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Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

Cusco, Peru

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Book this tour through our partner: Cachi Life

The 4-day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu takes you through the spiritual path to Machu Picchu, one of the Wonders of the World. This is a 4-day trek that starts in the beautiful Inca city of Ollantaytambo and travels into the Andes Mountains. You will pass through beautiful waterfalls and see breathtaking panoramic views of glacial mountaintops. After passing through the high point of Warmiwañusqa (Dead Woman’s Pass), at 4,215 meters or 13,828 feet, it is all downhill through the cloud forest past the Sun Gate to the “Lost City of the Incas.” Look no further than this multi-day trek for an experience so sacred and remarkable.

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The first day of the Classic Inca Trail trek is relatively easy. Hikers are picked up at their hotel between 5:30 – 6:00 AM and travel by bus through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo for the 2.5 hour trip to Kilometer 82 which is the start of the Inca Trail. We will eat breakfast as a group in the town of Ollantaytambo.

At the start of the Inca Trail, hikers will cross the Vilcanota River and follow the trail which follows the river. The ruins of the Incan Hillfort of Huillca Raccay come into view high above the Cusichaca River meaning Happy Bridge. From parts of the trail, you will be able to see the Cordillera Urubamba (Urubamba Mountain Range) and the snow-capped peak, Veronica.

You will then see the Incan ruins of Llactapata, also known as Patallacta.This settlement comprised over one hundred buildings, houses for the workers and soldiers.

We then follow the path for 7 km as it follows the river to the small village of Wayllabamba at 3,000 meters elevation. We will likely spend the night here depending on our progress.


The second day is a steep climb up to the first pass at 4200m. We will climb from Wayllabamba for about one hour and arrive at ‘Tres Piedres.'. There is a small campsite here with restroom facilities.

We then follow the trail 3 hours through steep woods and spectacular terrain bringing you to a meadow known as Llulluchapampa at 3,680m. It is another 1.5-hour climb to the first and highest pass of the trail, Abra de Huarmihuañusca or Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,200m. Once at the top, hikers will have completed the most difficult section of the trail. 

The descent from the pass is steep, but moderately easy, following the trail to the valley floor and to the second night’s campsite at Pacamayo at 3,600m.


From Pacamayo, it takes an hour to hike up to the ruins of Runkuracay. These small circular ruins occupy overlook the Pacamayo Valley.

Sayacmarca is another 45-minute hike that will bring you to second pass: Abra de Runkuracay at 4,000m. This section is spectacular as the trail crosses high stone cliffs and past deep ravines. After about one hour from the second pass, you’ll arrive at Sayacmarca following a large Inca stone staircase.

The trail then passes Conchamarca, a small Inca village situated in the shadows of Sayacmarca, which was likely a resting place for travelers on their way to Machu Picchu. The trail then descends into a spectacular cloud forest of orchids, mosses, tree ferns, and flowers, passing through an impressive Inca tunnel, carved into the rock leading down.

The trail goes to the third pass (3,700m). The view from the pass offers beatiful views of several snow-capped peaks including Salkantay (6,180m) and Veronica (5,750m). A few minutes after the pass is Phuyupatamarca, which means Town in the Clouds. Access to the Inca ruin is by a steep set of Incan stairs as you descend approximately 1000 steps.

We will then arrive at Wiñay Wayna as the last official campsite before Machu Picchu.


The trail from Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu takes about 1.5 hours. We wake up very early at 4:30 AM, have breakfast, and get to the trail at 5:30 AM to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. The trail follows a mountainside and drops into a cloud forest before coming to a nearly vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Inti Punku which means Sun Gate. At this point, we will be able to see Machu Picchu.

We will descend to the main entrance where you can safely leave your backpacks and grab a snack. The group will re-enter Machu Picchu with the same guide for a tour. The tour takes approximately two hours. Starting at approximately 11:00 AM there will be free time to explore the ruins.

Huayna Picchu is a day hike, which we can help to obtain permits at the same time you will register for the Inca Trail at an additional cost.

The train back to Cusco departs from Aguas Calientes which is the nearest village to the ruins of Machu Picchu at 6:45 PM (time can vary, subject to ticket availability) and arrive back in Cusco about 10:30 PM. Included is the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, return on the train to Ollantaytambo, and bus back through the Sacred Valley to Cusco.

Included in package:


  • English-Speaking Tour Guide
  • Entrance to historical Machu Picchu site
  • Expedition Train
  • Chef
  • Porters (carries group gear) 
  • Transportation to and from hotel
  • Dining Tent
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 snacks, and 3 dinners (We are able to accommodate most diet variations)
  • Hot coffee/Hot tea
  • Clean private pop-up toilet (no one likes going to the bathroom outside)
  • Nightly pisco drinks
  • Clean Water
  • 4 person tent per 2 people
  • First-aid kit

Not included in package:


  • Sleeping bag – $40
  • Trekking poles – $20
  • Therm-a-Rest Comfort Sleeping Pad – $30
  • Panoramic Vistadome Train – $90
  • Half porter to carry personal gear – $100
  • Full porter to carry personal gear – $200
  • Single Person Tent – $75
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain – $85
  • Personal items
  • Breakfast on the first day and lunch/dinner on last day
  • Porter/Guide tips


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Starting From


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4 Days


Cusco, Peru


Cusco, Peru

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