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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – 5D/4N

    Recommended
Cusco - KM 96 - Ayapata - Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna, Inti Punku, Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes
Duration 5 days - 4 nights
Travel Style Adventure, Trek
Difficulty Challenging
Group size Min 2 - Max 8

Embark on an unforgettable journey with 69 Explorer as we guide you through the iconic 5-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This adventure will weave through the heart of the Andes, offering a unique blend of breathtaking landscapes, ancient history, and cultural depth.

As we set out on this epic trail, we will traverse a distance of approximately 26 mi (42 km), ascending to heights where the air holds a magical crispness. You’ll feel a sense of anticipation and excitement with each step, knowing that the legendary ruins of Machu Picchu await.

On the first day, our path will lead us through the Cusichaca Valley. Here, the scenery unfolds in a tapestry of lush greenery and rolling hills. We will cover around 7.5 mi (12 km), immersing ourselves in the tranquility of the Peruvian wilderness.

Day two marks the most difficult day of the hike. We will face the most challenging part of our trek – the ascent to Warmiwañusca, famously known as Dead Woman’s Pass. Towering at an impressive elevation of 13,828 ft (4,215 m), it will offer us panoramic views that stretch across the Andean landscape. The sense of achievement at this summit will be unparalleled.

Day three will be a journey through time, as we navigate ancient Incan ruins such as Runkurakay and Sayacmarca. The hike totaling 10 mi (16 km), day three will surround us with flora and fauna, while the Incan ruins tell us of bygone era.

The fourth day brings a change of pace. We will find ourselves walking along the original Incan stone paths, entering the cloud forest. This enchanting environment, draped in mist and echoing with the calls of exotic birds, is at an elevation of 11,811 ft (3,600 m). The trail will eventually lead us to our final campsite at Phuyupatamarca, or in Quechua ‘the town above the clouds’,

Finally, on the fifth day, the adventure ends with our arrival to Machu Picchu at sunrise. Bathed in the golden hues of the morning sun, the view of The Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu will be a moment etched in your memory. Standing at 7,972 ft (2,430 m), Machu Picchu is a testament to the ingenuity and spirit of the Incan civilization.

Throughout this journey, 69 Explorer will ensure your comfort and safety. Our expert guides will lead the way sharing their knowledge of the rich Incan history and biodiversity of the region. Join us on this extraordinary 5-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a journey that promises not just a physical trek, but a voyage through history, culture, and the breathtaking beauty of the Peruvian Andes.

From US$ 877

95% of travelers recommend this experience

Important information

Includes

  • Professional Guides: Experienced guides fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua who are knowledgeable about the Inca Trail, Andean culture, and the natural environment. They provide valuable insights and ensure a safe trek.
  • Transportation: Round-trip transportation from your hotel in Cusco to the trailhead. Return transportation from the end of the trek back to your hotel. This includes the bus to and from Machu Picchu and the Expedition Train ride.
  • Accommodation: Four nights of camping along the trail in high-quality tents. On the final night, accommodation in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes is provided.
  • Meals and Drinks: All meals are included from breakfast on the first day to lunch on the last day. This usually includes high-quality, nutritious meals prepared by a trek chef, as well as snacks and tea time. Drinking water is also provided.
  • Camping Equipment: High-quality camping equipment including tents, sleeping mats, dining tent, kitchen tent, and toilet tent. Personal sleeping bags may be available for rent if not brought by trekkers.
  • Porter Service: Porters who carry the group equipment, food, and a limited amount of personal belongings (there’s usually a weight limit for personal gear).
  • Entrance Fees and Permits: All necessary permits and entrance fees for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • First Aid and Emergency Equipment: Including a first aid kit and emergency oxygen tank.
  • Extra Activities: Guided tours of archaeological sites along the trail and a comprehensive tour of Machu Picchu.
  • Train Tickets: Expedition Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on the last day.

Excludes

  • Travel Insurance: Personal travel insurance is not included but, is highly recommended for all trekkers. It should cover trekking or hiking and potential altitude sickness.
  • Meals in Aguas Calientes: All meals are generally provided on the trail. The meal in Aguas Calientes on the final day is usually not included.
  • Sleeping Bags and Walking Poles: Personal trekking equipment like sleeping bags and walking poles are often not included but may be available for rent.
  • Tips for Guides and Porters: Tips for the guides, cooks, and porters are not included and are at the discretion of the trekker.
  • Personal Expenses: Any personal expenses such as snacks or beverages not provided with meals, souvenirs, or other incidental costs are typically not covered.
  • Additional Activities and Entrances: Extra activities, like the climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, require separate tickets which are not included.
  • Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes: Entrance Aguas Calientes, the entrance fee is not included.
  • Lunch on the Last Day: The last day’s lunch after the tour of Machu Picchu is generally not included.
  • International and Domestic Flights: Flights to and from Peru, and any domestic flights within Peru, are not part of the package.
  • Airport Transfers: Transfers to and from the airport are not included unless specified.
  • Extra Nights in Hotels: Any additional nights in hotels before or after the trek are not included.
  • Personal Porter: General porter service for group equipment is included. A personal porter for individual belongings may cost extra.
  • Emergency Transport: Any emergency transport or evacuation costs are not included.

Recommend to carry

  • Backpack: A day-pack for personal daily essentials items.
  • Sleeping Bag: A good quality, warm sleeping bag suitable for temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F). (can often be rented from trekking companies)
  • Clothing:
    • Quick-dry, moisture-wicking base layers (top and bottom).
    • Insulating layers for colder conditions (fleece or synthetic down jacket).
    • Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants.
    • Trekking pants and shorts.
    • T-shirts (preferably moisture-wicking material).
    • Warm hat and gloves.
  • Footwear:
    • Sturdy, broken-in hiking boots with good ankle support.
    • Comfortable shoes or sandals for evenings in camp.
    • Hiking socks and sock liners to prevent blisters.
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletries:
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and personal hygiene items.
    • Biodegradable soap and shampoo.
    • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer.
    • Toilet paper.
  • Water Bottles/Hydration System: At least 2-liter water capacity. Water purification tablets or a water filter as a backup.
  • Snacks: Energy bars, trail mix, or other high-energy, lightweight snacks.
  • Headlamp or Flashlight: With extra batteries.
  • Sun Protection:
    • High-SPF sunscreen.
    • Lip balm with SPF.
    • Sunglasses with UV protection.
    • Sun hat or cap.
  • First Aid Kit: Including personal medications, band-aids, blister plasters, pain relief, altitude sickness medication, and any other necessary medication.
  • Trekking Poles: Helps with stability and reduces strain on the knees.
  • Camera and Batteries: For capturing the amazing scenery and moments.
  • Documents:
    • Passport (original).
    • Travel insurance information.
    • Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu tickets.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Insect repellent.
    • Binoculars.
    • Plastic bags for wet clothes and trash.
    • Small towel.
    • Earplugs.
  • Optional Items:
    • Reading material or journal.
    • Travel pillow.
    • Map or guidebook.

Itinerary

On the first day of our hike, we’ll embark on a journey filled with cultural sights and natural beauty. The first day will set the stage for an unforgettable trek.

We will start our day early, picking you up at 7:00 am from your hotel. Our journey will begin in a private van, heading towards the historic town of Ollantaytambo. The path will take us through villages like Chinchero and Urubamba, offering a glimpse into the traditions of the Andes.

Once in Ollantaytambo, a charming town that retains its original Incan urban planning, we’ll continue our journey towards the trailhead. Km 82 is the name of the trailhead and is the official starting point of the Inca Trail.

From Km 82, we will embark on a scenic walk towards Patallacta, an ancient archeological site. It will take around 3 hours to get to the first campsite at the ruins of Patallacta. The hike will take us through traditional Andean communities and stunning mountain views. Patallacta, sitting at an elevation of 8,747 ft (2,650 m), is not just a campsite but a historical treasure. Thus ruin offers a firsthand look at Incan architecture and engineering.

After setting up our first camp we will enjoy a well-deserved lunch. The afternoon will be dedicated to exploring the archeological site of Patallacta. Here, we will be surrounded by ancient buildings and breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, providing a perfect blend of history and natural beauty.

  • Distance Covered: Approximately 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from Km 82 to Patallacta
  • Highest Altitude: 8,747 feet (2,650 meters) at Patallacta
  • Lowest Altitude: 8,528 feet (2,600 meters) at Km 82
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, suitable for acclimatization

This first day on the Inca Trail sets the tone for the days to come, offering a mix of cultural insights, historical exploration, and stunning natural landscapes. As we settle down for the night, we will rest with anticipation for the adventures that await us on the trail ahead.

On the second day of our 5-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we will rise to new challenges and witness the captivating beauty of the Peruvian Andes.

Our morning will start early at 6:30 am. While in your sleeping bag you will be greeted with a hot mug of tea or coffee, a warm and comforting way to begin the day. After this gentle start, we will gather for a hearty breakfast, fueling ourselves for the day’s trek.

Fully energized, we’ll embark on our trek through the picturesque Kusichaca Valley. This part of the trail is a haven for nature lovers, showcasing a myriad of flora and fauna. The diverse plant life and the possibility of spotting local wildlife will make this walk both refreshing and exciting.

Our trek will lead us to Wayllabamba, where we will stop for lunch. This spot offers a scenic setting, allowing us to relax and enjoy our meal surrounded by the beauty of the Andes.

After lunch, we’ll have to climb a moderate 4 hour ascent. The trail winds through the enchanting Llullucha Valley. This part of the hike is more challenging but incredibly rewarding, with stunning landscapes unfolding around us.

Our second campsite is at Llulluchapampa, situated at an elevation of 12,537 ft (3,800 m). Upon arrival, hot drinks and appetizers will be waiting for you, a perfect way to unwind after a long day. Your tents will already be set up before you arrive at camp, allowing you to settle in comfortably before dinner.

  • Distance Covered: The day involves a steady ascent with a mix of flat and uphill terrain.
  • Highest Altitude: 12,537 feet (3,800 meters) at Llulluchapampa
  • Lowest Altitude: Starts from the elevation of our first camp at Patallacta
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to challenging, with a gradual increase in altitude

This second day on the Inca Trail is a true test of endurance and offers a rewarding experience, as we immerse ourselves in the natural splendor of the Andes and prepare for the further adventures that await us on the trail to Machu Picchu.

The third day of our 5-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is not only the longest but also one of the most visually stunning segments of our journey.

After a delicious breakfast we’ll embark on a two-hour uphill trek to reach the highest point of the hike: Warmiwañusca Pass, commonly known as Dead Woman Pass. Standing at an impressive 13,907 ft (4,215 m), this is the highest point of our trek. At the top of the pass you’ll have great views of the valley below, take a moment to appreciate the stunning Andean landscape.

Having taken the time to absorb the breathtaking scenery at the pass, we will then begin a two-hour descent to Pacaymayu, where we will pause for lunch. This descent offers a change in scenery and a chance to appreciate the varied landscapes of the Andean region.

Post-lunch, our journey takes an upward turn as we ascend towards the archeological site of Runcurakay, located at 12,540 ft (3,800 m). We will spend some time exploring this intriguing site, delving into the mysteries of the Incan civilization.

Our next milestone is the second pass of Runcurakay at 13,127 ft (3,977 m). The vistas here are breathtaking, with panoramic views of surrounding mountains and stunning lakes. This is a perfect moment to capture memories with photos.

Continuing our trek, we will descend for an hour to another remarkable archeological site, Sayacmarca, at an elevation of 11,877 ft (3,600 m). This site offers a unique glimpse into Incan architecture and history.

The final leg of the day’s journey is a two-hour walk to our third campsite at Phuyupatamarca, situated at 12,047 ft (3,650 m). We’ll be treated to spectacular views of Machu Picchu Mountain, the Urubamba Canyon, and the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

  • Distance Covered: The day involves a mix of uphill and downhill walking, covering varied terrains.
  • Highest Altitude: 13,907 feet (4,215 meters) at the Warmiwañusca Pass
  • Lowest Altitude: Begins at the elevation of Llulluchapampa camp
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging due to the combination of high altitude and distance

This day on the Inca Trail is a true test of our endurance but also a rewarding experience, filled with historical insights and unparalleled natural beauty. As we settle into our camp at Phuyupatamarca, we will rest with a sense of achievement, eagerly anticipating the final leg of our journey to Machu Picchu.

The fourth day of our hike is unique in that we will visit one of the most important ruins on the trail, Wiñay Wayna.

We will start our day early with a nourishing breakfast, energizing ourselves for the day ahead. Following breakfast, we will embark on a descent, walking down ancient Incan stairs towards the remarkable archeological site of Intipata. This part of the trail offers a different perspective of the Andean landscape, showcasing terraced fields and lush vegetation.

Our journey will then lead us to the impressive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, or “forever young” in Quechua sitting at an elevation of 8,747 ft (2,650 m), where we will stop for lunch. Wiñay Wayna, with its stunning terraces and breathtaking views, is a highlight of the trail.

After lunch, we will take the time to explore the fascinating Inca site of Wiñay Wayna. This site is known for its beautiful architectural structures and provides excellent insight into Incan history and culture.

Continuing our trek for about an hour, we’ll reach the Sun Gate, or Intipunku, at an elevation of 8,977 ft (2,720 m). Here we will be greeted with our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu. This moment, seeing the iconic citadel for the first time, is truly unforgettable.

From the SUN GATE, we will descend towards the Machu Picchu Citadel. Along the way, we will pass by the upper platform, known as the Guard House, where we can capture the famous postcard pictures of Machu Picchu.

To conclude our day, we will take a bus to Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. Here, we will spend the night in a comfortable hotel, resting and preparing for our full exploration of Machu Picchu tomorrow.

  • Distance Covered: A combination of descending stairs and gentle trekking.
  • Highest Altitude: 8,977 feet (2,720 meters) at the SUN GATE
  • Lowest Altitude: 8,747 feet (2,650 meters) at Wiñay Wayna
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, with a focus on downhill walking

This day on the Inca Trail offers a mix of exploration, anticipation, and breathtaking natural and archeological beauty, setting the stage for our final day at Machu Picchu.

The fifth and final day of the hike holds the most important part attraction The Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu. Filled with the adrenaline awe-inspiring sights and unforgettable experiences.

We will start our day with an early breakfast at the hotel in Aguas Calientes. This early start is essential as we will take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu, ensuring we arrive in time to witness the magical moment of sunrise over the citadel. Watching the first light of day illuminate Machu Picchu is a truly extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish forever.

Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, your guide will lead a two-hour guided tour of the citadel. We will explore many of the most significant parts of Machu Picchu, including its intricate stone constructions, terraces, and temples, each telling a story of the Inca civilization.

For those who have booked the tickets in advance, there will be an opportunity to hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain. This additional hike offers stunning views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding landscape from a unique vantage point.

After immersing ourselves in the beauty and history of Machu Picchu, we will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. Here, we will have time for lunch (not included in the tour package), along with some leisure time for shopping, sightseeing, visiting the museum, or even enjoying the local hot springs.

Our return journey will be aboard the Expedition Train, departing either at 2:55 pm or 3:30 pm. The train ride follows the spectacular course of the Urubamba River, offering views of beautiful sections of whitewater and the lush canyon. Keep an eye out for a glimpse of Wiñay Wayna high up on the canyon wall!

Once we arrive at Ollantaytambo, our private vehicle will be waiting to take us back to our hotel in Cusco. The drive back is a chance to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve completed. We can expect to arrive at our hotel by 7:00 pm.

  • Distance Covered: A short bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, followed by a guided tour on foot.
  • Highest Altitude: Machu Picchu at 7,972 feet (2,430 meters)
  • Lowest Altitude: Aguas Calientes at 6,693 feet (2,040 meters)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate, with more focus on exploration and sightseeing

This final day on the Inca Trail culminates our adventure with a deep exploration of one of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites, leaving us with memories and insights that will last a lifetime.

FAQs about Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The best time to hike the Inca Trail is during the dry season, from May to September. The weather is generally clearer and drier, although nights can be cold.

A permit is required to hike the Inca Trail, book in advance as permits are limited and can sell out months in before.

A moderate to challenging hike that involves steep ascents and descents, high altitudes, and uneven terrain. Good physical fitness, preparation, and acclimatization to altitude are important.

Preparation should include cardiovascular exercises like walking, running, or cycling, and strength training, especially for the legs and core. Also, practice hiking with a backpack.

Essential items include a sturdy backpack, a warm sleeping bag, comfortable hiking boots, clothing for various weather conditions, water bottles, a first aid kit, and personal items. Check the detailed packing list provided.

There are basic toilet facilities at the campsites. Some campsites have showers, but they are often cold. Facilities in Aguas Calientes are more modern.

Yes, you can hire a porter to carry your personal items. There is a weight limit for what porters can carry, and you will need a daypack for essential items.

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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.