Traditional Inca Trail

Duration: 4 days
Trails: T2 trails
Distance: 10 - 15 km per day
Ascent per day: 250 - 500 m ascent per day

> Walk this world-famous trekking classic
> Visit Machu Picchu with experienced guides
> Sleep in comfortable, spacious tents along the trek

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is generally believed to be one of the best hikes the world has to offer. It is also one of the most approachable, as you do not need any particular skill to be able to complete. Some good health and fitness will help you get from the trailhead to the end, Machu Picchu.

Compared to other famous hikes, its rather short - but along the way you enjoy a mixture of incredible ruins, snow-capped mountain peaks, beautiful waterfalls, and luscious jungle. At the end of the trail, you will walk through the Sun Gate for your first site of Machu Picchu, where you will see the ruins from above at its most beautiful.

Itinerary

Day
1

Cusco – Piskacucho Km 82 – Llactapata- Ayapata

Duration: 05:50 h
Distance: 13 km
Ascent: 840 m
Descent: 190 m
Lowest Point: 2600 m
Highest Point: 3300 m
Alpaca Expeditions will pick you up from where ever you are staying in Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo. Pick-up from Cusco will be at 4:30 AM, from Urubamba at 5:30 AM, and if you stay in Ollantaytambo, you get to sleep in a bit with your pick-up at 6:30 AM. These times will be confirmed at your briefing, as they might fluctuate based on where you are staying. We will then drive to Km 82, arriving at about 7:00 AM. After a delicious breakfast prepared by your cook, we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek. Please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail. The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site. Patallacta is an ancient Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta it’s another 2-hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch, we will hike for another 2½ hours until we reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch, we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drink, snacks, or essential items you may have forgotten such as batteries you can do so here. We’ll arrive at our campsite by 5:00 PM. After settling in for a bit, you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chef, and guide. By 7:30 PM, your dinner will be ready, and after you can get some well-deserved rest.

Ayapata Campsite

Info
Ayapata Campsite
Day
2

Dead Woman's Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha

Duration: 06:20 h
Distance: 9.2 km
Ascent: 1210 m
Descent: 980 m
Lowest Point: 3300 m
Highest Point: 4215 m
Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. We will have an early start since it will be our longest day. We’ll hike to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). On reaching the pass, we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s about a hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot, where you will have a chance to refill your water bottles. After lunch, we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. We will stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s a short downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village). We’ll stop here to rest and have a quick tour. Afterward, we will be able to watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing, and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Southern Hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!

Chaquicocha Campsite

Info
Chaquicocha Campsite
Day
3

Chaquicocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna

Duration: 05:00 h
Distance: 9.7 km
Ascent: 330 m
Descent: 1200 m
Lowest Point: 2630 m
Highest Point: 3650 m
With the hard part of the Inca Trail well and truly over, you can relax and enjoy the easiest and arguably most interesting day of the trek. Today’s route is extremely varied and it is only a 5-hour walk to the final campsite. Along the way you will pass through a number of different ecosystems, experience the atmospheric cloud forest and observe the magnificent panoramic view of Salkantay Mountain (the second highest in Cusco). We will visit two Inca sites; Phuyupatamarka (City in the Clouds) with spectacular views of the Urubamba River and the Machu Picchu Mountain, and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). At Intipata, there will be time to rest and take in your magical surroundings. We will reach the campsite at approximately 1:00pm to have lunch and you can then enjoy some free time to relax and unwind. Later in the afternoon we will visit another impressive Inca site – Wiñay Wayna – where your guide will explain the history of this remarkable location. We will then return to the campsite for tea and dinner and a special surprise!

Wiñay Wayna campsite

Info
Wiñay Wayna campsite
See entire itinerary

Included

  • Guides

    A well-trained English-speaking guide is included in the price. The guides all grew up in the Cusco region and are committed to sharing their history and culture with visitors. The guides are friendly and professional and will make sure you don't miss anything.

  • Camping during the trek

    During the trek, you will be staying on campsites. Your camp will be set up for you.

  • Satellite phones

    Guides are equipped with satellite phones and can organise anything on the fly.

  • Taxes and fees

    All tourist taxes and permit fees applicable are included in the listed price.

  • First aid

    Your guide has received training in first aid from a physician. Mandatory training sessions are conducted every year. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. You will be escorted off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible, if needed, and taken to a clinic for treatment.

  • Food and water

    Food and water are included and will be provided as per the itinerary. Water is boiled, filtered, and then cooled before distributing. You must bring your water bottles and or camelback. We recommend carrying about 3L worth per day. You will be able to restock your water supplies at each meal.

  • Getting to and from

    Getting to and from the start/end point of this trekking is included, as per the itinerary.

  • Gear

    All (camping) equipment will be provided, built up, and taken down again. This is included in your trekking package. Please note that a sleeping bag and air mattress are not included but are available for rent.

  • Duffel

    You will receive your duffel bag that will stay with your porters while you hike. This bag should not exceed 7kg/14 lbs and does need to include your sleeping bag and air mattress.

  • Porters

    A personal porter will carry most of your belongings using a duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this. You will have access to your duffel bag in the mornings and evenings.

  • Trekking Briefing

    The night before your trek, you will come to the local office for a briefing. The entire itinerary will be explained and the final logistics for the Inca Trail Trek will be taken care of.

  • Permits

    Permits for both your Inca Trail Trek trek and for the entry to Machu Picchu are included and will be taken care of.

Excluded

  • Accommodation in Cusco including breakfast

    Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

  • Rentals

    Every trekker needs a sleeping bag when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional but encouraged. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent: Sleeping Bag: USD 20, Inflatable Air Mattress: USD 15, Trekking Poles (Pair): USD 15.

  • Huayna Picchu

    Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45-minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep if you are scared of heights. You would do this after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is USD 75. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance due to popularity. Please understand that the weather is out of our control.

  • Travel Insurance Including Repatriation

    Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Peru.

  • Tipping

    Tips for guides, cook and porters are not included. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous.

FAQ

  • Availability Machu Picchu and Inca Trail

  • Inca Trail Hike Difficulty

  • Best Time for Inca Trail in Peru - Inca Trail Weather

How to Book

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  • Cancellation policy

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Sierd van der Bij
Sierd van der Bij
This trek is operated by
Alpaca Expeditions

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