aerial view of machu picchu on inca trail trek land tour in peru
group hiking through wet, mossy fog on inca trail trek peru land tour
train beside river in mountains on inca trail trek land tour in peru
hikers set up tents at the bottom of incan ruins in peru
group shot with everyone jumping on inca trail trek land tour in peru
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South America Peru Land Tour

Inca Trail Trek

The Inca Trail Trek is an 8-day Full Itinerary that begins and ends in Cusco, Peru, the capital of the Inca Empire. Begin with 2 days acclimatizing to Cusco’s 9,160-foot elevation, touring Pisac in Peru’s Sacred Valley and visiting the Ollantaytambo ruins. Spend the next 4 days hiking from Piscacucho to Machu Picchu, reaching elevations as high as 13,692 feet (Warmiwanusqa Pass) along the way. At Machu Picchu, take a guided 3-hour tour through the different sectors, bringing alive the history and stories of these ancient and iconic ruins. 

Throughout the entire tour, hike alongside highly trained guides intimately familiar with the web of classic and lesser-known ancient Inca footpaths. Walk through breathtaking high alpine passes, humbling valleys, dense cloud forests, rushing rivers and past ancient Inca ruins and remote Andean settlements.

Unlike other Inca Trail to Machu Picchu tours that only spend 2 nights camping on the trail and depart the train at Kilometer 82, this Inca Trail Trek adventure begins downstream at Kilometer 88 and spends 3 nights camping on the trail. These slight yet distinguishing factors set this Inca Trail Trek apart. Spending 3 nights camping on the Inca trail creates space away from the crowds, alleviates the need to rush and offers a tranquil, accommodating schedule that makes hiking easier on the legs, knees and lungs. Spend the right amount of time taking in the incredible scenery, history and culture of the Inca Trail in private campsites that disconnect from the busy world and fully immerse in Peruvian adventure.

A team of porters and skilled cooks await at each campsite with a delicious hot meal and a comfortable place to rest each night, all the while leaving next to no impact on the land, communities and environment en route. The 4 days of hiking range from 5 to 9 miles, with estimated times of 5 to 8 hours. On the final day at Machu Picchu, a guided tour of the citadel brings to life the impressive ruins and lifestyle of its former inhabitants, offering newfound knowledge and unforgettable memories.

If experiencing the Inca Trail is on your list, then this Inca Trail Trek specializes in getting farther from the beaten paths, utilizing the best equipment, minimizing impacts on the environment and creating an unforgettable experience.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Peru tours.



Itinerary

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Peru Itinerary

The Inca Trail Trek operates round-trip from Cusco, Peru, starting with a full day in the Sacred Valley for acclimatizing before four days of trekking, culminating in a tour of Machu Picchu.

Trail map of Inca Trail trek
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Day 1
Arrive Cusco, Peru

Arrive in Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire, located at 11,152 feet above sea level. Be greeted at the airport for a private transfer to the hotel for the night. Enjoy the guide’s briefing about the adventure ahead.

Accommodations

Casa Andina Classic San Blas

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Pisac (Sacred Valley) & Ollantaytambo

Tour by bus with a local guide to Pisac in southern Peru’s Sacred Valley. Visit the market, acclimate to the elevation and have lunch before visiting the Ollantaytambo ruins, an archeological site located northwest of Cusco that sits at 9,160 feet above sea level and is known for its Inca buildings. Overnight in Ollantaytambo in preparation for trekking the next day.

Accommodations

Sol y Luna

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 3
Begin Hiking the Inca Trail to Llaqtapata

Enjoy a private transfer from Ollantaytambo to Piscacucho, where the Inca Trail starts. Begin a scenic 5-hour trek on a section of the Inca Trail few have visited. While many cross the Urubamba River at Km 82, this tour follows the river downstream to cross at Km 88, setting the tone for the rest of the trek and creating some space from the crowds. Take a first break at Q’oriwayrachina for lunch, then cross the Urubamba River at Q’ente with the option to visit the archaeological sites of Wayna Q’ente and Llaqtapata. Set up camp for the night amidst the Inca terracing nearby.
Trekking Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 6.8 miles

Accommodations

Camp Chamana

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Llaqtapata to Llulluchapampa

Continue the journey up the narrow Cusichaca Valley, passing houses inhabited by settlers and finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here the cobble-stoned Inca Trail ascends steeply through ancient native forest exploding with the sounds of birdsong. The trail begins to level out at the campsite at Llulluchapampa, situated just below the first pass. Find breathtaking views of Mt. Huayanay and a first glimpse of the rare Andean cloud forest of quenua trees (polilepsi). Camp will be set up at Llulluchapampa.
Trekking Time: 6 hours
Distance: 5.6 miles

Accommodations

Camp Lluchapampa

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca

The day begins with a steady ascent up to Warmiwanusqa Pass at 13,692 feet, with rewarding views and a much-welcome descent to the Pacaymayo River that lay ahead. After a hearty lunch in Pacaymayo, ascend again to the ruins of Runkuraqay and the second pass at 13,200 feet. From here, walk down to the site of Sayacmarca at 12,551 feet on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and the first signs of cloud forest. The walk along the ridge offers a leisurely respite from the day’s challenging ascents and long descents as well as incredible views of the beautiful Aobamba Valley below. Continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes and views of Mt. Salkantay on the western side, as well as Mt. Pumasillo silhouetted on the horizon to the north. Follow the flag-stoned trail all the way to the campsite at Phuyupatamarca, also known as “the village over the clouds.”
Trekking Time: 7-8 hours
Distance: 8.7 miles

Accommodations

Camp Phuyupatamarca

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu

Wake up early, but not too early, for a spectacular sunrise view a short hike up the hill from the campsite. Porters will be ready with steaming hot cups of tea. This site is known to deliver some of the best sunrise views in the entire Machu Picchu Sanctuary. After breakfast, continue trekking along a buttress, passing the ruins at Phuyupatamarca. The flag-stoned trail begins to wind sharply down into the cloud forest to the well-conserved ruins of Winay Wayna, located just below the ridge. Along the same trail the Incas once used, trek for 2 hours through dense cloud forest to Machu Picchu via Intipunku (the door of the sun), the magnificent citadel. After some time soaking in the glorious view, take a bus to the village of Machu Picchu. The overnight at a local hotel and dinner are self guided.
Trekking Time: 7 hours
Distance: 7.2 miles

Accommodations

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 7
Machu Picchu & Return to Cusco

A quick, half hour bus ride brings you to the gates of Machu Picchu to begin a guided 3-hour tour of this ancient hilltop citadel. Your guide will take you through the different sectors, bringing alive the history and stories of these ancient and iconic ruins. Take a step back in time and soak up the astonishing views, expert knowledge and impressive ruins. In the afternoon, return to the village to catch a train back to Cusco.

Accommodations

Casa Andina Classic San Blas

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 8
Depart Cusco, Peru

After breakfast, enjoy a transfer to the Cusco airport for the flights home or on to other adventures.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transportation by vehicle from hotel to the start of the trek; double-occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads, porters, kitchen crew and necessary camping gear with meals included during trek as indicated in itinerary; bilingual guide on the trek who will handle the first aid kit; full-day guided visit to Machu Picchu with lunch on day 7; expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Poroy Station); Inca Trail permit and entrance fees to Pisac and Ollantaytambo; accommodations as indicated in itinerary.

Exclusions

Flights and airport taxes, alcoholic beverages, extras, tips, taxes, laundry service, additional tours, insurance and airline tickets (where applicable), meals not mentioned in itinerary, sleeping bags (can be rented for $20 per person, per trek), hiking boots and other personal gear.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $200 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply, speak to your Adventure Specialist for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure: 
Up to 91 days – 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 8-day Inca Trail Trek itinerary begins and ends in Cusco, Peru (CUZ). Plan flights to arrive anytime on day 1 and depart anytime on day 8. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, wildlife observation and cultural visits.

Room Configuration

Triple and quad rates available; speak to your Adventure Specialist for details.

Group Discounts

If you have a group of 5 or more that does not fit with the fixed departure dates, we can open a special fixed departure for your group with the following conditions: you book at least 4 months prior to departure and there are more than 400 Inca Trail permits available for that date.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Departs Mondays and Fridays. Trek is offered during the drier season, March-November. Contact us for current rates and availability.

Accommodations

Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

At the luxury Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in lovely Aguas Calientes you are only minutes away by bus from Machu Picchu, the premier archeological adventure of the Inca Empire.

Lodge
Sol y Luna

Sol y Luna is located in the province and district of Urubamba, in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, at an altitude of 8,850 feet, one hour’s drive from Cusco.

Lodge
Casa Andina Classic Cusco San Blas

Casa Andina Classic Cusco San Blas is a comfortable and cozy hotel in the neighborhood of San Blas. Located in the heart of historic Cusco, just three blocks off the main plaza. Close enough for shopping and dining, but far enough to be away from city and traffic noise.

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Inca Trail Trek

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