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Sky Lodge and Inca Trail

Unveiling Peru’s Treasures on an 8-Day Adventure

Inca Trail Trek AdventureGet ready to embark on an epic 8-day Machu Picchu Inca Trail trek adventure that combines history, adventure, and breath-taking views and guarantees unforgettable experiences. Brace yourself for an unparalleled journey, complete with the iconic Inca Trail trek with an overnight stay at the mesmerizing Sky Lodge.

Our team is here to guide you from beginning to end, inspiring exploration and appreciation of all that Peru has to offer, from grandiose mountains to unique salt mines and dense rainforests. You’ll trek through the land of ancient civilizations, stopping for panoramic views, ziplining thrills, and guided tours of ruins.

We’ll guide you through world-famous landmarks such as Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. And not only will you see views of Peru’s beauty along the hike, but you’ll even be sleeping in a capsule suspended from the side of a mountain, offering an overlook of the entire Sacred Valley and Urubamba River. It’s truly an experience like no other!

Prepare to be captivated from your first step to the last. Let’s begin our journey!

Overview:

Day 1: Welcome to Cusco!

Day 2: Sacred Valley Marvels and Sky Lodge Thrills

Day 3: Inca Trail Kick-off – From Sky Lodge to Ancient Pathways

Day 4: Conquering Heights and Ancient Ruins – Ayapata to Chaquicocha

Day 5: A Dazzling Sunrise and Magnificent Ruins – Phuyupatamarca to Wiñay Wayna

Day 6: Embrace Sun Gate and Marvel Machu Picchu

Day 7: Unveiling the Colors of the Rainbow at Rainbow Mountain

Day 8: Farewell, Cusco – A Journey’s End

Day 1: Welcome to Cusco!

As you touch down in Cusco, a city steeped in the legacy of the Inca Empire, the beginning of your adventure unfolds. Our team will greet you at the airport and provide transportation to your comfortable hotel, which will be your stay for the first night of the trip. Take a stroll through the charming streets and enjoy the mystique of this ancient city while acclimating to the altitude. Indulge in local cuisine and savour soothing cups of Coca tea to prepare yourself for the excitement ahead.

  • Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco
  • Highest Elevation: 3,400 m/11,154 ft.
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

Day 2: Sacred Valley Marvels and Sky Lodge Thrills

Embark on a remarkable day of exploration as you traverse the Sacred Valley’s wonders. We will begin at Chinchero, a town that cannot be missed. Dive into the living history of Chinchero, where ancient stonework meets vibrant traditions.

Next, we’ll head to the unique circular ruins of Moray. Here you can marvel at the enigmatic ruins, which are believed to be an agricultural experiment of the Incas. Others think it was a landing pad for alien spaceships—we’ll let that be your call.

Following Moray, discover the Maras Salt Mines, a masterpiece of terraced salt ponds nestled against the mountains with trickling mineral-rich water that seems to defy time. The day doesn’t end here, though! Continue your journey with a visit to the majestic Ollantaytambo fortress, magnificent ancient ruins that offer stunning views over the Sacred Valley.

We’ll stop for lunch at a local Peruvian buffet restaurant (not included), before reaching our last stop at Pachar and ascending to the Sky Lodge – a suspended capsule with panoramic vistas that promise a night like no other.

You’ll safely rock climb your way to the hotel, which is an adventure in itself, with the option to climb down or zipline to leave. A gourmet dinner will be served in your hanging capsule, completing a thrilling day with star gazing and panoramic views. In the morning, we’ll be on our way to the next location!

  • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Sky Lodge
  • Highest Elevation: 3,762 m/12,342ft.
  • Approximate Tour Duration: 7 – 8 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

Day 3: Inca Trail Kick-off – From Sky Lodge to Ancient Pathways

Wake up to breath-taking views from your Sky Lodge capsule, then brace yourself for an exhilarating 2-hour ziplining adventure. The thrill continues as you transition from modern excitement to ancient pathways.

The legendary Inca Trail beckons, starting at Kilometer 82 and continuing to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek. This historic route carries the echoes of ancient pilgrims and offers an immersion into diverse landscapes, magnificent ruins, and a profound connection to history.

We will transverse the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu while learning about the history and discovery of Machu Picchu, before stopping for a lunch cooked by our chef. We’ll continue our hike and set up camp at Ayapata, a spot cradled by the tranquil Andean wilderness.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Highest Elevation: 3,300 m/10,824ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,595 m/8,525 ft.
  • Distance to Walk: 14 km/ 8.7 miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 8 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Conquering Heights and Ancient Ruins – Ayapata to Chaquicocha
After breakfast, we will embark on a journey through lush cloud forests, culminating in the renowned Dead Woman’s Pass. The panoramic views from this vantage point are nothing short of awe-inspiring. We’ll stop for a break at a camp in Llulluchapampa and then hike for 2 more hours through beautiful mountain scenery.

Then, we’ll descend to the Pacaymayu campsite, where a delicious lunch awaits. Explore the captivating Runcuraccay ruins and then arrive at the Inca site of Sayacmarca. Here we will get a chance to enjoy one of the most amazing sunsets across the Aobamba valley before reaching the serene campsite at Chaquicocha, nestled amid nature’s grandeur.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Highest Elevation: 4,215 m/13,825 ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 3,300 m/10,824 ft.
  • Distance to Walk: 16 km/ 10 miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 10 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 5: A Dazzling Sunrise and Magnificent Ruins – Phuyupatamarca to Wiñay Wayna

Greet the day with a mesmerizing sunrise as you embark on a picturesque 2-hour hike to Phuyupatamarca. The reward at the end of your ascent is a panoramic vista that sweeps across iconic peaks and valleys and a guided tour of the Inca ruins.

Then we will descend into a mystical rainforest, pausing to explore the Inti Pata ruins and take in the beauty of the rainforest and trail. Your journey culminates at Wiñay Wayna, where we will arrive at camp and experience a guided exploration that unveils Inca heritage. As the sun sets, immerse yourself in the magical ambiance of this historic site.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Highest Elevation: 3,600 m/11,808 ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,680 m/8,792 ft.
  • Distance to Walk: 10 km/ 6.2 miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 5 – 6 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

Day 6: Embrace Sun Gate and Marvel Machu Picchu

Rise before dawn and set your sights on the Inti Punku or “Sun Gate.” As the sun’s first rays shine over the legendary Machu Picchu, a surreal atmosphere welcomes you. Here, we will enjoy the incredible views of Machu Picchu and the sunrise over the Andes mountains.

An insightful 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu follows, unravelling the mysteries of this spot. With majestic mountains framing the scene, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Bid farewell to Machu Picchu, descending to Aguas Calientes by bus before returning to Cusco via train.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco
  • Highest Elevation: 2,700 m/8,856 ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,430 m/7,992 ft.
  • Distance to Walk: 5 km/ 3.73 miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 2 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

Day 7: Unveiling the Colors of the Rainbow at Rainbow Mountain

Venture beyond the expected and embrace a side journey to Rainbow Mountain. Our team will pick you up from your Cusco hotel and set out toward the trailhead at Llacto, where we’ll stop for breakfast.

Embark on a trek to the summit, where a breath-taking tapestry of colors awaits – a natural masterpiece of Peru. We will hike Rainbow Mountain, stopping to take in incredible views along the way. Absorb the serenity of the Andean highlands, capturing the beauty of this unique landscape. After photos and hiking, we will drive to Cusipata where a local meal awaits us and then we will head back to Cusco.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco
  • Highest Elevation: 5,020 m/16,469 ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 3,400 m/11,154 ft.
  • Distance to Walk: 8 km/ 5 miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 3 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 8: Farewell, Cusco – A Journey’s End

As your expedition draws to a close, savour a final meal in the heart of Cusco. With our arrangements, you’ll be comfortably transferred to the airport where you’ll depart from Peru. Until we meet again, let the memories remind you of the unforgettable experience you’ve had in Peru.

  • Meals: Breakfast (based on your flight time)

Start Your Adventure – Reserve Your Expedition Today!

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.

SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Professional licensed guide fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua
  • Pre-trek Inca trail briefing
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Three nights accommodation in a nice and comfortable hotel in Cusco (double occupancy).
  • Three nights of camping along the Inca Trail trek.
  • One night accommodation at the Sky Lodge (double occupancy)
  • Porters to carry all group gear
  • Personal porter to carry 6 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.
  • 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
  • Thermarest mattress and pillow
  • Emergency supplies, including first aid kit, oxygen, and emergency radio
  • Inca Trail permit
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance all the sites visited in the Sacred valley tour
  • Expedition return train ticket from Aguas Calientes to either Poroy or to Ollantaytambo
  • All transfers, private van to trailhead at km 82, bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, and private van from Poroy or Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco.

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED:

  • Sleeping Bag – can be rented from us
  • Hiking poles – can be rented from us
  • Ticket to climb Huayna Picchu mountain (This ticket can be purchased for an extra US $75 per person)
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Tips for porters, chef, and guide.
  • Travel Insurance (highly recommended)

Meals:                                                 Breakfast

PRICE

  • Group service US $1700 per person
  • Private service US $1800 per person

DISCOUNTS

  • Under 18 years discount: US$20.00
  • Under 7 years discount: US$35.00

RENTALS

  • Hiking poles – US$20.00 (pair)
  • Sleeping bag – US$25.00 per person

UPGRADES

  • Huayna Picchu mountain ticket – US $75 per person.
  • Vistadome return train (US $60) or Hiram Bingham train (USD $400) for trip from Aguas Calientes to either Ollantaytambo or to Poroy.
  • Private tent – US $30

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL 2024 FAQs.

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

The Inca Trail is a well-established 4-day, 3-night hike which leads travelers from km.82 (start of the Inca 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 trek which is known as the one and only ‘classic or traditional Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca Trail is the best way to arrive at one of the world’s most iconic attractions ” See here reason why you should hike the Inka Trail”.

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 permits 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 (see here the current Inca Trail availability in real time), 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! 

Classic Inca TrailThe 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

Classic Inca TrailAncascocha 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 Inca 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 Inca 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

Classic Inca TrailLares 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

Classic Inca TrailShort Inca Trail

The Short Inca 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

Classic Inca TrailThe 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 Inca Trail has been prohibited. Access to the Inca 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 Inca Trail, 4-day Inca 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 Inca 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 Inka Trail trek?

The best time to hike the Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca Trail treks have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

The 4-day Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 Inca 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 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 Inca 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!

Action Peru Treks is rated highly on TripAdvisor. Our reputation echoes through hundreds of elated trekkers. The praise from our travelers propels us to continually refine our offerings, ensuring an exceptional journey for every adventurer.

PRICE PER PERSON IN USD:
Group: $1700
Private: $1800
DURATION:
8 Days, 7 Nights

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