Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
“Walking from one beautiful Inca ruin to the next is a mystical and enigmatic experience you will never forget…”BOOK NOW
Starting point : Cusco
Ending point : Cusco
Duration : 8 days
Trip style : Active Hiking & Touring – Inca Trail hike
Activities : Archaeological, Cultural, Camping, Ecological, Hiking
Airfares : Not included, available upon request
Highlights : 1 night in Cusco, 1 night in Ollantaytambo, 1 night by Machu Picchu, complete 4 days Inca Trail Trek, 1 last night in Cusco
Trip Code : IT8D
Price includes all credit card transaction fees and taxes
Unforgetable journey to the lost city of the Incas; you will be hiking the Inca Trail for 26 miles (43 Km) and exploring one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. This adventure includes two nights of acclimatization in Cusco and the Sacred Valley before the Trek, a visit to Sacred Valley’s Pisac market and Ollantaytambo, the complete 4 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, an overnight in Aguas Calientes right by Machu Picchu and back to Cusco for the last night.
This fully supported trekking tour along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the most popular trek you will find in South America. It is a small group adventure; you will be sharing your experiences with a variety of like-minded travelers from all over the world. This is perfect for couples and small groups of friends. It is a great way to meet new people as well as seeing new places!
Over 250 species of orchid have been counted in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, as well as numerous rare birds, animals, reptiles, including several species considered to be in danger of extinction. In order to complete the Inca Trail, you need to have a reasonable level of fitness, age shouldn’t be a barrier. The most important thing is to be well acclimatized to the altitude. The maximum height above sea level along the way is 4200 m (13780 ft), that is why we recommend anyone coming from the coast to spend at least 2 days in Cusco before attempting the trek. This period is ideal for visiting the city of Cusco, the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Please be aware that permits for this year are selling out 3 – 4 months prior departure date, and the only way to access the trail is with a permit issued by the government (National Institute of Culture in Cusco, Peru).
Hiking The Inca Trail Itinerary
(B)=Breakfast ; (L)=Lunch ; (D)=Dinner
Day 1 : Cusco
Assistance at your arrival to Velazco Astete Airport (CUZ) and transfer to your Hotel after a quick tour of the beautiful Plaza De Armas. You will be free for the remainder of the day to relax and acclimatize to the altitude (3309masl/10856 ft) . Overnight at your hotel.
Day 2 : Cusco – Sacred Valley (B)
Today you will embark upon a guided excursion through snowcapped mountains to the legendary Sacred Valley of the Incas. Begining in PISAQ, then to URUBAMBA and we continue to the Fortress of OLLANTAYTAMBO. Overnight in Ollantaytambo.
*Day 3 : Ollantaytambo – Km 82 – Huayllabamba (about 5 hr. trekking) (B)(L)(D)
The guide will pick you up from your hotel in Ollantaytambo at around 0800 – 0830am. You will be transfered to Km 82. After joining the rest of the team we begin our trekking tour along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We will head towards our first camp at Wayllabamba, on the way we will have a good view of the archaeological complex of Llactapata, where we will have lunch. For a further 7 km the path follows the left bank of the river up to the small village of Huayllabamba (3,000masl/9843ft) where dinner will be served. Overnight in tents at the campsite.
Day 4 : Huayllabamba – Pacaymayu (about 6 – 7 hr. trekking) (B)(L)(D)
After breakfast, the toughest part of the trail begins, walking towards the highest point of the Inca Trail – Warmihuañusca or Dead Woman`s Pass (4200masl/13780ft) – where we will have an unbelievable panoramic view of the whole area and will observe different types of microclimates. Here, you will have a tremendous feeling of achievement mixed with relief on reaching the top. After lunch we will continue our walking down to Pacaymayu where we will camp and have dinner.
Day 5 : Pacaymayu – Phuyupatamarka – Wiñay Wayna (about 7 hr. trekking) (B)(L)(D)
After breakfast we start the descent towards the second most important pass of the trail at 3850 meters above sea level (12632ft). Our ascent will include a guided visit to the archaeological complex of Runkurakay and the Inca citadel of Sayacmarca where lunch will be served. Continue your trekking towards Phuyupatamarka (Cloud-level town), another important archaeological monument. After a short break you will continue walking to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) for a guided visit of this impressive archaeological complex with a spectacular setting. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day 6 : Wiñay Huayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes (B)
After breakfast, have a very early start to arrive in time at Machu Picchu. After a one hour walk through the forest towards the Inti Punku or Gate of the Sun, also known as the Entrance Gate to Machu Picchu, you will have the most impressive panoramic view of the citadel.
Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, you will have a two-hours guided tour around the citadel, visiting the main sites and monuments. After the tour you are free to wander around Machu Picchu. A bus will drive you down to Aguas Calientes. In the afternoon, you have the option to enjoy and relax on the natural hot sprigs. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 7 : Machu Picchu – Cusco (B)
Free day to return to Machu Picchu (re-entry ticket and transfer included). You might want to wake up early and take some pictures from the Puerta del Sol in Machu Picchu. Today is also a great opportunity to climb HuaynaPicchu mountain (extra charge). In the afternoon, back to Cusco. Train to Ollantaytambo at 18:20 hrs and transfer to downtown Cusco at 20:20 hrs are included.
Day 8 : Cusco (B)
Morning transfer to the airport for the return flight to Lima. This marks the end of our services. Trip extensions to other regions or extra days in Lima or Cusco can be arranged.
Included in the Package
- Transfers in/out Cusco
- 2 Nights in Cusco (first and last)
- 1 Night in the Sacred Valley | Ollantaytambo
- Sacred Valley of the Incas tour – Group Service
- 1 Night Machu Picchu | Aguas Calientes
- 4 days Inca Trail Hiking Package (3 nights camping)
- Informative presentation at our office in downtown Cusco
- Transportation to head of trail (82 Km.)
- Services of English/Spanish speaker professional guide
- Personal pad (double foam)
- Tents (Marmot Limestone)
- Cook and cooking equipment
- Porters service (to carry the tents, food and cooking equipment only)
- Entrance ticket to Inca Trail
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu (two days)
- Guided visit to Machu Picchu and the ruins along the trail.
- 2 Bus tickets Machu Picchu / Aguas Calientes
- Services of English/Spanish speaker professional guide
- 1 Bus ticket Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu
- Expedition Train ticket Aguas Calientes / Ollantaytambo (Vistadome upgrade available)
- Transfer from the Ollantaytambo train station to downtown Cusco
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (7B, 3L, 3D)
- Vegetarian food available on request with no extra charge.
- First Aid equipment
Porters will carry the heavy gear; you will hike carrying only your personal pack, sleeping bag and pad.
If you are considering bringing some photography equipment or other heavy accessories, or just simply don’t want to carry anything, please request additional portering service to carry your personal belongings, this way you will freely enjoy the hike. (This is highly recommended if you have never hiked over 10000 feet). Cooks handle all the kitchen chores.
Excluded in tour cost
- Personal trekking gear, sleeping bag, tips to guide and support staff, city services.
- Domestic air LIM/CUZ/LIM: around US$ 220 (available upon request)
- Single Tent supplement: USD 25
- Sleeping bag: USD 25
- Vistadome train upgrade Aguas Calientes to Poroy: USD 70.00
Package Details – Planning Your Trip
The high tourist season is between June and September (winter) with July and August being the busiest months. This is because these months coincides with summer holidays in Europe, North America, Canada etc. Book hotels or flights well in advance. This is also the dry season in the sierra and jungle regions (Cusco, Machu Picchu, Titicaca Lake, Puerto Maldonado, Amazon jungle) with days being typically sunny and warm with little chance of rain.
Because of the proximity to the equator and the high altitude, the sun is very intense, bring good sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses and a hat. Trekking in shorts and t-shirts is pretty comfortable, however the temperature can drastically drop when the sun goes down. Always have a sweater or jacket and long pants at hand. Temperature at nights can drop to below freezing (27°F/-3°C) in August.
The summer months in Peru from December to March, offer daytime temperatures to 85°F/30°C, milder nights (typically to 45°F/8°C) and plenty of rain. Waterproof clothing is highly recommended for this time of the year. Cusco gets kind of quieter during these months with hotel prices dropping a little although clubs like Mama Afrika or Mithology keep throwing parties every night. The Inca Trail will be closed throughout February for maintenance and conservation projects.
Festivals you might want to attend:
Peru celebrates some 3,000 festivals a year. Most of them are held in homage to a patron saint and are part of the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar adopted in colonial times, although they have blended with the magical beliefs of ancient forms of worship. The most important festivals in Peru are:
New Year / January 1st.
Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria (Virgin of the Candles), Puno / February 2nd
Virgin of Chapi, Arequipa / May 1st
Anniversary of Cotahuasi, Arequipa / May 4th
Inti Raymi, Cusco / June 24th
Anniversary of Huaraz / July 25th
Independence Day July / 28th
Anniversary of the city of Arequipa / August 15th
Peruvian Pace Horse National Contest, Trujillo / September 29th.
The golden rules for your trip to Cusco are to travel light and to pack for a variety of conditions. Expect a wide range of temperature and precipitation, be prepared to deal with inclement weather, intense heat of the high altitude, cold Andean nights and humidity during the unique jungle transition area. We recommend to dress using several layers to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection rather than one thick and heavy jumper, this way you can add or remove a layer to remain comfortable as conditions change throughout the day. At all times, carry rain-gear in your day-pack.
Basic clothing list: underwear, thermal underwear (tops and bottoms), wool socks, lightweight hiking boots, sneakers for around camp, convertible hiking pants are useful, T-shirts, long-sleeved shirt, light rain gear (waterproof jacket or rain poncho), sun hat, bathing suit, gloves and ski-type hat.
Other Gear: Well broken-in trekking boots, Day pack, sleeping bag, water bottle, flashlight, sunglasses, sunscreen, personal toiletries, medicine/first aid, insect repellent. Sealable bags are essential. They will keep your t-shirts dry from moisture and will trap odors from your stinky socks at the end of the day. Your electronics should be in a sealable bag as well.
Optional: Walking sticks with rounded and rubber end, sewing kit, pocket knife, camera and film, binoculars, snacks and/or energy bars. Sleeping pad, tents, cooking equipment, water filter and communal camping gear will be provided.
Inca Trail Weight Limitation
The maximum weight that a porter can carry on the Inca Trail has been limited to 25kg / 55lb, this includes 5kg / 11lb of personal items. Porters are weighed at the checkpoint when begining the inca trail. This regulation is strictly enforced by authorities. The Inca Trail itself is an amazing adventure, it does not have to mean pain. By hiring the services of a personal porter you will definitely enjoy the trek at a grater level. Usually 1 porter between 2 persons is more than enough. If you are a solo traveler, you have the option to hire ‘half a porter’, that is to carry up to 10kg / 22lb, enough for your clothes, sleeping bag and pad. When hiring an extra porter, we will provide a duffle bag for you to put your belongins. Because the porter will not walk by your side during the trek, you should bring a day-pack for essentials.
Important note: You must decide if you want to hire the services of a personal porter when making your trek reservation since we need to purchase the porter’s inca trail permit. You cannot decide to hire a personal porter at a later date or once you arrive in Cusco.
Food during the Inca Trail
You will be surprised of the excellent high-energy meals served during the Inca Trail, this does not mean you should eat voraciously. Trekking at these altitude is very tricky and can affect your body in many ways, including your digestive system.
We can provide vegetarian meals or cater for special diets at no extra cost. Please detail any dietary restrictions or requirements when making the Inca Trail Reservation and review these with the operations staff during the trek orientation meeting. Strict diets that includes speciality items must be provided by you as some of these items are unavailable in South America.
A variety of freshly-prepared foods are served during the program. Breakfast will usually be a selection or all of the following: scrambled eggs, hotcakes, bread, butter, jam, coffee, hot chocolate, english-tea or a selection of herbal teas (mate de coca for sure). For lunch and dinner you will always have a bowl of soup followed by a main course (chicken, beef or fish with rice or pasta). A dessert and herbal drink will be provided.
Snacks: You will be given – a piece of fruit, a chocolate bar, biscuits, hot drinks, popcorn, bread and jam.
Know What You Are Buying
Our Inca Trail Permit logistics allows us to secure trek pemits almost immediately after you have made your reservation and we have procesed your deposit transaction. You don’t need to wire money or pay other fees for transactions, the price you see published is the final price you will be paying. The fact that we offer online payments and have Visa, MasterCard and American Express authorization, our affiliation to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), our INRENA and Cusco Government Tour Operator Certifications gives you the guarantee of our seriousness.
One day prior to the trek, you will receive an important orientation meeting, we’ll review trek arrangements, trail gear and packing tips, tipping and other cash needs, and trail documentation requirements. We collect any balance unpaid from you at this time in cash. Bills must be in good condition (no rips or missing corners please).
Inca Trail Reservations office in Cusco is at Calle Choquechaca 229 B, Cusco.
Telephone (51-54) 315053.
If you have last minute change of plans due to airline or bus delays, you must advise us immediately. Please contact us
or our Cusco office directly for alternative arrangements.
In order to qualify for a student discount, we must receive a digital version of your student card. In the event that we don’t receive the scanned copy of the student card along with your reservation form, we will process your reservation with adult price.
In order to qualify for a child discount (less than 18 years old), we must receive a digital version of the passport. In the event that we don’t receive the scanned copy of the passport along with your reservation form, we will process your reservation with adult price.
The best way for us to receive your documentation is by email as a digital file attachment (.jpg). Regulations for discounts are subject to change by the INC with no advance notice. Additionally, passengers MUST bring their passport and student ID on the trek; failure to do so may result in the INC confiscating the student ticket and denying you the right to proceed with the trek.
Optional Extras / Add ons:
Hotels and airport transfers in Lima are available and can be easily arranged upon request. We are pleased to assist you with additional tour extensions prior to and following your tour.
* Tipping your guide and trek support staff is optional but customary. Bring along between US$25-$40 in local currency for this purpose.
Porters appreciate receiving donations of used clothing or toys that are in good condition, including children’s clothes.
Note: We reserve the right to make changes where necessary for the safety and comfort of trek participants. Additional expenses caused by circumstances beyond the control of the operator will be the responsibility of the trek participant.
Social and Environmental Responsibility
At Inca Trail Reservations we firmly believe that responsible tourism is the only way of guaranteeing the sustainable development of this activity for present and future generations. We support the efforts of the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary Authority (UGM) to protect the environment within the park by measures which include limiting the daily capacity of the route, and enforcing a policy of 100% carry in/carry out.
As a result of this belief ever since we started, we involved the local communities and worked with them as suppliers of goods and services, helping them by contributing with medicines, school materials and sanitary issues. Tied in with this, was our commitment to the environment trying to minimize footprint and respecting the traditional way of life of the peoples through whose territory we passed.
Preparation – How fit you need to be
To trek you do not need to be an Olympic athlete nor a mountaineer but it is important to be relatively fit and in good physical condition before you start the Inca Trail. A few weeks of training, prior to arriving in Peru, will enhance your experience.
Try to spend an hour a day on the road. Walk upstairs rather than taking the elevator, if possible, walk or cycle when you would normally drive or ride a bus, take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. Better yet, go on hikes in your area. Plenty of cardiovascular training is essential.
Being able to run a few miles each day without issues is probably the best single physical activity you should consider. Spend time on the stepper; you will be glad later when you are literally climbing up and down thousands of ancient steps.
While you are training you can also be breaking in those new trekking boots that may otherwise give you blisters when hiking the Inca trail.
High altitudes affect everybody in different ways, even a marathon runner may feel debilitated. When in Cusco, go visit some ruins in the surroundings, have a little jog, you will probably notice heavy breathing. This is due to the thin air at altitude, not your lack of fitness.
After a day or two of acclimatization, you’ll learn how much food your body can handle in a day, whether coca tea helps, or if acetazolamide is appropriate. Once on the trail, take your time, catch your breath, the Inca Trail is not a race nor a competition.
Group Service Price : 2019 Inca Trail trekking season
- Tierra Viva Plaza
- Casa Andina Prem
- Sacred Valley
- Ollanta Lodge
- El Sauce
- Casa Andina Prem
- Aguas Calientes
- Wiracocha Inn
- El Mapi
- $ 989.00
- $ 1145.00
- $ 1345.00
- $ 1919.00
- $ 1145.00
- $ 1375.00
- $ 1805.00
- $ 2829.00
We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes. We will endeavour to confirm final hotel bookings as soon as possible.
Student Discount :
- Load of portering : USD 75.00 (per load of 7.5 kg) + view details If you are considering bringing some photography equipment or other heavy accessories, or just simply don’t want to carry anything, please request additional portering service to carry your personal belongings (i.e. sleeping bag, foamy pad), this way you will freely enjoy the hike. (This is highly recommended if you have never hiked over 10000 feet). Cooks handle all the kitchen chores. Working conditions of our porters is a very important issue for us, that is why we enforce inca trail regulations. Request Additional Porter when filling the Booking form. Porters require a permit and they won’t be available if permits are sold out. Each porter is allowed to carry up to 20 kg (44 lb).
If you request additional portering service, the additional porter will carry up to two loads of 7.5 kg = 15kg (33 lb) of your belongings, the remaining 5 kg (12.5 lb) will be for the porter’s personal belongings. Support inca trail porters as they do the hardest job.
- Vistadome train upgrade Aguas Calientes to Poroy : USD 70.00 + view detailsTransfer from Poroy train station to Cusco is still included when upgrading to Vistadome
- * Not available from January to April
- Huayna Picchu entrance ticket : USD 85.00 + view detailsOnly 200 spots are available per day to hike Huayna Picchu, please request this additional ticket at the time of booking.
- Single tent supplement : USD 25.00
- Sleeping bag : USD 25.00 (per unit / 3 nights)
- Walking pole : USD 20.00 (per unit / 4 days)
- Aguas Calientes overnight: + view detailsNormally you return to Cusco the fourth day, but it is possible to arrange an additional night in Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes). Different types of accommodation are available as well as activities for the next day like climbing Huayna Picchu (could also be done on fourth day), taking a hike along the Orchid Trail or visit Mandor waterfall. This also gives you the opportunity to return to the Machu Picchu Archaeological complex the next day and keep exploring…(additional entrance ticket required).
USD 46.00 off of group service price
To qualify for Student Discount, you have to email us a scanned copy of a valid Student ID card to info (at) incatrailreservations.com
*If any of the third party costs included in this package experiences an increment, we will immediately update the package price.
Please proceed to booking by clicking on the date you would like to start the tour.
The Inca Trail is closed in February for conservation projects.