5 Days / 4 Nights

Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Citadel
Machu Picchu Citadel

Our friend, Madonna

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Along the Inca Trail
Along the Inca Trail

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Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes

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Machu Picchu Citadel
Machu Picchu Citadel

Our friend, Madonna

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1/5

Peak Elevation :

4,200 m / 13,780 ft

Low Altitude:

2,040 m / 6,690 ft

Length of Trail:

~ 49 km / 30 mi

 

Overall Difficulty:

IMPORTANT: For more info on Inca Trail permits...
updated on Wednesday, December 23, 2019
 

Itinerary

Please note that all distances and elevations are approximate. Trek times and distances covered on each day are estimated; various factors -- such as weather conditions, camp sites assigned by the Ministerio de Cultura, individual fitness levels, and how each trekker manages at altitude -- may affect the time it takes to reach each point.

PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING

The evening before your trek, you will meet with your tour guide at your place of lodging (hotel, hostel, etc.). Your guide will give you an overview of your trek to help you prepare and pace yourself for the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead. They will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have regarding the trek, and can offer suggestions on where you may purchase last-minute supplies. You will receive a duffel bag to hold up to 7 kg / 15 lbs of your personal belongings; this will be carried by a porter (more info). Your guide will confirm your pick up time.

 

 

DAY ONE

Cusco | Ollantaytambo | Km 82 |  Miskay | Patallacta | Hatun Chaka

You will be picked-up at your hotel in Cusco around 6:30 am. You will travel by private van to Ollantaytambo (2 hours from Cusco) where you will stop for breakfast. Here, you may purchase last-minute supplies (toiletries, rain gear, meds, snacks, bottled water, etc.). You will continue travelling for about an hour to Pisacucho -- famously known as Km 82 -- the beginning of the Inca Trail. You will gear up and make your way to the first checkpoint where you will present your passport, Inca Trail permit (to be carried by your guide), and student ID if applicable. You will then begin your trek to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail! After you cross the Urubamba River by footbridge, you will trek for 2.5 hours until you reach the village of Miskay where you will be served lunch. Along the way, you'll enjoy magnificent views of snow-capped Mount Veronica who stands at 5,895 m / 19,335 ft, and pass the first archaeological sites along the trail -- Q'anabamba and Patallacta. After lunch, you'll continue for another 3 hours, arriving at Hatun Chaka, your campsite. You may then get settled in your tent, freshen up, and relax. Afternoon tea will be served at 5 pm. Dinner will follow at 7 pm. Be sure to get a good night's rest; you'll need it!

DAY ONE OVERVIEW

Hours of Trekking

5.5

Elevations for the Day

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  highest

Ollantaytambo - 2,790 m / 9,150 ft 

Km 82 - 2,700 m / 8,860 ft  lowest

Miskay - 2,800 m / 9,185 ft

Patallacta - 2,750 m / 9,020 ft

Hatun Chaka - 2,950 m / 9,680 ft

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea

Accommodations

Camping

Notes

- Have your passport on hand. You will need it at the first checkpoint.

 

- This is a relatively easy day. The ascent will be gradual -- a gentle warm up for the following day's challenging climb to Dead Woman's Pass.

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DAY 2 OVERVIEW

Hours of Trekking

7.5

Elevations for the Day

Hatun Chaka - 2,950 m / 9,680 ft  lowest

Wayllabamba - 3,000 m / 9,840 ft  

Ayapata - 3,300 m / 10,830 ft

Llulluchapampa - 3,800 m / 12,470 ft

Warmiwañusca - 4,200 m / 13,780 ft  highest

Pacaymayo - 3,350 m / 10,990 ft

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea

Accommodations

Camping

Notes

- This is the most challenging of your 5-Day trek.

 

- Sip your water. In this altitude, we recommend moving slowly and steadily versus moving quickly and stopping to take many breaks. The descents will be steep, so watch where you step!

 

- The temperatures throughout the day will vary significantly, be sure to wear layers!

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DAY TWO

Hatun Chaka | Wayllabamba | Ayapata | Llulluchapampa | Warmiwañusca / "Dead Woman's Pass" | Pacaymayo 

Breakfast will be served at 6:30. At 7:30 you will begin your 3.5-hour uphill trek to Llulluchapampa. Along the way, you'll pass Wayllabamba, Ayapata, a native Queuña forest and be accompanied by the soothing sounds of a glacier stream and the various wildlife inhabiting the Andes. The steep ascent will be grueling at times, but the gorgeous surroundings will make the effort worth your while. After lunch, it's another 2-hour steep ascent until you reach the highest point of the trek, appropriately named Warmiwañusca, or Dead Woman's Pass, because, when viewed from a distance, its crests resemble the silhouette of a woman lying on her back. Take a few moments to celebrate your achievement while you enjoy the spectacular views! You will then continue on a steep, 2-hour descent to Pacaymayo, your campsite, where you may freshen up and have yourself a very well-deserved rest. We'll let you know when tea's ready at 6 pm. Dinner will be served at 7 pm. Afterwards, as Silverio likes to say, "may you sleep like a baby alpaca."

DAY THREE

Pacaymayo | Runcuracay Pass | Sayacmarca Incan Complex | Chaquicocha | Puyupatamarca 

You will begin with a 6:30 am wake up. Breakfast will be ready at 7. At 8, you'll head out on a 2-hour steep ascent toward Runcuracay Pass, passing the Runcuracay Incan Complex after about 1 hour. Then it's a steep downhill for about 1.5 hours to the Sayacmarca Inca Complex. From there, a 45-minute gentle descent to Chaquicocha, where you'll stop for lunch. The path will be easy and beautiful for the next 2 hours to your campsite -- Phuyupatamarca, where you'll have a great view of Machu Picchu Mountain. Tea will be served at 5, and dinner will follow at 7. Dulces sueños.

DAY 3 OVERVIEW

Hours of Trekking

Elevations for the Day

Pacaymayo - 3,600 m / 11,810 ft  lowest

Runcuracay - 3,950 m / 12,960 ft  highest

Sayacmarca - 3,600 m / 11,810 ft

 Chaquicocha - 3,600 m / 11,810 ft

Phuyupatamarca - 3,700 m / 12,140 ft

 

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea

Accommodations

Camping

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DAY 4 OVERVIEW

Hours of Trekking

6

Elevations for the Day

Puyupatamarca - 3,700 m / 12,140 ft

Wiñay Wayna - 2,620 m / 8,595 ft  highest

Inti Punku (Sungate) - 2,720 m / 8,925 ft

Machu Picchu Citadel - 2,400 m / 7,875 ft 

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  lowest

 

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner + Snack

Accommodations

★★★ Hotel in Aguas Calientes

Notes

- Farewell lunch. Thank you, porters!

- You'll spend the night in a hotel enjoy a fabulous dinner in Aquas Calientes.

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DAY FOUR

 Puyupatamarca | Wiñay Wayna | Inti Punku |

Machu Picchu Citadel | Aguas Calientes

Wake-up at 6:30. Breakfast will be served at 7. You will begin trekking at 8 on a 3-hour path to Wiñay Wayna, your lunch site. The first 2 hours will be a steep descent to the Inti Pata Incan Complex followed by 1 hour of gentle downhill. You'll spend about an hour at the Wiñay Wayna Archaeological Site before having your final lunch. The porters will then wish you a farewell and you will part ways (they will take your Bandertias duffel bags to the hotel). Afterwards, you'll continue on for about 2 hours, on a mostly flat path, to Inti Punku, The Sun Gate (the final 25 minutes will be a steep uphill). From here, you'll have a great view of Machu Picchu Citadel from a distance. You'll descend steeply, then gently, for about 1 hour to the upper terraces of the Citadel. This will be your brief preview of this Wonder of the World before your guided tour tomorrow morning. You will then proceed to the exit where you'll catch your 25-minute bus ride down to Aguas Calientes. You'll check into your hotel, then have some free time before you meet up with your guide at 7 pm to enjoy a fabulous dinner. Dulces sueños.

DAY FIVE

 Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu Citadel | Ollantaytambo | Cusco

You should be up by 4:45 to have breakfast at the hotel and meet up with your guide to catch the early bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30. You'll have a 2-3 hour guided tour of the archaeological complex. Afterwards, you are free to explore the citadel, Sun Gate, or Incan Bridge on your own. Or, if you had already pre-purchased a ticket, you may proceed to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain.

> click for more information <

You will then take the bus back down to Aquas Calientes, grab lunch on your own, retrieve your gear at the hotel, and wait for your return train to Ollantaytambo. Private transport will await you there to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Please leave your empty Banderitas duffel bag at the front desk of your hotel. Thank you! 

DAY 5 OVERVIEW

Hours of Trekking

2-3 hour guided walking tour at Machu Picchu Citadel

Elevations for the Day

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  lowest

Machu Picchu Citadel - 2,400 m / 7,875 ft 

[optional: Huayna Picchu Mountain - 2,720 m / 8,925 ft]

[optional: Machu Picchu Mountain - 3,082 m / 10,110 ft]

Ollantaytambo - 2,790 m / 9,150 ft

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  highest

 

Meals Served

Breakfast at Hotel

Accommodations

Final Day - No Overnight Accommodations

Notes

- Machu Picchu today!

 

- You'll take with you only the gear needed for the day. You'll have packed the rest of your belongings in your Banderitas duffel bag which you may leave in storage at the hotel.

-Daypacks larger than 20 liters will not be allowed inside the citadel. You may rent a locker for S/5 (US $1.50).

- Trekking poles are allowed inside the citadel only under special circumstances.

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Price

2021 prices per person in USD

Group of 2: $1330

 Group of 3: $1240 

 Group of 4: $1140 

Group of 5: $1080

Solo traveler: $2,590

please inquire about pricing for larger groups

prices listed above will increase by 5% for 2022 TREK DEPARTURES

Our prices include these upgrades

- a ride on PeruRail's Vistadome train with a panoramic view and live entertainment*

- free use of a pillow a Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus inflatable sleeping pad and a pillow

- dinner at a top Aguas Calientes restaurant

- accommodations at a highly-rated hotel on the final night

*most tour operators include tourist-class train service and offer Vistadome as a $50-$75 add-on

 

What is Included

TEAM SUPPORT

- Experienced, Professional Tour Guide

- Responsive, U.S.-Style Customer Support

     SUPPORT STAFF

     Experienced Cook

       - Reliable Porters

       - Safe, Responsible Drivers

TICKETS / ENTRY FEES

- Inca Trail Permit / Ticket

- Machu Picchu Entry Ticket (for Day 5)

TRANSPORTATION

- Via private vehicle, pick-up from your hotel to Ollantaytambo

- 3 Consettur bus tickets:

       - Day 4: from Machu Picchu down to Aquas Calientes

       - Day 5: Round-Trip from Aquas Calientes to Machu Picchu

- PeruRail ticket on Vistadome train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

       - This is a comfortable, upscale service with panoramic views (side and ceiling windows) 

- Private transport from Ollantaytambo back to your hotel in Cusco

MEALS and BEVERAGES 

From Breakfast on Day 1 to Dinner on Day 4:

- 11 Fresh, wholesome meals prepared by Banderitas' Cook: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners

      - We respect dietary restrictions and preferences, and will accommodate special requests (i.e., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, etc.)

- Dinner on Day 4 will be at one of Aguas Calientes' top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor (e.g., Indio Feliz or a comparable restaurant

- Breakfast on Day 5 will be provided by the hotel

- Snacks -- unprocessed, and healthful (e.g., fruit, nuts or cereal bars)

- Variety of teas including whole leaf coca

- In the morning, freshly ground, organic coffee from Quillabamba

- Drinking water (boiled and cooled, from lunch on Day 1)

EQUIPMENT / ACCOMMODATIONS

- First Aid Kit

- Oxygen Tank

Days 1, 2, 3

- Eureka Timberline Tent

- Inflatable Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad

       - plus an additional foam pad for extra comfort    

- Pillow

- Hot water bottle

Day 4

       - Private room at a top-rated hotel in Aguas Calientes (e.g., Panorama B&B, La Cabaña, El Quetzal or one on par with these hotels)

DUFFEL BAG

- At the Pre-Departure Briefing on the evening before your trek, you will be provided with a Banderitas Duffel Bag which you may fill with up to 7 kilos / 15 pounds of your belongings. This will be carried by a porter. While we recommend that you carry all you will need for the day in your daypack, you will have access to your duffel bag at all lunch stops and campsites. The duffel may be left at the front desk of your hotel following your trek.

       

These extras and upgrades come as standard services when you book with

Banderitas Adventures in Cusco

What is NOT Included

HUAYNA PICCHU / MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAINS

AUGUST 2021 UPDATE: The mountains remain closed

- Ticket to climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain on Day 5. It may be purchased through us for $70 USD. Please let us know as soon as you book if you wish to purchase a ticket as they are subject to availability.  

> click for more information <

EQUIPMENT for RENT

- Down Sleeping Bag $15 USD

- Trekking Poles (rubber-tipped, per pair) $15 USD

SINGLE-OCCUPANCY ACCOMMODATIONS

(Not applicable to solo travelers)

- For your own tent $35 USD

- For your own hotel room based on availability $85 to 95 USD

MEAL 

- Lunch on Day 5

(you will have many restaurants and cafes to choose from in Aguas Calientes)

GRATUITIES

 

Inca Trail Permit

In an effort to preserve the Inca Trail (Qhapaq Ñan) -- designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2014 -- the Peruvian Ministry of Culture limits the number of trekkers entering the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to 500 per day. This number includes visitors as well as support staff (guides, cooks, and porters). A non-transferable / non-refundable permit with the trekkers name and passport information is required to enter the Trail and must be purchased in advance -- sometimes as far as six months. Please note: the Inca Trail is closed the entire month of February for maintenance. 

 

Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains

AUGUST 2021 UPDATE: The mountains remain closed

During your visit to Machu Picchu Citadel, you'll have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. We prefer that you decide upon booking your trek as entrance tickets are limited to 400 per day per mountain. Tickets for each mountain cost US$ 70. Both are moderately challenging hikes with stunning views from the top. Climbing and descending Huayna Picchu, on average, takes 2-3 hours; Machu Picchu can take 3-4 hours. Tickets to Huayna Picchu tend to sell out quickly, but don’t be discouraged if they’re sold out during your visit; Machu Picchu mountain may not be as popular to climb, but it is less crowded, and the views are just as beautiful, if not more.