Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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Stages of the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is obligatory for any visitor to Peru. Its 26-mile span is a microcosm of the country's historical and natural diversity! Here are the main places you'll stop during the course of the trail.

  • Mollepata

    1. Mollepata

    This is where the story starts! Meet your guides in the village of Mollepata, a beautiful, snow-capped setting.

  • Salkantay Pass

    2. Salkantay Pass

    The highest point of the Willkapampa range in the Andes, this is a comparatively peaceful route on the Inca Trail.

  • Winaypoco

    3. Winaypoco

    Relax and enjoy Andean biodiversity, with plants used by the Inca for medicinal and nutritional purposes. There may also be time to indulge in the hot springs at Santa Teresa!

  • Patallaqta

    4. Patallaqta

    The "hummingbird village" is the first ancient archeological site you'll see on the trail. It includes a military hill fort and a religious shrine.

  • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

    5. Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

    It's what you've all been waiting for - the most iconic part of the Inca Trail. Climb the mounds and prepare to be astonished!

Planning Your Visit

  • When is it open?

    You can access the trail at all times of the year except February, when routine maintenance is being done.

  • When is the best time to go?

    High season is from April to November - since it's in the southern hemisphere, Peruvian winter falls from around May to August. Temperatures during this time can go below 32 degrees.

  • What should I wear?

    It goes without saying that decent walking boots are a must. You should dress in light layers. Since the trek takes place over five days, you will want to keep what you're carrying to a minimum. Snowfall can also occur at high altitudes during winter, so make sure you have a good coat, hat, gloves, and other winter-appropriate attire if you choose to go during this season.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The trail is open all year, except February.
  • Is it expensive?
    The entrance fee is about $45, tour guides vary in price.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Absolutely, hikers are prohibited from trekking without one. Might be worth it to check out our great tours.
  • How to get there
    You'll need to take the bus to kilometer 82, along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes.
  • Additional information
    ** Make sure to do your research and plan ahead, only 500 permits are issued per day. | You need to be fit to hike the trail. | Don't forget extra shoes, bug repellent, sunscreen, and a poncho, among other things!*

Other Sightseeing Options in Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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What people are saying about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 110 reviews

Overall, my husband and myself had a fantastic experience. We were lucky to be the only ones at our group, so we had a guide just for us! This made it very personalised, specially made easier the hike, as we could take the photos we wanted and stop when needed, although for my husband, he would say that the guide was walking too fast. All the activities (cycling, rafting and the zip line) were very well organised, felt very safe and we really enjoyed them. Watch out for the mosquitos! We were eaten despite the repellent. The thermal baths are not included but definitely recommended. The places we stayed overnight were very comfy, clean, had hot showers and the food was also good. If you are a big eater, there are also opportunities to buy snacks and water. Our guide Jaime was brilliant, giving us tips, information, always looking after us, making sure that we were fine and that everything was running smoothly. It is a great four day journey to Machu Picchu!

Best Experience in my life because of Trexperience

The Inkatrail was through its nature and really interesting history so beautiful, I can never ever forget. Best comfort and flexibility on all this trail was given by Trexperience and their porters who did an unbelievable job to us. Especially our every day Breakfast, Lunch, teatime and dinner were another highlight on this trail. Our guide Joyce was as well as the porters always taking care of us. All in all the organisation by Trexperience was drawn by professionality and I would recommend everyone, who looks for a nice hiking Trip on path of the Inkas to do it with Trexperience and the very nice crew.

Knowledgeable, friendly guide Charlie made Inca trail yet more amazing

We went on that 2 day trip with my 11 yo son. It was a great experience for us. The trail connects ancient Inca's cities at the top of the mountains, and is only possible to hike with the local guide. Hiking just a small part (12 km out of total 82 km) on the trail already gives a feeling of the educational-spiritual journey that the Inca nobility did here. Our wonderful, knowledgeable guide Charlie told us a lot about plants, animals, history and spirit of the people who built the trail and its cities. The view from Sun Gate on the trail onto Machy Pichhu is stunning. Thank you Charlie!

Amazing experience from end-to-end. The first day was all about hiking the Inca trail with magnificent views and historic ruins along the route. After 7 hours of hiking we step into the Machi Picchu through the Sun Gate which is the very first gateway to the city. This is a very special entry which huge crowds can not make. The second day is more relaxing in the town below and Machi Picchu. The tour was very well organized, our guide was very knowledgable and a good english speaker.

Amazing experience. Inca trail is difficult yet so rewarding. Machu Picchu is just beautiful. Our private tour guide, Anthony, was brilliant. Lovely guy, taught us so much and was such a good photographer too! Highly recommend!