach the lunch spot. The cooks have set up a tent and wait with treated water at the lunch spot. Afternoon routine is the same – depart lunch with your hydration bladder and water bottle filled, it’s sufficient to carry you through to camp and supper time.

Potable water is provided throughout the trip. Camp water (both for drinking and for cleaning) is filtered and boiled. The guide will also have a small hand pump to treat water along the trail. Drinking water is included as large jugs from which you can refill your water bottle.

It is not advised to drink untreated tap water.

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

Lifestraw

GRAYL Canada | OnePress™ Global Protection

Travelers Against Plastic | Take the TAP pledge


Hotel RoomsAll hotels are clean and contemporary. Rooms are decorated with natural fabrics, tapestries, and regional décor details. All rooms have private bathrooms, WiFi and safety boxes. Check out the different hotel’s websites through the links below:

 

Campsite

For all camping nights, high quality, spacious sleeping tents for two women will be supplied, along with Thermarest sleeping pads and sleeping bags.

Communal camping gear such as tables and camp chairs, dining tent, toilet tents, camp kitchen, and all food round out the comforts of camping in the Andes!

Camping in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Read. Learn. Google the topic “camping in sub-zero temps” and read the many online tips and tricks. Then we recommend renting the sleeping bags with us because they are rated to -18C/ 0F so they are very warm. Bring all the warm layers we list under the required section of the packing list – hat and mitts too! During the hike, eat lots of food before bed (keep the fire burning) and consider taking warm water to bed with you (in your water bottle) to help preheat your sleeping bag. If you wake up and have to pee – GO! You’ll feel warmer despite having to leave your warm cocoon to pee in the outhouse tent. Wear dry clothes to bed, then stuff all of your next day’s clothing in the empty spaces around you inside your sleeping bag. This keeps you warmer by creating less air for your body to heat and ensures your clothes are warm when you have to get dressed the next day. Also, make sure your electronics and batteries are in the sleeping bag too! Once batteries get cold, they lose their charge. The reward with sleeping in freezing temps is there’s less chance of rain and the stars are incredible on those crisp, cold nights!

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping Bags/Thermarest pads included in the 7kg weight allowance.

The weight of the sleeping bag and Thermarest pad must be included in the total weight of the duffel. The Thermarest and sleeping bag (plus the duffel itself) consume roughly 4 kg out of your allocated 7 kg. You definitely have to make do with a simplified packing list. Your fallback in case you go over the weight limit is to carry the excess in your own daypack. We have been operating this trek for many years with the 7 kg weight restriction, and most trekkers discover they can live with that.

Other People At Our Accommodations

While on the trek, we will usually have the campsite to just our group. Depending on the site, other people and groups may have to pass by or through to get to lookouts or their campsite. At the hotels, there will be other guests staying there as well.



Peru is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes. If you are indoors when an earthquake strikes, make your way to a safe zone. These are usually marked in public buildings with an “S,” indicating where the structural pillars are located. If you are outside, keep away from buildings and other areas where objects could fall.

There are two types of electrical outlets in Peru. One accepts two-pronged plugs with flat, parallel blades, while the other take plugs with two round prongs. Many Peruvian electrical outlets are designed to accept both types. Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second).



Peru is on Eastern Standard Time as it is 5 hours behind GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). Peru does not observe daylight savings time.

One section of the trail is optimistically marked “Zona de Osos” (“Bear Zone”), but your chances of stumbling across a bear are very slight. Making noise as you walk and staying on the trail will reduce them still further. Predatory wildlife on the Inca Trail consists mainly of the local pigs and dogs around Huayllabamba (who will eat anything that you leave outside, including boots, rucksacks and plastic garbage bags) and biting flies, which will eat you. The insects, particularly around the Pacamayo, are extremely fierce. A good bug hat, insect repellent, and sting relief is a necessity. There have also been reports of chiggers (mites) and other pests near Huayllabamba.

Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc., and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol (SOL), divided into 100 cents. There are 5,10,20 and 50 cents coins and S/. 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 banknotes.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Banking>

US dollars are welcome at most shops, restaurants and service stations at the current exchange rate. There are only a few bureau de change in Lima and Cusco that will exchange currencies other than US dollars. Outside Lima, it is virtually impossible. US Dollars can be exchanged everywhere and banks, hotels and many shops also readily accept US Dollars (although very old, torn or damaged notes are usually rejected).

In Cusco, you can change your US dollars in the money exchange offices or banks located in the first two blocks of Sun Avenue and generally they offer a favorable exchange rate. They previously agreed about the rate among them so you do not need to negotiate. Avoid money changers on the street, as they will carry counterfeit currency or work with pickpockets.

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 6:00 PM hours, and Saturdays until midday. There are street moneychangers in the corners of the Sun Avenue as well as many ATMs.

  • Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely accepted in Lima and Cusco, but less so outside major cities. In small towns, automated banking machines (ABMs) may not be readily available or may be out of money; it is better to plan ahead and carry Peruvian Soles with you in small denominations. ABMs accept international credit cards only. Most tourist establishments accept the main credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, Diners and American Express. When using a credit card, make sure you are charged the right amount for your purchase. Visa is the most widely accepted card in Peru.

Please note that there might be a difference between the official currency exchange rate in Peru and the exchange rate that the credit card companies charge.

  • Budgeting

Here is a general guide of what you can expect to pay in Peru for a few common items in Nuevos Soles (S/.)

  • Set lunches: less than $5 USD; supermarkets have takeout.
  • Multi-course lunch at mid-range restaurant: $ 13 USD.
  • Fine restaurant dinner: from $22 USD.
  • Entry fee to historic sights: average $3.50 USD.
  • Goods & Services Tax>

A general sales tax (IGV) is added automatically to most consumer bills (19%). Restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee.


Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you.Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their medical travel insurance or personal expense.

 

Getting Fit

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition but to fully enjoy the Inca Trail, you do have to be reasonably fit and take some time to train and prepare.

It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail then it must be easy … it isn’t. The full trail is 35 km / 27 miles long and involves great physical exertion to complete. On the second day, you climb nearly 1200 m (about 4000 ft) during the morning. Combine this with the high altitude (less oxygen in your lungs and blood) and extreme weather (you can easily get a sunburn during the day and temperatures can drop to below 0°C at night), and the trek can turn into a hard experience. However, all these difficulties can make the final arrival at Machu Picchu all the more enjoyable!

 

Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Rev up your ticker!

Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way the aim is to get your heart rate up.

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Hill training

The most spectacular views aren’t from the bottom of a valley – so the places we go on our trips aren’t flat. A little time training on hills and stairs is an investment that’ll pay off big-time when you’re on your trip. When it comes to hills there’s no hurry – get into a slow steady rhythm and you’ll be at the top before you know it.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Practice ‘backpacking’.

Grab your backpack (or borrow one) and head for the hills! If you’re bringing your own backpack, practice adjusting the various straps so you know how it feels in different positions. We aren’t multi-day hiking every day, but you’ll be carrying a day pack almost everyday, so it’s well worth a bit of practice. Backpacks sit differently and so change your centre of balance when it’s full of gear so make sure you put a few pounds of weight in it in training.

  • Break in your hiking boots.

Blisters and sore feet are no fun at all! So make sure that while you’re getting yourself ready you’re doing the same for your boots. Start by just wearing them around the house, then down the road, and walking the dog. Then ideally do a couple of decent length weekend hikes to prepare them for what is to come.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Meditation.

Try walking meditation, a yoga class, or download a meditation app. This will improve your mindset when it gets tough on the trail.

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.