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GRASPING MACHU PICCHU

PRICE:

8500 AED/ 2315 USD *Excludes International Flights

JUNE 15-23, 2024

Grasping Machu Picchu: Tours

Cusco’s numerous, natural wonders have made it on everyone’s bucket list during the last couple of years; and if they’re not on yours, they definitely should be! From Machu Picchu to the Rainbow Mountains, this trip will fulfill your adventurous craving while also leaving you with years worth of insanely cool photos!

WHY EXPLORE CUSCO WITH GRASP THE ADVENTURE:

We've got countless reasons but here are some.

At Grasp The Adventure, our number 1 goal is to promote the spirit of adventure and the love of nature while forming bonds as powerful as the mountains we hike on. We sincerely view all the hikers that joined our previous trips as friends and family, this is why we do our best to keep them safe and happy at all times. So besides going on awesome hikes to jaw-dropping sights, you’ll also be making new, like-minded friends.

The trek to Machu Picchu may be the main highlight of the trip, but it most certainly is not the only one. We will also visit the infamous Rainbow Mountains which will leave you in absolute awe and spend a couple of days exploring Cusco, a picturesque town that sits at an altitude of 3400 meters. The best part is… it is all included in the initial cost that you pay. All you need to do is get to Lima and leave the rest to us, we will handle internal flights, airport transfers, hotels, food, treks, tours and even the guides’ and porters’ tips! You will however, have one free day in Cusco to explore the city, shop for souvenirs, rest-up from the trek or even go on a local cuisine binge, this is the ONLY day that is NOT included in the cost. Read on for further details on the trip’s inclusions and exclusions.

So what is so special about this adventure? We fused two of the best Andean trails into one unforgettable hike. We begin on the Lares Trail, the most cultural trek offered, where we visit and experience the lifestyle and customs of traditional Peruvian villages. We'll traverse through the sacred valley and hike past rivers, ravines and waterfalls. After 2 nights of camping, we take a short break and spend a night in a hotel in Ollantaytambo before taking a train and beginning the second half of our journey on the famous Inca Trail. This is the only trail that allows you to enter Machu Picchu through its Sun Gate, which is the original way Incan Pilgrims used to visit this wonder of the world. 

On top of everything else, we are partnering with the #1 company in Cusco for this trip to guarantee your utmost comfort and satisfaction. Ranked #1 on Trip Advisor, they have over 7300 reviews with an average score of 5/5!

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IS THIS HIKE FOR YOU?

Remain calm and read on!

So you want to join but you’re also freaking out that you may not be experienced enough for this trek, well you really shouldn’t be. The great thing about the Inca Trail is that it requires absolutely no technical experience and is actually suitable for first time hikers. That being said, fitness is required to enjoy the experience. Moreover, although the distances involved are not that great (only 40 km in 4 days), the altitude at the highest point of the trek is 4200 m could cause problems for anyone (experienced or not).

The good news is that you have more than six months to increase your fitness, strengthen your cardiovascular system and prepare for this trek. We will even share a training regime with you to help you do so. Seriously, we are committed to doing whatever we can to ensure your safety and comfort; that is why:

  • We are partnering with one of the top, local companies in Cusco rated #1 on Trip Advisor, 5/5 score with over 7300 reviews

  • Certified mountain guides will lead the hike while porters transport the group’s belongings, camping equipment, food, mess tent, etc.

  • You will only be required to carry your day pack which will include whatever you may need during the hike, such as raincoat, snacks, camera and water

  • Professional chefs will be preparing your breakfasts, lunches and dinners with foods specific to the altitudes we’re at in order to minimize and avoid indigestion and altitude sickness issues

  • Trek Guides are all professionally trained and certified in First Aid and Wilderness First Responders (WFR)

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PRICE INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

Our price includes everything from the moment you arrive in Lima to the moment you depart; except for the one free day in Cusco. This is left out to give each Grasper the freedom to explore the city based on their own interests. The hotels booked are all rated 8 and above on Booking.com, the team stayed in them in 2019 and can vouch for their high standard of comfort and quality.

INCLUSIONS

  • Return Lima-Cusco flight with one checked-in luggage item

  • High Standard Boutique Hotels

  • Guided Trek to Machu Picchu

  • Rainbow Mountain Day Tour

  • Guides, chefs and porters for the hike

  • All transportation

  • Tents, Sleeping Bags & Pads During Trek

  • Purified drinking water during Inca Trail

  • Photography of all hikes

  • Tips for the guides, chefs and porters

  • One Grasper Merchandise surprise

  • 3 meals per day, everyday, except for free days in Cusco (refer to itinerary)

  • Welcome & Farewell Dinner/ Reception

  • Training regime for hike

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flight to/from Lima

  • Peruvian Visa if required

  • Vaccinations

  • Travel Insurance

  • Altitude sickness tablets (Diamox)

  • Personal Expenses (souvenirs, snacks)

  • Clothing (check packing list for details)

  • Optional activities that are not mentioned in itinerary

  • Extra hiking gear

HIKE RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST

Note: For the trek, we will provide you with duffel bags to place your items in, the porters will be carrying these bags so the weight limit is around 7 kg (account for sleeping bag too). You will only have access to these bags at the campsite so make sure you carry your personal items in your day packs.

  • Original Passport (needed to check into Inca Trail)

  • Day Pack with rain cover

  • Water Storage (bladder or canteen)

  • Hiking boots

  • 1-2 wicking t-shirts (we’ll be giving you one Grasp The Adventure hiking t-shirt)

  • 1-2 hiking pants

  • 2-3 sets of undergarments

  • 2-3 sets of socks

  • 1 Fleece Jacket

  • 1 down jacket

  • 1 rain jacket

  • 1 rain pants

  • Thermal top

  • Thermal bottom

  • Head torch

  • Power bank

  • Warm, winter hat

  • Sun hat

  • Sun glasses

  • Scarf or balaclava

  • Waterproof plastic bags to put clothes in

  • Warm gloves

  • Sandals or slippers or sneakers

  • Hiking poles

  • Microfibre face towel

  • Microfibre body towel

  • Toiletries kit (soap, shampoo, conditioner, nail clippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, Fresh Buzz, toilet paper, hairbrush, feminine products)

  • Personal First-Aid (Vitamins, hydration tablets, sleeping pills, malaria pills, diamox)

  • Lip balm

  • Moisturizing cream

  • Nose drops

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Pillow

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Sleeping pad

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CARE FOR THE PORTERS

As usual, we try to do our best to benefit the country we are visiting by only dealing with high standard companies that ensure high living standards for their porters and guides. Our partnership with Alpaca Expeditions started in 2019 due to their top notch services and high values. The owner of the company actually started off as a porter and is from one of the mountain tribes; that is why he dedicates a large portion of his profits back to these tribes’ wellbeing. Of course, it goes without saying that we always treat the entire team with love and respect. After all, as soon as we’re on the mountain, we will all be one Grasping Family! Please do contact me if you want to know more about what they do for their porters.

Note: Tips for the entire crew are included in the total cost of the trip and will be handled by Grasp The Adventure team, so you don’t need to worry about it. Tip amounts are calculated based on guidelines provided by the local company.

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ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Fly into Lima at your own time, if you arrive early, you’ll have some time to check out the city and some of it’s cool attractions. Dinner is included at the hotel. If you have the entire day in Lima, consider taking a tour to swim with seals; multiple providers can be found online.

Day 2: Fly into Cusco & Free Day in Cusco

After having breakfast at our hotel in Lima, we will head out to the airport and fly into Cusco. Since Cusco is at a relatively high elevation of 3,399 m, we will have a free day in Cusco to check out  the city and do some souvenir shopping while also acclimatizing to this elevation. While each person is free to roam on their own  during the free day, we will meet in the evening for the Trail briefing before going out for the welcome dinner. We'll aim to have an early night since our guides will pick us up from the hotel at 5 AM. We strongly recommend that you buy a poncho today since you'll want it for the photos during the trek; we also recommend you complete your souvenir shopping and visit the alpaca farm.

Day 3: Lares Trail Day 1, Famous Thermal Baths – Kiswarani Waterfall Campsite

Distance: 10km / Campsite Altitude: 3850 m

It will be a three-hour drive along the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley and through the Andes until we arrive at the Lares Hot Springs where we will enjoy our first breakfast accompanied by amazing views of the Andes Mountains. After breakfast, we will have time to enjoy the hot springs, which are divided into various pools ranging from freezing cold to boiling hot. They are all composed of pure volcanic water, which is medicinal in nature. After soaking in the baths for a while, we will drive 20 minutes to the trailhead, Punta Carretera at 3,300 m above sea level.
Our trek will begin with a two-hour gradual uphill hike, until lunch at our first village, Kiswarani. They consider this part of the hike the potato valley section, where people farm many varieties and colors of organic potatoes. Our guide will also point out some indigenous medicinal plants growing along the way. Lunch will be excellent and prepared by our trekking chef.

After lunch, our horsemen (llameros) will do a ceremony with llamas showcasing these beautiful animals. Llamas were considered sacred to the Incas and fundamental to their economy. Our llameros will introduce you to these animals and discuss their importance and why owning one was a sign of privilege. Today they are disappearing, constantly breaded with smaller animals. We hope to continue the tradition of the Incas and give some llamas work. We do this to support the community that helps protect them. Llamas are pleasant to walk with and are friendly animals. Just don´t get too close, they might try to kiss you, or do if that's what you're into I guess!

We will also have time to explore the village and visit some local homes, where we will learn about the lifestyle and ancient traditions of the local people. If there is time, we will visit the schoolhouse where the kids still speak Quecha, their native language. You may also bring toys, notebooks, or school supplies to distribute. Perhaps you may even teach them a few words in English. It will be another two hours, gradually uphill hiking until we arrive at the campsite. There we will be welcomed by our trekking staff, who will have your tents set up. We’ll enjoy some hot drinks, as the sky darkens and the stars start appearing. Finally, we will enjoy a lovely dinner prepared on-site. If you want to keep star-gazing, you may stay up for a while longer or, if you’d rather, you can turn in to your tent.

 

Day 4: Lares Trail Day 2, Quiswarani – Condor Pass – Cancha Cancha Village

Elevation Gain: 830/ Distance: 14km / Campsite Altitude: 3750 m

Today we will be woken up around 5 am, with our service of hot drinks. We will have spectacular views of the colorful lake and the valley of Kiswarani. We will also see the local people already up and about, taking their llamas and alpacas out to graze. Breakfast will be served once we have finished packing our gear. Then we’ll fill up our water bottles, organize snacks, and embark on the second day of this magical journey. It will be a three or four-hour climb to get to the summit of the mountain. This pass is called Pachacute, or Condor Pass. We’ll zigzag our way up to compensate for the steep uphill. The views of the area are stunning. You will see lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas. We will have an emergency horse to ride in case you are tired. Once we arrive at the Condor Pass, we will be above the clouds and the mountain peaks, the surrounding 360-degree views is simply astounding. In front of us will be the beautiful mountain of Pitusiray, which is at 5,700 m, while the Condor pass is at 4,680 m.
We will begin the one hour, downhill, descent towards El Mirador (Vista Point), where we will enjoy lunch. There will be some llamas grazing nearby. After lunch, we will hike the last three hours downhill, with fantastic views of many lakes, llamas, and alpacas, before arriving at our campsite, the village of Cancha Cancha, which is the only village that does not have modern technology. Located at 3,750 m, people still practice original Inca traditions. In this Incan village, 85% of the houses are still built by ancient construction methods, made of stone and grass-thatched roofs. Unlike any other village in the Lares Valley, this village has no electricity or cars. You will have some time to meet with the local children. We provide them with food and school supplies, so we invite our travelers to share this support in the education and the health of this native village. You can bring anything you would like to give to these Quechuan-speaking children that you think they could use for school or home. When you are done, your guide will take you to one of the local family’s houses, where you will learn about the lifestyle of the locals. You will see how they raise their guinea pigs, and learn about the traditional hand-woven textiles made of llama and alpaca wool. In the evening we will enjoy hot drinks and dinner before stargazing and calling it a night.

 

Day 5: Lares Trail Day 3, Cancha Cancha – Huaran – Maras Salt Mine – Ollantaytambo

Distance: 9km

Our porters will wake us up with a hot drink, and we will have some time to pack our bags and enjoy breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll have time to explore the village and visit the local elementary school, where the ancient Inca language, Quechua, is still taught. Once you are ready, we’ll begin the last leg of the Lares trek. It will be four hours of walking downhill along this lovely path where we will pass by more llamas and alpacas. We’ll pass by farms where they grow potatoes, fava beans, and many other traditional crops the traditional Incan style. we will have the chance to learn about Peruvian agriculture from people who still farm by hand with traditional Inca farming tools. Then, we will start to descend to the warmer area of the Sacred Valley. You will start to feel the changes of the micro-climate and start seeing crops that are different from the high mountains. Around the Sacred Valley, people farm corn, quinoa, kiwi, peaches, avocados, and other types of fruit. This area has a lot of Inca history, and we will end the first part of our trek at the little Sacred Valley village of Huaran that sits at 2,700 m.
From Huaran, we will catch a van and make the short drive into the valley to visit the Salineras salt pans, in the town of Maras. Here, at 11,000 feet above sea level, a saltwater spring gushes forth and spills down the side of the mountain. Over 3,000 small evaporation chambers have been created and look as if they are tumbling down the mountainside. These have been in use since pre-Incan times. The salt is said to have healing properties because it´s filled with natural minerals, some of it even comes out pink. Local families each own one of these pans and make their living supplying salt to the towns around the area. There is a small shop on-site if you care to take some salt home with you.

After visiting Salineras, we will head to our hotel in Ollantaytambo for the night at the hotel.

Day 6: Inca Trail Day 1, Ollantaytambo – Inca Trail – Sun Gate

Elevation Gain: 720/ Distance: 15km / Campsite Altitude: 1900m

We will be picked up at 5:30 AM to begin the second segment of this magical journey on the famous Inca Trail. It is important to be on time since we're taking the 6:10 AM train from Ollantaytambo. This is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world, with its extraordinary views of the Urubamba River, the snow-capped mountain peaks, and cornfield farms. As we descend, you will see the micro-climate changes, from the mountains and cornfields to green jungle valleys with ferns, bromeliads, and orchids, as the temperature starts to get warmer. This train ride is one hour and 45 minutes to Km 104, where we’ll disembark to meet our trekking chef and porters. We will also enjoy breakfast before starting the trek. Be sure to bring your original passport since this is the very first checkpoint along the Inca Trail.
After breakfast, we will have some time to prepare before beginning the hike. Soon after, we will get to explore the first Inca site Chachabamaba. Chachabamaba was the first ancient Incan checkpoint for entering to the Inca trail. Our trek leader will give us some background history on this ruin, followed by the three-hour climb up to the most famous Inca site along the trail, Wiñay Wayna. We will see amazing views of the Machu Picchu Valley and the Urubamba River along the trail, as well as the flora and fauna native to the area. There are also waterfalls and spectacular views of the Machu Picchu Mountain. The trail itself has some flat areas, as well as some short uphill and downhill hikes. It also has steps arranged in sections that can be narrow in some areas, but not dangerous.

Once we arrive at the Wiñay Wayna Inca site, we will have time to learn about the history of the site in addition to exploring the temples, waterfalls, gardens, storehouses, watchtowers, and farming terraces. It is only a short walk to the lunch spot, where our chef and porters will be ready with cold drinks and delicious, fresh food, prepared by our cook, and served buffet-style. After lunch, there will be time for a short nap. Following, it will be a one hour, gradual up and downhill hike to get to the Sun Gate, where we will have spectacular views of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu, and the surrounding valleys. The Sun Gate was used by Incas to observe the sunrise from Machu Picchu during the summer solstice. From here, it is another hour hike to the Machu Picchu ruins.

Once in Machu Picchu, we can explore the watchtower area where we can get charming pictures of Machu Picchu (without crowds). We’ll then take the 20-minute bus ride to the campsite of Puente Ruinas. When we arrive at the campsite, our tents will be all set up. Later in the evening, we’ll have a small ceremony with our chef and porters to say goodbye to them although they will still be there the next morning to prepare breakfast.

Day 7: Inca Trail Day 2, Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo – Cusco

There will be an early wake-up call with hot drinks. We will have time to prepare our duffel bags and day packs and enjoy breakfast. You must have your original passport at the checkpoint. Our trek leader will take us to the perfect spot to enjoy the sunrise over the mountains (weather permitting). We’ll then have a two-hour, private, guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins, with all of its fascinating history. You’ll also have free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. We will need to catch the bus back down to the town of Aguas Calientes for lunch and to catch the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo. From there, we will go by private van back to our hotel in Cusco. After a short rest and long awaited hot shower, we head out for a delicious dinner in one of Cusco's best restaurants.

Day 8: Rainbow Mountain

We will be picked up at 4:00 am for a 2½ hour drive to the trailhead. There, our chef will make a delicious breakfast, including coffee, hot chocolate, teas, bread, fruit salad, eggs, and hot drinks. Cusco’s elevation is 3300m / 11,300ft, and the trailhead called Phulawasipata is at 4200m/ 14,300ft. Cusco’s weather is usually quite cold, and the trailhead is even colder, so be sure to bring a warm jacket, scarf, hat, and gloves. After breakfast, we’ll hike about 2 hours uphill to the Rainbow Mountain range. The hike up includes short breaks where the guide will explain some important information about the mountains and the geography of the area.

Upon arrival to the top of Rainbow Mountain, we will have about 1 hour to explore the spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, mountains and the highest glacial mountain in Cusco – Ausangate, whose summit is at an elevation of 6,384m / 20,944ft. Make sure you get some photos with the llamas and alpacas at the top! After some time for photography, our guide will tell us some intriguing facts about this fascinating place – like why the colors?! A few last photos of this spectacular mountain and we will begin our descent. We do this a little differently than other groups. Instead of hiking the same route as they do, we hike to a lookout point to see the Red Valley and continue with our hike. This valley is the icing on the cake, and many of our hikers say that it is even nicer than Rainbow Mountain! It is about 2½ hours mostly downhill from Rainbow Mountain, to the end of the trail, which is near where we started the hike. Here we will enjoy a fresh meal prepared by our chef, which includes cold drinks, appetizers, soup and the main course. After lunch, it will be another 2½ hour drive back to our hotel.

Once again, we’ll be taking a short rest at the hotel before going out to walk around the city center, do some last minute souvenir and finally end our incredible adventure with a farewell dinner.

Day 9: Cusco to Lima & Return Flight

We will take an early flight out of Cusco in order to get to Lima in time for each one to catch their international flights back home. If you wish to extend your journey, I can happily share some tips of places to visit in the region. However, it is here that we say goodbye with heavy hearts as we venture back into the real world, after a successful 9 day escape. We may have been strangers before the trip but I guarantee we’ll end it as One, Big Grasping Family!

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