Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu - 4 Days
Rated by many to be one of the top 5 treks in the world
The Inca Trail is regarded as the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be one of the top 5 treks in the world.
Over just 26 miles (43 Km) the Inca Trail combines beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud forest and subtropical forest, and an outstanding mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. Descending through the magical sun gate on the last day will reveal the emerald peaks and the terraced ruins of the mysterious Incan city of Machu Picchu.
DAY 1: Cusco - Wayllabamba
Distance: 9 km / 6 miles
Elevation: 3,300m / 10,800ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel in at (5am) - Pick up can be arranged at your hotel in Cusco City or the Sacred Valley. From here we head towards Piscaycucho (first check point and the start of the trail). Here you start hiking through the Urubamba river valley. After two hours, you will reach the first archaeological site called Patallacta, where you can appreciate the impressive landscapes and see the importance of this valley in the context of Incan history, later you stop at Tarachayoq for lunch and then continue up the Cusichaca Valley passing houses of settlers to finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba, the first campsite.
Hotel Pickup : 5am
DAY 2: Wayllabamba - Pacaymayu
Distance: 12.8km / 8 miles
Elevation: 4,200m / 13,775ft
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
After breakfast, you start hiking early in the morning. The trail ascends steeply to a large Pampa below the first pass. Here there is a breathtaking view of the valley and Mt. Huayanay. The trail skirts a narrow hanging valley and begins to open up to a cloud forest below with abundant vegetation of various types of trees including the Queuña tree (polilepis), a rare forest to be found in the Andes. From here you continue on a steady ascent to the Warmiwañusqa pass (Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,200m (13,692ft) which affords a magnificent view of your ascent and the trail ahead. Here you have a well-deserved break and observe the beauty of the deep valleys. After the break the group descends on a restored Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayo River, the 2nd campsite.
DAY 3: Pacaymayu – Wiñaywayna
Distance: 17.7km / 11 miles
Elevation: 4,050m / 13,200ft
Hiking Time: 9-10 hours
Today you ascend again to a second pass, about halfway up lies an Inca ruin of Runkuraqay (small, round, roofless stone building and thought to have been an astrological site and a sort of checkpoint for couriers following the trail to Machu picchu), after a short tour, you continue up the pass at 4,050m (13,200ft). From here the group walks down on the original Inca Trail, passing a small lake and the first signs of the cloud forest. Soon after you will arrive at a second, larger Inca site called Sayacmarca “Town in a Steep Place” at 3,850m (12,551ft) This Incan ruin was built on a rock overlooking the trail and is accessible only via a single narrow stone staircase- a beautiful location overlooking the Aobamba Valley. After touring you continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes, viewing Mt. Salkantay from the western side and Mt. Pumasillo, a silhouette to the north on the horizon, your lunch stop. After lunch you continue walking through a rolling flag stoned trail and a tunnel before arriving to yet another Incan site called Phuyupatamarca “the village on the edge of the clouds.” From here the flag stoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna “Forever Young”- a well restored Inca Ruin. The campsite is here for the night.
DAY 4: Wiñaywayna - Cusco
Distance: 6.4 km / 4 miles
Elevation: 3,680m / 12,070ft
Hiking Time: 2 hours
On the last day of the trek, you wake up early and follow a relatively flat path. After about an hour walk through a cloud forest covered Inca Trail you arrive to Intipunku “the sun gate,” have a break watching the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu, your final destination. From here you continue hiking for one more hour to finally arrive at Machu Picchu in the same way the Incas used to come. Once you get there you will have a guided tour as well as time to explore city on your own, take pictures, or take any of the extra hikes. Later in the mid-afternoon you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town to take the train back to Ollantaytambo then transfer to your hotel in Cusco - 7pm.
Drop off in Cusco around 7pm
Additional Trip Info
- Small Group experience: 2 person Min - 7 Max
- Private transportation from your hotel to the start point of the trail
- Porters to carry all gear, equipment, you just carry your daypack with essentials (camera, jacket, water).
- Entrance fee to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu (Does not include the Huayna Picchu Mountain)
- English speaking Tour Guide
- Professional chef and superb porters who grew up in the countryside (Andean communities) to carry all the equipment, food, cooking gear, etc.
- All camping equipment: including dining tents, cooking tents, cooking equipment, sleeping tents, camping table with chairs
- Porters to carry equipment
- Sleeping Bag & sleeping pad
- Complete meals during the trip (you’ll never be hungry!) 4 breakfasts, snacks, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners
- Coca tea served each morning in your tent
- Boiled water after meals to refill water bottles
- Oxygen tank and first aid kit
- Vegetarian food and specialized diets on request
- 2 people per tent (4 man tents, waterproof)
- Bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes town
- Expedition Train back to Ollantaytambo at the end of your journey Private transportation to your hotel in Cusco
- Last day Lunch & Dinner
- Trekking poles (Available to rent in Cusco)
- Voluntary Tips for Guide, Driver and Cook-(Please keep in mind that tipping is common in Peru and would be greatly appreciated)
- Travel Insurance - We recommend World Nomads, or Global Rescue
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