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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Tours & Tickets

Stages of the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is obligatory for any visitor to Peru. Its 26-mile span is a microcosm of the country's historical and natural diversity! Here are the main places you'll stop during the course of the trail.

Mollepata
Photo: funkz@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mollepata

This is where the story starts! Meet your guides in the village of Mollepata, a beautiful, snow-capped setting.

Salkantay Pass
Photo: Felipe Ernesto@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Salkantay Pass

The highest point of the Willkapampa range in the Andes, this is a comparatively peaceful route on the Inca Trail.

Winaypoco
Photo: Esme Vos@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Winaypoco

Relax and enjoy Andean biodiversity, with plants used by the Inca for medicinal and nutritional purposes. There may also be time to indulge in the hot springs at Santa Teresa!

Patallaqta
Photo: G M@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Patallaqta

The "hummingbird village" is the first ancient archeological site you'll see on the trail. It includes a military hill fort and a religious shrine.

Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

It's what you've all been waiting for - the most iconic part of the Inca Trail. Climb the mounds and prepare to be astonished!

Our insider tips

When is it open?

You can access the trail at all times of the year except February, when routine maintenance is being done.

When is the best time to go?

High season is from April to November - since it's in the southern hemisphere, Peruvian winter falls from around May to August. Temperatures during this time can go below 32 degrees.

What should I wear?

It goes without saying that decent walking boots are a must. You should dress in light layers. Since the trek takes place over five days, you will want to keep what you're carrying to a minimum. Snowfall can also occur at high altitudes during winter, so make sure you have a good coat, hat, gloves, and other winter-appropriate attire if you choose to go during this season.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The trail is open all year, except February.
  • Is it expensive?
    The entrance fee is about $45, tour guides vary in price.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Absolutely, hikers are prohibited from trekking without one. Might be worth it to check out our great tours.
  • How to get there
    You'll need to take the bus to kilometer 82, along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes.
  • Additional information
    ** Make sure to do your research and plan ahead, only 500 permits are issued per day. | You need to be fit to hike the trail. | Don't forget extra shoes, bug repellent, sunscreen, and a poncho, among other things!*

What people are saying about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Overall rating
4.4 / 5
based on 70 reviews

An absolutely out of this world, amazing experience!!!

Thank you so much for such an amazing adventure. From start to finish, going over and above expectations to provide a service equal to none. The adventure itself exceeded all expectations. The first day of trekking with amazing views and historical sites was amazing. It was made even more ‘real’ with the wealth of historical knowledge and passion for his culture, that our guide Carlos shared in such an interesting and an engaging way. The second day visiting Machu Picchu was also amazing and once again the insights that Carlos shared, made the experience perfect. It was great to know that the company has an environmental focus and also gives back to local community through sustainable initiatives, with an education focus. I can not recommend this company highly enough and would without hesitation use them in the future.

Knowledgeable, friendly guide Charlie made Inca trail yet more amazing

We went on that 2 day trip with my 11 yo son. It was a great experience for us. The trail connects ancient Inca's cities at the top of the mountains, and is only possible to hike with the local guide. Hiking just a small part (12 km out of total 82 km) on the trail already gives a feeling of the educational-spiritual journey that the Inca nobility did here. Our wonderful, knowledgeable guide Charlie told us a lot about plants, animals, history and spirit of the people who built the trail and its cities. The view from Sun Gate on the trail onto Machy Pichhu is stunning. Thank you Charlie!

Fantastic way to get to know Macchu Picchu surroundings.

Fantastic way to get to know Macchu Picchu surroundings. Our guide was very helpfull and the quality of the stay was nicer than we expected it to be. Food was traditional peruvian cuisine and great everywhere. We only had a small trouble with the train on the way back o Ollantaytambo but that was Peru Rail mistake, not the company.

Things to do near Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Cover photo: Martin Lang, CC BY 2.0