The 5-day (4-night) Inca Trail follows the world-renowned route of the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hikers will arrive at Machu Picchu on the fourth day of the trek and descend directly to the small town of Aguas Calientes, for a well-deserved night’s rest in a comfortable hotel. Starting early, during the following day an experienced guide will provide a tour of the Inca city, after which there will be time for the optional ascent of Huayna Picchu or a visit to the Temple of the Moon, before the return train ride to Cusco.
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Day 1: Cusco / Piscacucho (km 82) / Huayllabamba
Our vehicle will take us to the trail head at Piscacucho 76km paved and 15 km dirt (3h). From here the trail follows the left bank of the Urubamba River from where we will see beautiful views of snow-capped Veronica (5850m. 19188ft). After lunch we will visit the ruins of Llactapata before continuing along the Huayllabamba valley and camping near the village of the same name (2968 m/ 9737 ft).
Driving travel time: Cusco – Piscacucho: 91 km/ 56.5 mi (paved: 77 km/ 47.4 mi; dirt: 14 km/ 8.7 mi); 3 hours
Trek length: 11 km/ 6.8 mi; 5-6 hours
Main altitudes: Cusco 3400 m/ 11159 ft; Piscacucho (km 82): 2650 m/ 8692 ft; Llactapata: 2610 m/ 8563 ft; Huayllabamba: 2968 m/ 9737 ft
Meals: Lunch, dinner
Day 2: Huayllabamba / Pacaymayo
From the village of Huayllabamba the trail climbs steadily through high Andean woodland to a plain called Llulluchapampa just before the first pass, from where there are excellent views of the Huayanay mountain chain. After another two hours walking we will reach the pass of Warmiwañuska (4205 m/ 13795 ft), before descending as far as the canyon of the Pacaymayo River (3604 m/ 11821 ft), where we make our second camp.
Trek length: 7.6 km/ 4.7 mi; 7 hours
Main altitudes: Huayllabamba: 2968 m/ 9737 ft; Llulluchapampa: 3767 m/ 12359 ft; Warmiwañuska: 4205 m/ 13795 ft; Pacaymayo: 3604 m/ 11821 ft
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: Pacaymayo / Phuyupatamarca
The trail climbs to the second pass at Runkuracay (3950 m/ 12956 ft), from where we will be able to see the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges. After a short rest we descend along a paved Inca road to the ruins of Runkuracay and Sayacmarca, which have been recently restored. Here we enter the cloud forest and in the afternoon the trail continue via a stone staircase past the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3640 m/ 11942 ft) where we camp for the night.
Trek length: 7 km/ 4.3 mi; 5-6 hours
Main altitudes: Pacaymayo: 3604 m/ 11821 ft; Runkuraqay pass: 3950 m/ 12956 ft; Phuyupatamarca: 3640 m/ 11942 ft
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4: Phuyupatamarca / Machu picchu / Aguas calientes
The trail descends a vertiginous slope along a remarkable set of stone Inca steps for approximately three hours to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (2665 m/ 8743 ft), a beautiful Inca site in dense forest.
The Wiñay Wayna complex was once inhabited by farmers who used terraces to reclaim these steep slopes for agriculture. We will encounter about twenty constructions which have all been recently restored, as well as an irrigation system and a splendid Inca temple. Explore the ruins of Winay Wayna by foot (1 hour).
In the afternoon we walk another two hours enjoying along the way the spectacular scenery, with the river far below until we reach Intipunku, the Sun Gate, from where we get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. From here it is a forty minute walk to Machu Picchu.
Bus ride to Aguas Calientes (2070 m/ 6791 ft) (30 min)
Trek length: 8.7 km/ 5.4 mi; 5-6 hours
Main altitudes: Phuyupatamarca: 3640 m/ 11942 ft; Wiñay Wayna: 2665 m/ 8743 ft; Intipunku: 2693 m/ 8833 ft; Machu Picchu: 2460 m/ 8071 ft; Aguas Calientes: 2070 m/ 6791 ft
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Day 5: Machu picchu
An early start to visit this lost city which was rediscovered in 1911. The citadel, at the top of a steep, forested hill overlooking the Urubamba River, was hidden by dense vegetation for centuries until Hiram Bingham began to clear the site.
Today the city has been completely restored and even if it has lost some of its mystery it still remains an unforgettable sight.
Our tour includes a visit to the temples, plazas, palaces, watercourses and residential areas and will also leave you time to explore the ruins on your own.
Return to Cusco by train, transfer to hotel.
Optional: hike to Huayna Picchu peak (2-3 hours), subject to space available.
Main altitudes: Machu Picchu: 2460 m/ 8071 ft; Huayna Picchu: 2532 m/ 8307 ft; Aguas Calientes: 2070 m/ 6791 ft
Transportation and tickets
Transport (private) from your hotel in Cusco to the beginning of the trek
Train back from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Poroy station). Train Expedition. We can upgrade to Vistadome under request.
Transfer from the train station to your hotel in Cusco
Entrance ticket to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
Round trip bus ticket to and from Machu Picchu
Kitchen set, complete table service, chairs and tables
Dinner tent and kitchen ten
First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
English-speaking tour guide
Porters to carry provided equipment, food and up to 7kg of your personal things
Delicious meals as described in the above itinerary
Drinking water to fill your water bottle (from natural sources, filtered and boiled)
Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruits, biscuits, chocolate and energy bars, small candies)
Hot drinks such as tea and coffee
Sleeping bags (we can provide some for an additional price of US$30 per person)
Entrance fee to visit Wayna Picchu (subject to space)
Meals not included in the itinerary
Items of a personal nature including personal medical supplies
Hotel in Aguas Calientes
What bring on the trip?
- Passport (bring additional photocopies of your passport)
- A small backpack for daily personal items (to be carried by Passenger)
- Warm clothing for Andean region
- Rain jacket
- Long sleeved shirts (cotton)
- Shorts for walking (optional)
- Cap and sunglasses
- Sun block cream
- Digital camera
- Binoculars for bird watching enthusiasts
- Well hiking boots
- Walking poles (if you are used to walking with poles) ensure they are not metal tipped
- Bathing suit and sandals (if you wish to visit thermal baths in Aguas Calientes)
Important detail: To be in good health and shape to be part of this adventure (Try to train by walking each day for at least two weeks before departure).