Inca Trail to Machu Pichu

Duration 5 or 6 day (6 day recommended)

Day 1 – Arrive to Cusco – we pick you up from the airport
Day 2 – Rest day or start of Trek
Day 3 – From your hotel in city of Cusco or in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and then head to Ollantaytambo
Day 4 – Trek to Warmiwañuska pass, also known as the dead woman pass.
Day 5 – Trek to Phuyupatamarca, (town above the clouds).
Day 6 – Enter the Citadel
Day 7 – Explore Machu Picchu – climbing up the mountain of Huaynapicchu; Return to Cusco

Trek one of the original roads from the Incan Empire, still standing intact after 500 years of history. This is one of the greatest adventures in the Cusco area combining trekking, history, culture, flora, fauna and archeology.

The Classic Inca Trail stretches from a start point at a forty-minute drive from the town of Ollantaytambo in the Cusco region and leads to the mysterious lost city of the Incas. It is the four-day trail in the heart of the Andean region which is approximately 26 miles long and elevates to a high 3,962 meters above sea level before making a descent towards its destination, the Peruvian wonder at 2,430 meters.

The Inca trail towards the Machu Picchu offers a truly Peruvian experience because of its diversity, scenic landscape, beautiful culture and magnificent heritage. The trek takes you through the Sacred Valley in the Cusco region, through the beguiling cloud forest, along the steep and narrow passes ascending through the snow-cloaked Andean offering enchanting views of pristine glaciers, green sub-alpine tundra and numerous
ancient ruins. The Andean wildlife with its indigenous flora and fauna adds a touch of  uniqueness to this landscape. 

This is one of the most important religious paths of the Inka era. In those days it was especially toured by the religious class and the pilgrims who were heading to Machu Picchu on a spiritual journey. After 500 years it is the only original Inka road that survives in good condition. It is the only trek in Cusco that ends up walking in Machu Picchu through the famous Puerta del Sol or Inti punku. During the walk one becomes part of the history of pilgrims who walked these ancestral paths and the landscapes full of history that invite us to breathe the Inka history. Those Inka temples that still have the magic of making us dream of what was Andean spirituality, touring all these places that at every step open for us.


We will pick you up from your hotel, either in the city of Cusco or in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and then head to Ollantaytambo. Here we will stop for a short visit before continuing for about an hour to Piscacucho which sits at 8250 feet above sea level. This is the beginning point of the Inca trail. After registering our passports, we then enter the national park of Machu Picchu.

We shall trek approximately 3 hours to an archaeological complex called LLaqtapata. A study of this site conducted in 2003 concluded that Llaqtapata was an important rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu following the Inca Trail.

After a further 1-hour of trekking we will meet our support staff who will have a hearty lunch prepared and waiting for us. After lunch, we will walk through a valley and follow along a river that is fed from the snowmelt of the peaks that surround us. After about 2 hours we will arrive at Wayllabamba at 9000 feet above sea level. This spot will serve as our first campsite. Before enjoying a large dinner, we will take the time for our staff to introduce themselves to you and speak a bit about themselves and their experiences in this beautiful place.


Breakfast will be served at 8:00 am. From here we shall trek to Warmiwañuska pass, also known as the dead woman pass, at 12,675 feet above sea level. It is the highest point of the famous Inca Trail. This section takes approximately 5 hours in total. The first 3 hours is a gentle slope and passes through an inter-Andean forest (highland jungle). It is beautiful to see how the original Inca Trail, paved with stones, has embraced the nature. We arrive at llulluchapampa around midday where we shall stop for our lunch. After a short break we continue for another 2 hours until we reach the dead woman’s pass. Here you shall get a panoramic view of the mountains along this sacred path. Once the pass is reached we shall start our descent to Pacaymayu (hiding river) at 10,800 feet above sea level. This will be our second camp, arriving approximately between 4 and 5pm. Our support staff will already be waiting for us with our camp set up and dinner being prepared.


This is the shortest day of our trek, however, it will also be the most beautiful in terms of the scenery and the archaeological sites that we shall visit.  After enjoying breakfast together we shall start trekking towards Runkuraqay, an Incan ruin. It will take us about 1 ½ hours to climb here. After a guided tour of the site, take your time in observing the eternal glaciers that surround the impressive landscape of this sacred place. From Runkuraqay we shall continue for another 1 ½ hours to reach the pass of Runkuraqay (at 11,900 feet above sea level). Standing on the pass allows a vantage point where the beautiful Vilcanota mountain range where several peaks above 18,000 feet above sea level are visible. After enjoying the views we shall start our trek downward to reach Sayacmarka. Sayacmarka is an impressive and sacred Incan place, built on a rocky elevation and surrounded by cliffs impossible to climb. Situated in the midst of the mountain jungle, this is a wonderous place indeed.

Lunch will be served near this spot and our overnight camp is still another 1 ½ hours away at Phuyupatamarca, (town above the clouds). This will be our last camp. The view is impressive, almost 360 degrees birds eye view (on clear day) of the town of Aguas Calientes.  Looking up you will also be able to see Machu Picchu in the distance.


Early in the morning we will begin our trek to another famous archaeological site called Inti Pata (sun spot) at 8400 feet above sea level. From here we shall continue to the best-preserved ruins of the entire Inca Trail, the famous Wiñay Wayna. We will have walked for about 4 hours at this point, so after touring the ruins we will we will stop for our lunch and say goodbye to our support staff. After lunch, we will have about 1 ½ hours walk more before arriving at Inti Punku (sun gate). Our views will be spectacular! Now it will become clear why we have spent the previous days hiking along the Inca Trail to this sacred place. With only another hour or so in front of us, we will now start our trek downward to Machu Picchu.

NOTE: We are entering the citadel in the later part of the day, which is the perfect time to enjoy the place without the influx of many tourists.

Once we have explored the citadel, we shall take a bus to the nearby city of Aguas Calientes.  We will arrive into town around 5 pm and check into our hotel.  You will be free to relax and wash up before rejoin with the group for dinner at a nearby restaurant. But be sure to get to bed early as we will be waking before sunrise to visit Machu Picchu.


We will rise very early in order to catch our bus from Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes. After this short ride, we will go to the top of this sacred city to enjoy its impressive views just as the sun rises over the valley before us. This will assuredly be one of the highlights of the entire trip! From here, we will begin our guided tour of Machupuicchu which will last for approximately 3 hours.  The grounds of Machupicchu are expansive and there is much to see and learn. After our tour, we will have the added bonus of climbing up the mountain of Huaynapicchu . From atop this mountain you will have the absolute best views of Machupicchu below. Only a small number of tourists are allowed to climb Huaynapicchu each day, so this is a special treat.  After making our descent, we will return to the city of Aguas Calientes to enjoy lunch and then take our train to Ollantaytambo. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. Finally, our private van will meet us at the station and will take us back to the city of Cusco. This ride will take approximately 2 hours.

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