Inca Trail – 4D/3N

Price from:

$ 249 USD

  • Ranked as one of the world’s ten best treks
  • Follow the footsteps of the original Incas in their traditional paths
  • Admire the unique ecological diversity and archaeological treasures
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Duration

4 Days / 3 Nights

Group

2 to 8 people

Start / Finish

Cusco / Cusco

Difficulty

Moderate

Transportation

Mini-bus, walk & train

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 teatimes, 3 dinners

Accommodation

Camping & hostel

Walking Distance

27 mi / 44 km

Max. Altitude

13,779ft / 14,200 m

Overview:

The classic 4-day Inca Trail is Peru’s number one hike, and one of the world’s most famous treks. Walk through traditional Andean valleys, grasslands, cloud forests, visit ancient Inca ruins on the way to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is something do once in a lifetime. If you’re young or old, in good shape or not, the Inca Trail is a must-do for anyone if you’re planning on visiting this wonder of the world.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Piskacucho Km82 – Wayllabamba – Ayapata

The first day of your adventure with the  Inca Trail! We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel in our private van at 4:30am. From there, we travel to Piskacucho, which is known as Kilometer 82, where the Classic Inca Trail begins. Along the way, we stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo at 6:30-7am to load up on energy for our start of the trail. (Breakfast is not included).

Upon arrival at Km 82 (8:30am), we will have some time to organize ourselves, use the restrooms, apply sunscreen, insect repellent, etc. Here you will give your duffel bag to the porters, keeping only a small daypack with the essentials you need during the hike. Once at the Inca Trail checkpoint, be ready to show your passports and your student card, if you are paying a student rate. Your guide will have all of your permits and tickets.

At the start of the trail (2,720m/8,923ft) we will cross the Vilcanota River and follow its scenic route. The first day is relatively easy, a warm-up along the rolling ‘Inca flat’ terrain. There are great views of the Inca Fortress of Huillca Raccay, the vast and incredible Inca site of Llactapata, (also called Patallacta), the Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle, the Andes Mountains, and the beautiful snow-capped peak of Veronica (5,860m/19,225ft), also known as W’akay Willca.

Our first campsite is in Ayapata, an hour and a half up from the small village of Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,842ft) located in the temperate green valley of the same name. Temperatures at night can be as low as 5ºC, depending on the season. It is generally colder in the dry season from May to September.

When you arrive at camp, your afternoon tea and appetizers will be ready for you. Enjoy a hot drink and settle into your tents before dinner, which will already be set up for you.

  • Meals included: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 12kms/7.5mi (about 6 hours hiking)
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Day 2: Dead Woman’s Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha

The day will start early at 5am with a hot cup of coca tea and small breakfast to get you ready for the longest day of the tour. We’ll have a 4-hour hike to the highest point of the trail, the Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,215 meters (13,830 feet). Upon arrival, we’ll take a short break to enjoy the views, take pictures and have a well deserved rest. Once we’re ready, we set of to descend to the Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River. After an hour and a half of walking downhill, we reach our lunch spot at the valley, where you’ll also be able to refill your water bottles.  After lunch, we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours over the pass where we will stop at a small Inca site, Runcu Raccay, and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley.

After the second pass, it’s another downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village). We’ll stop here to rest and have a quick tour before watching the beautiful sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing, and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Andean sky, away from all the light pollution, this sky is something to behold!

  • Meals included: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 16km/10mi (about 7-8 hours hiking)
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna

It’s safe to say that from here on out the trekking won’t be as difficult as day 2.

We start early again, only this time waking up at 6:30am to begin what is considered the most beautiful day of the trail. We hike for 2 hours along what we like to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. From here, we’ll be able to see Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range ass we walk the trail. Towards the end of the Inca flats, we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3,600 meters) from where we’ll have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley, we get our first view of Machu Picchu Mountain, but the site itself is still hidden. From Phuyupatamarka it’s a 3-hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu. During the descent, we visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00pm to have lunch.

After lunch, we’ll have a relaxing rest of the day so that you are ready for Machu Picchu. At around 4:30pm your guide will give you a short orientation, and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna for an hour and a half, where your guide will explain the significance of the site. After that, we like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again. This is to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so at this time). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time to get up in the early hours of the morning to be the first ones to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn.

  • Meals included: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 10km/6mi (about 5 hours hiking)
  • Difficulty: Easy

Day 4: Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Cusco

After 3 days of hiking through the unforgettable trail, the final and most exciting part has come, visiting Machu Picchu. We start off the day at 3:30am, have breakfast at 4:00am and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30am. We’ll have jaw-dropping views of Machu Picchu and neighboring mountains before reaching the Sun Gate at 6:30am. From then on it’s just an hour trek down to reach the Inca Citadel, with each step making the views better. Once we reach and enter Machu Picchu our 2-hour private guided tour begins. After the tour, you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes, and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore the small town on your own or climb one of the neighboring mountains – Huaynapicchu (must be arranged ahead of time).

Your guide will offer to meet you down in the village of Aguas Calientes to enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. At lunch, your guide will hand out train tickets, so if you choose to skip, please arrange to get these before leaving him at Machu Picchu. Unless you arranged for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 3:20pm or 4:22pm. Please make sure you are on the platform at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This will be a 2-hour train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy (based on which train you get), where a Machu Picchu Experiences driver will meet you and drive you back to the city on our bus to drop you off at your hotel/hostel.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Distance: 5km/3mi (about 4 hours walking)
  • Difficulty: Easy

 

What’s Included

  • Professional, experienced, bilingual tour guide

  • Inca Trail permit

  • Machu Picchu entrance ticket

  • 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu

  • Hotel/hostel pick-up and drop-off

  • Transportation by private mini-van to the start point of the trek

  • Transportation by train and mini-van back to Cusco

  • 3 nights of campsite accommodation

  • Porters to carry all equipment

  • Professional cook

  • Briefing at our office (this will be done the night before your trek)

  • First day’s breakfast and last day’s lunch & dinner

  • Tips

  • Travel insurance

  • Optional: Huayna Picchu ticket - $20 USD (request in advance)

  • Optional: Machu Picchu Mountain - $20 USD (request in advance)

  • Optional: rented sleeping bag - $20 USD

  • Optional: rented air mattress - $20 USD

  • Optional: rented walking sticks - $15 USD

  • Optional: private tent upgrade - $30 USD (request in advance)

What To Bring

  • We strongly recommend a small backpack, 40 to 50L max

  • Original passport (the same you used to book)

  • Valid Student ID (if you booked as a student)

  • Hiking boots

  • Comfortable clothes

  • Sunscreen

  • Aluminum bottle or hydration packs

  • Personal medication

  • Tripods are not allowed at the historical site (you can leave yours in the lockers outside)

  • Plastic bottles are not allowed in the citadel or any of the roads

  • Walking sticks are not allowed unless the person needs them (they must have rubber tips)

  • Big backpacks as they are not allowed into the citadel

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have problems with altitude sickness on this tour?

Altitude sickness can catch many travelers a little bit off guard. It’s impossible to know who will get affected by it. Some don’t even feel it at all! For most, it’s nothing more than a headache and a dizzy sensation that goes away over a short period of time.

If you want to limit your chances of getting sick, there are a few things you can do. The most important thing to do is acclimatize in Cusco. Take it easy on the first day or two, eat small meals, get plenty of rest and drink water. Other alternatives are Soroche (Diamox) pills and coca leaves.

It’s also important to speak to your physician to make sure you don’t have any underlying conditions.

How physically fit do I need to be?

The 4 Day Inca Trail trek requieres a decent level of physical fitness but it is not essential. Have in mind that although less difficult than other treks, you’ll still cover an average of 10km (6mi) per day at a high altitude, where some parts are uphill.

If looking for an easier option, we suggest checking out the Inca Trail 2D/1N!

What is the group size?

Our tour departs with a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 8 people.

If looking to book a private group tour or solo tour, contact us and we’ll organize one for you.

Do you arrange trips for solo travelers?

There’s nothing like that feeling of discovering a new place all by yourself and we can help you with that. Whether looking to travel alone part of a journey or the whole trip, simply contact us and we’ll create the perfect plan.

Can I book a private group tour?

We take the stress out of booking a group trip of 4 or more people to Machu Picchu, plus the added bonus of including great benefits! Contact our team through our email: info@machupicchuexperiences.com or by calling our number: +51 000 0000 for more information.

What Inca sites will I see on the Inca Trail?

Apart from Machu Picchu, the other ruins you’ll discover on the Inca Trail are the ones of Llactapata, Winay Wayna, Runkurakay, Phuyupatamarca and Sayacmarca, as well as other smaller Inca sites. Your tour guide will take you to these sites and explain their history and purpose in the Inca Empire.

What is the food like?

An experienced cook accompanies every group on the trail. The cook provides us with delicious food made of local ingredients that will have you asking for more! Vegeterian, vegan and other special dietary requests can be accommodated as well with sufficient notice.

What are the campsites like?

The Inca Trail has designated campsites situated at strategic points along the course of the trail, with each group having there space allocated by the Peruvian government authority. All tents provided are two-people tents, where you’ll share with someone else. It is possible to hire a private tent upon previous request. There are basic toilet facilities with “squat” style toilets situated throughout the trek, usually close to campsites and / or lunch stop locations. Taking your own toilet paper is essential, as it is very unlikely that any will be available during the trek. Basic showers are available at the campsites on the final night only, although it should be noted that these are usually very busy.

What equipment is provided by Machu Picchu Experiences?

To fill

How far in advance should I book the Inca Trail tour?

We suggest at least 6-8 months in advance. There’s a strict limit of 200 permits for travelers per day, and as you can imagine they can get snatched up really quickly.

Theres no availability for the Inca Trail on the date I’m traveling. What now?

The Inca Trail is the most popular route to Machu Picchu and unfortunately, luck can sometimes not be on our side. But the good news is that the Inca Trail isn’t the only trek to the citadel!

The Salkantay Trek is the main alternative to the Inca Trail. Being named one of the most beautiful treks in the world, it offers unbelievable views like nowhere else.

The Inca Jungle Trek is another great alternative which mixes adventure into the journey. Trek, bike zip-line and even river raft on your way to Machu Picchu!

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Inca Trail – 2D/1N

Ideal for those with less time but still want to enjoy the classic trail.

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Price from:

$ 249 USD

  • Ranked as one of the world’s ten best treks
  • Follow the footsteps of the original Incas in their traditional paths
  • Admire the unique ecological diversity and archaeological treasures
Book Now