City: Cusco, Mountains // Activities: Trekking, experiential tourism //
If you are looking for a great trekking tour, there is no better place than Cusco. The Inca Trail towards the mythical citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most famous treks in the entire world. Yes that's right! Cross the emblematic path that was used by the powerful Inca Pachacutec to arrive at its fortress hidden in the forest. The experience of walking the Inca Trail will not only allow you to observe the ruins of the place and the endemic nature that surrounds them, but also to get in contact with local communities and experience their way of life. The following days you will have a spectacular time trekking and discovering natural monuments, such as the Wayllabamba Valley, the Warmiwañuska Pass, the Pacaymayu Gorge, the Wiñaywaya Citadels and, of course, the Historic World Heritage Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (since 1983). In total, the 4-day Inca Trail is 44km long and you walk around 6-7 hours per day. Put on your hiking boots, some comfortable clothes and get ready for the highlight of your trip to Peru!
to check the availability click: http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ > switch to English (UK flag) > Queries > choose month of travel > see availability of Inca Trail permits
1 DAY BEFORE THE START OF THE INCA TRAIL: BRIEFING (+ LOCAL COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE, optional)
Briefing in the tour operator's office in Cusco. The time will be determined by the tour operator. Your briefing is usually programmed one day before the start of your program and usually in the morning. However, if your program starts on a Monday, your briefing will be programmed for the Saturday prior to your program and during the morning only. Therefore, please consider this when booking your flights to Cusco.
The Local Community Experience, is an experiential tour that allows you to meet and live day to day in the community of porters. You will learn their habits and have the opportunity to work with them in their daily work. Also, you will share with them a typical local food and spend the night under the starry sky of the Peruvian highlands. The next day you will leave to start the Inca Trail. It is an optional and free of cost activity for those passengers that request the service up to 30 days before the start of the trek. Any day after that will have a charge of USD 40 per person.
DAY 1: CUSCO - KM 82 - WAYLLABAMBA
- Distance: 12 Km.
- Walking Hours: 4-6 hours
- Low Altitude: 2600 m. / 8228 Ft.
- High Altitude: 3000 m. / 9842 Ft.
- Campsite Altitude: 3000 m. / 9843 Ft.
After breakfast you will leave the hotel in Cusco, together with the tour guide on a private van towards the starting point of the trekking tour on Km 82, Piscacucho. Upon arrival, you will go through the control point of the Inca Trail and then proceed with the trek. You will start at 2400 m.a.s.l. and will ascend slowly toward the archeological ruins called Llactapata (2650 m.a.s.l.) where you will arrive after 2 hours of trekking. Here, you will explore the ruins and have lunch at its' base afterwards. Later you will continue on the Inca Trail to the semitropical valley of Wayllabamba, and after 2 hours you will arrive to the archeological site of Wayllabamba. You will explore this site as well and set the first campsite around the area. Dinner will be served and you will spend the night there.
DAY 2: WAYLLABAMBA - WARMIWAÑUSKA - PACAYMAYU
- Distance: 16 Km.
- Walking Hours: 7-8 hours
- Low Altitude: 3000 m. / 9842 Ft.
- High Altitude: 4215 m. / 13828 Ft. (First Pass – Warmiwañusca)
- Campsite Altitude: 3000 m. / 9843 Ft.
You will start the day with a good breakfast. This is the most difficult day of the Inca Trail, but don't worry; it's not impossible! You will traverse towards the highest point of the Inca Trail: The Warmiwañuska Pass. On the way there, you will witness different microclimates. After approximately 3 hours of walking, the Warmiwañuska Pass, also known as “The Dead Woman Pass” (4215 m.a.s.l.), will be at hands reach. Once there, you will have an amazing view of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba Mountain Chain. If you are lucky, you might even see the condors flying up in the sky. After a few moments here, you will descend through a winding valley till you reach the area where you will have lunch. After lunch, you will proceed ascending again until the Pacaymayu Gorge where you will set up the campsite, have dinner, and rest for the night.
DAY 3: PACAYMAYU/ WIÑAYWAYNA
- Distance: 16 Km.
- Walking Hours: 8-10 hours
- Low Altitude: 2650 m. / 8694 Ft.
- High Altitude: 3900 m. / 12467 Ft. (Second Pass – Runkuracay)
- Campsite Altitude: 2650 m. / 8694 Ft.
This day is one of the longest, but one of the most beautiful ones at the same time. The presence of small Incan ruins along the way makes it absolutely worth it. You will ascend through a steep trail and will reach the second pass where the impressive archeological rests of Runkuracay (3800 m.a.s.l) are. Afterwards, you will descend till you get to Sayaqmarca (3600 m.a.s.l), also known as “The Dominant Town”. Here, you will also see very interesting Incan ruins. You will continue through the valley where you will make a stop for lunch. You will continue ascending, going through Conchamarca, which is a small archeological site that was recently discovered. After this, you will reach the first tunnel along the way and later you will get to the last pass on the Inca Trail, from where you will see the town of Phuyupatamarca, “Town above the clouds” (3665 m.a.s.l) without a doubt one of the most original towns on the whole Inca Trail. Afterwards, you will descend using around 2000 stone steps until reaching Wiñaywayna Citadel “Forever Young” (2700 m.a.s.l.). To end this day, you will continue to the last campsite to have dinner, relax and rest for the night.
DAY 4: WIÑAYWAYNA - MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO
- Distance: 6 Km.
- Walking Hours: 3 -4 hours
- Low Altitude: 2040 m. / 6693 Ft.
- High Altitude: 2650 m. / 8694 Ft.
On the fourth day, you will get up very early and have breakfast. On this day you will walk around 6 km on the Inca Trail, for approximately 3 hours to the next stop. Along the route, you will be able to see a great variety of flora and fauna typical of the area. Afterwards, you will arrive to Inti Punku “Sun Gate” (2490 m.a.s.l). It is an excellent opportunity to take panoramic pictures of the Machu Picchu Citadel (2430 m.a.s.l) as it is visible from this point. “The lost Inca City” is without a doubt one of the most important urban constructions of the Inca Empire Era.
Once in Machu Picchu Citadel, you will have a guided tour of approximately 2 hours with a bit of free time to explore. Afterwards, you will catch the bus in direction of the town of Aguas Calientes (2040 m.a.s.l). Here, you will be able to have some time to grab lunch and later that afternoon you will take the return train, Peru Rail – Expedition, together with your guide (time will be confirmed by tour operator). Upon your arrival to Cusco, the operator's transfer will be waiting at the train station to take you on our private van to your hotel.
- Personalized service (up to 8 people max. per group)
- Briefing one day before the tour
- Camping for 3 nights
- Professional and experienced tour guide fluent in English, specialized in hiking and trained in first aid and rescue (will be with you from the first to the last day)
- Professional chef, assistant cook and waiter for customer service. The chefs are graduates of culinary schools with many years of experience cooking in the mountains; they join at km 82.
- Porters, responsible for keeping all the hiking logistics (camping equipment, food etc.) and carrying 8 kg of personal belongings of each client. We join at km 82.
- Tourist ticket to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- Emergency equipment and first-aid kit
- Radio communication
- Local community experience (optional)
- Local shuttle bus from operator's office - Izcuchaca bus terminal - local community
- Private transfer from Local Community - Inca Trail Starting Point
- Family homestay or camping for 1 night at the local community (2 rooms: 1 for men and 1 for women. Camping: otherwise 4-person Eureka or Doite water proof and thermal tents, accommodating two people only)
- Scheduled farming activity
- Get together with traditional music at the assigned porter host’s house
- Visit to some social projects of the operator (school and vegetable garden)
- Meals: 1 dinner, 1 breakfast
- Professional guide
Tourist bus and transportation to start of the Inca Trail: Km 82
- Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
- Train EXPEDITION leaving Aguas Calientes in the afternoon*
- Pick up from the train station and transfer to Hotel in Cusco
(*) The return from Aguas Calientes will be done together with your tour guide. Time of service to be confirmed.
- Eureka & Doite waterproof and thermal high-mountain tent for up to 4 people, but for convenience it will be used for 2 people only.
- Dining tent and kitchen tent
- Reinforced foam
- Restroom tent and portable toilet
- Camping tables, chairs and tableware
- Dishes rich in calories, vitamins and proteins that will provide all the energy that you need for the trek.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served daily (on day 4: no lunch or dinner) and you will also receive snacks and hot drinks like infusions in the afternoon. Along with your breakfast, you will receive a cup of coca tea, which will help you to adjust to the cold mountain air.
- Please inform the local operator about vegetarian meals, diabetic diets, allergies or other special requests during the booking process. Water will be provided every day during the whole trek.
- Students with valid ISIC card (if you book the student rate): you will need to bring the original card, not a copy, to show it at the control points throughout the Inca Trail. If the card is not shown, you will be denied entry to the Inca Trail as the permits purchased for you won’t be valid anymore.
- Children: Between 7 and 17 years (at the start of the trek) pay the student rate, however they must show a copy of their passports.
- Children under 7 years: They have a 30% discount.
- Breakfast on the first day, lunch and dinner on the last day
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking poles
- Air mattress
- Waterproof and thermic tent for personal use (capacity for 2 people)
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu*
- Extra Porter to carry personal items with more capacity that what is already included; It can be from 8kg to 15Kg**
* Please note that the estimated time to start your guided tour of the Machu Picchu Citadel is between (8:15 am - 9:00 am). However, this might be delayed due to the pace of the group and weather issues. Therefore, there is a risk of having to leave your guided tour half way to be able to make it on time for your climb to either Huayna Picchu.
**Please let the operator know about your request for a personal porter at the time of your booking.
- The tour starts at 6:00 am on the first day.
- There are departures almost every day. Please contact us to check the availability of the tour before buying.
- 2 days and 1 night
- If you have reserved the service with your old Passport and then you have renewed it and obtained another one, your passport number has most likely changed. Please let the operator know so they can update this information. This modification has to be made at least 10 days before your trip to Peru. Otherwise, this update or modification will have an additional fee of $ 12 and it will create a big inconvenience to update the information last minute.
- Important: If you do not bring your passport, you won’t be given entrance to the trail.
- If you booked the trail with discounts for students with ISIC card please bring it and also your university ID (no copy or expired version, it must be the original document. If you do not bring your card you will be denied entry into the Inca Trail as the permits won’t be valid without your card.)
- If you have medical restrictions for some or all the activities detailed in your booking please contact your doctor and inquire about the risks of doing said activities.
- Arrive 2-3 days before your trek to avoid the Altitude Sickness (Soroche) and stomach pain provoked by slow digestion.
- Altitude Sickness: some of the symptoms are headache and nausea. There are some over the counter medication (pills) that help to minimize the symptoms of this problem, such as Glucosa Coramina, Aspirina, Diamox, Soroichi Pill, and Acetazolamida among others. If the symptoms persist, the use of oxygen is the next step. Under these circumstances the operator has the necessary equipment and staff to assist you.
- Stomach Pain: Drink between 3-4 liters of water per day so your body will stay hydrated. Hot drinks or meals are especially recommended, such as coca leaf tea, soups, vegetables, and carbohydrates (not fried or heavy). Candy, chocolates, cookies and fruits are also a good option. In general, all food that is easy to digest. Do not drink alcohol or smoke.
- Try to sleep at least 8 hours and do not exercise too much. Keep your body in good temperature wearing warm clothes to protect yourself from the cold. While adjusting to the altitude there is a general rule to follow: eat what is necessary and drink plenty of liquids.
- Please inform the operator before the trip of any medical restrictions, food restrictions, allergies, special diets, current medications, health issues, or anything that they need to consider to make your trip enjoyable and without concerns.
What to pack for the trek:
Take only whatever is necessary for the trek and leave the rest at the hotel.
- A hiking/trekking backpack (50 liters capacity)
- A sleeping bag that can resist preferably up to -5 Celsius minimum (synthetic or feather). You can rent one from the operator.
- Hiking Poles with rubber tips (can be rented from the operator)
- Trekking clothing: trekking shoes, raingear/waterproof clothes (pants, shorts, rain jacket), t-shirts, light sweater and clothes to rest in once at the camp. Sleepwear, socks, sandals, hat, sunglasses and underwear. In regards to the clothing to rest in once in the camp, it should be made of cotton so it can warm up, at least during the first two nights. Also a thicker sweater for the night. During the day time, it is better to use the raingear or clothing that is waterproof.
- 3 plastic bags to separate your clothes: clean, wet, dirty.
- Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes: Please bring with you a clean set of clothes to wear after the trekking. Also, you can bring along swimwear and towels if you decide to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes.
- Personal hygiene items for the entire trail (towel for camping, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and wet wipes and antibacterial gel)
- Personal medicine, medicine for altitude sickness (such as Coramina, Aspirina, Diamox, Sorojchi, Acetazolamida) and Anti Blister Gel to avoid getting blisters on your feet and being unable to continue your trek.
- Flashlight LED auto rechargeable (will be used every night in the campsites)
- Digital Camera with an external memory (2-4 Gb) (optional)
- Sun Block SPF 60 (UVA-UVB) waterproof and sport.
- Waterproof insect repellent lotion, not spray.
- Swiss army knife
- Water bottle made of flexible plastic (from Platypus, this type of bottle is very easy to carry and does not take up a lot of space; the provider will be refilling water throughout all of the trek.)
- Extra money to buy some beverages during the trek (optional)
- If you decide to stay one night in Aguas Calientes, you will need to have cash with you as the ATMs in the area quickly run out of money due to the high amount of tourists. If you just wish to have lunch in Aguas Calientes it is also advisable to bring cash. For all transactions it is suggested to bring local currency (Peruvian Nuevos Soles).
Terms of Reservation:
|December||03, 04, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25|
|January||01, 03, 14, 20|
|March||02, 07, 19, 29|
|April||16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 25, 29, 30|
|May||09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 20|
|June||13, 16, 17, 19, 23, 27, 29|
|August||06, 17, 23, 28|
How many days in advance?
- It is necessary to book this trek in advance, as it has a limited capacity of 500 people per day divided into 2 seperate times. The first group starts the trek at 7:00 am and the second group at 10:00 am; with 200 people in each group.
- Going up Huayna Picchu will take between 45 minutes to 1 hour. The trail is narrow but safe. The view is amazing. You will see a panoramic view of Machu Picchu, the Sun Gate, the Urubamba Valley, and the Urubamba River. If however, there is no availability for the mountain Huayna Picchu the operator can consider Machu Picchu Mountain, which is also impressive for its' location.
- The Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain ticket costs an additional US$ 75.00 US dollars and the Machu Picchu citadel ticket costs an additional US$ 69.00 US dollars.
*Keep in mind that the trekking up to the mountain is not suggested for people with problems with vertigo or who are afraid of heights.
Terms of Cancelation:
- Due to the strict regulations established by Machu Picchu Park, once you have made your booking, the space and permit that has been purchased cannot be cancelled. It is also impossible to transfer the permit to someone else under a different name, nor can the date of your permit be modified. Therefore, if you are not able to arrive on the scheduled date, no refunds can be done.
- Permits are not refundable and the local tour operator will purchase the permits as soon as the confirmation of the booking is sent to you.
- If you cancel the booking between 30 to 10 days before the start of your trip; you will be required to pay 50% of the total cost.
- If you cancel the booking between 10 to 3 days before the start of your trip; you will be required to pay 80% of the total cost.
- If you cancel the booking between 1 to 2 days before the start of your trip; you will be required to pay 100% of the total cost.
- In the event that you decide to withdraw from the trekking once it has started, you will be responsible for all additional charges such as: food and transport that might occur because of the modification of your itinerary. However, you can join the group again for the visit to Machu Picchu citadel and the use of the same services from that point onwards.
- In the event that you decide to cancel the trip due to a health issue or personal problem, the above cancelation policies will be applied as the company had already had administrative and logistic expenses for your trekking.
Rules to follow during the trek:
- Before the start of the trek (Km 82) you will go through a control point where you will have to show the passport that was used to make the booking of the trail. All the information must match the information on the permits. This will be verified by government staff. Only after this verification is done, you will be granted access to the Inca Trail. If that information does not match their records, you will be denied entry (ministry of culture regulation).
- All road routes are marked, they need to be respected in order to guarantee the preservation and conservation of the route and its' own security. If you become curious about a specific area outside of the marked one, please reach out to your tour guide before.
- The campsites are determined beforehand by the government. These are also mentioned in the permits or admission tickets that you will receive. You must adhere to the regulations, respect fellow trekkers, and avoid unruly behavior.
- Please deposit all garbage in the containers located in each campsite.
- It is forbidden to climb or attempt to climb any walls on the archeological sites. Do not pick up flowers that are indigenous to the area, hunt animals or take stones from the archeological sites as this type of behavior will be prosecuted by the local authorities and by the government.
- Bonfires are strictly prohibited by government regulation.
- Firearms are prohibited on the trail. It is also prohibited to carry alcoholic beverages while on the trail. At the entrance of the Inca Trail, during the first control point you and your belongings will be inspected to guarantee that these items do not enter the trail. Other fellow trekkers doing the route and the trail itself must be respected, as the area is a historic sanctuary.
- In the event of an emergency, please reach out immediately to your tour guide, or to any Inca Trail staff located along the route. They can assist you in any type of emergency.
- The tour guide MUST follow the company policy in regards of treatment of passengers and assistance on which both parts previously was agreed upon.
- The Inca Trail is pretty safe, however you must follow the instructions given by your tour guide and always be alert. There are sections of the trail which are 3 meters wide and then there are others which are very narrow. If you’d like to stop to contemplate the landscape and scenery, you must come to a complete stop, and then continue with the trek.
To return by train from Machu Picchu Station, you must take into account the following:
- You will return with his trek's group and the tour guide.
- Information on the departure time by train from Aguas Calientes will be provided during the Post-Sale from the operator.
- If you want to make an upgrade or change the departure time of your train service from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, you must report this change at least 35 days before your trip. This way, you would avoid paying the penalty. You only have to pay the difference in the train ticket.
- Depending on your physical fitness, the trekking can be exhausting. If you would like to have assistance to carry your personal belongings, you can hire an additional porter to carry up to 8 kg (18 pounds) for $ 85.00 or one for up to 15 kg (33 pounds) for $ 150.00. The cost includes porter’s salary, porter’s entrance to Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and food.
- Additional cost of $ 50.00, you can request this when you make the booking.
The operator offers the service of portable toilets, but if you prefer to use the public restrooms provided by the government, these are located on the following stops along the Inca Trail: Km 82, family houses on the Inca Trail, Wayllabamba, Lluclluchapampa, Warmiwañuscca, Paccaymayu, Chaquicocha, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna.
Information about the Local Operator:
We only select the best tour operators whose services comply with our security standards, good equipment and a fair price for every destination.
After having made the purchase you receive an e-mail with the complete contact information of the local tour operator.