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 4 day classic route. Between the first and third day hike of classic 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!,,
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
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
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 NOTE: May, 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!!
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
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)
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)
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
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.
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!
We recommend that you bring a backpack with extra spaces and pockets. This should not weigh more than 45 litres.
You will be provided with a duffel bag that will be carried by our porters. Porters are regulated to 5 kg per hiker and will not be permitted carry more. If you belongings are heavier than 7 kg you must pay USD 130 extra for the extra porter.
Duffle bags - Upon your return to Cusco, please leave the duffle bag at reception
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, layered by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required in the first two campsites, warm coats can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machupicchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machupicchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. Check our “What we recommend that you bring” list for further information.
Daily departures are available all year round, except the month of Februabry when maintances are realized. If the trail is not available, you can still join one of our groups of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu (please see below)
If not, no worries as you can still hike one of so called Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu! These Alternative Treks are the following: