Discover the Inca citadel with one of the most reliable tour operators
Walk on the path created by Incas
Bilingual and experienced guides
ONLINE BOOKING IS CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE ON FINDLOCALTRIPS.COM FOR TOURS OF MACHU PICCHU DUE TO GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS ON TICKET SALES, MOST OTHER TOURS ARE AVAILABLE TO BOOK HERE ONLINE. PLEASE CONTACT THE OPERATOR DIRECTLY TO RESERVE YOUR MACHU PICCHU TOUR AND MENTION FINDLOCALTRIPS.COM SENDING THEM A LINK TO THIS PAGE TO ENSURE YOU GET THE BEST PRICE AS SHOWN HERE.
All year round except for February
Cuzco hotel and hostel pickup
Cuzco hotel and hostel drop off
ONLINE BOOKING NOT AVAILABLE
Day 1: CUSCO – PISKACUCHO KM 82 – LLACTAPATA- AYAPATA
Alpaca Expeditions will pick you up from where ever you are staying in Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo. Pick-up from Cusco will be from 4 to 4:30 AM, from Urubamba from 5:30 to 6 AM, and if you stay in Ollantaytambo, you get to sleep in a bit with your pick-up from 6:30 to 7 AM. These times will be confirmed at your briefing, as they might fluctuate based on where you are staying. We will take you to the Porter House which is located in Ollantaytambo after a delicious breakfast prepared by your cook, your guide will introduce you to your team of porters.
We will then drive to Km 82, we’ll go through the first Inca Trail checkpoint to begin our trek. Please make sure you have your original passport with you to enter the Inca Trail. The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca site. Patallacta is an ancient Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu.
From Patallacta it’s another 2-hour hike to our lunch stop. After lunch, we will hike for another 2½ hours until we reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch, we pass through 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drink, snacks, or essential items you may have forgotten such as batteries you can do so here. We’ll arrive at our campsite by 5:00 PM. After settling in for a bit, you can relax and have a hot drink and snack with your team of porters, chefs, and guides. By 7:30 PM, your dinner will be ready, and after you can get some well-deserved rest.
Walking distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3300 meters (high) above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy
DAY 2: DEAD WOMAN´S PASS – RUNCURACCAY PASS – CHAQUICCOCHA
Your porters will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. We will have an early start since it will be our longest day. We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). On reaching the pass, we’ll stop for a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayu Valley – Hidden River). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot, where you will have a chance to refill your water bottles. After lunch, we begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours over the pass where we will stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village).
We’ll stop here to rest and have a quick tour. Afterward, we will be able to watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the night at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After dinner, if you’re not too exhausted, we can do some star gazing, and we’ll point out the fascinating Inca constellations. In the magnificent Southern Hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, this sky is something to behold!
Walking distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite altitude: 3600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes)
Area: Andes and Cloud Forest
Weather: Cold and rainy
DAY 3: CHAQUICCOCHA – WIÑAYWAYNA
Completing Day 2 and beginning Day 3 certainly deserves a pat on the back! We will start early again, waking up at 6:30 am to begin what is commonly felt to be the most beautiful day of the whole Inca Trail. We hike for 2 hours along what we like to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. As we walk, we will have the opportunity to see Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain in the Sacred Valley, and a fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flats, we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we’ll have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley, we get our first view of Machu Picchu Mountain, but the site itself is still hidden. From Phuyupatamarka it´s a 3-hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu. During the descent, we visit 2 Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We arrive at our campsite around 1:00 PM to have lunch.
Then we will relax so that you are ready for your final day at Machu Picchu. At around 4:30 PM your guide will give you a short orientation, and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna for an hour and a half there. Your guide will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek. This way you will be fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day. We like to spoil our guests as we enjoy our last feast with the porters and chefs. It’s an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again. This is to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them then you can do so at this time). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time to get up in the early hours of the morning to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn in the hopes that the weather will give us a beautiful sunrise over the ruins at Machu Picchu.
Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)
Campsite altitude: 2.600 meters (high) above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Easy day – all downhill!
Area: High Cloud Forest
Weather: Warm and very humid
DAY 4: SUN GATE - MACHU PICCHU – THE LOST CITY OF THE INCAS
Wake up time is at 3:30 AM. We’ll eat breakfast at 4:00 AM and wait at the checkpoint to be one of the first to start trekking when they open the gates at 5:30 AM. We’ll wave goodbye to our team of porters and chefs and then it’s “Forward On” to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here we have spectacular views of the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. We will reach the Sun Gate by 6:30 am, and then it’s just an hour trek down to reach the Lost City of the Incas. As we hike and get closer to Machu Picchu, the views of the city get better! At about 7:40 AM we’ll reach the final checkpoint and enter Machu Picchu to begin our 2 hours private guided tour. After the tour, you’ll be given your bus tickets to make your way down to Aguas Calientes, and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore the city on your own or climb one of the neighboring mountains – Huaynapicchu (must be arranged ahead of time).
Your guide will offer to meet you down in the village of Aguas Calientes to enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. At lunch, your guide will hand out train tickets, so if you choose to skip, please arrange to get these before leaving him at Machu Picchu. Unless you arranged for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 3:20 p.m. or 4:22 p.m. Please make sure you are on the platform at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This will be a 2-hour train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy (based on which train you get), where an Alpaca driver will meet you and drive you back to the city on our bus, then drop you off at your hotel.
Considered: The most exciting and magical day (early wake up 3.30 AM)
Area: High Cloud and Subtropical Forest
Weather: Hot and very humid (bring lots of water)
ONLINE BOOKING IS CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE ON FINDLOCALTRIPS.COM FOR TOURS OF MACHU PICCHU DUE TO GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS ON TICKET SALES, ALL OTHER TOURS ARE AVAILABLE TO BOOK HERE ONLINE.
PLEASE CONTACT THE OPERATOR DIRECTLY TO RESERVE YOUR MACHU PICCHU TOUR AND MENTION FINDLOCALTRIPS.COM SENDING THEM A LINK TO THIS PAGE TO ENSURE YOU GET THE BEST PRICE AS SHOWN HERE
DAY 1: 4:30AM-6:30AM
HOTEL PICK UP FROM CUSCO/URUBAMBA/OLLANTAYTAMBO
DAY 1: 7:00AM
KM 82 AND BREAKFAST
PISCACUCHO KM 82 – LLACTAPATA AYAPATA
DAY 1: 5:00PM
ARRIVE AT CAMPSITE
DAY 1: 7:30PM
AYAPATA – DEAD WOMAN´S PASS – RUNCURACCAY PASS – CHAQUICOCHA
CHAQUICOCHA – WIÑAY WAYNA CAMP
DAY 3: 1:00PM
DAY 3: 4:30PM
VISIT INCA RUINS OF WIÑAY WAYNA
DAY 4: 4:00AM
DAY 4: 5:30AM
TREK TO THE SUN GATE
DAY 4: 6:30AM
ARRIVE AT THE SUN GATE
DAY 4: 7:40AM
ENTER MACHU PICCHU FOR GUIDED TOUR
DEPART AGUAS CALIENTES
- Professional Guides
- Briefing: The night before your trek, you will come to our office for your briefing.
- Porters & Horsemen: We include a personal porter, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag containing your personal items.
- Emergency Horse: All of our Alternative Treks include an extra horse for our clients to use if they need a break from trekking.
- Hotel: The trek will include three nights of camping and one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.
- Transportation: All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 4:30 a.m. (unless you are staying in Ollantaytambo before the trek) and brought to the trail head to begin your trek.
- Equipment: Alpaca Expeditions has the best equipment. We use Eureka Timberline 4 person tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent to enjoy your meals in.
Food: The Alpaca Expeditions chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. We honor all food restrictions. Be sure to remind your tour guide of any food restrictions at the beginning of your trek. Lunch the last day is not included.
- Water: Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, Alpaca Expeditions will supply all the water needed.
- First Aid: Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen.
- Extras: Every trekker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mattress for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best vacation.
- Satellite Phones: Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While we are prepared and all our guides are trained for most of the issues clients have on the mountain, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe.
- Sleeping bag: USD $20
- Inflatable air matt: USD $15
- Walking sticks (pair): USD $15
- Huayna Picchu mountain $ 75
- Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
FOR YOUR DUFFEL:
Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
- 2-3 wicking t-shirts
- 2-3 hiking pants
- 4 sets of undergarments and 4 sets of hiking socks,1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
- 1 Rain jacket, pants,1 sun hat,1 wool hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Walking boots, waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean - might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Sunscreen, face moisturizer, bug spray, handsanitizer,wet wipes, toothbrush and paste,toiletpaper
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc
INSIDE YOUR DAYPACKS:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.
- Water: we supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water only as we won't have time to filter water until your first lunch
- Sunhat, rain gear, fleece, camera, music (IPhone),handsanitizer
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
No booking available at the time.
I cannot find my accommodation listed in the operator pick up locations when making my booking. What should I select?
This operator only offers pick-ups from the hotel and hostel accommodation listed, this covers over 90% of the accommodation providers in the area. They do not provide pick-ups or drop-offs at private residences, Airbnbs, bus terminals etc. Select an alternative close by and be ready there for pick-up at the time on your booking confirmation
How physically fit do I need to be?
The Inca Trail Trek can range in difficulty however, most are classified as a moderate level. The Machu Picchu complex itself is not difficult, most people do not have any problems.
Are there any student discounts?
Yes, there is a student discount. These discounts are only valid if you have an ISIC card and it matches your passport. They are very strict with this. You must bring your original I.D. to enter Machu Picchu.
How do I avoid altitude sickness?
Take Soroche (Diamox) pills, eat small meals, drink coca tea, drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol (it’s a dehydrator). The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to acclimatize yourself. The recommended approach for acclimatization is to ascend gradually, spending at least 24 hours at every 2,000ft increase in altitude.
Where is Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is near a town called Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Town. From there, it is a 1.5 hour hike up steps, or a 20-minute bus ride to the complex itself.
Where is Huayna (Wayna) Picchu?
Huayna Picchu Mountain is the peak located to the north of Machu Picchu citadel. It is the backdrop to the classic image of Machu Picchu. The peak offers inspiring views of the ruins and 360° views of the area. The climb to the summit takes 45 minutes, it is a challenging trek and is very steep in parts. Limited to 400 a day, tickets must be purchased as a combo ticket at the same time as your entrance to Machu Picchu. This ticket cannot be purchased separately and is always in high demand. It costs approximately $10 extra.
What is Machu Picchu Mountain?
Machu Picchu Mountain is the peak located to the south-west of Machu Picchu citadel. The trek offers unparalleled sights of the ruins and panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The trek is wide and well-marked. It is a moderate/challenging trek and takes 90 minutes to ascend. Limited to 800 a day, tickets must be purchased as a combo ticket at the same time as your entrance to Machu Picchu. This ticket cannot be purchased separately. It costs around $5 extra.
What are the hours of operation?
The site is open daily from 6am until 5pm. It’s open every day of the year, including public holidays, Christmas and New Year.
Why is the train so expensive?
Peru Rail and Inca Rail, the two operators have a duopoly on the route, so they can maintain very high prices.
Where can I leave my bags?
You can leave your bags at your Cusco hostel/hotel. Note, if you take the train there are bag restrictions.
Will I have problems with altitude sickness on this tour?
Altitude sickness can catch many travellers a little bit off guard. Not everyone gets sick in high altitudes, and it is difficult to predict who is likely to be badly affected by it. For most people, it is nothing more than a headache and a dizzy sensation that diminishes over a short period of time, 1 to 2 days for most people. If you want to limit your chances of getting sick, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do not fly directly into high altitude - proceed slowly, allowing your body time to acclimatise as you ascend gradually. However, for many that is not possible, so it’s important to drink lots of water, and to slow down! This sounds simple, but both of these things are very important. Your body is struggling because you don’t have enough oxygen, so avoiding any strenuous activity is a good idea. Chew some coca leaves - the native people of South America have been chewing coca for centuries, thanks to its ability to alleviate mild altitude sickness symptoms. Coca leaves can be bought in any supermarket, and even souvenir shops or street stalls. Take altitude sickness pills (Soroche): these are sold over the counter all over Peru and Bolivia, and are just a few dollars. If you are flying straight into altitude over 2500metres without spending any time at an intermediate elevation, and you’re worried about getting sick, you can ask your doctor for more specific and stronger altitude sickness medication in advance. In the rare case that your symptoms are more severe than a headache and mild dizziness, you should descend in altitude and seek medical assistance.
Is the bus from Agua Caliente to Machu Picchu worth it?
The walk up to Machu Picchu can be seen as part of the experience. However, the bus is an option for those who are tired after a long trek or who just want to save their energy for all the walking at the top.
What kind of weather can we find in Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is at a lower altitude level than Cusco. It contains part of the jungle, and the rains are present during all seasons. During the hottest days, the temperature can reach approximately 26° Celsius (79ºF), and during the cool, early mornings, the temperature can drop to -2° C (-36ºF). The best months to visit Machu Picchu are May and June, since they are the mildest ones.