5 Days / 4 Nights
Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
$970 - $1220 USD per person
Peak Elevation :
4,200 m / 13,780 ft
2,040 m / 6,690 ft
Length of Trail:
~ 49 km / 30 mi
updated on Wednesday, December 23, 2019
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.
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. S/he 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 pick-up time will be confirmed.
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!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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!