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4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    Recommended
Cusco - KM 96 - Ayapata - Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna, Inti Punku, Machu Picchu
Duration 4 days - 3 nights
Travel Style Adventure, Trek
Difficulty Challenging
Group size Min 2 - Max 8

Join us, 69 Explorer, on an unforgettable journey. We will embark on the iconic 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This adventure uniquely weaves together Andean landscapes with the mysteries of the Inca civilization. 

This journey is a bucket-list experience for many, offering much more than just a trek. It’s an exploration into the heart of Peru’s cultural and historical heritage.

As we begin our Inca Trail tour, the anticipation and excitement will be palpable. Our path starts at Km 82, the traditional starting point of the Inca Trail. Here, we will take our first steps on this historic path, following in the footsteps of the Incas.

Over the course of four days, we will traverse a variety of terrains. These range from challenging mountain passes to serene cloud forests, with each offering its own unique beauty and challenges. The trail covers roughly 43 kilometers (about 26.7 miles), a distance filled with breathtaking vistas and ancient Inca ruins.

One of the most significant highlights of hiking the Inca Trail is crossing Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of the trek at an altitude of 4,200 m (13,780 ft). While this ascent is demanding, the sense of achievement upon reaching the summit is unmatched. Our experienced tour guides will be there every step of the way, providing support. They will also offer insights into the rich history of the trail and the Inca sites we encounter.

Throughout our trek to Machu Picchu, we will delve into the heart of Inca culture. We will be exploring well-preserved ruins that offer a glimpse into the past. Each Inca site we visit tells a story, contributing to our understanding of this remarkable civilization.

Camping along the Inca Trail is an adventure in itself. Our team will ensure that the camping equipment is comfortable and suited to the Andean environment, allowing us to rest and rejuvenate under the stars. These moments of tranquility in nature will balance the physical demands of the trek.

As we approach Machu Picchu, the excitement will build. The final day of our journey culminates in an awe-inspiring guided tour of the ruins of Machu Picchu, where history and landscape converge in perfect harmony. This guided tour will not only reveal the secrets of this ancient wonder but also provide opportunities for personal exploration and reflection.

Throughout the 4-day Inca Trail experience, we will be mindful of challenges such as altitude sickness and will provide advice and support to ensure everyone’s well-being. The Inca Trail permit, necessary for this journey, will be arranged by us, ensuring a seamless experience from start to finish.

Embarking on this Peru Inca Trail with 69 Explorer, you will not only witness the magnificent beauty of the Andes but also connect with the ancient spirit of the Inca culture. We invite you to join us on this extraordinary trail to Machu Picchu, a journey that promises to be as enriching as it is exhilarating.

From US$ 657

95% of travelers recommend this experience

Important information

Includes

  • Professional English Speaking Guides: Experienced, bilingual tour guides who are knowledgeable about the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • Transportation: Includes round-trip transportation, starting from Cusco to the trailhead at Km 82 and returning from Machu Picchu to Cusco. This involves a combination of bus and train transport.
  • Entrance Fees: All necessary permits and entrance fees for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • Porters and Support Staff: Porters to carry the main luggage, plus additional support staff for camping and cooking.
  • Personal Porter: Our porters will carry you personal things of up to 7 kilos (your own clothes, sleeping bag and mattress).
  • Accommodation: Tents and camping equipment for the nights spent on the trail. This includes sleeping tents, dining tents, kitchen tents, and sometimes portable toilet tents.
  • Meals: Includes all meals during the trek, starting with breakfast on the first day and ending with lunch on the last day. The meals are prepared by professional chefs.
  • Water and Snacks: Provision of water (boiled and cooled) and various snacks to keep energy levels up during the trek.
  • First Aid: Access to a basic first aid kit and an emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Camping Equipment: General camping equipment such as sleeping pads, dining tables, chairs, and cooking equipment.
  • Train Tickets: Train tickets for the journey from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) back to Ollantaytambo or Cusco.
  • Bus Tickets: Bus transfers between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes.

Excludes

  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance is not included and is strongly recommended for all participants.
  • Flights to and from Cusco: International and domestic flights to and from Cusco are not included.
  • Accommodation in Cusco: Pre and post-trek accommodation in Cusco is not part of the package.
  • Meals in Cities: Meals outside of those provided on the trekking days are not included. This includes meals in cities like Cusco or Aguas Calientes.
  • Sleeping Bags and Trekking Poles: While basic camping equipment is provided, sleeping bags ($15) and trekking poles ($10) are not included but may be available for rent..
  • Tips for Guides and Staff: Gratuities for guides, cooks, and porters are not included and are at the discretion of the trekker.
  • Extra Snacks and Drinks: Additional snacks and drinks, especially those bought at checkpoints along the trail, are not included.
  • Entrance Fees to Additional Sites: Entrance fees to sites not on the standard Inca Trail route, such as Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, are not included.
  • Personal Expenses: Personal expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, and other similar expenses are not included.
  • Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mt: US$67 per mt

Recommend to carry

  • Backpack: A comfortable, well-fitting backpack with a rain cover. A 25 – 30 liter capacity is usually sufficient.
  • Sleeping Bag: A good quality sleeping bag suitable for temperatures as low as -10° Lightweight and compact is preferable.
  • Clothing:
    • Waterproof and windproof jacket.
    • Trekking pants and shorts.
    • T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts for layering.
    • Undergarments and hiking socks.
  • Footwear:
    • Sturdy, broken-in hiking boots with good ankle support.
    • Comfortable shoes or sandals for the campsite.
  • Headgear:
    • Sun hat or cap.
    • Warm hat for cold nights.
    • Buff or neck gaiter (optional).
  • Personal Hygiene Items:
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • Biodegradable soap, Toilet paper, Hand sanitizer.
    • Wet wipes or biodegradable wet towels.
    • Small towel.
  • Water Bottles or Hydration System: At least 2 liters capacity.
  • Snacks: Energy bars, trail mix, and other high-energy, portable snacks.
  • Sun Protection:
    • Sunscreen with high SPF.
    • Sunglasses with UV protection.
    • Lip balm with SPF.
  • First Aid Kit: Including personal medication, plasters, painkillers, and altitude sickness medication.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Trekking poles (optional but recommended).
    • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
    • Camera with extra batteries or power bank.
  • Documents:
    • Passport (original, not a copy).
    • Travel insurance information.
    • Student ID (if applicable for a discount).
  • Sleeping Gear (if not renting from the tour company):
    • Sleeping pad (usually provided by tour companies).
    • Liner for the sleeping bag (optional for extra warmth).

Itinerary

Today begins your exhilarating journey on the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We will start our adventure early, with a 4:30 AM pickup from your hotel in Cusco. Our private van will whisk us to Piskacucho, also known as Kilometer 82, the official starting point of the Inca Trail. On the way, we’ll make a pit stop at Ollantaytambo around 6:30-7:00 AM for a hearty breakfast which will energize us for the day ahead.

Upon reaching KM 82 at about 8:30 AM, we’ll take some time to prepare. This includes handing over your duffel bag to the porters, keeping only a daypack with essentials for the hike. Remember to have your passport and student ID card (if applicable) ready for the Inca Trail checkpoint, where all permits and tickets will be handled by your guide.

The trek begins at an elevation of 2,720 m (8,923 ft), crossing the Vilcanota River. The first day’s hike is a gentle introduction to the trail, known as the “Inca flat terrain.” As we walk, we’ll enjoy stunning views of several significant sites: the Inca Fortress of Huillca Raccay, the expansive Llactapata (also known as Patallacta), and the majestic snow-capped Veronica peak (5,860 m/19,225 ft). Lunch awaits us at Hatunchaca, followed by an approximately three-hour walk to our campsite.

Our first night’s camp is set beyond the village of Wayllabamba, at an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,842 feet), nestled in a temperate green valley. Nighttime temperatures can drop to around 5°C (41°F), particularly during the dry season from May to September.

Upon arrival at the campsite, you’ll find your tents ready and afternoon tea and appetizers awaiting. It’s the perfect time to relax and enjoy a hot drink as you settle in for the night.

Key Statistics for the First Day:

  • Distance covered: Approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles)
  • Starting altitude: 2,720 meters (8,923 feet)
  • Highest point: 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) at the campsite
  • Lowest altitude: 2,720 meters (8,923 feet) at the start
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate, with a gradual introduction to the trail

On the second day of our 4-day Inca Trail journey, we will wake up early in the serene Wayllabamba campsite. After a nutritious breakfast, we will embark on what many consider the most challenging part of the Inca Trail. Our path leads us towards the infamous Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of the trail.

We will begin our ascent in the cool morning air, gradually winding up through a beautiful Andean forest. As we climb, the vegetation will thin out, giving way to the stunning high mountain scenery. We will pace ourselves, taking breaks to catch our breath and admire the breathtaking views.

Reaching Dead Woman’s Pass, at an impressive 4,215 m (13,828 ft), will be a moment of triumph. We will spend some time at the summit, capturing photos and celebrating our achievement. The views from here are truly awe-inspiring, offering a panorama of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

From the pass, we will descend to our lunch spot at Pacaymayu, at 3,600 m (11,811 ft). This part of the trail is steep, and we will take care to navigate the steps carefully. Our lunch will be a well-deserved break, refueling us for the next part of our hike.

The afternoon will see us climbing again, this time to the second pass of the day. Along the way, we will pass the Inca site of Runkurakay. The final stretch of our hike will take us to the campsite at Ch’akiqocha, where we will rest for the night.

This day of the trail is challenging but rewarding, with the magnificent Andean landscape providing a stunning backdrop to our journey. Our guides will be with us every step of the way, ensuring a safe and memorable experience.

Key Statistics for the Second Day:

  • Distance covered: Approximately 16 kilometers (10 miles).
  • Starting altitude: 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) at Wayllabamba.
  • Highest point: 4,215 meters (13,828 feet) at Dead Woman’s Pass.
  • Lowest altitude: 3,600 meters (11,811 feet) at Pacaymayu.
  • Level of difficulty: High, with steep ascents and descents.

On the third day of our unforgettable 4-day Inca Trail journey, we will wake up to the serene environment of Chaqui Qocha. After breakfast, we’ll set off on what many consider the most beautiful part of the trail. Our path will lead us through a diversity of flora and fauna, offering glimpses of cloud forests and subtropical jungles.

We will start with a gentle climb to the third pass. Along the way, we will visit two Inca sites: Phuyupatamarca, known as the ‘Town in the Clouds,’ and the impressive agricultural terraces of Intipata. These sites provide a unique insight into the Inca civilization and its advanced understanding of agriculture and architecture.

After exploring Phuyupatamarca, we will descend to our lunch spot near Wiñay Wayna, an Inca site known for its stunning terraces. The descent will be steep but manageable, and we will take our time to enjoy the incredible views and the diverse ecosystem around us.

In the afternoon, we will explore the Wiñay Wayna archaeological site, one of the highlights of the Inca Trail. The site’s name means “Forever Young” in Quechua, and it’s a fitting title for the beautifully preserved terraces and structures.

Our campsite for the night will be near Wiñay Wayna. Here, we will have our final dinner on the trail, reflecting on the journey so far and preparing for our last day and the grand finale at Machu Picchu.

This day of the trail, with its varied landscapes and numerous archaeological sites, is both enchanting and memorable. It’s a testament to the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of the Inca Trail.

Key Statistics for the Third Day:

  • Distance covered: Approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
  • Starting altitude: 3,600 meters (11,811 feet) at Chaqui Qocha.
  • Highest point: Phuyupatamarca at 3,680 meters (12,073 feet).
  • Lowest altitude: Wiñay Wayna at 2,650 meters (8,692 feet).

Level of difficulty: Moderate, with a mix of ascents and descents.

On the fourth and final day of our 4-day Inca Trail adventure, we will rise before dawn, filled with anticipation for the day ahead. After a quick breakfast at Wiñay Wayna, we will embark on the final stretch of our trek to Machu Picchu.

Our journey will begin in the early morning darkness, allowing us to reach Intipunku, the Sun Gate, in time to witness the first rays of sunlight illuminating the majestic Machu Picchu. This moment, seeing the ancient city bathed in the morning light, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a reward for our efforts over the past days.

From Intipunku, we will descend to Machu Picchu itself, arriving around 7:30 AM. Here, we will enjoy a 2 hour guided tour of the iconic site. The tour explores the main areas, including the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana stone, and the Room of the Three Windows. This tour will provide insight into the history and significance of this ancient wonder.

After exploring Machu Picchu, we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. Here, we will have some free time to enjoy lunch, explore the town, or simply relax and reflect on our incredible journey.

In the afternoon, we will board the train back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a bus to Cusco, marking the end of our unforgettable Inca Trail experience.

This final day of the trail, culminating in the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, is both exhilarating and reflective, a fitting conclusion to a journey through the heart of the Inca empire.

Key Statistics for the Fourth Day:

  • Distance covered: Approximately 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
  • Starting altitude: 2,650 meters (8,692 feet) at Wiñay Wayna.
  • Highest point: Intipunku (Sun Gate) at 2,720 meters (8,924 feet).
  • Lowest altitude: Machu Picchu at 2,430 meters (7,972 feet).

Level of difficulty: Moderate, with an early start and a descent to Machu Picchu.

FAQs about Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The best time to hike is during the dry season, from May to September. The weather is more stable with fewer rain showers, though nights can be colder.

Yes, a permit is required and must be obtained well in advance, as they are limited and often sell out months ahead. 69 Explorer will handle the permit process.

No, hiking the Inca Trail without a registered guide is not allowed. You must be part of an organized tour or with a registered guide.

Essential items include a good quality backpack, sleeping bag suitable for low temperatures, comfortable hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, personal hygiene items, water bottles, snacks, sun protection, a first aid kit, and necessary documents like your passport.

It’s recommended to spend at least two days in Cusco or a similar altitude before starting the trek to acclimatize. Stay hydrated, eat light meals, and avoid strenuous activity in these first few days.

Accommodation is in camping tents, which are provided by 69 Explorer.

We provide a variety of meals catered to high-energy needs. This often includes a mix of local and international dishes. Vegetarian and other dietary needs can be accommodated if notified in advance.

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Why choose us

These popular destinations have a lot to offer

At 69 Explorer, we are committed to providing an exceptional experience. Your safety, comfort, and enjoyment are our top priorities. We continuously strive to exceed expectations and ensure that every trip with us becomes a cherished memory.

Payment

Local Experience

Our guides are locals with extensive knowledge about the history, myths, and secrets of the region.

Small personalized groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience

Our experience

Our With seven years of experience and more than 20 packages to Machu Picchu alone, our team knows how to carry out a successful expedition.

Sustainable Travel

We believe in responsible tourism. Our tours are designed to respect the local communities and environment, ensuring a positive impact.