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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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What to See in Inca Trail

Tread upon the same stones once walked upon by the royal Inca Empire. The Inca Trail is a 500-year old pathway that brings you directly to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu for a rewarding journey filled with scenic moments you’ll never forget.

Llactapata

The Llactapata or sometimes called Patallacta ruins are approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) from the start of the Inca Trail. These are the first set of ruins you'll see while hiking the Inca Trail.

Sayacmarca

Located right on the edge of the precipice, Sayacmarca is an impressive example of the Incas engineering skills.

Runkurakay

This semi-circular Inca ruin is a scenic resting place along the Inca Trail. With a vantage point over the valley below, it has a well-thought-out position and is believed to have been used for ceremonial functions.

Phuyupatamarca

At 11,800 feet (3,600 meters) above sea level, Phuyupatamarca or Puyupatamarca is called the city in the clouds. Here you can find stone baths that are part of the Incan irrigation systems nourishing the green terraces.

Dead Woman’s Pass

Dead Woman's Pass, at 13,800 feet (4,215 meters) above sea level, is the highest point along the Inca Trail. Once you beat this part of the trek, the hardest part is behind you!

Wiñay Wayna

The Wiñay Wayna ruins are your last set of off-the-beaten-path Inca ruins you'll encounter on your Inca Trail trek. Terraces and Inca irrigation systems that still have water flowing down them make this spot an impressive resting place.

Inti Punku

Inti Punku, or the Sun Gate, is your first point of contact with the Machu Picchu fortress. From this viewpoint on your Inca Trail trek, you'll see the Huayna Picchu ruins, Machu Picchu citadel, and surrounding mountain landscapes.

Machu Picchu Fortress

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu is what you've been waiting for! Witness its breathtaking sites and fascinating history.

Peru Highlights

Peru is filled with archaeological ruins, scenic landscapes, and delicious flavors. Must-see places in Peru include:

Peru Highlights

Peru is filled with archaeological ruins, scenic landscapes, and delicious flavors. Must-see places in Peru include:

Inca trail

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in four or two days. The Inca Trail is a 500-year old pathway where the elite Incas once entered into the “Lost City of the Incas”. Plan with your Peru for Less travel advisor in advance, Inca Trail permits tend to sell out even 6-months in advance.

Amazon Rainforest

Step into the lush Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and witness a spectacular array of wildlife in its natural habitat. Lodges in Puerto Maldonado are ideal for excursions and daily activities. Those looking for a more luxurious Amazon experience would love an Iquitos Amazon River cruise. Colorful macaws, giant tarantulas, and playful river otters are among the sights you’ll behold.

Cusco

Cusco city has it all, archaeological ruins, colonial buildings, top-rated restaurants, and countless places to explore. Your Cusco City Tour will take you to the top highlights like Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, the Cusco Cathedral, and more.

Lake Titicaca

Sail on the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca and step on the reed Uros and Taquile floating islands. Some of the best weavers are found in this area so pick up some Peruvian textiles here for unique souvenirs.

Lima

Lima is a mixture of modern city living and historical significance. Here you’ll find Central restaurant (ranked #6 by 50 Worlds Best), UNESCO World Heritage sites like Historic City Center with the San Francisco Convent, and the best shopping in Peru.

Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are mysterious geoglyphs and geometric shapes drawn onto the desert floor hundreds of years ago by the Nazca culture. Little is known about them nevertheless, the Nazca Lines inspire awe in those who take a flight over them.

Arequipa

Arequipa is a picturesque town and also the second-largest city in Peru. Local markets, beautifully built colonial architecture, and El Misti volcano are among the things you’ll see while walking the cobblestone streets of the white city.

Faqs

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.

2-Day4-Day
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!

 

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