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Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Trekking Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is Peru's number one route. The 5 Day Inca Trail is an excellent alternative to avoid most of the crowds found on the classic Inca Trail. Between the first and third day hike of Inca Trail, you will have opportunity to take in all the sights and experiences of the Inca route at your leisure. Staying at campsites and enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains and see the sunsets and sunrises in peace and tranquility.

On the fourth day we reach Machu Picchu through the sun gate, and you have time explore the site on your own. If you like you can meet up with the rest of the group and have lunch in the picturesque town of Aguas Calientes. It takes an hour on foot to get to town. It’s a lovely descending walk in which you have the chance to take some beautiful pictures. Alternatively you can take the shuttle bus, which takes 30 minutes. You also get the chance to visit the local hot springs (just what you need after a 4 day trek!). On the fourth night you spend the night in a comfortable hotel, where you can enjoy a hot shower.

On the fifth day we simply take a shuttle bus and we enter Machu Picchu very early. Then you have your 2 and a half guided tour of the `Lost City of the Incas’. Then you get to climb up Huayna Picchu (optional) and take some panoramic pictures!,,

Quick Itinerary:

 

Day 01: Cusco - Km 82 - Llullucha Pampa
Day 02: Llullucha Pampa - Chaquicocha 
Day 03: Chaquicocha - Wiñay Wayna 

Day 04: Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes

Day 05: Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes - Cuzco

 

Important info about your Trek:

  • 5days hiking on Inca Trail with a professional bilingual Tour Guide, a Cook and Porters,
  • Walk the Inca Trail and visit of Machu Picchu in a slower pace, 
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu,
  • A climb to either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Optional).
  • Explore the lost city of the Incas

Crew: A Inca Trail Machu Representative in Cusco and a professional bilingual Tour Guide, a Cook and Porters. 

Accommodation: 3x campsite, 1x hotel.

Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 4x afternoon tea (Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included).

Transportation: Transportation by private van, 1x train (Expedition Class).

Camping equipment: You can view our camping equipment.

Group Available: Min: 2 and Max: 8 Trekkers


Packing List:

  • Passport: Carry it is very important
  • Inmigration Card
  • ISIC card: If you booked as a student
  • A good hiking shoes: Comfortable and useful on all terrain
  • Waterproof: Especially in rainy seasons
  • Sunscreen: Avoid the ultraviolet ray
  • Coca leaf

 

Departures 100% guaranteed!!

Do I need to book it in advance? Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has departures guaranteed, but Inca Trail permits, train tickets and entrances to Huayna Picchu Mountain are subjet to availability! For that reason, we HIGHLY recommend booking it well in advance to ensure you receive exactly what you want!!

PLEASE NOTEMay, June and July are peak months of a HIGH TOURIST SEASON in Cusco. It means that Inca Trail permits are SELL OUT MANY MONTHS IN ADVANCE!!

 

Interesting Information

Day 01: Cusco - Km 82 - Llullucha Pampa

Day 01: Cusco - Km 82 - Llullucha Pampa

Early morning, we pick you up from your hotel and take you by private transport to the starting point of this Inca Trail hike - Piscacucho, also called Km 82 (2,350 m). Once there your Tour Guide gives you a briefing about your Machu Picchu tour and after that, you cross the checking point of the Inca Trail hike. Then you hike along the Urubamba River visiting the Incan archaeological sites of Willca Raccay and the enormous Llactapata. Later on, you continue up to the Cusichaca River Canyon offering magnificent views of the Cordillera Oriental; particularly, the Veronica Mountain (5,850 m). You have lunch in Chamana to later continue the Inca Trail walk along the Cusichaca River observing several Incan agricultural stepped terraces and irrigation channels until reaching the picturesque village of Wayllabamba. Thereafter, you start ascending while experiencing various eco-systems along the way. Later in the afternoon, you get to the village of Llullucha Pampa, a place of your first campsite (3,850 m). There you have dinner and a rest afterwards.

 

Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours

Trekking distance: 17 km

Max. elevation: 3,850m (12,630 ft)

Min. elevation: 2,600 m (8,530 ft)

Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Day 02: Llullucha Pampa - Chaquicocha

Day 02: Llullucha Pampa - Chaquicocha

Early after breakfast, you continue your Machu Picchu hike ascending towards the highest point of the trail - Abra Warmiwañusqa (= Dead Woman´s Pass) at 4,200 metres passing through the cloud forests of Yunkachimpa and Corral Punku offering excellent views of surrounding snowcapped peaks. From Warmiwañusqa, you descend to the Pacaymayo Valley (3,300 m), where you have a lunch break. Then you walk the Inca Trail through the valley until you get to the Inka´s ruins of Runkuracay where a guided tour follows. Afterwards, you climb up and get over the second pass - Abra Runkurakay (3,860m) walking on this "Royal Inca´s Highway" down to the next Inka site - Sayacmarca. On the way, you pass the Yanacocha Lake. In the end, we get to our second campsite - Chaquicocha (3,670 m).

 

Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours

Trekking distance: 12 km

Max. elevation: 4,200 m (12,630 ft)

Min. elevation: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)

Difficulty: Challenging

Day 03: Chaquicocha - Wiñay Wayna

Day 03: Chaquicocha - Wiñay Wayna

Today, we start hiking passing through lovely subtropical vegetation and many important archaeological sites. Before we reach the first site, we get over Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,670 m) and just behind it we can see the Phuyupatamarca Inka complex (3,600 m), one of the best preserved and most completed sites of this 5 days Inca Trail. The complex is located on the top of a mountain and it corresponds with its Quechuan name that means the "Town above the Clouds". After a guided tour, we have lunch there. Then we start a steep descent via a cloud forest offering an opportunity to see beautiful orchids and different bird species on the way to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2,700 m). There, we have a guided tour of the same-named impressive archaeological complex consisting of a religious sector, urban sector and an agricultural centre with lots of stepped terraces. Afterwards we are served dinner and then we go sleep to get ready to trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!

 

Estimated trekking time: 5-6 hours

Trekking distance: 10 km

Max. elevation: 3,670 m (12,040 ft)

Min. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)

Difficulty: Moderate

Day 04: Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes

Day 04: Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes

We begin our Inca Trail trek early morning after breakfast. We first climb ancient steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to see the sunrise above the long-awaited sight of the citadel of Machu Picchu! Then we spend the rest of the morning exploring the Inca citadel on our own. For those interested, we meet up in the below town of Aguas Calientes to have lunch together. To get to Aguas Calientes you can either take a slow descending walk (recommended to take some lovely panoramic photos, it takes about an hour) or a shuttle bus (approx. 20 minutes; it costs $9.50 which is not included in the Inca Trail package). Later you can visit the local hot springs (entrance fee of 10 Soles is not included in any of our Inca Trail packages). You spend the night in a comfortable hostel where you can enjoy hot shower!

 

Estimated trekking time: 3 hours

Trekking distance: 4 km

Max. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)

Min. elevation: 2,400 m (7,875 ft)

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Day 05: Machu Picchu - Cusco

Day 05: Machu Picchu - Cusco

This morning we simply take a shuttle bus up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu. The bus leaves us in front of the gates of the ancient site, which we enter for the best early morning photo opportunities! Then you enjoy a 2 and a half hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas"! Afterwards you have an opportunity to climb either the peak of Wayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) or Machu Picchu Mountain (1 hour, 30 minutes up and down) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu! This Machu Picchu tour finishes by an afternoon descend to the town of Aguas Calientes where we take a train back to Cusco, where we arrive by evening.

Included

  • Pre-trek briefing with your Tour Guide
  • A duffel bag (for your clothes and equipments)
  • Transfer by private vehicle to the initial point of the trail at Km 82
  • Accommodation: camping (3 nights), Hotel (1 night)
  • Inca Trail Permit and 2 entrance fees to Machu Picchu
  • Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 3x afternoon´s hot beverages (If you are a vegetarian, please advise us in advance. A vegetarian meal option is for NO extra cost!)
  • Experienced bilingual Tour Guide (a group up to 10 participants has 1 Tour Guide, a groups over 10 participants receives 2 Tour Guides)
  • A professional Cook
  • Porters to carry food, camping, cooking equipment and 5 kg of each passenger´s stuff
  • Camping equipment: personal double tents, 
  • Inflatable mattress (Term-a-rest mattress), 
  • Tables and chairs, cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C)
  • A Blanket per person
  • A Pillow
  • Day Pack - Rain covers
  • Rain Poncho
  • A T-shirt of the Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
  • Tourist train (Expedition Class) from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo;
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the first day and last lunch in Aguas Calientes Town
  • A shuttle bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town ($12 one way, $24 - a round trip)
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu mountain and Machu Picchu mountain
  • Extra Porter to help you carrying up to 15 kg of your personal belonging (USD 130; the Extra Porter can be shared between 2 persons)
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru, however, it is not obligatory)
  • Other extras not mentioned.

Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you also receive your own single tent.
Local flights: No local flights are included in any of our Inca Trail packages!

Highlights by Archaeological Sites

  • Explore the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Walking through the cloud forest
  • Visit wiñaywayna
  • Amazing views from Inca citadel

 

Best moment from the Trek

  • The landing to Machu Picchu citadel and with an alternative to climb Huayna Picchu mountain

 

Encampment Equipment


Inca Trail Machu Tour operator will provide the double tent. Our tents are of the brand  EUREKA MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2 person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary
Inca Trail Machu will provide the clean Sleeping bag, Inflatable pillow and blanket. Our porters will leave inside your tent. Once arrived to the camping, you will find inside your all camping equipment.

 

Additionals

  • Walking sticks or poles cost $20 to rent.
  • Daypack for your hike U$ 10
  • Rain Poncho U$ 10 
  • There are emergency porters available for rent along this trek if you are unsure you will be able to complete the hike, cost $80.

Doubts and Frequent Questions about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Here is everything you need to know about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of our most impressive routes.

Where is located the Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail is located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, between Cuzco, Capital of the ancient Inca Empire, and the citadel of Machu Picchu. The alternation of mountains and valleys along the walk offers incredible and diversified landscapes.

Altitudes in Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
During Inca Trail, we will find the following altitudes:
  • "Piscacucho" at 2,350 m.a.s.l.
  • "Veronica Mountain" at 5,850 m.a.s.l.
  • "Llullucha Pampa" at 3,850 m.a.s.l.
  • "Dead Woman´s Pass" at 4,200 m.a.s.l.
  • "Pacaymayo Valley" at 3,300 m.a.s.l.
  • "Abra Runkurakay " at 3,860 m.a.s.l.
  • "Chaquicocha" at 3,670 m.a.s.l.
  • "Phuyupatamarca Pass" at 3,670 m.a.s.l.
  • "Phuyupatamarca Inka complex" at 3,600 m.a.s.l.
  • "Wiñay Wayna" at 2,700 m.a.s.l.
How many kilometers is walked during the Inca Trail and how many hours do we walk per day?
  • Piscacucho to Llullucha Pampa: 17 Km (Trekking time: 7 - 8 hours)
  • Llullucha Pampa to Chaquicocha: 12 Km (Trekking time: 7 - 8 hours)
  • Chaquicocha to Wiñay Wayna: 10 Km (Trekking time: 5 - 6 hours)
  • Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu: 4 Km (Trekking time: 3 hours)
What does "Machu Picchu" mean?
"Machu Picchu" means 'Old Mountain' in the indigenous Quechua language. "Machu Picchu", the lost city of the Incas, is an unprecedented historical, natural and architectural complex, a tourist destination that has earned the category of inescapable.

How difficult is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
The Inca Trail is considered an intermediate level trek. Since it does not include rock climbing, or hiking on snow, isn´t required previous experience. The most difficult part comes the second day, when we climb a number of stairs and start from 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) to climb to more than 4000 meters (13,123 feet) walking through a small space, later things become more easy as the road continues downhill. Keep in mind that you will carry your personal items, which may include clothing, camera, water, camp equipment, etc; which may add difficulty to the trek because of the weight. 

Is it possible to do the Inca Trail on my own?
If you are an experienced hiker, you may want to go hiking to the classic Inca Trail on your own, without a tour operator, without a guide, without a carrier, just you and the way. However, that is NOT possible.
Government regulations do not allow it, since 2001 hiking independently on the Inca Trail is prohibited. The regulation states that each hiker must be accompanied by a qualified professional guide. The UGM (Management Unit of Machu Picchu) is the regulatory entity that supervises companies fulfill certain requirements to operate this route. The license of each company is renewed annually, likewise, the list of authorized guides and agencies is published on the official website: www.machupicchu.gob.pe
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