Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 Days
Inca Trail to Machupicchu is rated among the ten best trekking trails in the world because of the exquisite beauty of its natural surroundings. These include different ecological areas from the high Andean plains, to the cloud forest an impressive variety of altitudes, climates and ecosystems. You will cross two high altitude passes(The highest being Warmiwañuska or Death Women pass at 4200 msnm). Following this ancient Inca Trail to Machu picchu you will be walking past mysterious archaeological sites, half covered by jungle overgrowth, that looks like you are discovering them for the first time, you will visit these ancient settlements built in granite rock by the inkas all through the Inca Trail to MachuPicchu and finally going through the Intu PunKu (Gates of the Sun) where a magnificent view of the lost city of the Incas Machupicchu will be printed in your mind for ever.
DAY 01 Cusco to Wayllabamba 12km (Inca Trail)
5:00 am we will pick you up from your hotel and ride by private bus bus to Piskacuchu (2700 msnm), (also known simply as km 82). Our private Bus gonna stop at the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley for about half hour to give people the opportunity to have breakfast. Hikers cross the Vilcanota River and follow the trail to the right as it climbs steeply up from the river. It is a simple descent down to the Cusichaca river. You’ll also get a great view over the extensive Inca ruins of Llactapata (also known as Patallacta on some maps). Llactapata 2750 msnm means ‘upper town’ in Quechua and was primarily an agricultural station used to supply Machu Picchu with corn, the staple crop of the Incas. The settlement composed over one hundred buildings, houses for the workers and soldiers, including five baths. For a further 7 km the path follows the left bank of the river up to the small village of Wayllabamba (3,000 msnm). We’ll arrive to our campsite by 17:00 Hr. and after settling in for a bit you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters. Overnight in our tents.
DAY 02 Wayllabamba to Pacamayo 12km (Inca Trail)
At the second day our guide wakes us up at 5:30 with warm tee, we will leave Wayllabamba behind and begin the most difficult part of the trek. After breakfast at 6:00 am, we begins our hiking at 6:30 am. Following the left bank of the Llulluchayoc river for about 1 hour brings you to ‘Tres Piedras’ (three stones) and a small bridge over the Huayruro river. A little further on you’ll enter a beautiful cloud forest passing a waterfall. A further 4 hours trek through steepening woods we gonna pass the high spot which is called dead woman pass (4.600 msnm), where you
can experience the female spirit, a woman that lives on the side of the mountain. The descent from this mountain is steep although not difficult. From this place we have a 2 hour hike down to our second camping spot (Pacamayu 3,600 msnm), where we will have our lunch. There are toilet facilities here. At the camp we will go to the bed around 18:30 Hr.
DAY 03 Pacamayo to Winay Wayna 15km (Inca Trail)
06:00 Hr. We will have our breakfast. This day is the longest but also the most impressive and most interesting due to the many Inca ruins that we will visit along the way. From the campsite at Pacamayo it takes about an hour to climb up to the ruins of Runkuracay (3800 msnm). These small circular ruins occupy a commanding position overlooking the Pacamayo valley. After 45 minute hike will bring you to the top of the second pass: Abra de Runkuracay (4,000 msnm). At last you’ll feel that you are walking along the trail of the Incas with paving, for the most part, being
original. The descent down the steps from the pass is steep so take care. After about 1 hour from the 2nd pass you’ll arrive at Sayacmarca (3624 msnm) by way of a superbly designed stone staircase. After the visit we will have 25 min. to chakicoccha (3.600 msnm) where we will enjoy our lunch in natural surroundings and incredible landscape. After the lunch we have a one hour hiking to Phuyupatamarka (3.600 msnm), from this point we will have an easy two hour walk down to Wiñnahuayna (2.600 msnm), where we will settle our camp and our chef will make a nice buffet to
everyone so we can say goodbye to the chefs and the porters in a very nice way at 18:30 Hr. also our 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 combine all the information given during the trek so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day.
DAY 04 Winay Wayna to Machu Picchu 5km (Inca Trail)
On the last day, Wake up time early at 03:30 am, We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00 am and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30AM. We’ll wave goodbye to our team of porters and chef and then it’s “Forward On” to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From where we will have great views of Machu Picchu and all the surrounding mountains. Here we will have 20 min. to rest. Thereafter we have 10 min. down to the lost city of the Incas; Machu Picchu. Here the Inca trail ends and we will enter the one of the seven wonder, Machu Picchu. At the city, we have to pass the second checkpoint for leaving our bags and it will cost you 3 soles for every back, which is necessary. We will have two hours guided in Machu picchu. We suggest you after visiting Machu Picchu you can take the bus down to Aguas Calientes by 14:30 at the latest (assuming train departs at 16:30). Buses depart every 15 minutes. Check with the guide for actual times. This leaves you plenty of time at the ruins to climb HuaynaPicchu (must be arranged ahead of time). It takes about 1 hour to climb and 40 minutes to descend. Most people, however, leave the ruins at about 13:30 and return to Aguas Calientes for lunch (at the ruins there is only one restaurant and it’s very expensive). There are several small restaurants in Aguas Calientes to satisfy all budgets. You may also wish to pay a visit to the town’s famous thermal springs which feel great after finishing the trail. Entrance to the springs costs US$3, allow 2 hours to really enjoy them. After this we will take our train to Cusco and then transfer to your hotel.
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure
- Private bus from your hotel to the start of the trail
- Inca Trail & Machu Picchu entrance fees.
- English speaking professional guide (two guides for groups over 9 persons)
- Igloo tents – 2 persons in each 3-person capacity tent with plenty of space for your backpacks
- Double thickness foam mattress
- Cook and Cooking equipment
- Meals (03B,03L,03D) – food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking, hot drinks including coca leaf tea which is excellent for the altitude.
- Teatime everyday (tea, coffee, biscuits, popcorn)
- Porters (to carry the tents, food, and cooking equipment)
- Dining tent with camp tables and chairs
- Kitchen tent
- Accommodation for our porters and cooks
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
- Breakfast on the first morning. Some hotels offer an early morning breakfast service. If not, we stop at Ollantaytambo town on the way to the start on the trek where you’ll have the opportunity to have breakfast, Meal in restaurant in Aguas Calientes on day 4 of the trek.
- Extra Porter to carry your things. (US$ 140.00)
- Entrance to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes US$3.50
- Sleeping bags can be hired in our office for US$16 for the 4 day trek.
- Tips for the guide, cook and porters.
- Backpack, Sleeping bag (can be hired from our office for US$16 for the 4 day trek)
- Sleeping mattress (we will provide you with this)
- Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for a few dollars)
- Strong, comfortable footwear
- One complete change of clothing (you can afford to carry more changes of clothing if you hire a personal porters, see options below)
- Sweater and jacket (something warm)
- Water bottle and purification tablets (Micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in Cusco)
- Flashlight and batteries
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
- Sun block (sun protection cream), Insect repellent
- Toiletries, towel and toilet paper
- Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc,
- Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries
- Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek – entrance not included in price)
- You also need to bring your original passport on the trail and your student ISIC card (if claiming a student discount).
Students who present an official card, pay USD 20 less
Altitudes in the Inca Trail:
Climate and Environment
The climate is relatively mild around the whole year, with heavy rains from November to March, dry and hot weather from April to October, which is a recommended time to visit.
The minimum annual temperature ranges from 8 ° to 11.2 ° C. In the months of June, July and August the temperature can often fall below zero.
The annual maximum temperature varies from 20.4 ° to 26.6 °. The terrain is quite irregular, with several ravines and streams fed by the glaciers that eventually pour into the Urubamba River, which crosses the area forming a deep valley that crosses the granite base of Vilcabamba for more than 40 km through a variety of ecosystems.
Inca Trail Ruins:
Apart from all that has been mentioned, there is also the cultural heritage of the Incas. The Inca Trail, which was well built, crosses the dense forests and deep canyons. There are 18 archaeological complexes along the way which can be seen in all their splendor.
These are composed of houses, irrigation canals, agricultural terraces, walls and sanctuaries, which are an irrefutable proof of the existence of important human settlements.
Thermal Baths in Aguas Calientes
Located at a distance of 800 m. to the east of the city of Machu Picchu, there are underground hot springs of sulfur that sprout from the rock at different temperatures.
The specially constructed pools suitable for the use of hot mineral baths. The average water temperature ranges from 38 ° C to 46 ° C. There is also a change of rooms, sand baths and small cafes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
When is the best time to hike the Inca Trail?
The high season on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is from May to September, because this time coincides with vacations in the Western Hemisphere. These months probably offer the best trekking conditions with a dry and sunny climate.
The Inca Trail closes the month of February of each year, because it is the rainiest month, and is used to make maintenance for the conservation of the paths of the road. However, all alternative routes are open during this month.
When should I make my reservation for the Inca Trail?
We recommend making reservations well in advance of the start of your tour, about 3 months in advance in the low season (November to March) and about 6 months in advance in high season (April to October), as the entrances for the Inca Trail they finish very fast, besides the regulation allows the entry of only 500 people per day including hikers (only 200 tourists maximum), tour guides, assistants, porters and support staff.
Once I booked, can I change my departure date?
No, unfortunately, once your reservation is confirmed, we can not change your trekking date or reimburse your permit; this is why you should be very sure of the dates for which you book your hike.
Can childrens hike the Inca Trail?
Children accustomed to walking can do the Inca Trail, although personally we believe that to enjoy a route like this they should be at least 12 years old. But we have witnessed smaller children who complete the walk. If you want to make the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu as a family, please contact us to discuss the physical condition of your children in more detail.
Do I need a great physicist to trek the Inca Trail?
It is recommended that you have a good level of physical condition, however, you do not have to be a fan of exercise.
One of the biggest challenges about trekking in Peru is the altitude; the highest step of the Inca trail is at 4.125, in the passage of the dead woman. To help you acclimatize and avoid the symptoms of altitude sickness, we recommend the following:
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Drink a lot of liquid. Coca tea is an ancient ancestral remedy.
- Avoid agitation and strenuous exercise upon arrival in Cusco.
- Avoid sleeping pills.
- Dedicate between 2 and 3 days to acclimatize before beginning your walk.
What happens if I get sick and need to go back?
This does not happen very often; However, if it happens, our guides are very experienced and know how to act in case of any emergency or unexpected occurrence; They will do everything possible to help you complete your walk. In addition, first aid kits and oxygen tanks are carried for emergencies. However, if you become seriously ill and need to return to Cusco, you will be treated quickly and arrangements will be made for you.
How many kilometers does the Inca Trail comprise and how many hours do we walk per day?
The Inca Trail is 43 kilometers long or 26.12 miles long. There are camping sites assigned by the Ministry of Culture that are between 10 and 13 kilometers away from each other, so the daily walking time can vary between 5 to 8 hours per day for the first three days and approximately 2 hours for the last day. The hours of walking and the distance covered may vary according to the physical condition of each walker.
Are there many bathrooms on the Inca Trail?
There are several toilets along the way, some have toilets, but most of them are of the "squat" variety. They may not be the most hygienic, but try to use them instead of nature, remember that you are in one of the most amazing natural environments in the world. Please bring toilet paper with you. When you are in your camp, you will have a bathroom store that will be only for your group.
Can I hike the Inca Trail on my own?
This is NOT possible, travelers who want to make this excursion must necessarily hire the services of a Travel Agency and be accompanied by guides that are authorized by the Regional Directorate of Culture of Cusco, our agency has the necessary authorizations and we can make the Inca Trail tours without inconvenience.
Price per person US$ 540.00 based on double occupancy tent and tourists train from Machu picchu to Cusco.
We offer a US$ 35.00 discount to students with a valid International Student Identity Card ISIC and children under
the age of 15 and 11 months years old. (University ID or Youth Travel cards NOT valid)