Day 1 : Begin the Inca Trail Day 2 : Inca Trail Day 3 : Inca Trail Day 4 : Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Follow the legendary path of the Incas, winding through the spectacular scenery of the Peruvian Andes, past centuries-old sites, toward the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. Declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the mysterious ruins – and the amazing Inca Trail that takes you there – are without a doubt the highlights of any trip to Peru.
The Inca Trail is one of the world’s most famous trekking routes and a great adventure to add to your customized vacation to Peru. Admire various archaeological sites along the trail and visit traditional villages where locals maintain their ancient ways of life. Sleep at campsites and indulge in high quality meals prepared by a chef who works magic with simple ingredients and a propane stove. All the essentials for the trek are provided, including an expert bilingual guide who will help you navigate through this magical journey into the clouds.
Begin your day early with a pick up from your hotel and a scenic 2-hour drive through the picturesque Sacred Valley to the town Ollantaytambo. Here you will meet your trek team and continue by bus to Piscacucho (Km 82) where the Inca Trail starts.
At control point, you will present your Inca Trail permit. This is also where the weight each porter carries is regulated.
Once you cross the Piscacucho Bridge over the Urubamba River, you will start the trek. Walk on flat terrain along the shore of the river until you reach the small community of Miskay.
Continuing on a steeper path toward a high plateau, your efforts will be rewarded by the spectacular view of the Inca ruins of Patallacta. Situated at the foot of a mountain on the left bank of the river Cusicancha, a tributary of the Urubamba River, this archaeological complex has an urban sector with more than 100 structures and an Inca altar called Pulpituyoc.
After lunch, trek for another two hours or so until you reach the first campsite of Wayllabamba.
Trek Distance: 7.5 mi (12 km) | moderate Approximate Time: 4 to 6 hrs
* You will receive a pre-trek briefing from your trekking guide before starting the trek to review the day-by-day itinerary and discuss any questions that you have about hiking the Inca Trail.
* Our team highly recommends that you spending a few days in Cusco before starting the Inca Trail to adjust to the altitude and be prepared for the physical demands of the trek.
* Ask your travel advisor about the option to hire a porter to carry your personal belongings along the trail.
The second day is the most rigorous and highest-altitude part of the Inca Trail, so you are encouraged to go at your own pace.
The trail zigzags up from the moderate temperatures of the valleys into the arid and cold high plains to the high Dead Woman’s Pass at 13,828 ft (4,214 m). Admire amazing views of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba Mountain Chain.
Once you cross the pass, a winding path of steps descends steeply across a valley and on to your next campsite. Keep your eyes open for a variety of bird species, including sparrows, hummingbirds, and condors. The day’s trek ends at the Pacaymayo Valley campsite. Here you will have dinner and enjoy a well-deserved rest after a strenuous day on the trail.
Trek Distance: 10 mi (16 km) | challenging Approximate Time: 7 to 8 hrs
After breakfast, the trek continues along a path rich with archeological treasures. Halfway along the steep trail up to Runkurakay Pass, you will encounter the ruins of Runkurakay, an Inca tambo, or lodge, of semi-circular design with a view of the Valley of Pacaymayo, or “Hidden River” Valley below. Another steep climb up Incan steps leads to the pass summit, which offers spectacular views of the mountain ranges of Vilcabamba and Pumasillo.
You will continue on to the lakes of Yanacocha and Sayacmarca. Aptly dubbed the “Inaccessible Town,” Sayacmarca is an interesting set of ruins located on a cliff with a panoramic view of the Aobamba Valley and the snow-covered peak of Pumasillo.
Continuing on, you will pass Conchamarca, a small, flat archaeological complex. Then the trail ascends again and you come to a 65-foot (20-meter) long tunnel with steps carved out of the rock. Continuing the ascent, you will reach the third and final mountain pass of the trek at Abra de Phuyupatamarca. Afterwards, the trail continues downhill leading to the archaeological site of Phuyupatamarca, “Town in The Clouds.” This is undoubtedly one of the most unique towns along the Inca Trail.
As the day ends, you will head toward the ruins of Wiñay Wayna or “Forever Young,” where you will camp for your final night.
Trek Distance: 10 mi (16 km) | moderate Approximate Time: 8 to 10 hrs
After an very early start with breakfast, you will set out on the final leg of the trail to reach Inti Punku, the Sun Gate entrance to Machu Picchu for sunrise.
From the Sun Gate, you will descend to the citadel for a guided tour of Machu Picchu. You will be able to appreciate the intricate stonework that seems to rise from the mountain itself. The giant stones were hauled by hand to the top of the mountain centuries ago, and put into place without mortar, and yet their foundations still remain. You will have the chance to explore the 3 zones of this once grand city: the urban, agricultural, and adjacent zones. The Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana, and the Principal Bath are only a few of the impressive sights that you will see.
After snapping some final photos, board the shuttle bus back to town and transfer to the train station for your return to Cusco.
Trek Distance to Machu Picchu: 3.7 mi (6 km) | moderate Approximate Time: 3 to 4 hrs
*Customize: Hike up Huayna Picchu, a peak overlooking the Machu Picchu ruins. This hike is steep and takes about 3 hours round trip, but has remarkable views. Please let your travel advisor know if you’d like to add this to your itinerary.
* Customize: Spend another day at Machu Picchu. Stay overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, allowing for a second visit to the spectacular ruins on the following day.
* Group rate for 4-day Inca Trail is price per person (starting with 2 person group minimum)
With the Inca Trail package you will receive:
Transportation and tickets
Private transport from your Cusco hotel to the start of the trek
Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
Transfer from Cusco train station back to your Cusco hotel
Entrance ticket to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
We use four-season Eureka tents with two entrances and a capacity for four people (for comfort, only two people per tent)
Foam mattresses, tables, and seat for each tent
Food and drink utensils
Dinner tent and kitchen tent for the group
First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
Professional, knowledgeable bilingual guide
A cook to prepare your meals
Porters to carry provided equipment and food (additional porters can be hired to carry your personal belongings)
Our guides are professional and multilingual. Not only do they possess an excellent knowledge of the Inca Trail, but they’re also wholly familiar with all of the intricate archaeological, historical, and cultural Inca traditions. All of our tour personnel are also highly qualified in tour group management and in first aid.
High quality meals to provide the necessary energy for this challenging trek
In addition to three meals daily, you will be given revitalizing snacks
Hot drinks such as tea and coffee, as well as enough water for your canteens, water bottles, or hydration packs (collected from local streams and boiled while on the trek)
Services: Restaurant Internet Laundry Service Gift Shop Room Service Parking Bar Spa
Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Kilometer 110 Via Ferrea, Aguas Calientes
The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a naturalist’s haven. Conveniently nestled in the verdant Andean cloud forest, this lovely hotel is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the astonishing flora and fauna of the region. The eco-friendly hotel resembles an Andean village and is comprised of charming white-washed cottages decorated with modern indigenous art as well as authentic pre-Columbian artifacts. With a commitment to indulging the whims of its guests, this luxury hotel expertly combines nature and comfort to create a one-of-a-kind Machu Picchu experience. Try some regional dishes at the excellent restaurant overlooking the Urubamba River.
Services: Restaurant Internet Laundry Service Room Service Bar
Av. Pachacutec 109, Aguas Calientes
Ideally located near the Aguas Calientes train station and close to where the buses depart for the short ride to Machu Picchu, El MaPi Hotel by Inkaterra is perfect for travelers who want to catch the sunrise over the ruins. The modern and stylish hotel aims to be the best in its category and offers great value services and décor. It also boasts beautifully landscaped gardens and a hot tub where guests can relax at night with a cocktail after a delicious dinner.
Prolongacion Imperio de Los Incas E - 34, Aguas Calientes
The newest addition to the Casa Andina Standard brand offers modern and comfortable accommodations to guests seeking a quality Machu Picchu hotel. Located on the banks of the Vilcanota River and adjacent to the Aguas Calientes train station, the hotel enjoys a top location for easy access to the Machu Picchu ruins.
Services: Restaurant Laundry Service Room Service Bar
Rupa Wasi Lodge
Calle Huanacaure 105, Aguas Calientes
Budget-friendly and wholly comfortable, the excellent Rupa Wasi Lodge provides a scenic setting that will nicely round out any Machu Picchu tour. Perched on a hill above the bustle of the main streets, this small hotel boasts wood architecture, panoramic windows, and outdoor balconies that create a sense of immersion into the surrounding forest. With just three suite rooms and two standard rooms, the friendly staff is able to provide caring hospitality to all its guests. The attached Tree House Restaurant is amongst the best eateries in town and also prepares boxed lunches if you’ll be spending the day exploring the spectacular Machu Picchu ruins.