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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Our most recommended tours and activities

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Classic 4-Day Trek

1. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Classic 4-Day Trek

Hike the unforgettable Inca Trail, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Participate in one of the world’s oldest pilgrimages on this 4-day program that is consistently ranked among the 10 best hikes on the planet. Pass through a number of different ecological zones home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Spot a variety of orchids and bromeliads, as well as hummingbirds, foxes, and deer. Strike lucky and you may even catch a glimpse of the magnificent South American Bear. Explore archaeological sites and farming terraces that were left behind by the Incas and remained undiscovered for over 400 years. Finish the hike in Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most spectacular historical sites on earth. Day 1: Training day! Cusco – Km 82 – LLactapata – Ayapata (14km, 6hrs).- Depart from your hotel around 4:30 am and drive to Km 82 to start the 6-hour hiking on the first day of the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. The first campsite is located at 3300m (10826ft); we spend the night in comfortable tents. Day 2: The Challenge! Ayapata – Warmiwañuska – Chaquicocha (16km, 10 hrs).- The most challenging and longest day of the 4 day Machu Picchu Trek, passing two mountains in 10hrs of hiking: The first mountain is Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of the Inca Trail with 4215m (13829ft). The second mountain is Runqurakay Pass, with 4000m (13123ft). Day 3: The easy day! Chaquiccocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñaywayna (10km, 6hrs). The most beautiful and relaxing day, hiking is only 6-hours passing through different ecological zones. Today, you will also visit several beautiful archaeological sites, including Wiñaywayna, located at 2600m (8530ft); we camp only 2 hours from Machu Picchu. Day 4: Discover Machu Picchu! Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco (6km, 2 hrs), Wake up early and hike for 2 hours to Machu Picchu through the Sungate from where we will have a unique view of Machu Picchu. After exploring Machu Picchu, you will board the Panoramic trains to return. Drop off back at your hotel around 7:30 pm.

Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

2. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then return to base-camp to spend the night. Day 2: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through the “cloud forest.” Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa - Santa Teresa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, take a 40-minute car ride towards Santa Teresa where attractions include hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Here you will spend the night.  Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, canopy, or hot springs. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing trough waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. You will have some free time to explore at leisure and you can use it to climb to Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu mountain (if booked in advance). Alternatively, you can trek to the Sun Gate at the main entrance of the Inka Trail. Take the train to Ollantaytambo at approximately 6:30 PM and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

Cusco: Inca Jungle Backpacker Trek with Machu Picchu

3. Cusco: Inca Jungle Backpacker Trek with Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cuzco to Malaga High Pass and Mountain Biking to Santa Maria Village (1,400 meters) Your day starts at 6:30AM with a 1.5-hour drive to Ollantaytambo. There you can enjoy a quick breakfast and buy some snacks for the road to the Malaga High Pass. As you arrive your guide will provide you a safety briefing before you begin an adrenaline-pumping 2.5-hour bike ride down into the lush Peruvian jungle. On the journey down you will see the stunning and remote Huamanmarca Archaeological Site, as you cruise through fruit plantations and over rivers before arriving to the Santa Maria Village. You will then have free time, before your day concludes with a drive to Santa Teresa where you will rest in a hostel dorm. Day 2: Trek to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu town You'll begin with an easy 3-hour hike along the train tracks from Santa Teresa to the Hydroelectric Station where you will stop for lunch. From there, continue for 3 hours on foot to reach Aguas Calientes Town where you will find cafes with board games, plenty of shops, and places to relax. Most people hike this portion of the trek, but there is an optional train ride from Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes if you're feeling tired. You'll later overnight in a hostel for a well-deserved shower and good night's rest. Day 3: Machu Picchu and Return to Cuzco Wake up early to walk up to Machu Picchu where you will get prepared for a 2-hour guided tour of the ancient citadel. Following this, you can explore the mysterious city on your own. If time allows, you can also visit the local marketplace next to the train station and shop until the train whistle blows, signaling your return to Ollantaytambo.

Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

4. Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

Day 1: Cusco to Wayllabamba After pick-up Cusco, drive for 1.5 hours by bus to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where the trek begins. The walking on the first day is relatively easy. Along the way you will visit the ruined city of Patallacta, and Willkarakay, a military post located above Patallacta. Then enter the lush valley of Wayllabamba, walking along the banks of the Cusichaca River. The trail continues gradually upward through dense Andean forest, to the first campsite in Wayllabamba. Day 2: Wayllabamba to Pacaymayu You will start early, as the walking is physically intense for those who are not accustomed to high altitudes. Trek through the densely vegetated Andean forest until you arrive at a campsite, where you will take a short rest. Continuing your ascent in the afternoon, the habitat will begin to change. After another rest, with snacks and hot drinks, begin the final ascent to a 4,215 meter pass, the highest point of the trek. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys below, then descend to the campsite in Pacaymayu for the night. Day 3: Pacaymayu to Wiñay Wayna  Visit the archaeological site of Runkurakay, a former resting lodge for ancient pilgrims. Then after a 45-minute ascent, you will reach the second highest pass of the Inca trail. Descend to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca. After visiting the site, continue down the beautifully paved road to the lunch stop. From here you will enter the high Andean cloud forest. The trail continues along a narrow ridge, arriving at a natural viewing area, where it is possible to see the Sacred Valley and numerous mountain peaks, as well as Machu Picchu. From here, descend to the campsite at Wiñay Wayna, passing an important archaeological site and a temple where offerings are made to the sacred mountain spirits. Day 4: Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu Rise early to complete the final stretch of the Inca Trail. After about an hour you will reach the Sun Gate, and see the sunrise over the Andes (weather permitting). A 45-minute walk will take you into the higher area of Machu Picchu. Take a 2-hour tour to learn more about this magical place, and then you will have time to explore the citadel by yourself. The climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is optional (at additional cost and must be booked in advance). In the afternoon you will descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will receive your train tickets for the return journey to Cusco. The train will arrive to Ollantaytambo, where you will be picked up and driven by bus back to your hotel in Cusco.

Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

5. Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

Day 1: Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo Start your adventure bright and early and meet your guide at your accomodation at 4:00 AM. After a short drive to Ollantaytambo, you will set off on a 1.5-hour train ride to Chachabamba, taking in the scenery of the Urubamba river along the way. From the checkpoint at Chachabamba you will start your trekking experience. Visit the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñay Huayna and take in the variety of flora and fauna. Enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, and from here you can take in one of the most spectacular views of the Lost City of the Incas. Arrive in Machu Picchu late in the afternoon and have the unique opportunity to see the city almost empty. After a short bus ride to your hotel you can enjoy a relaxed end to the day with dinner and a comfortable sleep.   Day 2: Machu Picchu to Cusco After another early start you will prepare to visit Machu Picchu, the highlight of the tour. Board your bus at 5:30 AM, just as the sun rises. Take a picturesque walk up to the Sun Gate with beautiful views of the city along the way. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore on your own. You also have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. After a full day of sightseeing you will be conveniently shuttled back to your accomodation for a relaxing end to your Inca exploring adventure. 

From Cusco: Short or Classic Inca Trail Tour

6. From Cusco: Short or Classic Inca Trail Tour

Hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, considered to be one of the best walks in the world and perfect for visitors to Peru who are in search of a good adventure. Follow the ancient path that was traced by the Incas used to connect different cities and temples of the Inca Empire. Classic Option (4 Days, 3 Nights) Day 1: Get picked up from your hotel in Cusco very early in the morning and take a bus to the town of Chilca. Begin your hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. After approximately 3 hours of walking arrive at a beautiful Inca building known as Llactapata in the base of the mountains, where you will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, continue walking towards the first campsite at 3,000 meters, called Wayllabamba. Enjoy dinner at the camp.  Day 2: Wake up in the early morning. After breakfast, begin the toughest and the most amazing part of the trail, walking towards the highest point of the Inca Trail. Take in the panoramic views and observe different types of microclimates at 4,250 meters. After a 5 hour walk, reach the first pass, called Warmiwañusca or Dead Woman's Pass. Then, continue your walk down to Pacaymayo to each lunch and spend the night at the campsite. Day 3: After breakfast, hike towards the second pass of the Inca Trail, at 3,950 meters above sea level. On the way, enjoy the archaeological complex of Runkurakay, Sayacmarca. Stop for lunch at Phuyupatamarca (also known as the Cloud-Level Town). Descend down to one of the most beautiful Inca sites along the trail, Wiñay Huayna (which means Forever Young). Stay overnight nearby and enjoy a small party with the trekking crew at camp.  Day 4: After breakfast, get up early to watch the sunrise at Inti Punku. After 1.5-hours of walking through the cloud forest, reach the Gate of the Sun, for the most impressive panoramic view of Machu Picchu. Arrive at the citadel for a 2-hour guided tour around the magnificent complex, and then take a bus down to Aguas Calientes. From there, catch a train back, where your adventure will end. Short Option (2 days, 1 night) Day 1: First, depart from Cusco to the train station in Ollantaytambo. Board the train that will take you to the starting point of the hike. Walk for approximately 3 hours until you reach the archaeological complex of Wiñay Wayna.  After lunch, explore the houses and terraces, then visit the Inti Punku, the Inca Gate of the Sun. Admire your first views of Machu Picchu, then take the bus to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in a 3-star hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, get picked up by your guide at the hotel. Visit Machu Picchu and spend a full day exploring the site. After this incredible visit, return to the town of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) and take the train bound for the Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival, hop into a car and transfer back to the main square in Cusco where your tour concludes.

4-Day Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Biking and Rafting

7. 4-Day Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Biking and Rafting

Experience the thrill of adventure, the breathtaking natural beauty of the Inca Trail, and the marvel of Machu Picchu on a 4-day tour from Cusco. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Cusco – Santa Maria (Bike and Rafting) Travel by bus to the high mountain pass of Malaga, where you’ll start your descent on a mountain bike to the town Huamanmarca. The bus will take you to the town of Santa Maria, where you’ll have a short break before beginning a rafting adventure on class III and IV rapids. Overnight at a home stay in Santa Maria. Day 2: Santa Maria – Santa Teresa (Trekking) Begin your trek with an ascent, stopping along the way to learn about the local flora and fauna. Enjoy a rest stop to resupply with water and taste regional tropical fruit. Cross a section of the Inca Trail that historically connected Machu Picchu with the city of Vilcabamba. Take in impressive views of the Huancarccasa Canyon. Descend to the small town of Quellomayo for lunch and a rest in a hammock. Continue to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. Overnight in a home stay in Santa Teresa. Day 3: Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes (Trekking and Zipline) Begin your trek to Aguas Calientes after breakfast. Walk through the Aobamba Valley, stopping for lunch along the way. See a series of waterfalls and admire the majesty of the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Overnight at the Hatun Samay Hotel or similar. Day 4: Machu Picchu – Cusco Get an early start and board one of the first buses to Machu Picchu. See the sun rise over the Incan city and have plenty of time to take photos. Enjoy a guided tour of the site and hear about the history of Machu Picchu and its most important structures. From the top of Huayna Picchu take in breathtaking view of the complete Machu Picchu area. Take a bus down to the village of Aguas Calientes for lunch before heading back to Cusco.

Cusco: Machu Picchu Inca Trail 4-Day Trek

8. Cusco: Machu Picchu Inca Trail 4-Day Trek

Take on one of the most spectacular sections of the vast Inca trail network on a 4-day trek over 45 kilometer (28 miles) of mountain trails. The adventure ends at the famous Inca citadel, Machu Picchu. Day 1: Cusco to WayllabambaThe journey begins with hotel pickup in Cusco. Make a quick stop in Ollantaytambo to buy any last-minute supplies before heading to Kilometer 82, the official starting point of the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu. Hike for 3 hours through farmland along the Urubamba river to reach the Llactapata archeological site where lunch will be served by the chef and porter. After lunch, hike another 3 hours to reach the campsite in Wayllabamba where you will have dinner and enjoy the mountain scenery. Accommodation: Wayllabamba Maximum altitude: 3,000 m (9,850 ft) Temperature during day: 10ºC - 23ºC (50ºF - 74ºF) Hiking distance: approx. 12 km (7.5 mi) Day 2: Wayllabamba to Pacaymayo The day starts with breakfast at camp followed by an uphill climb of approximately 7 km (4.3 mi). This is considered the hardest part of the trail, but the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys at the end make it worth the climb. After enjoying the vistas, hike 3 km (2 mi) downhill to the second campsite where the porter will be waiting with lunch. Spend the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the mountain scenery. Accommodation: Pacamayo Maximum altitude: 4,200 m (13,779 ft) Temperature during day: 3ºC - 20ºC (37ºF - 68ºF) Hiking distance: approx. 10 km (6.2 mi) Day 3: Pacaymayo - Wiñayhuayna Start the day with remarkable views from the Inca lookout of Runcurakay. Learn the historic significance of this site while admiring the mountain passes below. Next, descend 1.5 hours of stairs to Sayacmarca, perched high on the ridge. Lunch will be near the archeological site of Puyupatamarca, known as the "City Above the Clouds." Keep descending into a rainforest filled with orchids, bromeliads, and ferns. The day ends in Wiñayhuayna, the Quechua term for "forever young." Day 4: Wiñayhuayna - Sun Gate - Machu Picchu - Cusco The adventure ends with a 2-hour hike to the Machu Picchu archeological site. Upon arrival, pass through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) and marvel at the panoramic views of Machu Picchu. After a guided tour and some time to snap some pictures, travel 1.5 hours to Ollantaytambo by train and then 1.5 hours to Cusco by bus (both tickets available as add-ons). Maximum altitude: 2,900 m (9,514 ft) Temperature during day: 10ºC - 27ºC (50ºF - 80ºF) Hiking distance: approx. 6 km (3.7 mi)

Cusco: 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

9. Cusco: 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cusco, KM 104, and Machu Picchu You will be picked up in the early morning from your hotel from where you will be transferred to the train station in Ollantaytambo. Once there, you will take the train for 1.5 hours to KM 104. You'll pass the checkpoint at KM 104 from where you will begin trekking for around 3.5 hours to Wiñayhuayna. As you ascend you will be able to take pictures of the beautiful landscapes, including views to the sacred Wilkanota River and Challabamba. At the archeological site of Wiñaywayna your tour guide will explain to you the function of the site, and once you have enjoyed a delicious box lunch you will continue along the classic Inca Trail to arrive to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From this place you will be able to enjoy the beautiful and unforgettable views of Machu Picchu's Citadel, after which you will travel down the trail for around an hour to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunset. From Machu Picchu you will take a bus for 30 minutes to Aguas Calientes Village, where you will be taken to your hotel. You'll end your day in the evening with a delicious dinner with your guide. Day 2: Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, and Cusco   Following breakfast at your hotel, you will head to Machu Picchu by bus. Inside Machu Picchu you will receive a 2-hour guided tour during which you will learn about the types of amazing constructions, the engineering of the terraces, and the most important places in Machu Picchu (including how they were used). When you finish your tour you’ll return to Aguas Calientes by bus or by hiking. Once at the village you you will find that there is plenty to discover, as you explore the shops, crafts, and art, and can also enjoy the hot springs or try new foods. Later in the afternoon you will take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where as you arrive you will meet with your driver who will return you to your hotel in Cusco.

From Cusco: 2-Day Trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

10. From Cusco: 2-Day Trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

DAY 1: We will start this great adventure with the pick up from your hotel at 8:00 am to go to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Pisac, Colonial Inca, discover one of the Inca archaeological sites, on top of the mountain with impressive stone walls, agricultural terraces, irrigation systems and the largest cemetery of the Inca Empire. Time to shop at the craft market, where artisans sell their ceramics, textiles, jewelry, Andean instruments, alpaca products, and souvenirs. We will continue our trip of approximately 1 hour through the Sacred Valley to Urubamba where we will have time to have lunch in one of the local restaurants that offers several traditional dishes, made with fresh products. In the afternoon, visit the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo, where you can appreciate the technique with which the Incas worked the stone, the last Inca citadel standing. The city is built on ancient Inca buildings. Explore the archaeological site of the city that has temples, terraces, warehouses and a large Inca monolith. Next, we will depart by train from the Ollantaytambo station, we will arrive at the Aguas Calientes station, where our staff will assist you to stay in one of the hotels in Aguas Calientes. (Select between a tour with or without accommodation). DAY 2: In the morning the guide will pick you up at the hotel to board the transport that will ascend an intricate path giving us a spectacular view of the Urubamba River that shapes the famous canyon. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will welcome you with its incredible terraces, stairways, ceremonial precincts and urban areas where energy emanates from all over the place. After a guided tour, you will have the opportunity to have lunch in one of the restaurants in the area. At the coordinated time, we will return by train and we will be transferred to the hotel in Cusco, ending with a great experience.

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What people are saying about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 122 reviews

An all round excellent adventurous fun trip!! Our tour guide Saul was fab with plenty on experience and knowledge throughout the 4 days! The hotels and food for fabulous & the organisation of everything including all the activities was great. Would definitely recommend booking the tour, we are so glad we went! Worth every penny :) The hike on day 2 is pretty long with lots of up hills so that may be something you want to bear in mind. Take comfortable shoes and breathe able clothes as it gets very hot. Pack light too!!

With Nilo as a guide and the porters, everything was perfect. The organization went smoothly. The tour with 2 x more than 4,000 m in one day is exhausting, but you get unique impressions,

The Tour guide Fernando is really helpful and knowledgeable! We really enjoyed the hike with him. Big thumb up!

Exceeded my expectations. It was super structured. It was all really in order.

It was a great tour, the accommodation was better as I thought