Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu - 4 Days

Hike the Classic Inca Trail — Experience the famous Inca Trail for 4 amazing days, and pass through the Sun Gate at sunrise for that first magical sighting of Machu Picchu!

Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history
Total Distance: 43 km/26 miles
Difficulty: Challenging
Considerations: Permit required.

Trip Facts

  • 4200 m.s.n.m
  • Van, Train, Bus
  • Up to 8 people
  • Hiking, camping, adventure, history

Itinerary

Day 1
Day 1: Cusco – km 82 – Hatunchaca – Wayllabamba – Ayapata

Today begins your adventure of a lifetime with the Classic Inca Trail!  Your guide will pick you up from your Cusco hotel in our private van at 4:30am.  From there, we travel to Piskacucho, which is known as Kilometer 82, where the Classic Inca Trail begins.  Along the way, we stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo at about 6:30-7:00 to load up on energy for our first big day.  (Breakfast is not included)

Arriving at KM82 (8:30am), we will have some time to organize ourselves, use the restrooms, apply sunscreen, insect repellent, etc. Here you will give your duffel bag to the porters, keeping only a small daypack with the essentials you need during the hike. Once at the Inca Trail checkpoint, be ready to show your passports and your student ID card, if you booked as a student. Your guide will have all of your permits and tickets.

At the start of the trail (2,720m/8,923ft) you will cross the Vilcanota River and follow its scenic route. The first day is relatively easy, a warm-up along the rolling ‘Inca flat’ terrain.  There are great views of the Inca Fortress of Huillca Raccay, the vast and incredible Inca site of Llactapata, (also called Patallacta), the Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle, the Andes Mountains, and the beautiful snow-capped peak of Veronica (5,860m/19,225ft), also known as W’akay Willca. You stop for your first gourmet lunch at Hatunchaca, after which you only have about three hours of walking to camp.

Our first campsite is about 2 hours past the small village of Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,842ft) located in the temperate green valley of the same name. Temperatures at night can be as low as 5ºC, depending on the season. It is generally colder in the dry season from May to September.

When you arrive at camp, your afternoon tea and appetizers will be ready for you. Enjoy a hot drink and settle into your tents, which will already be set up for you.

  • Meals included: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 12kms/7.5mls (about 6 hours hiking)
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Day 2
Day 2: Wayllabamba – Dead Woman’s pass – Pacaymayu – Ch’aqui Qqocha

Your guide will wake you up with a hot mug of tea or coffee at 5:30am. Enjoy your hot drink in your sleeping bag before getting up for a delicious and hearty breakfast. With your daypacks as light as possible, you start a steep ascent towards the highest pass, Abra de Warmihuañusca, also known as Dead Woman’s Pass at (4,200m/13,779ft).  On this day, you will feel a real sense of achievement upon reaching the top! After a well-deserved break for photos, you begin the descent towards your lunch spot, which is located at Pacaymayu (3,550m/11,646ft).

On your way up towards the pass, you will see an array of hummingbirds and a variety of other species of birds. There will be plenty of time to appreciate the incredible variety of native plants and the Polylepis, or Q’ueuña trees, which grow in the astonishing cloud forest located at (3,650m/11,972ft)!

After a gourmet lunch, you begin the second two-hour steep climb towards Runkuraqay pass (4,000m/13,123ft). You arrive at your campsite by 5 pm, where your afternoon tea and appetizers are waiting for you. Temperatures at this campsite are around 4ºC during the night.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 16kms/10mls (about 9 hours hiking)
  • Difficulty: Moderate/challenging

Day 3
Day 3: CH’AQUI QQOCHA – PHUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAY WAYNA

This is the most impressive day so far, so keep this in mind as you ascend on day three! Your guide will wake you up at 6am with another hot mug of tea or coffee in your tent before you get up for breakfast. You start the day with a gentle climb towards the archaeological site of Phuyupatamarca, which means ‘Village in the Clouds’.  Here, we reach the third highest point along the Inca trail (3,680m/12,073ft). The views of the mountains, canyons and surrounding areas are spectacular!

The extensive Inca site of Phuyupatamarca, is located a few minutes’ walk from the third pass.  After visiting this site, you continue walking down 3,000 stairs through the cloud forest to the impressive Inca site of Intipata. As you descend from the mountains, you will feel the temperature rise. You are approaching not only Machu Picchu, but also the beginning of the Amazon jungle! After taking some time to visit Intipata, you continue to your third campsite Wiñay Wayna (2,680m/8,792ft). Today, you will only walk about 4 to 5 hours.  You will arrive at camp by lunchtime!  Temperatures during the night are about 12º C.

A short walk from your campsite is the famous Inca site of Wiñay Wayna which means “Forever Young” in Quechua. It is named after a special orchid which grows abundantly in the area.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 10kms/6.2mls (about 5 hours hiking)
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4
Day 4: WIÑAY WAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

At around 4:00am, it is time to wake up with another hot drink and start day 4 on the Inca Trail. This is the final part of your journey, and you arrive by 6:00am at the Sun Gate, also known as Inti Punku. At that point, the majestic Machu Picchu Citadel will be in front of you with its mystic beauty – an incredible sight for all to see. At the Sun Gate, you will watch sunlight spreading down over the citadel like melting goal, as the sun rises behind you. Finally, we walk downhill towards Machu Picchu Citadel (2,400m/7,872 ft.). After walking about 40 minutes, we enter the citadel from the top through the “House of the Guardians”. From there, we proceed towards the control point, where we register and leave any large backpacks or walking poles. You are only allowed to take small bags into the citadel, such as camera bags. Walking poles are not allowed because they can damage the stones.

Your guide will give you the full tour, which takes about two hours. You will see all of the most important parts of Machu Picchu, including the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry and the House of the Inca. You will also learn about how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: agricultural, residential and religious.

After your tour, those who have booked in advance for the extra hikes up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs.

The train will take you back to Ollantaytambo, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 19:00.

Meals included: Breakfast
Distance: 6kms/3.7mls
Difficulty: Easy

Both the Huayna Picchu Hike and the Machu Picchu Mountain Hike depends on availability, please let us know if you want to add one of these extra hikes at the time of your booking.

What does and does not include for the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Includes

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel (Cusco only)
  • Briefing at our office. This will be done the night before your trek at 6:00pm
  • Hotel pick up the first morning of the trek
  • Private transportation from Cusco to Piscacucho (in our company van)
  • Extra porter for your belongings (you will need only a day backpack to carry what you will need during day)!
  • 4 season Eureka Timberline Tents, (large & comfortable) please see equipment
  • Comfortable foam mattresses and pillow
  • Professional English speaking guide who is highly experienced in trekking
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional: vegetarian or other dietary needs upon request)
  • First-aid kit, including emergency oxygen tank
  • Porters to carry tents, food and cooking equipment
  • Boiled water to fill in your water bottles or Camelback (your chef will provide clean water after each meal)
  • Hot water for washing purposes
  • Expedition Tourist Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and private transportation to Cusco (in our company van)
  • Permit to the Classic Inca Trail & entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Private toilet tent, with a normal toilet seat – this is only for our group
  • Two hour guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes
  • Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
  • Chef and cooking equipment
  • Rain ponchos and day pack rain covers
  • Taxes (18%)

Does not include

  • Wayna Picchu: $75 USD and Machu Picchu Mountain $75 USD – This needs to be booked in advance, if you would like to add an extra hike. These hikes sell out. Please let us know at the time of booking.
  • First breakfast and last lunch – We will stop at Ollantaytambo for the first breakfast and have the last lunch at Aguas Calientes after the tour of Machu Picchu.
  • VISTADOME Train – $67 USD per person extra. (Return only)
  • Tips for the crew, guide, cook and porters of SAM TRAVEL PERU

Prices

We can depart any day of the week, as long as permits are available. Please remember, permits are only needed for your start date.

Group Price:

  • $690 per person

Private Price:

  • Two trekkers: $1250 per person
  • Three trekkers: $1200 per person
  • Four trekkers: $1100 per person
  • Five trekkers: $950 per person
  • Six trekkers: $775 per person
  • Seven trekkers: $725 per person
  • Eight, or more, trekkers: $690 per person

Student Discount:

$35 off per person
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using a University Student Card our under 17-years-old, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount. More Information about STUDENT CARD

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU

  • Original passport (the same used for booking your trek)
  • Valid University card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3 L (Camelbaks are encouraged)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from SAM Travel)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toilet paper

WHAT TO PUT IN THE DUFFEL BAG

As a Direct Local Tour operator, we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter, who will carry up to 7 kgs/15lbs including your sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing. By Peruvian law, a duffel bag must not weigh more than 7 kilograms (15lbs). This limit is set to protect the health of the porters or horses. All bags will be weighed before being accepted. If you require more than 7 kilograms, it will then be your responsibility to carry the extra weight with your day pack. In this 7 kilos, please count 2 kilos for your sleeping bag and 1 kilo for your sleeping pad. This leaves you about 4 kilos for your personal gear.

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º C
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office to line your duffel
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us for $20 USD

TOILETRIES

  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.

WHAT TO PUT IN THE DAY BACKPACK

We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40L for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water  at every meal time. Please bring your canteens.
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Headlamp
  • Wool hat and gloves
  • Rain gear, poncho (provided by SAM)
  • Fleece or warm layer
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Personal First Aid kit and personal medications
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Valuables

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
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$690 Per Person
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