Cusco, Peru

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clock-o4 days (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Inca people on this 4-day hike to Machu Picchu along the sacred pilgrimage route of the Inca Trail. During the challenging trek to this world-famous citadel and UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll explore ancient ruins, admire majestic mountain views and see diverse plant and animal life. This tour includes transfers to and from the start of the trail, entrance fees, experienced guide and porters, camping equipment and meals during the hike.
  • Guided 4-day trek to Machu Picchu
  • Hike the famous Inca Trail
  • Pass Inca ruins and cities and catch breathtaking views of the Andean mountain range
  • All entrance fees, equipment and transportation included
  • Book this tour months in advance! Government-issued permits are required, which sell out quickly.

Why Travellers Choose This Tour

A once-in-a-lifetime spiritual adventure that offers breathtaking views of Machu Picchu from the entrance on the Inca Trail that most tourists don't get to see. Porters carry the sleeping gear, but you must be prepared for lots of walking and the high elevation.
This unforgettable Machu Picchu trek offers a cultural and physical journey through Peru’s Urubamba Valley along the renowned Inca Trail, traversing the very same paths once walked by the citizens of this ancient empire. Over the course of your challenging 26-mile (42-km), 4-day hike, you’ll experience fascinating ruins, incredible Andean scenery and the unique flora and fauna of Peru, culminating with your arrival at the incredible mountain stronghold of Machu Picchu.
Leading you on your journey is a knowledgeable guide, who will share stories about Inca culture and provide historical context. You’ll also be accompanied by porters to help carry tents and sleeping gear, cook meals, and set up camp each night. The ratio of trekkers to guides and porters is kept low, with one guide for every four trekkers and one porter for every two people on the trek.
It is recommended that you book well in advance, as the required permits to visit Machu Picchu are limited to just 500 people per day by the Peruvian government.

Itinerary

Day 1
Distance:
7.45 miles / 12km
Estimated time:
5-6 hours
Maximum altitude:
9,850 feet / 3,000m
Campsite:
Huayllabamba

Early in the morning, you'll depart to Piskacuchu, a community located on the 82nd km (51 mile) of the Cusco - Machu Picchu railroad. From this point, you'll cross the bridge, walking along the shore of the Urubamba River as it flows north-west along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain you'll arrive in Miskay before ascending to the tallest part of the overlook, the Inca city of Patallacta.

You'll continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about 5 hours until we reach the first campsite at the village of Wayllabamba. All along the way, you'll enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the Urubamba River where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 19,100 feet (5832m) above sea level. Also, you'll enjoy the diversity of wild flora and fauna found all along the valley.

Day 2
Distance: 6.83 miles / 11km
Estimated time:
6 - 7hours
Maximum altitude:
13,799 feet / 4,200m
Campsite:
Pacaymayo

After breakfast, the adventure continues. Surrounded by vegetation, you'll ascend and be exposed to the different ecological levels of Peru. Upon arrival at Warmiwanusqa, the highest point of the trip at 13,800 feet (4200m), you'll see the majestic peak of the snow-covered mountain Huayanay which stands at 17,225 feet (5250m).

You'll pass domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at this high altitude. Cross an area of cloud forest, home to a variety of birds (like hummingbirds and sparrows) and the Andean bear.

It is highly recommended that on this day, your day pack is well stocked with candy, chocolate and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high and help with potential altitude sickness. Immediately after the pass, you'll descend into the Pacaymayo valley, where you'll camp with a spectacular view of snow-covered mountains.

Day 3
Distance: 9.93 miles / 16km
Estimated time:
8 hours
Maximum altitude:
12,664 feet / 3,860m
Campsite:
Winaymayna

Today, you'll visit the ruins of Runkurakay and enjoy spectacular views of the waterfalls on the snow-covered mountain Palcay. Trekking along, you'll enjoy panoramic views of the Mountain Range of Vilcabamba and its most important peaks, Pumasillo, Sacsarayoc and Panta. From this area, you'll start a slow descent, crossing the ruins of Sayajmarca, which are still covered with vegetation. On the way down, you'll go through a tunnel formed by a soil slide adapted by the Incas. Keep going until you reach the ceremonial center of Phuyupatamarca where you'll stop for lunch. From here, descend to ruins of Winay Wayna and camp near a hostel for to enjoy hot shower.

Day 4
Distance: 2.48 miles / 4km
Estimated time:
2 hours
Maximum altitude:
8,923 feet / 2,720m

Early in the morning, you'll continue the adventure and head to the Sun Gate (Intipunku). Here, enjoy an incomparable view of Machu Picchu which few people get to experience. You are now just 40 minutes away from the city. Descend to Machu Picchu and enjoy a guided visit of the sacred citadel. After, you'll take the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes where you'll catch the train for the return ride to Cusco.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

4.0
20 reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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2 Star
1 Star
G
, Aug 2016

William, William, William Willy...if you get this guide, you have lucked out. Truly. It was only my son 12 and I on this tour. We had mixed feelings about it being just us, our guide and the Porters. Other groups seemed to amount from 6 to 20 hikers and we thought we might miss out on the dinner time chat about the experiences. William made this experience incredibly engaging, fun and very educational. His knowledge is remarkable and it had my sone daily suggesting he write a book. I am not sure how Viator picks guides or even how this came together as there is a bit of a disconnect btwn us, Viator and our guide prior to beginning. However, upon meeting William and reviewing the schedule and expectations, we were provided with an incredible combination of experiences. It's a very tough trek but the rewards are more than worth the effort. I'll pass on writing on the tech aspects of this tour as many already have and their opinions are well worth reading. Top marks to William and our Porters. Incredible team.

S
, Jul 2016

I want to first start by thanking the tour operator and guide Ruben .C. for making our Inca trail trek wonderful.
Before the trip, I had a few questions about things I needed to prep and contacted Viator three times, however they only told me that the tour company would be contacting me. I think there is a little disconnect between Viator and the tour company because by the time our trip came, I still had not heard from anyone. Luckily we got to Cusco a couple days and after seeking out the tour company, we were informed that there would be a debriefing the day before. During this debriefing, we were told what to expect each day length, difficulty level, etc, number of group members, things to carry in a personal backpack, etc.
Peru is a beautiful country and you definitely get a glimpse of it on the Inca trail. Each day has a different breathtaking scenery and beautifully preserved. Ruben shared a wealth of knowledge and was very helpful in explaining any questions we had on the Inca ruins deepening my appreciation for Machu Picchu.
Here are some tips for other people but those might differ per operator:
1. Drinking water is available to buy for day 1 and 2, after they will provide boiled water.
2. Porter will only carry camping supply, food, and gear, you have to carry all personal items and sleeping bag. You can hire extra porter for a fee.
3. Cold at night and hot during the day in early July, be ready for rain!
4. Bring some snacks, breakfast is typically at 5am, lunch is around 11 to 12pm, and dinner is at 6pm.
5. Try to pack light and only bring stuff that you might need. We accidentally brought big multi-day backpacks with us but most hikers brought a standard size backpack.
6. Stay in Cusco a few days before the hike to acclimate to the altitude.
5. Bring your passport to get through the checkpoint.
6. Bring hiking poles.
7. Have fun and enjoy mother nature.

L
, Jul 2016

I tackled the Inca Trail as a group of 4. We had an absolutely amazing time with Camping Adventure Tours I think that's the name of the company. Our guide, William, was amazing! He was friendly, encouraging, helpful, and funny. Our team of porters and chef were great at making us feel comfortable and safe. I would highly recommend this team / company for anyone looking to take on the Inca Trail!

J
, Apr 2016

We were very happy with the service provided by the local operator but extremely disappointed with the service, or lack thereof provided by Viator.

I would provide details but there is inadequate characters allowed in this review.

R
, Dec 2015

The inca trail done in the first week of November, 2015. Our guide, Alberto spoke English well enough to explain the inca/ruin/MP history.
Porters were always kind and helpful.
Nice delicious meals throughout the trail.
It will be one of the most memorable trips in my life.
Highly recommended!!!

E
, Jun 2015

This tour was amazing!

V
, May 2015

After thoroughly researching the best way to see and experience Machu Pichu, I chose to backpack for four days on the Inca Trail during the full moon of May. Due to the popularity of this adventure, I booked the trip to Cuzco, Peru in November to be sure that I could get the dates that I wanted.
I also booked with a tour company that provided guides, and other necessary equipment for this trek. I chose to travel solo, so that meant that I would be sharing a tent with a stranger, to avoid problems, I purchased the lightest available tent that protects me from mosquitoes and rain and I also purchased a sleeping bag, an air mattress, air pillow, and shock absorbing poles to help my knees handle walking down deep steps. All the items are light weight and fitted very well in my Dry Pack backpack
The weather can be unpredictable, so I also packed a rain jacket with zippers on the armpits to allow ventilation and rain pants. I wore waterproof hiking boots to keep my feet dry and I took moleskin and hand sanitizer to protect my feet from blistering during the four day hike. Expedition weight underwear kept me warm at night, three extra pairs of padded socks, and pants that can convert to shorts completed my clothing selection.
Although I took two lipstick size flashlights, a better choice is a flashlight that you wear on your head, you will be needing both of your hands especially at night when its time to go to the bathroom.
Remember to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Toilet facilities are somewhat primitive by U. S. standards and consist of a hole in the floor, you must learn to squat and aim a totally new experience for me! I also wore a go pro camera on my wrist to make it easier to capture the scenery and I used my IPad at the campsite to take lots of great photos. You will be needing a small bag to carry your passport and camera as you enter Machu Pichu, the backpack and poles are stored at the entrance.

M
, Apr 2015

We had an excellent tour. There were a few things I wish we had known, or at least thought about a little more before we booked. Also note I am a 26 year-old active female
First, Viator is a tour broker, so until the actual tour company has been selected, no specific questions can be answered about the tour. For example when we were leaving, getting back, supplies provided, etc...
The trip was excellent, a few lessons learned from our end
1 Hire a porter to carry your bags/stuff . . . all you will want to carry is small backpack with water, especially on the hard days youll be exhausted from the hike, and you wont enjoy it at all if you are carrying a large backpack
2 Altitude sickness is a real thing - get medicine and buy cocoa leaves even if youre a big skier, its different here
3 Our baggage got lost on the airlines . . . I wish we would have carried on the essentials, so that we had the things we really needed, hiking shoes, hiking clothes, toiletries, flash lights, camera, etc
4 If you are traveling by yourself, request your own tent . . . otherwise you will share a tent with someone else that is traveling alone.
5 Skip the train upgrade. It was not worth the extra money.
6 Buy or rent hiking sticks. I did not think I needed these and I was completely wrong. You absolutely need them some of the days
7 Our trip had sleeping bags included in the price. They were in good shape, no need to bring your own
8 TIPS are NOT OPTIONAL. Even though it says they are, they were not, and we were pressured/guilted into giving a tip. That being said, everyone on the tour is not making much and has earned that tip in my opinion They told us that 50-75 sols 15-25 USD per porter/chef was typical. . . when we divided that among our group, everyone ended up tipping at least 30 USD a person and an additional 30-40 USD to the tour guides.
Good luck on your adventure! Have fun!

M
, Feb 2015

The challenge of this trip was the language barrier. I am an English speaking person, and requested for an English speaking guide. The two guides on my trip spoke very little English, and lacked the vocabulary to adequately describe the things we saw on the trip.

I enjoyed the journey, but was upset that I did not learn as much as I could have.

A
, Dec 2014

I felt well prepared for this trip in terms of the companies effort to make sure you had everything you needed prior to the hike and their information about each day of the hike given the night before. Each meal was a multi-course event (it all was good!), and snacks were provided. The guide was encouraging and informative throughout the 4 days. The hike itself was a challenge, but the guide stressed the importance of moving at your own pace and always made sure he was the last one in so no one was left behind. He offered tips to battle altitude which proved helpful. The only thing I did not realize was that you have to carry your own sleeping bag. They supply tents, sleeping bags ect, but be aware, although they carry tents and cooking supplies, you must carry your own sleeping bag!
I would highly recommend this experience overall!


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