Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu 5 Days

MAR 2022 - DEC 2023 Price from $ 780 USD pp $ 820 USD
Trip Type Walking & Trekking
Difficulty Level Challenging/Tough
Group Size 2-8 people
BOOK NOW ONLINE Or call +51 981488207
Call us +51 981488207

The Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is considered one of the best treks in the world due to its exquisite beauty and natural environment. This includes different ecological areas from high Andean deserts to rainforests. Following this ancient Inca Trail, passing through mysterious archaeological sites covered by vegetation environments, creating the impression of being discovered for the first time, to finally reach the lost city of the Incas: Machu Picchu.

The 5-day journey begins at Km 82, the marker that signifies the start of the famous Inca Trail. Our highly trained guides, who are deeply familiar with these ancient Inca footpaths, will expertly lead us through the magnificent Andean terrain. Along the way, we’ll traverse breathtaking high alpine passes, lush valleys, dense cloud forests, and rushing rivers. We’ll pass through ancient Inca remains of Andean settlements, ultimately arriving at Machu Picchu via Intipunku (the Sun Gate).

Each night, our team of porters and skilled cooks will have a delicious hot meal and a comfortable camp already set up for your convenience. Since we highly value sustainable tourism, we’ll have very little impact on the land, communities, and environment we encounter along the trail, and we will also take steps to enjoy a tranquil hike, avoiding crowds of fellow trekkers.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE 5 DAY INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU:

  • Pick up at your hotel
  • Private transport from Cusco to Piscacucho (starting of the trek)
  • 4 person Igloo tents (large and comfortable) for 2 people
  • 3 nights in camping sites
  • 1 night hotel in aguas calientes
  • English speaking professional guide
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food with prior request)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Porter to carry tents, food, cooking equipment
  • Hot water for washing purposes
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and transport to Cusco
  • Admission Ticket to the Inca trail
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • 1 bus tickets from Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
  • Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
  • Chef, cooking equipment

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • Sleeping bag –  you can rent in our office for $ 15 usd
  • Trekking poles –  you can rent in our office for $ 15 usd
  • Huayna Picchu: US $80 – will need to be booked way in advance, if you would like to add an extra hike. Please let us know at the time of booking.
  • First breakfast and Last lunch – We will stop at Ollantaytambo for the first breakfast and have the last lunch at Aguas Calientes after the tour of Machu Picchu.
  • Tips for the crew, guide, cook and porters ,tips are optional but greatly appreciated by them.
  • Inca Trail takes us to the majestic Machu Picchu after 5 days of walking, a tremendous experience to be told.
  • Disconnect from the world and enjoy pure air and what nature offers.
  • Discover the ancestral path of the Incas, which was used by the Inca messengers and royalty, we make this route where we always visit many groups with the company of our professional guide who knows the historical legacy.
  • Learn about the monumentality and beauty of the Inca constructions of this circuit offers you the best view and unusual campsites.
  • The best views with a wide variety of flora and fauna of the Machu Picchu National Park
  • Unique sunrises and sunset that will be recorded in his memory.
  • The best cuisine of Peru prepared with the best chefs.
  • Visit Machu Picchu twice and spend more time at each Inca site

 

The level of physical condition is important because it facilitates the route and good performance in the walk, the whole route is along stone paths between mountains, for this reason your pace of life prior to your visit must include daily walks to be adapted to the route and weather changes that will occur. This route cannot be done freely. Andean Great Treks  will assign you an authorized specialized guide who knows the route, culture and history, porters with experience in walks, the best chefs who will delight your palate and the best team as far as camping is concerned. more comfortable and pleasant your visit. The variety of weather starting with a cold climate from Cusco 19 Cº in the rainy season in the dry season 15 Cº to Machu Picchu that has a sub tropical climate of 25 Cº, warm and humid.

The jackpot for each traveler is to observe Machu Picchu from the top of an Inti Punku mountain and receive all the energy of nature, until descending to the wonderful town of Aguas Calientes.

Inca Trail Camping Tents: 3 nights

The overnight stays during the Inca Trail are made in double-roofed tents, which are installed by the accompanying team. The tents are equipped with thick foam mattresses that are carried by the porters. Sleeping bags can be rented on site for a fee prior to the start of the trek. The camps have permanent sanitary facilities, some have toilets, but most of them are of the “squat” variety. They may not be the most hygienic, but try to use them instead of nature, remember you are in one of the most amazing natural environments in the world. Please bring toilet paper with you. A dining tent offers enough space to eat together and end the evening in peace.

RETAMA MACHU PICCHU: 1 night

The Hotel Hotel Retama Machupicchu is located, 700 meters from the hot springs of Machu Picchu, it is the most beautiful and quiet area of ​​the town, in the Wiñaywayna Park located three blocks from the Peru Rail station, overlooking the river and the moutains; It offers free WiFi and a tour desk. The accommodation offers luggage storage and a currency exchange service. Room service, 45-inch plasma AOC TV, 24-hour hot water, Hair dryer, Towels for thermal baths, Buffet breakfast.

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2650 m
Hiking Distance 12 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

We pick you up at 6.00am from  your hotel, then we  drive in our private transport  to Ollantaytambo passing the picturesque villages of Chinchero and Urubamba. We continue to the Km 82 where we start walking for 3 hours toward Patallacta (2,650m/8,747ft) for lunch and set up our first camp. In the afternoon we explore the amazing archaeological site of Patallacta enjoying all the ancient buildings and  surrounding snow-capped mountains.

  • Accommodation: Camping Tent
  • Included Activities:
  • Inca Trail Hike – The sacred river of Vilcanota, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Inca Trail Hike – K’anabamba, Archeological Site
  • Inca Trail Hike – Patallaqta & Huillcarakay  Archeological Site
  • Inca Trail Hike – Valley of Tarayoc, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Meals Included:  Lunch, Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 3800 m
Hiking Distance 11 km
Approximate walking time 7 hrs

We wake up at 6:30am; after a delicious breakfast we start the  trekking through the Kusichaca Valley enjoying a myriad of flora and fauna, arriving at Ayapata for lunch. After lunch we walk up a moderate hill for  the next 2 hours through the mountain forest where you can see humminbirds, andean sparrows, ancient trees of qeuña, itimpa typical of the highlands, our second camp will be  Llulluchapampa (3800m/12,537ft),  where we have our high tea, enjoying all of the beautiful scenery surrounding us.

  • Accommodation: Camping Tent
  • Included Activities:
  • Inca Trail Hike – Ayapata, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Inca Trail Hike – Mountain forest of Queuñas and Uncas
  • Inca Trail Hike – Llullupampa, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 4200 m
Hiking Distance 15 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

Today is the longest day of our trek  and the most beautiful. After a delicious breakfast we walk uphill for one  hour to reach the highest point of our trek: the Warmiwañusca pass (Dead Woman pass) located at 4,215m/13,907ft. From here we may enjoy the spectacular views of different microclimates, magnificent mountains, beautiful green valleys, and a myriad of flora and fauna. After we have a time to enjoy this beautiful sight, we descend for two hours to Pacaymayu. Then, we ascend towards the archaeological site of Runcurakay (3,800m/12,540ft) to explore it for awhile and continue walking to the second Runcurakay pass (3,977m/13,127ft).  Here we can enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and stunning lakes. Continuing on our journey we descend for one hour to the next archaeological site of Sayacmarca (3,600m/11,877ft). At 13:00 pm we will arrive to chaquicocha ,where we will have our Lunch. Finally we walk for two more hours until our third camp site at Phuyupatamarca (3,650m/12,047ft).

  • Accommodation: Camping Tent
  • Included Activities:
  • Inca Trail Hike  –  Warniwañusqa Pass, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Inca Trail Hike – Pacaymayu valley, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Inca Trail Hike – Runkurakay, Archeological Site
  • Inca Trail Hike – Runkurakay Pass, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Inca Trail Hike – Sayacmarka, Archeological Site
  • Inca Trail Hike –  Chaquiqocha, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Luxury Inca Trail Hike – Phuyupatamarka, Archeological Site
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 3800 m
Hiking Distance 12 km
Approximate walking time 7 hrs

Today you will visit teh most beautiful scenary of cloud forest . We wake up early in the morning for breakfast, afterwards we walk down stairs towards the archaeological site of Intipata, and then down to Wiñaywayna (2,650m/8,747ft) for lunch. After that we will visit the stunning Inca site of Wiñaywayna, continuing for one hour to the SUN GATE (2,720m/8,977ft), where we can enjoy the first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. Then we descent to   Machu Picchu Citadel.  Finally we take our bus to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in confortable  hotel.

  • Accommodation: Hotel in Machu Picchu
  • Included Activities:
  • Inca Trail Hike – Intipata Terraces, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Inca Trail Hike – Wiñaywayna, Archeological Site
  • Inca Trail Hike – Sun Gate, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2400 m
Hiking Distance 6 km
Approximate walking time 4 hrs

We leave our hotel after a very early breakfast around 4:30am to take the bus for the journey up to Machu Picchu ruins. Once inside the citadel we are provided with a 2 hour guided  tour with plenty of free time for further exploring, taking photos, and the option to climb Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain. Then back to Aguas Calientes for a leisurely lunch and at 14:30 pm we take our return  train to Ollantaytambo , then by  bus to Cusco, arriving at 7:30pm aprox. To the small plaza of San Francisco, wich is very close of main square.

  • Included Activities:
  • Inca Trail Hike – Guardian’s House, Viewpoint photo stop
  • Inca Trail Hike – Exploring the citadel of Machu Picchu
  • Inca Trail Hike – Train ride along the Vilcanota river
  • Meals Included: Breakfast

WHAT TO BRING TO THE 5 DAY INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU

When packing for your Inca Trail hike  to machu picchu , you should keep in mind that it is best to dress in layers due to the weather variation. The variety of clothes that you must pack to dress in layers is key to your walk, from the morning when it is quite cold until mid afternoon when the temperatures rise and reach their peak and then freeze again at night. Stratification is also useful as you ascend high passages that are exposed to winds or descend into shady valleys.

Effective stratification only works if each layer allows moisture to pass and escape into the external environment. In fact, the best layered clothing, such as wool, promotes moisture transfer through its absorbent properties. Cotton and denim absorb moisture and, therefore, should be avoided.

INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS warm jackets
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Hydration bladder
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS wool socks
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS camera
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS scarf
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS first aid kit
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS hiking shoes
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Dry bags
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Trekking Poles
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS sun cream
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Snack
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS sun hat
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS bathing suite
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS rain coat
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Sandals
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS insect repellent
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Passport
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Down Jackets
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS toilet paper
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS daypack
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Wool cap
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS head lamp
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS gloves
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS sun glasses
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS cap
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS extra cash
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS Trekking pants

ALL WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU

Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu  – No hike in the world can be compared to the beauty that can only be seen in the Inca Trail 5 days. Besides the pleasant experience of living together with local people (porters) and tourists from different countries that you meet, at the end of the inca trail hike, you will feel very satisfied with every single step you walked along the Inca Trail hike 5 days. Those steps will lead you to your final dream destination, the majestic Machu Picchu, a memory you will treasure forever.

The Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu provides trekkers with a fantastic opportunity to hike the Andean mountains while learning the history of the pre columbian people inhabiting what is now called South America and their encounter with the Spaniards ‘conquistadors’.

In this piece, you will find absolutely everything you need to know about the Inca Trail hike, which is  the most beautiful hiking destination of Peru and South America.

WHERE IS LOCATED THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?

The starting point of the Inca Trail 5 days and 4 nights Network is located in the Piscacucho km 82 community, in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba.

HOW TO GET TO CUSCO FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

Most people will get to Cusco by air. Please remember that the Cusco airport is for domestic travel only. If you come directly from overseas through Lima, you must get your bags in Lima and re-check them for your flight to Cusco. Four airline carriers fly roundtrip between Lima and Cusco. That includes LATAM Airlines, AVIANCA Airlines, Star Peru, and Peruvian Airlines. They all offer similar schedules and in-flight service, but we usually recommend either LATAM airlines or AVIANCA. They tend to be the most helpful when unexpected flight cancellations or delays occur

WHAT IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE? A BRIEF HISTORY

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a 26 miles/42Km stretch of a stone-paved road built by the Incas in the XV century which was rediscovered in the year 1911.​ It is considered the best and most beautiful hiking destination of South America.

In the present, it takes on average four days for people to complete the entire length of the inca trail to Machu Picchu. Archeologists have widely heralded the Inca road system as one of the feats of civil engineering in the New World, which is only comparable to the famous ancient Roman roads.

At the height of the Incan empire, these inca trails stretched for over 40,000 Km / 25,000 miles, linking its capital, the city of Cusco (Qosqo in the native language of the Inca), to its far-flung domains, and crisscrossing some of the world’s most rugged and inhospitable terrains. It is a hundred percent proved that the Incas built upon, improved, and expanded the roads left by the people and nations that preceded them and the conquered people.

All the infrastructure built along the inca trail network, such as bridges, waypoints, checkpoints, garrisons, administrative centers, and religious shrines, were thought to be part of a whole that manifested the power of the Inca Empire. The inca trails were considered fundamental to the functioning of their political, social, religious, and economic system. They were used as a tool of coercion and persuasion of the people that lived under their domain. The inca trail displayed their disposition to perpetuate their power and influence over the inhabitants of these lands for generations to come.

Two main inca trails were running in parallel from south to north, one through the highlands of the Andean mountain range, from Quito Ecuador to the northwestern part of Argentina in Tucuman, and the other stretching along the coast all the way from Tumbes in northern Peru to the Maule river in Chile, crossing hundreds of rivers and ending in the Pacific ocean and the Atacama desert.

​Just as these inca trails were fundamental to the expansion of the power of the Inca People from Cusco, they also played a key role in the defeat of the Inca at the hands of the European conquerors coming from Spain. They facilitated the movement of troops and resources fundamental to the success of the Spanish forces in taking over the Inca Empire. ​

WHY IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE SO FAMOUS

The Inca trail  trek is famous because it provides hikers the only way to arrive in Machu Picchu by means of hiking. Upon the re-discovery of Machu Picchu by the American scholar Hiram Bingham, the Inca trail to machu picchu was also brought back to life.

Teams of archaeologists and local peasants explored what remained of this ancient inca trail, finding many Incan complexes and temples along the way that became some of their most beautiful attractions. Machu Picchu was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983, and one of the seven new wonders of the world in 2003, which made it a famous must-see travel destination.

The Inca Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu began receiving more tourists when Peru entered into a phase of pacification in coming out of a kind of civil war that bled the country from the early ’80s up until the mid-’90s. By the end of the last century, thousands of people flocked to this beautiful destination to arrive in the Sungate of Machu Picchu at sunrise. Only the people who hike the trail to machu piccu can experience such an event.

IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU DANGEROUS?

Just like every other outdoor activity, hiking involves a dose of risk-taking. However, the Machu Picchu hike is not dangerous at all.

There are no places where one’s safety might be compromised. In any case, the best way to minimize any danger level is by acting proactively and taking the necessary measures to prevent any such situations. For instance, proper acclimatization will prevent you from getting altitude sickness, which is the number one reason why people fall ill. ​

WHAT IS THE ALTITUDE OF THE INCA TRAIL HIKE ?

Along the trek, you will walk through different terrains, and experience diverse microclimates and altitudes. All of these factors contribute to the great biodiversity that is unique to this area.

  • Lowest altitude is 2050 m / 6561 ft – Aguas Calientes town (last day)
  • Highest altitude is 4200 m / 13779 ft – Warmiwañusca Pass or Dead Woman’s Pass (second day)

ARE TREKKING POLES REALLY NECESSARY ON THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

For the inca trail trek more than any of the treks, we  recommend the use of Trekking poles, especially for those passengers with  knee problems. There are multiple times during the inca trail trek that a Trekking poles is handy, be it ascending a mountain or walking down immense sets of Inca stairs. It will help with your balance and reduce the impact on your knees.

WHAT IS THE CLIMATE LIKE IN THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

Cusco has two distinct seasons: dry and rainy. However, in these two seasons, you can experience the different microclimates of each town. The microclimate varies according to the altitude you are at. Having that said, you will notice that the climate in Machu Picchu and along the way varies. You will hike from an altitude of 2050 m.a.s.l. to 4200 m.a.s.l.

Rainy season: From November to April. During this time Cusco receives a greater amount of rainfall. Average daytime temperatures are higher than the dry season at 23 °C while night temperatures can be as cold as 6 °C. Likewise, Annual rainfall is 160 mm. During these months, it is cloudy and humidity can reach 91%.

Dry season: From May to October. Days are bright and sunny with a temperature of 22 °C (61 °F) while nights are much colder sometimes with a low temperature of 0 °C. Likewise, Annual rainfall is 60 mm. It is sunny with a clear sky and 70% of humidity.

HOW COLD CAN GET ON THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

Because of high altitude temperatures can change quickly and radical. It can get pretty cold during the nights. In winter (May-September) temperature may drop below 0°C/32°F. So be prepared for cold too, its highly advisable get locally made gloves and a hat for the cold nights.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO DO THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?

The best season to do the Inca Trail hike is during the dry season. However, you should know that whether you come in the dry or rainy season, it will have advantages and disadvantages.

If you do the Inca Trail from November to January, you won’t see as many tourists as during the other months. This is because the rainy season starts in November.

If you do the Inca Trail from May to August, you will notice crowds of people, which means you won’t have that much privacy. However, the weather is pleasant and there is no rain.

Tips: It is important to pack light and consider the climate of the time of the year you are coming to do the inca trail 4 days. If it is during the rainy season, you need to buy a rain poncho and bring a raincoat. Wear always sunscreen no matter the time of the year.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU

The Classic 5 day/ 4 night Inca Trail hike includes beautiful places. Among the tourist attractions, we can name archaeological remains and natural areas that are found on the route.

Piskacucho 2720m / 8923ft:

The Piscacucho community or better known 82 kilometer, is located next to the rail to Aguas Calientes. Here is where the famous 5 day/4 night Inca Trail to Machu Picchu starts.

Llactapata 2850 m / 9350 ft:

The name of the Archeological Center of Llactapata comes from two Quechua words: Llaqta = Town, Pata = Elevated place. It is an Incan town located at the confluence of the rivers Cusichaca and Urubamba. Llactapata consists of constructions with different well defined sectors such as: Enclosures, terraces, plazas, staircases, channels, etc. This archeological site shouldn’t be confused with the one that has the same name and that you can visit on the Salkantay trek, which was a ceremonial center.

Wayllabamba (1st campsite) 3000m / 9842ft:

Wayllabamba comes from Quechua words and means ‘grassy plain’. It is here where you will camp on the first day hiking the inca trail trek. There is a village nearby where travelers can mingle with local villagers. You can see a few dispersed houses, terraces and an old aqueduct and channels that trace back to the Inca period. This small village is located at the confluence of the river Cusichaca and Llullucha stream (or Hatun Wayruro).

Ayapata 3300 m / 10829 ft:

This place shows a flat area which serves as a resting place. From this point, you can appreciate the impressive Andean Mountains and the beginning of the micro climates and ecosystem.

Llulluchapampa 3800 m / 12460 ft:

This point is a clear proof of the steep climb ahead. The reason for the name is thanks to the Llullucha stream that flows along the Inca Trail. Along the way, you will observe the great variety of the flora and fauna, and the charm birds chirping. Llulluchapampa is the last place where you can buy supplies for the rest of the Inca Trail.

1st Warmiwañusca Pass 4200 m / 13779 ft:

This is the first mountain pass that tourists walk through on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and it is the highest point along the hike. Its name comes from two Quechua words that means “Dead Woman”. It is a high Andean zone from which you can observe a magnificent and diverse landscape. Although the climb to the steep summit requires a great effort, it is worth it for the incredible view and feeling of achievement of the high altitude.

Pacaymayu (2nd campsite) 3580 m / 11700 ft:

It is here where you camp on the second day. Getting to this campsite is a great achievement because of the strenuous up and down mountains you will hike through. You can appreciate a more diverse ecosystem here since it is the beginning of the jungle side with more vegetation and wildlife.

Runkuracay 3680 m / 12073 ft:

It is an Incan archeological site. Its name comes from Quechua words that means “Abandoned or collapsed house”. The Archeological Site of Runkuracay is located in the mountain with the same name. This archeological site consists of semicircular construction, with a main square and other facilities that surround the construct such as niches, recesses, and trapezoidal doors.

2nd Runkuracay Pass 4000 m / 13779 ft:

It is at a very short distance of the archeological center. This is the second Mountain pass that you will walk through. Although the climb to this point is not very steep, the high altitude is. From this point, you can observe the Sayacmarka viewpoint, Archeological site of Runkuracay and Cochapata lagoon.

Sayacmarka 3650 m / 12000 ft:

This archeological site is considered an Incan fortress and the name comes from Quechua words that means “Inaccessible town” due to its location. Its stone architecture is magnificent and is seen in all the area. You can find the temple of the Sun, food storage rooms, and a residential area. There is a complex ingenious irrigation system.

Chaquicocha 3600 m / 11800 ft:

Here you can find the Chaquicocha lagoon which means “Dry Lagoon” and it is here where you can rest. From this point, you can observe the change in the ecosystem that is the beginning of the tropical forest. Near the area, you can find an Incan tunnel that takes you to the other side to continue with the hike.

3rd Phuyutupamarca Pass 3680 m / 12073 ft:

Third and last Mountain pass that you will hike through in the Inca Trail. The Archeological Site of Phuyupatamarca is located here. Phuyupatamarca comes from the Quechua words and means “The City Above the Clouds”. This is because it is surrounded by clouds. It has a great amount of enclosures and a sophisticated retaining wall structure since it is located on the steepest side of the mountain.

Intipata 2800 m / 9270 ft:

This archeological site is a set of Inca platforms and enclosures that keeps harmony with the surrounding. The terraces of considerable size allow the development of large-scale agriculture and were built to prevent erosion of the Mountain.

Wiñay Huayna (3rd campsite) 2680 m / 8792 ft:

A magnificent archeological site that is on the mountain slope. Its name comes from Quechua words that means “Forever Young”. You can notice that this site was a small town for its constructions. There is a main yard surrounded by terraces that were used for agricultural purposes and also as retaining walls. This is just a magic and historical place.

Inti Punku 2730 m / 8956 ft:

Site used as the entrance door to Machu Picchu citadel during the Inca time. Its name comes from the Quechua words and means “Sun gate”. It consists of enclosures with windows and a main door. From this point, you can have the first and amazing view of Veronica snow capped mountain and Machu Picchu citadel.

Machu Picchu elevation 2400 m / 7873 ft:

The name of the impressive Machu Picchu Inca citadel comes from the Quechua words and means “Old Mountain” and it is the last destination of most hikes. It surprises the visitor with the greatness of its architecture and engineering. The architecture of its buildings is unique. You can observe: the religious enclosures, enclosures for the Inca and the urban area. The other area is for the agriculture in which you can notice the terraces on the slopes of the mountain that also work as retaining walls. There is an irrigation system with aqueducts in the whole citadel.

Aguas Calientes 2050 m / 6561 ft:

Town located at the Urubamba riverside. It is the main access to Machu Picchu travel. Here you can the railway and the hot springs of Aguas Calientes. There is also a craft market. The weather is warm and humid since it is located in the Eyebrow of the Jungle.

WHICH INCA TRAIL ROUTE IS IT GOOD FOR ME?

There are four different routes and itineraries covering the network of roads within the National Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Below are the itineraries for every one of them.

1.- The Six-Day Salkantay Trek + Classic Inca Trail

Details.

Difficulty level: Hard

Distance covered:   27.5 miles / 44.25Km

The combination of the Salkantay Trek and the classic Inca trail trek is the longest and toughest route of all the routes. It is a hike recommended for experienced hikers only, and it requires proper acclimatization to climb the impressive Inka Chiriaska pass. The trail starts at Soraypampa, which is the starting point of the classic Salkantay trek. Unlike this other route, the Salkantay trek combination does not head toward Santa Teresa; instead, it climbs to the much higher and more difficult to ascend Incachiriasca pass (16,000 ft / 5,000 meters). From this location, it continues to the archeological site of Inkarakay, where it enters the classic Inca Trail hike and the National Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

Itinerary.

Day One

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Distance covered: 3 miles / 4.98Km

Highest Point:   15,630ft / 4,764m (At Pampa Japonesa)

Lowest Point:   12,839ft / 3,913m (At Soraypampa)

Elevation gain: 2791ft / 851m

Starting time:  4:30 A.M. from Cusco. The starting point for the six-day Salkantay trek plus classic Inca trail trek is Soraypampa. From there, the road goes on a steep and steady climbing toward Pampa Japonesa. The path is difficult due to the intense climbing and the high altitude.

Day Two

Difficulty level: Difficult

Distance covered: 8.53 miles / 13.7Km

Highest Point: 16,125ft / 4,916m

Lowest Point: 15,630ft / 4,764m (At Pampa Japonesa)

Elevation gain: 495ft / 150m

Starting time:  7:30 A.M. The first part of the road is a 1.5-hour steep and difficult climb toward the Inkachiriaska Pass. From this location, the path is a long, steady downhill hike to the campsite at Pampacahuana.

Day Three

Difficulty level: Difficult

Distance covered: 6.06 miles / 9.76Km

Highest Point:  12,368ft / 3,770m (At Llulluchapampa)

Lowest Point:   9,653ft / 2,942m (At Huayllabamba)

Elevation gain:   2,717ft / 828m

Starting time:   6:30am

Visited archeological sites:   Paucarcancha & Huayllabamba.

Day Four

Difficulty level: Difficult

Distance covered:    6.01 Miles / 9.8Km

Highest Point:  13,800ft / 4,201m

Lowest Point:   11,797ft / 3,595m (Pacaymayu Alto)

Elevation gain:   1,432ft / 437m

Starting time:  6:30 A.M. The first part of the road is a 1.5-hour steady climb towards the Dead Woman’s Pass. Then, a 1.5-hour downhill toward Pacaymayu, followed by a 1.5-hour climb to the Runkurakay pass and a 1.5-hour walk downhill toward the lunch place at Chaquicocha, followed by a 2-hour gradual uphill walk toward the campsite at Phuyupatamarca.

Visited archeological sites:   Runkurakay, Sayaqmarka, Qonchamarka

Day Five

Difficulty level: Moderate

Distance covered:   6.31 Miles / 10.15Km

Highest Point:  11,991ft / 3,654m (Phuyupatamarka)

Lowest Point:   7,987ft / 2,434m (Machu Picchu)

Elevation Loss:   4,004ft / 1,220m

Starting time:  6:30 A.M. The first part of the trail is a 3.5-hour steady walk downhill towards the lunch place at Winaywayna. Then, a 1.5-hour walk on ‘flat’ terrain toward Intipunku, followed by a 45-minute walk downhill toward Machu Picchu.

Visited archeological sites:   Phuyupatamarka Torreon, Phuyupatamarka, Intipata, Winaywayna, Intipunku, Machu Picchu

Day Six

Difficulty level: Easy

Distance covered: 2 Miles / 3.2Km

Starting time:   5:00 A.M.

Visited archeological sites:   Machu Picchu Tour

​Machu Picchu Altitude: 2,430 meters / 7,972 ft

2.- The Five-Day Inca Trail Trek –  The Best Itinerary by far!

​Details.

Difficulty level:   Moderate.

Distance covered:   31.06 Miles / 50 Km

This is by far the least transited route by tourists. According to the Ministry of Culture of Peru, only 1% of the people who hike the Inca Trail hike get to take this itinerary. For many, the five-day Inca trail hike tour is the best way to hike to Machu Picchu. It is a longer trek that allows a complete experience of almost every Incan site along the way; this itinerary enables tourists to enjoy the inca trail to machu picchu without the crowds that swarm the four-day itinerary.

ITINERARY:

Day One

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Distance covered: 11 Miles / 17.6Km

Highest Point:  9,190ft/ 2,810m

Lowest Point:   8,081ft / 2,463m

Elevation gain:   1,109ft / 347ft

Starting time:  4:30 A.M. from Cusco, or 7:00 AM from Urubamba or Ollantaytambo.

The entry point for the five-day Inca trail trek is the 88 Km at Qoriwayrachina where people must check in with the Machu Picchu National Sanctuary park rangers.  This location was the official starting point of the Inca Trail Hike until the mid-90s. Hikers who take this route will separate from the ones taking the 4-day route at the 82 Km and walk on the right bank of the Urubamba river until they arrive in the 88 Km. On this day, the campsite is located at Chamana or Llaqtapata.

Visited archeological sites:  Salapunku, Qanabamba, Qoriwayrachina, Torontoy, Machu Qente, and Wayna Qente.

Day Two

Difficulty level: Difficult

Distance covered:   7.71 Miles / 12.5Km

Highest Point:  12,368ft / 3,770m

Lowest Point:    8,539ft / 2,599m

Elevation gain:   3,829ft / 1,167m

Starting time:  7:30 A.M. The first part of the trail is a 2.5-hour gradual climb toward the village of Huayllabamba. From Huayllabamba, the itinerary takes a two-hour round-trip detour toward the Incan sites of Paucarcancha and Huayllabamba, After lunch at Huayllabamba, the trail becomes steeper for about three hours until the campsite at Llulluchapampa.

Visited archeological sites:   Llaqtapata, Tarayoq, Huayllabamba, Paucarcancha.

Day Three

Difficulty level: Difficult

Distance covered:    6.01 Miles / 9.8Km

Highest Point:  13,800ft / 4,201m

Lowest Point:   11,797ft / 3,595m (Pacaymayu Alto)

Elevation gain:   1,432ft / 437m

Starting time:  6:30 A.M. The first part of the trail is a 1.5-hour steady climb towards the Dead Woman’s Pass. Then, a 1.5-hour downhill toward Pacaymayu, followed by a 1.5-hour climb to the Runkurakay pass and a 1.5-hour walk downhill toward the lunch place at Chaquicocha, followed by a 2-hour gradual uphill walk toward the campsite at Phuyupatamarca.

Visited archeological sites:   Runkurakay, Sayaqmarka, Qonchamarka.

Day Four

Difficulty level: Moderate

Distance covered:    6.31 Miles / 10.15Km

Highest Point:  11,991ft / 3,654m (Phuyupatamarka)

Lowest Point:    7,987ft / 2,434m (Machu Picchu)

Elevation Loss:   4,004ft / 1,220m

Starting time:  6:30 A.M. The first part of the trail is a 3.5-hour steady walk downhill towards the lunch place at Winaywayna. Then, a 1.5-hour walk on ‘flat’ terrain toward Intipunku or sun gate followed by a 45-minute walk downhill toward Machu Picchu.

Visited archeological sites:   Phuyupatamarka Torreon, Phuyupatamarka, Intipata, Winaywayna, Intipunku, Machu Picchu

Day Five

Difficulty level: Easy

Distance covered: 2 Miles / 3.2Km

Starting time:   5:00 A.M.

Visited archeological sites:   Machu Picchu Tour

​Machu Picchu Altitude: 2,430 meters / 7,972 ft

​3.- The Four Day Classic Inca Trail Trek- The Most Visited Itinerary.

​Details.

​Difficulty level:   Moderate

Distance covered:   21.18 miles / 34.6Km

The Classic four-day Inca Trail Trek is the most visited route in the National Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. In this version, one must share campsites and the road with travelers from all tour. operators. It is a shorter version than the five-day option.

ITINERARY

Day One

Difficulty level: Moderate

Distance covered: 7 Miles / 11.26Km

Highest Point: 9,653ft / 2,942m

Lowest Point: 8,826ft / 2,690m

Elevation gain: 827ft / 252m

Starting time:  4:30 A.M. from Cusco, or 7:00 A.M. from Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. The entry point for the four-day Inca Trail hike tour is the 82KM at Piscacucho. Hikers who take this route will walk on the left bank of the Urubamba river toward Meskay and Huayllabamba.

Visited archeological sites:  Inkarakay and Tarayoq

Day Two

Difficulty level: Difficult

Distance covered: 4.80 Miles / 7.72Km

Highest Point:  13,880ft / 4,201m

Lowest Point: 9,653ft / 2,942m (At Huayllabamba)

Elevation gain: 4,227ft / 1,259m

Starting time:  6:30 A.M. It is the hardest day of this itinerary by far. The first part of the trail is a 4-hour steep climb toward the Dead Woman’s Pass, followed by a 1.5-hour walk downhill to the campsite at Pacaymayu, Alto. Some people continue to Chaquicocha in the afternoon, but the usual itinerary ends for the day here.

Day Three

Difficulty level: Difficult

Distance covered:  6.23 Miles / 10.26Km

Highest Point:   12,337ft / 3,760m (At Runkurakay pass)

Lowest Point:    8,787ft / 2,678m (At Winaywayna)

Elevation gain:   542ft / 165m

Starting time:  6:30 A.M. The third day of the classic Machu Picchu Hike is the longest one. The first part of the trail is a 1.5-hour steady climb towards the Runkurakay pass. Then, a 1.5-hour walk downhill toward Sayacmarka, followed by a 1.5-hour climb to the lunch place at Phuyupatamarka pass. From Phuyupatamarka, the trail goes downhill for about 4 hours, all the way to the campsite at Winawayna.

Visited archeological sites:   Runkurakay, Sayaqmarka, Qonchamarka, Phuyupatmarka, Intipata, Winaywayna

Day Four

Difficulty level: Moderate

Distance covered:   3.15 Miles / 5.07Km

Highest Point:  8,787 ft / 2,678m (At Winaywayna)

Lowest Point:   7,987ft / 2,434m (Machu Picchu)

Elevation Loss:   800ft / 244m

Starting time:  5:30 A.M. The trail is moderate to easy, for the most part. Only 1.5 hours to the Sun gate or Intipunku on flat terrain, followed by a 45-minute downhill walk to Machu Picchu. The total time of the guided tour is two hours.

Visited archeological sites:   Intipunku, Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Altitude: 2,430 meters / 7,972 ft

4.- The Short Inca Trail  Trek – The Easiest Version

​The Short Inca Trail Trek tour is an excellent alternative for those who don’t have the time or the will to hike any previous options. This hike differs significantly from the four and five-day alternatives. For instance, the starting point of this hike is the 104 Km at Chachabamba. The only way to get to the 104 km is by train. Most people board their trains at Ollantaytambo; the train ride takes about 1.5 hours.

Hikers must check in with the park rangers at the 104 Km or Chachabamba. This particular hike does not allow for camping.

​People must get to Machu Picchu in the afternoon and visit Machu Picchu on their second day.  In short, this is a day hike, followed by a second day where people visit the city of Machu Picchu.

Details.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Distance covered:   5.81 Miles / 9.35Km

ITINERARY

Day One

Difficulty level: Moderate

Distance covered: 5.81 Miles / 9.35Km

Highest Point:   8,787ft / 2,678m (At Winaywayna)

Lowest Point: 7,160ft / 2,182m

Elevation gain: 1,627ft / 496m

Starting time:  4:30 A.M. from Cusco, or 7 A.M. from Ollantaytambo. The entry point for the short inca trail hike is at the 104 KM at Chachabamba. Hikers who take this route will walk to Machu Picchu in one day. Usually, they arrive in Machu Picchu at 4:00 P.M.

Visited archeological sites:  Chachabamba, Winaywayna, Intipunku and Machu Picchu

Day Two

Difficulty level: Easy

Distance covered: 2 Miles / 3.2Km

Starting time:   5:00 A.M.

Visited archeological sites:   Machu Picchu Tour

Machu Picchu Altitude: 2,430 meters / 7,972 ft

FLORA AND FAUNA IN THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

The Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu presents a great biological diversity that can be found along the Inca Trail 4 days. In the Inca Trail Hike, you will go through different forests such as tropical rainforest, pluvial tundra, montane forest, subtropical rainforest, very humid forest, tropical páramo.

Regarding the flora, you can find more than 300 different species along the inca trail to machu picchu. For instance, there are more than 300 species. Wildlife in the sanctuary is as wide as the flora since there are more than 400 different species living in distinct altitudes.

HOW LONG CAN YOU STAY IN MACHU PICCHU IN THE INCA HIKE?

The visiting time in Machu Picchu citadel is an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. This is enough time to visit the main circuit that includes the most important sites of the historical sanctuary. Once the guided tour is over, you won’t have much time to visit the site on your own. However, if you have bought the entrance tickets for either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, the extra hikes, you will have the chance to enter the site a second time.

Huayna Picchu: Average time of the hike is 1 hour and 45 minutes roundtrip. The climb is steep and has small stairs. Therefore, this extra hike is not recommendable for children.

Machu Picchu Mountain: Average time of the hike is 2 hours and a half roundtrip. This extra hike is more recommendable for people who travel with children.

INCA TRAIL HIKE AND MACHU PICCHU REGULATIONS

Something important that any traveler must be aware of is the regulations of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu that entities such as SERNANP and DDC-Cusco have established in order to preserve the route. Therefore, we will mention some of the main regulations to hike the Inca Trail 5 days.

You aren’t allowed to hike the Inca Trail Hike on your own. To hike the Inca Trail 4 days, you need to hire the service of a licensed tour operator.

You can’t buy the permits on your own. Only licensed tour operators can get the tickets for you.

Groups shouldn’t exceed 8 tourists. If they are more than 8 people in the group, there must be an extra assistant.

Permits have to be bought in advance since there are limited spots. You can’t buy permits at the checkpoint.

It is not permitted to camp at unauthorized sites.

  • Waste is discarded at the end of the hike.
  • Drones and tripods aren’t allowed.
  • Firearms and hunting and fishing gear are prohibited.
  • Don’t bring alcoholic beverages, stimulants, psychotropics, and other drugs.

Above all, It is important to be aware of these regulations and follow them. If not, park rangers will approach you and you will receive a fine for any damage caused.

DOES THE INCA TRAIL HIKE INLCUDE THE ENTRANCE TICKET TO MACHU PICCHU?

The permits or entrance ticket for the Inca Trail Hike includes the entrance to Machu Picchu citadel, but it does not include the entrance to the extra hikes to the mountains from where you can see the citadel from above.

For example, Huayna Picchu mountain costs $80 USD per person. In case, you want to hike it you have to buy the entrance ticket to the mountain in advance.

CAN I SPEND AN EXTRA NIGHT IN AGUAS CALIENTES?

Of course, if you are ok with taking the same train out of Aguas Calientes that is part of your original itinerary, which is typically at 14:00PM that evening than there is no additional charge to move the train back a day. If you need us to secure your hotel or another visit to Machu Picchu, this will be an additional cost. If you do choose to spend one more night in Aguas Calientes, make sure you tell the Andean Great Treks office at least one month in advance, so your train ticket is purchased for the right day.

WHAT TIME AND WHEN WE WILL GET TO MACHU PICCHU?

Most of the groups reach the Sun Gate at approximately 6.00 am. On the 4th last day of Inca trail. You will start hiking towards gates at 4.30 am and will enter the site 45 min. later. The time may vary a little that depends on the placement of campsite, which we will assigned on the last night.

Will I be able to witness the sunrise at Machu Picchu?

In truth it is not typical sunrise. As long as you don´t have too much mist or low cloud then you see the first light illuminating Machu Picchu. It is after dawn though as the sun must rise up over the high mountains surrounding Machu Picchu.

WILL I BE ABLE TO CLIMB HUAYNA PICCHU

If you are wanting to include an ascent of Huayna Picchu in your visit to Machu Picchu, note that The trail to Huayna Picchu is safe but very vertical and is about an hour and a half round trip beware that there are new regulations since July 2018 and permits have to be bought in advance. If you want us to organise your permit to climb Huayna Picchu and we must have this request in writing and confirmed at the time of your booking indicating you will pay the extra  for this permit. Deposit for Huayna Picchu permit is $80 usd .

BUT remember, so in case you will book the huaynapicchu mountain, you will lost the tour guiding in Machu Picchu, because our tour guiding starts at 9:00 am and ends at 11:00 am. So the time to climb up Huaynapicchu is at 10:00 am. And you will not able to go to both places at same time.

HOW LONG AM I ABLE TO STAY AT MACHU PICCHU? HOW I WILL I GET DOWN TO AGUAS CALIENTES?

When the Inca trail tour is done, we arrive at the citadel at 8:30 am. After a 30-minute break to use the bathrooms, and eat a snack. It begins with the guided tour at 9:00 am. The complete circuit takes 2hrs approx. Then we will all retire as it is not allowed to stay longer in the archeological site, by rules of protection of the Sanctuary. At 12:00 pm approx. We must get off by bus to the city of Aguas Calientes where you can have lunch, and then take the train back to Aguas Calientes.

WHAT KIND OF INCA TRAIL TREKS EXIST?

There are two main Inca Trail hike tours. First, the Classic Inca Trail hike which takes 4 days and 3 nights to complete the hike and the shorter 2 days Inca Trail, the easier and faster way to reach Machu Picchu, but you still experience the last part of famous Inca Trail (you basically will be avoiding second day hike).

Additionally, in case of no available permits, there is a number of alternative tours to get to Machu Picchu such as the tours of Machu Picchu by train or the tour which combines biking, hiking and Machu Picchu tour in 4 days and 3 nights.

RESTRICTION ON THE AGE LIMIT FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

Actually, there is no government restriction on the age limit for the inca trail to machu picchu. However, because of the challenging trek, we consider it to be best for visitors above 15 years old to 55-year-old adults. Of course, they must be in good physical condition. Certainly, In case a child travels with you, you may need to hire the service of a personal porter who will assist your child along the hike and carry his backpack.

Above all, Adults over 55 years old, should have hiking experience and be in good health condition. This way, they will be able to arrive in Machu Picchu safely.

INCA TRAIL HIKE TRAINING (PHYSICAL CONDITION)

Most importantly, Training in advance is the key to succeed on hiking the Inca Trail Hike to machu picchu. Without it, you may not be able to complete the circuit since the inca trail 5 days presents different types of terrain which go from easy to challenging levels to finally arriving in Machu picchu.

So, performing some activities at home or at the gym will make the difference. You can do activities that make the legs, arms, heart and back work. Consequently, when you start the Inca Trail Hike, your body won’t struggle at the difficult parts; instead, you will be better prepared and, as a result, enjoy the view more. It is recommendable to start training at least 3 or months before your travel date.

Likewise, breathing exercises can strengthen chest muscles and make breathing easier during the inca trail to machu picchu. This way, high altitude won’t be a problem for you, not even the 4200 m.a.s.l., which is the highest point of the inca trail 4 days you will be at.

DO YOU NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE TO GO TO THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU

Although, it is not mandatory to have travel insurance to do the hike Inca Trail, we highly recommend getting one. This way you can prevent any inconvenience that can happen during your trip such as a flight delay, strikes in the country or city, a natural disaster, or getting sick during the inca trail hike.

To sum up, You should know that getting sick in Peru may be a bit more expensive than other countries. So, Getting travel insurance will make you feel more secure. Insurance companies normally charge you from 100 to 150 US Dollar. Here you have a list of some insurance companies:

  • Assist card
  • World nomads
  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc (a leading company in the U.S)
  • Allianz (the biggest insurance company in Germany and Europe)
  • Ping An (a leading company in China)
  • Metlife (well known in Europe and Spain)
  • Berkley International
  • Liberty Insurance

WHERE WE WILL SLEEP DURING THE INCA TRAIL?

We will provide tents which will be set up for you every night at the campsite by our porters.

I DON'T HAVE A GOOD SLEEPING BAG, CAN I RENT ONE?

A compact three-season sleeping bag is recommended.  It’s also possible to rent a sleeping bag in Cuzco. They are clean, warm and cost approximately USD$20 (for the three nights). You may also bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. Foam mats are provided however some travelers also bring their own self-inflating mat.  Sleeping bags are not included.

I DON´T HAVE A SLEEPING MAT, DO I NEED ONE?

We include in the cost of the tour the  foam matress.

This is a fairly thick bulky mat that weighs 1 kg and we still say if you are travelling with a termal-rest or technologically advanced type of sleep mat then definitely bring that instead.

I AM ON MY OWN, WILL I HAVE SOMEONE TO SHARE A TENT WITH?

Yes another person of the same sex , or if you prefer you can pay a single supplement for a tent just for you. This is US$ 70 (For the entire trek)

WILL I SUFFER THE ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

As one of the most frequently asked questions, the highest point of the Inca Trail Hike is at 4,200 meters above the sea level, you will spend the night at the campsite at 3.600 meters. It is difficult to say if you really going to suffer from altitude sickness, people are different and are prepared physically different. Most hikers don’t have any issues, but two days rest in Cusco to acclimatize is very advisable, drinking water and chewing cocoa leaves will definitely prepare you for the Inca Trail.

I AM NOT REALLY AN EXPERIENCED TREKKER? WHAT IF I CAN’T KEEP UP? HOW DIFFICULT IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

Most people have that concern but don’t worry. Only in extremely rare circumstances does a passenger need to come back early. You just need to remember that you are able to go at a speed that is comfortable for you. Take your time, pace yourself, and enjoy.

The Inca Trail is considered a moderate hike. It’s not a technical hike but there are a lot of Inca stairs to walk up and down, and the altitude may affect some individuals. We recommend using a trekking poles and have an early night before to start the Inca trail trek.

PHYSICAL RATING

The physical rating on the Inca Trail is level 2-3. On Day 2 of the Inca Trail Hike you will be walking uphill from 3000 to 4200 meters above sea level before descending steeply through big steps and difficult terrain. While this demanding walk is the main challenge our passengers face on this trip, it’s also one of the highlights and worth every minute of it.

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

HOW CHALLENGING IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

While you don’t need any specific training to do the 4 Day Inca Trail, being fit will help. The best preparation for the trek is treadmill exercises with steep inclines and stairs. The second day will be your toughest day, as you will climb up two peaks that day.

HOW LONG I WILL WALK EVERY DAY? HOW LONG IS THE INCA TRAIL TREK?

This is an approximate breakdown according to our regular campsites:

Day 1: 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) 5-6 hours.

Day 2: 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) 7-8 hours (“Dead Womans Pass,” the highest pass of the trek at 4,200m, is on this day  )

Day 3: 16 km (9.9 miles)  7-8 hours. Its the longest day of the trail

Day 4: 6 Km (3.7 miles ) 6-5 hours

HOW LONG WILL I HIKE PER DAY?

This is a frequently asked question. The whole Inca Trail Hike takes 42 kilometers (26 miles) to hike. During the hike you will see all the variety of Andean landscapes including snowcapped mountains, rivers, high mountains, beautiful plains and a very sunny sky.

Because all campsites are determined by the authorities we cannot tell exactly how many kilometers per day you going to hike, or which of the campsite is assigned to the group, but be ready to hike at least 6 hours per day up to 8 hours. However don’t worry! This is a chance to take amazing pictures of the surrounding landscape and make these memories last forever.

HOW HARD IS TO COMPLETE THE INCA TRAIL?

From 1 to 5 it’s 3, moderately difficult. The Inca stairways to walk up and down in different temperatures and high altitude all that makes this level of difficulty. You can rent walking poles before you start your hike. Those will help you in many ways, we would recommend you get ones if you have some issues with knees or ankles, poles would absorb some pressure from those parts and also help to keep your balance! We recommend you to have a look how to prepare yourself for the Inca Trail.

IS THERE INTERNET CONNECTION OR ELECTRICITY AT THE CAMPSITES OF THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?

During the inca trail  hike 4 days, you will not have Internet connection. Therefore, using a cellphone or any electronic device is not convenient in most places.

To keep in contact with the administrators of the tourist agency and inform them in case of a problem, or to check something important, we use radios or satellite phones.

First and Fourth day: you will have internet connection.

Second day: there is no internet connection.

Third day afternoon: there is internet connection.

However, you will have internet connection at the campsite in Wayllabamba on day 1, it has a cost of 5 to 10 soles ($2 or $30) per hour. You will also have internet connection at the campsite of Phuyupatamarca until you arrive in Machu Picchu, and you will be able to make calls, too. The telephone operators that have better signal are CLARO and BITEL. Other telephone operators don’t have good signals along the inca trail hike, but once you arrive in Aguas Calientes town, you will be able to communicate with your family or friends.

WHAT IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

In the scenario that you are unable to finish the inca trail trek due health issues, Andean Great Treks will do everything in its power to get you to the nearest civilization and get help or transportation to help. If the issue is respiratory or due to altitude, we do carry at least one tank of oxygen on trek that you will have access to. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel Insurance required) There are no refunds in the situation that you are unable to finish though.

Generally if due to altitude sickness people can´t make it over the pass on the 2nd day of the inca trail they come back to Ollantaytambo accompanied by a porter if just mild (or guide if serious) and if they recover from altitude sickness they stay the night here in Ollantaytambo and then take the train to Aguas Calientes the next day (Day 3) in the afternoon , you will spend the night in any hotel  in aguas calientes, and  rejoin your group in Machu Picchu early on Day 4 and continue the tour as normal. The additional costs for this such as train ticket and accomodations will be payed by the customer.

CAN ANDEAN GREAT TREKS ACCOMMODATE MY DIETARY NEEDS ON THE INCA TRAIL HIKE? WHAT KIND OF FOOD WILL THERE BE?

Yes  we are able to accommodate many types of dietary needs upon request at the time of booking. If you are a vegetarian, or cannot eat gluten or have allergies to certain foods, it will not be a problem. The meals of our chefs on the inca trail hike are one of the most popular parts of our tours too, and the quality will not be reduced when accommodating your dietary needs. The meals are served buffet style and you are able to choose what you would like to eat. Your guides will let you know what time the meals will be served.

Our inca trail cooks prepare excellent high-energy meals appropriate for a classic inca trail trek of this nature. The menu usually includes quinua, cereals and vegetable soups, Beaf Lomo Saltado with rice, chicken cacerole, fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of oatmeal, eggs and other breakfast foods as scramble egg, quinua panqueques.

IS THERE DRINKING WATER ALONG INCA TRAIL HIKE

There is no drinking water in Inca Trail Hike. We will provide boiled water at the campsites. You need to bring a camelback or water bottle which will be refilled.

Therefore, this will be provided on the day agreed with the agency you have hired which can be since the second or third day. It is also recommendable to bring pills or water purification bottles, ultraviolet water purifiers, portable suction filter or portable filtration pump. This way, you could drink water from the rivers and streams.

COULD I BUY BOTTLED WATER OR SNACKS ON THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

You can buy them at some points of the inca trail hike, from day 1 to day 2 (Llulluchapampa). However, you will notice that they cost a bit more than in the city. And with all reason since it implies a great effort to take these products from the city to these areas not only it is expensive but also challenging for the altitude.

We include some snacks in our tour. However you can contribute to local small businesses. You should know that tourism is a form of economic growth for families that live in the high Andean regions where the main activity is agriculture.

WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF THE RESTROOMS AND SHOWERS OF THE CAMPSITES ON THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

There are different kinds of campsites on the inca trail hike each night. That is to say, some of them don’t have restrooms and showers. Having that said, we will mention what you will have at each of the most popular campsites:

Wayllabamba (1st campsite):

There are bathrooms that belong to the local people who rent them to the tourists. They cost S/ 1.00 to S/ 2.00.

No showers

Pacaymayu (2nd campsite):

There are bathrooms and showers with cold water. Since they are property of SERNANP, they are free.

Wiñayhuayna (3rd campsite):

There are bathrooms and showers with cold water. Since they are property of SERNANP, they are free.

So, If you are traveling with a tourist agency, there is no need to worry about the restrooms. The tourist agency will carry portable toilets. Some of the porters will carry the portable toilets that tourists will use. At this point, you may wonder who carries the waste of the toilets. If so, you should know that since waste can’t be thrown along the inca trail hike, porters carry this type of waste in special bags.

IS ALTITUDE SICKNESS COMMON? AND HOW HIGH IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?

It’s impossible to predict who will be affected by altitude. Your ability to adapt to high altitude is determined by your genetic makeup and has little to do with fitness or health. Most people will have no problems as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. A full day spent in Cusco (3399m), taking it very easy and drinking plenty of water is enough for some people but if you can arrange to have minimum 2-3 days in case of any travel disruptions as well then this is what we recomend as there is also so much to do here. The highest point you will reach while hiking the Inca Trail Trek is 4200m/13818 ft. You will sleep at 3340m/10988 ft for two nights.

IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE STILL GOOD DURING THE RAINY SEASON? IS IT SAFE?

The inca trail trek is perfectly safe during the rainy season. Some people actually like to go during the rainy season because there are fewer tourists. If you are one who doesn’t mind the rain, then we say ‘Go for it!’ You will just have to bring good rain gear and waterproof boots.

HOW DIFFICULT IS THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

The Inca Trail Trek has many difficulty levels depending on which route one decides to take.

Each inca trail itinerary has its level of difficulty that is based on a few factors such as the number of days, the highest altitude reached, and the fitness level, experience, and acclimatization to the altitude of the hiker.

For instance, the Salkantay Trek + Classic Inca Trail Trek is the most difficult of them all because it covers a much longer distance, more days hiking, while the highest altitude to be reached is 16,000ft / 5,000 m.

​These things determine that the difficulty level of this inca trail trek is strenuous.

Conversely, the Short Inca trail route is the easiest route, as it takes only 7 hours to be completed and the altitude is not that much of a problem.

WHERE DOES THE INCA TRAIL HIKE START?

The classic four-day and the five-day routes start at the town of Piscacucho or 82Km, while the two-day option starts at the 104Km or Chachabamba and the Salkantay trek + Classic Inca Trek starts at Soraypampa.

DO I NEED A PERMIT TO HIKE THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

Yes, you do need a permit to hike the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu.

Everyone who hikes along any of the four routes of the Inca Trail network of roads to Machu Picchu must have a permit.

This is includes tourists, tour guides, porters, and cooks.

According to the ‘Plan Maestro’ or ‘Master Plan’ of Machu Picchu, elaborated by the Ministry of Culture of Peru and Sernanp (National Service of Natural Protected Areas) in 2003, only 500 people a day can access this place, Roughly 300 of them are porters and 200 are tourists.

Also, 300 people a day are allowed to enter the Short Inca trail trek.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIKE THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?

You must do some research before you choose a tour provider. Cheap tours involve poor service and mistreatment of porters. See the chapter on Sustainable travel and porters’ rights.

What is usually included in these tours is the following.

  • Round trip transportation from Cusco to start of the trek, and return transportation from Machu Picchu to Cusco.
  • Professional tour guides
  • Porters to carry cooking equipment, food and tents. (Porters do not carry hikers personal belongings. You must hire an extra porter to carry your stuff)
  • Meals throughout the trek (Breakfast on day one, and lunch at Machu Picchu on the fourth day is not included)
  • Permits for Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Trek
  • Bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Water
  • First aid kit and Oxygen bottles

INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU AVAILABILITY

There are limited spots for the Inca Trail Hike, only 500 spots. These spots are not only for tourists but for guides, porters, chefs, assistants who will assist you along the inca trail to machu picchu. This means that about 230 spots are for the staff mentioned and only 270 spots are available for tourists. Before booking your tour with any licensed tour operator, make sure there are spots available for your desired date. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do Inca Trail 4 days. Remember that permits are sold fast.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TOUR OPERATOR FOR INCA TRAIL HIKE

To start, you should know that there are hundreds of licensed tour operators that can take you on the Inca Trail. However, not all of them offer a high-quality service or provide all the equipment needed for the inca trail to machu picchu.

Andean Great Treks is a direct operator, which has more than 15 years of experience in the operation of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, with the best service.

HOW EARLY SHOULD I MAKE THE RESERVATION FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

As early as possible as many chances you have to get your reservation complete before tickets maybe be sold out quickly. We would recommend you to reserve your tickets for Inca Trail 3 months in advance for the low season (between November to March) and at least 6 months before you planning visit Peru in high season (April to October). Note that we cannot guarantee the availability so it’s on you how early you going to book and make sure there are still tickets left (check the official Inca Trail Availability).

BOOKING THE INCA TRAIL TREK

We try to make booking as easy as possible at Andean Great Treks. We need a booking form that is completed and includes all details for the entire party on one form please, and then a $250 deposit per person. The deposits can be paid separately, as long as we have one booking form that we can use to track payments. Once we have all deposits and details, we will then book your permits. When permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% set. All start dates, once confirmed, are guaranteed.

PERMITS FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

Only licensed Inca Trail Hike tour operators, like Andean Great Treks, can obtain permits from the government. Once your permit is secured, the name and start date can not be changed, under any circumstance. The only information the government permits us to change is the passport numbers.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU

To hike the fantastic Inca Trail Hike 4 days, you need to bring your personal identification documents. The names in the permits must match the information in your documents. Therefore, make sure you provide accurate information to the agency you are booking the tour with. If the information is not accurate, you won’t be able to do the Inca Trail hike:

  • Valid original Passport
  • Identity card
  • Student card (if you want a discount)

You must bring with you any of these personal documents that you used at the moment of booking. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do the Inca Trail 4 days. Make sure you have your personal documents with you all the time. Put them in a safe place before and during the inca trail hike.

Note: If you have updated your passport some days prior the trek, you have to let the agency know and ask them to update the new information. If possible, bring both the old and new passports. You should also send a copy of both the old and new passports to the agency.

INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU DISCOUNTS

Certainly, There is a small discount that the Culture Ministry gives to minors or students who have a valid student card. A student card is considered valid if it shows the following features:

  • PVC Material
  • Name of the university
  • Full name
  • Student photo
  • Birthdate

Expiration date, which has to be the year that the student visits Machu Picchu (NOT a year early or later to the visit date)

Note: To apply for the students discount, you shouldn’t be over 25 years old.

UPDATING PASSPORT NUMBERS

The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any government issue ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same. Also, make sure your passport does not expire six months or less from your trip.

AM I ABLE TO CHANGE DATES AFTER THE INITIAL RESERVATION?

The only time that you can change your dates with no penalty charge is, if we have not purchased your permit yet. Usually we try to purchase the permits, at the most, the same day yo do the reservation for the Inca Trail.

If we do not already have your permit you can change your date. If we already have your permit, the penalty to change is US $150 and there must be availability for the date which you want to move to.

WHAT IF DO NOT HAVE MY PASSPORT RIGHT NOW?

The Park of Machu Picchu  requires a valid passport to issued your permit to the inca trail hike,best case is to organize your new passport in advance if that is the case. There is the possibility due to the limits of spaces on your requested date to book with your old passport number, them we can do a paperwork to change it.

CAN I PAY FOR THE ENTIRE TOUR UP FRONT?

Usually we only charge the deposit of your Inca Trail Hike to the card to confirm your booking. The balance is paid on your arrival to Cusco in cash. If you choose to pay with credit card you need to pay 5% commission. The prices of the tours are for cash payment. You can withdraw US $ out of the ATMs, which there are plenty in Cusco.

IS THERE A CHANCE THAT MY INCA TRAIL TREK WILL BE CANCELED?

There is very little possibility of a cancellation of inca trail trek by the DRCC (Park Office) even under extreme weather circumstances or even in case of a strike there will be no cancellation. The DRCC or Andean Great Treks cannot change the date of inca trail trek if there is a general strike. We do everything possible to ensure you get to the inca  trail head to start the trek .

SHOULD I HIRE AN EXTRA PORTER ON THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

Andean Great Treks will include a personal porter in your Inca Trail Hike tour to Machu Picchu, who will carry 6 kg of your belongings. But if you are going to take more things for the Inca trail trek. It is possible to hire a personal porter who will be in charge of carrying your belongings, up to a maximum of 20 kg. Keep in mind that you should also carry a small personal backpack, to carry water, or a jacket. This personal porter does not keep up with your group, they leave the camp before you, and all your things will be waiting for you when you arrive. The costs to hire a personal porter are $ 120 usd for the entire tour.

WHO ARE THE PORTERS OF THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

Porters are humble people who live in the high Andean area of Cusco. In their communities, they raise domestic animals and are dedicated to agriculture. Therefore, It is common to see locals trading their products with people from nearby. Those are their main source of income for most families.

WHO CARRIES THE EQUIPMENT AND COOKS DURING THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

Andean Great Treks provide everything you need for the hike. Consequently, the porters are the ones who carry all the things needed for the adventure. These things include cooking utensils, tents, food supplies, chairs, among others.

The tents will be set once you arrive at each campsite. Porters will arrive earlier than you and set everything for you can rest during the inca trail hike. This way, you will have one less thing to worry about and have a pleasant resting time.

If you are carrying some of your personal belongings such as your own camping equipment, it will be you who sets everything up after a tiring day.

PORTERS WEIGHT LIMIT FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU

According to the Porters Law – Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Nº 27607, article 3rd, the weight has been limited to 20kg. This includes a 5kg personal allowance.

When the porter is a woman, the weight limit will be reduced according to the regulations, including the 5kg of personal belongings.

All the supplies must be provided by the agency and guarantee their use. Of course, in case there is any change, it must be informed and agreed by both the employer and employee. The following are the things that each porter should receive for the inca trail 4 days.

  • Food supplies
  • Clothing
  • Camping equipment
  • Transportation
  • Life insurance

HOW CAN YOU HELP PORTERS OF THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

The most important is to hire the service of tour agencies that look after their porters. You can testify how the agency you have chosen treats their porters since the first day and along the inca trail hike. So, check if they have proper outfit and if at campsites they receive quality meals. A good way to interact with them is by engaging in a conversation. Likewise, You can ask about their history and legend of the town or the importance of coca in their culture.

Don’t wait for them to start the conversation since they are shy and speak Quechua and Spanish. Some tourists also give some personal help for the porters such as clothes, shoes, or any kind of support. Porters of inca trail to machu picchu will definitely appreciate the kind gesture.

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU TIP PORTERS OF THE INCA TRAIL HIKE

This is a common question tourists often ask. They want to be sure they are giving a fair tip and take enough money with them. Most tourists would like to show their gratitude for the effort porters and guide make on the strenuous inca trail hike 4 days.

The tips collected from the tourists are given to the chef who will distribute them among the porters.

If you feel a certain porter has worked harder or has done something special for you, you can tip him personally. This way you can make sure he receives what he deserves. Sometimes the distributed tips are not equitable. Another thing you have to consider giving a reasonable tip for the inca trail 4 days. If you give more than expected, the risk is that porters would splurge it. Therefore, resist the urge to over-tip.

Note that tips are NOT mandatory. The amount of money you are willing to give should be based on the service you have received along the inca trail to machu picchu. It can be classified as bad, regular or good. Each person in the group can contribute between S/40 and S/60 for the porter and double for the chef, which can be S/120. The chef receives double since he has to carry food ingredients and prepare the meals, which are well elaborated and marvel tourists.

Likewise, Something that encourages porters to go ahead with their hard work are the words of gratitude and motivation that tourists give them. So, feel free to say something positive.

CAN I TAKE ALL MY LUGGAGE WITH ME FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?

There is no need to bring all your luggage to the Inca Trail Hike. You should only take the most essential things you will use during the inca trail 4 days. You should pack light and organize the clothes you will wear each day of the hike. Don’t forget to bring an extra pair of shoes, raincoat, a hat, among others.

Packing light allows porters to follow the weight limit regulation. It also shows you are considerate of the effort they will do carrying all your staff. You will be given a duffel where you will put all your belongings for the inca trail to machu picchu.

WHERE CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE WHILE I'M ON THE INCA TRAIL TREK?

All of your luggage is not needed for the inca trail trek  should stay in Cusco or Sacred Valley Hotel. All hotels are very accommodating and quite used to storing luggage on-site, or you can safely store with the Andean Great Treks team.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR THE INCA TRAIL TREK?

ESSENTIALS

  • Passport
  • Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged – but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)

FOR YOUR DUFFEL BAG

Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.

  • 2-3 wicking t-shirts
  • 2-3 hiking pants
  • 4 sets of undergarments.
  • 4 sets of hiking socks
  • 1 Fleece
  • 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
  • 1 Rain jacket and pants
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 wool hat
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean – might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
  • Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
  • Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
  • Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least

TOILETRIES

  • Sunscreen
  • Face moisturizer
  • Bug spray
  • Handsanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Toiletpaper
  • Personal medication
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.

INSIDE YOUR DAYPACK

Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always say the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, bags larger than 25L will not be allowed in. If it is larger, you will need to store it outside citadel gates. But don´t worry, they have a secure storage facility.

  • Water: we supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water only as we won’t have time to filter water until your first lunch.
  • Sunhat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Camera
  • Music (IPhone)
  • Handsanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Earplugs

HOW TO KNOW YOU HAVE THE EXACT WEIGHT FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE?

Above all, It is important to know the allowed weight for the hike not only to avoid an extra payment but also to help porters carry the adequate amount of weight.

Likewise, We recommend weighing your things before traveling to inca trail 4 days. Most hotels have scales to weigh your backpack. You can ask your tourist agency to lend you a scale and weigh your backpack.

HOW MUCH DOES THE SLEEPING MAT AND SLEEPING BAG WEIGH?

Sleepmat weight = 1 kg aprox.

Seeping bag weight = 2-5 kg aprox.

WHERE ARE THE DEPARTURE POINTS FOR THE INCA TRAIL TREK?

Pick up from your hotels starts  at 4:30 am, Andean Great Treks is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city, we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your inca trail trek  guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.

Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Smaller hotels and Airbnbs are often located on streets that cars can´t pass through. They also are frequently on hillsides with long steep climbs, making it difficult to carry luggage. We highly recommend that you book accommodations with better access. We have a list of hotels that are all comfortable with easy access to pick up and drop off.

If your hotel is located in the sacred valley , don’t worries we can pick up you directly your hotel address.

ARRIVAL TO CUSCO AND CHECK-IN AT THE CUSCO ANDEAN GREAT TREKS OFFICE

We assume most people try to arrive to Cusco 2-3 days before the trek to allow adequate time for acclimatisation and a buffer in case of transport delays. Once you have settled in and rested you must come to the Cusco office to view and reconfirm the information we have pertinent to your inca trail trek, personal requirements and sign the conditions ( even if you have already paid in full.) There are occasions when local holidays or unrest may require last minute changes to departure times or some additional information and so we have a short briefing day before the trek, our  office is open from 9:00 am to 17:00 pm.

CAN I STAY IN THE SACRED VALLEY BEFORE I START MY INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?

Ollantaytambo & Urubamba is the best place to stay other than Cusco. By staying in the sacred valley, you get a little more sleep, because we will pick you up about 1.5 hours after the Cusco pick up time. You can only have your briefing in Cusco. So please arrange a time that works for you and our office team with your Andean Great Treks sales team.

WILL I NEED ANY EXTRA MONEY ON THE INCA TRAIL TREK?

YES, so that you can take part in options such as bottle water/drinks, tips for your trekking staff, souvenirs, snacks in Machupicchu, etc. You should take at least 500 soles as emergency money. Also, for the passengers that are concerned about health, it may be prudent on your part to keep in mind that a train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes costs approx US$50-80 (in the case you need to leave the trail early).

DO THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TOUR GUIDES SPEAK ENGLISH?

We know how vital information is when making the fabulous Inca trail to Machu Picchu, before this Andean Great Treks has planned the recruitment of the best local expert guides on the Inca Trail route to Machu Picchu, who are trained in our training academies for aspiring guides to form part of this select group of leading guides. Andean Great Treks prepares them every semester in group mangment techniques, evacuation and first aid, concepts of archeology, botany, and Inca astronomy. After rigorous field and theoretical examinations, an aspiring guide is included in the working group for the Inca trail route to Machu Picchu, since our company is a pioneer in leading groups in the languages of English, German, and French.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE IN MY GROUP?

Our groups on the Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu are made up of a maximum of 8 people. Andean Great Treks organize the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu from 2 people. A very important aspect is that we only organize trekking services on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu in premium class. To make you feel very comfortable, we take care of all the details on your vacation in Peru.

WHAT TIME WILL I BE BACK IN CUSCO?

The train will came back at 14:30 pm, wich arrives to Ollantaytambo train station at 16:20 pm. Then you will be pick up by our private transportation , arriving to Cusco at 18:30 pm, the drop off will be your Hotel adress in Cusco.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally, on certain trips it’s needed to book, train or inca trail trek tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary. Details provided must be accurate as per your passport bio page. This will be used for applying for your Inca Trail permit and if any info doesn’t match your passport, Inca authority will refuse your entry.

Please note that this trip starts at 4:30 am on day 1. If you cannot find a suitable flight, additional nights may be booked at the joining accommodation. We recommend that travelers who intend to leave Cusco on the last day of the trip book flights outside of Cusco no earlier than 12 noon, to allow for possible delays in the final section of the inca trail or in case they need to take antigen or a Test of PCR. Andean Great Treks staff will be able to help you book any required exams in Cusco.

Inca Trail permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Andean Great Treks will endeavour to secure a permit for you. Due to the reduced capacity of Inca Trail, if Inca Trail permits of our chosen route are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Inca Quarry Trail instead.

The timing of trekking may vary depending on the route and time slot we are given for entering the Inca Trail. Your group leader will give you the details at the welcome group meeting on Day 1 of your trip.

The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February, you will be automatically booked to hike the Inca Quarry Trail.

Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

While hiking the 4-day Inca Trail you may be joined by another Andean Great Treks travellers.

Mask wearing is mandatory in Peru during Covid period as part of the local regulation. Travellers will be required to wear masks in situations where they are unable to physically distance themselves from other group members, whether hiking, in public gathering areas such as campsites or when visiting local communities.

Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude – regardless of your age, gender and fitness. Please consult your doctor for professional advice about travelling at high altitude if you have a health condition.

ALTITUDE or MOUNTAIN SICKNESS, SOROCHE

Altitude sickness is serious and can ruin your trip. The biggest mistake you can make is to fly directly to Cuzco (3326m/10,910ft) and expect to hike the next day. Give yourself a few days to adjust to the altitude first.

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or Soroche, is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxigen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (approximately 8,000 feet). Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).The causes of altitude sickness are not fully understood. The percentage of oxygen in air remains essentially constant with altitude at 21% up until 70,000 feet (21,330 m), but the air pressure (and therefore the number of oxygen molecules) drops as altitude increases — consequently, the available amount of oxygen to sustain mental and physical alertness decreases above 10,000 feet (3,050m). Altitude sickness usually does not affect persons traveling in aircraft because the cabin altitude in modern passenger aircraft is kept to 8,000 feet (2,440 m) or lower. A superficially related condition is chronic mountain sickness, also known as Monge’s disease, occurring only after prolonged exposure to high altitude. An unrelated condition, often confused with altitude sickness, is dehydration, due to the higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs at higher altitudes.

Those who ascend rapidly to altitudes greater than 2500m (8100 ft) may develop altitude sickness. In Peru, this includes Cusco ( 3326m) Machupicchu (2400m) and Lake Titicaca (3820m). Being physically fit offers no protection. Those who have experienced altitude sickness in the past are prone to future episodes. The risk increases with faster ascents, higher altitudes and greater exertion.

Symptoms may include headaches,nausea,vomiting,dizziness,malaise, imsomnia and loss of appetite. Severe cases may be complicated by fluids in the lungs (high-altitude pulmonary edema) or swelling of the brain (high-altitude cerebral edema) If symptoms are more than mild or persist for more than 24 hours (far less at high altitudes), descend immediately by at least 500 meters and see a doctor.

To help prevent altitude sickness, the best measure is to spend two nights or more at each rise of 1000m. Alternatively, take 125mg or 250mg of acetozolamide (Diamox) twice or three times daily starting 24 hours before ascent and continuing for 48 hours after arrival at altitude. Possible side effects include increased urinary volume, numbness, tingling,nausea,drowsiness, myopia and temporary impotence.

Acetazolamide should not be given to pregnant women or anyone with a history of sulfa allergy. For those who cannot tolerate acetazolamide, the next best option is 4 mg of dexamethasone taken four times daily.

Unlike acetazolamide, dexamethasone must be tapered gradually upon arrival at altitude, since there is a risk that altitude sickness will occur as the dosage is reduced.

Dexamethasone is a steroid, so it should not be given to diabetics or anyone for whom taking sterorids is not adviced. A natural alternative is gingko, which some people find quite helpful.

When traveling to high altitudes, it´s also important to evoid overexertion, eat ligh meals and abstain from alcohol.

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.

JANUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
FEBUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
MARCH Warm - Heavy Rain
APRIL Warm - Light Rain
MAY Hot
JUNE Hot
JULY Hot
AUGUST Hot
SEPTEMBER Hot - Warm
OCTOBER Hot - Warm
NOVEMBER Warm - Light Rain
DECEMBER Warm - Heavy Rain

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

MAR 2022 - DEC 2023 Price from
$ 780 USD Per Person $ 820 USD
Tour for 2 - 4 persons $ 780USD Per Person
Tour for 5 - 8 persons $ 750USD Per Person
Note

To book this tour, a minimum of $ 300 USD per person is required, the remaining balance will be paid upon arrival in Peru, at the Cusco office.

Any other additional information, please coordinate with your travel agent.

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What our clients say about us

  • Wir haben Reservierungen für die Manu-Nationalpark-Tour vorgenommen, die sich im Amazonas-Dschungel von Peru befindet. Der Ausflug war wunderbar, wir konnten viele Vogelarten, Insekten beobachten und auch unser Guide hat uns sehr gut über die Flora und Fauna des Amazonas-Waldes aufgeklärt. Die Amazon Lodges sind super rustikal aber man schläft mit unglaublicher Ruhe. Ich empfehle, diese Tour mit Andean Great Treks zu machen.
    Sophia Meyer Manu Amazonas Regenwald 4 Tage
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  • Me and my partner did the express inca trail tour for 1 day. A great experience, since Machu Picchu and the short Inca trail are visited in just one day. It was amazing! Javier our tour guide is an absolute legend, very happy to have him as a tour guide!!, Our Lunch was very delicious and abundant, I definitely recommend doing this tour with Andean Great Treks.
    Monica Habib Inca Trail Express 1 Day
    recommendations of Inca Trail Express 1 Day
  • Mon ami et moi avons fait le tour du parc national de Manu dans la jungle amazonienne du Pérou. Ce fut une expérience formidable de pouvoir ressentir le véritable esprit de la grande Amazonie, les paysages sont totalement magnifiques, je recommande de faire ce voyage avec les guides locaux de Andean Great Treks, ce sont des experts. Notre guide Silverio nous a montré un grand nombre d'animaux, toujours très attentif à répondre à nos questions. La nourriture était variée et très délicieuse.
    Orane Decaesteker Manu National Park 4 Days
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  • Me and a group of friends booked the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with Andean Great Treks, the organization of the tour was very good, our guide Willy was super friendly and told us many stories about the Incas, the landscapes and their culture. The tour is impressive since you can enjoy the turquoise lagoon of Humantay, the great snow-capped Salkantay and the tropical valley of Santa Teresa, as a finishing touch is without a doubt to do Machu Picchu with the Mountain because you will have unique views of this Wonder of the World. I recommend doing the tour with Andean Great Treks, their costs are very affordable.
    Kiki Custers Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days
    recommendations of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days
  • The tour has exceeded all our expectations!, The food has been plentiful delicious, we were served 3 great meals every day. The accomodations were a component that made this trip so relaxing due to being amongst nature. We had the best nights sleep at the Bamboo Lodge. The itinerary was great with activities that allowed us to experience Manu National Park, we recommend highly Andean Great Treks.
    Rachel Turner Manu Amazon Rainforest Tour 4 Days
    recommendations of Manu Amazon Rainforest Tour 4 Days
  • If you are planning to take a vacation in Peru, without a doubt this Rainbow Mountain tour is a place that should be on your bucket list, the landscape is unique; what I liked the most was the walk to the highest point of the Vinicunca mountain surrounded by alpacas and having the best photos to remember, 100% recommended doing it with Andean Great Treks.
    Victor Massias Tour a la Montaña Vinicunca
    recommendations of Tour a la Montaña Vinicunca

Why travel with Andean Great Treks

INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
LOCALLY INSPIRED, DELICIOUS FLAVOURS
There is something magical about artisanal farming in the Andes. The rich soils and unique climate give products an otherwise unattainable flavor. Our chefs serve local and international food. With unparalleled views of the fabulous Andean Mountains, amid the highland forests from your table, you’ll enjoy delicious gourmet food and new spins on classic Peruvian favorites. We use only local produce and fresh ingredients.
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
OUR PASSIONATE TOUR GUIDES
Unlock the secrets of Peru’s most iconic adventure destination. Our team is passionate about making sure your experiences are unique —some thrilling, some relaxing, all awe-inspiring. Our private guides will let you explore the Andes and rainforest at your own pace, stopping for a snack if you’re hungry, or racing to the top of a hill if you’re up to it.
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
YOUR SAFETY OUR PRIORITY
We work with certified guides, the latest high-tech equipment and satellite communication, to guarantee your safety every step on the trail. Each year we do the course of rescue and first aid with all our hiking team (guides, cooks, horsemen, drivers). The course is comprehensive and practical, including all of the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments.
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY
We have deep love and respect for our Mother Earth or Pachamama since we are a 100% Cusco company. We know the importance of our Andean culture, and like good children of the earth, we do everything possible to avoid contamination.
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
CAMPING EQUIPMENT
It’s essential to have the best equipment when you’re walking in the mountains. Due to the constant climate changes in the region, we use tents suitable for all four seasons.
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
SMALL GROUPS & BIG ADVENTURES
With a maximum group size is 8 on most tours, it feels more like traveling with friends than being on an organized tour. You'll meet like-minded people where everyone is guaranteed to share a passion for travel.

RELATED TOURS

INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU 1 DAY

INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU 1 DAY

The Inca Trail Express to machu picchu is the stunning cultural show of inca ruins, exotic side by side mountains, primitive lush vegetation and extraordinary ecological varieties

Walking & Treking
Activity level: Leisurely/Moderate Size Group 2-8 People
Price from $ 360 US PP
SHORT INCA TRAIL HIKE  TO MACHU PICCHU 2 DAYS

SHORT INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 2 DAYS

The 2-day Inca trail to Machu Picchu, is the shortest version of the Inca trail circuits to the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. Andean Great Treks organize this trek with the best local guides and hotels in Machu Picchu. We work only in small groups, the premium service for your delight in Cusco.

Walking & Treking
Activity level: Leisurely/Moderate Size Group 2-8 People
Price from $ 520 US PP
INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS

INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS

The 5-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a trek that will show you the best landscapes and Inca ruins. This option is recommended for lovers of culture and a more leisurely pace of walking.

Walking & Treking
Activity level: Challenging/Tough Size Group 2-8 People
Price from $ 780 US PP

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