The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu involves 4 day hike to the Inca Trail and 1 day explore Machu Picchu. On the fourth day we reach Machu Picchu through the sun gate - Inti Punku, and you have time explore the site on your own. If you like you can meet up with the rest of the group and have lunch in the picturesque town of Aguas Calientes. It takes an hour on foot to get to town. Its a lovely descending walk in which you have the chance to take some beautiful pictures. Alternatively you can take the shuttle bus, which takes 20 minutes. You also get the chance to visit the local hot springs (just what you need after a 4 day trek!). On the fourth night you spend the night in a comfortable hotel, where you can enjoy a hot shower!
On the fifth day we simply take a shuttle bus and we enter Machu Picchu very early. Then you have your 2 and a half hours guided tour of the 'Lost City of the Incas. Afterwards you have a choice to climb Machu Picchu or Wayna Picchu and take some panoramic pictures!
Day 1: Cusco – Km 82 – Llullucha pampa
Day 2: Llulluchapampa – Chaquicocha
Day 3: Chaquicocha – Wiñay Wayna
Day 4: Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
Day 5: Machu Picchu
Early morning, we pick you up from your hotel and take you by private transport to the starting point of this Inca Trail hike - Piscacucho, also called Km 82 (2,350 m). Once there your Tour Guide gives you a briefing about your Machu Picchu tour and after that, you cross the checking point of the Inca Trail hike. Then you hike along the Urubamba River visiting the Incan archaeological sites of Willca Raccay and the enormous Llactapata. Later on, you continue up to the Cusichaca River Canyon offering magnificent views of the Cordillera Oriental; particularly, the Veronica Mountain (5,850 m). You have lunch in Chamana to later continue the Inca Trail walk along the Cusichaca River observing several Incan agricultural stepped terraces and irrigation channels until reaching the picturesque village of Wayllabamba. Thereafter, you start ascending while experiencing various eco-systems along the way. Later in the afternoon, you get to the village of Llullucha Pampa, a place of your first campsite (3,850 m). There you have dinner and a rest afterwards.
Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours
Trekking distance: 17 km
Max. elevation: 3,850m (12,630 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,600 m (8,530 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Early after breakfast, you continue your Machu Picchu hike ascending towards the highest point of the trail - Abra Warmiwañusqa (= Dead Woman´s Pass) at 4,200 metres passing through the cloud forests of Yunkachimpa and Corral Punku offering excellent views of surrounding snowcapped peaks. From Warmiwañusqa, you descend to the Pacaymayo Valley (3,300 m), where you have a lunch break. Then you walk the Inca Trail through the valley until you get to the Inka´s ruins of Runkuracay where a guided tour follows. Afterwards, you climb up and get over the second pass - Abra Runkurakay (3,860m) walking on this "Royal Inca´s Highway" down to the next Inka site - Sayacmarca. On the way, you pass the Yanacocha Lake. In the end, we get to our second campsite - Chaquicocha (3,670 m).
Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours
Trekking distance: 12 km
Max. elevation: 4,200 m (12,630 ft)
Min. elevation: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
Today, we start hiking passing through lovely subtropical vegetation and many important archaeological sites. Before we reach the first site, we get over Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,670 m) and just behind it we can see the Phuyupatamarca Inka complex (3,600 m), one of the best preserved and most completed sites of this 5 days Inca Trail. The complex is located on the top of a mountain and it corresponds with its Quechuan name that means the "Town above the Clouds". After a guided tour, we have lunch there. Then we start a steep descent via a cloud forest offering an opportunity to see beautiful orchids and different bird species on the way to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2,700 m). There, we have a guided tour of the same-named impressive archaeological complex consisting of a religious sector, urban sector and an agricultural centre with lots of stepped terraces. Afterwards we are served dinner and then we go sleep to get ready to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!
Estimated trekking time: 5-6 hours
Trekking distance: 10 km
Max. elevation: 3,670 m (12,040 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
We begin our Inca Trail trek early morning after breakfast. We first climb ancient steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to see the sunrise above the long-awaited sight of the citadel of Machu Picchu! Then we spend the rest of the morning exploring the Inca citadel on our own. For those interested, we meet up in the below town of Aguas Calientes to have lunch together. To get to Aguas Calientes you can either take a slow descending walk (recommended to take some lovely panoramic photos, it takes about an hour) or a shuttle bus (approx. 20 minutes; it costs $9.50 which is not included in the Inca Trail package). Later you can visit the local hot springs (entrance fee of 10 Soles is not included in any of our Inca Trail packages). You spend the night in a comfortable hostel where you can enjoy hot shower!
Estimated trekking time: 3 hours
Trekking distance: 4 km
Max. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,400 m (7,875 ft)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
This morning we simply take a shuttle bus up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu. The bus leaves us in front of the gates of the ancient site, which we enter for the best early morning photo opportunities! Then you enjoy a 2 and a half hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas"! Afterwards you have an opportunity to climb either the peak of Wayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) or Machu Picchu Mountain (1 hour, 30 minutes up and down) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu! This Machu Picchu tour finishes by an afternoon descend to the town of Aguas Calientes where we take a train back to Ollantaytambo and then continue to Cusco by tourist bus.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you also receive your own single tent.
Local flights: No local flights are included in any of our Inca Trail packages!
For the sake of maintaining the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and its surroundings, the Peruvian authorities now limit the number of Inca Trail trekking permits to 500 a day, including hikers, guides, porters and other support staff. Permits frequently sell out various months before and you have to reserve well in advance to obtain your place, especially if you want to go in high season between June and August.
We advise booking your permit at least four months in advance to prevent any letdowns. You can possibly find more economic flights in May, September and October, in the off season. Permit availability can change quickly and cannot be confirmed until it is reserved in theInca Trail office ( once passport details are recieved and the deposit has been paid). Once authorized it is not possible to make any changes to your Inca Trail permit. Your Passport for the Inca Trail Trek
You need to supply us with your passport details when you request your Inca Trail Trek. We cannot make a reservation without this. Your permit is connected to your name and passport number. If you change your passport after booking your Inca Trail permit or are planning on traveling with a different passport you need to also bring the passport you used to book your Inca Trail permit or you will not be allowed to hike the Inca Trail. It is very important to make sure that your passport is valid for 6 months.
When reserving your tour you will pay your 50% deposit. We will issue a confirmation invoice, which means your booking has been accepted and a contract exists.
If we are unable to confirm a tour we will refund your deposit in full.
The Inca Trail is closed once a year (in Febuary) for maintainence and during this time we can offer you other tours. There are alternative treks the Inca Trail available where you can have a similar experience, which are usually not as difficult and follow the Urubamba River before ending as usual at the sungate at Machu Picchu.
Please note that all routes to Machu Picchu are subject to local regulations and prices for permits and transportation may change without notice. Although we will aim to deal with any changes ourselves, it may be inevitable to increase our prices accordingly even after you have booked or whilst on your tour.
If you would like to hike the Inca Trail, and it is fully booked, we can recommend to choose the best alternative treks to hike to Machu Picchu, the alternative hikes is similar to the Inca route and only different it is the porter and horses. For example. Salkantay trek 5 days you will appreciate the beautiful landscapes and you will use the horses and not porters, incase the 7 day Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail, 3 day hike with horses and 4 day hike with porter.