There were over 40,000 km of Inca roads, but when people imagine an Inca trail, this is it. Justifiably the most famous Classic Inca Trail in South America, this is the opportunity to follow in the steps of the Inca and discover the spectacular city of Machu Picchu.
Along the way you will enjoy a variety of scenery including high grasslands, snow-capped mountains, and lush cloud-forest full of unique plants and animals, as well as visit Inca ruins only seen on the Inca trail.
After a challenging hike, looking down on the Machu Picchu while the sun rises makes it a journey of a lifetime.
The itinerary for the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu below is a sample. Hiking times are an average and will vary depending on the group. Additionally, lunch and camp sites may change to meet the needs of the group and conditions.
One or two days before your 4 day Inca Trail you will be met by your guide for a thorough briefing. This is an opportunity to ask questions and buy any last minute supplies before leaving Cusco.
This action-packed day of our tour begins with a transfer to the Km 82 via private transportation, where you begin the Classic Inca Trail trek. After meeting our porters, you cross the Urubamba River by bridge and continue along the river with views of the Vilcanota mountain range and Mt. Veronica (5,713m / 18,745 ft).
Traveling through the Sacred Valley, you’ll see vestiges of an ancient culture and its agriculture practices. and get to see a variety of native plant life and birds throughout the day.
Hiking up the narrow Cusichaca valley takes us pass more Inca ruins and small farms before arriving in Huayllabamba,where or lunch will be, Our campsite for the night is at Ayapata (3300m / 10829ft) which is a little further along the trail than most groups go; as we’re camping further up the trail the next day’s trek up to the pass is a little easier for us and with fewer tourists at the campsite we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place.
6 hours walking, 2700-3300m 14 km
Our day will start with generous breakfast. Physically, this is the most strenuous day of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, as the trail ascends steeply toward Warmiwañusca pass (4,170m /13,680 ft). From there, the trail descends to the Pacaymayo River and then climbs slowly past the ruins of Runkuraqay. Another pass takes you from Runkuraqay to the ruins of Sayacmarca (3,850m / 12,628 ft). Along the way, you’ll see some advanced Inca engineering before coming upon the beautiful ruins of Chaquicocha (3,657m /12,000 ft).
Our campsite tonight is at Chaquicocha (3600m / 11800ft) which like Ayapata is one of the quieter campsites and affords beautiful views of the sun-setting over the mountains in the distance.
8-9 hours walking, 3300-4200-3600m 16km.
Today is a diversed day. relaxing day through some of the most beautiful scenery the Inca Trail has to offer. The next major Inca site on the trail, Phuyupatamarca, or the “town in the clouds,” is a large administrative and religious complex complete with a series of sacred baths. After this site, the Inca Trail continues to descend stone steps through cloud-forest where we will see hanging mosses, orchids, hummingbirds, and other native plants and animals. this is by far one of the most impressive days of the Classic Inca Trail.
Our campsite for tonight is at Winay Wayna (2680m / 8792ft) which means “Forever Young.” Wiñay Wayna is located along the same watercourse as Phuyupatamarca and contains well-restored Inca ruins, this is largest site on the Classic Inca Trail, it has agricultural terraces, fine stone work, and a series of ten baths.
4 hours walking, 3600-2700m
On our last day we wake up before dawn in order to reach Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, in time to watch the sun rise over the sacred city of Machu Picchu. After a two-hour walk through a cloud forest along the Classic Inca Trail, you at last come to a highlight of our Peru tour: Machu Picchu (2,400m / 7,875 ft), entering through Intipunku, the Sun Gate.
After watching the sunrise, we descend the final 45 minutes along a flagstone path to the city for a two-hour tour. At the conclusion of the tour, you can rest on the terraces, explore the ruins, or, if you have any energy left, climb Huayna Picchu or visit the Inca Bridge. After a full day, we will then descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Cusco.
2 hours walking, plus tour and optional activities, 2700-2400m
For more information on trekking with Apu Andino, see Trekking with Apu Andino.
In order to protect this historic Trail, only 500 people are allowed on the Classic Inca Trail each day, including porters and other support staff.
In order to secure a permit and entrance ticket to Machu Picchu, government regulations require full and current passport information for all trekkers. Permits are non-transferable and can sell out early, months in advance.
It is therefore important to arrange departure dates at the earliest opportunity. Climbing Huayna Picchu is an excellent addition to a trip to Machu Picchu. It offers superlative views, but is a steep climb that can take about three hours.
Entrance to Huayna Picchu is limited and only at scheduled times. If you would like to consider doing the climb, it is important to book it in advance. The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu can be a challenging hike, with lots of steps and steep grades made more difficult by the relatively high altitude.
Trekkers are expected to carry their own personal gear and should make an honest assessment of their physical condition. If a personal porter is desired, it is important to request one at time of booking, as they are included in the 500 person/day limit.
If you would like to Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but don’t have the time or the energy to do the whole 4 day trek, you may wish to consider our alternate trek titled Short Inca Trail 2D/1N which can be completed in just 2 days.
US$730.00 per person
Bookings of 4 people or more will get a US$20.00 discount per person or a free Day Apu Training Hike*.
*More details will be available if you are interested in talking advantage of this offer.
Would you also like to do Huaynapicchu? (For Classic Inca Trail 4 days)
Sure you we can make it! Its price is US$65.00 per person and there are 2 turns (at 7 am and 10am), we usually recommend people to take the 10 am one (this activity is on the 4th day talking about the Classic Inca Trail 4 days) because that way you won’t be running with the time to take your tour.
Other option would be on the 5th day in the morning if you want to stay for an extra night at Aguas Calientes. (There is no extra fee if you book this option since the beginning; accommodation is on your own on the 4th night)