Destination Inca Trail
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of the best trekking routes in the world. There are thousands of miles of "Caminos del Inca" throughout Peru; but this one is the most authentic and Classic Inca Trail 4 days, which starts at km 82 of the railroad to Machu Picchu. This is a route where varied ecosystems are joined with a sequence of monuments of the finest Inca architecture, which end in the classic postcard view of Machu Picchu, Puerta del Sol or Sun Gate. It was a route of pilgrimage and purification to enter the sacred Llacta of Pachacutec; 45 (28ml) kilometers running through the Cusichaca River valley, the open Warmihuañusca, Pacaymayo Clough, it passes through the archaeological sites of Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñayhuayna.
A modern-day journey on the Inca Trail takes travelers along the most exclusive section of the network, believed to have once been reserved for top-ranking members of the Inca royalty, through the Sun Gate and into Machu Picchu.
RECOMMENDED ITINERARIES IN Inca Trail
Peru 2 Day Inca Trail
Flora and Fauna
The trail is accompanied by stunning scenery, unique flora and fauna, and several ancient Inca architectural remains. Walking through the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu is your final reward.
Dead Woman’s Pass
In Quechua languages Warmi (woman) Wañusca (become dead) is the highest point 4215m (3828ft), and has an amazing panoramic view at the top.
There are many impressive archaeological sites, including Inca places, stone steps, and tunnels, along the trail en route to Machu Picchu. Among the highlights;
- Llaqtapata midst of the Kusichaca and Vilcanota river, resting place surrounded by terraces which were producing crops during the Incan times.
- Runkurakay is an ancient Inca lodge of unique circular structures and precise stone masonry which has withstood the tests of time.
- Sayacmarca another Tambo (lodge) or check point, on the way to Machu Picchu.
- Phuyupatamarka the place of the clouds, like many Inca sites, this is not the exception that combined balance between nature and the environment.
- Wiñayhuayna means in Quechua language "eternally young", and also the name of an orchid that blooms all year on the mountain where the Inca ruin is situated give Wiñayhuayna its special beauty.
- Inti Punku, the last challenge to complete, yet incredible rewarding multi-day trek builds up to the Machu Picchu arrival on the last day. Walk through Inti Punku or Sun Gate, into the lost city of the Incas at sunrise.
Classic Inca Trail
DAY 1 - CUSCO/LLAQTAPATA
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley to Piscaycucho. We start hiking for about 5 hours through a less visited section of the trail. We will stop at Q’oriwayrachina for lunch and then cross the Urubamba River at Q’ente, with an optional visit to Wayna Q’ente and Llaqtapata archaeological sites, vicinity we will camp amidst Inca terracing.
(Time: 5-6 hours, Distance: 11km).
DAY 2 - LLAQTAPATA/LLULLUCHAPAMPA
Continue up the Cusichaca Valley passing houses of settlers to finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here the trail ascends steeply to a large Pampa below the first pass, where we make camp. Here we have a breathtaking view of Mt. Huayanay. Along the trail up this narrow hanging valley we begin to view a cloud forest home to the Queñua tree (polilepis), a rare forest to be found in the Andes. Camp will be set up at Llulluchapampa.
(Time: 6 hours. Distance: 9Kms).
DAY 3 - LLULLUCHAPAMPA/PHUYUPATAMARCA
A steady ascent on an Inca Trail up to the Warmiwañusqa pass at 4,200m (13,692ft) affords a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. We descend on a restored Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayo River only to ascend again to the ruins of Runkuraqay and the second pass at 4,050m (13,200ft). From here, we walk down to the site at Sayacmarca at 12,551ft on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and the first signs of the cloud forest. A beautiful location overlooking the Aobamba Valley, it affords a side venture for a leisurely walk through its imposing structures. We continue along the ridge, viewing Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Pumasillo, a silhouette to the north on the horizon. Walking through a flag stoned trail we arrive at Phuyupatamarca (the village on the edge of the clouds) in where we will camp.
(Trekking: 7-8 hours, Distance: 14kms).
DAY 4 - PHUYUPATAMARCA/MACHU PICCHU
An early departure today will have us trekking long a buttress and passing Phuyupatamarca ruins, the flag stoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna located below the ridge on the same water course as the previous site, to find well restored Inca Ruins. After a two hour walk through a cloud forest covered Inca Trail we arrive to Machu Picchu the same way the Incas used to come, watching the magnificent citadel at our feet from Intipunku, the door of the sun.
- Only 500 daily Inca Trail permits.
- Booking Inca Trail tickets in advance is a must.
- Inca Trail is closed for the month of February.
- Pack animals will not be allowed, so porters must carry all the equipment.
- To protect this historic trail, only 500 people are permitted to hike on it each per day. This total includes hikers on the 2-day, 4-day, 5-day, and 6-day routes as well as the guides, porters and cooks. Available permits for the Inca Trail sell out quickly, sometimes 5 months ahead of time for dates during the dry season (May-September).
- Booking far in advance is a must.
- Permits to hike the Inca Trail are available March through January. The Peruvian government closes the trail in February for annual maintenance, conservation and clean-up.
- Access to the Inca Trail is strictly controlled and your trek must be organized through a travel agency. It is not possible to hike the trail independently. Only specific licensed companies are permitted to lead groups on the Inca Trail.
Booking Your Inca Trail
- It is very important to buy tickets for the Inca Trail in advance but early planning does not necessarily guarantee a spot, but does greatly increase securing the dates you want. Daily Inca Trail permits are limited and can be booked up to 6 months in advance.
- High season (April-October) – Book at least 2 to 6 months in advance.
- Low season (November-March) – Book at least 1 to 3 months in advance.
- Altitude sickness can be unpredictable. In that case recommend spending 2-3 days in Cusco before your trek begins to give your body plenty of time to adjust.
- Is at your discretion, but always highly recommended and a great way to show your appreciation to your guide, cooks, and camp team. If in a trekking group and you all agree, you can together gather a tip for the guide. A suggested $5-10 per day, per camp assistant is a good rule of thumb.
What to do in Machu Picchu
- Rest in Aguas Calientes village, you have a wide vary of Hotel to choose (some even have Luxury Spa and wellness center). Good options for a second day in town are hiking up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu since both hikes provide stunning overview of the valley. Only a certain number of people can hike these trails each day and tickets should be bought far in advance along with your Machu Picchu entrance ticket.