“… The roads of the Incas were the most useful and stupendous works ever executed by man. ” – Alexander Von Humboldt
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, is the most famous hike in South America – perhaps the world. It is a must-do and one of the biggest highlights of your trip to Peru. The 5 day, 4 night Premium version of the Premium Inca Trail to Machu Picchu offers 5 days of trekking along original paved Inca pathways, a range of spectacular Inca ruins, an extensive Tour of Machu Picchu and the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu mountain on the 5th day. The stunning scenery is breath taking. It spans through altitudes in the valley from 2,700 m (8,856 ft) to mountain passes of 4,215 m (13,825 ft). Finally it passes through the cloud forest to arrive at the majestic Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu itself.
Additionally our standard package includes the premium services on the fourth night of lodging in a bed and breakfast and dinner at the best restaurant in Aguas calientes. Your ticket to climb Huayna Picchu mountain after your Machu Picchu Tour is also included
Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of those things that everyone should do once in their life. Be you young or old, in good shape or not, the Inca Trail is for everyone!
Total distance trekked: 45 km/ 28 miles
Maximum altitude: 4,215 m /13,825 ft
Beginning altitude: 2,720 m /8,922 ft
Overall trek difficulty: Moderate
You will have an in-depth briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your trek. Your guide will meet you at our office in Cusco and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.
Today has a relatively relaxed start for the Inca Trail and the walking is easy going to help you settle in to the trek. Beginning at Kilometer (Km) 82 (2,720 m/ 8,922 ft), we slowly make our way along the banks of the Urubamba River with great views of the snow-capped peak of Mount Veronica (5,900 m/19,000 ft). There will be a variety of native plant and birdlife around us during this stretch.
As we continue to follow the trail along fairly flat terrain, we arrive in the small community of Miskay. From here we will gradually ascend for 2 hours and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the extensive Inca city of Llactapata (Patallacta). We will then make our way down into the canyon to have lunch next to Llactapata (2,750 m/ 9,020 ft).
From Llactapata it is an easy 2 hour walk to our campsite at Hatunchaca (2,600 m/ 8,525 ft). This site is a little further along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu than most groups go to camp on the first night. Since we’re camping further up the trail, the next day’s trek up to the pass is a little easier for us. With fewer tourists at the campsite we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place in serenity.
Today is another relatively easy day. Most groups would be powering ahead along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu today and would be heading over Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point on the trek and one of the hardest and longest climbs on the Inca Trail. We’re going to take things at a more leisurely pace and our goal for today is a campsite just before the pass, Llulluchapampa. This breaks the hardest stretch over two days making the climb significantly easier.
On the way to Llulluchapampa (3,800m / 12,460ft) we’ll once again go off the beaten track to visit the least visited of all the sites on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Inca fort of Tarahuasi. As we climb up to Llulluchapampa we’ll pass through various biozones including the low sierra, Uncas forest (a native Andean tree), cloud forest and the high puna. There are many opportunities to see a variety of plant and birdlife and if we are lucky we may also spot White Tailed Deer. Just like on night one our campsite for the evening is tranquil and quiet with most trekkers either camping in the valley below or on the other side of the pass.
Today is our longest day and crosses two high passes; luckily for us we chose to camp last night at a location where we’re nearly at the first pass, Dead woman’s pass (4,215 m/13,825 ft), the highest point of the trek. Then after we’ve gone over the second pass (Runcuraccay pass 3,950 m/ 12,959 ft), the walking is easy with very few ups and downs to contend with.
Today sees some of the best views and scenery of the whole Inca Trail and includes visits to two Inca sites, Runcuraccay and Sayacmarca (3,850 m/12,628 ft). There are fantastic views of high snow-capped peaks for most of the day and the cloud forest all around us today is by far the most visually stunning.
Our campsite for tonight is at Phuyupatamarca (3,680 m/ 12,073ft), from where we’ll get our first views of Machu Picchu mountain far in the distance (the site itself is hidden from view). The views of the sunset from here are fantastic and once again the campsite is quiet with the majority of trekkers camping closer to Machu Picchu.
Today is all about the Incas; we visit 3 major sites (Phuyupatamarca, Intipata and Wiñay Wayna) before we finally arrive to Machu Picchu itself late in the day. With only a short distance left to cover you’ll really have the opportunity to see these sites in detail and learn more about the Inca culture and Machu Picchu in preparation for your visit tomorrow. The area around these Inca sites is also rich in wildlife and with only a handful of people around on this stretch of trail at this time of day, it is the perfect opportunity to try and spot some of the more elusive species
Once we finish our tour here, we will continue our hike for about 1 and a half hours on a part of the Inca Trail which is relatively flat, with small ascents and descents along the way. At about 3:00pm we will then reach the Sun Gate at 2,720 m or 8,920 ft which is called Intipunku in Quechua. This is where we will have our first view of Machu Picchu and from there we will head down to the ruins to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes you will check in to your clean and comfortable three star hotel. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening if time is available before dinner. Dinner will be at the finest restaurant.
After a thorough tour of the site we continue towards the Sun Gate (2,720 m/ 8,920 ft), which is called Intipunku in Quechua. We will arrive there around 5 pm. This is where we will have our first view of Machu Picchu
From the Sun Gate we will head down to the citadel of Machu Picchu to take the bus to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes you will check in a nice and confortable hotel. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening if time is available before dinner.
You will have breakfast at your hotel before we take a very early bus (5:30am) along the winding road to Machu Picchu to see the magnificent sunrise. Once there you will be given a 2 hour walking tour of the site.
If you have elected to climb Huayna Picchu mountain you will begin the hike at 10 AM. The ticket price for Huayna Picchu is included in the price of your trek. If you are not climbing the mountain you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu before you return to Aguas Calientes by bus.
When you arrive in Aguas Calientes you will board the expedition train to Poroy/Ollantaytambo. From Poroy/Ollantaytambo you will travel by private van to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket.