The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu as its final destination, is the most popular and well-known route among tourists. The trek has a total distance of approximately 43 kilometers and takes 4 incredible days in the nature and without any connections as the use of our cellphones. The surrounding nature is wonderful, with breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, the walk through the jungle with its amazing archaeological remains is an unforgettable experience. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular excursions for those who seek adventure when visiting Peru, its spectacular landscapes of the chain of the Andes, shows a great mix of forest and mountains that you will enjoy from beginning to end. There is no other natural circuit anywhere that leads to a natural world with changing ecological floors constantly adorned with towering snows, rivers and great fauna and flora. Sounds great true? Join us in this unique adventure through the Andes.
Day 01: Cusco – Huayllabamba
05:00 hrs. Pick up from the hotel
05:30 hrs. Departure by bus from Cusco – Km 82
09:00 hrs. Walk of Km 82 – Huayllabamba 6 hrs.
13:00 hrs. Lunch in Tarayoc
18:00 hrs. Dinner and overnight
Day 02: Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo
06:00 hrs. Breakfast
07:00 hrs. Walk to Warmihuañusca 7-8 hrs. approx.
14:00 hrs. Lunch in Pacaymayu
18:00 hrs. Dinner and Accommodation
Day 03: Pacaymayo – Wiñayhuayna
06:00 hrs. Breakfast
07:00 hrs. Walk 7-8 hrs. approx.
14:00 hrs. Lunch at Chaqui Cocha
18:00 hrs. Dinner and Accommodation
Day 04: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu
04:00 hrs. Breakfast or Box Lunch
04:30 hrs. Walk to Machu Picchu 3 hrs. approx.
08:30 hrs. Guided tour to Machu Picchu 2 hrs.
Optional: Free time to climb Huayna Picchu (not included), visit the Temple of the Moon, the Inca bridge
14:30 hrs. Recommended timetable to get off by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes 25 minutes
16:22 hrs. Return by train, Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
18:05 hrs. Transfer by bus, Ollantaytambo – Cusco
8:30 p.m. Arrival in Cusco
DAY 1: CUSCO -WAYLLABAMBA
Very early in the morning we pick you up from your hotel in the mobility that will take us to kilometer 82, where we will arrive to then start the walk. This first day is beautiful and the first kilometers are easy to walk. We will have a beautiful view of La Veronica and we will also walk close to the Vilcanota River until we reach the archaeological complex of Llactapata, where we will have lunch and then continue to our first camp in Wayllabamba where we will spend the night after a refreshing dinner.
Day 2: WAYLLABAMBA- WARMIWAÑUSCA PASS – PACAYMAYO
After a comforting breakfast, we will start our second day of trekking, perhaps the most difficult, since we will have to climb up to the Warmihuañusca pass, at 4,200 meters above sea level. In this place, the highest point of the Inka Trail, we will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of the snowy mountains that surround the pass. After lunch begins the descent to the valley of Pacaymayo, where we will make our second camp
Day 3: PACAYMAYO – RUNQURAKAY – SAYACMARCA- PHUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAYHUAYNA
In the early morning after our energetic breakfast again we take the road again. Started the march, half an hour later we will find the archaeological group of Runqurakay. From this point the path is paved. In certain places it reaches up to 2 meters. Wide and you can see the quality of Inca engineering. We will visit Sayacmarca, a beautiful architectural complex; We will pass through a tunnel, dug in the stone of the mountain, to reach the archaeological group of Phuyupatamarka, from where the descent begins along an extremely attractive path, with dense vegetation of the eyebrow of the forest, very rich in flora and fauna. After two we will arrive at Wiñayhuayna, where we will install our third and last camp.
Day 4: WIÑAYHUAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU
The big day has arrived !!! After breakfast we will continue the walk until we reach Intipunku (Sun Gate) from where we will have a spectacular view of the sunrise in the lost city of the Incas «Machu Picchu», descend for 01 hour, then we will have a guided tour for 2 hours of the most important recint, then you can explore the mysterious city at your own pace or hike the Huayna Picchu Mountain (optional and extra cost) We take the bus to the town of Aguas Calientes and Finally we will return to the city of Cusco.
- Bus until kilometer 82 start of the walk.
- Bus tickets going down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
- Entrance tickets to the Inca Trail and Machupicchu.
- Tourist train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- Transfer from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- Tent (four person tent).
- Porters (only for tents, lunch and camping equipment).
- First aid kit, oxygen ball.
- Food 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners, Vegetarian option (no extra charge).
- All the taxes.
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machupicchu Mountain
- Entrance to Manuel Chavez Ballon Museum
- The first breakfast (first day) is usually provided at your hotel before leaving.
- The last lunch (fourth day) when the tour ends.
What to bring?
Essential for the Inca Trail:
- Good shoes to walk.
- Enough amount of socks to walk.
- Many layers of suitable clothing, including thermal underwear.
- Hat to protect from the sun and the wind.
- Sun protection for the face (sunglasses, sunscreen, high SPF).
- Gloves, glove linings and / or warm mittens.
- Jacket and waterproof pants.
- Pills or drops to purify the water.
- Toilet paper.
- Wet towels and cleaning bags for cleaning the skin and teeth.
- Pocket flashlights, with spare batteries.
- Sleeping bag.
- Extra money, for the tips of the guides, cooks and porters.
Desirable on the Inca Trail:
- Canes with rubber tips.
- Light and resistant camera, remember to take spare batteries.
- Waterproof layer for the backpack.
- Appetizers, snacks and sweets for the throat.
- Thermal coating for the sleeping bag.
- Ear plugs.
- Spare shoes
- Paper and pencil, card or book game.
- Map or a guide book for the Inca Trail.
RULES APPLICABLE TO THE VISIT OF TOURISTS:
Anyone who enters the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and makes use of the authorized routes for hiking must pay attention and follow the rules provided by the government authorities:
- Give the required information to the authorities and official entities.
- Pay the entrance to the Inca Trail or others.
- No littering !!!
- Use public facilities without damaging or deteriorating them.
- No fires.
- It is strictly forbidden to extract, depredate or buy any variety of flora from the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
- The capture, hunting or purchase of any wild animal of the Sanctuary is strictly prohibited
- Camping only in the indicated places. Camping is prohibited within archaeological constructions or restricted areas
- Behave in an orderly manner so as not to disturb other hikers.
Any violation of any of these rules will result in the intervention of the police or the park guards to apply the respective sanction. Respect the rules and avoid unpleasant incidents..
Climate and Environment:
The climate is relatively mild around the whole year, with heavy rains from November to March, dry and hot weather from April to October, which is a recommended time to visit. The minimum annual temperature ranges from 8 ° to 11.2 ° C. In the months of June, July and August the temperature can often fall below zero.
The annual maximum temperature varies from 20.4 ° to 26.6 °. The terrain is quite irregular, with several ravines and streams fed by the glaciers that eventually pour into the Urubamba River, which crosses the area forming a deep valley that crosses the granite base of Vilcabamba for more than 40 km through a variety of ecosystems. .
The surroundings are impressive and the balance achieved between nature and Inca architecture is amazing. The mountains of Vilcabamba have wide and high peaks that reach up to 6,000 meters as well as Salkantay and Humantay among others. The mixture of mountains, jungles and valleys create a fantastic world where dawn and sunset are shrouded in mystery.
Apart from all that has been mentioned, there is also the cultural heritage of the Incas. The Way of the Inca, which was well built, crosses dense forests and deep canyons. There are 18 archaeological complexes scattered along the route that can be seen in all its splendor. These are composed of houses, irrigation channels, construction of agricultural terraces, walls and altars, which are irrefutable evidence of the existence of important human settlements.Here the most important:
- Ollantaytambo: Ollantaytambo is a small town near Cusco and where we will find a construction left by the Incas. During the time of the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was a real property and when the Spaniards were in their conquest of what is now Peru, it was a bastion of Inca resistance. There is a train station from where you can get to Aguas Calientes and from there to Machu Picchu.
- Canabamba: It was a small administrative control point left by the Incas.
- Llactapata / Llaqtapata: Llactapata means City on top, it was a small Inca city and now one of the very popular Inca archaeological sites along the Inca Trail.
- Wilka Rakay: It is an Inca ruin over Llactapata that was used as a checkpoint.
- Wayllabamba: It is also a ‘llacta’ or administrative center of the Incas, besides being a small city with the same name in the area.
- Yuncachimpa: Yuncachimpa is a small rest area with restrooms and a place where you can buy supplies along the Inca Trail.
- Llulluchapampa: Llulluchapampa is the last place on the Inca Trail where you can buy supplies before arriving at Machu Picchu.
- Dead Woman Pass: The Dead Woman Pass, a Quechua name known as Warmiwañusqa, is named because the mountain looks like the profile of a woman looking at the sky.
- Paccaymayu: Paccaymayu is one of the camps along the Inca Trail at 3500 meters and this is also the name of the Paccaymayu Valley.
- Runkuraqhay: Runkuraqhay is an archaeological construction that is believed to be an administrative point left by the Incas.
- Runkuraqhay Pass: Runkuraqhay Pass, named for the mountain and the ruins of the same name. From this height, you can see the valley that you just left and the one in front of you along the Inca Trail. This is a great point of view and a place to take pictures. It is northeast of the ruins of Sayacmarka.
- Sayacmarka: Sayacmarka is an Inca ruin that is believed to be a village, as well as a sacred area, dedicated to the mountains. Sayacmarka means’ place where you can not enter / inaccessible.
- Chakiccocha: Chakiccocha means ‘dry lake’ and is one of the campsites along the Inca Trail.
- Phuyupatamarka: Phuyupatamarka is a point of view and an archaeological center. It is believed to be a Llacta or administrative center for the Incas.
- Inti Pata: It was believed that Inti Pata was used as an agricultural center by the Incas.
- Wiñayhuayna: Wiñayhuayna means ‘always young’ and is considered a sacred place along the Inca Trail trip before reaching Machu Picchu.
- Intipunku: Intipunku is also called ‘Sun Gate’ and leads to Machu Picchu. This is a great point of view from where you will get your first view of Machu Picchu. It was used by the Incas during their ceremonies for the summer solstice in December.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why I should Book Inca Trail Tickets in advance?
The entrance tickets for this adventure: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu are very limited, just there are 500 entrance tickets per day and 300 are used by travel agencies staff like porters, tour guides, cookers, etc and just 200 are used by travelers.
That is the main reason to book your tickets in advance (4-6 months in advance), and please note that during the high season (May – September) it is recommended to book min. 8 or 10 months in advance.
What happens if I get sick and need to go back?
This does not happen very often; However, if it happens, our guides are very experienced and know how to act in the event of any emergency or unexpected occurrence; They will do everything possible to help you complete your walk. In addition, first aid kits and oxygen tanks are carried for emergencies. However, if you become seriously ill and need to return to Cusco, you will be treated quickly and arrangements will be made for you.
I’m worried about being too slow for mygroup
The hike along the Inca Trail is considered among the best in the world and if you want to enjoy it, do not see it as a race. «Go at your own pace», enjoy the views, take photos and catch your breath. Even the most leisurely walkers arrive in the camp areas before nightfall.
The guide will always go with the last person in the group, giving instructions to the fastest walkers, so that they know where the stop and encounter points are located along the route, so keep calm and enjoy hiking Inca Trail with us!
When is the best time to travel the Inca trail?
The high season on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is from May to September, because this time coincides with vacations in the Western Hemisphere. These months probably offer the best trekking conditions with a dry and sunny climate. However, as we said before, you must reserve the permits many months before. April, October and November are also great months to make the Inca Trail; there are fewer hikers, although it is likely that at least one day will rain during the trek.