- 100% Operated by Inti Sun Trek, we never put you with other tour operators.
- Our itinerary stays ahead of the pack which allows us to use campsites that are less crowded, away from the crowd.
- Small intimate group, will provide you a big adventure
- Pick up and drop off from your hotel in Cusco, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo (any hotel)
- A once-in-a-lifetime spiritual adventure, the Classic Inca Trail offers breathtaking views of Machu Picchu from the entrance on the Inca Trail that most tourists don’t get to see.
- Trek the most popular & historical path in the world
- Trek the only trail that leads you directly to Machu Picchu by foot through the Sun Gate.
- Pass through diverse wilderness, amazing scenery and numerous Inca ruins on the magnificent stone highway before descending to the famed citadel of Machu Picchu
- Hike on the original trail created for the Incas
- Get fresh delicious meals prepared by our mountain expert chefs.
- Best native tour guides out there with degree in tourism and speaks english.
- Porter welfare and insurance.
Cusco (3,300m) – Km82 (2550m/8269ft) – Yuncachimpa (3000m/9842ft)
The first day of the hike is fairly easy and serves as a warm up for the days to follow. Our hikers are picked up early from their hotels, (5:30 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.), and travel by bus through the pretty villages of Chinchero, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. The scenic trip lasts for 2 and a half hours before we arrive at kilometre 82, the start of the trail, located at (2550m/8269ft). Our buses normally stop at the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley for about an hour to give passengers the opportunity to have breakfast.
At km 82, our hikers cross the Vilcanota River and embark on this unforgettable journey. You will be amazed by the great views of the Cordillera Oriental and the snow-capped peak of Veronica. We will start our trek not far from where Hiram Bingham returned in 1915 to begin his re-discovery of the Inca Trail. From here, the trail is flat for almost two hours of hiking until we arrive at our first Inca site, Llactapata. On our way we will pass through the resting point of Mescay, where there are bathroom facilities. The path then follows the left bank of the Cusichaca River to the small village of Wayllabamba, located at (3000m/9900ft), that serves as the checkpoint for the porters.
Continuing on, we will walk for one more hour until we reach the Tres Piedras, or Ayapata, which is going to be our first camp of the Trek. Please note that with this itinerary, we may want to walk one more hour in order to walk for less time on the second day.
Yuncachimpa (3000m/9842ft) – Dead Woman’s Pass (4200m/13779ft) – Pacaymayu – Chaquicocha
This is perhaps the most challenging day of the trek since we will go over two high passes and walk 4 hours uphill. In the morning, we will pass by Llullucha Pampa, the last place along the trail that you can buy snacks and drinks. We will continue hiking uphill for two hours until we arrive to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass, located at (4200m/13779ft).
This is the highest point of the Inca Trail. Once at the top, our hikers can celebrate having completed the most difficult section of the trail while taking some beautiful pictures of the scenery. We will then start to walk down for one and a half hours until we reach Pacaymayo, at (3600m/11880ft), where we will have lunch. Here there are bathroom facilities. After our lunch, we will continue hiking uphill for 2 hours until we reach the Runcuracay pass, at (3900m/12900ft), which is the second highest point of the Inca Trail. On the way we will also pass the small Inca site of Runcuracay. We will then continue walking down for 2 hours until we will reach our second campsite, Chaquichocha.
However, before we arrive at the campsite, we will pass by Sacyacmarca, an inca site along the way. The name Sayacmarca means “Inaccessible Town” and describes the position of the ruins perfectly. They are protected on three sides by sheer cliffs. From this point, the path descends into a magnificent cloud-forest full of orchids, hanging mosses, tree ferns, and flowers.
Chaquicocha – Wiñay Wayna
On this day we will walk for only 5 hours and see 3 Inca sites along the way. Many of our hikers say that this is the easiest and most unforgettable day. From Chaquicocha, we will walk for about an hour and a half to get to Phuyupatamarca, the third pass, at an elevation of (3550m/11550ft). On the way, we will pass through an impressive Inca tunnel carved into the rock. From here, there are spectacular views of several snow-capped peaks, including Machu Picchu Mountain and the town of Aguas Calientes.
The Inca site Phuyupatamarca is located a short walk from the third pass. After visiting the site, we will continue our way down along a path featuring over 2,000 steps all the way to our final campsite, Wiñay Wayna, located at (2750m/8910ft). Wiñay Wayna is carved deep into the hillside above the Urubamba River and means “forever young” in Quechua. At Wiñay Wayna, we will have the final opportunity to thank our porters for their tremendous efforts at the tipping ceremony, as in the morning they will descend downhill while we continue on to our final goal.
The Glory of Machu Picchu!
On our final day, we will wake up before dawn and prepare for one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of our lives, arriving at Machu Picchu. We will leave the last campsite at about 5:30 a.m., and after an hour of walking, we will arrive at Inti Punku, meaning: “Sun Gate”, at an elevation of (2730m/8792ft). From Inti Punku, you will be amazed by your first dramatic view of the sun rising over Machu Picchu.
After soaking in the view, we will walk down the final part of the trail and approach the ancient city, where we will be able to celebrate our accomplishment and take unforgettable pictures together in this amazing place.
We will descend to the main entrance, where we can leave our backpacks, use the restroom, and enjoy a quick coffee. After our break, we will re-enter Machu Picchu for a walking tour of the mysterious city, followed by four hours of free time for your own exploration of the Incan site.
After enjoying our final hours at Machu Picchu, you will take the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes, where we will meet for lunch. You will then be given your train tickets for the return trip to Cusco.
US$ 600 per person .
We can depart any day of the week, as long as permits are available. Please remember, permits are only needed for your start
Important: If you are not used to walking / trekking with a back pack, you should consider do the our 4 day Inca Trail including a personal porter.
Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. While this hike is done on your own, your guide will direct you to where this hike begins. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you with advance notice.The ticket is $75 per person.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu mountain is the other mountain that stands above the Machu Picchu ruins. It offers even more stunning views than Huayna Picchu, but takes an hour and a half to reach the top. This is an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you.This ticket is $75 per person.
The Vistadome train is an upgraded train, that offers slightly larger seats, windows and even some entertainment. Normally, the Vistadome train is booked at 3:20 p.m. and travels to Poroy, a train station closer to Cusco. While this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel.
This train is $75 per person.
Return train for the end of the Inca Trail: Your return train to Cusco is the Expedition train which departs either at 6:35 or 7:00 p.m. We can also book an afternoon train departure time of 2:55 or 4:35 p.m. for you if you prefer, at an extra cost of US $25. The train we will book depends on availability and will be confirmed at your briefing. There is also an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome train which is an extra US $65 per person. Please let us know your preference at the time of booking the tour. Unfortunately, none of the trains go straight to Cusco, they run either to Ollantaytambo or Poroy.
The 6:35 p.m. train will arrive in Ollantaytambo train station at 8:05 p.m., and the 7:00.p.m train will arrive a bit later at 8:40 p.m. You will be picked up by your driver outside of the train station. The driver will be holding a sign with your name on it so that there is no confusion. If you do not see the driver initially, just wait for them outside of the train station. Once the driver has picked you up, you will travel for 1 1/2 hours in a van before you arrive back at your hotel/hostel. Arrival time in Cusco is approximately 9:30 p.m., or 22:10 p.m.
Important: We guarantee these departure times, as per the itinerary, only if you book your tours in advance. Otherwise, we may be forced to offer you a train that departs at a later time. Note: We will still pick you up at Ollantaytambo train station and bring you back to your hotel in Cusco regardless of your departure time.
Included in the price:
- Pre-departure briefing the night before of your tour in our office.
- Pick up from your hotel
- Professional tour guide who is fluent in English
- Private bus to km 82- the beginning of our trek
- Inca Trail entrance fees
- Machu Picchu entrance fee
- Two-person tents with plenty of room for your backpacks
- Inflatable sleeping mattress
- Meals cooked by an experienced chef: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, and snacks!
- Delicious food rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking
- All our food is prepared from organic vegetables and fresh ingredients vegetarian, vegan, gluten, wheat free, or special diets options available
- Water (we will provide you with boiled and filtered cold water during the trek after lunch on the first day.
- You will need to bring a container to carry your water in. Also, you need to ensure that you pack a sufficient amount of water for the first half-day of the Trek
- Porters to carry camping equipment: (tourist tents, dinning and cooking tents, table, stools, cooking gear, stove, gas container, cutlery, plates, food, and fresh vegetables).
- Portable toilet and toilet tent
- Porter’s health insurance paid for by INTI SUN TREK
- First aid kit including an emergency oxygen bottle and radios
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes
- Expediton train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Bus transfer from Ollantaytambo train station to your Hotel in Cusco
- Breakfast on the first morning. Some hotels offer an early morning breakfast service. If not, we stop at the town of Ollantaytambo on the way to the start of the trek where you’ll have the chance to buy breakfast.
- Personal porter
- Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day.
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu.
- Entrance to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes (optional: 10 soles).
- Sleeping bags can be rented from our office for US $20 for the entire trek (every sleeping bag is washed prior to each use).
- Tips for the guide, cook and porters.
- Optional overnight stay in Aguas Calientes (We can change the date of your train ticket, if you advise us before paying the deposit).
What you need to bring:
- Original passport
- For students: ISIC card
- A daypack to carry your personal belongings
- We provide a duffle bag for your a personal porter.
- Insurance card/certificate
- Hiking boots
- Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Hat and gloves
- 2-4 t-shirts
- 2 pairs of pants (1 for hiking, 1 for camp)
- Long underwear for sleeping/thermal underwear
- Hand sanitizer
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat or cap
- Personal First Aid Kit, Insect repellent
- Water and/or water purification tablets
- Toiletries/ toilet paper
- Personal medication
- Camera and Batteries
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Extra money for tips/snacks/beer. (We recommend at least 200-350 extra soles). (US $120)
Optional items to bring:
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Walking stick
- Bathing suit for hot springs in Aguas Calientes
Before you go
Hiking in the Andes: Hiking the Andes is something that everyone can do no matter what age, but it is never easy. You will need some level of fitness to be able to complete it comfortably. Each trail involves inclines that can take your breath away if you are not in shape and downhill hiking that can be tough on one’s knees. Walking sticks are encouraged for everyone. Please remember the group treks are open to everyone, all abilities, so be patient and help those struggling with some kind words.
Getting to Cusco: The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.
The best way to get to Cusco is by air and there are several options in airlines. LATAM tends to be the most expensive, but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.
Storage during your trek to Machu Picchu: Most of our trekkers leave their belongings that they do not want to bring on the trek in the hostel they were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can securely store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to store your belongings for you Make sure your bags have some kind of identification on them so they are easy to locate.
Your Safety is our first concern: Trekking the Andes is not your typical vacation. And most people who come to visit us have little to no experience of life this high up in the mountains. We understand the large responsibility we have in ensuring that you are well taken care of every step of the way.
First Aid: Each year Inti Sun Trek guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February – every single guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They know how to make you feel better. It is important to be very honest with your guide as soon as you are experiencing any discomfort. If you suffer from any medical conditions, please let your guide know during the briefing so he is prepared to give you extra attention, if needed.
In case something unexpected happens and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way off the course and to a clinic. You will never be left alone, you will have a member of the team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and reconnect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.
Travel Insurance: To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. This is a great way to protect yourself while visiting Peru.
Altitude: Altitude sickness is serious and has the potential to ruin your trip. The biggest mistake you can make is to fly directly to Cuzco and expect to hike the next day. Give yourself several days to adjust to the altitude first. You will thank yourself for this during the trek.
The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. This is why we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. If you have more time, even better. Cusco is an amazing city with a lot to do, so you won’t be bored.
With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office and we will help you get to a doctor.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.
You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly. Drink lots of water. And enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you unfortunately get sick, let your guide know right away – all guides are trained in how to help you get through it.
Weather: Of course weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant. You will notice that there is a large variation between the minimum and maximum temperatures on the trek. In general, when the sun is out it will be very hot. In this heat, you need to drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated. The early hours of the morning and night can be very cold. As a result, you need to be prepared for just about every weather condition.
What to wear for the trek: One of the most important investments for this trek is a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Your feet will thank you after the long trek if your shoes are well worn in and waterproof. The temperature varies throughout the trek, so it is best to dress in layers. Avoid cotton, as cotton does not dry quickly and wet clothing will be a problem when the temperatures drop pack for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater/microfleece, and a waterproof jacket. These items will provide you with enough warmth and will allow you to “peel off” layers as it gets warmer or your body temperature increases. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm winter-weight jacket.During the rainy season: Rain pants are a good idea as we will encounter a lot of mud, rivers, and rain. A plastic poncho is also great because it will keep you and your pack dry. You can also pack your belongings inside of plastic bags to ensure that your belongings stay dry.
Do I need to bring hiking boots: Hiking boots are recommended, as they provide ankle support to reduce the risk of injury, especially when trekking in the wet season (December – March). However, it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in. Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals, using new boots, or renting boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.
Can I use walking sticks on the Inca Trail: Many people like to hike with trekking poles or walking sticks. This is fine as long as the poles will not cause damage to the stone paving along the Inca Trail. If the trekking poles have metal spikes, then these must be protected by rubber tips. We recommend bringing some spare rubber tips with you. These rubber protectors can be purchased in Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Wooden walking sticks are fine as long as you bring them with you from home.
Recently, government authorities have stopped trekkers from using wooden sticks that could have come from local forests to prevent deforestation of the protected Andean region.
Strikes in Peru: A popular way for the people in Peru to communicate unhappiness with the government is to strike. This area sees quite a few strikes a year that can sometimes affect the logistics involved in our tours. Most strikes are well organized and planned in advance so the office will have at least a few hours to arrange the needed
Changes for logistics. Often this involves leaving for your trek the night before. Please understand we will do everything we can to get you to and from the trail and will give you the information you need as soon as we have it. We will always get you to and from the trail very safely.
Environmental Impact: We Use biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups, as well. We also use environmentally-friendly chemical portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.