Inka Trail is the most famous trek to Machu Picchu and involves a professional guide, trekking chef, and Super porters. The Inka Trail which leads to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Cusco, is one of the most popular and well-known excursions in Peru.
The walk from Kilometer 43 groups a series of Inkas archaeological remains incredibly preserved. Along the route, the natural landscape is impressive, with incredible views of snow-capped mountains and the cloud forest. Visitors from all over the world come to Peru, not only to visit Machu Picchu, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World but also to do the Inka Trail.
Permits for the Inka Trail are in high demand, due to the limited number of entries per day. Many times these permits are difficult to obtain as availability decreases as the high season approaches (May-August), which is not surprising since this route is one of the best in its kind.
The Inka Trail starts from a point in the Sacred Valley, called "Kilometer 88". To begin the journey, cross a narrow bridge in Kusicancha, and then go to the left side of a eucalyptus forest. This trip is not suitable for people with heart disease, since it goes above 4600 masl. The path winds up, down, and around the mountains on the ancient stone carved stairs, and then follows three steps of high Andean mountains, one of them with a disturbing name, "Dead Women High pass". Once at the top, when it is possible to catch your breath, you will surely be amazed again by the truly spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera del Vilcanota. On the way, visitors can experience a series of microclimates and observe the changes in flora and fauna, typical of the high Andes and the cloud forest as well as the enormous biological diversity of the Amazon.
Four days later, hikers will arrive in the magnificent city of Machu Picchu, discovered more than 100 years ago by an American professor by the name of Hiram Bingham. Arriving at Inca Machu Picchu in the morning and seeing the sunrise is a worthy sight to be appreciated and completing the Camino del Inca is one of the best sensations in the world! Once in the Machu Picchu hike, you will climb to the top of Huayna Picchu for an incomparable view of the Historical Sanctuary, the neighboring town of Aguas Calientes and the Urubamba Valley.
One of the most remarkable achievements of the golden age of the Inca and Pre-Inca civilization and perphaps its greatest mystery is Inka Machu Picchu. Each year it is the goal for an ever increasing numer of visitors but few make the journeys along the ancient Inka Trail which is a part of a network of at least 30,000 km of main paved highways the Inca built along the Empire. The roads were tremendous feats of engineering and so well construted that large sections still survive despide centuries of neglect.
One of the best-known stretches of this imperial highways system remaining today is the route known as the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu. A fascinating four day trek on foot with porters, experienced biligual guides, chef, quality camping gear and nutrious, high energy food or you can do the top seller hike 3 day Inca Trail, you can enjoying your in the short hike.
The Classic Inca Trail begins at Kilometer 82 near Ollantaytambo in the Urubamba Valley and goes through small woods, bamboo forests, sub tropical vegetation and wild orchirds. When the trail reaches two high passes on day 2, the views are beyond spectacular.
The Inka Trail Peru runs about 43 kms, beginning at Qoriwayrachina, popularly known as km 88 on the Cusco route climbs steadily up to Huallabamba, there it continues to the Llullucha Pampa until it reaches the spectacular pass of Warmiwañusca at 4,200 ms. Then the trail drops into the Pacaymayo Valley and you go across two more high passes before finally reaching the ruin of Machu Picchu.
The trail goes through several Inca ruins such as Llaqtapata, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna; traveler's camping areas, tunnels and winds through some of the most beautiful scenery.
The Machu Picchu hike is completed when you arrive at Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. It is the high entrance from the Inka Trail and overlooks this ancient citadel. A chance to visit the most fomous lost city of them all, not in usual tourist fashion but along the trail trodden by the Incas when their civilization was at its zenith. In case you don´t have a long time, the Short is best for you.
There are two long trails that involve the Inka Trail, the first is the Salkantay to Inka Trail. this trail starts from Soraypampa and connects to the Ayapata. During the 3 day you will view the sacred mountain of Salkantay and the lost trail of the Incas. The last day, you will continue the hike to the classic Inka Trail.
The second option is not classic and is not connected directly to the Inka Trail, The name is Choquequirao to Machu Picchu. This trail is not popular, but in this trail you will find a part of the Inca path lost during the time and view the Inca ruins, Choquequirao, Llactapata and Machu Picchu archaeological sites.
Warmiwanusca (Quechua) = Dead woman.
The path meanders through the magical mountain cloud forest. Small streams gush between moss-covered trees. Again and again, we catch a glimpse of the cloud-covered peaks.
The last stretch to the pass is tough. Stone steps of varying heights lead steeply up. The air is getting thinner. Try to catch your breath during breaks. You will reach the highest point of the Inka Trail after four hours. Warmiwanusqa at 4,215 meters.
It's cold on the high pass. A sharp wind whistles around your ears. you will barely see a few meters through the low-hanging clouds. So you will quickly descend to the Pacaymayu campsite
After about four hours you will reach the impressive Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, which are terraced on a steep mountainside and surrounded by dense greenery.
Short Inka Trail (2 days)
You only have a little time, the permits for the entire trail are already sold out or your feet need a break? Then this version is ideal.
Take the train from Ollantaytambo up to kilometer 104 and enjoy the scenic route through the Sacred Valley. Continue on foot to Aguas Calientes. On the second day you have the opportunity to explore Machu Picchu before taking the train back to Cusco in the evening.
3 Day Inka Trail
This 3-day Inka Trail is the most popular hike among intrepid adventurous. This Machu Picchu hike starts on km 82 and finished in the lost city of the Incas, but you will walk quicker to complete this challenge. During the hike, you will always be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the Urubamba River, which meanders through the valley in the distance. Gigantic trees, tropical plants, and a variety of bright orchids grow along the way.
Compared to the 4-day version, the 5-day version is slower and allows more time to enjoy the sights along the way. If you have enough time, we recommend planning 5 days. So you can enjoy your adventure even more.
7 Day Inka Trail
This trail is a challenge that you should face in your life, The Salkantay to Inka trail is not popular among the Inka Trail tours, but it is the most beautiful and complex trail to Machu Picchu. We recommend taking a break and thinking about what you would like to discover in Peru. Prepare your daypack, hiking boots, and book this Machu Picchu trek.
All the high-season/low-season-trade-off are here. Winter (June through August) means drier weather and easier traveling, but it's prime vacation time for those in the northern hemisphere. Don't forget that three major observances - Inti Raymi (June 24). Peru's Independence day (July 28) and Santa Rosa de Lima (August 30) - fall during this time, and translate into exceptionally heavy crowds of Peruvian traveler. The result is higher winter lodging prices and larger crowds. Prices and visitor numbers drop dramatically during the summer rainy season (October through April). For near-ideal weather and mangeable crowds, consider it a spring or fall trip.
The wet season from November to April has a tropical downpour feel to it. Heavy, but the rain showers don't usually last long or the rain is often at night. The Inka Trail is closed for maintanace all February. The low season can be a time when you can enjoy Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, Inca Quarry trail, Inka Jungle to Machu Picchu without the crowds. Mudslides are an occasional problem It's rare, but visitors have been stranded at Inca Machu Picchu or between Aguas Calientes and Cusco if the slider blocks the way, usually the earth and mud is cleared away quickly and travel continues unimpeded.
Cusco’s climate is divided into two seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.
Along the Inka Trail, temperatures range from 15-20ºC during the day if it’s sunny, to 05-10ºC during the day if not sunny or 0-05ºC at night in the first 2 campsites. At Wiñaywayna and Machupicchu mountain, at lower altitude, temperatures are usually warmer though warm clothes are still recommended at night.
Daily departures Inka trail are available along the year. However, as previously stated the high season(June-September), bookings need to be 4-6 months ahead of your travel dates. The exception is one-month closing period of all Inka Trail routes in February. This is the month for total maintenance of the trail. Please contact us to check departures to alternative routes. All Inka Trail departures are subject to government space availability, please check the following website: Ministerio de Cultura > Consultas > Centro Arqueológico: please select Camino Inka Trail > Please select year and month. The Inka Trail books up quickly, so when you decide on checking this adventure off your list, get online and reserve your place.
For a Inka Trail private trek either solo or small friends or family group, departure dates are adapted to your request.
Only 500 persons are allowed to hike the Inka Trail a day. This includes about 200 trekkers and 300 trekking staff such as tour guides, super porters and Trekking chefs.
Although, it is not much known, the Inka Trail is still possible to do without contracting a tour operator. You can hire a Tour Guide only, if your group is under 8 persons. Such a Tour Guide has to hold an official Inka Trail authorization, carry a first aid kit and oxygen bottle. The Guide will purchase your Inka Trail permits and accept responsibility for the entire group. The disadvantage of hiring a Tour Guide instead of a tour operator is that you are not allowed to hire additional hiking staff such as Cooks and Porters so that you need to carry all your camping equipment (e.g. tents, matts, sleeping bags, food, cooking equipment, etc.) as well as you need to cook for yourself. Also, to find an independent Tour Guide might be difficult since most of really good Tour Guides are contracted by tour operators that do not allow them to be hired independently.
Maximum size of a group is 16 participants. A group over 10 participants receives an Assistant Guide in addition to a Tour Guide.
The Inka Trail is a part of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, a protected area of 32,592 hectares that is controlled by SERNANP (Natural Resources National Institute). Inka Trail hikers cannot camp wherever they want on the trail, only authorized campsites can be used. It is not permitted to litter, hikers must use plastic bags and carry rubbish until the end of the Inka Trail trek. It is prohibited to cut or damage trees, pick plants, remove or damage stones of Inca ruins or the Inca path, kill animals, light open fires or camp in archeological sites. Horses, donkeys, mules or llamas cannot be used either.
It is very important to book the trail well beforehand. In general, it is recommended to book 4-6 months in advance, if you like to hike during high season (May to October) and 2-3 months in advance if you like to trek during low season (November to March).
If the Inka Trail is still available for your requested date, we confirm you that and ask you to pay a deposit and provide us with these personal information:
These are companies that have received official authorization and the only allowed to operate the Inca Trail. An authorization has to be renewed each year. The authorization is granted by three institutions: Ministerio de Cultura, GECETUR (Regional Direction on Exterior Commerce and Tourism of Cusco) and SERNANP (Natural Resources National Institute). There are 225 operators approved for the 2023. We strongly recommend you to check your Inca Trail operator authorization prior to do a booking. Please note: the Inca Trail Machu is fully authorized and tour operator the Inka Trail.