The Inca Trail with 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 days to complete, including a day of visit in the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu.
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 a great fauna and flora. To all these natural wonders are added Inca constructions that are worth visiting, the architectural art harmonizes perfectly with the natural environment.
Starting from km 77 in the town of Chillca (2,700 m.) The route is smooth, following a path along the Urubamba or Vilcanota river bank, passing through a eucalyptus forest with a large variety of Cactus. After having walked, 90 minutes begin to accompany us snowed. It stands out for its beauty, the snow capped "Waqay Willca" or "Verónica" (5,682 m.). It will end bordering the Urubamba River, located in the Valley of the same name.
Inca Trail Tour Operator: Alpaca Expeditions
Activity: Hiking, Camping, Natural, Adventure, History, Culture
Difficulty Level:Challenging - Those who enjoy hiking and have a moderate level of fitness
Inca Trail: Permit required
Total Distance: 43KM/26 Miles
Day 1: Cusco – Piskacucho Km 82 – Llactapata- Ayapata
Day 2: Dead Woman´s Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha
Day 3: Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna
Day 4: Sun Gate - Machu Picchu – The Lost City Of The Incas
Our driver will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4:30 AM. We will then drive to Km 82, arriving at about 7:00AM. After a delicious breakfast prepared by your cook, we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek (please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail). The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site, Patallacta which is an ancient Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From Patallacta it’s another 2 hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch we will hike for another 2½ hours until we reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drinks or snacks you can do so here, you can also buy any essential items such as batteries that you may have forgotten. We’ll arrive to our campsite by 5:00vPM and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chef and guide. By 7:30PM your dinner will be ready, and afterwards you can get some well-deserved rest.
Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3300 meters (high) above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy
Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. Today is our longest day and we will start early. We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot and a chance to refill our water bottles. After lunch we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village). We’ll stop here for a rest and have a quick tour of the site and then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Southern Hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!
Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes)
Weather: Cold and rainy
We begin early again, waking up at 6:30am to begin what is commonly felt to be the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what we like to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. As we walk we will have the opportunity to see the majesty of Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flats we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we’ll have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu Mountain but the site itself is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu.
During the descent we visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00PM to have lunch and then relax for the entire afternoon so that you’re relaxed and ready for your final day at Machu Picchu. At around 4:30PM your guide will give you a short orientation and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, spending about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day. We like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so at this time). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up in the early hours of the morning to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn in the hopes that the weather will give us a beautiful sunrise over the ruins at Machu Picchu.
Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)
Campsite altitude: 2.600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Easy day – all downhill!
Weather: Warm and very humid
Wake up time is at 3:30AM. We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00AM and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30AM. We’ll wave goodbye to our team of porters and chef and then it’s “Forward On” to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here we have spectacular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. We reach the Sun Gate by 6:30am and then it’s just an hour trek downstairs to reach the Lost City of the Incas. As we approach Machu Picchu the views of the city just get better and better! At about 7:40AM we’ll reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hour private guided tour. After the tour you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore on your own or climb one of the neighboring mountain – Huaynapicchu (must be arranged ahead of time). Your guide will offer to meet you down in the village of Aguas Calientes to enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. At lunch, he will hand out train tickets, so if you choose to skip, please arrange to get these before leaving him at Machu Picchu.
Unless you arranged for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 4:20. Please make sure you are on the platform at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This train will be 2 hours to Ollantaytambo where an Alpaca driver will meet you and drive you back to the city in our bus, then we will drop you off at your hotel.
Considered: The most exciting and magical day (early wake up 3.30AM)
Weather: Hot and very humid
There are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Overview section for more details.
Vistadome Train (one way): $75 per person
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.
Machu Picchu now has two time windows of when you can visit: either morning or afternoon. Your entrance ticket will be for only one session, morning session, and when your time window is over, the Rangers will ask you to leave.
MORNING SESSION: 6AM - 12PM
AFTERNOON SESSION: 12PM - 5:30PM
** If you have tickets to hike either Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will have some extra time until 2:30PM.
If you would like to spend the whole day at Machu Picchu, we can add an afternoon session ticket to your booking for $50 per person.
One more reason to restrict entry in February, is given precisely this month in which we have the strongest rains of the season in this region. So with the purpose of taking care of the integrity of the visiting travelers, as well as that of the guides and companions, is that the Inca Trail remains closed during the entire month of February of each year.
This varies according to your preferences; If you do not enjoy much of the crowds, or of the suffocating days, possibly the best time of the year to go, it would be at the beginning of April or September, because you will miss both heavy rains, very hot days and huge crowds of visitors.
The price of income to the Inca Trail, is maintained during the year; however, the cost of trains and buses usually go up this season; This is due to the huge number of people who want to make the famous walk in this era. If it is totally necessary to carry out the Inca Trail during this season, you will have to book well in advance; since like you, there will be many people booking a space in the most famous walk in the world months in advance. It is almost impossible to reserve the Inca Trail upon arrival in Cusco, unless you can afford to wait (maybe weeks), for the availability of a free space.
If you are student, you can present the UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD and we can offer the student discount or who is 17-years-old less, We require a copy of your passport. These copies is for your book your entrance fee to Machu Picchu. Please send all to firstname.lastname@example.org
To complete your book, we will require your personal details for each travellers.
Please note: It is very important that you will complete all information correctly to obtain your Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu tickets! Except of this, please do not forget to read and accept our service policies before clicking on the Registration & payment option.
To complete your booking, we require a deposit of 50% of the total amount! The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon your arrival to Cusco.
To pay your deposit, you can choose one of the following methods:
In this tour is not included departure wire transfer
All bookings are made with Responsible People (RUC: 20603955618 / Peruvian Government) (us/we). and Responsible People will contact with Alpaca Expeditions and we will book your trip with their. By booking a trip with us you are deemed to have agreed to these Booking Conditions (which constitutes the entire agreement between you and us) and your booking will be accepted by us on this basis. The services to be provided are those referred to in your booking confirmation invoice.
You can book your trip with Responsible People, you can send us your personal information requried by email and we accept your booking, Once confirmed our staff will send a email and it issue a confirmation invoice. A contract will exist between us from the date we issue the confirmation invoice or if you book within 2 days of departure the contract will exist when we accept your payment.
Please refer to your booking confirmation invoice for details regarding payments. If this balance is not paid on or before the due date we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled.
We will require to pay the 50% pre-payment, this is per person per trip for your booking to be confirmed. This pre-payment is for your Train, Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu ticket.
The remaining balance you can pay in our office in Cusco at least 2 days or 1 day before your hike. However, it can also be paid in advance through PayPal with a 5.5% fee paid by the traveler, or by you can deposit our account bank. Please notify us if paying by wire transfer.
You can pay in cash in our office in Dollars or Peruvian soles. We do not accept any torn bills. If you are not arriving to Cusco 2 days before your tour begins, please arrange your payment with the Responsible People team before your arrival.
If you deposited, we needed to book any trips with Alpaca Expeditions. For all full itineraries + Inca Trail permits, the needed deposit is 50%. The deposit can be made through PayPal, which will incur a 5.5% PayPal merchant fee paid by the traveler, or Bank Account. Please notify us if paying by wire transfer. All deposits are fully non-refundable and non-transferable. In the event that you need to cancel your trip, cancellation fees will be assessed as outlined below under our cancellation policy. If canceling, you may not transfer your deposit to another person’s trek.
Notification of cancellation must be made in writing to email@example.com. If you wish to cancel within eight weeks of your tour start date, further payment is needed as follows:
(i) Cancellation up to months or prior to departure:
(ii) Cancellation between two days and the departure date: will be considered a No Show and no refund will be applicable.
(iii) If the trek balance is not paid two days before the trek departure date, Tierras Vivas will assume the client is canceling the trek and the deposit will not be refunded.
We charge these fees because there are a great deal of expenses that Alpaca pays to set up these tours. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions. We would be happy to supply a letter for your insurance company to help recover some of the cost.