INCA TRAIL 4 Days
Type of tour
Discover the best hike in South America on the Inca Trail, a 43-kilometer route that will take you through ancient Inca paths to reach the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu. On this 4-day, 3-night journey, you will witness the greatness of our ancestors, visiting multiple archaeological sites such as Llaqtapata, Runcuraccay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, and Wiñaywayna. This trail, traced by the Bingham expedition in 1942, will lead you through trails full of magic and energy, culminating at the famous «Puerta del Sol» or «Inti Punku» before descending to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Embark on this thrilling adventure and discover the wonder that is the Inca Trail with the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Day 01: Cusco – Piskacucho km 82 – Wayllabamba (campsite)
Early pick-up from your hotel in Cusco to the starting point at km 82, where the hike begins until reaching the first campsite at Llulluchapampa.
Day 02: Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa – Paqaymayu (campsite)
This day will be a challenge as we pass through the Warmiwañusca pass with several ascents and descents, visiting archaeological sites such as Runcuraccay and Sayacmarca until reaching the campsite at Chaquicocha.
Day 03: Pacaymayu – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñayhuayna (campsite)
On this day, we will embark on a hike through spectacular landscapes and archaeological sites, including Intipata Phuyupatamarca, and finally reaching the Wiñayhuayna campsite.
Day 04: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco
This final day includes an 8 km hike to Intipunku, from where we will have our first view of Machu Picchu. After a guided tour, we return to Cusco.
Cusco: We begin with the pick-up from your hotel between 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. to be taken to Piskacucho or Km 82 in Ollantaytambo (2,871 meters above sea level). It will be a 1-hour and 30-minute journey until we reach Km 82, arriving at around 8:00 a.m. at our starting point for this great adventure.
We start our journey through the first checkpoint of the Inca Trail to begin our hike (please make sure to have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail).
Llaqtapata (2,550 meters above sea level): The first 2 hours of the hike are relatively easy as we head to our first Inca site, which is Llaqtapata, an ancient Inca control post. After our visit to Llaqtapata and an explanation by our guide.
Wayllabamba (2,950 meters above sea level): After the visit to Llaqtapata, we hike for about 2 hours to our second stop for lunch (Wayllabamba). After lunch, we continue hiking for another 2 and a half hours until we reach the campsite for the first night at Llulluchapampa (3,300 meters).
During this last stretch, we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy energy drinks or snacks, you can do so here. You can also purchase any essential items such as batteries that you may have forgotten.
Wayllabamba (3,840 meters above sea level): The Porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to help you prepare for the day.
Warmiwañusca (4,200 meters above sea level): Today is our longest day, and we will start early. After a delicious breakfast, we will hike for approximately 4 hours to reach the highest point of the trek, which is the Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200 meters / 13,829 feet). Upon reaching the pass, we will stop for a short break to enjoy the spectacular views. Afterward, we begin descending to our next point (Pacaymayu).
After an hour and a half of hiking, we descend to the location of our lunch and take a brief rest.
Runcuraccay Pass (3,850 meters above sea level): We continue our hike to reach a small Inca site (Runcuraccay) and see two enormous waterfalls on the opposite side of the valley. We then arrive at the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (a otherwise inaccessible town). We will stop here to rest and have a quick tour of the site, then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range.
Chaquicocha (3,600 meters above sea level): It is then only another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite, Chaquicocha (3,600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too tired, we can do some stargazing and point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent southern hemisphere sky, far away from all artificial lighting, this sky is something worth contemplating!
Pacaymayu (3,600 meters above sea level): Completing Day 2 and starting Day 3 definitely deserves a pat on the back! We start early again, waking up at 6:30 am to begin what is commonly felt to be the most beautiful day of the entire Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what we like to call the «Inca flats» (gradual slopes) and start entering the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. As we walk, we will have the opportunity to see the majesty of Salkantay, the second highest snow-covered mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range.
Towards the end of the Inca flats, we begin making our way up to the final peak at Phuyupatamarca (3,600 meters), from where we have excellent views over the Urubamba River. Down the valley, we have our first glimpses of Machu Picchu, but the site itself is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarca, it’s about a 3-hour walk down a stretch of stairs to our final campsite, Wiñay Wayna.
Wiñay Wayna (2,640 meters above sea level): near Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular archaeological site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular camping spot due to its proximity to Machu Picchu. During the descent, we will visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarca (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun).
We arrive at our campsite around 1:00 PM to have lunch and then relax throughout the afternoon so you can be rested and ready for your last day at Machu Picchu.
Around 4:30 PM, your guide will give you a short orientation, and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, spending about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and tie together all the information given during the trek so that you are fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the next day.
We like to spoil our travelers, so we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It is an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again and thank them for the great work done (if you wish to provide tips for them, you can do so at this time).
It is recommended to go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to wake up in the early hours of the morning to reach Machu Picchu at sunrise, hoping that the weather will give us a beautiful sunrise over the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Wiñayhuayna (2,640 meters above sea level): Wake up at 4:30 AM. We have breakfast, the last one of our trek, and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start the trek when the gates open at 5:30 AM. We say goodbye to our team of porters and chef, then enter the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here, we have spectacular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its splendor.
Inti Punku or Sun Gate (2,700 meters above sea level): We arrive at the Sun Gate at around 7:00 AM, and from there, it’s just a 1-hour hike up the stairs to reach the lost city of the Incas.
Machu Picchu (2,430 meters above sea level): As we approach Machu Picchu, the views of the city just get better and better! Around 8:30 AM, we will reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our private guided tour lasting 2 hours.
Aguas Calientes (2,040 meters above sea level): After the visit, you will be given your bus tickets to make your way to Aguas Calientes, and you will have around 3-4 hours to explore on your own. Around 1:30 PM, we will meet at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes for our last meal together, and you will be given your train tickets for your return journey to Cusco.
We need to be at the train station 30 minutes before departure and then go together to the train station, if you wish.
Huayna Picchu (2,720 meters above sea level): There is an optional hike to Huayna Picchu, which takes about 45 minutes to reach the summit. From here, you can enjoy fantastic views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding landscape. If you are interested in this, please book in advance (cost is $20).
What to Bring:
What to Pack in Your Daypack: