The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 treks in the world. In just 26 miles (45km) it manages to combine beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, and subtropical jungle and, of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels.
The final destination of the trail just cannot be beaten: Machu Picchu, the mysterious "Lost City of the Incas".
Inca trail to Machu picchu usually covered in 4 days arriving at the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu for sunrise on the fourth day.
There are two main alternative treks to the traditional 4-day Classic Inca Trail that both end at Machu Picchu. The first and most popular alternative is the Short Inca Trail which can be completed in 1 or 2 days. This is an easier trek and starts further along the Vilcanota River Valley closer to Machu Picchu at a place called kilometer 104. The second trek is a more strenuous 7 day hike via Salkantay, a beautiful snow-capped mountain.
The Inca Trail is available all year round except February.
The months of April till October are probably more comfortable since the weather is drier.
June, July and August are in the high season when the Inca trail can become fully booked so be sure to make the Inca trail reservations in advance.
The months of January and March are in the wet season so hiking the trail can be a little miserable unless you have a good rain jacket and waterproof tent.
The Inca trail is rated moderate and any reasonably fit person should be able to cover the route. It is fairly challenging nevertheless, and altitudes of 4200m are reached, so ensuring that you are well acclimatized is important. If arriving from sea level, plan to spend at least 2 full days in Cusco prior to commencing the trek. This should allow plenty of time for acclimatization and give you sufficient opportunity to visit the city of Cusco and nearby Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q'enko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, as well as spending a day or two exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the tradition market town of Pisac and the fascinating Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo
Let’s start the adventure!!!!
Early pick-up from your hotel will begin around 5:30 am to 6:00am. Make sure you carry your original passport & ISIC card if you book like student.
A spectacular early morning drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas takes us to our trailhead at Km. 82 (Piskacucho) of the Machu Picchu railroad, Takes about 3 hours. Along the way, we will stop in Ollantaytambo to stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and enjoy breakfast, before continuing to Piscacucho (2,680 m / 8,790 ft.). There we will meet our camp crew and the porters who will carry our belongings during the four days of the trek Passports in hand; we clear the first official Inca Trail check point, cross a suspension footbridge across the Urubamba River, and begin our trek with a gentle climb.
We have three hours on relatively level terrain as we follow the course of the river, rewarded with superb views of snow - cape Mountain Veronica (5,750 m). The easy walk passes through a forest of giant cactus and native bushes. At Miskay we take our lunch, you will continue hiking towards the extensive Inca settlement of and appreciate the impressive farming terraces of this complex.
The Inca Trail follows the left bank of the Cusichaca side river up to the village of Huayllabamba at 9840 feet above sea level (3000 masl) where you will enjoy dinner and camp for the night.
Today is our challenging day, we can do it my friends!!!
We wake up 6:00am, with hot coca tea brought to your tents, in order to prepare for today's trek which is considered by many people, the hardest day of the Inca trail. You need to complete a steep ascent reaching an altitude of 13779 feet above sea level (4200 masl) at Warmi Wañuska pass.
After breakfast, depart from the campsite at around 07:00 hrs. The uphill hike through Llulluchapampa will give you the opportunity to appreciate several species of birds (with luck you may see hummingbirds falcons, or some black-chested eagles).
From here the trail traverses a beautiful cloud forest full of Polylepis woodlands or Queñua trees before entering the Puna, a zone characterized by treeless grasslands only found at this altitude across the Andes. Walk at your own pace, to catch your breath or to stretch a muscle. The last hard climb takes us right to the highest pass of the Inca trail at Warmi Wañuska.
Once at the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Andes, surrounding snow-covered peaks. You will also feel a great sense of accomplishment after conquering Dead Woman's pass., continue traversing the slopes on the left side of the valley all the way to our campsite in Paqaymayu at 11811 feet above sea level (3600 masl). (About 6 - 7 hr. trekking).
After a heartwarming breakfast!!!
Today’s hike is exceptionally beautiful because we will pass the ruins of Runkuraqay; Sayacmarca , Phuyupatamarca, Winayhuayna and enjoy dramatic views of the Aobamba Valley. Start with a steady ascent to the second highest pass at Runkuracay reaching 12400 feet above sea level (3780 masl) and passing through a circular inca control point that occupies a commanding position overlooking the spectacular Vilcabamba mountain range below. Catch your breath and realize the rest of Inca trail is mostly downhill. Be careful with your knees as the descent from the pass to the ruins of Sayacmarca. It is very steep and you may feel the strain at the end of the day.
It is recommended the use of trekking poles. Take a pause at this archeological complex located at 11472 feet above sea level (3497 masl) for an explanation.
The name Sayacmarca means "inaccessible town" and clearly describes the position of the site, perfectly perched on the edgy rocks. The one of a kind Inca trail, now a monumental structure of granite stones, continues through ever-changing layers of cloud forest full of rare orchids, hanging mosses, bromeliads and tree ferns. Past the Inca tunnel, a gentle climb will take you to the third pass at 12139 feet above sea level (3700 masl), offering incredible views of several snowcapped peaks including Salcantay (20574 ft./6271m) and Veronica (18865 ft./5750m). Close to the pass you will find the impressive ruins of Phuyupatamarca (cloud-level town). A brief explanation of the mysteries of Inca architecture, before continuing along splendid paved Inca road to the impressive agricultural site of Intipata and up to the third and last campsite at Wiñayhuayna (forever young) located at 8856 feet above sea level (2700 masl). Wiñayhuayna, named after a variety of pink orchid that grows here, is the last official campsite before Machu Picchu. Tea time and Dinner.
Today is our big day!!!
We will get up very early - around 4:00 am - to get to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), overlooking Machu Picchu for the first rays of the sunrise. This will be a hike of 1-2 hours, with significant upward stretches in the last half. You will be hiking in darkness, so a headlamp is strongly recommended. The trail is clearly marked and takes about 1½ hours.
We'll get up early at 4.00am, have breakfast and set off on the trail again by 5.30am to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. The sky starts getting light by 5:30am and the first rays of the sun reach Machu Picchu at about 7am. The trail contours a mountainside and drops into cloud forest before coming to an almost vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Intipunku (Sun Gate). Suddenly the whole of Machu Picchu.
A final short hike will bring us to the entrance and into the heart of Machu Picchu itself, where we spend the rest of the morning with 2 hours guided tour and some more exploring on your own. The shuttle bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes is included, departs every 15 minutes and will be available for you to descend whenever you decide it is time to go, just double check your train schedule and be at the train station thirty minutes before departure
• Pre-departure Inca Trail briefing, presented by your tour guides at our downtown Cusco office.
• Pickup from your hotel in Cusco and transfer to head of Inca Trail at Km 82- Piscacucho (trek starting point).
• Entrance ticket to Inca Trail & Machu Picchu.
• Visit & entrance ticket to the different Inca archaeological sites during the Inca Trail.
• Bus ticket down Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes.
• Return train ticket on Day 4 from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo transfer to your hotel.
• Professional multilingual Inca Trail leaders.
• Assistant Tour Guide (for groups of 9 or more people).
• Professional cooks and cooking equipment.
• Well treated local porters.
• Porters service (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment, not customer's backpacks)
• 3 Nutritious Breakfasts, 3 High-energy Lunches, 3 Delicious Dinners.
• 3 Tea times.
• Vegetarian food available upon request with no extra charge.
• Nutritious Snacks.
• Clean and spacious 4P-capacity Tents – only 2 people per tent.
• Comfortable Personal foamy pad (double foam), given to you at the beginning of the trek.
• Emergency oxygen assistance.
• First aid equipment.
• Accommodation, food, transport, permits for our porters and cooks.
• A small backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
• Sleeping bag
• Sleeping mattress (we will provide you with this)
• Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for a few dollars)
• Strong, comfortable footwear
• One complete change of clothing
• Sweater and jacket (something warm)
• Water bottle, ideally non disposable canteen (boiled drinking water will be provided)
• Torch / Flashlight and batteries
• Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
• Sun block (sun protection cream)
• Insect repellent
• Toiletries, towel and toilet paper
• Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, energy bars etc,
• Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries, cash in soles and US$
• Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek)
• Optional: walking Poles /sticks (rubber covers necessary)
• You also need to bring your original passport on the trail.
• Breakfast on the first morning.
• Sleeping bags
• Tips for the guide, cook and porter
• USD 20 Sleeping bag rental(-18°C) for the whole trek
• USD 20 single tent accommodation
• USD 120 Personal porter (15 kl or 33 lb)
• USD 30 Walking Poles (Pair)
• USD 76 Huayna Picchu entrance ticket
• Extra night in Aguas Calientes (check the details with your account executive)
• The Inca Trail is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
• If during the length of the program the traveler abandons the excursion due to altitude, health, or for any other reason, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER does not cover the expenses made by the traveler due to abandonement such as meals, hotel, return transportation, medical expenses, etc.
• Certain Services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances such as civil unrest, worker strikes, etc. These are out of the control of hotels, Service suppliers, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
• In case of force majeur, when a trek or tour cannot start or be completed, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER will find an alternative. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked tour, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER will refund the difference.
• It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her acts
The Client may cancel this tour package at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to firstname.lastname@example.org in writing. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by email@example.com. All reservations cancelled are subject to a cancellation fee:
|Cancelation Notice Received||Cancelation Penalty %|
|16+ Days advanced notice||$150 Penalty|
|10-15 Days advanced notice||60% Penalty of total booking paid|
|7-9 Days advanced notice||80% Penalty of total booking paid|
|0-6 Days advanced notice||100% Penalty of total booking paid|