Find out for yourself why the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is the most well-known hike in the Andes! On this Inca Trail hiking tour you will be taken through the various forests of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, appreciating mesmerizing mountain landscapes, memorable Inca sites on the glorious stone highway and copious flowers and hummingbirds before declining to the famous fortress of Machu Picchu. With Inca Trail Hiking Tours you spend 4 entire days trekking to Machu Picchu and a fifth day discovering the legendary ruins themselves. This 5 day schedule is a wonderful alternate to stay away from the throngs that are found on the 4-day classic trail.
A lot of our clients tell us they favor the 5 day hiking tour to Machu Picchu as it allows them to adjust to the altitude and they have an extra day to enjoy Machu Picchu.
It starts and finishes in Cusco with an overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Groups are limited to 16 people, the minimum being people
The only month that the Inca Trail is closed is in Febuary. The best time of year for hiking is between April to October, especially September and October. You can start your tour on any day of the week
DAY 1: Cusco – Km 82 – Llullucha pampa
DAY 2: Llulluchapampa – Chaquicocha
DAY 3: Chaquicocha – Wiñay Wayna
DAY 4: Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco
Early morning you are collected from your hotel and taken by our private transport to the starting point of the Inca Trail trek, Pisacucho, otherwise known as Km 82 (2,350 m). Once there you will have a briefing from your tour guide and after that you cross the checking point. You will trek along the Urubamba River, stopping by the Incan archaeological sites of Willca Raccay and the colossañ Llactapata. You then carry on up the Cusichacha River Canyon which offers glorious vistas of the Cordillera Oriental, especially the Veronica Mountain (5, 850m). You have lunch in Chamana, and later continue on the trail along the Cusichaca River, aquainting ourselves with various Incan agricultural stepped terraces and irrigation channels until we reach the attractive village of Wayllabamba. From there you ascend, passing various eco-systems along the way. Later in the afternoon you get to the village of Llullucha Pampa, where your first campsite is (3,850 m). You then have dinner and a rest.
Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours
Hiking distance: 17 km
Max. elevation: 3,850m (12,630 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,600 m (8,530 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Today is a challenging day. Early after breakfast you continue your Machu Picchu Hiking Tour, climbing towards the highest point of the trail, Abra Warmiwañusca (Dead Woman’s pass) at 4,200 meters (13,779 feet), passing through the cloud forests of Yunkachimpa and Corral Punku, which offer superior vistas of the encircling frost-topped summits. From Warmiwañusca you go down to the Pacamayo Valley (3,300 mt) (10,826 feet), where you have a lunch break. You then continue your trek to the Inca ruins of Runkuracay where you will enjoy a guided tour. You then climb over and cross the second pass – Abra Runkuracay (3,860mt) (12,664 feet) and align with the Royal Inkas Highway down to the Inka ruins of Sayamarca passing Lake Yanacocha. Our second campsite is in Chaquicocha, where we will eat and rest.
Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours
Hiking distance: 12 km
Max. elevation: 4,200 m (12,630 ft)
Min. elevation: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
After breakfast we continue on the route, going through delightful semi-tropical flora on the way to the archaeological site of Phuyupatamarca (3.600 mt) (11,811 feet). After a guided tour we have lunch there. We then commence a steep descent through cloud forest where we have the chance to see charming orchids and various types of birds en route to our campsite in Wiñaywayna (2, 700 mt) (8,858 feet). We then have a guided tour of the Wiñaywayna archaeological site. After we set up camp and are served dinner.
Estimated trekking time: 5-6 hours
Hiking distance: 10 km
Max. elevation: 3,670 m (12,040 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
We will get up very early, and leave Winay Wayna, we descend gently through the highland jungle to our target destination: Intipunku or the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu. We spend the rest of the morning exploring the Inka citadel on our own. For those interested we meet up in Aguas Calientes, the town beneath Machu Picchu to have lunch together. You can take an unhurried walk down (from where you can take some beautiful panoramic shots; it takes about an hour) or a shuttle bus (about 20 minutes and costs USD10, not included in the Inca Trail package). After you can visit the local hot springs, it costs 15 soles, also not included in the package. You spend the night in a comfortable hotel, where you can enjoy a hot shower.
Estimated trekking time: 3 hours
Trekking distance: 4 km
Max. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,400 m (7,875 ft)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
After an early breakfast we will take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sun rise at this bewitching place. Arriving at the site we will explore the ruins with our well-informed guide and then you will also have time to amble around Machu Picchu on your own. We later descend to Aguas Calientes for the train back to Ollantaytambo from where we get a private bus to Cusco.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you also receive your own single tent.
Local flights: No local flights are included in any of our Inca Trail packages
For the sake of maintaining the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and its surroundings, the Peruvian authorities now limit the number of Inca Trail trekking permits to 500 a day, including hikers, guides, porters and other support staff. Permits frequently sell out various months before and you have to reserve well in advance to obtain your place, especially if you want to go in high season between June and August.
We advise booking your permit at least four months in advance to prevent any letdowns. You can possibly find more economic flights in May, September and October, in the off season. Permit availability can change quickly and cannot be confirmed until it is reserved in theInca Trail office ( once passport details are recieved and the deposit has been paid). Once authorized it is not possible to make any changes to your Inca Trail permit. Your Passport for the Inca Trail Trek
You need to supply us with your passport details when you request your Inca Trail Trek. We cannot make a reservation without this. Your permit is connected to your name and passport number. If you change your passport after booking your Inca Trail permit or are planning on traveling with a different passport you need to also bring the passport you used to book your Inca Trail permit or you will not be allowed to hike the Inca Trail. It is very important to make sure that your passport is valid for 6 months.
When reserving your tour you will pay your 50% deposit. We will issue a confirmation invoice, which means your booking has been accepted and a contract exists.
If we are unable to confirm a tour we will refund your deposit in full.
The Inca Trail is closed once a year (in Febuary) for maintainence and during this time we can offer you other tours. There are alternative treks the Inca Trail available where you can have a similar experience, which are usually not as difficult and follow the Urubamba River before ending as usual at the sungate at Machu Picchu.
Please note that all routes to Machu Picchu are subject to local regulations and prices for permits and transportation may change without notice. Although we will aim to deal with any changes ourselves, it may be inevitable to increase our prices accordingly even after you have booked or whilst on your tour.
If you would like to hike the Inca Trail, and it is fully booked, we can recommend to choose the best alternative treks to hike to Machu Picchu, the alternative hikes is similar to the Inca route and only different it is the porter and horses. For example. Salkantay trek 5 days you will appreciate the beautiful landscapes and you will use the horses and not porters, incase the 7 day Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail, 3 day hike with horses and 4 day hike with porter.