Trace the footsteps of an ancient civilisation as you walk the classic Inca trail
Reach Machu Picchu the authentic way
English speaking 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.
March to January
4 days/3 nights
SAM TRAVEL PERU
ONLINE BOOKING NOT AVAILABLE
Day 1: CUSCO – KM 82 – WAYLLABAMBA – AYAPATA
Your adventure will get off to an early start, as you’ll be picked up from your hotel at 4:30am (confirmation at our briefing the night before), and travel by mini-bus to Piskacucho (known as Kilometre 82) where the trail begins. Fill up on food at the breakfast stop in Ollantaytambo (from 6:30-7:00am) to boost your energy levels before the hike begins (breakfast is not included).
Upon arrival at Kilometre 82 (8:30am), you’ll have some time to prepare yourself – visit the restrooms, and apply sunscreen, insect repellent etc. Get your important documents ready to show the officials at the trail’s first control point (entrance ticket, passport, and student card).
The trail will begin (at 2720m/8923ft altitude), initially with the crossing of the rushing Vilcanota River, where you’ll follow its route, heading right. The first day is relatively easy, as you’ll walk along flat, Incan terrain - consider it a “warm-up”. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy great views of the historical Incan Fortress (‘Huillca Raccay’), the vast and incredible Incan site of Llactapata (officially called ‘Patallacta’), the Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle, the magnificent Andes, and the beautiful, snow-capped peak of ‘Wakay Willca’ (5860m/19225ft).
Your first campsite is called Ayapata, and it is an hour and a half to the small village of Wayllabamba (3000m/9842ft), set in a temperate green valley. Be prepared for a chilly nights, as temperatures are around 5ºC, depending on the month. During the day, you’ll be able to enjoy the spectacular views of the lush green valley, snow-capped mountains (Veronica, 5,860m/19,337ft), and a myriad of flora and fauna.
Day 2: AYAPATA – PASS – PAQAYMAYU – CHAQUICOCHA
You’ll be up bright and early (at 5:00-5:30am), and ready for breakfast, before starting a steep ascent towards the highest pass (Abra de Warrmihuañusca, or ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ at 4200m/13779ft). On this day, you’ll feel a real sense of achievement upon reaching the top! After a well-deserved rest, you’ll begin the descent to our lunch stop, which is located at Paqaymayu (3550m/11646ft).
On the way up to the pass, keep your eyes out for the colourful, flitting hummingbirds and other exotic bird species. Wonder at the surrounding natural beauty, and appreciate the incredible variety of native plants, such as the Polylepis or Queuña trees which grow in the astonishing cloud forest, located at 3650m/11972ft!
After lunch, you’ll begin the second two-hour steep climb to Runkuraqay pass (at almost 4000m), before arriving to your campsite at around 5:00pm for a much-needed rest. Temperatures at this campsite are around 4ºC during the night.
Day 3: CHAQUICOCHA – PUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAY WAYNA
Day 3 is the most impressive part of the adventure (in our opinion), so keep this in mind when ascending on Day 2! Wake up for breakfast at 6:00am, and start the day with a gentle climb to visit the archaeological Incan site of Puyupatamarca (meaning ‘Town in the Clouds’). It is here you’ll see some of the best preserved ancient ruins. You’ll reach the third highest point on the trail (3680m), and it’s here you’ll catch some breath-taking images of the mountains, canyons, and surrounding areas, with dense clouds interlacing the valleys below.
Puyupatamarca is located a few minutes walk from the third pass. After visiting this, we'll climb 3000 steps through the cloud forest, towards the impressive agricultural Incan site of ‘Intipata’, until we arrive at our third campsite, Wiñay Wayna (2680m/8792ft).
On this day, you’ll only be walking between 4 to 5 hours, and should arrive to the camp by lunchtime! A short distance from this campsite is where the Incan site (of the same name) ‘Wiñay Wayna’ (‘Forever Young’) is located. Even if you’re tired after your day’s trek, you do not want to miss out on visiting the most impressive site on the trail. Temperatures during the night are around 12º C.
Note: On this day, you’ll visit one of the most impressive Inca cites of the Inca Trail, Wiñay Wayna!
Day 4: WIÑAY WAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
The last day is off to another early start, this time at around 4:00am. Fill up on breakfast, before following the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. You’ll arrive by 6:00am at Inti Punku, or 'The Sun Gate'. Out of the blue, every part of Machu Picchu is suddenly right before your eyes, its immense beauty an incredible sight for all to see.
At this point, you’ll move downhill towards Machu Picchu (2400m/7872 ft), and after around 40 minutes you’ll enter the citadel from the top point, through the “House of the Guardians”. You’ll then proceed to the control point, where you’ll need to register and leave all belongings. Your guide will expertly direct you throughout the astounding ruins and its main streets. You can then wander around the town squares, as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone. Machu Picchu is considered to be one of the "World’s Spiritual Centres" by Esoteric Wisdom. Once the guided tour is over, you’ll have some free time to explore the site on your own, to relax, or to meditate.
Back to Cusco: You will descend to Aguas Calientes by bus (included), and after, board the train by 4:20pm for the return trip to Cusco, stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station, then getting picked up and driven to your hotel.
- Huayna Picchu Mt depends on availability, please let us know if you want to add this extra hike at the your time of booking.
- We only take SAM Travel Peru clients in our mini-buses – we do not use public transport.
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
|CLASSIC INCA TRAIL 4D/3N - ITINERARY||Download|
DAY 1: 4:30AM
HOTEL PICK UP IN CUSCO
DAY 1: 6:30AM
BREAKFAST STOP IN OLLANTAYTAMBO
DAY 1: 8:30AM
ARRIVAL AT KILOMETRE 82
KM 82 – WAYLLABAMBA – AYAPATA
DAY 2: 5-5:30AM
AYAPATA - HIGHEST PASS - PAQAYMAYU – CHAQUICOCHA
DAY 3: 6:00AM
CHAQUICOCHA - PUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAY WAYNA
LUNCH AT WIÑAY WAYNA CAMPSITE
DAY 4: 4:00AM
DAY 4: 6:00AM
ARRIVAL AT INTI PUNKU
MACHU PICCHU: TOUR AND FREE TIME
RETURN TO CUSCO: AGUAS CALIENTES - OLLANTAYTAMBO - CUSCO
- Pick up at your hotel
- Private transport from Cusco to Piscacucho (the start of the trek)
- Breakfast by the trail head
- 2 person igloo tents (large and comfortable)
- Inflatable mattress
- English speaking professional guide experienced in mountains
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food with prior request)
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Porter to carry tents, food, and cooking equipment
- Extra porter for your belongings, it means you will only need a day backpack to carry the things that you will be using throughout the day!
- Hot water for washing purposes
- Boiled water to fill your bottles
- Expedition Tourist Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and private transport to Cusco
- Admission Ticket to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
- Guided tour in Machu Picchu
- Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
- Chef, cooking equipment and kitchen tent
- Hot water for drinking and washing purposes
- Rain Ponchos
- Taxes (18%)
- Tea time
- Day pack rain covers
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain
- Sleeping bag US$20 (temperatures can drop to minus 8 ºC)
- Energy snacks (such as chocolate bars, dried fruit)
- Last lunch & dinner
- OPTIONAL UPGRADES:
Vistadome Train to Cusco instead of Expedition Train, US$47 per person
- Tips for your crew, guide, cook, porters
- SAM TRAVEL PERU staff receive a fair and decent payment immediately after they end their trip, tips are optional but of great appreciation for them
- Sleeping bag (temperatures can drop to minus 10ºC - can be rented at SAM TRAVEL PERU office for US$20)
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Warm clothes and trekking pants, not jeans
- Layers for variable temperatures, especially at night
- Flash light with extra batteries
- Camera, extra film & batteries
- Sun protection: sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses
- Thermals: woollen socks, gloves, scarf, woollen hat (for cold nights)
- Insect repellent
- Rain poncho/rain jacket
- Extra plastic bags, especially in the wet season
- Toiletries: toilet paper, small towel
- Bathing clothes for the hot springs (optional)
- Water bottle, water purifying tablets (optional)
- Personal medical kit with a simple whistle
- Original passport and ISIC student card if applicable
No online booking at the moment
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.
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.
What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?
Common symptoms of altitude sickness (sometimes called acute mountain sickness) can be similar to a bad hangover, and may include headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. A severe headache (that is not relieved by medication), nausea and vomiting, and increasing fatigue or shortness of breath may indicate more serious problems – seek medical attention.
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.
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.
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.
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.