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Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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4 Days

Tour Type

Customized Package

Group Size

16 people


Fixed Date


The most iconic walking route to the ruins of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is one of the most famous and beautiful treks in the world.

Not only will the scenery move you, but our personal guides will fill you in on the incredible history, legends and beliefs of the Incas perpetuated still today by the local Quechuan communities you’ll meet on the way.

The route takes four days, following a sacred pilgrim path, involves visits to archaeological sites, dramatic mountain vistas and dense cloud forests rich in Andean flora and fauna, reaching Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate at sunrise on the final day.

Day 1: Cusco or Sacred Valley to Huayllabamba
Day 2: Huayllabamba to Pacaymayo
Day 3: Pacaymayo to Winaywayna
Day 4: Winaywayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Tailor-made suggestions for this itinerary:

* Stopover in the cultural Cusco and stay at some of the beautiful boutique hotels we have to offer.  Ask us about our 3 night Pre and Post Cusco Package which includes a comprehensive Cusco City Tour and more

* Extend your stay in Peru and explore some of its other highlights including Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca

* Add in a 3 or 4 day trip to an Amazon lodge or upgrade to an Amazon Luxury Cruise

The Classic Inca Trail Small Group trek depart only on Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday. For any other day your own private Classic Inca Trail can be arranged, please contact us. The Inca Trail is not open in February.

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Day 1: Cusco or Sacred Valley - Huayllabamba
Day 1:  Cusco or Sacred Valley - Huayllabamba

Early morning you will be transfer from Cusco or the Sacred Valley to the head of the trail at 82Km from where you continue along the Urubamba River to the first archaeological site of "Llaqtapata". Here enjoy lunch in a beautiful ancient Incan outpost with the Urubamba River flowing nearby. After a rest you continue into the valley from which point the trekking remains uphill until you get to the last village Huayllabamba where we camp for the night.

Total Distance: 12km (7, 47 miles)
Walking time approximated: 5 - 6 hours
Maximum altitude: 3,000m (9,840 ft.)

Meals included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 2: Huayllabamba - Pacaymayo
Day 2: Huayllabamba - Pacaymayo

After a healthy breakfast you start climbing up to the first pass "Warmiwanusca" (Dead Women's Pass 4200 Mt / 14'200 ft.). The climb will take you most of the morning. Part way you walk through a cloud forest where the ever present clouds bring constant moisture and in turn lush vegetation to the area. Breaking from the forest Dead Women's Pass is seen in the distance. Once reaching the highest altitude on the trip - Dead Women's Pass - you descend for about 2 hours into the valley to our next camp "Pacaymayo".

Total Distance: 11km (6, 84 miles)
Walking time approximated: 6 - 7 hours
Maximum altitude: 4,200m (13,776 ft.)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3: Pacaymayo - Winaywayna
Day 3: Pacaymayo - Winaywayna

Today is going to be the most diverse day. You start in the morning with the ascent of the second pass "Runcuracay" (3900 Mt / 13'800 ft.) and descend on the other side for about 2 hours to the beautiful archaeological site "Sayacmarca". After having explored this unique outpost you continue on the original stone path of the Incas through semi-tropical cloud forest and onto the third pass "Phuyupatamarca" (3800 Mt/ 13'600 ft.). With good weather you have spectacular views of the surrounding snow peaks and the valley below. From here it is all downhill to our camp at "Winaywayna" (one of the most beautiful sites in the area for its construction and setting).

Total Distance: 16km (9, 94 miles)
Walking time approximated: 8 hours
Maximum altitude: 3,900m (12,792 ft.)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Winaywayna - Machu Picchu to Cusco
Day 4: Winaywayna - Machu Picchu to Cusco

Early after a tasty breakfast you hike another 2 hours through cloud forest to the famous sun gate "Intipunku" from where you will have the first breathtaking view and best panorama of the mysterious "Machu Picchu". A short walk brings you down to the site. After refreshing a little you will visit "the lost city of the Incas" in a guided tour for app. 2 hrs. After that you descend by bus to the village Aguas Calientes. Late afternoon you take the Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo and then transfer by bus to Cusco.

If you’re feeling adventurous you may wish to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, but take note: this requires an extra permit, and they can sell out well in advance! Be sure to tell us at booking if you would like to add one of these hikes.

Total Distance: 4km (2, 49 miles)
Walking time approximated: 2 hours
Maximum altitude: 2,700m (8,829 ft.)

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch


  • Bilingual speaking guide (Spanish – English)
  • Entrance fee to the Inca trail
  • Transportation to Piscacucho, where the trek begins
  • Transportation from Ollantaytambo to Sacred Valley hotel or Cusco hotel. (fourth day)
  • Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes one way (fourth day)
  • Vistadome train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (fourth day)
  • Full meals during the trek.
  • Filtered and boiled water
  • Chef and supporting staff
  • Porters for passenger’s luggage and camping equipment
  • Whole Camping gear : Brand The North Face tent Four Season Mountain 25 Inflatable mattress Therm-a-rest Sleeping bag -15 Co Personal duffle bag 7kls / 15.43 lbrs Dinning, tent, cook tent, bathroom tent, Kitchen dishes First aid kit, oxygen
  • Communication equipment: walkie talkies.
  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour's Location


How prices are based?
Prices are "from" per person based on double tent occupancy.
Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply.
Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability.
Rates for solo traveler, triple share or more travellers are available on request - please inquire.
Booking, daily permits and general information
Only a special few actually get to hike the Inca Trail every year. Peru’s permit system means that just 500 people are allowed on the trail every day – approximately 200 visitors and 300 trekking staff. Permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and are in very high demand: they can sell out as much as 6 to 8 months in advance! Once spaces have been booked, NO OPERATOR CAN OFFER YOU A SPACE. All spaces are personal and non-transferable, and there is no waiting list, so if someone cancels, their spot cannot be taken by someone new. Also note that the Classic Inca Trail is closed in February for maintenance.
What to Expect on the 4-day Inca Trail?
The Classic Inca Trail follows an ancient Inca road, meaning that you will be hiking along a combination of ground trails and stone-paved paths. Some sections are very steep, and require sustained uphill or downhill climbing. Much of the trail consists of stone steps, some of which are quite tall, as much as 30 cm (12 inches). This can be hard on the knees, and could be a problem for someone with a knee injury. The Inca Trail may also be a problem for you if you suffer from vertigo or have a severe fear of heights, as there are sections with steep drop-offs, where the path narrows and becomes single file.

You will hike through a wide-ranging series of micro-climates, from alpine tundra to lush cloud forest. Expect to see a variety of flora and fauna, including different species of cacti, orchids, birds and possibly a vizcacha or two. Majestic views at high altitude of neighboring mountain ranges also await, as well as the chance to see several impressive Inca ruins along the way.

This is a very popular and busy trek. If you hike the Inca Trail, you will be hiking with hundreds of other people, and staying in busy (sometimes noisy) campsites. If you want a remote, wilderness trekking experience, the Inca Trail is not the trek for you.
Is the Inca Trail dangerous?
By mountain hiking standards, the Inca trail is not dangerous. The terrain is moderate, and the trail well maintained. There is no need for special ropes, harnesses or technical training. But – You do need to be fit to hike the Inca Trail!

There are of course risks associated with any high altitude activity, as we’ve mentioned early, the hike does reach 13,828 feet (4,215 meters).

The rainy season in Peru brings risks to all mountain routes, due to landslides and rocks falling above. There have been few deaths on the Inca trail which occurred during extremely wet conditions in January. This is the reason why the Inca trail is closed in February.
How difficult is the Inca Trail?
For most people, of average fitness, the Inca trail is a moderately difficulty hike. As we have covered above in our facts about the Inca trail, the Classic Inca Trail path is a moderate 43km/ 26 mile hike. The hike typically takes 4 days to complete while reaching a maximum elevation of 13,828 feet (4,215 meters). The trek is challenging, but with a good fitness routine prior to the hike most hikers complete the trek. In our opinion the most difficult thing about the Inca Trail is the stairs.
How cold can it get on the Inca Trail?
As high altitude temperatures can change quickly and radically. It can get pretty cold during the nights during the Inca trail trek. In winter (May-September) temperature may drop below 0°C/32°F, while it’s slightly warmer (and wetter) during the rest of the year.
Where we sleep?
During the trek you will be sleeping on tents “NORTH FACE” designated for 4 seasons.
We provide you with 4-person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort.
In case of being a single traveler, we also can provide with a 2-person capacity tent.
After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary (to bring the best service to our travelers).
How high does the Inca Trail reach?
Trekkers reach the highest point at Dead Woman’s Pass at 13,828 feet (4,215 meters).). By comparison, Whistler’s peak is a mere 2184m and even the majestic El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is just 2307m. For those that do the Inca Trail they can be very proud of summiting such a high altitude pass!
What should I bring?
Hiking boots – very comfortable, worn-in if possible, waterproof.
Luggage: daypack designed for hiking, adjustable hip and shoulder straps. Main luggage should be easy to carry
Wind and rainproof jacket
Fleece pullover (layering lighter garments is better than one heavy fleece).
Thermals – long johns and vest (it gets extremely cold at night)
Hat and gloves (fleece or other)
Sun hat – with visor or brim, sunglasses
Clothing should be comfortable, light and fast drying (jeans not recommended). Cotton hiking, trousers cotton long and short sleeve.
Shirts, hiking shorts, plenty of socks, bandana.
Pair of trainers, sandals or other comfortable shoes.
Water bottle canteen or Nalgene bottle
Headlamp / torch and batteries
Toiletries – including sun block and high factor sun cream, insect repellent, lip balm, biodegradable soap and shampoo.
Blister treatment
Knife (Swiss model)
Medicines (in case you have a special requirement)
Snacks (if you prefer one special)
Departure dates?
Group departures only on Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday. For any other day your own Private Inca Trek can be arranged, please contact us.
The Inca Trail is not open in February.
Minimum participants?
Trekking groups operate with a minimum of 2 walkers.
What's the group size?
Actual group size may vary but is based on 1 lead guide for every 8 trekkers.
Guided tours in Machu Picchu are regulated to 1 guide for every 16 visitors.
If your Inca Trail trekking group is over 16, you will be broken into two separate groups each not exceeding 16 people.
Can children hike the Inca Trail?
Yes, children can hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu! There is no official minimum age for trekking the Inca Trail, but we recommend an age of 10-12 years, and more importantly that the children have certain attributes. This would include resilience; experience not only doing long distance multi day hiking, but camping out at night. Like with adults, the Inca Trail is not something that should be taken lightly, and our general advice for kids is – the older and more experienced you are, the easier it should be!
Other notes?
A copy of your passport and an additional, non-refundable deposit, is required at the time of booking to secure your Inca Trail permits and the passport on which you book your trek must be presented when entering the trail on day 1.
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