The classic Inca Trail is a wonderful trek offering the traveler a wonderful hiking experience passing by a multitude of Inca ruins and climatic zones enroute to one of the Wonders of the World, Machupicchu! All ages and fitness levels are welcome – Our experienced mountain guides will take care of you all the way!
Guided by professional English-speaking mountain guide
Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 4 days
See Inca ruins, Andes mountains, fauna and flora
Private transportation, meals, trains and entrance permits all included
Trek starts from Cusco or Sacred Valley
We recommended you reserve the Inca Trail 6+ months in advance
Cusco – Km82 – Wayllabamba
Wayllabamba – Warmiwañusca – Pacaymayo
Pacaymayu – Phuya Patamarka – Wiñay Wayna
Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco
* We can arrange a customised itinerary for you to include the Inca Trail, contact us for more information.
The Inca Trail offers the traveller a wonderful combination of scenery including magnificent mountains, fauna and flora, subtropical vegetation and the amazing Inca ruins. Over 220 species of orchids have been found in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, as well as many species of birds, animals and reptiles.
This trek is spread over 4 days, the 44 km trail passes though three stunning Andean high passes where you will discover ancient archaeological sites and ruins.
In order to undertake this trail you need to have a reasonable level of fitness – age does not matter. The most important factor is acclimatizing to the altitude. The maximum height above sea level along the trail is 4,200m, so we suggest that you spend at least 2 days in Cusco before attempting to walk the trail.
During this time you can explore the wonderful city which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This trek is led by our Pachamama guide(s) who are also accompanied by our team of porters and cooks.
We collect you from your hotel. Collection from Cusco will be at 5.30am, from Urubamba 6.30am and if you stay in Ollantaytambo you get to sleep in a bit with your collection at 7am. We will confirm collection times at your trek briefing.
We drive to Km82 – the start of the trail. Here we enjoy the view of Veronica Snow Mountain (5,720m). Gathering all our gear, together we pass our first control point and commence walking for about 3 hours – the hike is relatively easy going. The first ruins that we will see are called Llactapata – here we take lunch enjoying our surroundings.
We continue our hike for around 2hours further through lush farmland and woodlands to our first campsite, Wayllabamba. Your tents will be ready waiting for you! We have a nutritious dinner for you tonight! (Lunch, Dinner)
Enroute today you can purchase bottled water and snacks at various points along the trail, however, we will be providing you with boiled water to replenish your water bottles from lunch time today at all meal times onwards.
After breakfast, we begin to walk the toughest part of the trail. After 3 hours walking we reach the highest point in the Inca Trail, Warmiwañusca, or more commonly known as Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200m), where you have a beautiful panoramic view of the area. On reaching the pass we stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). We descend into the valley taking around 1.5hrs where we will stop for lunch. After lunch we continue down to Pacaymayo, around 2 hours, where we set up camp. Time to put up your feet after a long days hiking and enjoy a rewarding dinner! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast we start the ascent towards the second most important pass on the trail which lies at 4,000m. There will be a guided tour at the Inca Ruins of Runkurakay and the Inca citadel of Sayacmarca. We continue trekking towards Puya Patamarka (Cloud-level town), another important archaeological monument, where lunch will be served.
After a short break we continue walking to Wiñay Huayna (Forever Young), a beautiful Inca construction, and receive a guided tour. We camp near to the ruins and have a well deserved nutritious dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) Please note that campsites can change – the Authorities are in charge of allocations.
Wiñay Huayna – Machu Picchu (2,500m) – Cusco
A very early start after breakfast in order that we can arrive in time for sunrise at Machu Picchu. We walk for about an hour through the forest before arriving at the Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), where we will have our first inspiring view of Machu Picchu.
We admire the view before setting off for the short walk into the ruins. There will be a 2 hour fully guided tour around the ruins, visiting the main sites and monuments. After the tour you will have free time to wander around and explore by yourself. We drive by bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes for lunch. In the afternoon we take the train back to Ollantaytambo where you will be transferred back to your hotel. (Breakfast)
CAMPSITES ON THE INCA TRAIL
Please note that we are not in control of the campsites we are issued with from the Institute of National Culture. Your campsite allocation is dependent on how early you book and how many spaces are left in each campsite. The first 250 spaces are generally given to Winay Wayna (Day 3) and thereafter you will have a longer walk to Machupicchu on the last day and it could mean you do not make it for sunrise. Do not let this disappoint you as Machupicchu is a beautiful site no matter what time you arrive. Winay Wayna ruins are also some of the most beautiful ruins on the Inca Trail and you will enjoy these crowd free if having to camp in Phuyupatamarka.
US$ 780 per person
Close your group to just you and your family and friends. In this service we also include Personal Porters (8kg per person weight allowance), Sleeping Bags, Inflatable Mats, Inflatable Pillows, Walking Poles and the Vistadome Train service.If you want a private group but don’t want all these frills, just let us know what you want included and we will make a special quotation for you.
2 travellers : US$ 1,330 per person
3 travellers : US$ 1,230 per person
4+ travellers : US$ 1,180 per person
Children – 1 to 17yrs of age : US$ 30 (copy of passport front page required for discount to apply)
Pre-departure briefing in our office
Collection from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley and return in Private Transportation
Professional English Speaking Mountain Guide (two guides for groups over 8 persons)
Duffles to put your luggage into including plastic bag to keep your gear dry during rainy season (only if hiring a personal porter)
Experienced Cook preparing delicious meals 3x a day
Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners (we provide generous amounts of nutritious meals and beverages and have vegetarian, gluten, wheat free options available)
Snacks enroute and tea time daily
Boiled water to replenish your supply from Day 1 – Lunch time onwards
Entrance fee onto Inca Trail and into Machupicchu Sanctuary
Bus from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes
Porters to carry the camping equipment, ie tents, tables, chairs, etc.
Duffel bags to put your luggage into when hiring Personal Porters
Spacious good quality 4 man tents (for your comfort we put only 2 persons per tent). Single tents are available at additional cost if you do not want to share.
Comfortable sleeping mats (can request delux mat at extra charge)
First Aid Kit carried by the Guide
Hot water for washing in your tent every day
Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel
Emergency Oxygen bottle and first aid kit
IncaRail or Expedition train ticket for group services / Vistadome for private services
Breakfast on the first day
Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
Climb up Huaynapicchu / Machupicchu Mountain – $85 payable in advance for permit
Single Tents (for persons not happy to share) – $65 per tent
Extras (Below items included in Private Service)
Sleeping bag – $30
Inflatable Thermarests – $25
Inflatable pillow – $7
Trekking poles – $12 per pole
Single Tent (for persons not happy to share) – $65 per tent
Interested in climbing Huaynapicchu / Machupicchu Mountain?
Permits are required for either of these hikes and are limited – you must book in advance!
Huaynapicchu: Currently the more popular hike as it’s a little shorter. This hike is around 1hr steep ascent – there are sheer drops on the side, so if you are afraid of heights, this is not for you! Coming down will also be around 1hr approx. There are 400 permits available per day and split into the following departure times:
7am-8am slot (you will need to forfeit your guided tour of Machupicchu with this option)
10-11am slot (this is our preferred time slot for our passengers as it means you can have your tour of Machupicchu first followed by the hike)
Machupicchu Mountain: Less known than Huaynapicchu but certainly not to be ignored. This hike is slightly longer taking around 1.5hrs up and same down. From the top you will also get a birds eye view of Machupicchu. Many of our guides prefer this hike as its less crowded. There are 400 permits available and there is one entrance time slot:
7-8am (you will need to forfeit your guided tour of Machupicchu with this option)
9-10am (this is our preferred time slot for our passengers as it means you can have your tour of Machupicchu first followed by the hike)
The cost to add on either excursion is US$ 85 per person payable in advance. Please note your permits are with your name and passport details and are non- transferable and non-refundable.
Note About Our Porters
Our Porters carry a maximum load of 18kg, but we kindly ask you to not exceed your 7kg stated allowance as we need to adhere to the INC regulations and more importantly not damage the health and welfare of our Porters!
Please note that if you want to hire a personal porter you need to tell us this at the time of making your reservation as our Porters also require permits to enter the trail and we cannot add on more porters after we have obtained your permits.
We have put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand the nature of booking onto the Inca Trail and what we recommend for you to enjoy your adventure with us!
Why should you choose Pachamama Explorers to travel with?
We are a fully licensed travel agency complying with the Peruvian Law. Apart from the formalities we are dedicated to changing the perception of tourism in Peru and have a longstanding good reputation in the travel industry in Peru!
Do I need to book in advance and, if so, how far in advance should I book?
Yes you do! You should reserve at least 6 months in advance especially if you are going to be traveling in the months March to June which are high season months. The official booking system of the authorities has a calendar year running from March to February annually. The system opens for bookings usually in January each year. This could change without prior notice but we keep our clients informed.
What about children on the Inca Trail? Do you suggest it?
We have operated many family groups with children as young as 7 years old. The children that have done the trail with us have all been children that are used to walking long hours having done some hikes before, so this is an essential element for us know if your child is physically fit for the challenge! We never accept a booking just to make a sale, so please ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable with your decision to hike with children.
Do I need to be fit? We recommend that you have a good fitness level.
You do not have to be a fitness fanatic, but at least know what you are going to be undertaking and prepare as best you can. One important step to your well being is that you acclimatise well in Cusco prior to your trek. Cusco lies at 3,350m/10900ft. We recommend a stay of at least 2-3 days.
To help with acclimatisation we recommend:
Avoid over-exerting yourself when you first arrive
Drink lots of fluids
Avoid cigarettes and alcohol
Avoid taking sleeping pills
Drink coca tea (ancient traditional leaf)
How do I make a reservation?
We will send you a Reservation Form which you need to complete and return to us. On receiving your form we will draw up an Invoice for you which details all the services you are booking with us and how to make your initial deposit payments and pay your balances. Once we receive your deposits we purchase your permits and your departure is secure.
Why do I need to send a deposit?
We use your deposit to pay official permit fees when making your reservation. We also need permits for porters, be they the group porters or personal porters, so they are included in your deposit fees. Peruvian taxes (IGV) is also included.
What if I am a slow walker or want to take my time?
Even slow walkers reach campsites before nightfall! Our guides will keep you informed of distances and hours to be covered after every break. For groups of 9 or more people you will always have 2 guides (Head Guide & Assistant Guide). The Head walks at the front and the Assistant with the last person. In case you have only 1 guide (for groups or 8 or less people) the guide always walks with the last person in the group.
Once I have booked my place on the trail, can I change my departure date?
No. Unfortunately once your reservation is officially confirmed with the INC it is not possible to change or postpone your departure date. You would need to make a new reservation with a new deposit for your new date. Please note that this is not an agency decision but a local authority regulation.
Do you recommend getting a personal porter?
Yes we do! This helps to take a load off your back which will ensure a much more enjoyable hike for you, especially if you are not accustomed to hiking long distances. Personal porters need to be booked at the same time as making your reservation with us please. We need to take out passengers permits at the same time as porter permits so therefore we cannot add on porters after we have purchased passenger permits, so please be sure when you make your booking to inform us in the reservation form whether you want or do not want a personal porter.
Are there many toilets along the Inca trail?
Yes. There are several flush toilets along the trail and we highly recommend using them only (please avoid using nature if possible). Please take toilet paper with you as its not provided at the toilets.
How many people go in each tent?
The tents for all our treks are 4 man tents but we only put 2 persons per tent thus allowing you more space and comfort.
What if I get ill and need to turn back?
We have a very low rate of people turning back once on the trek. Our priority is to help you complete it! All our guides are properly trained and carry a first aid kit and a bottle of oxygen for emergencies. Please do not think about this (you are in good hands!) However, if unavoidable, we will help you back to Cusco and then help you get out to Machupicchu by train. This will cost additional for some of the services not calculated into the trail itinerary.
Where do I store the bags I don’t need when I go on the trail?
All hostels and hotels in Cusco are accustomed to trekkers leaving belongings whilst on the trek and will have storage facilities at no extra cost.
What about the food?
We have excellent trained cooks who will provide you with an incredible variety of dishes:
Breakfast: There will usually be a selection of some or all of the following – porridge, scrambled eggs, pancakes, bread and jam. We provide you with plenty of beverages, ie hot chocolate, coffee, English tea and/or a selection of herbal teas (chamomile or simply traditional coca tea).
Lunch and Dinner: You will always have a bowl of soup followed by a main course (chicken, beef, fish etc. with rice or pasta). After this, a dessert and herbal drink will be provided.
Afternoon snacks: On finishing the trek every day we will have hot drinks, popcorn, biscuits, bread and jam, chocolate, etc.
Snacks: We provide our trekkers with snacks beginning on either Day 1 or Day 2 – its our cooks decision! You are welcome to buy your own favourite snack foods if you wish too!
* Vegetarian/special diet options: Please inform us of this before your departure. We are happy to cater!
Do you provide us with drinking water?
Yes. We provide you with boiled water – our cook boils water for 10 minutes from which you can replenish your water supply (you do not need purification tablets). On the first day you need to carry a bottle of water until lunch time, therefore you can start filling from our cooks supply for the rest of the trek.
Bottled water is now available to purchase at certain points along the Inca Trail if you wish, but note it is not guaranteed where, so you might need to take from the Cooks supply anyway.
What are your tipping guidelines?
The tipping ceremony for porters takes place on the 3rd night of the trail in the campsite of Wiyna Wayna (or other if not this one). Although tipping is non-obligatory it is a way to show your guides, cooks and porters your gratitude for the effort and hard work you will see during our trips.
Porters: approx. Soles 60-80 per porter from group
Cooks: approx. Soles 80-100 per cook from group
Guide: approx. Double of the cooks tip from group
Does the Inca Trail ever close?
Yes – it closes for maintenance in the month of February each year.
When is the rainy season?
The rainy season in Cusco starts in around the month of October/November annually. It dries up around April time. It is important to note that “rainy season” does not mean monsoon weather! It means that days can be dry & hot with occasional bursts of rain. Sometimes these bursts last for an entire day on and off, but monsoonal it is not! You may even enjoy it! As long as you are well prepared with a good raincoat you will be fine!
Do you recommend climbing Huaynapicchu?
The hike up Huaynapicchu mountain is worthwhile! From the top of the mountain you will get a birds-eye-view of Machupicchu. It is a strenuous walk of just over 1 hour up and the same back down. There are sheer drops off the pathway up, so if you are scared of heights this is NOT for you! Please note on your reservation form you wish to do this. We have to purchase permits in advance.
Questions About The Tour?
Inca Trail Availability
Permits are on sale for 2020!
Please be sure to reserve in advance as permits sell out very quickly on opening especially for the months of March, April, May and June. In general you need to book at least 6 months in advance.
Be sure that your Passports are up to date as we require this information in order to purchase your permits.