The classic 4 day / 3 night Inca Trail takes hikers along a magical route surrounded by spectacular scenery and dotted with fascinating archaeological sites. This 25 mile-long trek through a variety of landscapes is known as one of the world’s great hiking routes. After walking for three days, on the morning of the fourth day hikers can enjoy their first view of the Inca city of Machu Picchu, from the Sun Gate high above the site.
We will pick you up from your hotel in the early morning for the journey by private vehicle to Piscacucho, a community located at Km 82 of the Cusco-Machupicchu railroad. After crossing the Urubamba River, we will begin our trek. Along the way, we will be met by fine views of snow-capped Mount Veronica (5850 meters / 19193 feet). After hiking along the bank of the Vilcanota River, we will arrive at the beautiful Inca ruins of Llactapata, from where we will continue to the community of Huayllabamba and our first campsite.
Traveling time: Cusco – Piscacucho: 91 kilometers / 56.5 miles (paved: 77 kilometers / 47.4 miles; dirt road: 14 kilometers / 8.7 miles); 3 hours
Trekking distance: 11 kilometers / 6.8 miles (5-6 hours)
Altitudes: Cusco 3400 meters / 11,159 feet; Piscacucho (Km 82): 2650 meters / 8692 feet; Llactapata: 2610 meters / 8563 feet; Huayllabamba: 2968 meters / 9737 feet
Meals: Lunch, dinner
You will need to be prepared to cross the highest point on the Inca Trail today! After a good breakfast, we will begin the day by hiking up to Warmihuañusca Pass (4205 meters / 13795 feet, “Dead Woman’s Pass”, in Quechua). Along the way, the landscape will change as we move into the sparse vegetation of the high plains (“puna”). It is possible to spot alpacas and llamas on this section of the trail. Arriving at the pass, we will have time to rest and enjoy the fine views our efforts are rewarded by, before descending to our second campsite at Pacaymayo in time our evening meal.
Trekking distance: 7.6 kilometers / 4.7 miles (6-7 hours)
Altitudes: Huayllabamba: 2968 meters / 9737 feet; Llulluchapampa: 3767 meters / 12,359 feet; Warmiwañuska Pass: 4205 meters / 13,795 feet; Pacaymayo: 3604 meters / 11,821 feet
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
This is the longest day of the trek, rewarding walkers with the best views and most interesting archaeological sites. We begin the day by hiking up to the second pass (3950 meters / 12,959 feet). After we arrive at the ruins of Runkuraqay, our guide will explain the significance of the site. Following this visit, we will descend as far as Sayacmarca before continuing to the third pass at Phuyupatamarca (3640 meters / 11,942 feet), where the best-preserved archaeological site on the Inca Trail is located. At the end of this wonderful day, we will descend to the picturesque ruins of Wiñay Wayna, where we will make our final camp.
Trekking distance: 11.1 kilometers / 6.9 miles (7 hours)
Altitudes: Runkuraqay Pass: 3950 meters / 12,956 feet; Sayacmarca: 3611 meters / 11,844 feet; Phuyupatamarca: 3640 meters / 11,942 feet; Wiñay Wayna: 2665 meters / 8743 feet
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
At the beginning of this much-anticipated day we will leave Wiñay Wayna very early, and after two hours we will arrive at the Sun Gate, or Intipunku, from where there is a wonderful view of Machupicchu. After descending to the lost city of the Incas, there will be plenty of time to enjoy an in-depth tour in the company of our guide, after which you will have time to wander around the ruins independently. Leaving the ruins, we will descend to the small town of Aguas Calientes in the afternoon for the return trip to Cusco.
Trekking distance: 4.6 kilometers / 2.9 miles (3 hours)
Altitudes: Wiñay Wayna: 2665 meters / 8743 feet; Intipunku: 2693 meters / 8833 feet; Machupicchu: 2460 meters / 8071 feet; Aguas Calientes: 2070 meters / 6791 feet.
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Transportation and tickets
Important: Participants must be in good physical condition to be part of this adventure (try to train by walking each day for at least two weeks before departure).