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Classic Inka Trail 4 Days / 3 Nights

The Inca Trail is Peru's best known hike, combining a stunning mix of Inca ruins, mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest and rich subtropical jungle. Over 345 species of orchid have been counted in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, as well as numerous birds such as hummingbirds, waterfowl and the majestic Andean Condor. The star of the Sanctuary is the spectacled bear - a shy, herbivorous animal that is extremely rare and close to extinction. Essentially the Inca Trail is a mountainous jungle hike leading to the sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu. The 45km trek is usually covered in 4 days, arriving at Machu Picchu at daybreak on the final day before returning to Cusco by train in the afternoon.    The trek is rated moderate and any reasonably fit person should be able to cover the route. It is fairly challenging nevertheless, and altitudes of 4200m are reached, so ensuring that you are well acclimatized is important. If arriving from sea level, plan to spend at least 2 full days in Cusco (3 days is better) prior to commencing the trek. This should allow plenty of time for acclimatization and give you sufficient opportunity to visit the city of Cusco and nearby Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q'enko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, as well as spending a day or two exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the tradition market town of Pisac and the fascinating Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo.

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Included
  • Price
Difficulty: Distance: Maximum Altitude:
Medium - Hard 45 km / 26 mi 4200 m / 13,700 ft

Season : March - January
Departure Dates: On Request
Prices Start at : $620.00 USD

Day 1: Start of the Inka Trail: 

After breakfast we leave  from Cusco to the start of the trail (82km). There, you will begin the journey, warming up on the relatively flat part of the trail. After two hours, you will reach the first archaeological center of Patallacta, where we will appreciate the impressive landscapes, flora and fauna. This site and others will show the importance of this valley in the context of Incan history. After lunch, we will continue ascending to a semi-tropical valley for two hours until arriving at our camp, Huayllabamba, where we will spend the night.

Day 2: Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo

After breakfast, we will start hiking early on the morning of the second day, passing through different climatic and ecological zones. We will ascend to Warmiwañusca. We will walk amongst abundant vegetation with various types of trees. This pass is known by many as the world’s highest cloud forest. After the toughest part of the journey, an ascent of nearly 5 hours, we will arrive at the highest point, known to some as Dead Woman’s Pass. From there, we will take a well-deserved break and observe the beauty of the deep valleys. If we’re lucky, we will see the flight of the condors and will pass among the thick clouds in the sky. After this rest, we will descend towards our second camp at Pacaymayu.

Day 3: Pacaymayo – Wiñay Huayna:

We will climb steeply up the opposite side of the valley wall, towards the second pass. About halfway up lies a small, round, roofless stone building. This Incan ruin is known as Runkuracay, a building thought to have been an astrological site and a sort of checkpoint for couriers following the trail to Machupicchu. After a short tour, we will continue to ascend towards the second pass, the Abra de Runkuracay. On the far side of the pass, the trail descends towards a valley and a shallow lake. At this point, the trail changes from a dirt path to a narrow stone roadway, containing the exact stones that were in place when the Incas walked the trail. The trail after the pass leads to a second, larger Inca site, Sayacmarca (“Town in a Steep Place”). This Incan ruin was built on a rock overlooking the trail and is accessible only via a single narrow stone staircase. On the left of the staircase lies an overhanging rock wall and on the right a sheer drop with expansive vistas of the Peruvian countryside. This site is roofless and slightly overgrown, but the walls still stand strong and the shape of the fortress can easily be seen. We will also see a stone aqueduct, which once carried water to the farmlands. After touring Sayacmarca, we will descend to the valley floor. The roadway takes the form of a long causeway leading across what may once have been a shallow lake. We will stop at this valley to enjoy lunch. After lunch, you will begin to climb again. At this point, you will pass through interesting Incan structures, including a tunnel that is eight meters long and wide enough to allow humans and animals to pass through. After this tunnel, we will reach the third pass and enjoy the third Incan site, Phuyupatamarca (“Cloud-level Town”). We will learn about the ritual functions that the Incas used this site for. Here we will see baths that Incas bathed in before they reached Machupicchu. The highest baths were reserved for the nobles, while the baths lower down on the side of the structure were used by the lower class. After this Incan site, we will reach another one, Huiñayhuaina (“Forever Young”). At this site, we will enjoy your dinner and settle for the night.

Day 4: To Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes - Cusco: 

On the last day of the trek, we will wake up early and follow a wide, relatively flat path. After about an hour and a half, we will climb a narrow flight of stone steps leading to Intipunko, the Sun Gate. After three and a half days of trekking, we will look through the rectangular doorway of the sun gate and take in the first views of Machupicchu. From there, we will descend into Machupicchu. There, your guide will give a thorough, three-hour tour. Following your tour, you will have time to yourself before taking the bus to Aguas Calientes. From there, we will return to Cusco.

Trek Price Includes:

  • Professional, bilingual (English and Spanish) tour guide
  • Collection from your hotel on Day 1 to the start of the trail
  • Spacious, personal tents
  • Sleeping mat
  • Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes (while hiking). With adequate advance notice, we can supply boiled water to fill your water bottle or hydration pack.
  • Accommodations: 3 nights camping.
  • Porters for days 1-4 (for equipment )
  • Excellent Meals (3 Breakfast, 3 Lunch, 3 Dinner)
    • Food includes pancakes, omelettes, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking
    • Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, biscuits, popcorn)
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Bus from  Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Inka Trail entrance fee
  • Machu Picchu entrance fee
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco

What You Need to Bring:

  • Original passport (and *International Student card (ISIC), if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended but not required)
  • Sleeping bag (also can be rented from us)
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Sun hat
  • Sun protection cream (SPF 35 or higher recommended)
  • Insect repellent
  • Re-usable plastic or metal water container or a hydration pack such as Camelbak
  • Water (only for first 4 hours of trek, then we will provide you with previously-boiled drinking water throughout the trek)
  • Toiletries (including toilet paper)
  • Personal medication
  • Camera
  • Torch with spare batteries (headlamps are useful)
  • Cash in local currency (Peruvian Soles) to purchase items along the trail and tips for porters
  • Cash in local currency (Peruvian Soles) for Machu Picchu locker rental. You are required to check your backpack into a locker before entering the ruins.

*To qualify as a student, it is necessary to have a valid ISIC card. Please scan and email us a copy at the time of booking.
If desired, the train back to Cusco can be upgraded to Vistadome (+$20)

Optional Items to Bring:

  • Shorts
  • Walking sticks or trekking poles. Trekking poles used are required to have rubber tips.
  • Bandages or moleskin
  • Sandals
  • Entrance fee for hot springs

Optional Services (Not Included):

  • Sleeping bag rental, $25.00
  • Breakfast on Day 1, lunch on Day 4, dinner on Day 4
  • 1 extra porter to carry personal items, $30 per day
  • Walking sticks, $8

Prices for 2014:

Number of People 2 3 4 5 6-10
Price per Person ($ USD) $600 $590 $570 $560 $540

Cusco Native is a company comprised of certified and licensed local tour guides. All tours booked with Cusco Native are led and staffed by Cusco Native employees. We will never pass you onto another tour company for your trek. We are a local company with professional employees and guides who are knowledgeable in all of the main (like the Inca Trail) and alternative (Lares to Machu Picchu) treks.

Cancellations

In the event of a cancellation we need to be informed in writing. Cancellation charges plus forfeiture of the non-refundable deposit will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by Cusco Native.

Our cancellation table is as follows:

Days Prior to Start of Trek Percentage Lost of Total Trek Price
29 to 22 60%
21 to 9 80%
8 to 0 100%

In the event of partial cancellations, the remaining passenger may have to pay any remaining charges (e.g. single room supplements or double-occupancy).