5 Days

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

5.0 - Based on 1 travel review
From $1,650
/ Adult

    Why Travel With Us?


    • Private/Custom Trips - ( Private/Custom Trips )
    • Small Group Trips - ( Small Group Trips )
    • Commitment to Sustainability - ( Commitment to Sustainability )
    • Expertly Vetted Everything - ( Expertly Vetted Everything )
    • Exclusive Experiences - ( Exclusive Experiences )
    • Your Happiness, Our Priority - ( Happiness Commitment )

Note: Minimum 2 passengers required to book this trip

What's Included

  • Transportation
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • 1-Night at El Mapi by Inkaterra (4* hotel in Aguas Calientes)
  • Transfers to/from Cusco hotel
  • Inca Trail Permit
  • Expedition Train from Machu Picchu Village to Cusco
  • Bus ticket Machu Picchu to Machu Picchu Village (RT)
  • Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Lunch in Machu Picchu Village on day 5
  • All meals during trek
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Kitchen and dining tents
  • Cook and field staff
  • Porters
  • Solar energy lamps
  • Eco toilets
  • Adequate garbage disposal
  • First aid kit and oxygen tank

What's Excluded

  • International Airfare
  • Airport taxes and excess baggage fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Hotel in Cusco before/after trek
  • Dinner in Machu Picchu Village on Day 4
  • Sleeping Bags (Rentals Available)
  • Meals and beverages not specified
  • Tips for your guide, porters, cook and crew, & drivers
  • Optional Activities
  • Personal Expenses
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Sustainability Commitment

We choose our local travel partners based on their commitment to social and community development and environmental preservation. Our local partners in Peru have been recognized and certified by the Rainforest Alliance, Regenera (Your Positive Impact for Nature), World Travel Awards for World’s Leading Green Tour Operator, and APTAE Responsible Tourism. 

Overview

The 5-day journey begins at Km 82, the marker that signifies the start of the famous Inca Trail. Our highly trained guides, who are deeply familiar with these ancient footpaths, will expertly lead you through the magnificent Andean terrain. Along the way, you'll traverse breathtaking high alpine passes, lush valleys, dense cloud forests, and rushing rivers. You'll pass through the ancient Inca remains of Andean settlements, ultimately arriving at Machu Picchu via Inti Punku (the Sun Gate). Each night, our team of porters and skilled cooks will have a delicious hot meal and a comfortable camp already set up for your convenience. Since we highly value sustainable tourism. we'll have very little impact on the land, communities, and environment we encounter along the trail, and we also take steps to enjoy a tranquil hike, avoiding crowds of fellow trekkers. On the final day, a guided tour of the citadel will bring Machu Picchu to life, as you explore and immerse yourself in the magical beauty of this ancient, mystical site. This trek is truly an unforgettable experience you'll reminisce about for years to come.

Note: Due to its popularity and conservation efforts to protect the archaeological site, access to the Inca Trail is limited, and permits must be obtained in advance. The trail is also regulated to minimize environmental impact and ensure a sustainable trekking experience.

This itinerary does not include a hotel in Cusco to give you maximum flexibility and choice of accommodations. We strongly advise arriving in Cusco 2 to 3 days before the trek to acclimatize to the high altitude.  We are happy to arrange your accommodations before and after the trek as well as any day tours to help you make the most of your time in Cusco, the incredible Inca capital, and the surrounding Sacred Valley.

Adventure Highlights

  • Experience breathtaking landscapes as you trek through the Andes Mountains, passing through diverse ecosystems ranging from high-altitude plains to cloud forests, with stunning vistas of snow-capped peaks and lush valleys.
  • Encounter ancient Incan archaeological sites along the trail, including the mesmerizing ruins of Winay Wayna and Intipata, which offer fascinating insights into the civilization that once thrived in this region.
  • Engage with local Quechua communities along the way, gaining insight into their traditional way of life, customs, and beliefs. Learn about the significance of the trail in Incan history and its importance as a pilgrimage route.
  • Embrace the physical challenge of hiking the Inca Trail, with its steep ascents, descents, and high-altitude terrain. Test your endurance and resilience as you navigate the rugged path, rewarded with a sense of accomplishment at each milestone.
  • Culminate your journey with a sunrise arrival at the iconic Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Witness the ancient citadel emerge from the morning mist, providing an unforgettable finale to your adventure along the Inca Trail.
  • Join a Small Group Tour

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    Note: Minimum 2 passengers required to book this trip

    Looking for a different date? Contact us to check availability. 

    By booking this trip, you agree to the Booking Terms and Conditions.

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    Daily Itinerary

    The memorable journey begins by making our way across the riverbed from either Cusco or the Sacred Valley. We get up at sunrise, and our 5-day trek starts from a section of the Inca Trail that only a few have the opportunity to visit. Most groups cross the Urubamba River at Km 82, but we’ll follow the river downstream and cross at Km 88, setting the tone for the rest of the trip – isolated, avoiding the crowds, and having the landscapes all to ourselves. Upon our arrival in Chamana, a small village that’s part of the Llaqtapata Community, a warm lunch will await us at our private campsite. As evening approaches, you will have the option to visit the archaeological sites of Wayna Q’ente and Llaqtapata, charming ruins of Incan stone walls, stairs, and other incredible ancient Incan monuments and constructions that will leave you in awe. By the end of the day, we are delighted to offer you teatime, a hot shower, and a warm dinner, all while reminiscing on the day’s beautiful trekking in the outdoors!

    INCLUDED:
    — Airport Transfer
    — Meals: Dinner

    Bus ride: 87.6 km (54.43 mi)
    Est Travel Time: 2 – 3 hours

    Trekking distance: 
    10.1 km (6.28 mi)
    Estimated Time: 4:30 hours
    Overnight in Chamana

    Lunch, Dinner
    Camp

    We continue our journey up the narrow Cusichaca Valley, passing houses inhabited by farmers and herdsmen, until we finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here, the cobble-stoned Inca Trail ascends steeply through an ancient native forest bursting with melodic birdsong. The trail begins to level out at our campsite at Llulluchapampa, situated just below the first pass. Here, we’ll experience breathtaking views of Mt. Huayanay and a first glimpse of the rare Andean cloud forest of Quenua, or Polyepis trees. Their reddish bark peels into paper-like sheets, hence their familiar name, “Paper Tree.”

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast

    Trekking distance: 11.7 km (7.27 mi)
    Estimated Time: 7 – 8 hours
    Overnight in Llulluchapampa

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Camp

    The day begins with a steady ascent up to Warmiwanusqa (Dead Woman’s) Pass (4228 masl / 13,871 fasl) where we’re met with panoramic views of the terrain we’ve just conquered. We can revel in a real sense of accomplishment at having reached this challenging high point of the journey. The pass is so named because its crest resembles a lying-down woman. This point is nearly 1800 m (5905 ft) higher than Machu Picchu itself! Now, the much-welcomed descent to the Pacaymayo River lies ahead of us. After a hearty lunch in Pacaymayo, we ascend again to the ruins of Runkuraqay and our second pass (3968 masl / 13,018 fasl). From here, we walk down to the site of Sayacmarca on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and our first signs of the mist-filled Andean cloud forest. Many plants and animals thrive in the cloud forest, including endemic species found nowhere else on Earth! We may spot hummingbirds, butterflies, and delicate orchids of various brilliant hues. Our trek along the steady ridge offers a bit of a respite from the day’s arduous climbs and challenging descents. Now we get to catch our breath a bit and admire incredible views of the beautiful Aobamba Valley below. We continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes and views of snow-capped Mt. Salkantay on the western side, as well as Mt. Pumasillo silhouetted on the horizon to the north. We follow the flag-stoned trail until we arrive at our campsite at Phuyupatamarca, whose name in Quechua means “village at the edge of the clouds”.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

    Trekking distance: 12 km (7.46 mi)
    Estimated Time: 8 hours
    Overnight at Phuyupatamarca

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodge

    At last, we have arrived at the day we’ve all been waiting for; the day we get our first glimpse of the citadel of Machu Picchu! Early, but not too early, we’ll awaken for a glorious sunrise view just a short hike up the hill from our campsite, where our porters await us with steaming cups of tea. This site is known to deliver some of the most radiant sunrise views in the entire Machu Picchu Sanctuary. After breakfast, we continue our trek along a buttress, passing the ruins at Phuyupatamarca. These ruins contain an irrigation system that was built over five centuries ago, and still works today! Now, the flag-stoned trail begins to wind sharply downwards, taking us into the cloud forest to the well-conserved ruins of Wiñay Wayna (“Forever Young”) located just below the ridge. Walking in the Inca’s footsteps, along the very same trail they once used, we now trek for two hours through dense, misty cloud forest until we at last reach Machu Picchu via Inti Punku (the Gate of the Sun). We will marvel at our first sight of the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu spread out below us. After some time soaking up the glorious view, we’ll take a bus to the village of Machu Picchu, where we’ll spend the night at a local hotel. Dinner on your own.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

    Bus ride: 6.2 km (3.85 mi)
    Est Travel Time: 0.5 hours

    Trekking distance: 10.9 km (6.77 mi)
    Estimated Time: 7:30 hours
    Overnight in Machu Picchu Village

    Breakfast, Lunch
    Hotel

    A quick, half-hour bus ride brings us up the road to the gates of Machu Picchu where we’ll enjoy a guided three-hour tour of this ancient hilltop citadel. Exploring the different sectors and entering some of the houses and temples will bring these iconic ruins to life for us. As we immerse in this mystical place, we’ll feel that we’ve entered a dream of ancient times. Wandering among the Inca’s ancient manmade structures blended seamlessly into verdant natural surroundings will leave us with a sense of wonder and reverence that we may experience only once in a lifetime. In the afternoon, we’ll return to the village where a train will take us back to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. Hotel and dinner will be on your own.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

    Bus ride: 12.4 km (7.71 mi)
    Est Travel Time: 1 hour

    Train ride: 43 km (26.72 mi)
    Est Travel Time: 1:45 hours
    Overnight in Cusco

    Breakfast, Lunch
    Hotel

    FAQs

    Are there restroom facilities along the Inca Trail?

    Basic restroom facilities are available at designated campsites, but they may be simple and not luxurious. Trekkers are encouraged to bring their own toilet paper.

    How long is the Inca Trail?

    The classic Inca Trail is approximately 26 miles (43 kilometers) long and takes about 4 days to complete.

    Do I need a permit to hike the Inca Trail?

    Yes, a permit is required to hike the Inca Trail, and it's essential to obtain one in advance. Permits are limited to protect the trail and the environment.

    Are there age restrictions for the Inca Trail?

    While there is no strict age limit, trekkers should be in good health and physical condition. It's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before embarking on the trek.

    How physically challenging is the Inca Trail?

    The Inca Trail is moderately challenging, with steep ascents and descents. Trekkers should be in good physical condition and prepared for varying trail conditions.

    Do I need a guide for the Inca Trail?

    Yes, trekking the Inca Trail requires a licensed guide. Independent trekking is not allowed, and you must join a guided tour with a registered tour operator. Our local travel partner for Machu Picchu was the first company to operate the Inca Trail trek. Our local guides are certified by Wilderness First Responder and use only high-quality safety gear. They are highly experienced and know how to get you to your destination with utmost comfort and safety. They are caring, understanding, and experienced to handle your individual needs. They are aware of the nature of adventure, sustainability, and social responsibility.

    What is the altitude of the highest point on the Inca Trail?

    The highest point on the Inca Trail is the Warmiwañusca Pass, also known as Dead Woman's Pass, at an altitude of approximately 13,828 feet (4,215 meters).

    Is altitude sickness a concern on the Inca Trail?

    Yes, altitude sickness can be a concern as the trail reaches high elevations. It's recommended to acclimatize in Cusco and the Sacred Valley before starting the trek and stay hydrated throughout.

    Do I need travel insurance?

    Travel insurance is mandatory for the Inca Trail Trek. A minimum of $200,000 in emergency medical and evacuation, including repatriation, is required to participate in any of our trips. We strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance which provides coverage for trip interruption, flight cancellation, and loss of baggage.

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    The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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