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Sacred Valley and-Inca Trail

Extended Sacred Valley + Classic Inca Trail – 5D/4N

Sacred Valley and Machu Inca Trail to Picchu TourAlthough most people who come to Peru are usually led here by the attraction of the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, a lot of tourists are aware of the amazing experience that hiking the 4 day Inka Trail and exploring the Sacred Valley offer.

Actually, the 4 days Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu has been ranked as one of the Best Five Treks in the Whole World and adding a visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas only increases the significance of the trip.

When choosing this tour, after exploring the Sacred Valley on the first day, you will have the opportunity of walking for 4 days around the same complex network of roads that were once used by the Incas supposedly on their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.

You will definitely feel the energy of this place where the ancient people used to stop on the way and worship all the “Apus” (mountain peaks) which they considered sacred.

In order to do this, you will climb and descend from heights of 4,215 m/13,825 ft. to valleys of 2,700 m/8,856 ft. and then enjoy the lush vegetation of the cloud forest before reaching the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Implementing both the Sacred Valley and the Inka Trail in your journey will require a lot of effort but bring you great satisfaction, after days of climbing and descending, when you can finally lay your eyes on the ancient and marvelous walls of the Machu Picchu Citadel. When you have reached you will know it was all worth your while.

Action Peru Treks is highly recommended by TripAdvisor and Trustpilot. Join hundreds of happy trekkers who have experienced the adventure of a lifetime!


ITINERARY

Pre-trek briefing (required): We provide a full pre-trek briefing at our office in Cusco. This gives you the chance to ask questions about the trek itinerary. Briefings are scheduled for the day before your trek starts.

Please take this into consideration when booking your travel plans to Cusco, to ensure you arrive in time for the briefing.

Day 1: Extended Sacred Valley and camping at KM 82

You will be picked up from your hotel at 7:30 a.m. and we will transfer you to Pisac. Here we will climb at the edge of the town in order to reach the amazing Inca ruins that bear the same name.

You will be amazed by their complex architecture, the multitude of temples, water channels and carefully carved walls.

You will enjoy a 2-hour guided service where you will find out all about the cultural and historical significance of this fascinating place. Then we will head back to the town of Pisac to visit the traditional market, with an explosion of colors, where you can buy amazing and cheap local textiles.

Afterwards, we will continue our trip in the car, during which you can admire beautiful sceneries of the Sacred Valley and also enjoy your organic box lunch. Near the town of Urubamba, we will be able to visit the Maras Salt Mines and the Moray Inca Site.

The Moray Inca site is an interesting presentation of porches. It flaunts three amphitheater-like patios. These patios, which are cut profound into the earth in a bowl shape, were thought to be used to decide the ideal conditions for developing yields.

When we get done with learning all about Moray, we will make a beeline for the salt mines of Maras. This town is known as a previous salt-delivering place that goes back right to pilgrim times.

The salt mines were utilized by the Incas and keep on being utilized right up until today. There are more than 3000 salt pools cut into the mountain side, which are constantly being filled with water.

The territory is stunning and delightful. As we get back in the car, we have about 40 minutes to reach the last ruin we will visit: Ollantaytambo. These ruins were once that last stronghold of the Inca leader, Inca Yupanqui in the face of the Spanish invasion.

You can appreciate here a lot of Inca streets and houses, still intact, a great temple and a sanctuary, all of dark pink color. After our tour in Ollantaytambo, you will be transported 45 minutes to our camp at KM 82 (start of the Inca Trail). At the moment, we are the only company camping at the beginning of the Inca Trail.

Here you will enjoy a delicious and nutritious dinner cooked by our professional chef and then go to bed so that we can start the next day early and not be bothered by crowds of people.

  • Meals: Box Lunch
  • Accommodations: Camping at KM 82
  • Mínimum altitude: 2650 m/ 8694 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 3,399 m/ 11,150 ft
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

Day 2: KM 82 – Salapunku – Canabamba – Qorihuarachina – Ayapata

When you wake up, you will be treated to a hot cup of coca tea, that is sure to protect you from the possible effects of high altitude and then have breakfast before we start off on our way. We will walk 30 minutes until we reach the first Inca ruin of Salapunku. Because this is one of the most significant places used by the Incas, you will have a guided tour here in order to find out everything about it.

After this, we will continue to walk for about 1 and a half hour on flat land until we reach km 88, which is a checkpoint and the start of the actual Inca Trail. From here is another 45 more minutes until we will find another Inca ruin- Llactapata (2,750 m/9,020 ft), which was an Inca Trail checkpoint to Machu Picchu.

Here you will have another information session from the guide about the history and significance of this place and also of the Inca road to Machu Picchu. Then we prepare for another 2 hours of walking towards Hatunchaca (2,598 m/8,525 ft) where we will enjoy lunch. After lunch, there will be another 2 and a half hours walk towards Ayapata (3,300m / 10,829ft), where our camp will be for the night.

This way, we will not have to mix with the crowds, as this camp is further down the Inca Trail, compared to the regular one at Wayllabamba. This way we can enjoy the peace and tranquility and feel like we have the area all to ourselves.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner + snacks
  • Accommodations: Camping at KM 82
  • Mínimum altitude: 2650 m/ 8694 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 3,300 m/ 10,824 ft
  • Distance to walk: 14 km/ 8.7 miles
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Day 3: Ayapata– Dead Woman’s Pass – Pacaymayu – Chaquicocha

After having breakfast, we will start on our way to the enigmatic “Dead Woman´s Pass”. We will enjoy a walk through the cloud forest for the first two hours, passing through several ecosystems, from high puna to low sierra.

We are bound to see a lot of interesting local flora and fauna and, with a bit of luck, the White-Tailed deer. After trekking for two hours, we will reach Lluchapampa (3,800m / 12,460ft). This is the best opportunity to buy some supplies. We will have 15 minutes to do this and then we will continue on our way.

Further, we will hike for another two hours, in the middle of a majestic scenery, comprised of sumptuous mountains and rich vegetation of the Andes. Once we reach the Dead Woman´s Pass (Warmiwañuska) (4,215 m/ 13,825 ft) we will stop to take in the views from the highest point of our trek.

We will go down to the Pacaymayu camp for lunch and then climb to another archeological Inca site of Runcuraccay. After exploring these remains, we will continue uphill for one hour to the Runcuraccay Pass (3,950 m/ 12,959 ft).

Afterwards, we will descend once again, for 90 minutes, to the ruins of Sayacmarca (3,657m /12,000 ft).  A highlight of this place will be one of the most amazing sunsets you can see of Inka Trail.

Then we will continue for 25 minutes to our campsite for the night, at Chaquicocha (3,600m/11,800ft). We know most of our tourists enjoy the peace and quiet of nature without having to put up with noisy crowds. That is why we have chosen this tranquil campsite, instead of the traditional one at Pacaymayu.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner + snacks
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Mínimum altitude: 3,300 m/ 10,824 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 4,215 m/ 13,825 ft
  • Distance to walk: 16 km/ 10 miles
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

DAY 4: Chaquicocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñaywayna

After getting some energy from a delicious breakfast, we will continue to trek for 2 hours until Phuyupatamarca (3,680 m/ 12,073ft).

It is now when we will have the first amazing view of Aguas Calientes, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains and finally see our efforts pay off.

We will have a guided tour of the ruins at Phuyupatamarca. Diving into the rainforest, we will descend for 2 and a half hours to our camp and we will visit Inti Pata on the way.

It is said that one can take some of the most stunning pictures of the Inka Trail around here. Then we will walk for 30 minutes more towards our camp at Winay Wayna (2,680m/8,792ft).Here we will enjoy lunch and then, if you can handle even more culture, we will have a guided tour of the ruins of the same name.

There are not many companies that provide tours to Winay Wayna and we are one of them. These ruins are some of the most beautiful and fascinating on the Inca Trail.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner + snacks
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Mínimum altitude: 2,680 m/ 8,792 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 3,600 m/ 11,808 ft
  • Distance to walk: 10 km/ 6.2 miles
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

DAY 5: Wiñay Wayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Cusco

In order to complete our Inca Trail trekking, we will wake up early and head to Inti Punku (Sun Gate), which is the entrance to the Lost City of the Incas.

This part of the hike doesn´t require a lot of effort and in approximately one hour we will reach Inti Punku (2,400 m/ 7,875 ft), which offers a delightful view of Machu Picchu and an amazing sunrise above the mountains.

From the Sun Gate, the hike will become easier, as we descend for about 45 minutes to Machu Picchu Citadel. We will be directed to the best spots for taking the traditional Machu Picchu photos.

After a short break, we will start getting all the information about the history and significance of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, during a tour which will last two hours.

After recharging our energies and wandering around this amazing citadel, we will head down to the town of Aguas Calientes by bus.

Then you will board the train to either Poroy or Ollantaytambo, where our staff will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel in Cusco. Your arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of train departure on your ticket.

  • Meals: Breakfast + snacks
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Mínimum altitude: 2,430 m/ 7,972 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 2,700 m/ 8,856 ft
  • Distance to walk: 5 km/ 3.73 miles
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

Note: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or other events which are beyond our control. At Action Treks Peru we will always do our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible.


INCLUDED

  • Professional licensed guide fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua
  • Pre-trek briefing 1 to 2 days before the tour.
  • Box Lunch for the Extended Sacred Valley tour
  • Pick up from your hotel In Cusco and transfer to Kilometer 82 on day 1 of the tour
  • Guided tour of all the Inca sites in the Extended Sacred Valley tour
  • Porters to carry all group gear
  • Personal porter to carry 7 kg of personal gear for each hiker
    • Your sleeping bag and mattress will count towards this weight limit. Approximate weight of the average sleeping bag and sleeping mattress is 3 kg.
  • Four breakfasts, three lunches, three dinners plus snacks along the Inca Trail trek
  • Daily boiled and cold water to fill water bottles
  • Water for washing
  • Dining tent with table, stools, and all dining implements
  • Eco-friendly portable toilet and toilet tent
  • Professional chef and an assistant chef
  • Kitchen tent
  • Four-person tent for every 2 hikers
  • Mattress and pillow
  • Emergency supplies, including first aid kit, oxygen, and emergency radio
  • Inka Trail permit
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or to Poroy
  • All transfers, private van to trailhead at KM 82, bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, and private van from Ollantaytambo or Poroy to your hotel in Cusco.

NOT Included

  • Sleeping Bag – can be rented from us
  • Hiking poles – can be rented from us
  • Ticket to climb Huayna Picchu mountain (ticket can be purchased for US $75)
  • Lunch and dinner on day 5
  • Tips for porters, chef, and guide.
  • Tourist Ticket for entry into archeological sites in the Extended Sacred Valley tour 70 soles per person (USD $22)
  • Entrance fee for the Maras Salt Mines – 10 soles per person (USD $3.15)

What to bring

  • Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both)
  • Down or synthetic feather sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Clothes (trekking boots, warm fleece jacket, a few T-shirts, socks, sun hat, warm underwear, light long pants, gloves, rain jacket)
  • Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes, personal towel)
  • Sunscreen- SPF 35+ recommended
  • Head lamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera with spare batteries*
  • Binoculars
  • Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us) MUST have rubber tips
  • Insect repellent

NOTE *batteries run down faster at high altitudes


PRICES & ADD-ONS

Group: USD $900
Private: USD $960

Group versus Private Treks: What’s the difference?

  • Depending on the number of people in your booking, additional people may join the trek to make a full group.
  • If you choose “private”, no additional people will be joining your group, no matter the size.
  • Minimum booking size is two people; one person may book a group trek if Action Peru Treks is able to join that person with additional groups.

Discounts:

  • Under 18 years discount: USD $20
  • Under 7 years discount: USD $35

Rentals:

  • Hiking poles – USD $25 (pair)
  • Sleeping bag – USD $30
  • Private tent – USD $40

Upgrades:

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain ticket – USD $75 per person
  • $60 per person
  • $420 for trip from Aguas Calientes to either Ollantaytambo or to Poroy.
  • Buffet lunch at the Tinkuy restaurant in the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu on day 4 – USD $50 per person.

INCA TRAIL 2024 FAQs.

What is the Classic 4 day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu?

The Inka Trail is a well-established 4-day, 3-night hike which leads travelers from km.82 (start of the Inka Trail) all the way to one of the famous new seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu via its iconic Sun Gate.

The good news is that it’s a lot shorter than you may expect at only 45 kms (28 miles). The bad news? A significant chunk of that 45 kms is up steep, narrow Andean Mountain paths at altitude.

The Incan Empire created thousands of kilometers of trails to link its important settlements and centres of civilization, but it is this specific 4-day Inca Trail trek which is known as the one and only ‘classic or traditional Inka Trail to Machu Picchu’.

Why the Inca Trail is so popular?

The Trail is a microcosm; lush green cloud forest alive with birds, Andean peaks and steep mountain passes, a landscape dotted with centuries old Inca ruins, accessible only to those that follow this most famous pathway.

However, as truly beautiful as the hike may be, the real reason for its popularity lies at the very end of this four-day adventure; passing through the famous Sun Gate for that first magical sighting of Machu Picchu in the distance.

Only Inka Trail hikers can access the gate early in the morning, and it is this crescendo, at one of the new seven wonders of the world which makes this hike a feature on so many ‘South America bucket lists’.

The Inka Trail is the best way to arrive at one of the world’s most iconic attractions.

How far in advance should I reserve my permit for hiking the Inca Trail?

Everyone should book their Inca Trail permit as far in advance as possible. The Inca trail reservations are in super high demand as they do offer access to one of the top hiking trails on the planet!

It’s very common that permits for certain months of the year to sell out completely for the upcoming season in just a matter of days or hours.

On top of that, permits are non-refundable or transferable, so if any hikers who have purchased permits subsequently cancel them, they won’t become available again at a later date in the government system.

The Peruvian government releases all the permits in bulk throughout the month of October for the upcoming year. For example, for a hike in 2024, you can expect permits to be released in October 2023.

The best way to ensure you’re in the running for your chosen trek date is to have your Inca Trail pre-booked for the upcoming year before the permits are released in October 2023.

A general rule to follow is to book permits for the Inca Trail at least six to eight months in advance to ensure trail availability for treks on the traditional Inca Trail route.

Although 500 Inca Trail permits are available each day, around 300 of those are allocated to porters and guides, so in reality there are really only 200 permits a day for hikers.

How many Inca Trail permits are issued per day?

The number of permits for the Inca Trail offered was cut back in 2005 so that there’s now only 500 up for grabs each day.

To put that into perspective, that’s around a third of the 1,500 people and porters who were estimated to have hiked the trail prior to the start of restrictions in 2002. So, it’s hardly a surprise that there’s always a scramble to get permits!

To make matters worse, a majority of the 500 permits that are issued daily are set aside for guides, porters, and cooks.

Roughly 300 Inca Trail permits go to the support teams, leaving limited trail availability, allowing only 200 for travelers looking to get on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

There is some good news. The Peruvian government recently added another extra 250 permits for sole use on the Short Inca Trail hike. The 2-day short Inca Trail is essentially the final day of the traditional four day Inca Trail route with some variations in the beginning of the hike.

Permits for the Short Inca Trail hike is in far less demand, but it has helped to free up the entire batch of original permits for trekkers eager to commit to the traditional 4-day Inca Trail.

Note: Once the permit has been issued, you can not alter or change any details, so be sure you get them correct from the start.

Does the Inca Trail trip include your Machu Picchu entrance ticket?

Yep, the cost of entry is included in the trip price and it’s the responsibility of the tour company to take care of all that and provide you with the ticket on the day you’re entering the site.

Is there a waiting list for sold out trekking dates?

No, there is no waiting list for permits. Permits are only available for purchase through the Peruvian government.

Once a permit is purchased for one person, the permit cannot be refundable or transferred to another individual.

Where do I store my luggage during our Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days Trek?

Your Cusco hotel will store your luggage for free while you will be on the trek. We can also store your extra luggage at our office in Cusco if needed.

Are Inca Trail permits sold out for your preferred departure dates? Or maybe you would rather take a longer or shorter trek or a path less beaten?

If this is the case, you have plenty of options for hiking in the Peruvian Andes!

The Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay trek is offered in both 4- and 5-day versions. The route is the same for both, it is just a matter of how many kilometers you hike each day.

It is the most popular alternative trek to the traditional Inca Trail. It features diverse ecosystems including cloud forest, rain forest and high mountain.

You will have stunning views of snowcapped glaciers and a strikingly blue lake. The Salkantay route meets up with an ancient Inca highway that leads to the recently rediscovered ruins of Llactapata.

From there, one can gaze a few miles across the valley to take in a rare sidelong view of the full Machu Picchu complex and Huayna Picchu mountain.

A downhill walk ends at the small train station, where a 3 PM train runs along the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu.

There is the option with the Salkantay Trek to do the zipline in Santa Teresa, a thrilling experience. You also have the option of visiting the Santa Teresa Hot Springs. These are definitely the nicest hot springs in Peru.

  • Trip Length: 5 to 8 days
  • Difficulty Level: Medium to difficult

Ancascocha Trek

The Ancascocha Trek is unique and the scenery is mind blowing! You will rarely see any other trekkers on this trek.

The Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu is available in both 4- and 5-day versions. The route is the same and the difference is in distance hiked per day. This is our signature trek.

We are one of the few companies that offer it. Due to this, we are usually the only company at the camps. There are red mountains, stretches of original Inca paths, blue lakes, glaciers and much more.

This trek has 4 Inca ruins, and you also walk a portion of the four day classic Inca Trail on day 4 or 3 down to Kilometer 82 (start of the 4 day classic Inka Trail).  

On day 1 of the hike, you visit the Perolniyoc ruins and have a full guided tour. On the fourth or fifth day you visit and tour three Inca sites.

All three are closely coordinated with the Inka Trail. These are Paucarcancha, Llactapata (first Inca site on the 4 day Classic Inca Trail), and Willka Raqay.

You will also get an opportunity to observe the ruins at Ollantaytambo, but will not have time for a visit since you will have to catch the train to Aguas Calientes!

  • Trip Length: 4 to 8 days
  • Difficulty Level: Medium to difficult

Lares Trek

This 3-day trek traverses highland communities, renowned for their handwoven textiles, in the Lares Valley.

This trek is off the beaten path and the interaction with local villages and their vibrant cultures is superb. You will see abundant llamas and alpacas.

The Lares trek is also referred to as the Weaver´s Trek. This is because you pass through many villages where the best textiles in the area are made.

You will see the women weaving and get some tips! You also get to visit the magnificent Lares hot springs. It ends at the town of Ollantaytambo, and from there the train trip to Machu Picchu is only 1 ½ hours.

  • Trip Length: 3 to 5 days
  • Difficulty Level: Medium

Short Inca Trail

The Short Inka Trail is ideal for travelers who have limited time or want something less strenuous.

This hike starts at KM 104 of the Machu Picchu train line on a trail that leads to two archaeological sites Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna. This hike also gives you the opportunity to enter the lost city via the famous Sun Gate, the dramatic entrance that provides Inca Trail trekkers with their first glimpse of the site.

Spend the night in Aguas Calientes and then wake up on Day 2 for a Machu Picchu tour.

  • Trip Length: 2 days
  • Difficulty Level: Easy to Medium

The Inca Quarry Trail

The outposts of the vast Inca Empire were kept connected by fleet-footed chaski messengers, who ran so fast that the emperor was able to dine in Cusco on fresh fish from the Pacific Ocean, a mountainous 300 miles away.

This high-altitude route follows some of the same paths those runners might have used, and takes in scarcely visited Inca buildings, water channels, and quarries, where one can see firsthand how the Inca obtained the stone, they used in their building projects.

The Quarry trek includes a stop at the spectacular waterfall named Perolniyoc and its nearby ruins.

The trail ends at Ollantaytambo, where trekkers can visit one of the most famous sets of Inca ruins before hopping the train to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu where you spend the night in a hotel before you visit Machu Picchu in the final day of your 4-day trip.

  • Trip Length: 4 days
  • Difficulty Level: Medium

Is it possible to do without a tour company or guide?

Since June 2002 trekking independently on the Inka Trail has been prohibited. Access to the Inka Trail is strictly controlled by the Peruvian government and your trek must be organized through a tour operator.

Only specific licensed companies like Action Peru Treks are permitted to lead groups on the 5-day Inka Trail, 4-day Inka Trail and 2-day Inca Trail routes.

Companies must meet certain basic requirements proving that they have professional guides and good camping equipment, radio communications and emergency first aid including oxygen. Their license is renewed each year. 

Is it possible to enter with different name?

No, you need to carry your valid ID (passport) to enter the trek park.

What is the terrain like? And how difficult is the Inca Trail hike?

It’s not our most challenging trek, but you will be walking over hilly and rugged terrain with lots of stairs.

Expect some long, steep ascents too. Most of the hiking is on fairly well-defined tracks, including some remarkable sections of ancient Inca stone “highways”.

The entire 4-day trail hike is 28 miles so the distances traveled each day are not terribly long.

Although it is generally accepted that anyone who is accustomed to hiking and camping (i.e., walking for several hours and sleeping in tents) can hike the Inca Trail, the altitude can make hiking these distances feel about twice as difficult as hiking the same distance at sea level.

With the help of porters carrying your personal gear (6kg per hiker), you’ll only need to worry about carrying a day pack of around 4 kg including your water, camera and clothing layers.

Which campsites do you use along the Inca Trail?

Campsites may change depending on booking time and availability, weather conditions or on restrictions undertaken for safety reasons by the Peruvian Government.

We generally try to camp in less trafficked areas so that trekkers can enjoy the natural beauty of the Inka Trail and minimize environmental impacts.

Our regular campsite choice is Ayapata, Chaquicocha and Wiñay Wayna (campsites are subject to availability).

What do I need to carry on the trek?

We recommend that travelers carry the items that they will need each day while hiking such as water, snacks, camera and film. Our porters will carry 6 kg of each of your personal gear including the camping equipment during the trek.

We will give you a duffel bag for those belongings at the time of your pre trek briefing.

We generally ask trekkers to bring only the necessary items that they will need for the trail and leave any unneeded luggage at the hotel in Cusco or at our office.

How big are the groups?

Our groups are usually small. Average is 3 to 5 people and maximum 16 people plus the trekking team.

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

The best time to hike the Inka Trail is during the dry season – generally May to October. The rainy season comes on slowly in November and December and is at its strongest from January through early April.

Of course, the flora surrounding the trail and among the ruins themselves will be at its greenest during and just after the rains.

So May, June, July and August are the most popular months as folks take advantage of the combination of drier weather with the greener hillsides.

Is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu always open?

The Inka Trail is open 11 months of the year (March through January). It is closed every February for maintenance.

Are there toilets and showers at the campsites?

Some campsites have on-site toilets and showers; however, these are not well maintained. Instead, your trekking team will bring a toilet tent and portable toilet that will be set up during lunch and at each campsite with the exception of Wiñay Wayna.

As there are no toilets mid-trek, you opt to wait until lunch or to reach the campsite or to go in nature. Each morning and night you will also be provided a bowl of warm water with which to freshen up.

What is the elevation of the 4 day Inca Trail?

The 4-day Inka Trail begins at Km 82 which has an elevation of (2,400 m / 7,872 ft).

The highest point is Dead Woman’s Pass at (4,215 m /13,825 ft) and the lowest point is Machu Picchu at (2,430 m /7,972 ft).

What is the food like on the Inca Trail trek?

A cook accompanies each group on the Inka Trail and prepares breakfast, three course lunches and dinners.

The meals are quite exquisite considering that all of the ingredients and cooking supplies are carried from. Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

Each trekker is also provided with snacks to take with them on the trail. Vegetarian and vegan meals are also available upon request.

Other special dietary requests can usually be accommodated as well with sufficient notice.

Is drinking water supplied?

Yes, our trekking team will provide drinking water every morning and at each meal.

Each evening, water is collected from nearby streams, boiled, and left to cool overnight.

A reusable water bottle or hydration pack works well for this. We recommend that travelers bring their own refillable bottles to limit plastic waste along the Trail.

What equipment is supplied by us along the trip?

We supply the sleeping tents (4 person tents for two travelers), dining tents, tables, chairs, toilet tents, cooking equipment, water purifiers, Therma-rest air sleeping pads, and other camping equipment.

Our outfitter purchases the highest quality equipment in Peru and older equipment is evaluated and replaced on a regular basis.

What are the guides like?

Our team are among the very best and most experienced guides anywhere.

They are from the surrounding Cusco and the Sacred Valley areas and speak fluent English, in addition to Spanish and the Inca indigenous language of Quechua.

Most have 8-10 years of experience leading Inca trail hikes and other alternative treks and all have training in the history, spirituality, culture, and ecology of the area.

How can I be sure that the porters are well-cared for?

APT ensures proper staffing, have weight limits for our amazing porters, and support fair wages.

Most of our porters come from villages in the Sacred Valley. Some of these include Lares and Patacancha communities.  

We have a long and successful relationship with the people of these villages and frequently contribute to the needs of the community through donations, community service and etc. 

How can I prepare for the Inca Trail trek?

The more training you do beforehand, the more you will enjoy your trek.

We recommend 30 minutes of cardio activities 3-4 times a week in the 2-3 months leading up to your departure. Take every opportunity to walk up and down stairs or hills for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness.

4-day vs 2-day Inca Trail Trek

In addition to the 4-day Inka Trail trek, there is a shorter full-day hike.

Despite only including one day of hiking, this shorter hike is referred to as the “2-day Short Inka Trail” because the hike to Machu Picchu is on Day 1 and the Machu Picchu tour is on Day 2.

Both the 4-day and 2-day Inka Trail treks have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

The 4-day Inka Trail trek is ideal for travelers looking for a physically challenging adventure. Four days of trekking through a variety of landscapes is a great way of getting to know this part of the Andes. 

While the trekking team makes the experience very comfortable, three nights camping in a tent is perhaps not for everyone. 

Alternatively, the 2-day Short Inka Trail is recommended for travelers who cannot or do not wish to devote four days of trekking to their trip, but would still like to experience the Inka Trail.

This Short hike additionally permits hikers to enter Machu Picchu through the famous sun gate which is the main entry to Machu Picchu via the iconic Inca Trail.

The 2-day Inka Trail is particularly popular with families that enjoy hiking and are looking for a taste of adventure.

There is camping option involved with this trip and as wells as travelers can choose to spend the night in a hotel after hiking to Machu Picchu on day one.

Are there any ATMs?

There are no ATMs along the Inka Trail. You should bring enough money with you from Cusco for tipping and lunch in Aguas Calientes.

There are also some ATMs in Aguas Calientes if you need to withdraw additional cash.

What if I have a medical emergency while hiking the Inka Trail?

Guides carry a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.).

They receive Red Cross First Aid and other emergency training every year.

Our guides lead over 1000 travelers along the Inka trail each year and we have rarely had a traveler unable to complete the hike.

In these rare instances when someone has not felt well enough to finish the hike, he/ she has been escorted back to Ollantaytambo or to Cusco and generally felt well enough to re-join the group in Machu Picchu via train a few days later. Cusco and the Sacred valley have the nearest modern medical facilities so travelers with a serious medical emergency would need to be evacuated there.

Guides and porters have pre-established evacuation strategies in place should this need occur.

Is there internet access on the Inka Trail?

Nope, and this is one of the best things about it.

Instead, you and your group will spend evening conversing over plastic cups of hot tea, playing card games, or lazing in nature together.

Your last chance to use the internet or have a reliable phone signal will be in Ollantaytambo (the town before KM 82), and your first opportunity will be at Machu Picchu or in Aguas Calientes.

How much money should you bring on the Inka Trail?

The vast majority of costs will be covered in the up-front price of your trip, but there are a few costs along the way for which you’ll need to bring cash:

  • Snacks and drinks from stallholders
  • Toilet entry fees (usually 2 soles at Machu Picchu)
  • Tips for porters and guides
  • Lunch on day 4 at Aguas Calientes.

It’s sensible to take this money in the form of smaller notes and coins.

We’d say at least 350 soles per person for the Trail-specific section.

Will I get altitude sickness on the Inka Trail?

Many of the most popular places in Peru, such as Cusco and Huaraz, are at high altitude; this means that for anyone planning a trip to Peru understanding altitude sickness (and how to avoid it) is incredibly important.

In fact, not approaching altitude correctly is one of the biggest mistakes of travelers in South America.

The best way to minimize the likelihood and impact of altitude sickness is factoring in enough time into your Peru itinerary to acclimatize to the conditions.

This means that it is incredibly foolish to arrive in Cusco, which is at 3,339m (11,151 feet) above sea-level, and leave the next day to do a strenuous hike or even start the Inka Trail. Your body needs the time to adjust to the altitude!

A good rule of thumb is to give yourself and your body two easy days at altitude to acclimatize to the change, and to keep yourself well hydrated throughout.

What about medication?

Obviously, medical attention and facilities along the Inca Trail hiking to Machu Picchu are pretty much non-existent so you need to bring any of your own required medication with you and keep it on your own person or in the daypack.

What climates can I expect on the Inka Trail?

Variance in latitude, elevation and local winds all factor into the wide range of climates experienced in the central Sierra/Andean Mountain region.

Average temperatures in the Sierra vary little between seasons, but there is dramatic daily variance. 

While the average daily temperature may only vary a few degrees Celsius between January and July, the diurnal (daily) temperature range is often huge.

You can expect daytime temperatures in the highlands to be in the range of 10-25°C (50-77 °F), falling as low as -10 °C (14°F) at night.

How much time can I spend at the Machu Picchu sanctuary?

There are three time slots in which patrons can enter Machu Picchu for a maximum of four hours and must follow one of three predetermined routes. Admission is not allowed after 4pm. Additionally, all visitors must always be accompanied by a guide.

The early morning is one of the best times to savour the views and atmosphere of Machu Picchu. The mystical morning light over the enigmatic sites is spectacular.

Try and catch the sunrise at the sanctuary, you won’t regret the early wakeup call!

PRICE PER PERSON IN USD:
Group: $900
Private: $960
DURATION:
5 Days / 4 Nights

AVAILABLE ADD-ONS

  • Hiking poles – USD $25 (pair)
  • Sleeping bag – USD $30 per person
  • Huayna Picchu mountain ticket – USD $75 per person
  • $420 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
  • Buffet lunch at the Tinkuy restaurantin the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu on day 4 – USD $50 per person
  • Private tent – USD $40

OVERVIEW

  • Day 1: Extended Sacred Valley and Camping at KM 82
  • Day 2: KM 82 – Salapunku – KM 88 – Llactapata – Ayapata
  • Day 3: Ayapata – Dead Woman’s Pass – Chaquicocha
  • Day 4: Chaquicocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna
  • Day 5: Wiñay Wayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Cusco
  • Trek Total Distance: 45 km/28 miles
  • Elevation: 2,400 – 4,215 m / 7,872 – 13,825 ft.

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