A spectacularly rich experience in the Andean Mountains awaits you! Immerse yourself in the Inca culture as you hike 43 kilometers through the heart of the beautiful Andes. This 4-day trek is the only one to take you along the original Inca Trail; an authentic hand-built stone footpath where you will walk in the footsteps of ancient Inca royalty. Climb from 2,380 meters to 4,210 meters at Dead Woman's Pass, then pass through unforgettably beautiful jungle scenery and hidden labyrinth-style ruins, until you reach the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) in the early morning light. Get ready for awe-inspiring views over Machu Picchu; the most spectacular Inca archaeological site in South America!
Day by Day Itinerary:
Trek Briefings: All travelers are required to visit the Cuzco office for a mandatory briefing on your trek one day prior to departure. At this meeting you will receive detailed information on the route, a list of what to bring, confirm your pick-up for the morning of the trek and be able to ask questions.
*Note: You will have a guide during the trek and on the Machu Picchu tour. However, during your bus and train transfers you will not be accompanied by a guide.
Day 1: Cuzco - Ollantaytambo - KM 82 (2,570m) - Trek to Wayllabamba Camp (2,980m) (L/D)
Accommodation pick-up is between 5:00-6:00 am. Please make all of the necessary preparations one day prior to the trek. You will be taken by bus to the town of Ollantaytambo, where you will have an hour to eat breakfast on your own and purchase last-minute snacks, water and walking sticks. Then you will hop back on the bus to Piscacucho (KM 82) where the famous Inca Trail journey will begin. Bring your original passport, student card (if applicable) for the first Inca Trail checkpoint. Your guide will have your tickets for you. Hike along rolling hills in the Vilcanota River Valley passing by several small archaeological sites along the way. Lunch will be prepared half-way and you will have time to relax before reaching Wayllabamba camp (2,980m).
Inclusions: Cuzco Accommodation Pick-Up, Bus Cuzco – KM 82 (starting point of trek), 1 Night Camping
Meals: 1 Lunch / 1 Dinner
Trekking: 10 kilometers / 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate trek along a rolling path gradually ascending from Piscacucho KM 82 (2,570m) through the Urubamba river valley for 10 KM to reach Wayllabamba Camp (2,980m).
Day 2: Trek to Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m) via Dead Woman's Pass (4,215m) (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast around 6:00 am you will start off on the most challenging day along the trail, with a vertical hike of 6 km (approx. 5 hours) to reach Dead Woman's Pass at 4,215m followed by a 3 km hike down stone steps to reach Pacaymayo camp at 3,600m (approx. 2 hours). Take your time and rest as much as you need, as you will ascend more than 1,200 meters over the course of the morning. Just after you cross Dead Woman's Pass you will be rewarded with spectacular views of nearby snow-capped mountain peaks and roaring waterfalls. Stroll slowly down to Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m) to enjoy the scenery. Arrive in time for lunch and a well-deserved nap. Then you will have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the camp before dinner and an early bedtime.
Inclusions: 1 Night Camping
Meals: 1 Breakfast / 1 Lunch / 1 Dinner
Trekking: 10 kilometers / 7 hours
Difficulty: Difficult trekking day starting at Wayllabamba Camp (2,980m) with a constant and demanding ascent of 6.4 KM to Dead Woman’s Pass (4,215m), an elevation gain of 1,200 vertical meters. Descend another 2.4 KM along a stone staircase to reach Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m), a decrease in elevation of 800 vertical meters.
Day 3: Trek to Wiñayhuayna Camp (2,650m) via Runquracay Pass (3,950m) (B/L/D)
Start with a one-hour hike uphill to visit the Pacaymayo archaeological site. Continue one hour to Runquracay Pass (3,950m) where you can summit the mountain for incredible views of surrounding peaks. Visit 2 more archaeological sites called Sayacmarca & Phuyupatamarca with your guide and have lunch along the way. By late afternoon you will reach Wiñayhuayna High Jungle camp (2,650m) set above a river valley in a high jungle climate. After dinner, say a big THANK YOU to your porters and guides.
Inclusions: 1 Night Camping
Meals: 1 Breakfast / 1 Lunch / 1 Dinner
Trekking: 15 kilometers / 9 hours
Difficulty: Moderate ups and downs along ancient Inca stairways for 15 KM from Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m) crossing over Runquracay Pass (3,950m) ending at Wiñayhuayna High Jungle Camp (2,650m) with breaks at scenic archaeological sites along the way.
Day 4: Trek to Sun Gate (2,720m) - Explore Machu Picchu (2,400m) - Return to Cuzco (B)
Wake up between 3:30 and 4:30 am and have breakfast. Get on the trail early and head to the Wiñaywayna checkpoint, joining the lineup to wait for the gate to open at 5:30 am. Once the gate opens, hike about an hour to reach the Sun Gate. We'll keep our fingers crossed for a clear day! Catch the first glimpses of light over the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Then continue down the final length of the trail for 40 minutes to reach the Machu Picchu archaeological complex.
Visit this magical site on a 2-hour guided tour and learn about the history of this incredible Inca citadel. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure. If you're feeling adventurous, take an optional trek to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (must be booked in advance). Return to Aguas Calientes from where you will catch a train to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, you will take a bus back to Cuzco, arriving back around 20:00. You will be dropped off late in the day at the Plaza San Francisco. Please make your own way back to the accommodation of your choice.
Inclusions: 2-Hour Machu Picchu Guided Visit, Bus Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes, Train Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo, Bus Ollantaytambo - Cuzco
Meals: 1 Breakfast
Trekking: 7 kilometers / 2 hours
Difficulty: Follow an easy, flat and narrow 7 KM path from Wiñayhuayna High Jungle Camp (2,650m) to the Sun Gate (2,720m) and finally descend into the archaeological site of Machu Picchu (2,400m)
Optional Activities: Choose to take an optional hike up the steep Huayna Picchu peak or Machu Picchu Mountain. Tickets must be purchased at least 2 weeks in advance and are subject to availability. Please send us an email if you are interested.
Typical Meals on the Trek
On all of our Treks to Machu Picchu we search for great cooks who provide you with the best tasting meals on the mountain, with specialty menus and the freshest local ingredients available. Here is an idea of what you will be eating during your trek.
*Vegetarian Option Available Upon Request (please advise at least 2 days in advance).
BREAKFASTS: Hot porridge, quinoa or oats, fried eggs, omelet or pancakes with fresh bread, fried bananas and boiled water for hot tea, coca tea, coffee, chocolate and milk.
LUNCH & DINNER: First Course: Quinoa, corn, noodle, asparagus, mushroom or vegetable soup, stuffed avocado or potatoes. Second Course: Chicken breast, beef stew, quinoa, fried rice, hamburgers, fried chicken, spaghetti bolognese, typical dishes: aji de gallina (chilli pepper chicken), escabeche de pollo (marinated chicken) or ajiaco de olluco (spicy potato stew). Desserts: Fried plantains, chocolate pudding, chocolate or vanilla cake and boiled water for hot tea, coca tea, coffee, chocolate and milk.
SNACKS: Boiled water for hot tea, coca tea, coffee, chocolate and milk with popcorn, cookies, crackers.
The COMPLETE service INCLUDES a thermal sleeping bag, foam sleeping mat, duffel bag & porter to carry a total of 7kgs of personal gear for each trekker (3kgs sleeping bag & mat + 4kgs personal items).
The reduced BASIC (LIGHT) service ONLY INCLUDES a basic foam sleeping mat and EXCLUDES the thermal sleeping bag, duffel bag & porter to carry personal gear. You will carry your own backpack, sleeping bag, mattress & personal gear.
EXTRA ITEMS FOR RENT IN CUZCO: Inflatable Sleeping Mattress, Professional Trekking Poles.
ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS: During the trek single travelers will share a tent with another traveler of the same sex & couples will have a tent to themselves.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This hike is demanding, it’s important to be in good physical condition. The Inca Trail elevation changes make the hike strenuous as there are three passes during the hike and you will have 1950 meters of uphill and 2250 meters of descent.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Bring or Rent in Cuzco: hiking poles, rain pants, rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals, warm socks, sweater, thermals, hat, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sun glasses, flashlight/torch, camera, extra batteries and memory card (there is limited to no electricity available during the trek), waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit, water bottle. Bring extra cash for snacks, water, gatorade which doubles or triples in price along the trail.
DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS: Original passport, visa (if applicable), insurance card, personal medications.
** Travellers who booked their trip using one passport, then renewed or replaced it afterward, must carry their old passport or a photocopy with them on the trip.
Daily departures with a group of 4 or more
No departures in February due to unfavorable climatic conditions