Large machu picchu 2

Trek the Inca Trail in Peru

Walk amongst the clouds and trek the Inca Trail in Peru. Starting in Cusco, once the capital of the Inca empire, you cross some intense but beautiful trails in the Andes mountains until you get to the breath taking Machu Picchu. Prepare to be inspired! To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek read our guide to trekking the Inca Trail.

Small Group Adventure 4 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

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Itinerary

Overview

Peru is a magical country with the mix of indigenous and western present in everything from cuisine to clothing to music. Cusco, the ancient Inca capital, is a beautiful town nestled right in the mountains. You will see the legacies of the Spanish conquistadors with the main plaza and cathedral, but what lies beneath is the importance of Cusco to the indigenous Incas. The site of Machu Picchu was only discovered by the wider world in 1911 but it had been an important site since the mid 1400s. Archaeologists are still trying to agree on exactly what Machu Picchu was used for and since you get a full guided tour of the site once you arrive, maybe you'll come up with your own theory!

Your four day trek will be against a backdrop of stunning mountain views, lush sub-tropical vegetation and archaeological ruins, which you will have chance to explore en-route. As you walk along the paths that have been used for centuries, it is impossible not to feel connected to the history and people of this ancient empire. Some days the hiking will be intense, like on the notorious day two when you will reach Warmiwañusca, otherwise known as Dead Woman's Pass, which sits at an altitude of 4,200 meters (13,780 feet). But after you conquer the trail you will be rewarded with the most beautiful view of the majestic Andes you could ever hope for. On your final day, you’ll reach Machu Picchu in time to see the sun rise over the ancient site and will then have a two hour guided tour which will give you more of a sense of how important Machu Picchu was. Then it’s time to sit back, congratulate yourself on your achievement and muse on the cultural and historical significance of your location.

Day-by-day

The Classic Inca Trail is a 4 day 3 night trek. Open groups run every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday however private groups can depart daily.

Trek day 1 : You will meet your guide and group early in the morning before embarking on a 2 hour bus journey to the start of the trail. Your guide will be able to tell you about the land you're travelling on and answer any questions about the area you may have. Before you start walking you'll have your first photo op of the Veronica Snow Mountains. With that beautiful vista as your backdrop. The first part of the walk will see you following the Urubamba river to the first archaeological site Llaqtapata where you will stop for lunch. For the afternoon walk you will start climbing uphill through the valley until you reach the last village, Huayllabamba, where you will camp for the night.

Trek day 2 : Today's breakfast is the most important meal of the trek, ensuring to be carb filled it will help prepare you for today's walking. Three hours after the start you'll reach the highest part of the trail which is called Warmiwañusca or Dead Woman's Pass at 4200 metres (13800 feet). After lunch you'll have a short two hour descent to Pacaymayo, where you'll spend the night. If you're lucky your chef will already have your well deserved meal cooking on the fire. Don't be surprised if everyone heads to bed early after a tough but rewarding day.

Trek day 3 : Possibly the most diverse day of sites and views, you will start the morning with an ascent to the pass of Runcuracay which sits at 3900 metres (12800 feet) followed by a short descent to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca. You will have some time to explore this area before continuing along the original path of the Incas to Phyyupatamarca at 3600 metres (12400 feet). At cloud level this provides a beautiful spot to stop for lunch, with far reaching views of snow peaked mountains and low lying valleys. From here its a downhill walk to Wiñaywayna, where you'll camping amongst the mystical ruins.

Trek day 4 : Your final day starts very early but you'll be treated to a great morning as you'll reach the Intipunku (Sun Gate) where you will catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. The ruins are just a short walk way and after a little break you'll have a guided tour of the various sites at the lost city of the Incas. After that you'll descend by bus to the quaint village of Aguas Calientes where you'll have your final lunch as a group. An afternoon train and bus back will see you arriving back to Cusco in the early evening.

Details

Getting there

Cusco is about a one hour flight from Peru's capital, Lima. Getting to Lima should be relatively easy from any other major world city.

Price includes

Included:Personal porters (7kg weight allowance) Porters to carry camping equipment, Chef and supporting staff, all meals on the trek (except breakfast day 1), English speaking guide, filtered and boiled water, emergency first aid and oxygen, tents, all transport including buses and Expedition train ticket, all camping equipment including North Face tent (per 2 people), sleeping bag and Therm-a-rest inflatable mattress.

Excluded: International and Domestic flights , Breakfast on Day 1 of trek, Walking poles (these are recommended and can be rented locally), tips, pillows and alcoholic beverages.

When is best?

The high season on the trail is from April – September when the conditions are fairly dry and the weather generally sunny. June, July and August can see slightly colder night time temperatures so be sure to bring some layers.
October - January and March can be much quieter but be prepared for some irregular rain showers.
The Inca Trail is closed in the month of February every year for vital cleaning and maintenance.

Is it for me?

If you want to participate on a trek where you will push yourself physically, but at the same time gain an insight into an ancient people and culture, then this will be right up your street.
You do need to be in good shape to participate but it is recommended that you do some regular exercise in the month before you depart. That said, you don’t have to be exercise mad; children as young as 7 and adults of 68 have completed the trail. You will be hiking at altitude, so it is recommended that you acclimatise for a couple of days before embarking on the trip.

Due to the huge demand to travel this fascinating route the government issue a maximum of 500 permits per day to ensure it does not become overcrowded and damaged. This includes all porters, guides and cooks, so it fills up quickly.
The Inca Trail is closed in the month of February every year for vital cleaning and maintenance of the route.
The high season on the trail is from April – September so we recommend planning ahead, try to book at least 5 to 6 months in advance.
If you want to trek in quieter times, you may want to consider dates outside of the high season.

The maximum group size is 16 people. The guide to walkers ration is 1 : 9. Don’t worry about being rushed along too fast, there will be plenty of time for comfort breaks and chances to admire the views along the way. The guide will always walk at the back with the last person in the group, so you really don’t need to be concerned about taking too long.

This trek is organized by a professional and licensed tour operator who has been operating in the region for many years. They know what they’re doing and treat their porters well, ensuring that they are well equipped and fairly paid. To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek read our guide to the Inca Trail.

If you have any other questions, please refer to our frequently asked questions page or contact us.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 602 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • My sister, her boyfriend and I had a fantastic time.

    Both guides were excellent, spoke good English and were very knowledgable.

    The food was also excellent - some of the best I had during my 4 months in South America!

    The taxi arrangements were good and on time to get us started on the first day and overall we had a really great time and would definitely recommend the trip to anyone!

    Missingflange reviewing Trek the Inca Trail in Peru on 02 January 2012

  • From beginning to end the service from both Tourdust and the local operator was fantastic. Despite being the rainy season we had a fair bit of good weather, and even when we didn't it couldn't take away from the great experience and amazing sites. Our guide Odon really made it for us. There was a smallish group of 8 of us. He understood everyones needs and tailored our days to make sure everyone got the most out of it. Whenever he could he made sure that we were ahead of other groups and got time at the most interesting sites on our own. He also hads fantastic knowledge and always had really interesting things to tell us which made the trip even better. Our team of porters were also fantastic. The food was amazing and you wouldn't believe they were cooking it in a camp tent. Thank you to the whole team for making this such a great trip. I would highly recommend Pachamama if you are thinking of doing the trail. Becks and Will - Jan 2011

    Missingbeak101 reviewing Trek the Inca Trail in Peru on 30 January 2011

  • Thanks for organising an excellent holiday for us. It's my first time using Tourdust and I've been really impressed and will certainly be recommending you to friends and family. You provided an excellent level of service all the way through, and the bespoke nature of the trip was fantastic whilst being really good value for money.
    Key highlights:
    - Le Kasbah de Toubkal blew us away - one not to miss!
    - The trek was amazing and my kids loved it. The camping was really fun, the food was excellent, and I'd particularly call out our guide Rashid who was fantastic show especially with my kids.
    - Riad Adore was outstanding - far exceeding my expectations - it was beautiful and we were very well looked after
    - Le Doux Tour was luxurious and a nice relaxing way to end the holiday.
    - Logistics were great and our main driver Mustapha was brilliant

    If there was one build / thing I would change, it's a very small one but some candles / lanterns to use in the evening whilst camping would have made it easier to stay outside for a bit longer.

    MissingMark Dilley reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 07 June 2016

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Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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