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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed by the trip leader(s) and NOT the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for payment details and instructions.

Inca Trail

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Inca Trail/Machu Picchu, near Cusco, Peru   Backpacking: Inca Trail  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Jul 6 2018  6:00 pm >> Sun, Jul 15 2018 10:00 am
Registration Opens: Wed, Oct 25 2017 5:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Wed, Oct 25 2017 5:00 pm
Event Duration:8 Days 16 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:26 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Richard A. Zalik
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$940.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:16
Minimum Group Size:12
Number Registered So Far: 14 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Notice: This web page is designed so that you can only put yourself on the waiting list. Once I verify that you satisfy the registration requirements I will move you to the list of participants.  See registration requirements below.

Moderate to Strenuous 26 miles hiking and high altitude backpacking

NOTE: We will schedule several meetings to answer questions and organize ourselves for this event.

The Inca Trail is a classic trek originating from Cusco, exploring an Andean culture and archaeology set in dramatic mountain scenery. It is a mix of mysterious ancient ruins and the excitement of high Andean landscapes. The trail was a royal Inca highway linking Cusco with the religious citadel of Machu Picchu. The city became lost to the jungle to be rediscovered by Hiram Bingham on 24 July 1911. Some of the trail has only been rediscovered in the last two decades. Now you can retrace the steps of the ancient Inca to encounter the splendor of Machu Picchu.


Day One (Friday): Leave Atlanta to Lima, Peru in the evening. There are no evening flights to Cusco, so we will have to spend the night in Lima.            

Day Two:  Arrive in Cusco in the morning. We will spend two days in Cusco doing tours that will help us adjust to the high altitude (about 11,000 ft). We do City Tour in the afternoon.

Day Three: We do the Sacred Valley Tour during the day. In the evening we meet with the guides and the tour operator. At this time we pay the balance of our account and receive the duffel bags that the porters will use to carry our stuff (maximim weight: 6 kg, included the weight of the duffel bag).

Day Four: CUSCO - HUAYLLABAMBA: An early start takes us by chartered bus to Km 82 (8,480 ft) where we collect the porters to commence trekking via Urubamba Valley. From Km 82, we cross the raging Vilcanota River. Walking in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Veronica, we continue the hike stopping for lunch near the Cusichaca River and admiring the Inca ruins at Llactapata. We complete 5 to 6 hours of gentle hiking by reaching the first campsite at Huayllabamba (9,300 ft).  

Day Five: HUAYLLABAMBA - PACAYMAYO: This second day is the most arduous of our journey. After breakfast, we ascend to Warmihua or Dead Woman's Pass which, at 13,962 ft. marks the highest point of our journey. This change of altitude means that we will pass through three separate ecological zones during the day: Quechua, Yunga and Puna (from valleys with trees, through high pasture, to arid grassless ). The ascent of over 4,500 ft to the pass earns magnificent views. Descending from this superb vantage point we pass waterfalls before making camp at Pacaymayu (11,900 ft). We complete 7 hours hiking.

Day Six PACAYMAYU - WIÑAYWAYNA: The day starts with the pass of Runkuracay (12,480 ft) where we see an Inca watchtower. Then we continue to the Inca ruins at Sayacmarca (a small maze-like ruin built above a sheer cliff) and, passing through a rock tunnel, we reach Phuyupatamarca (City Above The Clouds) (11,520 ft). From this area, we should have views of Mt. Salkantay, one of two most sacred peaks to the Incas. The descent down from the third pass (11,840 ft) is by a continuous set of steps (over 2,300 of them), into cloud forest, to our last campsite. From here, a short walk takes us to the impressive ruins of Wiñaywayna (8,320 ft), curving around a steep valley with walled terraces hugging the contours. The extra relaxation time provided here allows us to recoup our strength to make an early start the next day and maximize the experience of Machu Picchu. We complete 7 hours.

Day Seven: WIÑAYWAYNA- MACHUPICCHU : A pre-dawn breakfast allows us to ascend to Intipunku (the Sun Gate), where we may observe the sunrise over Machu Picchu, shrouded in the morning mists (7,840 ft). After taking in this memorable view we descend to the ruins for a guided tour, starting well before the crowds arrive by train from Cusco. There should be 6 to 7 hours available to spend in this unique archaeological site, allowing ample opportunities to explore on your own. Those not interested in the archeological sights may like to climb Huaynapicchu (about 1,000 ft) for an unparalleled view of the lost city of the Incas. However, those trying to climb this mountain make encounter scheduling problems. It is better to climb Macchu Picchu Mountain, which is much higher and offers a better view. To climb either Waynapicchu or Macchu Picchu Mountain you must request a permit in advance and pay an additional fee. Once we finish at Machu Picchu, we board a bus down to the village of Aguas Calientes. Here we have lunch (not included in the event cost) and take a train to Cusco in the afternoon. This narrow gauge railway gives a scenic ride through the Urubamba valley. There are no evening flights out of Cusco, so we will have to spend the night in Cusco.

Day Eight: Cusco to Lima. Flights to the US leave after midnight.          

Day Nine (Saturday): Lima to Atlanta.

Required Items to Bring:

Passport with validity of at least six months beyond your expected departure date from Peru. US citizens, and citizens of most other countries, do not need a visa.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Personal Equipment List for Inca Trail:

- Day Pack    

- Sleeping pad

- Duffel Bag (provided)

- Hiking boots

- Sleeping Bag

- Sandals

- Sun hat

- Spare set of clothes

- Rain gear

- Gloves

- Extra socks

- Toiletries

- Sunglasses

- Sunscreen and insect repellent

- Lip balm

- Personal First-aid kit

- Head lamp and Batteries

- 1.5 liter Nalgene bottle (disposable plastic bottles are not allowed on the trail)

- Camera

- Plastic bags for clothing and garbage (provided)

- Extra snacks

- Trekking poles (park regulations require you to cover the ending metal tip with rubber tap).


-Payment Schedule and Instructions:

1. A deposit of $570.00 must be received by the organizer by the date indicated below. Please make the check out to Richard Zalik. The tour operator will use most of this money to purchase train tickets and entrance tickets to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, and to contract support personnel and transportation from Cuzco to the trailhead. The tickets must be purchased in advance and are nonrefundable and nontransferable. Instructions for mailing your deposit will be sent to you after you have been moved to the list of participants.

2. You have to pay for your own lodging. The organizer will negotiate a group rate with a local hotel, and will give you the details at the first group meeting. 

3. The day before the hike begins you will pay the tour operator the $370.00 remaining balance. Because of the high credit card fees charged by local banks, payment must be made in cash (dollars or soles). ATM machines are widely available in Cusco.

4. In the event this event generates a surplus of more than 10 USD, the money will be returned to the participants. Otherwise it will be transferred to AOC.

Registration Requirements.
1. You must be either an AOC trip leader or be recommended by an AOC trip leader. This requirement is in place to verify that you have the necessary level of fitness and, most important, that you are a sociable person that will get along with the rest of the group and will not engage in disruptive behavior. Please put yourself on the waiting list, and if you are not a trip leader please ask one to send me a recommendation. I will  check whether you qualify, and, if you do, will move you to the list of participants ASAP, provided the maximum number of participants has not been reached.  People that put themselves on the waiting list before you will have precedence.  

2. After I move you to the list of participants please send me your deposit by PayPal. 

3. After I move you to the list of participants please email me the following information: a. Your name as it appears in your passport; b. your nationality and passport number; c; your passport's expiration date; d. your date of birth; e. Your occupation. 

Your registration for this event will be considered complete once your deposit and personal information are received.

The order of precedence for this event is determined by the date and time your registration is completed.

Access to the Inca Trail is limited to 500 persons a day, including support personnel. Preregistration is required, and places are allocated on a first come basis. Preregistration requires your passport number and personal information, and your passport will be checked at the trailhead. The expiration date of your passport must be at least six months after the date you expect to leave Peru. You cannot be included in the trip if you do not have a valid passport. It may take up to three months to get a US passport.

Important:  As soon as the tour operator confirms receipt of the deposit, she will register you with the park authorities with the name and passport number that you gave us. The park authorities will issue you an official trek permit. The trek permit is a legal document with specific restrictions limiting changes.  You must bring this same passport with you on the trek, and your name must match the name that appears in your passport.  If for whatever reason you cannot bring the passport that is registered on the permit at the time of your original booking, or if you change your passport and cannot bring the original document, or if the information you originally supplied differs from what actually appears on your passport, park authorities  may refuse you access to the Inca Trail. We would appreciate you inform us in a timely manner so we can make the necessary changes in advance (the tour operator charges a fee of $10.00 for the additional paperwork).


Cusco is at an altitude of about 11,000 ft and the Inca Trail reaches an altitude of 14,000 ft. Acclimatization is therefore very important, that is why we spend two days in Cuzco before we start our trip.
Trip leaders'  email address:

DISCLAIMER: The Trip Leader for this event has elected either to personally collect the funds that event participants are required to pay, or to require participants to pay funds directly to a third party. No funds will be paid to the Atlanta Outdoor Club for this event. Therefore, by registering for this event, you acknowledge and agree to the following: (1) the monies paid by registrants will not be monitored, managed, or otherwise accounted for by the Atlanta Outdoor Club; (2) that the Atlanta Outdoor Club bears no financial responsibility for this event; and (3) you waive any and all claims against the Atlanta Outdoor Club, and hold the Atlanta Outdoor Club harmless for the loss of any monies you paid for this event.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any paying registrant may request directly from the Trip Leader, prior to the event, a breakdown of funds collected, estimated expenses, and deposits made in anticipation of the event. Following the event, the Trip Leader must complete his or her financial accounting for the event, with supporting documentation, within 30 days of the completion of the event, and a paid registrant may request a breakdown of funds collected, money spent and supporting documentation after that time. If you are unable to obtain requested documentation, please contact the Director of Paid Events.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Member Cost:$940.00/Person
Cost Includes:

- A nonrefundable $25 AOC user fee.

- City Tour (guide and transportation only).

- Sacred Valley Tour (guide and transportation only).

- Chartered bus from Cusco to Km 82 (initial point)-pick up from hotel.

- Entrance fee to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.

- Professional English speaking guide and assistants.

- Cook and assistant.

- Meals while in the tour (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 snacks -tea time, 3 dinners, and wake up tea every morning).

- Treated water as needed while on the hike, and warm water every morning to wash.

- Equipment: two person tent, kitchen tent, dining tent, mattresses, camp stools, camp tables and cooking gear, oxygen, first-aid kit.

- Porters to carry food and equipment.

- Porters to carry our personal belongings (up to 7 kg or 15 lbs per participant). We only carry a day pack.

- Bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes.

- Upgrade tourist train return from Aguas Calientes – Vistadome (subject to availability).

- Transfer from train station to hotel.

- Tips for support personnel.

- Bank processing fees.

Cost does NOT include:

- Airfare: Atlanta/Lima/Atlanta and Lima/Cusco/Lima.

- Hotel expenses.

- Personal Expenses.

- Meals not mentioned in program (e.g. lunch in Aguas Calientes, lunch during Sacred Valley Tour).  

- Entry fee to the archeological sites that will be visited during the City Tour and the Sacred Valley Tour.          Cost is approximately 63 USD, but must be paid in Soles.

- Inca Trail maintenance fee of 20 soles (around 7 USD), to be paid in Cusco.

- Individual tent: 45 USD.

- Sleeping bag: 20 USD

- Walking poles: 20 USD

- Entry fee to Huaynapicchu Mountain or Macchu Picchu Mountain: 68 USD (these are alternatives to the Macchu Picchu Tour).

Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the AOC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

If you cancel before the money has been wired to the tour operator your deposit will be refunded in full, except for the $25 AOC user fee. Otherwise, no refund is possible.