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View of a campiste on the Inca Trail in the middle of the Andes

Inca Trail Tours

Join one of our Inca Trail tours through the Andes mountains and make your grand entrance into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. Embark on the rewarding 4-day Inca Trail trek or opt for the condensed 2-day Inca Trail experience. This is the most famous trek in South America and permits for Inca Trail tours are limited, so advanced planning is a must.

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Answer your call to adventure on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Our Inca Trail tour packages include English-speaking expert guides, accommodation, and more. Contact Us to plan your dream trip and ask how you can further customize your itinerary to experience more of the country’s diverse highlights.

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The Inca Trail is considered a difficult trek because of its high elevation and sections of steep stone steps. However, the diverse landscapes and stunning views make this trek a worthwhile challenge!

The Inca Trail is the only hiking option that ends directly at the Machu Picchu citadel. The Inca Trail is available as a 4-day trek as well as a 2-day shortened version. Alternative hiking options to the Inca Trail also include a tour of Machu Picchu on the last day, however they do not end at the Machu Picchu ruins. For example, the Salkantay trek ends in Aguas Calientes while the Lares trek ends at the Ollantaytambo train station.

The 2-day and 4-day Inca Trail use the same trail, just with different starting points. The 4-day option starts at KM 82 near Ollantaytambo while the 2-day version starts at KM 104. The 2-day version bypasses Dead Woman’s Pass and the other more difficult spots, making it a more moderate trek. Both options still take you directly to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu.

Overnight in hotel in Aguas Calientes 3 overnights camping
Trailhead at KM 104Trailhead at KM 82
Difficulty: Moderate Difficulty: Hard
One day of hiking & one day of touring Machu Picchu 3-days of hiking & one day of touring Machu Picchu

Packing essentials for the Inca Trail are:

  • Passport
  • Daypack
  • Plastic bags to store wet clothes
  • Toiletries & medicines
  • Flashlight
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Hiking boots & sandals for camp
  • Raingear
  • Lightweight t-shirts
  • Lightweight sweaters
  • Sleepwear & evening wear for camp
  • Socks & underwear
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Sleeping bag suitable to 23ºF (-5ºC) – can be rented.

Six months in advance. Inca Trail permits go on sale at the end of each year for the following year. For high-season dates from May–September, permits can sell out six months in advance. If you are flexible with your travel dates and don’t mind hiking during the shoulder seasons (March/April, October/November) or rainy season (December/January), less advanced planning is required.

Also, If you wish to hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain once you are within Machu Picchu, be sure to bring this up to your travel advisor. These hikes have limited availability and a permit must be purchased about six months in advance for these hikes as well.

The 4-day Inca Trail tour with Peru For Less will include plenty of food to keep you fueled for this grueling hike. Breakfast will be a big spread, while lunches and dinners include soups, chicken and rice, fried fish, veggies, french fries, beans and more.

Tell your Travel Advisor in advance if you have any dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc. Dietary restrictions are easily accommodated and will have just as much nutritious food.

Yes. Peru’s Ministry of Tourism has made it mandatory to be accompanied by a registered tour guide to hike the 4-day and 2-day Inca Trail.

A private Inca Trail tour is best for those concerned about their experience level affecting the rest of the group or for those simply wanting to do the trail with fewer people. On the other hand, a group Inca Trail tour allows travelers to share their hiking experience with new people.

Peru For Less group Inca Trail tours have a maximum of 8 people per guide so that even in a group tour, you’ll feel well looked-after.

For the most affordable Inca Trail hike, opt for a group tour instead of private. Tips for porters and chefs can be split between larger groups, making total costs per person cheaper. We ensure that our tours offer the best quality and value, while also providing fair wages to porters, guides and chefs.

It is recommended to do some physical activity prior to your trip so that you’re in good physical condition to hike for multiple days. Walk or jog in your neighborhood, go on hikes in your region, do cardio exercises at the gym, and/or practice yoga or other physical activities. Also, prior to the hike, allow yourself the time to acclimate in Cusco for at least two days.

The best time to hike the Inca Trail is during the dry season from May to September. Nights will be chillier, but you are unlikely to have rain during your trek. The next best time is during the shoulder seasons, March–April and October–November.

The rainy season from December to January isn’t recommended unless you really prefer few people and don’t mind the rain. Note that the Inca Trail is closed during the entire month of February for maintenance and safety reasons.

Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness, occurs in 40-50 percent of people who live in low elevation areas traveling to an elevation of 10,000 feet or more. It occurs in 25 percent of people traveling to a destination of 8,000 feet or more. It is a temporary condition characterized by slight headache, shortness of breath when walking, fatigue, minor dizziness and loss of appetite. Symptoms develop between 6 to 24 hours of being at higher elevations, and last one to three days. It is typically mild and no need for alarm.

There are many ways to combat altitude sickness, like drinking lots of water, avoiding heavy and fatty foods, no smoking or drinking alcohol, eating whole grains and veggies and taking it slow the first couple days. Do not begin a challenging hike the first two days at high elevation, start your trek on day three the earliest.

We do not directly offer travel insurance but can provide recommendations. Insurance companies such as itravelinsured, World Nomads, insuremytrip, and SquareMouth are good options. Please note that Peru for Less does not have any affiliation with the listed travel insurance companies. For a free quote and policy options you will need to contact the companies directly. It will be important to select a company and policy that fits your needs, even if not one listed there.

Contact Us today to cross the Inca Trail off your hiking bucket list!

View of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

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