Cusco, Wayllabamba, Wiñayhuayna, Machu Picchu
- Time 5 Days / 4 Nights
- Tour Type Hike
- Altitude 4215 m.a.s.l.
- Place Cusco
- Difficulty Difficult
The Inca Trail is recognized as the best hike in South America. It consists of 43 kilometers along ancient Inca trails to Machu Picchu. Along the way, we will visit numerous archaeological sites left by our ancestors to admire their grandeur. The 5-day, 4-night Classic Inca Trail trek is ideal for those who wish to climb the sacred mountains of Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu. It is an excellent opportunity, especially during the rainy season, to have a second chance to admire Machu Picchu in clear weather.
Day 01: Cusco – Piskacucho km 82 – Llaqtapata – Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa (campsite).
You will be picked up early at your hotel in Cusco and we will take you to the starting point at km82, the starting point to reach the first camp in Llulluchapampa.
Day 02: Llulluchapampa – Warmiwañusca – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquicocha (camp)
On this day we will face a challenge, crossing the Warmiwañusca pass with ascents and descents, visiting the archaeological sites of Runcuraccay and Sayacmarca, to arrive at the camp in Chaquicocha.
Day 03: Chaquicocha – Wiñayhuayna (camp)
Today we will embark on a walking tour through impressive natural scenery and historical sites, including Inti pata Phuyupatamarca, culminating at the Wiñayhuayna camp.
Day 04: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
On the last day, we will hike 8 km to Intipunku, where we will have the first view of Machu Picchu. After a guided tour, we will take the bus and rest in Aguas Calientes.
Day 05: 2nd entrance Machu Picchu – Huayna Picchu – Cusco
On this day, we can take the opportunity to explore more of Machu Picchu and climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. After your second visit to Machu Picchu, we take the train back to Cusco.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5|
|Departure point||Km. 82||Llulluchapampa||Chaquicocha||Puerta del Sol||Aguas Calientes|
|Activities||Transfer from Cuzco to the Inca Trail and hike||Hike||Hike||Hike, visit Machu Picchu and return to Cusco||Visit Huayna Picchu and return to Cusco|
|Distance / duration||13 Km. / 5 h.||11 Km. / 7 h.||10 km. / 5 h.||5 km. / 2 h.|
Day 01: Cusco – Piskacucho km 82 – Llaqtapata – Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa (camping).
Cusco: We start picking you up at your hotel between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. to take you to Piskacucho or Km 82 in Ollantaytambo (2,871 masl). The trip will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes until we arrive at Km 82, where we will begin our exciting adventure.
We will start our journey passing through the first checkpoint of the Inca Trail to begin our trek (be sure to bring your original passport to enter the Inca Trail).
Llaqtapata (2,550 masl): During the first two hours of the trek on foot, we will find ourselves on a relatively easy route as we make our way to our first Inca point of interest: Llaqtapata. This historic site is an ancient Inca checkpoint. After exploring and receiving a briefing from our guide at Llaqtapata, we will head to Wayllabamba (2.950 m).
Wayllabamba (2,950 masl): After visiting Llaqtapata, we will continue for approximately 2 hours to our second stop for lunch in Wayllabamba. After lunch, we will hike for another 2.5 hours until we reach our first night’s campsite at Llulluchapampa, at an altitude of 3300 meters. During this stretch, we will cross two small communities. If you wish to buy energy drinks or snacks, you can do so here. You will also be able to purchase any essential items you may have forgotten, such as batteries.
Llulluchapampa (3,840 masl): At 5:00 pm we will arrive at the camp, where you can settle in and relax with a hot drink and a snack with the team. At 7:30 pm dinner will be ready, and then you can rest peacefully.
- Distance: 8, miles / 13 km (5- 6 hours)
- Altitude: Camping altitude 3850 meters above sea level.
- Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
- Weather: Warm and windy
- Lunch: Wayllabamba
- Camping: Llulluchapampa
- Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Day 02: Llulluchapampa – Warmiwañusca – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquicocha (campsite)
Llulluchapampa (3,840 masl): At dawn, the Porters will give you a comforting cup of coca tea to help you start the day with energy.
Warmiwañusca (4,200 masl): Today is the longest day of our trek and we will start early. After a delicious breakfast, we will hike for approximately 4 hours to the highest point of the route, known as the Dead Woman’s Pass (4200 meters / 13829 feet). Upon reaching the pass, we will pause briefly to enjoy the breathtaking views, and then begin to descend towards our next destination, Pacaymayu. After an hour and a half of hiking, we will arrive at the place where we will have our lunch and can rest for a while.
Runcuraccay Pass (3,850 masl): We continue our trek until we reach a smaller Inca site called Runcuraccay, where we can contemplate two impressive waterfalls on the other side of the valley. Then, we reach the majestic Inca site of Sayacmarca, a practically inaccessible village. Here we will pause to rest, briefly explore the site and witness the sunset over the Vilca Bamba mountain range.
Chaquicocha (3,600 masl): Finally, after 20 more minutes, we will arrive at our second campsite at Chaquicocha (3600 meters). After dinner, if you are willing, we can stargaze and point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the beautiful southern hemisphere sky, away from light pollution, you will be able to contemplate something truly breathtaking.
- Distance: 9.94 miles / 16 km (7-8 hours) | Camp altitude: 3600 meters above sea level (cold weather).
- Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes).
- Zone: The Andes and Cloud Forest
- Climate: Cold and rainy
- Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Camp: Chaquicocha
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 03: Chaquicocha – Wiñayhuayna (camp)
Chaquicocha (3,600 masl): Finishing the second day and starting the third, you deserve a recognition. We start early at 6:30 am to get into what we consider the most beautiful day of the Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours on what we call the “Inca flat” (gentle ramps) and enter the Cloud Forest, part of the jungle. During the hike, we will enjoy breathtaking views of Salkantay, the second highest mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panorama of the Vilca Bamba mountain range. Arriving at Phuyupatamarca (3600 meters), we will have spectacular views of the Urubamba River. From there, it will take us approximately 3 more hours to walk up a series of steps to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna. At this point, we will be able to glimpse Machu Picchu in the valley, although it will still be hidden in plain sight.
Wiñay Wayna (2,640 masl): next to Wiñay Wayna (always young), an impressive archaeological site near Machu Picchu, is the most popular campsite due to its proximity. During the descent, we will visit two Inca ruins: Phuyupatamarca, known as the “village in the clouds”, and Intipata, with its sun terraces. We will arrive at the campsite around 1:00 PM for lunch and to relax for the afternoon, making sure we are rested and ready for our last day in Machu Picchu.
At approximately 4:30 PM, the guide will provide a brief orientation and we will visit the ruins of Wiñay Wayna for about an hour and a half. There, the importance of the site will be explained and all the information given during the hike will be combined to fully prepare us for our visit to Machu Picchu the following day.
We like to pamper our travelers, so we will enjoy a final celebration with the porters and cooks. It is tradition on the Inca Trail to organize a ceremony in the evening to reintroduce the team to the tourists and thank them for their excellent work (if you wish to leave a tip, this is the right time). It is advisable to go to sleep early so that we can get up early in the morning and arrive at Machu Picchu at dawn, hoping that the weather will give us a beautiful view of the sunrise over the ruins.
- Distance: 6.2 miles / 10 kilometers (5 hours)
- Campsite Altitude: 2,600 meters above sea level (cold weather)
- Considered: Easy day – all downhill!
- Zone: High Cloud Forest
- Climate: Warm and very humid
- Campsite: Wiñayhuayna
- Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 04: Wiñayhuayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
Wiñayhuayna (2,640 masl): At 4:30 AM we wake up and enjoy our last breakfast of the trek. We wait at the checkpoint to be among the first to start the trek when the gates open at 5:30 AM. We say goodbye to our team of porters and cook and then enter the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From this point, we enjoy spectacular views of the mountains and the majesty of Machu Picchu.
Inti Punku or Sun Gate (2,700 m.a.s.l.): Around 7:00 a.m., we arrive at the Sun Gate, from where it will only take a walk of about 1 hour to climb the stairs and reach the lost city of the Incas.
Machu Picchu (2, 430 masl): The views of Machu Picchu become more and more impressive as we get closer. Around 8:30 am, we will arrive at the final checkpoint and begin our 2-hour private guided tour of Machu Picchu.
Aguas Calientes (2,040 m.a.s.l.): At the end of the tour, you will be given bus tickets for your trip to Aguas Calientes. You will have approximately 3-4 hours to explore on your own. Around 13:30 we will meet at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes for our last meal together and then we will help you check into the hotel of your choice, so that you can enjoy a pleasant night in this town.
Day 05: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Huayna Picchu- Cusco
On the last day, we will wake up early and take one of the first buses to Machu Picchu, to witness the sunrise over the citadel. You will have the opportunity to explore Machu Picchu again and climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. After touring the citadel, you will return by bus to Aguas Calientes. Afterwards, you will board the afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo, where our bus will take you back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel.
Huayna Picchu (2,720 masl): The ascent to Huayna Picchu, which takes about 45 minutes, provides spectacular views of Machu Picchu and its surroundings.
- Considered: The most exciting and magical day (early awakening 3.30am).
- Zone: High Cloud and Subtropical Forest
- Climate: hot and very humid (bring plenty of water).
- Food included: Breakfast
What’s Included Inca Trail:
- Transfer from the airport to your hotel (only Cusco and is optional).
- Briefing at our office
- Pick up from your hotel
- Private transportation from Cusco to Piskacucho (private transportation).
- Tents (big and comfortable)
- Foam mattress
- Professional guides with trekking experience
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional: vegetarian or other dietary needs upon request)
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen tank.
- Porter to carry camping tent, food and cooking equipment.
- Hot water for washing.
- Boiled water to refill your bottles.
- Expedition tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and transportation to Cusco.
- Permission for the Classic Inca Trail and entrance to Machu Picchu and HUAYNA PICCHU archaeological complex.
- Private toilet tent with toilet seat, for our group only
- 2 hour guided tour in Machu Picchu
- Bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
- Dining room, kitchen, camping tent, tables and chairs.
- Chef and cooking equipment.
What to Bring
- Original passport (the same one used to book your trek)
- Valid university card (if you have booked as a student)
- Good backpack (the smaller the better – 30L OR 35L)
- Water storage: 2-3 L (Camelbaks recommended)
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support.
- Sleeping bag (can be rented at SAM Travel)
- Headlamp: essential
- Toilet paper
- 2 T-shirts
- At least 2 pairs of hiking pants
- 4 sets of underwear
- 3 sets of socks
- Thermal jacket
- Warm clothing, warm jacket
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves)
- Comfortable shoes for camping.
- Quick drying towel. We provide small ones, you may prefer something larger.
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day for washing.
- Battery charger: There is no electricity along the hike.
- Plastic bags will be provided in the office. Please ask for them.
- Sleeping bag: Must be at least -15ºC. It can be rented from us for $20 USD.
- Facial moisturizer
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal medications
- First aid kit: band aids, etc.
What to put in the backpack
It is highly recommended to carry a trekking backpack of 30 to 40 liters for the day, where you can carry the following items:
- Sun hat
- Headlamp: unpredictable
- Woolen hat
- Rain gear
- Snack such as chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dried fruit.
- Coca leaves
- Plastic rain poncho
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste.
- Water: It is necessary that you bring your own water until the first lunch point, then we will provide you with cold boiled water every hour during lunch. Don’t forget to bring your own water bottle.
SHARED SERVICE TOUR
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Tour
PRICE PER PERSON
Minimum 02 people
What is included in the tour
TYPE OF TOURIST TRAIN
The train is THE VOYAGER – Inca Rail or the EXPEDITION train – Peru Rail, if you wish to change the service for the VISTADOME Train it has an additional cost of US$ 45.00 per person for the round trip.
In addition, different prices apply for students, children and infants.
Frequently asked questions from travelers
What is the best time of year to do the Inca Trail?
The best time to do the Inca Trail is during the dry season, from May to September. In this period, there is less intense rainfall and temperatures are more pleasant for walking. On the other hand, the rainy season, which generally runs from October to April, can be challenging. Although the rains are more frequent, this also makes the landscape more greenish. The trails can become slippery, but some tourists enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the route during this time.
Is it necessary to hire a tour to do the Inca Trail?
Yes, it is mandatory to book a tour to do the Inca Trail. Since 2002, the Peruvian government requires that all visitors who wish to hike the Inca Trail do so through an authorized agency. These agencies are in charge of managing permits, providing guides, transportation, food and the logistics necessary to hike the trail safely and responsibly.
Where can I stay overnight during the Inca Trail?
During the Inca Trail, lodging options include regulated campsites and authorized agencies(tour), and hotels in Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu.
What are the main points of interest along the Inca Trail?
Along the Inca Trail, there are several outstanding points of interest worth visiting. Some of them are:
- Kilometer 82: This is the official starting point of the Inca Trail and marks the beginning of the trek.
- Urubamba River: During the trek, the trail crosses the Urubamba River at various points, offering panoramic views and breathtaking scenery.
- Patallacta: This is the first important archaeological site on the trail, known for its agricultural terraces and Inca constructions.
- Runkurakay: A small circular tower-like structure that served as a checkpoint and strategic viewpoint.
- Warmiwañusca Pass (Dead Woman’s Pass): This is the highest point on the trail at an altitude of approximately 4,200 meters above sea level, and offers breathtaking panoramic views.
- Sayacmarca Ruins: An archaeological complex perched on top of a mountain, known for its terraces and water systems.
- Phuyupatamarca: An archaeological site located in an elevated location, offering spectacular views of the surrounding area.
- Intipata: A set of well-preserved agricultural terraces that show the Inca’s skill in hillside farming.
- Wiñay Wayna: Another important archaeological complex with terraces, platforms and a series of well-preserved structures.
- Machu Picchu: The final jewel of the tour, the famous Inca city nestled in the mountains, considered one of the wonders of the modern world.
These are just some of the highlights along the Inca Trail. Each of them has its own history and charm, making the tour an unforgettable experience.
Is previous hiking experience needed to hike the Inca Trail?
No previous hiking experience is necessary, but good physical condition is recommended. Challenging terrain, preparation and consult health professional if necessary.
Is it dangerous?
The Inca Trail may have risks associated with it, such as variable weather conditions and uneven terrain, but with proper planning and following the necessary precautions, it can be done safely.
Are there restrooms along the trail?
Along the Inca Trail, restrooms are available at designated campsites, although they may be simple and shared. Outside the campsites, there may not be restrooms, so it is advisable to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Is travel insurance mandatory to do the Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail itself does not have travel insurance, as it is considered a safe route. However, it is recommended that tourists purchase separate travel insurance. This type of insurance can be useful in situations of medical emergency or other unforeseen events during the trek.
What is the maximum limit of tourists per group?
The group can have up to a maximum of 16 people.
Are there other trekking options to get to Machu Picchu?
Yes, there are alternative routes similar to the Inca Trail, such as:
- 2-day Short Inca Trail with hotel/camping.
- Lares – Machu Picchu of 4 days
- Salkantay – Machu Picchu of 5 days
- Choquequirao – Machu Picchu of 8D/9D
- Salkantay trek – Inca trail