The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is known as one of the most famous and popular hiking trails not only in Peru but also worldwide. It consists of the 4 day Trek to Machu Picchu. The main attraction of this tour is a beautiful combination of Inca ruins, majestic mountains, exotic vegetation and amazing ecological diversity. The trail leads through high passes with unforgettable views, a cloud forest, and finally down into semi-tropical vegetation.
The Machu Picchu sanctuary is home to more than 250 species of orchids and many species of rare birds, animals, reptiles, as well as some species that are on the verge of extinction.
The highest point above sea level is 4,200 m, so everyone who comes from the coast is advised to spend 2 days in Cusco before traveling to acclimatize to the altitude. You can explore and discover one of the most unspoiled landscapes in Peru and experience an Andean journey to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
The 4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu includes a hike with a professional Guide, Cook and Porters carrying high-quality camping equipment. A tour that you will remember because we will go through challenging roads and we will successfully overcome them!
Group Size: Min 2 and Max. 8 trekkers.
Sustainable Tourism: Inca Trail Machu is very keen and happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities
COVID Protocols: Before/ After the 4-Day Inca Trail, our Guide, Cook and Porters will provide safety equipment.
Physical Activity: 3-Moderate to Difficult - Some points are high
Service Level:All Inclusive & Quality service
Age Requirement: 4+. Please note: all participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Local Tour Operator: Inca Trail Machu since 2007
Inca Trail Permits: It is included the Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu Tickets. If you want to climb Huayna Picchu, please request in advance (Not included).
Inca Trail Machu Staff: Professional Tour Guide, Cook and Porters during the hike, and an Inca Trail Machu representative who visits you at your hotel to briefs you about the trail.
Personal Porters: Our porters will carry personal belongings up to 7 kg per person!
Accommodation: 3x campsite.
Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 3x afternoon tea.
Transportation: Transportation by private vehicle, 1x train (standard class).
Camping equipment: A double tent, therm-A-Rest mattress and a sleeping bag; For more information click here.
Day 01: Cusco - Km 82 - Ayapata
Day 02: Ayapata - Pacaymayu
Day 03: Pacaymayu - Wiñaywayna
Day 04: Hiking to Machu Picchu
If you want to best price and service backpacker, choose the Cheap Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu Tour. Usually the all tour operator offer this service, but the price is more.
Inca Trail Machu DOES NOT permit any exploitation of Porters! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! We provide them with adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation. Please check this during our tours!
We pick you up from your hotel and transport you by bus to the trailhead at km 82. There a briefing takes place at 2,350 metres. them we pass a checkpoint and hike along the Urubamba river visiting the collection of archeological sites of WILKARAKAY and the marvelous Inca ruins of Llactapata. We later continue up the CUSICHAKA River Canyon offering some magnificent views of the Cordillera Oriental, particularly, VERONICA Mountain (5,850 m). We have lunch in Chamana, to continue afterwards following the trail and the Cusichaka river observing several Inca agricultural terraces and irrigation channels. Then, we visit the picturesque village of Huayllabamba. From this point, we start ascending while appreciating different eco-systems along the way. In AYAPATA, we set up the first campsite (3,700 m) and have afternoon tea and finally dinner before we go to sleep.
Estimated trekking time: 7 hours
Trekking distance: 14 km
Max. elevation: 3,250 m
Min. elevation: 2,600 m
After wake-up and breakfast, we start hiking up the trail toward the first pass WARMIWANUSCA (4,200 m) passing through the cloud forest of Yunkachimpa and Corralpunku enjoying excellent views of snowcapped peaks. From the pass, we descend to the PACASMAYO Valley (3,300 m) to have lunch there. We continue hiking through the valley to reach the Inka ruins of RUNKURACAY where we have another guided visit. Afterwards, we climb up to get over the second pass (3,860 m) and follow the "Royal Inca Highway" down to see the Inca site of SAYACMARCA. Then, we pass the YANACOCHA lake and camp in CHAQUICOCHA.
Estimated trekking time: 8 - 10 hours
Trekking distance: 16 km
Max. elevation: 4,200 m
Min. elevation: 3,300 m
We start climbing up the trail and pass through beautiful subtropical vegetation on the route to the archaeological site of PHUYUPATAMARCA. There we have lunch at an altitude of 3,600 metres to later steeply descent through a cloud forest having opportunities to see stunning orchids and different varieties of birds before we reach the wonderful Inca remains of WIÑAY WAYNA (2,700 m) where our guide shows us around. We spend the third night near the ruins.
Estimated trekking time: 5 hours
Trekking distance: 10 km
Max. elevation: 3,680 m
Min. elevation: 2,700 m
Early morning, we begin hiking to Machu Picchu overlooking the Urubamba river on the way to Sun Gate or INTI PUNKU to see the sunrise above Machu Picchu. We enter the site early in the morning for the best photo opportunities and then spend the rest of the morning visiting and exploring the citadel. Those interested in having lunch in Aguas Calientes (a town below the Inca citadel) can meet up later (optional) or can visit the hot springs of the town. Otherwise, you can just enjoy your free time in Machu Picchu. In the afternoon, we return to Cusco by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo to later continue by private vehicle to Cusco.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.
The Inca Trail Machu tour operator provides trek participants with a tent. Our tents are of the brand EUREKA MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE designated for 4 seasons. We use 3-person capacity tents; however, just 2 participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In the case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2-person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents, clean them and fix them if necessary.
Inca Trail Machu also provides a clean and warm sleeping bag, inflatable pillow, mat, and blanket which our porters place inside your tent, so you find your all camping equipment once at a campsite.
INCA TRAIL MACHU is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. Pick-up times may vary 30 - 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pick-ups.
If your hotel is outside Cusco City centre, we can arrange a pick-up depending on where your hotel is located. Your guide will inform you about the pick-up time during the briefing.
Please check the below table to find a starting point & pick-up place:
|Trip/ Hike||Starting Point & Pick-Up|
|Inca Trail||Cusco, Chinchero, Urubamba, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo|
|Lares Trek||Cusco, Pisac|
|Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu||Cusco, Urubamba, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo|
|Inca Quarry Trail||Cusco, Urubambam Yanahuara|
|Daily tours||Only Cusco|
Here is everything you need to know about the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of our most impressive routes.
The Inca Trail is situated in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, between Cuzco (the 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.
During the Classic Inca Trail, there are the following altitudes:
The Inca Trail measures 43 kilometers or 26.12 miles. There are camping sites assigned by the Ministry of Culture that are between 10 and 13 kilometers away from each other, so the daily hiking time can vary between 5 to 8 hours per day for the first three days and approximately 2 hours for the last day. The hours of daily hiking and the distance covered may vary according to the physical condition of each participant.
"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 "A Must-See".
Mid-December - early March: This is the peak of the rainy season, so it is better to not climb it at this time.
Daily average temperature: 18-19°C
Night average temperature: 7-8°C
Mid-March - May: It is the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the dry season, so it is partly cloudy and it rains a little bit sometimes. It is ok to hike the Inca Trail 4 days.
Daily average temperature: 19°C
Night average temperature: 8-4°C
June - September: This is the dry season and so the best months to trek!
Daily average temperature: 19-20°C
Night average temperature: 0-6°C
October - mid-December: It is the beginning of the rainy season, it rains sometimes, but it is still possible to hike the Classic Inca Trail.
Daily average temperature: 19-20°C
Night average temperature: 5-7°C
The Inca Trail is considered an intermediate difficulty level trek. Since it does not include rock climbing or hiking on snow, a previous experience is not required. The most difficult part comes the second day when a number of steps are climbed and moreover, the start point lies at 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) while the highest climbing point is at 4,200 meters (13,123 feet). There also is only a small space to climb; however, the hike becomes later easier as the road continues downhill. Keep in mind that you will carry your personal items, which may include clothing, camera, water, and others which may add difficulty to the trek because of the weight.
If you are an experienced trekker, you may want to go hiking on the Classic Inca Trail on your own, without a tour operator, without a guide, without a porter, just you and the way. However, that is NOT possible!
The Peruvian government regulations do not allow it! It has been prohibited since 2001! The regulations state that each hiker must be accompanied by a qualified professional guide. The UGM (Management Unit of Machu Picchu) is the regulatory entity that controls tour companies to fulfill certain requirements to operate this route and they need to obtain a license to be allowed to do so. A licence must be renewed annually. The list of all authorized guides and agencies is published on the official website: www.machupicchu.gob.pe.