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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:Sat, Jul 20 2013, Sun, Jul 21 2013, Mon, Jul 22 2013, Tue, Jul 23 2013, Wed, Jul 24 2013, Thu, Jul 25 2013, Fri, Jul 26 2013, Sat, Jul 27 2013  8:00 pm >> Sat, Jul 27 2013 10:00 am
Registration Opens: Mon, Oct 29 2012 12:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Mon, Oct 29 2012 12:00 pm
Event Duration:6 Days 14 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:26 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Richard A. Zalik
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Member Cost:$700.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:40
Minimum Group Size:12
Number Registered So Far: 34 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No






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, taking in 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: Atlanta to Lima, Peru
Day Two: Lima to Cusco: we spend the day here to adjust to the high altitude (about 11,000 ft).
Day Three: 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 Four: 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 Five: 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 Six: 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.
Once we finish at Machu Picchu, we board a bus down to the village of Aguas Calientes. Here we have lunch and take a train to Cusco in the afternoon. This narrow gauge railway gives a scenic ride through the Urubamba valley.
Day Seven: Cusco to Lima.
Day Eight: Lima to Atlanta.

Required Items to Bring:

Valid Passport.

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

Personal Equipment List for Inca Trail:
- 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:

1. A deposit of $400.00 must be received by the organizer not later than ten business days after you are moved to the list of participants. 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. Please mail your payment to: Richard Zalik, P.O. Box 29732, Atlanta, GA 30359.

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. Last year we paid $35.00 per person per night in a double occupancy room.
3. The day before the hike begins you will pay the tour operator the $300.00 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.

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. As soon as I receive the actual price from the tour operator (expected in early January) I will make the necessary price adjustments (if required), check that you qualify, and, if you do, move you to the list of participants, provided the maximum number of participants has not been reached..       

2. After I move you to the list of participants you will have ten business days to send your deposit. If I don't receive your check within that period of time I will move you back to the waiting list.

3. After I move you to the list of participants you will have ten business days to send 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. If I don't receive that information within that period of time I will move you back to the waiting list.

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 leave Peru. Therefore, 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).

I will make a first wire transfer about twelve business days after I start moving people to the list of árticipants and a second wire transfer sbout ten business after that. IF YOUR CHECK CLEARS AFTER THIS SECOND DATE AND THERE IS STILL ROOM AVAILABLE, I WILL  CHARGE YOU AN EXTRA $45.00 FOR A WIRE TRANSFER, unless you were moved into the list of participants because somebody else was moved back to the waiting list or dropped out.

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. It is advisable that you begin your trip two days earlier, so as to arrive in Cusco on Friday July 19. Saturday and Sunday can be profitably spent touring the area. Several tours are available for a small fee.

Trip leaders' web page:; email address:

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

Member Cost:$700.00/Person
Cost Includes:

- 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.

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. Otherwise, no refunds are possible.