Kick-start your trekking adventure with our dedicated team, led by experienced guides. They’ll pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and drive you to Ollantaytambo, where you can enjoy a leisurely optional breakfast. From there, it’s a 45-minute drive to the starting point, Piscacuchu (km 82). Upon arrival, you’ll meet our skilled field staff, including cooks and porters, who will ensure your comfort throughout the journey. Get ready to make new friends as you mingle with fellow guests.
After passing a checkpoint with park rangers, we begin our trek along a gentle path that meanders alongside the majestic Urubamba River. The scenic route treats you to breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, such as the impressive Apu Huacayhuillca (Veronika Mountain) and the Urubamba mountain range. Along the way, we’ll stop at the Llactapata Inca remains, where you can soak in the captivating vistas and learn about the site’s historical significance from our knowledgeable guide. Continuing through the picturesque Kusichaca River valley, we eventually reach our first campsite in Huayllabamba, a charming local community. Don’t forget to savor a delicious lunch during your hike.
Distance: 12 km (7.4 miles) | Time: 6 to 7 hrs | Altitude: 2600 m to 3000 m ( 8530 ft to 9842 ft)
Fuel up with a hearty breakfast to energize yourself for the day ahead. We pass the second checkpoint and begin our ascent, encountering various ecosystems along the way, including a primary Andean forest and Andean grassland. After approximately five hours of hiking, we reach the magnificent Warmihuañusca, also known as the Dead Woman Pass, standing tall at 4200 m (14,000 ft). Take a moment to relish the 360-degree panorama of the Huayllabamba valleys and the snow-capped Huayanay mountains. Capture memories with your camera before descending for two hours to our campsite nestled in the Pacaymayo Valley.
Distance: 12 km | Altitude: 3000 m to 4200 m to 3600 m | Time: 6 to 7 hrs
After a satisfying breakfast, we depart from Pacaymayo, giving other trekkers a head start. Following the original ancient pathway, we ascend to the Runkurakay circular Inca remains, where Andean and Amazonian vegetation intertwine. Our guide will enlighten you about this fascinating place. Continuing our ascent, we reach the second pass, Runkurakay, at an altitude of 3900 m. Take your time to absorb the pristine nature and capture stunning photos. The trail leads us downhill to the Sayacmarka archaeological site, where our guide provides insights into its historical significance. From here, the trail showcases the impeccable engineering skills of the Incas as it traverses the Chaquiccocha, a dry lagoon, and passes through an Inca-adapted tunnel. Enjoy outstanding views of the snow-capped Salkantay and Pumasillo mountains in the Vilcabamba range before reaching our campsite above the clouds in Phuyupatamarka. This ceremonial center is considered of utmost importance during the Incan era.
Distance: 9 km | Altitude: 3600 m to 3700 m | Time: 6 to 7 hrs
Rise and shine in the Phuyupatamarca campsite, nestled along the Inca Trail. This extraordinary location offers unparalleled sunrise and sunset views, allowing you to enjoy the surrounding beauty. Capture the 360-degree panorama of the Urubamba mountain range and Villacabamba, along with the magnificent Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains towering above. This is a paradise for photography enthusiasts. After witnessing the magical sunrise and eating breakfast, we begin our descent to explore the Phuyupatamarca Inca site. The trail then leads us down for three hours to Wiñayhuayna at an altitude of 2600 m. Along this section of the Inca Trail, you’ll witness the exceptional engineering skills of the Incas. As we descend, we encounter Intipata, a series of captivating farming terraces with a panoramic view of the Urubamba River. Our journey concludes at the Wiñayhuayna Archaeological site, where you’ll have free time to explore. After a final lunch with our trekking crew, we continue our hike to Inti Punku (Sun Gate) at 2700 m, where a breathtaking Machu Picchu awaits. Finally, we descend to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll spend the night in a comfortable hotel.
Distance: 10 km | Altitude: 3700 m to 2400 m (Aguas Calientes town 2000 m) | Time: 6 to 7 hrs
Enjoy a satisfying breakfast before your guide accompanies you on a short bus ride to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Spend approximately three hours exploring this magical Inca city, delving into its fascinating history and architectural marvels. Take your time to wander around and soak up the mystical ambiance. If you’ve secured a ticket for Wayna Picchu, a limited-entry hiking route, you can challenge yourself with the climb (remember to book in advance). In the afternoon, depending on availability, we regroup in Aguas Calientes, where we board a train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. From there, private transportation takes you back to your hotel in Cusco.
Note: The itinerary may be subject to slight modifications based on the group’s pace and weather conditions.
Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N