The Classic Inca Trail is Peru's number one trek and one of the most well-known and popular treks in the world.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world and just one example of the approximate 40000 kilometres of roads built by the Incas some 500 years ago! Inca road roads were built across the deserts, highlands and jungles stretching from Colombia in the north to Chile in the south! The Traditional or Classic Inca Trail tour starts in the Sacred Valley and finishes in a jungle region going through a range of vegetation types in route. The Classic Inca Trail trek is a once in a lifetime experience, never to be forgotten.
Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - full itinerary
Day 1: Cusco - Ollantaytambo - KM 82 - Llactapata - Wayllabamba
You will be picked up from your Cusco hotel early in the morning in private transport. You should have breakfast in your hotel or bring some snacks. We will stop in Ollantaytambo for last minute purchases, plus an opportunity for breakfast if you wish. We will continue to Piscacucho (also known as Kilometre 82) where the trail starts. On arrival at Kilometre82, it is necessary to show entrance tickets, passports and (if paying a student rate) student card. Crossing the Urubamba River we begin our trek through typical dry forest growing cacti, prickly pears and the Tara tree. We will walk around 3 hours (6kms) to Llactapata the first archaeological site on our journey. 4 kilometres of gentle uphill through farmland takes us to Wayllabamba and our campsite for the night. L: D.
Walking – 12kms or 8 miles
Minimum Altitude – 2,700ms, 8990 feet. / Maximum Altitude – 3,100ms, 10000feet
Altitude of camp – 3,100ms, 10000 feet./ Approx night temperature: Around 10oC.
Day 2: Wayllabamba -
Llulluchapampa - Dead Woman's Pass - Pacaymayo
This is generally considered the most challenging day of the trek. We will wake early in order to get a good start. Leaving small villages and farmland we will enter the sub tropical forest and lunch around Llulluchapampa. From here we will start a steep ascent towards the highest pass (Abra de Huarmihuañusca/'Dead Woman's Pass’ – 4200m/13779ft). There is an amazing sense of achievement upon reaching the top. We will continue downwards 600ms (1980 feet) over 3 kms (1.8 miles) through very humid forest to the evening campsite of Pacaymayo. B: L: D.
Walking – 11kms or 6.8 miles
Minimum Altitude – 3,100ms, 10000 feet. / Maximum Altitude – 4,200ms, 13780feet
Altitude of Camp – 3,600ms, 11810 feet/ Approx night temperature: Around 6 degrees C.
Day 3: Pacaymayo -
Sayakmarka - Phuyupatamarca - Wiñay Wayna
After another early breakfast we will walk to the beautiful Inca site of Runkurakay one of the check points and the beginnings of the original royal Inca trail to Machu Picchu. We will continue on to Sayakmarka one of the most beautiful Inca remains on this, the Classic Inca trail. After lunch we trek through some very beautiful scenery ,with, the entrance to the cloud forest and the fabulous examples of orchids and humming birds we will walk for another hour to Phuyupatamarca (meaning ‘Town in the Clouds’) and to reach the third highest point on the trail (3680m). There are also wonderful views of Salkantay Mountain. From here we have 3 hours of downhill into the forest and Wiñay Wayna and our camp for the evening. This is the most popular campsite with access to hot showers and a cold beer. A short distance from this campsite is located the Inca site of the same name ‘Wiñay Wayna’ (‘Forever Young’). Even if you are tired after your day’s trek, don’t miss out on visiting the most impressive site on the trail. Make sure you ask your guide about visiting this site. B: L: D.
Walking – 12kms, 10.5 miles
Minimum Altitude – 2,670ms, 8760 feet. / Maximum Altitude – 3,900ms, 12800feet
Altitude of Camp – 2,670ms, 8760 feet/ Approx night temperature: Around 12 degrees C
Day 4: WiñayWayna -
Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes - Cusco
We will rise very early on this day in order to arrive at the (‘Sun gate’) (2730m/8792ft) before sunrise. This early morning hike is the final part of the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and from the Sun Gate you have your first view of the mysterious and enigmatic Machu Picchu. After some time there, we will walk down the last part of the trail to the spot where you can take the classic photo (picture postcard shot) of this ancient city. Finally we visit Machu Picchu itself! A walking tour (approximately 2.5 hours) is given by your guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you still have energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu (2720m/8923ft)!!! It takes 45 minutes to reach the top. (New system requires permit purchased separately) You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes (it can be reached by bus or on foot) for lunch and to be given your train tickets back to Cusco. Note: The train included in all tours is the Backpacker service (to Ollantaytambo) and then bus to Cusco. B.
Walking – 8kms, 5 miles
Minimum Altitude – 2,400ms, 7870 feet. / Maximum Altitude – 2,720ms, 8920 feet
Important: government regulations will not allow reservations to be made unless accompanied by full passport details of the client and full payment of the entrance fee to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. This is to assist in the 500 people a day rule. Therefore to guarantee your place on the Inca trail trek or tour you must provide a scanned copy of your passport and a non refundable deposit. Your reservation will only be confirmed when we have your entrance ticket in our hands. In case of passport number change this information must be relayed to us or you will lose your booking. Original Passport must be carried on trail.
. Pre trek briefing
. Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
. Transport from Cusco to the trailhead
. Inca Trail Permit (includes entry to Machu Picchu, but not to Huayna Picchu)
. English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people).
. Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
. Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest).
. Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
. Toilet tent
. Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
. Porters (for equipment and personal items) they carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire a porter, please contact us for costs.
. Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent . for the cook to prepare meals
. Tents for our staff to sleep in
. First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
. Bus down from Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu
. Train ticket (Backpacker service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
. Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
. Lunch on the last day is included in this itinerary.
What is not included?
. Breakfast on the first morning.
. Lunch on the last day.
. Entrance to the thermal springs
. Entry to Huayna Picchu ($20)
. Tips for the guide, cook and porters.
You should bring:
. A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
. Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
. Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended.
. Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
. Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
. Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
. Sun block
. After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
. Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET
. Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
. Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
. We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
. Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
. Small towel or sarong
. Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
. Cash - sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
. Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
. Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
. Binoculars (if you have them)
Available Discounts: (these discounts are not cumulative)
. Students: US$ 30.00 (students require a valid . International Student Identity Card. Please beware that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
. Teenagers: US$ 20.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
. Children: US$ 45.00 (up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings).