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Llactapata Inca Trek

Llactapata Inca Trek

Those who are looking for an adventure like Indiana Jones should visit Llactapata, which is an important landmark on the Inca Trail, located at the confluence of the Cusichaca and Urubamba rivers in the Department of Cusco. It is an impressive ruin that is made up of the ceremonial center of Pulpituyoq, the urban sector, the agricultural area, and the cemetery. There you can also admire an immense and complex system of terraces dedicated since ancestral times to the cultivation of food at more than 2,800 meters altitude. Hiram Bingham rediscovered the ruins of the buildings of Llactapata in 1912, above Huaquina, but it was not until much later that they were properly studied and it was concluded that these buildings were a resting point on the old road to Machu Picchu. It is not only the way these ruins are decorated or their astrological alignment, which suggests a Machu Picchu connection, or the fact that they are only about four kilometers from the main headquarters, Llactapata is also linked to the route by a system of shared drainage. Llactapataby name in Quechua means "High City" shows us its incredible condition located 2.840 meters above the sea, this archaeological site is on the Inca Trail. Llactapata fulfilled religious and agricultural importance is reflected by its proximity to ceremonial resorts as important as wealth and fertile lands which were very well used were made. The strategic location indicates its importance which expressed the Inca domination. On an expedition with beautiful landscapes, we can observe from viewpoints and pass through the cloud forest seeing a variety of orchids, animals, and vegetation. The hike is not a challenge but the altitude would be a problem, so is very important to acclimatize to the weather in a few days before realizing the trek, and advice when you already are walking, if you suffer the mountain sickness, don't worry because it will pass on the road and we count with a professional staff that can help you in any situations. Bringing coca leaves is essential it can be useful like an energetic or coca tea. Don't miss the opportunity to discover the magic Inca city of Llactapata!


Quick itinerary:

Day 01: Hike to Llactapata

Day 02: Hike to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu


Important info about your Trek:

  • 2days hiking with a professional Tour Guide
  • Visit the cloud forest on the road
  • Guided tour of the Incan complex of Llactapata
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Climb to Huayna Picchu

Crew: A Inca Trail Machu Representative in Cusco and a professional Tour Guide of the trek.

Accommodation: Hostel (1 night).

Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner (Please allow USD 20 - 30 for meals not included).

Transportation: Transportation by private van, 2x train.


Highlights of Llactapata Inca Trek:

  • There are some ruins called LLactapata that were located by Hiram Bingham in a hamlet of no more than 100 houses. Unlike Machu Picchu, Llactapata never ceased to be populated so the place could retain its original name since the Inca times. The place looks like an immense mansion, a country house worthy of an Inca ruler and it could be the "Patallacta" that describes Betanzos as the final resting place of Pachacutec.
  • Llactapata is an impressive ruin that is made up of the ceremonial center of Pulpituyoq, the urban sector, the agricultural area, and the cemetery. There you can also admire an immense and complex system of terraces dedicated since ancestral times to the cultivation of food at more than 2,800 meters altitude.
  • Llactapata may have been a member of the network of interrelated administrative and ceremonial sites which supported the regional center at Machu Picchu. It probably played an important astronomical function during the solstices and equinoxes.

Packing List:

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

Interesting Information


Day 01: Cusco - Llactapata - Aguas Calientes
Inca Trail Machu

At 6:30 am, we pick you up from your hotel to take by private vehicle to Hidrolectrica (hydroelectric plant). During this 5 hour ride, we can observe cloud forest and mountain landscapes, for example Abra Malaga (4,550 m). When in Hidrolectrica, we get off the vehicle and start climbing to Llactapata Incan complex where we receive a guided tour. Later on, we return to Hidrolectrica and from there, we walk for 3 hours along trails until Aguas Calientes (a small town just below Machu Picchu). We overnight there in a nice hostel with a private bathroom.


Estimated trekking time: 3  hours
Max. elevation: 4, 550  m
Min. elevation: 2, 040  m
Difficulty:   Easy

Day 02: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Inca Trail Machu

Today, we wake up very early to hike for 2 hours up to Machu Picchu!! In this amazing Incan citadel, our Tour Guide explains us about its each part function and its history. Then, we are given time off to hike Huayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time down) where we can take panoramic photos of Machu Picchu! Later, we can return to Machu Picchu and explore it on our own. In the evening, we return to Cusco by train and then by bus.

Please note! If Huayna Picchu is fully booked in the time of your booking, we might replace it with Machu Picchu Mountain (a place where all typical postcard photos of Machu Picchu are taken) hiking!

Inca Trail Machu

  • Pre-trek briefing with your Tour Guide;
  • Transfer by private vehicle to the initial point of the trek at Hidroelectrica;
  • Accommodation: hostel (1 night); 
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain;
  • Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner (please advice us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
  • Experienced bilingual Tour Guide;
  • Tourist train (Expedition) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo;
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

Not Included
Inca Trail Machu

  • Breakfast on the first day and lunch in Aguas Calientes Town on the second day,
  • A shuttle bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu ($9.50 one way or $18.50 a round trip),
  • Travel insurance,
  • Tourist train from Hidrolectrica to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu mountain (U$80)
  • 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 20-30 for meals not included.
Single room: If you like a single room for this trek, please choose the "Single room" option during your booking.
Local flights: No local flight is included in the trek´s price!

Inca Trail Machu

Highlights by Archaeological Sites

  • Explore the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Visit Llactapata settlement
  • Take a rest in Aguas Calientes
  • Beautiful views from ruins


Best moment from the Trek

  • The landing to Machu Picchu citadel for then climb to the ruins


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.



  • 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 Llactapata Inca Trek

Here is everything you need to know about Llactapata Inca Trek, one of our most impressive routes.

Where is located the Llactapata Incan Ruins?
Llaqtapata is located northwest of Machu Picchu at 2,500 m.a.s.l., 25 km from the Santa Teresa district.

Altitudes in Llactapata Inca Trek
During Llactapata Inca Trek, we will find the following altitudes:
  • "Abra Málaga" at 4,550 m.a.s.l.
  • "Llacatapata Incan Ruins" at 2,840 m.a.s.l.
  • "Machu Picchu" at 2,430 m.a.s.l.
  • "Huayna Picchu" at 2,720 m.a.s.l.
How many kilometers is walked during the Llactapata Inca Trek and how many hours do we walk per day?
The first day, we climb to Llactapata Incan Ruins from the Hydroelectric Plant for 2 hours aprox. After the guided tour, we will return and start walking for 3 hours until the town of hot Springs. The second day, we hike for 2 hours up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu. After the guided tour, you climb by yourself for about 45 minutes up to Huayna Picchu, a peak above Machu Picchu that serves to take some panoramic pictures of the Incan city.  

What does "Llactapata" mean?
"Llactapata", is made up from two Quechua words: "Llaqta", which means town, and "Pata", meaning high place. So, its name means: "Elevated Town"

How difficult is the Llactapata Inca Trek?
The difficulty of this trek is considered very easy, since you only have to walk per 6 hours the first day ando for 2 hours the second one. 

Is it possible to do the Llactapata Inca Trek on my own?
The path is well signposted and the route can be done without a guide, although this is useful when it comes to understanding the ruins, flora and fauna of the route. It is recommended to leave early because then it is hot until the beginning of the road in Lucmabamba. Then you can take a bus to return from the hydroelectric plant or continue to Machu Picchu.

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