Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
Inca Trail

Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu

7 days

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Adventure and mystery await you on this 7-day guided Inca Trail Hike in Peru

There are many ways to visit Machu Picchu, but only one route takes you along the route ancient Inca royalty used to approach the city. When you’re on the classic Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu, you are following in the footsteps of their sacred pilgrimage.

The Inca Trail Hike gives you the chance to explore the ancient Inca capital city of Cusco, then see several other archaeological sites left by the Inca until reaching the climax of the trip: your first view of Machu Picchu – at sunrise. Explore the mysterious city on a guided tour and on your own. This incredible Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu truly has it all.

Inca Trail Hike

The Inca Trail Hike through the beautiful Andes mountains takes you through incredibly diverse cloud forests and up mountain passes to stunning overlooks that will take your breath away. Along the trail, you will witness the unique plant and animal life that calls this region home, as well as the rich culture of the region Amazing landscapes, wonderful wildlife, and the fascinating history of the Incan people all come together to make this a tour that you won’t want to miss.

The journey along the Inca Trail was a sacred and life-changing journey for the Incas, and you might find it to be the same for you. The classic trek itself will take 4 days and 3 nights to complete; however, the entire tour will cover a period of 7 days, allowing you to spend some extra time in Cusco to acclimatize and soak up as much culture as possible. It is from here that you will set out with your porters and guides on the journey of a lifetime.

After taking the time to prepare for your adventure, you will begin making through dense forests and the beautifully scenic terrain of the Andes Mountains to traverse the breathtaking heights of Dead Woman’s Pass, before finally arriving at the world-famous site of Machu Picchu. After exploring the mountaintop citadel of the Inca people, you will wrap up your time on the Inca Trail Trek and head back to Cusco. This spectacular blend of culture, adventure, and history is an experience unlike anything else in the world.

Machu Picchu Citadel

While the site is shrouded in mystery, the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is now believed to have been constructed some time around 1450 CE as an estate for the emperor Pachacuti and other royal elites. It is estimated that around 750 people lived at Machu Picchu, most of them serving in religious or staff positions to accommodate the influx of royal visitors that were likely to have visited for extended periods of time.

Although the site was constructed in a painstaking fashion by the Inca people in order to combat the seismic activity in the region, it was unable to survive the arrival of Europeans and was abandoned quickly after the beginning of the Spanish conquest. Known only to locals in the following centuries, Machu Picchu was ‘discovered’ by American historian Hiram Bingham III in 1911.

Today, much of the site has been excavated and restored, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to look through a window into the past to discover the sacred temples, terrace farms, and intricate architecture of a civilization that for so long was lost in time.

Learn More About Trekking to Machu Picchu

Planning a trek to Machu Picchu is a fun experience that will no doubt fill you with plenty of inspiration and excitement, but it can also leave you with a number of important questions that will need to be answered prior to visiting the ancient historical site. Whether you are looking for answers to some of the most frequently asked Machu Picchu questions, trying to figure out what gear to pack for your Machu Picchu trek, or are simply not sure which season is the best to visit Machu Picchu, you can rest assured knowing that countless others have made the trek before you and have worked out all of the kinks so that you can focus on getting out and exploring the famous world wonder.

Highlights of the Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu

Follow the footsteps of Inca royalty who alone were permitted to take the sacred pilgrimage along the Inca Trail into the city of Machu Picchu.
Tour the city of Cusco and the surrounding area, discovering many ancient archaeological sites and Inca ruins along the way.
Watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu, then take a guided tour of the ancient city.
Surround yourself with the beauty of the Andes mountains, hiking through cloud forests and camping in magnificent places.

Prices

From $795USD
7 days
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels / Camps
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Inca Trail

Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Cusco

Welcome to Peru and the city of Cusco! Transportation will be arranged from the airport to your hotel, where you will meet your guide for a tour briefing and overview. Depending on your arrival time, you probably have some time to explore Cusco! This city was the capital of the ancient Incan Empire, and there is plenty of evidence of this remaining. You can also see Spanish churches and mansions. Cusco also offers wonderful Peruvian restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

Those selecting the luxury tour will also get a guided tour of the city of Cusco, touring Incan ruins, a market and the famous cathedral. Entrances fees to all attractions are included.
Overnight Location: Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco (Standard Tour) / Aranwa Cusco Hotel Boutique (Premium Tour) (3,399m / 11,200’)
Distance: As required on your tour
Meals: None

Day 2 Explore Cusco

Today you will explore Cusco and follow your own interests, with a choice of two wonderful guided tours. There is much to see, do, and learn here in South America’s oldest, continuously inhabited city. What was once the Inca’s capital city has now become the archaeological capital of South America.
To help you make the most of your visit, two additional (optional) tours are included. Choose between the Sacred Valley Tour and the Maras Moray Tour.

The Sacred Valley Tour is a full day of experiences. You’ll visit an Indian market in Pisac to experience this colourful tradition. You can barter with the local craftsmen to purchase unique, handmade souvenirs. You’ll then travel to the town of Ollantaytambo, a town of narrow streets and canals that are largely unchanged since the time the Incas inhabited it. Finally, visit the Chinchero market. This market is more authentic and less geared toward tourists. According to legend, Chinchero is the birthplace of the rainbow. When you are finished in Chinchero, return to Cusco.

The Maras Moray tour begins with a drive from your hotel to Moray (approx. 1.5 hours). Moray is known as the “Inca agricultural greenhouse or laboratory.” Here, the Incas carved amphitheatre-like terraces in a bowl shape. It is thought that these were used to test and determine optimal growing conditions for different crops. After exploring Moray, continue another two miles to visit the Maras salt mines. In this area, you can see a series of tiny channels carved so that the highly salty water coming from a natural spring would run into terraced ponds. Exposed to the sun, the water dries and leaves the salt behind. It is believed that salt was harvested in this way in this place since a time before even the Incas. After exploring the Maras salt mines, return to Cusco.
Overnight Location: Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco (Standard tour) / Aranwa Cusco Hotel Boutique (Premium tour) (3,399m / 11,200’)
Distance: As required on your tour
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Transfer to Piscacucho and trek to Ayapata Camp

Today’s itinerary begins very early (4:30am), and because of this breakfast is not included today (Note: Breakfast is included on the Premium Tour). Transfer to Piscacucho and check in. Access to the Inca Trail is limited, so at this control point you will need to show your passport, permits, etc. Ahead of you lie the incredible Inca Valley and the path used by great Inca masters and the royal court on the sacred journey to Machu Picchu. You have the privilege of retracing their steps.

From the trailhead (2,720 m / 8,923 ft) cross the Vilcanota River and follow the trail as it enters the cloud forest. Continue walking until you see the remains of Inca sites such as the Huillca Raccay fortress and Patallacta. Notice how the Urubamba mountains divide the jungle as you walk through the Andes and admire the W’akay Willca peak (5,860 m / 19,225 ft). This majestic snow-capped peak is also known as Veronica. This day full of new impressions and beautiful scenery ends at the Ayapata campsite near the village of Wayllabamba (3,000 m / 9,842 ft). Depending on the season, expect overnight temperatures around +5°C (41°F).
Overnight Location: Ayapata Camp (3,000m / 9,842’)
Distance: 6 hours, 11km / 6.8 miles
Meals: Lunch, Dinner (Breakfast also included on the Premium Tour)

Day 4 Trek over Dead Woman’s Pass to Chaquicocha Camp

Today’s hike starts early, and begins with a steep climb that will take several hours. The Inca believed this was part of their sacred pilgrimage, that they would become one with the gods that protect the Andes. Your challenging climb brings you to the tour’s highest pass, Dead Woman’s Pass (Abra de Warrmihuañusca) (4,200 m / 13,779 ft). Take a well-deserved rest and feel a sense of accomplishment for completing this ascent. Begin to descend again to your lunch stop at Pacaymayu (3,550 m / 11,646 ft). As you walk, watch for a variety of birds and hummingbirds, as well as the polylepis trees that are only found in this cloud forest area.

After lunch there is another 2 hours of steep climbing awaits reach the Runkurakay Pass (4,000 m / 13,123 ft) then descend again to make camp at Chaquicocha Camp (3,350 m / 10,991 ft) before dark. Depending on the season, expect overnight temperatures around +4°C (39°F).
Overnight Location: Chaquicocha Camp (3,350m / 10,991’)
Distance: 6-7 hours, 12km / 7.5 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Trek to Wiñay Wayña Camp

Today begins with a gentler climb to a fascinating archaeological site at Phuyupatamarca or “Town in the Clouds” (3,680 m / 12,073 ft). Stop here to enjoy the incredible view of the surrounding area, including mountains and canyons. Continuing from here, walk the 3,000 steps that lead through a cloud forest to reach another impressive Incan agricultural site called Intipata. From here, the next stop is the Wiñay Wayña campsite (2,680 m / 8,792 ft) where you will spend the night. You should reach this campsite by lunchtime, which leaves time in the afternoon to visit the nearby Wiñay Wayña (“Forever Young”) Inca site. Depending on the season, expect overnight temperatures around +12°C (54°F).
Overnight Location: Wiñay Wayña Camp (2,680 m / 8,792’)
Distance: 8 hours, 16km / 9.9 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Trek to Machu Picchu, then transfer to Cusco

Join the ranks of Inca royalty today as you complete your journey through the mountains along the Inca Trail and reach the royal house of Machu Picchu. Get an early start in order to reach the Initpunku or Sun Gate (2,730 m / 8,957 ft) by sunrise. Enjoy your first memorable view of Machu Picchu as the sun rises over it. Descend to the incredible ancient city of Machu Picchu (2,400 m / 7,873 ft) for a guided tour of the area. Spend 2 more hours here, either exploring the city further on your own, or hiking the nearby mountains of Machu Picchu or Huayna (Wayna) Picchu. After this time, take the bus (or walk if you have time) to Aguas Calientes for lunch, then journey by train and bus back to Cusco.

For those who would like to hike Wayna Picchu, there is an additional , and due to required permits, reservations must be made well in advance. Many people consider hiking this mountain to be a highlight of their visit to Machu Picchu. Along the climb, see steps that the Incas cut into the rocks. As the trail winds its way around the mountain, you gain different perspectives on the city of Machu Picchu.
Overnight Location: Jose Antonio Hotel (Standard Tour) / Aranwa Cusco Hotel Boutique (Premium Tour) (3,399m, 11,200’)
Distance: 2 hours, 6km / 3.7 miles
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 Departure from Cusco Airport

Sadly, your Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu tour has come to an end. After breakfast, depending on your flight times, you are free to explore Cusco and plan additional activities until it is time for your transfer to the airport. Have a pleasant journey!
Overnight Location: N/A
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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The Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu Price and Dates

This tour has several pricing options. Firstly, you can choose between joining a group tour or organizing a private tour for just you and your group.

Secondly, you can choose whether you prefer the Standard Tour or Premium Tour. Please check Inclusions for differences.

The best time to travel to Cusco for this trek is from April through November since December through March is the rainy season. The Inca Trail is closed in February.

Prices for a Private Guided Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

Enjoy a private trek for just your group. Pricing is based on the number of guests on your trip.

  • Guided group of 2: $1,350 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 4: $995 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 6-10: $875 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 11+: $795 USD per person

Join a Group Tour for the Guided Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

Join a group and make new friends on the Inca Trail Trek. Group tours run from April through November. Prices below are per person.

  • Departure on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday: $985 USD per person

Want Luxury? Join a Group Tour for the Guided Inca Trail Trek in Premium Hotels

Stay in Premium hotels while you hike with a group on the Inca Trail Trek. Group tours run from April through November. Prices below are per person.

  • Departure on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday: $2,125 USD per person
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Accommodation on the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu Tour

This tour is based in hotels and camps. Three nights are spent in a hotel and three nights along the Inca Trail trek are spent in camps. The hotel category on this tour depends on whether you have chosen Standard Tour or Premium Tour. In some cases, accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Standard Tour: The hotel on Standard Tour is 4-star and offers modern conveniences that can make your trip more pleasant. The accommodations have been carefully chosen so you will feel comfortable and pampered. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement.

Premium Tour: this tour mode includes accommodations in a Superior Room in a 5-start hotel.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a single supplement of $350 USD (Premium Tour $750 USD) to have a private room in a hotel. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Night 1-2,
Standard Tour:

Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco ★★★★

A comfortable hotel in a great location for exploring the city. Be sure to visit the rooftop terrace for wonderful views of the city and don’t miss their excellent breakfast.

Night 1-2,
Premium Tour:

Aranwa Cusco Hotel Boutique ★★★★★

This historic 5-star hotel offers travellers a luxurious experience in a refurbished colonial mansion. The hotel is also an art museum, and the ambiance will transport you back to the 16th Century.

Night 3-5

Camping in campsites along the Inca Trail

Sleep under the starry sky in comfortable tents in the campsites along the Inca Trail. Spend your nights in Ayapata, Chaquicocha and Wiñay Wayña camps surrounded by stunning peaks of Peruvian Andes.

Night 6,
Standard Tour:

Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco ★★★★

A comfortable hotel in a great location for exploring the city. Be sure to visit the rooftop terrace for wonderful views of the city and don’t miss their excellent breakfast.

Night 6,
Premium Tour:

Aranwa Cusco Hotel Boutique ★★★★★

This historic 5-star hotel offers travellers a luxurious experience in a refurbished colonial mansion. The hotel is also an art museum, and the ambiance will transport you back to the 16th Century.

What’s included in the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu Tour?

Meals

5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 afternoon snacks, 3 dinners and other snacks to be eaten on the trek.

Accommodations

Hotel accommodations for 3 nights in Cusco. Camping equipment is also included for camping along the trek. Equipment included: 1 tent for every 2 people (private tent available for an additional charge), dining tent with tables and chairs, kitchen equipment and utensils.

Transportation during the Tour

Planned transportation throughout the tour is included. This includes:

  • Transportation to/from the Cusco Airport at the beginning and end of the tour
  • Transportation from Cusco to KM 82 – approx 4 hours
  • Bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes (approx 35 min)
  • Train tickets (expedition class) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy (approx 2 hrs or 3.5 hours)
  • Transportation from Ollantaytambo or Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco

Also Included

  • Tour briefing on the day you arrive in Cusco
  • Professional, English-speaking guide (+ assistant guide for groups larger than 9 people)
  • A chef trained for cooking on trekking routes and an assistant cook
  • Porters to carry all gear
  • Entrance fees and permits for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
  • First Aid kit
  • 24/7 support and emergency line available throughout the tour

Additional inclusions of Premium Tour

The inclusions below are included for travellers that have booked Premium Tour exclusively. These items are additional to what’s included in other paragraphs of this section.

  • Additional breakfast on day 3
  • Alcoholic beverages such as wine, pisco, and beer, as well as energy drinks on the trail are also included
  • Cots for sleeping
  • Additional items during trekking on Inca Trail:
    • Environmentally friendly portable toilets
    • Sleeping bags
    • Portable shower with hot water
    • Use of a canvas backpack for carrying personal gear
  • Upgrade to Vistadome class tickets on the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy (approx 2 hrs or 3.5 hours).

Not included

  • Meals and drinks, other than those mentioned in the itinerary (extra meals can be arranged upon request).
  • Optional tours and excursions
  • Personal items such as souvenirs or telephone calls
  • Personal camping and trekking equipment, such as sleeping bags or walking sticks (many of these items can be rented for an additional fee). Included on Premium Tour.
  • Any damages you might cause to the bus or camping equipment
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Extra personal porter (available for an additional fee).
  • Travel insurance
  • Evacuation in the event of a serious medical issue or injury
  • Items on ‘Additional inclusions of Premium Tour’ for travellers that booked Standard Tour

Optional Extras

  • Climb Wayna (Huayna) Picchu: $85 USD on Standard Tour and $75 USD on Premium Tour
  • Personal porter: up to 7 kg - $81 USD, 7-14 kg - $161 USD
  • Extra night in Cusco: $105 USD
  • Additional activities in Cusco (prices are per person):
    • Cusco City Tour: A tour of many different significant landmarks in and around Cusco. $40 USD + $33 USD entrance fees (included on Premium Tour, day 1)
    • South Valley: Head south from Cusco to tour an Andean village with Pre-Incan architecture, plus the Incan Pikillagta (Temple of Water) and Tipon (the 17th Century “Sistine Chapel of Cusco”) - $50 USD + $26 USD entrance fee
    • Gastronomic Tour at Market & Cooking Class: Learn to prepare authentic, traditional local dishes from shopping at the market for ingredients to preparing and serving the meal - $60 USD

Frequently Asked Questions about Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu

Valencia Travel Cusco has been providing incredible trekking and cultural tours around Cusco since 2009. Owned and operated in Cusco, Valencia Travel know the Cusco and Macchu Picchu region well, and provide great active holidays for their guests.

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Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu Map

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. The trek is moderate but hikers unaccustomed to hiking at higher altitudes will notice the additional strain caused by the elevations.

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