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 Travelers Choose This Tour
Though steep and challenging, the 4-day Inca Trail is an iconic and rewarding way to reach Machu Picchu.
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.
Distance: 7.45 miles / 12km
Estimated time: 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude: 9,850 feet / 3,000m
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.
Distance: 6.83 miles / 11km
Estimated time: 6 - 7hours
Maximum altitude: 13,799 feet / 4,200m
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.
Distance: 9.93 miles / 16km
Estimated time: 8 hours
Maximum altitude: 12,664 feet / 3,860m
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.
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.