The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most important routes in Cusco Peru, and one of the best known in Latin America. This trek will take you through varying altitudes and you will see a variety of Inca ruins on your way to the most famous site, Machu Picchu.
In the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel (pick up times vary depending on your location). You will take a stunning drive with great views of the Andes to the trail head, Km 82 where breakfast prepared by your chef will be served. Following breakfast, we will enter the park and pass our first checkpoint and begin your adventure. Today’s hike is approximately six and a half hours with a scheduled break at the Inca site of Llaqtapata. After lunch we will hike to our first campsite at Ayapata (3300m / 10829ft). which takes you a little further along the trail than other groups, therefore the following day the trek will be a bit easier, and with fewer tourists we can take in the beauty whilst enjoying some peace and tranquility.
Mornings are bright and early so we make the most of the day. Porters will deliver hot coca tea to your tents and after fueling up with a warm breakfast, we will get back on the trail headed towards the highest point of our hike, Dead Woman’s Pass which is at 4,215 meters / 13779ft. The climb is approximately four hours and you will pass through various microclimates with amazing views of the mountains. Trekking at this elevation is challenging so there will be many breaks along the way. Once you reach the summit, your porters will be waiting with hot tea and you can rest and enjoy having reached the summit. You will then hike for another hour and a half down Inca steps until you arrive at your lunch spot. After lunch, we will visit two Inca sites, Runcu Raccay and Sayacmarka as we hike for approximately four hours towards our second campsite chaquicocha 3600m / 11800ft. Rest and replenish your energy with a delicious dinner prepared by your chef.
Today’s hike will take you to the last pass which Is Phuyupatamarca at 3,680 meters. This section of the trail has special views of the Vilcabamba mountain range and Salkantay mountain. Along the way we will visit two Inca sites, Phuyupatamarca (Village above the clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the sun) and you will discover many types of plants, flowers and birds in the forest. After lunch, you may take the five-minute walk to the most beautiful Inca site our journey, Winaywayna (Forever Young) 2680m / 8792ft. This place is filled with impressive building and terraces. Around 5:30 pm you will go back to the campsite for our last happy hour and dinner, followed by a small ceremony to say “thank you and good bye” to your amazing porters.
We will rise very early to complete the final stretch of the Inca Trail, which brings us to Inti Punju or the Sun Gate, the principal entrance to the crystal city of Machu Picchu. The trail here is fairly easy going and after about an hour we will arrive to Inti Punku which is at 2 750 m/ 9000 ft). The Sun gate is an awesome location from which to observe the citadel of Machu Picchu and sunrise in the Andes. From Inti Punku it is a further 40-minute downhill hike to the citadel of Machu Picchu. We will go to the classic photo spot and take pictures once we arrive. Then there will be a short break prior to starting our two-hour tour of the site. If you have elected to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain you should select the 10 am time slot. There is a fee for this hike which is not included in your package and is subject to availability. Note that some sections of the climb up Huayna Picchu require ropes and only those travelers who do not suffer from vertigo should attempt it. It is a one-hour trip to the summit and is not recommended during rainfall.
When we have finished exploring the extraordinary city of Machu Picchu, we will travel by bus to Aguas Calientes. There you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where our private van will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the departure time of your train.
Pre-departure briefing with your guide
English-speaking guides with knowledge of archaeological sites along the Inca Trail.
Transportation: Private transportation from Cusco to starting point, as well as your bus ticket to Aguas Calientes and your train ticket from Aguas Calientes back to Ollantaytambo
All entrance tickets and permits for the Inca Trail and the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Local porters to carry all camping equipment including tents, cooking gear, food, etc.
Extra porter to carry a maximum of 6 kg per person of personal items which includes your sleeping back, mat and necessities. *Note guests must carry their own day pack with everything you need for the day.
All meals cooked on the spot with fresh ingredients by our trained chef (free cooking classes at the campsite)
Two-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu
Three nights camping
Spacious tents with sleeping mats
Duffle bag to transport your 6 kg of personal items
Boiled water to refill your water bottles and water bladders provided from the second day onwards
Excellent Peruvian meals which include 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners and 3 tea times before dinner *Vegetarian, vegan and special dietary needs can be accommodated upon request at no additional cost.
Bowls of hot water for washing in your tent every day
Biodegradable soap and hand sanitizer
Your guide will be equipped with a walkie-talkie as well as an Oxygen tank and first aid kit
All local taxes
Sleeping bag (available for rent at $5 US/day). Our sleeping bags are rated for -200C (00F) and include a sleeping liner.
Walking poles (available for rent at $ 3 per day).
Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 4
Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain (Reservation required, fee is $75 US)
Tips for staff – guide, chef, assistant cook and porters
Backpack with a waterproof cover
Loose fitting long pants
Warm jacket, preferably waterproof
Gloves and a warm hat
Micro fiber or wool socks
Small towel or sarong
Swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in the hot springs)
Sunscreen and sun glasses as well as a hat
Insect repellent (minimum recommended 20% DEET)
Passport and International Student Identity Card (ISIC – if you have one)
Reusable water bottle and water bladder for your day pack
Water purification tablets
Snacks (energy bars, nuts, chocolate, etc.)
Personal hygiene items
Small first aid kit with any special medications you might require and “Mole Skin” for blisters, etc.
Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
Sleeping bag (available for rent)
Walking sticks (available for rent).
Cash for snacks, tips and souvenirs.