Inca trail

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days


The Inca Trail Hike or the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu embarks on an unforgettable 4-day & 3-night iconic adventure trip along the world famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with the best Inca Trail tour operators in Peru, and live a fascinating hiking experience to the sacred city of Machu Picchu on a fully supported trek, with a private team of porters, chefs, and a private guide at your side.

The Classic Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all travelers and is perfect for all those adventurous people who want to hike one of the most famous trekking routes in South America. Considered to be one of the top 5 treks around the world you will experience a true and authentic hike along the Inca Trail, with a final destination, Machu Picchu, that ranks among the world’s most impressive archaeological sites.

The Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is only about 42 km (26 miles) long, but it goes up and down and along mountains, and ranges in altitude from 2,400 meters (7,874 feet) above sea level to 4,215 meters (13,829 feet), rising up through three mountain passes, where each day brings something new as you travel through various Andean environments including cloud forest and alpine tundra.

During this impressive Inca Trail tour in Peru, you will discover fascinating Inca archeological sites, walking along the original Inca paths the Incas had built nearly 500 years ago, admiring majestic mountain views, and ending the Inca Trail hike at the Inti Punku or the “Sun Gate,” the entrance to the mysterious Lost City of the Incas.

Book your Inca Trail Permit well in advance if you plan to hike the Inca Trail this 2024 or 2025. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a popular trek, 100% bucket list worthy, and spaces fill up quickly! For travelers with schedule or budget restrictions, we are glad to offer the amazing Short Inca Trail (2 days and 1 night). It includes hiking on day 1 and the great Machu Picchu tour on day 2!

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days
Places to Visit: Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Piscacucho, Wayllabamba, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñaywayna, Machupicchu
Physical Level: Moderate to Difficult

4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Itinerary Details

We start the Inca Trail adventure of your lifetime by picking you up from your hotel in Cusco around 4:30 a.m. If you are staytng in the Sacred Valley, like Urubamba or Ollantaytambo, the pick-up will be after 6:00 a.m. (exact time will be confirmed in the briefing time).

We will then drive to the Inca Trail trailhead, Piscacucho, also known as Km 82, where the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu begins. Along the way, we’ll enjoy amazing views of the Urubamba Mountain with the Chicon glacier clearly visible in the background as well as Mount Veronica and the Urubamba River.

After driving around two hours through the Sacred Valley in a private transport, we will stop at Ollantaytambo, where you will enjoy a delicious breakfast with amazing views of the Inca site and the mountains; you will also have the opportunity to buy some last-minute things for the trek.

Following breakfast, we will continue driving to Km 82 and arrive at the trailhead around 8:00 a.m. Upon we arrive to Piscacucho, we will have a free time to organize and pack our last staff, use the bathroom, applying sunscreen, insect repellent and check everything before to begin the hike.

Onward, we’ll next go to the Inca Trail checkpoint, where we will have to show the original passport and the Inca Trail permit, and begin our spectacular adventure to the Legendary Lost city of the Incas. Just make sure to carry your passport and (we take care of all the necessary paperwork at the time of booking and all these documents will be carried by your tour guide)

After passing the Inca Trail checkpoint, we’ll follow the old Inca Trail, which was used by Inca emperors and their entourage to get to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail begins at 2,720 m (8,923 ft) above sea level, and we’ll begin by crossing the Vilcanota River.

The first section of the trail is a relatively easy hike, and as we ascend, we’ll start to have beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, as well as Inca ruins. We’ll be able to see the Inca fortress called Huillca Raccay, as well as the vast and incredible Inca site of Patallacta, which means “high town” or “town on the hill” in Quechua.

After over the history, we’ll back on the trail to continue hiking for 2 hours to Hatunchaca (2,598 m/ 8,525 ft.) which is the lunch spot. As we venture onwards, we will be surrounded by the pure nature and amazing views of the Urubamba mountain range and the beautiful snow-capped peak of Wakaywillca (5,860 m/ 19,225ft.) also known a Veronica.

After a delightful meal, we’ll continue hiking up for 2.5hrs through the small village of Wayllabamba to reach the first campsite, known Ayapata (3,300 m/ 10,829 ft.).

Once we get to the campsite the staff will welcome you to your camp and show you to your tent. Then you will have time to take rest and dress with a warm jacket before happy hour. After we will have a happy hour with hot chocolate, milk, coffee, a variety of tea and followed by dinner, and briefing for the second day.

After waking up early and delicious breakfast, we will start our hike up following the ancient path towards the famous Dead Woman´s Pass!
The first two hours, we will hike up through the cloud forest to Llulluchapampa (3,800 m/ 12,460 ft.), which is a small camp and last place to buy supplies. After a short break, we will continue our hiking another two hours to the highest pass of the Inca trail, Known in Quechua Abra Warmi wañusca or Dead Women´s Pass in English (4,215 m/ 13,825 ft.). This is the highest point and is cause for celebration for most of the trekkers, also a chance to admire the majesty of the highest pass of the Inca Trail.

Afterwards, we will start to descend to the Pacaymayu camp for lunch. After Lunch, we continue to ascend 1 hr to the Inca site of Runkuracay (pile of ruins) this is a circular complex is located on the top of the mountain. After guided tour of the Runkuracay, we follow the trail that leads us to the second highest point of the Inca Trail, Called Runkuracay´s Pass (3,950 m/ 12,959 ft.). Along the way, we will have spectacular views of the snow-capped mountain range of Urubamba and Vilcabamba in a distance. Also see a beautiful lagoon.

Afterward, we descend towards the next Inca ruin as known Sayaqmarca “Dominant town or inaccessible town” (3,650 m/ 12,000 ft.). Here, we will have a chance to observe one of the most amazing sunsets over the Vilcabamba mountain range and Aobamba valley! After Sayaqmarca Inca ruins, we hike down for 30 minutes through the jungle with orchids and bromeliads to our campsite for the night at Chaquicocha (3,600 m/ 11,800ft.).

We choose this campsite because it is less crowded and will allow us a more peaceful encounter with nature! If the weather allows, you will get to see the Inca constellation we will go and later rest and have sweet dreams in our the quiet spot.

Today is the most impressive day with many views of the Vilcabamba mountain range and the sacred mountain of Salkantay. After waking up with a steamy cup of coca tea followed breakfast, we begin to hike for two hours until we reach Phuyupatamarca (3,680 m/ 12,073ft.).

On the way, we will pass through the tunnel and hike way above Urubamba valley with stunning views of the peaks of Salkantay, Veronica, and Pumasillo that spread out on either side of the trail. From Phuyutamaraca archeological site, we head into the rainforest, where we will hike down steep steps for 3 hrs to our third campsite, known Wiñay Wayna (forever young).

Before lunch we stop at the Intipata archeological site that is on an elevated perch overlooking the Urubamba river to have a rest and take some pictures. Then, we continue hiking down for 30 minutes to reach our lunch spot.

Following lunch, explore the archeological site of Wiñaywayna where we receive a comprehensive guided tour from your trekking guide. Later on, you will enjoy the afternoon tea followed by the last dinner prepared by your chef. Tonight go to sleep knowing that tomorrow is a big day for everyone.

Wake up early and have breakfast, before leaving camp to be the first to the checkpoint when they open the gate at 5:30 am. We will complete the final stretch of the Inca trail which will be a 2hr walk to reach Machu Picchu. After passing the last checkpoint of the Inca trail, we hike about 1hr through fairly easy going trail and cloud forest to reach the Inti Punku (Sun Gate), from where we can see the sunrise over the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and the Andes. Then we hike down for 1 hr to the gate of Machu Picchu. Along the way down, the views of the Inca city just get better and better. Upon your arrival, you will have a free time to take pictures of the Machu Picchu! Before most of the tourists arrive.

At 8 am we will reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to start the guiding private tour for 2 hrs. After guiding tour, you will have a free time to explore the Machu Picchu ruin on your own or climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain (must be arranged in advance the Huayna Picchu ticket).

When you are finished exploring the Machu Picchu Inca citadel you will catch a shuttle bus to Aguas Calientes and enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants in this charming little town. (Not Included). Later on, take a train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where our private van will be waiting for you to transfer back to your hotel in Cusco. Our Classic Inca Trail 4 days Trek to Machu Picchu will end at your hotel.

What Is Included For 4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary
  • Pick up from your Hotel in Cusco on the morning of the Inca Trail 4 days trek
  • Private transportation from your hotel to the starting point of the Inca Trail hike Km 82
  • Personal porter up to 7 kg/14 pounds to carry your overnight gear
  • English speaking professional guide who is highly experienced in trekking
  • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Eureka Timberline Tents)
  • Air mattress to put under your sleeping bag for 3 nights camping
  • Meals: Breakfast (3), lunch (3), dinner (3), and tea time every afternoon, and snacks on the trail
  • One duffle bag, where you put your personal belongings up to a maximum weight of 7 kg / 15.4 lb (this weight includes your sleeping bag).
  • Dietary needs: able to cater to any dietary preference/need
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Dining tent (with table, stools, chairs, etc.).
  • Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes
  • Chef and cooking equipment and cooking tent
  • Permit to the Classic Inca Trail and entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Bus tickets from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes town
  • Private toilet tent, with a normal toilet seat – this is only for our group
  • Porters to carry tents, food and cooking equipment
  • Boiled water to fill your water bottle every morning and afternoon
  • Expedition Tourist Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport back to your hotel in Cusco
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu

What Is Not Included For 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after the trek
  • Breakfast on day 1
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day
  • Extra hikes within Machu Picchu like Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person – please note if you choose this option, you need to booked in advance
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Tip for your guides, cook and porters
  • Items of a personal nature and souvenirs
  • Travel interruption & travel medical/evacuation insurance (required)
  • Extra expenditure during the trek, such as soda, alcoholic drinks, extra snacks, tickets for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes

Packing List For The 4-Day Inca Trail Hike

Original passport & valid International Student Card (ISIC, if applicable), some copies.

  • Travel insurance (and some copies).
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Sleeping bag liner.
  • Hiking boots (waterproof). Sneakers are acceptable but expect to get wet
  • Long-sleeved shirts to prevent sunburn.
  • Trekking poles with rubber covers. Without rubber covers, they will be of limited use.
  • Comfortable hiking clothes, including warm clothes for the nighttime.
  • Toilet paper, and face tissue paper.
  • Headlamp.
  • Water bottle or canteen.
  • American dollars and Peruvian soles in cash.
  • Sun hat, cap, and warm hat and gloves for the nighttime.
  • Hiking trousers.
  • Hiking socks.
  • Sunblock and sunglasses.
  • Deep or mosquito repellent.
  • Day Pack: We provide a duffle bag, to put in some personal belongings that you will not use during the day, and it will be carried by pack horses, and you will need a small daypack for carrying your water, snacks, camera, rain gear, and layers, sunscreen and bug spray, medcines that you many need during the day. Note: Maximum allowed in Machu Picchu is 25 liters, but the smaller the better.
  • Rain gear (you need to have a rain gear. From April- Oct is dry season and from Nov-Mar is the wet season. Just keep in mind that it can rain anytime of the year in the cloud forest and in the Peruvian Andes the weather is very changeable and unpredictable, it’s also good to have rain pants, as well, as a poncho will not suffice)
  • Personal first-aid kit. We recommend you bring anti-inflammatory tablets (ibuprofen), aspirin for headaches or muscle pain and blister kit.). Also, some recommended medicines from your of doctor for parasites and stomach bacterial infections (tablets like Ciprofloxacin for bacteria and Metronidazole, Tinidazole) and for high altitude (altitude sickness) Diamox and Ciprofloxacin.

4-Day Inca Trail Map

map inca trail 4 days

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the calssic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • A: The Inca Trail is a hiking trail in Peru that leads to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. The trail is famous for its stunning views of the Andes Mountains and for the many Inca ruins that hikers pass along the way.

How long is the Inca Trail?

  • A: The classic Inca Trail is a four-day, three-night trek that covers approximately 42 kilometres (26 miles).

Do I need a permit to hike the Inca Trail?

  • A: Yes, you need a permit to hike the Inca Trail. The Peruvian government limits the number of people who can hike the trail each day to help preserve the fragile ecosystem and protect the ruins. It’s important to book your permit well in advance, as they can sell out quickly.

How difficult is the Inca Trail?

  • A: The Inca Trail is a moderate to challenging hike, with steep climbs and descents, high altitude, and variable weather conditions. It’s important to be physically prepared for the trek and to spend a few days before your trek in Cusco aclimatize to the altitude before starting the trail.

What should I pack for the Inca Trail?

  • A: You should pack comfortable hiking clothes, sturdy hiking shoes, a warm sleeping bag, a waterproof jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, a water bottle, and snacks. You must also bring a small backpack to carry your personal belongings.

What is the best time of year to hike the Inca Trail?

  • A: The best time to hike the Inca Trail is during the dry season, which runs from April to october. The trail can be hiked year-round, but the rainy season (November to March) can make the trail more difficult and muddy.

Do I need a guide to hike the Inca Trail?

  • A: Yes, all hikers on the Inca Trail are required to have a licensed guide. This is to ensure the safety of hikers and to protect the trail and ruins.

How much does it cost to hike the Inca Trail?

  • A: The cost of hiking the Inca Trail can vary depending on the tour operator and the level of service you choose. Generally, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1000 USD per person for a four-day trek, including permits, guide, food, and camping equipment.

Can I hike the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu alone?

  • A: No, hiking the Inca Trail alone is not allowed. All hikers must be part of a guided group, and permits are issued for specific departure dates and group sizes.

Is altitude sickness a concern on the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • A: Yes, altitude sickness can be a concern on the Inca Trail, as the trail reaches elevations of over 4,200 meters (13,800 feet). It’s important to acclimatize to the altitude before starting the trail, stay hydrated, and listen to your body for any signs of altitude sickness.
share posts with: