- Duration: 4 days / 3 nights.
- Starting point: Cusco
- Ending point: Cusco
- Group Size: Max 16, Avg 8
- Travel Style: Hiking, Trekking, Archaeological and Cultural trek.
- Trek Rating: The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America
- Difficult Level: Moderate to Challenging.
- Altitude: 2,800 masl to 4,200 masl or 13,776 feet (Highest point).
- Walking distance: 45 km. or 28 miles.
- Departure Dates: Daily departures (excluding February when the trail is closed).
- It is strongly recommended to book your Inca Trail at least 4 months in advance as permits can quickly sell out.
- The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the most famous trek of South America
- Explore ruins along the Inca Trail and learn about the mysteries of the ancient Inca Culture and visit the archaeological site of Machu Picchu
- Hiking alongside to beautiful landscapes and see natural bridges, Andean valleys, snowcapped mountains, cascades and cloud forest.
- Ideal for couples, group of friends, nature lovers, and for all family.
- Informative Trip led by a friendly and expert local guide.
- All entrance tickets and permits are includes.
- All necessary equipment included.
- Complimentary pickup and drop off from all Cusco hotels
- Complimentary luggage storage while hiking.
- Real-time Inca Trail permit information.
- Once in a Lifetime Experience.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many experienced trekkers amongst the top 5 treks in the world. Along 26 miles (43 km.) the Inca Trail combines beautiful mountain scenery and unbelievable panoramic views, lush cloud-forest, a subtropical jungle of splendid natural surroundings, with the magnificently work of the Incas such as an outstanding mix of Inca paving stones placed over trail, agriculture terraces, water fountains, tunnels and amazing archaeological sites.
This great trek starts from Cusco – Peru, and the hikers will enjoy these Inca ruins which are located along the trail, The trail continually passes between canyons and ridges and the extensive stairways of the Inca both assist and impress as you continue on the journey. The highest point on this trek is the place known as Warmiwañusca or “Dead Woman’s Pass” is located at 4,215 m (13,829 ft.) above sea level.
Really it’s a unique experience, sharing unforgettable moments in full contact with nature, and finally reaching to the famous Inca City of Machu Picchu, where we will admire its magic and charm, and we will observed its large old buildings wrapped of a great history, which actually make it recognized as a World Wonder.
The Inca Trail is one of those things that nobody should lose the opportunity to do it. Everyone should do once in lifetime; be you women or man, young or old, have good or bad physical condition… The Inca Trail is simply for everyone…
DAY 1: CUSCO – KM. 82 – WAYLLABAMBA
The trek begins today in Cusco – Peru. Before leaving the hotel, please, make sure you are carrying your original passport and ISIC card if you are student. Travelers are collected at around 6:00 am. from their hotels, to make the 3.5 hour drive to the trailhead. So start a spectacular scenic drive through the mythical Sacred Valley of the Incas with beautiful views of the Urubamba River, picturesque Andean villages and the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. Along the way we might stop at Ollantaytambo for last minute supplies, leg-stretching or to use the restrooms, before continuing with the travel. We will be arriving to Piscacucho at about 10:00 am. Piscacucho known as Km. 82 is the beginning of the trail, you will get acquainted with the rest of the team and we will be accompanied by our native Quechua porters who will be carrying the camping equipment. And it is also the location of the First official Inca Trail check point. This first day of the Inca Trail is easy going to help you settle in to the trek, After clearing the gates and crossing a suspension footbridge across the Urubamba river.
The trek begins with a gentle climb, the first two hours are on relatively flat terrain following the course of the Urubamba River (Rio Sagrado) until a place called Miskay, where we will have our first lunch prepared for our cook. After lunch We will continues our trail to the first Inca site Patallacta which is an ancient Inca site, where you appreciate the impressive farming terraces of this complex. From Patallacta it’s another 2 hour hike to the small village of Wayllabamba.
The Inca Trail follows the left bank of the river up. During this part superb views of the snow-capped peak of Wakay Willka known as Veronica (5900m / 19000ft), can be observed as well as the Urubamba mountain range which divides the jungle and the Andes. Great views of the Cordillera and get to see a variety of native plant life and birds throughout the day, today we walk until Wayllabamba. Is where you will enjoy dinner and camp for the night. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00 pm. and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chef and guide. By 7:30 pm. your dinner will be ready, and afterwards you can get some well-deserved rest. We end the day near the small village of Wayllabamba located at at 9840 feet above sea level (3000 masl).
Hiking time: about 5 hours
Hiking distance: 7.5 miles/ 12 Km.
Day Trek Grade: Moderate.
Weather: Warm and windy.
Altitude: from 2000 m. up to 2400 m. (By Bus).
DAY 2:WAYLLABAMBA -WARMIWAÑUSCA(DEAD WOMAN´S PASS)- PACAYMAYU
Early wake up call, with a hot cup of coca tea brought to your tent, in order to prepare for the day trek which is considered by many people, the hardest day of the trek. You have to reach an altitude of 13,779 feet above sea level (4200 masl.) at Warmi Wañuska pass, also known as Dead Woman’s Pass, which is the highest point of the trail, to cross it we have to walk nearly 10 km. going up by stairs, and then 6 km. going down. Today will be really a test for your spirit.
After breakfast, we start this second day from Wayllabamba campsite at around 7:00 am., and we’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). However the great views and changing environments will keep even the no hiker interested in the route. The uphill hike, will give you the opportunity to appreciate several species of birds (with luck you may see falcons, hummingbirds or black-chested eagles). From here the trail traverses a beautiful cloud forest; you can see many Polylepis or Queñua natives trees before entering the Puna, a zone characterized by treeless grasslands only found at this altitude across the Andes. Walk at your own pace, stop as many times as you like, to catch your breath or to stretch a muscle. There’s no need to worry though as thanks to our enthusiastic guides and team of porters helping you along you’ll have all the morale and physical support you need to do it. We walk until Llulluchapampa which is a beautiful and peaceful place, here there is a small stream where you will have the choice to refreshing with the cool water and a chance to refill our water bottles, take a good rest and then start the last hard climb takes us right to the highest pass of the Inca Trail at Warmi Wañusca. Once at the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Andes, On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views and we have time to take us memorable pictures of this place. Remember you are in the highs point of the Inca Trail, to have a warm jacket and your beanie at hand when reaching this altitude as temperatures may drop drastically and You will also feel a great sense of accomplishment after conquering Dead Woman’s pass.
From Dead Woman´s pass, the trail descends to the next valley, we continue traversing the slopes on the left side, it’s another two hours down, all the way to Pacaymayo (Pacaymayo Valley – Hidden River), where is located our lunch spot and campsite located at 11811 feet above sea level (3600 masl). Here, once we get, we’ll have our lunch, and then you will have a long and well-deserved break. At night we will have dinner and spend the night in our comfortable tents.
Hiking time: about 7 hours
Hiking distance: miles/ 16 Km.
Day Trek Grade: Difficult.
Weather: Warm and windy
Altitude: from 2000 m. up to 4200 m. and from 4200 down to 3600 m.
DAY 3: PACAYMAYU – SAYACMARCA – PHUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAY WAYNA
Today we will have unbelievable views of the high mountain, crossing the 2 passes and we will visit 3 interesting Inca sites (Runkuracay, Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca), this is by far one of the most impressive days of the trek. (2680 masl. / 8792 ft.)
A perfect way to start this great day with a cup of hot tea wake up call at about 6:00 am. After enjoy breakfast with the group we begin ascending to the second pass of the trek called Abra de Runkuracay located at 4,000 masl, It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a circular small Inca site called Runkuracay, and we will see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. From the second pass, you will be walking down to reach the magnificent Inca site named Sayacmarca, wich means inaccessible village located at 11472 feet above sea level (3497 masl) and clearly describes the position of the site, perfectly perched on the edgy rocks. Here our tour guide will explain about this amazing site. From here we continue down to Chaquicocha (3600m / 11800ft), where we have our delicious lunch and a good break, here you have option for toilet facilities. After this, we continue through ever-changing layers of cloud forest full of rare orchids, hanging mosses, bromeliads and tree ferns. Past the inca tunnel, a gentle climb will take you to the third pass at 12139 feet above sea level (3700 masl.), offering incredible views of several snowcapped peaks and views overlooking the Urubamba River.
After this pass, we continuing along splendid paved Inca road, during the descent we will find the impressive ruins of Phuyupatamarca (The town over clouds). Here our tour guide will explain about the magnificent Inca architecture. From Phuyupatamarca its a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps towards another Inca Site called Intipata (Terraces of the Sun) a very interesting place with many Inca terraces for agricultural purposes. We continue descending to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) located at 2680 m.s.n.m. / 8792 ft., this place is the last official campsite and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00 pm. and after settling in for a bit, you can relax and have a tea time & snacks, with hot drinks such as tea, milk chocolate, coffee, with some cookies and popcorn, all this served for our staff.
At the Campsite our tour guide will provide you very important information about your next day, so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu on the last day.
We like to have very special moments with our visitors, as to enjoy our last dinner with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the last evening to introduce the porter team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to declare some words or to provide tips for them, then you can do so at this time). After, It is advisable to go to sleep at a reasonable time in order to wake up in the early hours of the morning to get to Machu Picchu.
Hiking time: about 7 hours
Hiking distance: miles/ Km.
Day Trek Grade: Moderate.
Altitude: from 3600 m. up to 4000 m. and from 400 m. down to 2650 m.
DAY 4: WIÑAY WAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Today is the highlight of the trek, we have the last part of the trail from Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu takes just two hours of hiking and is clearly marked, The path is narrow, traverses a lush cloud forest of giant ferns and brings a short part with almost vertical ascent of about 50 steps to Inti Punku (Sun Gate) located at 8920 feet above sea level (2719 masl.) which is a view point where we have chance to see Machu Picchu and its surrounding areas far away.
Today begins earlier than normal, at the crack of dawn in hopes to have a good weather for a beautiful sunrise over Machu Picchu. Wake up time is at 4:00 am, and we will have our breakfast at 4:30 am. After breakfast we’ll wave goodbye to our team of porters and cooks, after this we wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30 am. in order to get to Machu Picchu, from Wiñay Huayna the trail is flat and you will walk about 1 hour and 20 minutes until Inti Punku or Sun Gate. Here you’ll get your first fantastic view of Machu Picchu in all its glory and also spectacular views of the mountains and you´ll have a short break and time to take nice pictures of Machu Picchu.
From the Sun Gate you´ll hike about 40 minutes going down, as we approach Machu Picchu the views of the city just get better and better! . You will have plenty of time to take photos of the “Lost city of the Incas”, from the classic postcard view and different angles around, and finally at about 7: 40 am. you will reach the last checkpoint and enter to Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hour private guided tour of the site, where our tour guide will explain about the History of this Magical Inca City, and visiting all the most important areas. After your tour you’ll have free time to explore the site by yourself between 3-4 hours, and if you have permits to climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain you can do it. (If you’re interested in these mountains, please book it in advance). After all this, in the afternoon, you will catch a bus to make your way down to Aguas Calientes, the buses departs every 10 minutes and will be available for you to descend whenever you decide it is time to go.
At about 3:00 pm. we’ll meet at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes Town to have our last lunch together and you’ll be given your train tickets for your return journey to Cusco. you will arrange to meet 30 minutes before the train departs and then go together to the train station. The train departs at 18:45 hrs. arriving to Ollantaytambo train station at approximately 20:18 hrs. From Ollantaytambo we will provide you, bus back to Cusco.
Hiking time: about 2 hours hiking + 2 hours guiding visit in Machu Picchu + 3 hours exploring by yourself.
Hiking distance: miles/ 5 Km.
Day Trek Grade: Easy.
Altitude: from 2650 m. up to 2730 m.
- Campsite allocations are subject to change depending on availability provided by the Minitery of Culture. (government office in charge of the Inca Trail).
- This itinerary is for reference because the time of departure and arrival to Cusco City may vary according to availability and train schedules.
- After you make the reservation and payment of this tour, we will send you a confirmation e-mail stating the hotel name in Aguas Calientes Town, and the time of your trip by train.
- The 5th day after your visit of Machu Picchu, there is the possibility to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain + USD $. 15.oo per person. This hike lasts about 2 hours round trip. (Book it, when you reserve this tour).
- You can also climb the mountain Machu Picchu, instead of the Huayna Picchu Mountain + USD $ 10.oo per person. This hike lasts about 3 hours round trip. (Book it, when you reserve this tour)..
- You always have the opportunity to climb to the Sun Gate for free and this is a much easier walk for about 1 and half hour round trip, or if you want to have a very short and easy hike you can walk for free to Inca bridge during 1 hour round trip.
INCLUDED IN YOUR TOUR:
- Pre meeting and briefing of preparation with your tour guide 1 or 2 days before the trek at our Cusco Office.
- Safe storage for your belongings at our office in Cusco while you are hiking.
- Pick up from your hotel.
- Transport from Cusco until Km. 82 (trailhead) in private bus.
- Professional English speaking Tour
- A second Tour Guide (for groups of 9 or more trekkers).
- Cook and cook assistant to prepare all feeding.
- Entrance fees to Inca Trail.
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Inca Site.
- All meals during the trek (04 breakfasts, 04 lunches, 03 tea time, 03 dinners).There is the possibility of preparing vegetarian or special diets according to your requirement without charge.
- Boiled water to refill your water bottle every morning from 2nd day.
- Porters to carry all camping equipment, sleeping tents, food and cooking gear.
- Camping Equipment:
- Dormitory Tent (High Quality Mountain Tents for 4 people, it will be used only for 2 people for your better comfort) and also storage of your backpacks.
- Inflatable Mattress Thermarest, given to you at the trail head.
- Dining Tent + camp tables + portables chairs + gas lamp for the evenings.
- Kitchen Tent and full cooking gear for preparing meals.
- First Aid Kit and emergency Oxygen balloon.
- 2 hours guided tour in Machu Picchu Inca site.
- Bus ticket down from Machu Picchu Inca Site to Aguas CalientesT own.
- Return Expedition train ticket on Day 4 from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- Transport from Ollantaytambo train station until your hotel at Cusco.
Until the last day before your trek, at our Cusco Travel Office situated in the downtown, If you want, you have the option to add to your reserved trek, for an additional payment, the following things:
- Sleeping bag (you can rent it from our Travel Office + $ 5.oo USD per day).
- A pair of trekking poles (you can rent it from our Travel Office + $ 5.oo USD per day).
- Vistadome train upgrade: USD 60.00 +
- Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu Mountain (In this case, please require it when you book your trek because is subject to availability, just 400 spaces a day + $ 80.oo )
- Personal Trekking gear (please, check the INCA TRAIL packing list).
- Travel Insurance.
- Optional Tips for the travel team (only if you want, at the end of the trail you can give some tips for the tour guide, cook and porters).
WHAT TO TAKE TO INCA TRAIL – 4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS:
Many people assume that the weather is hot in South America, but in the zone of the higher altitude of the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. So we provide you the full list to organize your backpack from now, if you don’t have one of them, so you can buy it with some time in advance but if you cannot do it, don’t worry there are many camping stores in Cusco City where you can hire or buy what you need.
Please, check this INCA TRAIL Packing List and remember that everything is very important for the success of your trek.
- Original Passport
- Student Card, if you are student
- Travel Insurance (some copies)
- A printed voucher issued for us.
- Day pack.
- Sleeping bag.
- Water bottle.
- Purifying tablets or filter
- Some snacks such as cookies, candies, chocolates, energy bars.
- Money belt and some cash, if you want to buy some souvenirs of your visit
- Hiking Shoes and Sandals.
- Warm clothes: especially for the night as thermal jacket, glove, scarf, wool socks, wool hat for cold nights.
- Waterproof clothing (rain jacket and poncho)
- Synthetic or cotton clothing (hiking pants, socks, trousers, short pants, 4 t-shirts)
- Sun Hat
- Personal medical kit with bandages and anti-inflammatory tablets
- Insect repellent.
- Sun block
- Small towel.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Soap / body wash
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Hairbrush /comb
- Deodorant / body spray
- Toilet paper
- Flashlight (head lamp recommended)
- Photo Camera with extra memory cards and batteries.
- Walking poles with rubber-tipped (Optional).
- Pocket knife
- Some plastic bags.
- A sense of humor.
- We recommend a previous acclimatization in Cuzco City, for at least 2 days and general good health.