Classic Inca Trail 4 Days/3 Nights
From $ 700 USD
Per person (All-inclusive Door to Door service)
VERY IMPORTANT TO BOOK EARLY FOR 2024: Trek permits for the Inca Trail are limited to just 500 people and this includes all support staff such as guides, porters and cooks (approx 200 trekkers and 300 support staff). Inca Trail trek permits for departures in 2024 are likely to go on sale at the beginning of October, many dates will sell out almost immediately particularly for departures in April, May, June, July & August 2024. Please try to book before the end of November 2023 to avoid disappointment.
Inca Trail 2024: Classic Inca Trail 4-day Permits are running out quickly forthe next year. Below you will find the dates that are still available.
- February 2024: Closed for maintenance.
- March 2024: Available all Month.
- April 2024: 05th, 06th, 07th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 17th.
- May 2024: Sold Out.
- June 2024: 02nd, 5th, 06th, 07th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st
- July 2024: Available all Month.
- August – December 2024: Available all Months.
This information was updated on February 23rd, 2024. Book your permits ASAP with a local Company Peru Trek
Day 01: Cusco to Wayllabamba (12km)
The first day of the trek is relatively easy and serves as training for the days to follow. Travellers are collected early from their hotels (5:30 – 6:00am) and travel by bus, past the picturesque villages of Chinchero, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, for the 2 hours scenic trip to kilometre 82 (the start of the trail). Buses normally stop at the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley for about an hour to give people the opportunity to have breakfast.
The start of the Inca Trail is at km82, once you are going to arrive at km 82 the hikers will cross the Vilcanota River and follow the trail to the right as it climbs steeply up from the river. After passing through a small village, the ruins of the Inca hillfort of Huillca Raccay come into view high above the mouth of the river Cusichaca (‘happy bridge’). The Incas, when they conquered the area, built a fort here since the site commanded an excellent view up and down the Urubamba valley and controlled the entrance to the Cusichaca valley. It is a simple descent down to the Cusichaca river. From parts of this trail there are great views of the Cordillera Urubamba (Urubamba mountain range) and the snow capped peak of Veronica 5860m.
You’ll also get a good view over the extensive Inca ruins of Llactapata (also known as Patallacta on some maps). Llactapata means ‘upper town’ in Quechua and was first discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and was primarily an agricultural station used to supply Machu Picchu with maize, the staple crop of the Incas. The settlement comprised over one hundred buildings, houses for the workers and soldiers, including five baths.
For a further 7 km the path follows the left bank of the river up to the small village of Wayllabamba (3,000m). The name in Quechua means ‘grassy plain’. We will probably spend the night here depending on the speed of the group. This is the last place along the trek that you can buy snacks and drinks.
Day 02: Wayllabamba to Pacamayo (12km)
The steep climb up to the first pass (4200m)Climbing up from Wayllabamba following the left bank of the Llulluchayoc river for about 1 hour brings you to ‘Tres Piedras’ (three stones) and a small bridge over the Huayruro river. There is a small campsite here toilet facilities. The stream is named after the Huayruro which is an ornamental tree. It’s seeds are red and black. Many of the porters from the Ollantaytambo district are also known as Huayruros because of their traditional red and black ponchos! A little further on you’ll enter a beautiful cloud forest passing a waterfall.
A further three hours trek through steepening woods and increasingly spectacular terrain brings you to the treeline and a meadow known as Llulluchapampa (3,680m). It is another 1.5 hours climb to the first and highest pass of the trail (Abra de Huarmihuañusca or ‘Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,200m. During this part of the trail hikers are exposed to the Andean elements: first scorching sun and then, closer to the pass, freezing winds. Once at the top hikers can celebrate having completed the most difficult section of the trail.
The decent from the pass is steep although not difficult, following the trail on the left side of the valley to the valley floor and to the 2nd night’s campsite at Pacamayo (3,600m). There are toilet facilities here.
Day 03: Pacamayo to Wiñay Wayna (16km)
From Pacamayo it takes about an hour to climb up to the ruins of Runkuracay. These small circular ruins occupy a commanding position overlooking the Pacamayo valley below.
SayacmarcaAnother 45 minute hike will bring you to the top of the second pass: Abra de Runkuracay (4,000m). At last you’ll feel that you are walking along the trail of the Incas with paving, for the most part, being original. The descent down the steps from the pass is steep so take care. This section of the trail, up until the 3rd pass, is particularly beautiful as the path crosses high stone embankments and skirts deep precipices. After about 1 hour from the 2nd pass you’ll arrive at Sayacmarca by way of a superbly designed stone staircase. The name Sayacmarca means ‘Inaccessible Town’ and describes the position of the ruins perfectly, protected on three sides by sheer cliffs. No one knows the exact purpose of these ruins.
You have to backtrack a little to rejoin the trail as it passes Conchamarca, a small Inca dwelling situated in the shadows of Sayacmarca, which was probably a tambo for weary travellers on their way to Machu Picchu. From then on the path descends into magnificent cloud-forest full of orchids, hanging mosses, tree ferns and flowers, passing through an impressive Inca tunnel, carved into the rock, on the way.
The trail then climbs up to the 3rd pass (3,700m). The view from the pass offers excellent views of several snow-capped peaks including Salkantay (6,180m) and Veronica (5,750m). A few minutes after the pass is Phuyupatamarca, the most impressive Inca ruin so far. The name means ‘Town in the Clouds’. Access to the ruins is down a steep flight of stairs passing six ‘Inca Baths’ probably used for the ritual worship of water.
Leaving the site via an impressive Inca staircase leading from the west side of the ruins (the far end from the baths) you descend a thousand or so steps. Be careful with your knees which will feel the strain by the end of the day.
After about an hour of walking through cloud-forest you may just be able to see the tin roof of the Trekkers Hostal at Wiñay Wayna (no longer used), although it probably won’t be for another 2 hours until you arrive.
Wiñay Wayna is the last official campsite before Machu Picchu.
A short trail leaves from the southern end of the hostal to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna. The name in Quechua means ‘forever young’ and is named after a variety of pink orchid which grows here. The ruins comprise magnificent agricultural terraces set in an impressive location. There are also many buildings of good quality stonework and a sequence of 10 baths, suggesting that the site was probably a religious centre associated with the worship of water. Ritual cleansing may have taken place here for pilgrims on the final leg of the trail to Machu Picchu.
Day 04: Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu (5km), Return to Cusco
The trail from the Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu is clearly marked and takes about 1.5 hours. We’ll wake early at 4.30am, have breakfast and set off on the trail again by 5.30am to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. The sky starts getting light by 5:30am and the first rays of the sun reach Machu Picchu at about 7am. The trail contours a mountainside and drops into cloud forest before coming to an almost vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Intipunku (Sun Gate). Suddenly the whole of Machu Picchu is spread out before you in all its glory – a fantastic sight for all.
When you arrive at the ruins you’ll have plenty of time to take photos of Machu Picchu from the classic view point’. When the group is back together again we descend to the main entrance where you can safely leave your large backpacks. You can also go to the toilet and have a quick coffee in the restaurant just outside the entrance. The group will re-enter the ruins with the same guide for a complete tour of the major sectors. The tour takes about 2 hours so after the tour you’ll have free time to explore the ruins alone. For information about climbing Huayna Picchu (optional)
The group will then take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town for lunch (at the ruins there is only one restaurant and it’s very expensive). The bus journey takes about 30 minutes. There are several small restaurants in Aguas Calientes to satisfy all budgets. You may also wish to pay a visit to the town’s famous thermal springs which feel great after having completed the trail. Entrance to the springs costs US$5, allow 2 hours to really enjoy them.
The train departs from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (time can vary subject to ticket availability) and you’ll arrive back in Cusco , Included in our standard service is the tourist bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes, return on the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where you will be collected and taken by bus back to Cusco.
The above trek itinerary is typical of 98% majority of our Inca trail 4 day groups. However campsites used during the trek may be subject to change depending on availability of spaces as issued by the UGM (the government authorities that control access to the Inca Trail). The UGM are responsible for allocating the campsites to the various trekking companies. Although we try to make Wiñay Wayna our last campsite (since it is only a 2 hour trek to Machu Picchu) we cannot guarantee this to be the case and on occasions we have been allocated space at Phuyupatamarca (nearly 4 hours from Machu Picchu). These matters are the same for all trekking companies and are outside of our direct control.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- Pre-departure briefing: You will meet with your tour guide at your hotel for an orientation or briefing about your hike to Machupicchu. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before your trip begins.
- Transport:Collection from your hotel in the morning in a private vehicle to Km 82 (the starting point of the trek).
- Entrance tickets for the Inca trail
- Entrance tickets for Machupicchu
- Experienced Guide: English speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route. He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
- Extra porter: The extra porter is going to help you with 3 kilos / 6 pounds ( could be your sleeping bag and Mattress)
- Personal tents: Like our ancestors, we are very considerate of the Pachamama (Mother Earth). Therefore, our campsites are adapted to the environment to avoid generating negative impacts. 2 people stay in each 4-person tent to allow for higher comfort and luggage security. Our tents are 3-season ready and highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance during our treks.
- Camping equipment: Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs, and all cooking equipment (carried by porters).
- Mattress or sleeping pads: to put under your sleeping bag
- Accommodation: 3 nights in tent
- Trekking Cook: A chef specialized in cooking on the trail, with an assistant, will prepare all of your delicious meals along the journey to replenish your energy. You will never go hungry!
- Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 dinners and Snacks (Vegetarian, vegan or special menus are available at no extra cost)
- Wake up tea: Every morning at the campsite, you will woken up with a cup of coca tea! Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.
- Tea time:Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you will not have to wait until dinner to relax, warm up, and enjoy a bite to eat!
- Medical kit: Our crew will bring a first-aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle
- Train tickets: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo “Expedition” service with Peru Rail or Inca Rail (subject to availability)
- Transport: Transport from the train station to Cusco city (Day 4)
- 24-hour guest service:We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
- Sleeping Bags: You can rent one from our company if you do not have your own. Our sleeping bags are effective and durable to protect from temperatures as low as -18ºC (0ºF). They are mummy form and include a sleeping liner. The bags are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.
- Walking Sticks:You can rent a set from our company if you would like.
- Last Day: Lunch and Dinner in Aguas Calientes
- Personal clothing and gear
- Travel insurance
- Tips for our staff: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as your wish.
- Additional costs delays out of control of the management (landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.)
WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU
- Original Passport (the same used for booking your trek)
- Valid student 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 PT)
- Headlamp: essential
- Toilet paper
- 4 t-shirts
- 2 hiking pants at least
- 4 sets of undergarments
- 3 sets of hiking socks
- Couple 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 — Please ask for them.
- Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us for $20 USD.
- 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 second day lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water at every meal time. Please bring your canteens.
- Sun Hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Wool Hat
- Rain gear
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
- Coca leaves
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
- Face moisturizer
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medications
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
As a Direct Local Tour operator, we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing time and INCLUDE an extra porter, who will carry up to 3 kgs or 6 pounds including your sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
Campsite - Inca Trail
Our campsites for each night along the Inca Trail are Huayllabamba, Pacaymayo and Wiñayhuayna, We can get those campsites depending how far in advance have you reserved your inca trail, this is according our governement rule.
About the other campsite Phuyupatamarka is when the campsite Wiñayhuayna is full, we will get this campsite which is 3 hours away from Machupicchu, this is according the government rule.
Enjoy a good night’s sleep in our spacious tent. All our tents are built for 4 people, but you will only have to share with one other trekker (only 2 people). This leaves a lot of room to spread out comfortably and store your duffels. They are an A-frame design, with entrance just in one side of the tent. They also include a vestibule in front, giving you some extra outdoor space to leave your boots and walking sticks. We are proud to be the only company to use these tents.
Peru Trek's Food
We understand you may be curious about the quality of the food provided by Peru Treks during the treks. While each meal is prepared by a chef in a small tent on a small stove, Each chef is professionally trained to prepare the best breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, and they are all served with a smile! All food is prepared from fresh ingredients, that are purchased in the Cusco local market. Everything is transported by the porters, and then prepared by the chef. We do not use any canned or rehydrated food. It is all fresh, healthy and delicious!. Do you have special dietary needs? No problem! We cater to vegetarians, vegans and any food allergies.
Our Porters (4 kilos)
When hiking the Inca Trail we need to be very careful with the amount of weight because the government is checking the weight of each porter. Remember that the Inca Trail is only possible thanks the help of our porters. Our Peru trek’s porters is the hardest working staff in the mountains and for that same reason we need to take care of them as much as we can.The Inca Trail is the most famous trek in Peru and for that same reason is the most regulated. This is in order to preserve the park and also to protect the staff working to make this trek possible. There are a lot of rules that Peru Treks as a licensed tour operator follows religiously and there is one specific about the weight each client can bring. Here is when the 4 Kg rule comes in. Every client is only allowed to bring 4 kilos of extra weight that our porters are going to help you. For that same reason we provide our duffel bags which are the perfect size to cover this 4 kilos including your sleeping bag and mattress and also to be comfortable for our team to carry it.
Personal Porter (7Kilos)
We can also totally understand that 4 kilos may not be enough based on your needs. You can hire an extra porter from us to carry one extra duffel bag which means 7 kilos for you. This needs to be arrange with our sale representative based on availability to make it happen for you. If you want to hire an extra porter you need to book in advance because the entrance tickets for the inca trail are limited. The same rules as for a normal duffel bag apply for this. You can only have access to these duffel bags at your campsites. The porters don’t walk along the hikers. They set everything for the clients to enjoy their meals after the trekking. Our porters will trek until the lunch spot to have everything ready and once you finish your meal and start again. They will pack everything up, will trek to the next campsite, will get there before the trekkers and will set everything up again
The cost for an extra porter is $50.
Our Tour Guides
Peru Trek’s guides are 100% local. From different villages from Cusco. They mastered the craft of leading groups through the most beautiful places and over the highest elevations without losing any bit of information and any tip to make the hiking more enjoyable to Machupicchu.
Our guides have graduated in Tourism and passed tests to be able to guide along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu.
All of them will lead your group from beginning to end. The whole journey will be alongside your guides. Every group counts with one guide and the group is maximum 8 people. Our guides are in charge of the team from the hotel pick up to the train station drop off after Machupicchu. Then back to your hotel by our transfer. Our guides are able to communicate in both English and Spanish. Quechua is their main language and they will be more than happy to help translating your words towards the porters and also teaching you some of our ancient language.