9. From Cusco: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4-Day Hike with Meals
Embark on a challenging and rewarding adventure with this 4-day hiking trip along the Inca Trail. Learn fascinating history from your certified guide as you make your way to Machu Pichu. Sleep in comfortable tents and enjoy full, freshly prepared meals.
Day 1 itinerary
Start your adventure with an easy day that will ensure you are prepared for the road ahead. Get picked up from your hotel bright and early in the morning and travel by bus through the pretty villages of Chinchero, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.
This scenic drive takes 2.5-hours and ends at kilometer 82, the start of the trail (2550m/8269ft). The tour buses normally stop at the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley for about an hour to give passengers the opportunity to have breakfast.
At km 82, cross the Vilcanota River to officially begin your journey. Take in views of the Cordillera Oriental and the snow-capped peak of Veronica. Set off near where Hiram Bingham returned in 1915 to begin his re-discovery of the Inca Trail.
The trail is flat for almost 2 hours until you reach the first Inca site, Llactapata. On the way, pass through the resting point of Mescay, where there are bathroom facilities.
The path then follows the left bank of the Cusichaca River to the small village of Wayllabamba (3000m/9900ft), where you will camp for the night.
Day 2 itinerary
Prepare yourself for the most challenging day of the trek, with a 5-hour uphill hike. Pass by Llullucha Pampa in the morning — the last place along the trail where you can buy snacks and drinks.
Continue hiking uphill for 2 hours until arriving at the top of Dead Woman’s Pass. At 4200m/13779ft, this is the highest point of the Inca Trail.
Then head down for 1.5 hours until reaching the second campsite at Pacaymayo (3600m/11880ft), where there are bathroom facilities.
Day 3 itinerary
Depart from Pacaymayo and head to Wiñaywayna. Walk for almost 15 kilometers and see 4 Inca sites along the way.
From Pacaymayo, it takes about 1 hour to climb up to the ruins of Runkuracay. These small circular ruins occupy a commanding position overlooking the Pacaymayo Valley below.
Another 45-minute hike will bring you to the top of the second pass (3900m/12870ft). After about 1 hour from the second pass, arrive at Sayacmarca by way of a superbly designed stone staircase.
From then on, the path descends into a magnificent cloud forest full of orchids, hanging mosses, tree ferns, and flowers.
Day 4 : THE GLORY OF MACHUPICCHU!
In your free time, you can choose to climb for 45 minutes to the top of Huayna Picchu (2750m / 8940ft). To climb this mountain, Tickets for Huayna Picchu are limited to 400 people per day (200 from 7 to 9 in the morning and 200 from 10 am to 24:00).
After enjoying our last hours in Machu Picchu, we will take the bus to the city of Aguas Calientes, where we will meet for lunch. Then, you will be given your train tickets for the trip back to Cusco.