Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
- Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
- Code: TR1705
The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the world’s best known hikes, a must-do for visitors to Peru. The four-day Inca Trail trek is a stunning combination of the region’s ruins, mountainscapes, and cloud forests. Our trek begins along an ancient Inca trail through beautiful mountain valleys filled with wild orchids and vividly colored birds. After crossing two high passes, we descend nearly 2,000 cut stone steps and arrive at Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate, the sacred entrance of and lookout of the incomparable Machu Picchu citadel. An alternative option is the Short Inca Trail 2 days.
There are only 500 people allowed on the Inca Trail every day. Of that number, only about 200 are actually hikers (the rest are guides and support staff). These spaces deplete quickly, and often months in advance. If you cannot get a permit, you can take fabulous alternative Inca trails like the: Salkantay trek, Inca Jungle Trail, Lares trek.
Day 01: Cusco - Ollantaytambo - Wayllabamba
Early morning pick up from your hotel. We will take a bus to the trailhead at Km 82, where we meet our Quechua porters. We’ll then cross the turbulent Vilcanota River while checking out the snowcapped Mt. Veronica (Wacay Willca) (5,900m / 19,356ft).
Our first stop is at the beautiful archaeological site of Llactapata and later the village of Wayllabamba. We’ll have lunch near the river, then visit the Q'ente archaeological site, the Cusichaca Valley, and pass through magical Polylepsis forests. The walk lasts for 7 hours. Dinner and our campsite will be at a lofty 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) above sea level.
Day 02: Wayllabamba - Pacaymayu
After breakfast, we begin the hardest day of the trail. Awaiting us is a steep, lengthy ascent to the highest point: Warmiwañuska, the strangely named “Dead Woman’s Pass” (4,200m / 13,779ft). This exhausting ascent crosses three ecological zones: Yunga, Quechua and Puna. Yet there is pleasure in the pain: the view from the top reveals snowcapped mountains in all directions, including the towering crags of Salkantay, the icy claw of Pumasillo, and Huayanay of the Vilcabamba mountain range. We will stop for lunch, and afterwards descend 1000m to our campsite. Dinner and overnight camping will be near Pacaymayu.
Day 03: Pacaymayu - Wiñayhuayna
After breakfast, we will walk through the Pacaymayu Valley until we reach the famous ruins of Runquraqay. Later, we will continue to Sayacmarka, and stop to explore the restored Inca city here.
Along today’s route, formations of white granite, mountain views and the dense Inca Trail vegetation roll by to satisfy our eyes and souls. Later, we will descend to Phuyupatamarca, where we will have lunch and relax, later continuing along the Inca Trail. To end the day, we will descend to Wiñaywayna, and tour the ruins here. Here we will have dinner and overnight camping.
Day 04: Wiñaywayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco
We will have our breakfast at 4:30am, and begin the last part of the Inca Trail. This day will be a special one because we will see from the Inti Punku lookout how the sun slowly lights up Machu Picchu at sunrise. After, we will descend through cloud forest into jungle, home to the orchids and hummingbirds common along this part of the Inca Trail.
At Machu Picchu, we will have a guided visit with free time afterwards to explore the ruins at your leisure. In the afternoon you will take the return train to Ollantaytambo , and then a bus back to Cusco.
- Min 05 - Max 15
- Machu Picchu
- Bus from Cusco to Km. 82
- Entrances tickets to Machu Picchu & Inca Trail
- Professional guide (English & Spanish-speaking)
- Porter for camp equipment
- Meals: 3 breakfasts / 3 lunches / 3 dinners
- Bus Down to Aguas Calientes
- Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
- Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
- Kitchen and dinner tents, mattresses, chairs, tables
- Two-person sleeping tents
- First aid kit and oxygen bottle
- Sleeping bag
We recommend bringing
- Sleeping Bag
- Light clothing
- Walking shoes or boots
- Water bottle
- Rain jacket, hat, sunblock, sun glasses
- Chocolate, candies and others snacks
- Mosquito repellent
- Extra money but in Nuevos Soles (Peruvian national currency)
- Hiking poles
We also offer personalized Inca Trail in private groups. If you are interested in taking a private tour with us, please note this in the form.
Inca Trail prices are per person and in USD (United States Dollar).
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Inca Trail FAQs
The Inca Trail is a tour in which you have several options. The most famous and conventional is the 4 day / 3 night trek, this is followed by the Inca Trail of 2 days/1 night, and can also be done in 5 days/4 nights. This option is more personalized, and for groups or people who want to make the walk with great tranquility.
To do the Inca Trail we recommend to have a preparation of about 2 weeks to 1 month before, with routines of walks of minimum 30 minutes daily, so that you can enjoy the route. This is because you will walk an average of 6 hours daily by the Andes, which means mountain ascents and descents until arriving at Machu Picchu for a total route of approximately 48KM in 4 days.
In recent years the government has been improving the camps, and each of them has basic hygienic services where you can clean yourself, and in the last camp of Wiñayhuayna you will have the opportunity to take a shower (cold water).
It is not possible to do it on your own. It is necessary to contract the services of an operator agency of the Inca Trail, and also to ensure there is a space available.
We recommend that you make your Inca Trail reservation months in advance, minimum 2 or 3 months for low season (from December to March), and 6 to 7 months for the high season (from April to November). During the high season the Machu Picchu tour is the most crowded, and the government sells only 500 spaces per day, which are sold out many months in advance.
First contact us ([email protected]) requesting the availability for the date you are planning to make the Inca Trail. We will confirm that we have spaces available for the requested date, or in case there are no spaces available we will suggest sn alternative Machu Picchu trek.trek We will ask you to send us the following information: full names, passport number, nationality, age. If you are a student, the copy of the ISIC card.
All this information must be true and current.
On the Inca Trail we arrive to Machu Picchu early at approximately 7:30 am. You will have a time to use the bathroom, and then begins the guided tour about 1h 45m. After the guided tour you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu. The archaeological complex closes at 16:30 pm.
When you reserve the Inca Trail trek with us, the porter service is included, and they will be responsible for loading the camping equipment, food, cooking, etc. Tourists only carry their personal backpacks such as clothing, camera, water bottle, sleeping bag weighing approximately 6 to 8kl. Using the services of a porter is very helpful as they carry up to 12kl of luggage, which frees you to enjoy the walk and landscape. The cost of the porter for the entire tour is only 100.00 dollars.
The Inca trail hike has a distance of 43Km total, which is divided between camps. Each one at a distance of approximately 10 to 13km with an approximate time of about 6 to 8 hours daily, depending on the walking pace of the group.
The Inca Trail is open 11 months a year. The month of February the trail is closed for maintenance. This is done so that the trail remains in optimal condition for the enjoyment of visitors.
The Inca Trail trek includes Inca Trail + Machu Picchu. In case you want to climb to Huayna Picchu Mountain you will have to buy the ticket for Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu mountain, that has a cost of 200.00 soles. Only that way you will have access to Huayna Picchu.
In the Inca Trail tour we have groups ranging from 4 passengers to 16 passengers per group. When the group is greater than 8 passengers we send a second guide.