Hike the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the best trekking route in all of South America The Inca Trail is one of the most famous routes in the world. Dare to discover this astounding experience and receive the greatest reward of all: visiting the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is where the most daring travellers choose to reach Machu Picchu, Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Follow the Inca Nobility steps that used the same path that thousands of tourists from worldwide travel today and discover archaeological sites that can only be accessed on foot.
Our 4-day tour of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best alternative for small groups who want to experience a real adventure. Join travelers from all over the world who are looking for the same as you! Our package is perfect if you travel alone, with your partner, or with a small group of friends. We invite you to dream of the wonderful, join Peru Hike, and live this unique and exciting experience.
We’ll start in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in the community of Piscacucho, which is 2 hours from the city of Cusco. After a few hours, we’ll visit some archaeological sites such as Patallaqta. We’ll ascend to the Dead Woman’s pass that sits at 4,200 masl / 13,779 fasl, and then we’ll descend to the tropical jungle where the Machu Picchu Nature Reserve is located, home to more than 250 types of orchids, 450 types of birds, and the charming spectacled bear. We will also visit other impressive archaeological sites such as Pacaymayu, Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Intipata, Wiñayhuayna, Intipunku, and, finally, Machu Picchu, which is considered one of the new 7 Wonders of the World.
Our tour leader and Hiking Team will pick you up from wherever you are in Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo. If you’re in Cusco, we will stop by you between 4:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m .; if you’re in Urubamba, between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and if you’re in Ollantaytambo you can sleep a little more because we’ll pick you up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. After enjoying a delicious breakfast prepared by our chef, you’ll meet the entire team that will accompany you on this exciting adventure and will guarantee you some unforgettable memories in the middle of the sacred mountains of Cusco.
You’ll board private transportation that will take you to the place known as Km 82, which is the first control point of the route. Please be sure to take your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail. The first 2 hours of walking are relatively easy. Our first stop will be at the magical Patallacta archaeological site that shows its stone walls amid the vegetation. We will continue for 2 more hours until we get to our lunch spot. You’ll be surprised by the delicacies we’ve prepared for you. We only have 2.5 hours more of walking to arrive at our first camp located in Ayapata (3,300 masl / 10,826 fasl). If you need to buy something to eat or drink, or maybe you forgot your camera batteries, don’t worry. In this last part we’ll go through 2 small communities where you can make your purchases. We’ll arrive at the camp at approximately 5:00 p.m. Now just relax while sipping a snack or a hot drink. Dinner will be ready at 7:30 p.m. and then a deserved night of rest awaits you.
We’ll wake you up very early with a hot cup of coca tea that will help you start the day in the best way possible. Today the longest and most exhausting day on the route awaits us. We’ll go uphill for 4 hours to the highest point of the trek to the Dead Woman’s Pass (4,215 masl / 13,829 fasl). Open all your senses and connect with those immense mountains that you see all around. Feel the spirit of those thousands of ancient Peruvians who walked these roads in complete harmony with nature. Then we’ll descend for 1.5 hours to the other side of the valley where our lunch place is located. Remember that here you can refill your water bottles. After having eaten, we’ll ascend for 2 hours to the Abra Runcuraccay. We’ll visit a spectacular Inca site and will observe 2 immense waterfalls. Later we’ll descend for 1 hour to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca located in an almost inaccessible place.
We’ll stop here to discover the secrets of this ancient place in the company of our guide. The mysteries of the Incas will be revealed, little by little, as the sun descends and reddens the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s only 20 more minutes until we reach our second camp in Chaquicocha (3,600 masl / 11,811 fasl). After dinner, if you still have strength, we’ll be able to observe the stars and learn a little more about the fascinating dark constellations of the Incas. The night skies in the Andes, far from the artificial lighting of the cities, deserve to be seen.
Well done, you have overcome the most difficult day! Today a beautiful reward awaits you. After having rested in our comfortable tents, we’ll begin our day at 6:30 a.m. You’ll walk for 2 hours while receiving the immense green embrace of the earth. From here the jungle begins to thicken. In addition, you’ll have the privilege of observing the impressive perpetual snows of the Apu Salkantay in the distance, the second most important glacier in the Cusco region. Let yourself be surprised by the panoramic view of the extensive Vilcabamba mountain range. Later, you’ll begin to ascend towards the last summit of the path in Phuyupatamarka (3,600 masl / 11,811 fasl) from where you’ll be able to appreciate the waters of the Urubamba, a sacred river that runs through this territory as if it were an immense cosmic snake. Then you will descend for 3 hours to our last camp near the Wiñay Wayna archaeological site. This complex, whose name means “eternal youth”, is considered the most impressive of the entire route, not counting Machu Picchu of course. You are now very close to the lost city of the Incas! We’ll arrive at the camp at approximately 1:00 p.m. for lunch.
Relax and become aware of where you are and the great effort you’ve made. Tomorrow you will visit Machu Picchu! At approximately 4:30 p.m. You’ll make a guided visit to the Wiñay Wayna archaeological site for 1.5 hours. The words from our guide will make this remote place come alive once again. Then, we’ll spoil you with a small celebration together with all the team that has accompanied you: guides, porters, and cooks. Remember that they have worked very hard to make you feel comfortable and calm during these hard days of walking. By doing this, we thank them for all their care and affection. Obviously, you can also thank them with some tips. We recommend that you rest early as we’ll wake up together with the sun the next day. The idea is to see how Machu Picchu begins to light up at dawn, a magical spectacle that will captivate your heart.
Every effort has its rewards. We’ll wake up at 3:30 a.m. and immediately will enjoy our delicious and healthy breakfast. At 4:00 a.m. we’ll go to the entry control point to be one of the first groups to enter. Here we’ll say goodbye to our team of cooks and porters. We’ll walk approximately 1 hour to Puerta del Sol. Get ready because from there you’ll see this marvel of Inca architecture and engineering for the first time. Bow down to this holy place that has quietly waited for your visit to change something that’s hidden deep within you. We have 1 more hour of walking to enter the Lost City of the Incas. At approximately 7:40 a.m. we’ll arrive at the last control point and enjoy a 2-hour guided tour.The intimate connection between human beings and nature is revealed in a powerful way in Machu Picchu. Immense stones harmoniously linked together form temples, alleys, houses, and aqueducts that are still working after 5 centuries. Machu Picchu was built in an inaccessible place to resist the fierce attack of oppression and oblivion, and to remind modern men that only in true communion with Pacha Mama or Mother Earth can we fully exist.
After the tour, we’ll give you the bus tickets so you can go to Aguas Calientes. In this way, you’ll have all the time available to explore this mythical citadel on your own. You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes where you’ll enjoy your last lunch at the local restaurant of your choice. Remember that this food is not included in the package. Your guide will then deliver your train tickets to you. Generally, the Expedition class train departure time is 3:20 p.m. or 4:22 p.m. You’ll arrive in Ollantaytambo or Poroy depending on the type of train you choose. There, a representative of Peru Treks will be waiting to take you to the door of your hotel in our private mobility.
Please make sure you are present on the platform at least 30 minutes before the departure of your train.
The Ministry of Culture of Peru is the entity in charge of regulating the use of the Inca Trail and issuing entry permits. To access the Inca Trail it’s essential that you have a permit from the Ministry of Culture that matches the information in your passport exactly: name, passport number, nationality, and age. Only officially licensed tourism agencies can secure these permits, which are not transferable under any circumstances. If you want to change the date of your excursion you have to make sure that there are spaces available on the new date and buy a new permit. They are rules of the Government of Peru that we all must follow. If there are no permits available for the date you want, there are other incredible options to walk to Machu Picchu. We’ll be happy to find the perfect excursion for you.
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Peru Hike offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
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This was possibly the best way to spend my NYE – on the Inca Trail, on my way to Machu Picchu, surrounded by friends and led by two of the most wonderful guides I’ve ever hiked with, Paul and Rony. It doesn’t hurt that the food, created by the wonderful chef Fabian, was delicious. I couldn’t recommend this tour company – and specifically our guides – more. Paul and Rony took great care of everyone, always making sure that the people in our group were safe, comfortable, having fun, seeing as much as possible and staying well-informed. Paul’s English (and other languages) are excellent, and he has so much knowledge of – and passion for – the area that you couldn’t help but fall in love with the Inca Trail a little bit more each time he told a story or clued you in on a secret or shared a random fact. Overall, the experience was amazing.
Regarding the brass tacks, the set-up of the hike was more glamping than camping, as the Porters (who were also wonderful … and had some moves on the dance floor!) were available to carry any weight you couldn’t manage. Everyone in my group used the Porters and it made the hike more enjoyable as the altitude definitely got to me. The equipment used by the company was sturdy and held up to the elements (see: rain) well, especially the tents. The meals were super tasty and just what you needed to prepare for a long day of hiking or after a long morning/day of hiking. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were provided almost every day, with the exception of lunch on one day I believe.
Overall, would highly recommend! It was a blast and I can’t wait to go back and hike with Paul and Rony and Peru Hike Company again.