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 hills to rainforests. Following this ancient Inca Trail Hike, passing through mysterious archaeological inca trail houses, inca trail temples, and royal inca trail residences 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. Our adventure is led by expert inca trail tour guides who will ensure that your trip safe and enjoyable. We work only in small groups and with the best inca trail camping equipment, our inca trail cooks are the best with a great experience preparing the best food for your enjoyment.
The eastern part of the tropical Andes of Peru, where Machu Picchu is located, is considered a privileged place, because it houses a high number of endemic species of birds (we understand by endemic; which cannot be found anywhere), Around 400 species of birds in the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, of which 50% can be seen while on the Inca Trail and in Machu Picchu, 700 species of butterflies have also been recorded.
The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is considered a privileged place, because it houses a high number of endemic species of birds. In Machu Picchu we find altitudes that vary from 1,725 meters above sea level. at 6,000 m.a.s.l. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail hike are characterized by having a diverse wild flora and have species from high-Andean areas, such as the jungle. Species with polylepis, ferns, shrubs, orchids and vascular flora stand out. It is considered that there are 50 species of trees per hectare, almost 200 species of orchids, moss and grass areas, bamboos, cultivated areas, bromeliads, wood species, such as cedar and laurel have been recorded. There are also bushes, such as the muña, the Pisonay, a variety of begonias and puyas. Finally, there are a variety of food and medicinal plants.
Discover the majestic and the mysterious inca trail trek, deep in the land of the Incas. Through lush valleys, cloud forests full of pristine flora and fauna, which still remain unchanged since the time of the Incas (more than 500 years ago). Peru is full of treasures, culinary delights, cultural heritage, and archaeological wonders, many of which you will witness on this Peru tour.
Let yourself be enchanted by enjoying the pure atmosphere of the cloud forest and enjoy unforgettable sunsets from your tent, located in the heart of the mountains of the Inca Trail hike. In this tour you will know a large part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo, panoramic view of Machu Picchu the great “Lost City of the Inca“; from Sun Gate, a scenic train ride and many Cusco highlights.
Do not think about it anymore and start the most enigmatic adventure on the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. If you only have time for the Inca Trail hike, or if Machu Picchu is on your bucket list, this is your trip. With a local tour guide and enough porters to organize the best trip for you in Peru. Andean Great Treks is a tour operator based in Cusco, specialized in organizing the best inca trail trek to Machu Picchu. You will enjoy the fabulous landscapes of the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. Be enchanted to enjoy the pure atmosphere of the cloud forest , and enjoy unforgettable sunsets from your camping tent, located into the hearth of the Inca Trail Mountains.
The high point of the trek is Dead Woman’s Pass 4215m /13,828 feet. We cross it on Day 3. Everyone else does it on Day 2 so we give you an extra night to acclimatize. It also means that if you are struggling, the decision on carrying on or not does have to be made till Day 3 rather than Day 2. Once you are over Dead Woman’s Pass you are committed to carrying on until the end. As a result of the extra day, you are not only far more likely to complete the trial, but also far more likely to enjoy it.
We carefully choose our campsites to give you the best views or be as close as possible to the ruins. You camp where everyone else has lunch on the 4 Day Inca Trail– so you generally have the campsite to yourself or share it with few others.
The main campsites on the 4 Day Inca Trail are overcrowded and do not have such great views.
By choosing the 5 day Inca Trail trek, you can slow down and enjoy your time on this world-famous hike to Machu Picchu. On the other hand, if you choose only 4 days, you will most likely go home wishing you had taken an extra day as it will probably all be a bit of a blur. Sure, you will have ticked off the Inca Trail, but did you really see it, let alone really experience the trail? Avoid the doubt by giving yourself that extra day to really slow down and enjoy it. After all, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so why not do it well?
Did you know the Inca Trail has an abundance of flora and fauna? Over 300 species of birds, 25o species of orchids and 300 species of butterflies have been recorded in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. It would be a shame to rush past them- which is sadly what often happens if you only have 4 days to hike.
If you only do the 4 day Inca Trail, you will probably have to either rush or skip the following Inca sites: Llactapata on Day 1, Runcuracay on Day 2, Sayaqmarca and Phuyupatamarca on Day 3, Winay Wayña on Day 4. There simply is no time. But by choosing the 5 day Inca Trail, you have all the time you need to explore these fully.
As an added bonus, when hiking our 5 Day Inca Trail, you get more time to relax around camp. We believe this is often undervalued. Not only does it give your body time to recover, but it also allows you to spend more time chatting with your fellow trekkers, and more time to just sit and take it all in. After all, it is not every day you get to camp in such spectacular places.
Everyone talks about the sunrise at Machu Picchu. But it is a myth. Machu Picchu is built on an East facing slope. But there are huge mountains to the East of it which block any spectacular sunrise.
However, if you do the Inca Trail in 5 days, you will be able to see a spectacular sunrise ( weather permitting). On the morning of day 4, at Phuyupatamarca campsite, your guide will wake you up with a cup of tea or coffee in time for the sunrise over the 6000m snow peak of Salkantay. Obviously, it depends on the weather, but when it happens, it is spectacular with the snows of the mountain lit in shades of orange and gold.
By visiting Machu Picchu twice, you get to explore it properly. On Day 4 you get your first view of the Inca citadel, before taking time for photos and wandering on through it. Then on Day-5, you do your full guided tour of Machu Picchu.
By contrast, those doing the 4-day trek often leave feeling they have rushed Machu Picchu. They get up before dawn, walk 2 hours along dangerous paths in the dark, do a quick tour then rush down to catch the train back to Cusco. If you are traveling all the way to Peru to see Machu Picchu, then surely it deserves more time than that? So by doing it twice, you can fully do it justice.
Firstly if you want to take photos of your time on the Inca Trail, 5 days allows you far more time to do so. There is less pressure to keep moving which is the case in 4 days.
Secondly, the light here in the Andes is very harsh throughout most of the day. You can take much better photos early and late in the day when the light is softer.
Therefore we time our arrival to Machu Picchu late on Day 4 when the light is soft. Then we return on the morning of Day 5 when once again the light is softer. The 4-day trekkers and day-trippers arrive when the light is harsher which makes for pretty bland photos.
Thirdly, if it is raining on Day 4 when you arrive, you get the chance of a clear day on Day 5. Those on the 4-day trail only have one chance.
Fourthly -Because you arrive at Machu Picchu when it is almost empty the photos are better, precisely because they are not filled with tourists.
The train ride back to Cusco is also spectacular. But sadly many hikers who do the 4-Day Inca Trail are so exhausted, that they do not see the scenery outside, they simply get on the train and fall asleep. Because you do the trial in 5 days vs 4, you will have spent the night in a hotel, so feel less tired, thus can actually enjoy the train ride. You will also be in cleaner clothes!
We use the comfortable Vistadome train to help you relax and enjoy the journey back to Cusco.
One of the most popular hikes in South America, Peru’s Inca Trail is definitely an experience of a lifetime. Constructed by the Incas over 500 years ago, the Classic Inca Trail is the most famous stretch of the Inca road system – consisting of 40,000 kilometres (25,000 miles) of trail spanning north to south through Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Deemed one of the greatest multi-day treks in the world, it’s no wonder hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has found its way onto many travellers’ bucket lists. Perhaps it’s the many Inca ruins scattered along the trail, the lure of the Andean mountains ever so present or the chance to stand at the Sun Gate, watching the first rays light up Machu Picchu.
This Classic 4-Day Inca Trail trek goes along wonderful Andean elevations, across massive green mountains, snowies, valleys and planes. The Inca archaeological sites included in the itinerary (for example, the astonishing Wiñaywayna ruins), where you will have professionally-guided tours, are quite an unforgettable view and experience themselves. You will wonder at how they seem to have been attached to the mountains and much more very interesting architectural features.
Travelers will be walking under a wide, beautiful, relaxing sky, while enjoying a very energetic and clean environment all the time. It is surely the ultimate exercise for both body and mind! A real highlight is the Warmiwanuska pass 13,780 feet (4.200 meters) above sea level, a canyon-like spot in the middle of the clouds actually, which offers an unbelievable view of the entire region.
Another valuable part of the Classic Inca Trail landscapes is the varied and typical flora along the way, which will peak as we approach the Machu Picchu area, because we’ll be getting closer to the subtropical jungle. A massive, lush green vegetation emerges all around. Indeed, the subtropical jungle part offers more amazing landscapes. The river rolling along the narrow canyon with its soothing whisper, and the way Incas designed and built the stone staircases, like they were an added feature of nature. Fauna is also another very good reason for doing this Classic Inca Trail. Many Andean species for amazing bird-watching, free llamas and alpacas, even in Machu Picchu (they make quite adorable pictures).
Whatever your reason for wanting to conquer this renowned hike, one thing remains true. Planning a hike along the Inca Trail takes planning and patience, especially if you’d like to organize your own guides. However, by trusting a long-standing adventure company like Andean Great Treks, your Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu can be life-changing and stress-free.
The 2 day Inca Trail trek begins with travel from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, where you will catch the train to the Short Inca Trail trailhead at KM 104. Onboard the train, passengers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Urubamba River and changing Andean landscapes before the train reaches the stop at KM 104 where everybody has to disembark and start walking.
When getting off the train at KM 104 and crossing the suspension bridge above the Urubamba River, explorers will find themselves hiking in the middle of the dense cloud forest with its warmth, humidity and many different hues of green. With every breath taken comes the fresh smell of dew. That fragrance and the roar of the river accompany hikers for most of the day.
In addition to the green colour of the forest, it is easy to admire yellow, red, and pink orchids as well as white, brown, yellow, and black butterflies.
When hiking past Chachabamba ruins, the tour visits an administrative post located near the starting point very close to the river. From there is possible to see, at a distance, the sites of Choquesuysuy, also by the Urubamba river, and Intipata, perched upon a hill, as you hike the 7 hours towards Wiñay Wayna archaeological site.
After visiting that archaeological complex for a bit, you finish your journey by walking through the Sun Gate (also known as Inti Punku), the gateway into Machu Picchu.
From here, you hike down a side path, skirting the ruins themselves, in order to catch a bus down to Aguas Calientes. Stretch, relax and enjoy the night in a hotel and on the second day of your short Inca trail tour, get ready to explore the ruins of Machu Picchu.
The classic Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is one of the world's greatest hikes. Along the 45 km you will explore unique andean valleys, lush mountain forest.An exquisite architecture of the Inca sanctuaries, which will dazzle you for its fineness and location within the Andes.
Dive deep into the culture and landscapes of Peru with this adventure to Machu Picchu, the Amazon and more. Search for wildlife along jungle trails and rivers in the rainforest from a comfortable lodge then head up into the Andes to Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire.
One of our most popular trips in Peru combines the cultural heritage of the Sacred Valley and the challenge of doing one of the most popular hiking trails in the world. The four-day trek on the Inca Trail will reward you with a stunning combination of the area's ruins, mountainous landscapes, and cloud forests.
The salkantay trek with the short Inca trail to Machu Picchu, amazing trek with beautiful landscapes of mountains and forests, explore the original Inca trail to Machu Picchu.
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.