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Start your all-women’s journey of a lifetime in Cusco, the historic capital of Peru which the Incas once considered to be the navel of Earth. After settling in your hotel in the heart of the city, take a warm-up hike through the San Cristobal neighborhood. Get a great view of the imperial city of Incas founded 11 000 feet (3,400 m) up in the Andes. Wander through the colonial center of the city, Plaza de Armas, and visit 500-year-old cathedrals. Meet your expert guide and your fellow hikers.
On your second day, you’ll do a lot more than hiking and sightseeing. Drive up the Sacred Valley to a small indigenous village outside of Chinchero, also known as the birthplace of the rainbow. As part of a community outreach project, you’ll have an opportunity to learn from Quechua people, indigenous people who’ll tell you about their sustainable way of life, spirituality and connection to Mother Earth. You’ll also learn how they support themselves by farming and weaving, both of them being important parts of Peruvian culture. Hear their native tongues, see how they traditionally dance and let them flaunt you their traditional Andean clothing!
The time has come for your four-day, three-night, 26-miles-long (42 km) Inca Trail. Together with your group you’ll arrive at Ollantaytambo where you’ll meet your team of local porters, cooks, and expert guides—you can expect three gourmet meals cooked for you along the trail, and they’ll even set up your tent every night! The kilometer 82 marker indicates the beginning of the most famous hiking route of South America, the Inca Trail. Enter the microcosm for the 4 days ahead of you, climb up steep Andrean mountain paths surrounded by an array of Incan ruins and Andean environments, and end your pilgrimage at one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu.
Hiking: 6 hours, 6 miles/ 10 km
Meals: Lunch and dinner
Continue your hiking tour with views of the Veronica Mountain towering over the Sacred Valley. There’s a challenge awaiting you on your second day of hiking the Inca Trail, and it’s the Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of the trail at 13,879 feet (4,215 m). After successfully conquering this peak, nothing can stop you—only lower altitudes and less physically exerting hiking lie ahead. After a delicious Peruvian meal, fall into the comfort of your already set-up tent.
Hiking: 10 hours, 10 miles/ 16 km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
On your third day of hiking the Inca Trail, you’ll pass snow-white glaciers of the Vilcabamba mountain range and see the ruins of an ancient city among clouds, Phuyuptamarca. Descend to a forever young Inca site, which is the literal translation of Wiñay Wayna overlooking the Urubamba River where you’ll find your final campsite of the trip.
Hiking: 8 hours, 10 miles/ 16 km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Depart the campsite before daybreak to be one of the first hikers through Inti Punku, the so-called Sun Gate which was once a fortress to the sacred city. You’ve made it—you’re now floating among the clouds in the iconic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu! Wind through the paths of the archeological site while hearing from your expert guide about the citadel’s history and cultural significance. After you’ve taken in the views, take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Spend your last night of the trip back in Cusco.
Hiking: 3 hours, 4 miles/ 7 km
After a challenging and tiring couple of days, enjoy your final breakfast and say goodbye to your fellow female hiking friends. You’ll be taken to the airport during the day.