The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

(8 Opinions)
Send us your question
Send us your question

All your doubts and questions will be solved by our team.

Check out what our travelers say about us!

explorandes tripadvisor certificate excellence

Our certificates

Why travel with Explorandes?

  • We’ve been adventuring in the Andes since before adventure travel was invented.
  • Our elite guides are unrivalled in their passion and experience.
  • We promise the industry’s highest safety standards without short-changing the fun factor.
  • Our talented team of travel enthusiasts offer first-hand knowledge with personal service.
  • Daring innovators committed to quality, we’re the first to conceive new experiences in Peru.
  • Prioritizing sustainability since our inception, we offer big adventures with a small footprint.

Nicola Hodgson

United States

It was a truly amazing trip. Brilliantly organised, very well supported. Our guide Claudia was authoritative, motivating, kind and knowledgeable. We would absolutely recommend Explorandes to other people.

11 January, 2019

Ena Lee

United States

It was absolutely amazing. The guide and porters made everything so easy for us. The food was amazing, the guide was extremely knowledgeable, encouraging and helpful and the porters were so accommodating. Everything exceeded my expectations.

14 December, 2018

Robin Rietveldt

United States

High quality team, food, campsite, great route (not a lot of people around), great group size, mini inca and Machu Picchu at the end were phenomenal.

9 October, 2018

Christine Ward

United States

A trip of a lifetime! We loved every minute of every day.

7 October, 2018

Roger Ward

United States

Our guide (German Cruz) and everyone associated with Explorandes made this an unforgettably great trip. My son and I enjoyed it tremendously. We really enjoyed the 5 day/4 night itinerary. My only “criticism” is that you fed us too well. We were expecting to have to supply ourselves with snacks during the day but the cooking staff more than supplied us with snacks and food. If we had known how well we would be provisioned we would have left some extra snacks at home and saved some space and weight.

4 May, 2018
1
Overview

The 5-day journey begins at Km 82, the marker that signifies the start of the famous Inca Trail. Our highly trained guides, who are deeply familiar with these ancient Inca footpaths, will expertly lead us through the magnificent Andean terrain. Along the way, we’ll traverse breathtaking high alpine passes, lush valleys, dense cloud forests, and rushing rivers. We’ll pass through ancient Inca remains of Andean settlements, ultimately arriving at Machu Picchu via Intipunku (the Sun Gate). Each night, our team of porters and skilled cooks will have a delicious hot meal and a comfortable camp already set up for your convenience. Since we highly value sustainable tourism, we’ll have very little impact on the land, communities, and environment we encounter along the trail, and we will also take steps to enjoy a tranquil hike, avoiding crowds of fellow trekkers.  On the final day, a guided tour of the citadel will bring Machu Picchu to life, as we explore and immerse ourselves in the magic and beauty of this ancient, mystical site. This trek is truly an unforgettable experience you’ll reminisce about for years to come.

Location

Cusco

Duration

5 Days / 4 Nights

Season

March – January

The Inca Trail is closed in February

Group Departures

Every Wednesday & Sunday

Minimum

2 passengers

Private Departure

On request  

Difficulty

1-2-3-4-5

Itinerary

Day 1Cusco - Ollantaytambo - Chamana

Starting from Cusco or the Sacred Valley we drive to the roadhead. We rise with the sun to begin our scenic 5-hour trek, starting from a section of the Inca Trail few have visited. While many cross the Urubamba River at Km 82, we’ll follow the river downstream to cross at Km 88, setting the tone for the rest of the trek and creating some space between us and other groups. We’ll take our first break at the ruins of Q’oriwayrachina, consisting of nearly 200 ancient stone structures. After a delightful picnic lunch, we’ll cross the Urubamba River at Q’ente. Here, we’ll have the option to visit the archaeological sites of Wayna Q’ente and Llaqtapata, charming ruins consisting of Inca stone walls, stairs, and other constructions, monuments to their ancient Andean past in a country-like setting amidst the vast Inca terracing nearby. We’ll set up camp for the night at our private campsite. We are the only company with access to this site, known as Chamana, a small village that’s part of the Llaqtapata Community. We are delighted to be able to offer you a hot shower after the arduous day’s trek!
(L / D)

Bus ride: 87.6 km (54.4 mi) – Time: 2-3 hours
Trekking distance: 10.1 km (6.3 mi) – Time: 4:30 hours

Day 2Chamana - Llullluchapampa

We continue our journey up the narrow Cusichaca Valley, passing houses inhabited by farmers and herdsmen, until we finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here, the cobble-stoned Inca Trail ascends steeply through an ancient native forest bursting with melodic birdsong. The trail begins to level out at our campsite at Llulluchapampa, situated just below the first pass. Here, we’ll experience breathtaking views of Mt. Huayanay and a first glimpse of the rare Andean cloud forest of Quenua, or Polyepis trees. Their reddish bark peels into paper-like sheets, hence their familiar name, “Paper Tree.”
(B / L / D)

Trekking distance: 11.7 km (7.3 mi) Time: 7-8 hours

Day 3Llulluchapampa - Phuyupatamarca

The day begins with a steady ascent up to Warmiwanusqa (Dead Woman’s) Pass (4,228 masl / 13,871 fasl) where we’re met with panoramic views of the terrain we’ve just conquered.

We can revel in a real sense of accomplishment at having reached this challenging high point of the journey. The pass is so named because its crest resembles a lying down woman. This point is nearly 1,800 m (5,905 ft) higher than Machu Picchu itself! Now, the much-welcomed descent to the Pacaymayo River lies ahead of us. After a hearty lunch in Pacaymayo, we ascend again to the ruins of Runkuraqay and our second pass (3,968 masl / 13,018 fasl). From here, we walk down to the site of Sayacmarca on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and our first signs of the mist-filled Andean cloud forest. Many plants and animals thrive in the cloud forest, including endemic species found nowhere else on Earth! We may spot hummingbirds, butterflies, and delicate orchids of various brilliant hues.

Our trek along the steady ridge offers a bit of a respite from the day’s arduous climbs and challenging descents. Now we get to catch our breath a bit and admire incredible views of the beautiful Aobamba Valley below. We continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes and views of snow-capped Mt. Salkantay on the western side, as well as Mt. Pumasillo silhouetted on the horizon to the north. We follow the flag-stoned trail until we arrive at our campsite at Phuyupatamarca, whose name in Quechua means “village at the edge of the clouds”.
(B / L / D)

Distance: 12 km (7.5 miles) Time: 8 hours

Day 4Phuyupatamarca - Machu Picchu

At last, we have arrived at the day we’ve all been waiting for; the day we get our first glimpse of the citadel of Machu Picchu! Early, but not too early, we’ll awaken for a glorious sunrise view just a short hike up the hill from our campsite, where our porters await us with steaming cups of tea. This site is known to deliver some of the most radiant sunrise views in the entire Machu Picchu Sanctuary. After breakfast, we continue our trek along a buttress, passing the ruins at Phuyupatamarca. These ruins contain an irrigation system that was built over five centuries ago, and still works today!

Now, the flag-stoned trail begins to wind sharply downwards, taking us into the cloud forest to the well-conserved ruins of Wiñay Wayna (“Forever Young”) located just below the ridge. Walking in the Inca’s footsteps, along the very same trail they once used, we now trek for two hours through dense, misty cloud forest until we at last reach Machu Picchu via Intipunku (the Gate of the Sun). We will marvel at our first sight of the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu spread out below us. After some time soaking up the glorious view, we’ll take a bus to the village of Machu Picchu, where we’ll spend the night at a local hotel. Dinner on your own.
(B / L)

Trekking distance: 10.9 km (6.8 m) – Time: 7:30 hours
Bus ride: 6.2 km (3.9 mi) – Time: 30 min

Day 5Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cusco

A quick, half-hour bus ride brings us up the road to the gates of Machu Picchu where we’ll enjoy a guided three-hour tour of this ancient hilltop citadel. Exploring the different sectors and entering some of the houses and temples will bring these iconic ruins to life for us. As we immerse in this mystical place, we’ll feel that we’ve entered a dream of ancient times. Wandering among the Inca’s ancient manmade structures blended seamlessly into verdant natural surroundings will leave us with a sense of wonder and reverence that we may experience only once in a lifetime.

In the afternoon, we’ll return to the village where a train will take us back to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. Hotel and dinner will be on your own.
(B / L)

Trekking distance: visit Machu Picchu – Time: 3 hours
Bus ride to Machu Picchu (RT): 12.4 km (7.7 mi) – Time: 1 hour
Train ride: 32 km (19.9 mi) – Time: 2 hours
Bus ride Ollantaytambo to Cusco: 79 km (49 mi) – Time: 2 hours

End of Services

About our services: The Campsites we use are not frequented by other trekking companies, and are therefore quieter, more private, and cleaner than more crowded sites. Additionally, we carry our own ecological toilet, which can be used during lunch breaks and while we are at camp: this means we are able to avoid the use of the public bathrooms that are frequented by many other trekkers.

Gallery
Included
Not included
What to take

– Transportation
– Professional bilingual guide
– Train from Machu Picchu Village to Cusco
– Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Machu Picchu Village (round trip)
– Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads
– Hotel in Machu Picchu Village
– Guided tour in Machu Picchu
– Lunch in Machu Picchu Village on day 5
– All meals during trek
– Non-alcoholic drinks
– Kitchen and dining tents
– Professional cook and service staff
– Porters to carry camping gear and luggage
– Entrance ticket to mentioned attractions
– Solar energy lamps
– Eco toilet tents
– Adequate garbage disposals
– First aid kit and oxygen tank
– Breakfast, lunch and dinner on days 1,2 and 3
– Breakfast and lunch on days 4 and 5.

B- Breakfast / L- Lunch / D- Dinner

– Personal travel insurance
– Dinner in Machu Picchu Village on Day 4
– Laundry service
– Airline tickets
– Sleeping bags (rent available)
– Personal gear
– Alcoholic beverages
– Additional services
– Tips
– Extras

– Regular and long wicking first layer for cold weather, like polyester, nylon, or merino wool
– Short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, breathable fabrics, like nylon and polyester
– Light-colored long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
– QuickDry Pants, trekking pants, and shorts
– Insulated long-sleeve jacket (fleece, synthetic, down, merino wool)
– Liner gloves
– Light cap and beany
– Rain jacket (in the rainy season, bring rain pants)
– Breathable sports socks or hiking socks
– Warm socks for nights
– Swimsuit
– Multifunctional headwear (e.g. Buff)
– Waterproof and breathable hiking boots
– Comfortable and lightweight shoes for campsite
– Sleeping Bag (0°/32° to -15°/ 5°) (rent available)
– Day Pack (preferably with rain cover)
– Trekking Poles (available to rent)
– Waterproof duffle bag
– Sunglasses
– Headlamp
– Microfiber towel
– Sunblock, lip balm, and insect repellent
– Reusable water bottle or vacuum bottle
– Portable Power Bank (to charge lamps, etc)
– Personal First Aid Kit (recommended)

Personal First-Aid Kit: On each trip we carry a medical kit, but we suggest you bring a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. Knee and ankle braces are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

Plan your trip to Peru

Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Dates
START DATEEND DATEDETAILSSTATUS
17/11/201921/11/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
20/11/201924/11/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
24/11/201928/11/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
27/11/201901/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
01/12/201905/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
04/12/201908/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
08/12/201912/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
11/12/201915/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
15/12/201919/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
18/12/201922/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
22/12/201926/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
25/12/201929/12/2019The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
29/12/201902/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
01/01/202005/01/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
12/01/202016/01/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
01/03/202005/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
04/03/202008/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
08/03/202012/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
11/03/202015/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
15/03/202018/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
18/03/202022/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
22/03/202026/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
25/03/202029/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
29/03/202002/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
01/04/202005/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
05/04/202009/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
08/04/202012/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
12/04/202016/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
15/04/202019/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
19/04/202023/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
22/04/202026/03/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
26/04/202030/04/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
29/04/202003/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
03/05/202007/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
06/05/202010/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
10/05/202014/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
13/05/202017/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
17/05/202021/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
20/05/202024/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
24/05/202028/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
27/05/202031/05/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
31/05/202004/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
03/06/202007/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
07/06/202011/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
10/06/202014/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
14/06/202018/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
17/06/202021/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
21/06/202025/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
24/06/202028/06/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
28/06/202002/07/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
05/07/202009/07/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
26/07/202030/07/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
02/08/202006/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
05/08/202009/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
09/08/202013/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
12/08/202016/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
16/08/202020/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
19/08/202023/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
23/08/202027/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
26/08/202030/08/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
30/08/202003/09/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
02/09/202006/09/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
06/09/202024/09/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
09/09/202013/09/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
23/09/202027/09/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
27/09/202001/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
30/09/202004/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
04/10/202008/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
07/10/202011/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
11/10/202015/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
14/10/202018/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
18/10/202022/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
21/10/202025/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
25/10/202029/10/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuGuaranteed
28/10/202001/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
01/11/202005/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
04/11/202008/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
08/11/202012/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
11/11/202015/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
15/11/202019/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
18/11/202022/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
22/11/202026/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
25/11/202029/11/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
29/11/202003/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
02/12/202006/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
06/12/202010/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
09/12/202013/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
13/12/202017/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
16/12/202020/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
20/12/202024/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
23/12/202027/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
27/12/202031/12/2020The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
30/12/202003/01/2021The Inca Trail to Machu PicchuTwo more to open
VIEW MOREVIEW LESS