City: Cusco, Mountains // Activities: Trekking //
If you are looking for a great trekking tour, there is no better place than Cusco. The Inca Trail towards the mythical citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most famous treks in the entire world. Yes that's right! Cross the emblematic path that was used by the powerful Inca Pachacutec to arrive at its fortress hidden in the forest. The experience of walking the 4-day Inca Trail will not only allow you to observe the ruins of the place and the endemic nature that surrounds them, but also to get in contact with local communities and experience their way of life. The following days you will have a spectacular time trekking and discovering natural monuments, such as the Wayllabamba Valley, the Warmiwañuska Pass, the Pacaymayu Gorge, the Wiñaywaya Citadels and, of course, the Historic World Heritage Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (since 1983). In total, the 4-day Inca Trail is 45 km long and you walk around 6-7 hours per day. Put on your hiking boots, some comfortable clothes and get ready for the highlight of your trip to Peru!
Discount for students with valid ISIC card (if you book the student rate): you will need to bring the original card, not a copy, to show it at the control points throughout the Inca Trail. If the card is not shown, you will be denied entry to the Inca Trail as the permits purchased for you won’t be valid anymore. You can check the criteria here.
ONE DAY BEFORE THE START OF THE INCA TRAIL
Briefing in your hotel in Cusco. The time will be determined by your guide.
- Distance: 8 km
- Walking Hours: 4 hours
- Campsite Altitude: 3000 m / 9843 ft.
You will be picked up from your hotel early at 5:30 am and from there head to the town of Ollantaytambo where you will have time for breakfast and to buy sweets, chocolates, coca leaves or other snacks that will help you during the hike. Afterwards, you'll continue to kilometre 82 - Piscacucho (2700 m) where you will pass by the first control of the Inca trail. Shortly after that, you will start the 2-hour hike to Patallacta (2750 m), an archaeological Inca site that will be explained by the guide. After visiting the ruins, you will continue to hike for 45 minutes until reaching the lunch spot where the cook and his team prepare an incredible meal. Once you finished lunch, you will continue the hike for another 1.5 hours towards the camping site Wayllabamba (3000 m) where you will have time for a well-deserved rest and an afternoon snack, followed by dinner before going to bed.
- Distance: 12 km
- Walking Hours: 8 hours
- Campsite Altitude: 3600 m / 11811 ft.
You will start the day with a good breakfast at 5:30 am and straight after that continue the hike for 45 minutes to Wayllabamba, the second control point. Afterwards, you will begin the gradual ascent that will take about 1.5 hours (4 km) to the second rest point in Llullucha Pampa (3800 m). You will continue the hike for another 4 km to the Warmiwañusca pass located at 4215 m, the highest point of the Inca Trail. Here, you will have an amazing view of the landscape which is perfect for taking pictures. You will then rest for 2.5 hours at the campsite of Pacaymayo (3600 m) where you will have tea, dinner and also spend the night.
- Distance: 16 km
- Walking Hours: 12 hours
- Campsite Altitude: 2650 m / 8694 ft.
After breakfast, you'll start the longest day with 16 km of hiking. A trail that is surrounded by jungle vegetation and various Inca ruins along the way is what makes this day one of the most beautiful ones. The first archaeological site to be visited 45 minutes away from the starting point is Runcurakay (3750 m), an archaeological Inca complex composed of turrets that acted as strategic surveillance point for the east valley. After that, you will continue to the Runcurakay Pass (3900 m), where you will have an explanation on Inca culture and some time for some relaxation. You'll continue walking for 1.5 hours until reaching Sayacmarka, the second archaeological site to be visited with very interesting Inca ruins. From there, it's only 25 minutes until reaching the lunch point at Chaquicocha. This will give you the necessary energy to continue the Inca trail to the next archaeological site called Puyuptamarca (3750 m) for about 2.5 hours. This site is called "town above the clouds" and is without a doubt one of the most original towns on the entire trail. From there, you will start a 3-hour descent (steps) to the camping site at Wiñayhuayna, where you will have tea and dinner. This will be a special one as it will be the final dinner with the porters that won't join you on the final day.
- Distance: 6 km
- Walking Hours: 3-4 hours
On the fourth and last day, you will wake up at 3:30 am, have breakfast and descend to the control point where you will wait aprox. a little more than an hour until the gates open. Once you have passed through the control point, you will hike 1 hour and a half to Inti Punku (Sun Gate) where you will have a break for 20 minutes to enjoy the spectacular view of the majestic Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu. This is an excellent opportunity to take panoramic pictures. Shortly after, you we will descend for 1 hour all the way to the citadel of Machu Picchu.
At Machu Picchu, you have a 2-hour tour where you will have time to take plenty of photos followed by free time to explore the archaeological site on your own. From here, you will return to Aguas Calientes to have lunch and to visit the thermal baths. Finally, you will head to the train station in order to return to Ollantaytambo and then take the bus back to Cusco.
to check the availability click: http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ > switch to English (UK flag) > Queries > choose month of travel > see availability of Inca Trail permit.
- Personalized service (up to 8 people max. per group)
- Briefing one day before the tour in your hotel
- Camping for 3 nights
- Professional and experienced tour guide fluent in English, specialized in hiking the Inca Trail and trained in first aid and rescue (will be with you from the first to the last day)
- Guided tours of the 7 Inca archaeological sites en route, 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu with extra time for yourself
- Professionally trained chefs and assistants (the chefs graduated from culinary schools with many years of experience cooking in the mountains; they join at km 82)
- Bioled water from the 2nd day onwards
- Porters carrying camping equipment, tents, table, stools, cooking gear and 6 kg of personal belongings (incl. sleeping bag) of each client.
- Entrance to the Inca Trail and to Machu Picchu
- Emergency equipment, first-aid kit and oxygen canisters
- Radio communication
Pickup from and drop-off at your Hotel in Cusco and transport to kilometre 82
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
- Perú Rail train Expedition leaving Aguas Calientes in the afternoon
- Pick up from the train station in a van to the Hotel in Cusco
- 2 people per tent in spacious 4-person tent, waterproof and thermal high-mountain tent
- Thick, inflatable sleeping mattress, sleeping bag (-10 degrees) and pillows
- Dining tent, kitchen tent, camping tables and stools
- Biodegradable toilet tent system
- Camping tables, chairs and tableware
- Daily wake-up coca tea in your tent
- Dishes rich in calories, vitamins and proteins that will provide all the energy that you need for the trek (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners and snacks). Please let us know in advance if you have any special diet requests (vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, allergies etc.).
- Maca, tea and hot drinks every afternoon
- Breakfast on day 1 and lunch on day 4
- Sleeping bag ($15 for 4 days) and hiking poles
- Water on the first day
- Single tent supplement
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu*
- Extra Porter to carry personal items ($100 for 4 days, can carry up to 14 kg)
*Please note that the estimated time to start your guided tour of the Machu Picchu citadel is between 8:15 am - 9:00 am. However, this might be delayed due to the pace of the group and weather issues. Therefore, there is a risk of having to leave your guided tour half way through in order to be able to make it on time to hike Huayna Picchu.
- The tour starts at 5:30 am on the first day (departures almost daily).
- 4 days and 3 night
- Original passport with more than 6 months from expiration
- Important: If you do not bring your passport, you won’t be given entrance to the trail.
- If you booked the trail with discounts for students with ISIC card please bring your passport as well and also your university ID (no copy or expired version, it must be the original document. If you do not bring your card you will be denied entry into the Inca Trail as the permits won’t be valid without your card).
- If you have medical restrictions for some or all the activities detailed in your booking please contact your doctor and inquire about the risks of doing said activities.
- Arrive 2-3 days before your trek to avoid the Altitude Sickness (Soroche) and stomach pain provoked by slow digestion.
- Altitude Sickness: some of the symptoms are headache and nausea. There are some over the counter medication (pills) that help to minimize the symptoms of this problem, such as Glucosa Coramina, Aspirina, Diamox, Soroichi Pill, and Acetazolamida among others. If the symptoms persist, the use of oxygen is the next step. Under these circumstances the operator has the necessary equipment and staff to assist you.
- Stomach Pain: Drink between 3-4 liters of water per day so your body will stay hydrated. Hot drinks or meals are especially recommended, such as coca leaf tea, soups, vegetables, and carbohydrates (not fried or heavy). Candy, chocolates, cookies and fruits are also a good option. In general, all food that is easy to digest. Do not drink alcohol or smoke.
- Try to sleep at least 8 hours and do not exercise too much. Keep your body in good temperature wearing warm clothes to protect yourself from the cold. While adjusting to the altitude there is a general rule to follow: eat what is necessary and drink plenty of liquids.
What to pack for the trek:
Take only whatever is necessary for the trek and leave the rest at the hotel.
- A hiking backpack for your personal belongings (your personal porter will carry a duffle bag)
- Hiking poles with rubber tips (can be rented from the operator)
- Trekking clothing: Light trekking boots with good ankle support, Sneakers or sandals for comfort while in camp, warm clothes (fleece and layers for different temperatures, especially at night), rain gear/waterproof clothes, thermal underwear to be warm in the sleeping bag, t-shirts and trekking pants, gloves/mittens, scarf, sunglasses three pairs of wool socks, wool hat for cold nights
- 3 plastic bags to separate your clothes: clean, wet, dirty
- Swimwear and towels if you decide to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes.
- Flashlight, head lamp and camera (with extra batteries)
- Small binoculars and sunglasses
- Sun block SPF 30+, lip balm and insect repellent (lotion better than spray)
- Swiss army knife
- Toiletries, toilet paper and personal hygiene items (towel, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, wet wipes, hand sanitiser)
- Personal medicine, medicine for altitude sickness (such as Coramina, Aspirina, Diamox, Sorojchi, Acetazolamida) and anti blister gel
- Refillable water bottle (f.e. a bottle made of flexible plastic from Platypus) and plastic bags (ziploc)
- Extra money to buy some beverages during the trek (optional)
- If you decide to stay one night in Aguas Calientes, you will need to bring cash (Soles) as the ATMs in the area quickly run out of money due to the high amount of tourists. If you just wish to have lunch in Aguas Calientes it is also advisable to bring cash.
Terms of Reservation:
How many days do I have to reserve the 4-day Inca trail in advance?
- It is necessary to book this trek in advance, as it has a limited capacity of 500 people per day divided into 2 seperate times. The first group starts the trek at 7:00 am and the second group at 10:00 am.
- Going up Huayna Picchu will take between 45 minutes to 1 hour. The trail is narrow but safe. The view is amazing. You will see a panoramic view of Machu Picchu, the Sun Gate, the Urubamba Valley, and the Urubamba River. If however, there is no availability for Huayna Picchu the operator can consider Machu Picchu Mountain, which is also impressive.
Terms of Cancelation:
- Due to the strict regulations established by Machu Picchu Park, once you have made your booking, the space and permit that has been purchased cannot be cancelled. It is also impossible to transfer the permit to someone else under a different name, nor can the date of your permit be modified. Therefore, if you are not able to arrive on the scheduled date, no refunds can be done.
- Permits are not refundable and the local tour operator will purchase the permits as soon as the confirmation of the booking is sent to you.
- If you cancel the booking between 30 to 10 days before the start of your trip; you will be required to pay 50% of the total cost.
- If you cancel the booking between 10 to 3 days before the start of your trip; you will be required to pay 80% of the total cost.
- If you cancel the booking between 1 to 2 days before the start of your trip; you will be required to pay 100% of the total cost.
- In the event that you decide to withdraw from the trekking once it has started, you will be responsible for all additional charges such as: food and transport that might occur because of the modification of your itinerary. However, you can join the group again for the visit to Machu Picchu citadel and the use of the same services from that point onwards.
- In the event that you decide to cancel the trip due to a health issue or personal problem, the above cancelation policies will be applied as the company had already had administrative and logistic expenses for your trekking.
Rules to follow during the trek:
- Before the start of the trek (km 82) you will go through a control point where you will have to show the passport that was used to make the booking of the trail. All the information must match the information on the permits. This will be verified by government staff. Only after this verification is done, you will be granted access to the Inca Trail. If that information does not match their records, you will be denied entry (ministry of culture regulation).
- All road routes are marked, they need to be respected in order to guarantee the preservation and conservation of the route and its' own security. If you become curious about a specific area outside of the marked one, please reach out to your tour guide before.
- The campsites are determined beforehand by the government. These are also mentioned in the permits or admission tickets that you will receive. You must adhere to the regulations, respect fellow trekkers, and avoid unruly behavior.
- Please deposit all garbage in the containers located in each campsite.
- It is forbidden to climb or attempt to climb any walls on the archeological sites. Do not pick up flowers that are indigenous to the area, hunt animals or take stones from the archeological sites as this type of behavior will be prosecuted by the local authorities and by the government.
- Bonfires are strictly prohibited by government regulation.
- Firearms are prohibited on the trail. It is also prohibited to carry alcoholic beverages while on the trail. At the entrance of the Inca Trail, during the first control point you and your belongings will be inspected to guarantee that these items do not enter the trail. Other fellow trekkers doing the route and the trail itself must be respected, as the area is a historic sanctuary.
- In the event of an emergency, please reach out immediately to your tour guide, or to any Inca Trail staff located along the route. They can assist you in any type of emergency.
- The tour guide must follow the company policy in regards of treatment of passengers and assistance on which both parts previously agreed upon.
- The Inca Trail is pretty safe, however you must follow the instructions given by your tour guide and always be alert. There are sections of the trail which are 3 meters wide and then there are others which are very narrow. If you’d like to stop to contemplate the landscape and scenery, you must come to a complete stop, and then continue with the trek.
To return by train from Machu Picchu Station, you must take into account the following:
- You will return with his trek's group and the tour guide.
- Information on the departure time by train from Aguas Calientes will be provided during the post-sale from the operator.
- If you want to make an upgrade or change the departure time of your train service from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, you must report this change at least 35 days before your trip. This way, you would avoid paying the penalty. You only have to pay the difference in the train ticket.
- Additional cost of $ 80.00 (please let us know in advance)
The operator offers the service of portable toilets, but if you prefer to use the public restrooms provided by the government, these are located on the following stops along the Inca Trail: Km 82, family houses on the Inca Trail, Wayllabamba, Lluclluchapampa, Warmiwañuscca, Paccaymayu, Chaquicocha, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna.
Information about the Local Operator:
We only select the best tour operators whose services comply with our security standards, good equipment and a fair price for every destination.