This version of the classic Inca Trail is perfect for trekkers who want to hike the Trail at a slightly more laidback pace. The distance normally hiked on the Trail´s second—and most difficult—day is instead done over Days 2 and 3. Why take it slow? This allows you to sleep later in the mornings, spend more time exploring the Inca archeological sites, and really experience the best of the Trail without rushing–you get to see and appreciate every detail on a whole new level! Once you get to the end of the Trail, you will spend the night relaxing in Aguas Calientes before exploring Machu Picchu the next day.
Please note that there will be trekkers of many different abilities in your Inca Trail group. Our guides are very experienced and will work to accommodate the needs of all of our trekkers in a safe and friendly manner. However, if you and your friends or family all have the same fitness level and you would prefer to hike in a private group, contact us today about booking a private service for your Inca Trail adventure!
Day 1 – Flat Inca Terrain!
Today we pick you up from your hotel at 7 a.m. (click here see the Time in Peru) and travel by bus/van to the start of the trail, a place called Piskacucho, also known as kilometer 82. Upon arrival at kilometer 82, it is necessary to show your entrance tickets, passports, and your student card if you paying a student rate. To start the Inca Trail (2720m/8923ft), we cross the Vilcanota River and follow its route to the right. This first day will be relatively easy (Inca flat!) with little change in terrain. We will go to the Inca Fortress of “Huillca Raccay” from where we will have great views of the area where we are going to camp. Then we will walk down to the vast Inca site – ‘Llactapata’ (sometimes called ‘Patallacta’) where we will spend the night at (2620m/8595ft).
Day 2 – Off the Beaten Path!
Today we will wake up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast, we will start walking towards the village of Wayllabamba, located at (3000m/9842ft). Here we will take a trail off the “beaten path” in order to see a beautiful and less-visited sight on the trail, the Inca fort of Paucarcancha. After viewing this site, we will walk back down to Wayllabamba village for lunch. Finally, we will take a 3-4 hour walk (800m/2624ft) uphill to reach our second campsite, Llullupampa, at an elevation of (3800m/12467ft). This campsite is approximately a 2-hour walk from Abra de Huarmihuañusca/”Dead Woman’s Pass”.
Day 3 – Over 2 passes we go.
This day will be our longest day as we will walk 16 kilometers and traverse the 2 highest passes on the trail. After breakfast, we will continue our uphill climb from the previous day to reach Abra de Huarmihuañusca/”Dead Woman’s Pass”. Located at (4200m/13779ft), this is the highest point of the trail. After this pass, we will walk down to a valley where we will have lunch. This is followed by an ascent to the circular Incan fortress of Runkurakay, before we continue to the second pass which shares it’s name with the fortress below it. This pass is located at an elevation of (4000m/13123ft). We will then begin our walk down to the campsite, visiting the lovely Inca site of Sayacmarca, meaning “High Rising Town”, on the way. Our campsite is located on the third pass, Phuyupatamarka, at an elevation of (3680m/12073ft). It is about an hour and a half walk from Sayacmarca.
Day 4 – Wiñay Wayna!! Wiñay Wayna!!
Today will be the most extraordinary day of the trek. We will visit many Inca sites along the way; “Phuyupatamarka”, “Intipata”, or “Sun Site”, and the most beautiful site on the trail, “Wiñay Wayna”, meaning “Forever Young”. We will leave Wiñay Wayna at 2:00 p.m. in order to get to “Inti Punku”, the Sun Gate, located at (2730m/8792ft). At the Sun Gate, you will have your first dramatic view of Machu Picchu, at an elevation of (2400m/7873ft), and will witness the sunset over the mysterious city. We will continue walking down the last part of the trail to the spot where you can take the classic photo (postcard shot) of this ancient city. After this small break, we will descend to the main entrance, where we can catch the bus down to Aguas Calientes to spend the night.
On the 5th day, Machu Picchu!
We have two options for you to arrive at Machu Picchu. 1) You can hike for one and a half hours from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu by taking the famous stairs, or 2)
You can take a bus up to Machu Picchu. By waking up early, you will be able to witness the magnificent sunrise at this ancient city.
Price: US $850 per person. Including a Personal Porter to carry (7kg/15lbs) 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.
Please notice: Pick up and drop off from your accommodation is included in all our tours.
Don´t need a Personal Porter? – US $30 discount.
Student Discount (with valid ISIC card) – US$20 discount.
We also offer a discount of US$20 to children under the age of 16 years old.
Please notice: Our Inca Trail service begins and ends at your hotel in Cusco. Pick up and drop off from you hotel is included.
Storage during your Inca Trail Trek : 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 store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to store your belongings for you.
Train for the end of your Inca Trail Trek:
The most common departure times that we book for our tourists is 2:30 p.m. or the 2:55 p.m. train. On the final day of the Inca Trail Trek, we will wake up very early, in order to hike or take the bus to Machu Picchu in time for the sunrise. We understand that you will be very tired after a long trek, and this departure time will allow to eat an early lunch, while still having plenty of time to explore the ancient Incan city and to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain. After a refreshing lunch in Aguas Calientes, you will enjoy the train journey back to Cusco.
The 2:30 p.m. train will arrive in Ollantaytambo train station at 4:05 p.m., and the 2:55 train will arrive a bit later at 4:30 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 6:30 p.m., or 7:00 p.m.
You may also choose to update your train ticket to the Vistadome train, for an extra cost of (US $75).
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 / Not Included
What is included in the price?
- 7 kg /15 lb luggage allowance to be carried by our Porters (you will trek only with your day pack which is way more confortable than carrying a big bag!)
- A professional guide who is fluent in English
- Private transportation to the start of the trail
- Inca Trail and Machu Picchu entrance fees
- Two-person tents with plenty of room for your backpacks
- Sleeping mattress(pad)
- Meals cooked by an experienced chef: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks! Delicious food rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking All our food is prepared from organic vegetables and fresh ingredients
- Vegetarian/special diet options available To check our meal on the trek click: www.intisuntrek.com/what-about-food-and-water.html
- Water (we will provide you with boiled and filtered cold water during the trek after lunch on the first day. However, 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.
- We strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu.
- Porters to carry the tents, food, and cooking equipment
- Dining and kitchen tents
- Porter’s health insurance paid for by INTI SUN TREK
- First aid kit including an emergency oxygen bottle
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes doubles or triple rooms, private bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, and storage while you visit Machu Picchu.
- Dinner in Aguas Calientes on the 4th day
- Three-way bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes/ Machu Picchu
- Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Bus/van from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
Breakfast on the first morning. Some hotels offer an early morning breakfast service. If not, we will stop in the town of Ollantaytambo on the way to the start of the trek where you will have the chance to buy breakfast.
Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day.
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 to have an idea click : www.intisuntrek.com/tipsforthehardworkingstaff.html
What you need to bring:
- Original passport
- Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
- Sleeping bag
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack ( smaller, the better)
- Water storage: we strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
FOR YOUR DUFFEL:
Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
- 2-3 wicking t-shirts
- 2-3 hiking pants
- 4 sets of undergarments.
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
- 1 Rain jacket and pants
- 1 sun hat
- 1 wool hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Quick-dry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean – might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
- Face moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Toilet paper
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band-aids, moleskin, etc.
INSIDE YOUR DAYPACKS:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.
- Water beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or Camel Back. We recommend carrying about 2L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal
- Rain gear
- Music (iPhone)
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper and a small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
Before You Go
What will the personal porter carry?
This Inca Trail Trek includes the services of a personal porter for no extra cost. You can give him up to 7kg/15lbs of your belongings to carry. Your sleeping bag will weigh approximately 2kg and your air mattress approximately 1kg. This makes a combined weight of 3kg, leaving 4kg/9lbs of personal items (clothing, toiletries, etc) to add to the bag carried by the porter. However, you will still need to bring a daypack with essentials such as water, sunscreen, hat, camera, ect.
When will I receive my duffel bag to put my belongings in?
We will lend you one of our specially designed duffel bags at the briefing for the Trek the night before we depart. We use these bags to insure that they fit securely and comfortably on the porters´ backs.
Will the personal porter carry my duffle bag to Aguas Calientes?
Yes. We will store your belongings in a secure place in Aguas Calientes before you arrive there.
All briefings are done at our office at 6:00 PM the night before your trek. If you are unable to make this time, you need to coordinate another time with a member of the Inti Sun Trek office team. Briefings are approximately 30 -45 minutes long.
Renewal or change passport number?
If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you must send us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to make the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and train.)
If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or train. If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!
Inti Sun Trek is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city,we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.
Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Very small hotels and Air BNBs are often located on streets that cars can not pass through. They also are often located up on the hillside, with long steep climbs to the property, difficult to maneuver with luggage. We highly recommend that you do not stay at one of these places.
What time does the Trek Begin?
We will pick you up from you hotel/hostel in Cusco at 7:00 a.m.
How many hours per day will we walk on the trek?
We will walk for approximately 6 hour per day at a reasonable pace. This time will depend on the pace of the group.
Can I explore Machu Picchu on the fourth day of the trek?
This trek gives you the option to explore Machu Picchu twice! On the fourth day of the trek, we will arrive at the Sun Gate early in the afternoon. You may then choose to explore Machu Picchu before witnessing the sunset and heading down to Aguas Calientes for dinner and a night in a hostel. We will then wake up early on the final day of the trek to head back to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the city. After the walking tour, you will have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain.
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 to be at a moderate fitness level 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 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 there. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day and with the same airline carrier, you must collect your bags in Lima and then check them again before continuing to Cusco.
The best way to get to Cusco is by air: LATAM tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights.
Regardless of the airline you choose, expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land and any inclement weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is also 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 you will be coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about twenty 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. Since 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.
Weather: Of course, the 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 they 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, waterproof and with good traction, 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 (they 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 taken 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, which sometimes affects 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 make the necessary arrangements. Often, this involves leaving for your trek early, 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 transport 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.