The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous treks in all of Peru and South America. This 26-mile trail is only a portion of what it used to be during the Inca Empire and holds great historical importance. This sacred path is now the only direct access to Machu Picchu through the Andes mountains.
The Inca Trail is dated to the 1450s, when it is said to have been designed and built by the Inca emperor of the time. This religious trail was used for pilgrimage from Cusco to Machu Picchu citadel and is known for its various archaeological sites along the way. All which were used for resting, religious ceremonies and astronomical observation.
Nowadays, the Inca Trail is strictly regulated by the Peruvian government. Only licensed tour operators are allowed to operate tour groups along the trail. Tour groups are thus required to operate with licensed tourism guides, and registered assistance crews of cooks and porters. Only 500 people, including travellers and support teams, are allowed on the trail per day. As a result, permits for the Inca Trail sell out rapidly and must be booked in advance.
Our recommendation is to book your Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu well in advance, at least 3-6 months. Checking Inca Trail permit availability is also highly recommended and can be with Alpaca Expeditions via our contact us.
1st Day: Cusco – Km 82 – Wayllabamba – Yuncachimpa
We’ll leave Cusco (3350m/10990f) at 5:30 am in a tourist bus heading for the Sacred Valley. We have a short break in Ollantaytambo for breakfast before arriving at km 82, the official beginning of the trek. We’ll meet the trek team at km 82 and register for the hike. After crossing the Rio Urubamba (2200m/4850f), we’ll begin the legendary Inca Trail.
e first day is easy and a good warm-up for the following days. We’ll have lunch in Miskay by a small river bank, and learn about the nearby archeological complex Llactapata. Next, we’ll hike to Wayllabamba (3100m/10170f) and ascend to Yuncachimpa (3300m/10826f), our camping site for the night. This campsite has a great view of the snow-capped Veronica Mountain.
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Total distance: 11 km/6.8 m
2nd Day: Yuncachimpa – Llulluchapampa – Warmihuañusca pass – Pacaymayu – Runkurakay pass – Chaquicocha
The second day has an early start, and everybody should walk at his/her own pace. We’ll meet up during short breaks or while ascending the stone stairs. The first 3km/2m are steep, with humid woodlands and the sounds of water to accompany you.
The trail first leads through the Valley of Llulluchapampa (3850m/12631f), and ascends for 2-3 hours until you reach the highest point: Warmihuañusca Pass (also called Dead Woman Pass due to its silhouette, 4200m/13780f).
This climb is the most difficult part of the Inca Trail. After a short break at the summit, you continue your hike with a steep descent to Pacaymayo River (Sunrise River) towards Runkurakay Pass (3050m/10007f) until we reach our camping site, Chaquicocha at (3650m/11975f). Here you get a well-deserved rest from the strenuous day while enjoying an amazing view of the mountains.
Level of difficulty: Strenuous
Hiking time: 8-9 hours
Total distance: 15 km/6.8 m
3rd Day: Chaquicocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñayhuayna
The third day is the most beautiful; you’ll see changes in the ecosystems while you walk to the tropical forest of Wiñaywayna. We’ll pass two small lakes at the top of the second pass (3950m/12960f). It’s a gentle climb through beautiful cloud forests and a small Inca tunnel before the third pass (3700m/12140f) offers a lovely view over the Urubamba Valley.
The nearest settlement is Phuyupatamarca (Town Above the Clouds) (3600m/11811f). There’s a well-preserved site with a series of Inca baths that are testimony to the excellence of Inca engineering.
We pass another Inca tunnel before visiting the ruins of Wiñaywayna (Forever Young) (2650m/8694f). We end the day arriving at our camp by the Inca stairs.
Level of difficulty: Moderate – Easy
Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Total distance: 10 km
4th Day: Wiñayhuayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After breakfast at 4:30 am, we’ll head – equipped with our flashlights – to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) for our first spectacular glimpse of Machu Pichhu at sunrise. The last descent takes almost one hour before we arrive hiking at Machu Picchu (2400m//7874f) around 8:00 am.
For about two hours, you’ll have a guided tour to better understand the meaning and use of the ancient buildings. After the tour, you’ll have time to explore the archeological site on your own (e.g. go to the Inca Bridge, revisit intriguing structures, or climb Wayna Picchu if you have a reservation).
Afterwards, a bus takes you down to Aguas Calientes, where you can soak in the natural springs (cost 10 soles). We’ll leave Aguas Calientes by train to return to Cusco in the afternoon. You will have completed the 04 day Machu Picchu Inca Trail.
Level of difficulty: Moderate – Easy
Hiking time: 2-3 hours
Total distance: 7 km/4.4 m
- Pre-briefing time at 19hrs in our office 1 or 2 days before your date departure (It has to be confirmed at the booking time).
- Private transfer from your hotel in Cusco to km 82
- Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco
- Collective tourist transfers from the train station in Ollantaytambo to the centre of Cusco (Plaza Regocijo / Few meters of Plaza de Armas or Marriott Hotel / Calle Ruinas, beginning of San Blas neighbourhood).
- Bus going downhill from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes where the train station is situated.
- Entrance fees to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu
- Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English)
- Camping equipment (professional two-person’s tents: Doite, model Himalaya, extra light/4.5kg or Eureka tent; sleeping mats, dining tent equipped with a table and chairs, a sanitary tent)
- Cook, cooking equipment, meals (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners). Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit and spaghetti, chicken, fish, meat and rice, all rich in carbohydrates and very suitable for trekking, hot drinks including coca leafs tea which is excellent for the altitude
- Tea and snack time everyday (tea, coffee, wantan, popcorn, cracker)
- Porters to carry the main luggage (all the camping equipment and cooking stock)
- Porters to carry the sleeping bag and mattress
- First-aid kit and oxygen bottle
- Unlimited cold, boiled water available during the trek.
TOUR NO INCLUDE
- Breakfast on the first day and last lunch in Aguas Calientes Town.
- Sleeping bag (you can rent a sleeping bag for $20.00USD for 4 days)
- Personal Porters
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
- Backpack with rain cover (30- or 40-liter capacity is sufficient).
- Clothing for both warm and cold climates.
- Trekking shoes/boots.
- Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs).
- Woolen/synthetic socks and a sweater.
- Long- and short-sleeved T-shirts.
- Rain poncho/waterproof jacket and a hat.
- Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, toilet paper, hand cleaner/disinfecting alcohol gel.
- Camera (with rain protection), a flash light/headlamp and extra batteries.
- Snacks (e.g. chocolate bars and dried fruit)
- Original passport, original ISIC student card (to receive the student discount) and extra money in soles.
- Since the weather can be very cold and rainy, your clothes – once wet – won’t dry at night. It’s best to take some clothes to change.
- Permission to hike Wayna Picchu: Permission requires booking months in advance with an additional charge $70.00USD to guarantee your entrance.
- Extra porter: We can arrange for a porter to carry your backpack/luggage if your luggage weighs 15kg/33lb or less (the weight limit is mandated by Peruvian law 26702). The cost is $120.00USD, and includes transport, entrance fee to the Inca Trail, food and camping equipment for the porter.
- Tips: Porters, cooks and guides always appreciate tips for their services. The porters are also grateful for small donations of clothes and school supplies for their children.
- Camping sites: The camping sites described in our itinerary (Yuncachimpa, Chaquicocha and Wiñaywayna) may be changed due to availability and restrictions on the number of trekkers. In high season (May-September) some campsites, such as Wiñaywayna, are almost always full. If the campsites are full, the Ministry of Culture (the government entity which supervises and controls the Inca Trail) will assign other campsites (Wayllabamba, Pacaymayu and Phuyupatamarca) as needed.
- Return ticket: We’ll leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55pm or 6:45pm. The schedule depends on ticket availability and on how far in advance you book your trip. In the afternoon, you can have lunch in one of many good restaurants in Aguas Calientes or relax in the natural springs. Depending on which train you take, you’ll arrive at your hotel in Cusco at about 6:00pm or 10:00pm.
- Health considerations: It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail, it’s easy. It is not. The Trail is 45km/26 m long and involves great physical exertion to complete. Combined with the high altitude and potential extreme weather, the trek can be difficult. Therefore, we strongly recommend you are well acclimatized to high altitudes, in good physical condition and healthy. You must declare any medical issues in advance and bring your own medications. We want you to enjoy your trip and be safe!
- Weather: The Andean weather can be unpredictable, despite the sharp divide between dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from May to October or November; the rainy season goes from December through April. Nevertheless, Inca Trail lies in forested areas and high-altitude where the weather is unpredictable and can change within hours.
CONDITIONS & TERMS:
- We require an immediate deposit of $150.00USD for all bookings.
- For all tours and treks, the balance must be paid in full up to 48 hours prior to the start of the program. If you want to pay the balance in the office of XTreme Tourbulencia, we only accept cash payment. Failure to pay the trek balance will result in tour cancellation.
- If a participant decides to cancel during the briefing 2 days prior to departure, he or she has to pay the full amount of the trek. XTreme Tourbulencia, however, will cover the expenses (hotel and train ticket) made by that participant to visit Machu Picchu. This offer must be confirmed at the briefing itself.
- The Client may cancel the booking at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to firstname.lastname@example.org writing. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by email@example.com. All reservations cancelled less than 15 days prior to the departure date of the tour are subject to a cancellation fee
- The Inca Trail is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
- If the traveler makes the decision to abandon the excursion during the program, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. XTreme Tourbulencia does not cover the expenses made by the traveler for the hotel and the transport back to Cusco or to Aguas Calientes, as well as a hotel in Aguas Calientes. Also, the traveler will be accompanied by a representative of XTreme Tourbulencia back to the train station.
- Certain services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances. These are out of the control of hotels, service suppliers, XTreme Tourbulencia or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
- To receive the student discount of $20.00USD, we require a copy of a university student card with valid expiration date and picture.It is very important to bring your original student card to validate the discount. In the event that we don’t receive the scanned copy of the student card along with your reservation form, we will process your reservation at the full, adult price.
- If XTreme Tourbulencia doesn’t confirm the reservation, the deposit will be refunded.
- In the case of force majeur, when a trek cannot start or be completed, XTreme Tourbulencia will find an alternative route to go to Machu Picchu. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked excursion, XTreme Tourbulencia will refund the difference.
- It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. XTreme Tourbulencia cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her own actions.
|Period before departure written notification is received.||Cancellation fee as a percentage of the holiday price|
|6 days or less.||100%|
INCA TRAIL FAQS:
How many days does it take to complete the Inca Trail?
For the Inca Trail you will have two options to choose from. The most famous and on demand is the 4 day / 3 night trek, this is followed by the Inca Trail of 2 days/1 night. The 2 day option is much more viable to a wide variety of people, while the 4 day will test your endurance.
How many days do we need to acclimate in Cusco before the Inca Trail?
It is very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. We do recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you become acclimatized and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.
Where can i leave my main luggage?
During your hiking, you can store your main luggage at our principal office (you can organize it with us on the briefing day or by email) also you can ask in your hotel, both are free of charge.
Don’t leave items of value with your bags; put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt.
Is there any kind of training required to complete the Inca Trail?
To accommodate your trip and make it as smooth and comfortable as possible we recommend prior to your trip, to set walking routines of about 30 minutes per day, as well as consistent stretching.
Since you will walk an average of 6 hours daily by the Andes, it is important to warm up the body. Mountain ascents and descents until arriving at Machu Picchu via Inca trail for a total route of approximately 48KM in 4 days.
Will access to bathrooms and other hygiene services be available?
Considering how the government has been improving the campsites, each of them now has basic hygienic services, and in the last camp of Wiñayhuayna you will have the opportunity to take a shower (cold water).
Can I do the Inca trail on our own?
As much as people would love to, this is not possible. It is mandatory to contract the services of an operator agency for the Machu Picchu Inca Trail, and to ensure there is a space available.
In order to ensure reservation, how far in advanced do I need to reserve the Inca Trail?
We always recommend that you make your reservation months in advance, minimum 2 or 3 months for low season (from December to March), and 6 to 7 months for the high season (from April to November). During the high season for the Machu Picchu Inca trail tour, the government sells only 500 spaces per day due to high traffic of people and is sold out many months in advance.
I am ready to make the reservation, how do I book the Inca Trail?
The first step would be to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) requesting the availability for the date you are planning to make the Inca Trail. We will confirm if we have spaces available for the requested date, in the case that there are no spaces available, we will inform you of the alternate treks available the desired dates. We will ask you to send us the following information: full names, passport number, nationality, age. If you are a student, the copy of the ISIC card. All info sent to us must be valid and current.
For how long can we stay in Machu picchu?
While on the Inca Trail we will arrive to Machu Picchu at approximately 7:30 am. You will have the opportunity to use the bathroom, followed by the guided tour which lasts about 1h 45m. After the guided tour you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu. The archaeological complex closes at 16:30 pm.
Are porters included?
For the Inca Trail trek, the porter service is included, and they will be responsible for loading the camping equipment, food, cooking, etc. Tourists should carry their essential backpack at all times, water, phone, passports, money, cameras, etc. The porter is very helpful as they carry the sleeping bag and the mattres, which frees you to enjoy the walk and landscape.
For how many hours will we walk, and how many kilometers does the Inca Trail comprise?
The total distance of the Inca trail is 43Km total, which is divided between camps. Each one at a distance of approximately 10 to 13km with an approximate time of about 6 to 8 hours daily, a lot also depends on the endurance, experience, pace of the group.
Is the Inca Trail available all year?
The Inca Trail is open 11 months a year. The month of February the trail is closed for maintenance, in order to keep it in optimal conditions for when in use.
How do I gain access to Huayna Picchu Mountain on the Inca Trail tour?
The Inca Trail trek includes Inca Trail + Machu Picchu. However, if you wish to climb to Huayna Picchu Mountain you will have to buy the ticket for Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu mountain with us. This mountain is high on demand so we recommend you book 6 months in advance.
What is the size of the group in the Inca trail?
For the Inca Trail tour we follow the same rule as our other treks we have groups of 10 passengers max.
* We will not be able to book and confirm your tour or trek without the following:
1.- A deposit of $150 USD . Deposits are made through the PayPal link below.
2.- Send the money through WESTER UNION
(An easy and cheaper way to send the deposit) https://www.westernunion.com/pe/en/send-money.html Once you confirm your booking of trips, send the deposit through Western Union page or if you have any closer agency of this company , send us the money in US$ in name of :
|ID or DNI:||22976985|
|Address:||Calle Plateros N°364|
|Telephone number:||(+51) 984 610 644|
|Office of Western Union to be picked:||Maruri street N° 310|