CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS
The Inca Trail is Peru’s best known hike, combining a stunning mix of Inca ruins, mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest and rich subtropical jungle. Over 250 species of orchid have been counted in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, as well as numerous birds such as hummingbirds, waterfowl and the majestic Andean Condor. The star of the Sanctuary is the spectacled bear – a shy, herbivorous animal that is extremely rare and close to extinction. Also is a magnificent, well preserved Trail route which connects Machu Picchu with what once were other regions of the Inca Empire, and today it is one of the world’s most popular treks. This four-day walk goes from the highlands of 4,200mts and down through the cloud forests to finally arrive at Machu Picchu – 2,380mts.
There are many trails built by Incas in Peru, but there is one Inca Trail-the one that was the Incas “Royal highway” to Machu Picchu.
- Tour Duration: 4 days 3 night.
Day 1: Cusco – Piskacucho Km 82 – Llactapata Ayapata
Sap Advenmtures will pick you up from where ever you are staying in Cusco, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. Pickup from Cusco will be at 4:30AM, from Urubamba 5:30 AM and if you stay in Ollantaytambo, you get to sleep in a bit with your pickup at 6:30 AM. At your briefing, these times will be confirmed as they might fluctuate based on where you staying. (please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail). and (if paying a student rate) your student card. Our journey from Cusco to Piscacucho takes approx. 3 hours, beautiful views of the Sacred Valley, the Urubamba River, Andean towns, and the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. After 2 hour ride we will stop in Ollantaytambo to stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and enjoy a small breakfast, then we continue to Km 82 (Piscacucho 2,680 masl) start of the trek. There we will meet our camp crew, porters who will carry our belongings during our 35-mile hike (45 Km). Passports in hand, We clear the 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 Mount Veronica (5,750 m). The easy walk passes through a forest of giant cactus and native bushes. At Miskay we take the trail to the left, ascending gradually to Willkaraccay high above the mouth of the Cusichaka stream and across from the Inca town of Llactapata (Terrace Town). Our vantage point is from a flat bluff above the extensive site, which was built as a fort because it commands the entrance to the Cusichaka Valley. The terracing system was used during Inca times for growing potatoes,maize and cereals crops that needed irrigation in the dry highlands. After a short rest, we continue another 15 minutes down to our lunch site at Tayaroc. Our path is adorned with native flowers and bromeliads growing in the boulders along the left side, and by majestic views of the mountains in both valleys. Walking times are always approximate, depending on weather conditions, group ability and other factors. After lunch, another 2-3 hours will bring us to Hatun AYAPATA Camp (3,000 m) You will be rewarded with a Macho Tea hot drink and a buffet dinner will be offered. Hot water buckets are offered for washing. Showers available for 10 soles. Guides will present our plans for the next great day. Have a good night. Accommodation: Camping (Tents for 2 person) ; Meals: Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner.
Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3,000 meters (high) above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy.
Day 2: Dead Woman´s Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha
Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day.
Today is considered by many to be the hardest day of the trek; with 2 high passes (Dead Woman’s Pass is the highest at 4200m / 13779ft) to cross and nearly 16km to walk today really tests your spirit. There’s no need to worry though as thanks to our enthusiastic guides and team of porters helping you along you’ll have all the morale and physical support you need to make it.
On reaching the pass we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot and a chance to refill our water bottles. After lunch we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village).
We’ll stop here for a rest and have a quick tour of the site and then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Southern Hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!
Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes)
Area: Andes and Cloud Forest
Weather: Cold and rainy
Day 3: Chaq’icocha – Puyupatamarca – Wiñaywayna
This is the most impressive day so far; keep this in mind as you ascend on day three! We wake up for breakfast at 6am and start the day with a gentle climb to visit the archaeological site of ‘Phuyupatamarca’ (meaning ‘Town in the Clouds’). Here we reach the third highest point on the Inca trail (3680m/). The views of the mountains, canyons and surrounding areas are spectacular!
The Inca site of ‘Phuyupatamarca’, is located a few minutes’ walk from the third pass. After visiting this site, we continue walking down 3000 stairs through the cloud forest to the impressive agricultural Incan site of ‘Intipata. After taking some time to visit this site, we continue on until we arrive at our third campsite Wiñay Wayna. (2680m/8792ft). Today, we will only walk about 4 to 5 hours. We arrive at camp by lunchtime! Temperatures during the night are about 12º C
A short walk from our campsite, is the famous Incan site of ‘Wiñay Wayna’ (‘Forever Young’). Even if you are feeling tired after your day’s trek, it´s a moment you cannot miss, the most impressive site on the Inca trail.
Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)
Campsite altitude: 2.600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Easy day – all downhill!
Area: High Cloud Forest
Weather: Warm and very humid
Day 4: Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – The Lost City Of The Incas
We will get up very early -around 3:30 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 for one hour, so a head lamp is strongly recommended please follow instructions of your guides and watch out your steps. From Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), a final easy 50-minutes walk downhill steps will bring us first to the upper south sector of Machupicchu (The Guardian houses) The trail ends at a series of terraces, which present classic views of the overall city, after enjoying a panoramic view we must walk straight down to the entrance of Machu Picchu. (backpacks storage for 5 Soles available at the gate.) Few minutes later we will continue on to explore the site, with explanations provided by the trek guide(s). The formal tour visiting the most remarkable temples and neighborhoods. Machupicchu, the lost city of the Incas, where the last emperors, priests and priestesses took refuge and where the empire survived for 40 years after the arrival of the Spaniards. Secret and mysterious citadel from the time of Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (IX-Inca`s Dinasty) emperor, his presumed constructor. Then apparently its existence was even well-known only by the authorities and the priests of the Tawantinsuyo “The four lands of the empire”. Machupicchu prodigy of architecture of aesthetic recklessness and by the magestic and harmony of its forms, by the impeccable organization of its terraces, stairs, buildings, patios, passages that are set up in this nest of condors, surrounded by mountains, between the mountain range and the forest like but the extraordinary constructive feat of the pre-Hispanic man. Our visit will end in the late morning,
After the tour you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore on your own or climb one of the neighboring mountain – Huaynapicchu (must be arranged ahead of time). Your guide will offer to meet you down in the village of Aguas Calientes to enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. At lunch, he will hand out train tickets, so if you choose to skip, please arrange to get these before leaving him at Machu Picchu.
Unless you arranged for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 4:20. Please make sure you are on the platform at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This train will be 2 hours to Ollantaytambo where an SAP driver will meet you and drive you back to the city in our bus, then we will drop you off at your hotel.
Considered: The most exciting and magical day (early wake up 3.30AM)
Area: High Cloud and Subtropical Forest
Weather: Hot and very humid (bring lots of water)
HuaynaPicchu Mountain.- (Optional)
If your legs, lungs and energy still hold up after our four days of hiking, it may be possible to climb the peak of Huayna Picchu, behind the main site. However, special permits are required and they are issued in limited quantities. So if you are interested please book and pay in advance for this Ticket and request for the 2nd turn at 11:00 am, otherwise you may instead hike to the Inca Bridge or do others walks around Machupicchu.
- Pre-departure briefing: You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation to the trek and we will provide you the duffle bags which will be carried by our porters. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before your trip begins.
- Transport: Collection from your hotel in the morning and transportation in a private vehicle to Km 82 (the starting point of the trek).
- Experienced Guide: English speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route. He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
- Personal tents: Like our ancestors, we are very considerate of the Pachamama (Mother Earth). Therefore, our campsites are adapted to the environment to avoid generating negative impacts. 2 people stay in each 4-person tent to allow for higher comfort and luggage security. Our tents are 3-season ready and highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance during our treks. They are of the brands Kailas, Pro Aconcagua, and Rei 4 Outfitter and are employed when double accommodation is requested.
- Camping equipment: Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs, and all cooking equipment (carried by porters).
- Foam mats or sleeping pads: to put under your sleeping bag (carried by porters)
- Accommodation: 3 nights in tent
- 1 Duffle Bag: You can put your personal belongings (up to 5 kilos/11 lbs), includes your sleeping bag, in here to be carried by the porters.
- Porters: We include your personal porter who is responsible for carrying your duffel with your personal items (up to 5 kilos/11 lbs). There is no additional fee for this. We will give you your duffel bag at the briefing the night before, and this should be filled with the things you need for night and the next day. You will not have access to your duffel until you arrive at the evening campsite.
- Trekking Cook: A chef specialized in cooking on the trail, with an assistant, will prepare all of your delicious meals along the journey to replenish your energy. You will never go hungry!
- Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 dinners and Snacks (Vegetarian, vegan or special menus are available at no extra cost)
- Wake up tea: Every morning at the campsite, you will woken up with a cup of coca tea! Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.
- Tea time: Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you will not have to wait until dinner to relax, warm up, and enjoy a bite to eat!
- Daily snacks – Days 1, 2 and 3: Our snacks consist of local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc. We will give this snack to you at the beginning of each day in your cloth bag.
- One cloth snack bag per person: To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
- Products for hygiene: Each morning, you will be provided with a warm, wet towel to clean yourself up with.
- Medical kit: Our crew will bring a first-aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle
- Train tickets: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (“Expedition” service with Peru Rail at 18:20 PM)
- Transport: Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco (Day 5)
- 24-hour guest service: We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
- We will create a Memorable Lifetime Experience for you.
- Sleeping Bags: You can rent one from our company if you do not have your own. Our sleeping bags are effective and durable to protect from temperatures as low as -18ºC (0ºF). They are mummy form and include a sleeping liner. The bags are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.
- Walking Sticks: You can rent a set from our company if you would like.
- Last Day: Lunch and Dinner in Aguas Calientes.
- Personal clothing and gear
- Travel insurance
- Tips for our staff: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish.
- Additional costs or delays out of control of the management (landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.)
What to Bring
What You Have To Take With You For The 4 Days Inca Trail Machu Picchu?
- Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
- Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: 2-3 litre Camelbaks are encouraged.
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
- Sleeping bag (can be rented from Sap Adventures)
- Headlamp: essential
- As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
- 2 t-shirts
- 2 hiking pants at least
- 4 sets of undergarments
- 3 sets of hiking socks
- Couple Fleece/ Thermals
- Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º Celcious.
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
- Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
- Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them.
- Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us for US$20.
- Face moisturizer
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medications
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
- We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.
- Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water at every meal time. Please bring your canteens.
- Sun Hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Wool Hat
- Rain gear
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
- Coca leaves.
- Rain plastic poncho
- Hand sanitiser
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
- Value things
WHY HIKING MACHU PICCHU?
HIKINGMACHUPICCHU specializes in providing the best travel services in Peru. We’ve been in business since 2015, creating customized itineraries for our clients based around their personal plans and preferences. In our line of work we don’t only make plans, we help you build experiences and memories.
I was born in 1996, in a little town 40 minutes away from Cusco, called (POROY) when I was 3 years old my father died due to alcoholism, I was then taken by American folks from Texas U.S.A and lived with them in Cusco since. my American parents after 20 years in Peru they now have a Children’s home in the jungle area of Peru (PUERTO MALDONADO ) , So i decided to open this company to be able to help my parents with funds and sponsor kids that need help. so thats me . By the way i love photography.