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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Our most recommended tours and activities

Cusco: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4-Day Trek

1. Cusco: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4-Day Trek

Tackle the unforgettable Inca Trail, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime hike to Machu Picchu. Departing from Cusco, discover one of the world’s oldest pilgrimages on this 4-day trip and explore a cloud forest. Depart from your Cusco hotel early in the morning and drive 82 kilometers to the starting point in Llactapata. Begin your guided hike to the first campsite in Ayapata, located 3300 (10826 feet) meters above sea level. In the morning, make your way to Warmiwañuska, passing two mountains for a total of 10 hours of hiking. Traverse Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of the Inca Trail at 4215 meters (13829 feet). Then, cross the Runqurakay Pass, with 4000 meters (13123 feet) to Chaquicocha. After a good night's rest at Chaquicocha, take on the 6-hour trek to Phuyupatamarca and finally the archaeological site of Wiñaywayna at 2600 meters (8530 feet). Pass through a number of ecological zones, home to a diversity of flora and fauna. Spot orchids and bromeliads, as well as hummingbirds, foxes, and deer. Wake up early and hike for 2 hours to Machu Picchu through the Sungate, and enjoy a unique view of Machu Picchu. After exploring Machu Picchu, board the Panoramic train back to Cusco and be dropped off at your hotel in the evening.

From Cusco: 2-Day Trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

2. From Cusco: 2-Day Trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

DAY 1: We will start this great adventure with the pick up from your hotel at 8:00 am to go to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Pisac, Colonial Inca, discover one of the Inca archaeological sites, on top of the mountain with impressive stone walls, agricultural terraces, irrigation systems and the largest cemetery of the Inca Empire. Time to shop at the craft market, where artisans sell their ceramics, textiles, jewelry, Andean instruments, alpaca products, and souvenirs. We will continue our trip of approximately 1 hour through the Sacred Valley to Urubamba where we will have time to have lunch in one of the local restaurants that offers several traditional dishes, made with fresh products. In the afternoon, visit the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo, where you can appreciate the technique with which the Incas worked the stone, the last Inca citadel standing. The city is built on ancient Inca buildings. Explore the archaeological site of the city that has temples, terraces, warehouses and a large Inca monolith. Next, we will depart by train from the Ollantaytambo station, we will arrive at the Aguas Calientes station, where our staff will assist you to stay in one of the hotels in Aguas Calientes. (Select between a tour with or without accommodation). DAY 2: In the morning the guide will pick you up at the hotel to board the transport that will ascend an intricate path giving us a spectacular view of the Urubamba River that shapes the famous canyon. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will welcome you with its incredible terraces, stairways, ceremonial precincts and urban areas where energy emanates from all over the place. After a guided tour, you will have the opportunity to have lunch in one of the restaurants in the area. At the coordinated time, we will return by train and we will be transferred to the hotel in Cusco, ending with a great experience.

Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

3. Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

Day 1: Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo Start your adventure bright and early and meet your guide at your accommodation. After a short drive to Ollantaytambo, you will set off on a 1.5-hour train ride to Chachabamba, taking in the scenery of the Urubamba river along the way. From the checkpoint at Chachabamba, you will start your trekking experience. Visit the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñay Huayna and take in the variety of flora and fauna.  Enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, and from here, you can take in one of the most spectacular views of the Lost City of the Incas. Arrive in Machu Picchu late in the afternoon and have the unique opportunity to see the city almost empty. After a short bus ride to your hotel, you can enjoy a relaxed end to the day with dinner and a night of comfortable sleep.   Day 2: Machu Picchu to Cusco After another early start, you will prepare to visit Machu Picchu, the tour's highlight. Board your bus just as the sun rises. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore independently. You also have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.  Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. After a full day of sightseeing, you will be conveniently shuttled back to your accommodation for a relaxing end to your Inca exploring adventure. 

Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

4. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake - Salkantaypampa (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then continue to the Salkantaypampa base camp to spend the night. Day 2: Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through what is know as the cloud forest. Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana, and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, here you will have the option (at an extra cost payable onsite) to visit the hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Return to the campsite for an overnight stay. Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, rafting, or canopy at an extra cost payable directly on-site. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing through waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. Take the train to Ollantaytambo in the afternoon and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

5. Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

Day 1: Cusco to Wayllabamba After pick-up Cusco, drive for 1.5 hours by bus to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where the trek begins. The walking on the first day is relatively easy. Along the way you will visit the ruined city of Patallacta, and Willkarakay, a military post located above Patallacta. Then enter the lush valley of Wayllabamba, walking along the banks of the Cusichaca River. The trail continues gradually upward through dense Andean forest, to the first campsite in Wayllabamba. Day 2: Wayllabamba to Pacaymayu You will start early, as the walking is physically intense for those who are not accustomed to high altitudes. Trek through the densely vegetated Andean forest until you arrive at a campsite, where you will take a short rest. Continuing your ascent in the afternoon, the habitat will begin to change. After another rest, with snacks and hot drinks, begin the final ascent to a 4,215 meter pass, the highest point of the trek. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys below, then descend to the campsite in Pacaymayu for the night. Day 3: Pacaymayu to Wiñay Wayna  Visit the archaeological site of Runkurakay, a former resting lodge for ancient pilgrims. Then after a 45-minute ascent, you will reach the second highest pass of the Inca trail. Descend to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca. After visiting the site, continue down the beautifully paved road to the lunch stop. From here you will enter the high Andean cloud forest. The trail continues along a narrow ridge, arriving at a natural viewing area, where it is possible to see the Sacred Valley and numerous mountain peaks, as well as Machu Picchu. From here, descend to the campsite at Wiñay Wayna, passing an important archaeological site and a temple where offerings are made to the sacred mountain spirits. Day 4: Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu Rise early to complete the final stretch of the Inca Trail. After about an hour you will reach the Sun Gate, and see the sunrise over the Andes (weather permitting). A 45-minute walk will take you into the higher area of Machu Picchu. Take a 2-hour tour to learn more about this magical place, and then you will have time to explore the citadel by yourself. The climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is optional (at additional cost and must be booked in advance). In the afternoon you will descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will receive your train tickets for the return journey to Cusco. The train will arrive to Ollantaytambo, where you will be picked up and driven by bus back to your hotel in Cusco.

From Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail Guided Trek to Machu Picchu

6. From Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail Guided Trek to Machu Picchu

Walk the world-famous Inca Trail on this guided trek over 4 days and 3 nights. Follow an ancient footpath through the Sun Gate and into Machu Picchu, passing magical cloud forests on the way. Enjoy scenic camping, tasty meals and the expertise of local guides and porters. Day 1 Start with pickup from your hotel in Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo on the first morning. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and meet your team of guides and porters before an 82km drive to the trail’s starting point. Hike in 2 hour intervals, with regular stops to eat and take a break. The first night’s campsite will be at Ayapata with an elevation of 3300 meters. Relax here with a hot drink, dinner and a well-deserved rest. Day 2 Wake up early for the trek’s longest day which will include the trail’s highest point, Dead Woman’s Pass, at 4215 meters. Stop here to enjoy the spectacular views before you descend into the Pacaymayu Valley in time for lunch. Next, climb to the Inca site of Runcu Raccay where you can admire two huge waterfalls across the valley before another descent to the remote site of Sayacmarca. After a quick tour, take a short walk to the second campsite, where you can watch the sun set over the Vilcabamba mountains before dinner. Day 3 Start early again for the trail’s most beautiful day. Walk along gradual inclines as you approach the Cloud Forest and Salkantay, the second highest peak in the Sacred Valley. Then, begin the climb to the final peak, Phuyupatamarka, where you’ll get your first views over Machu Picchu. From here, it’s a 3-hour walk down a flight of steps to Wiñay Wayna, where you’ll camp in close proximity to Machu Picchu. Share a relaxed final evening with your guides and porters, and get an early night before your final day of exploring. Day 4 Get up at the crack of dawn to catch a stunning sunrise over the ruins of Machu Picchu. Trek down to the Sun Gate and make your way into the Lost City of the Incas, where your private tour of the ruins will begin. After the tour, head down to Augas Calientes by bus. Take a few hours here to explore the city, or optionally to climb Huayna Picchu, before catching the train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. From here, a driver will transfer you back to your hotel by bus.

Cusco: 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

7. Cusco: 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cusco, KM 104, and Machu Picchu You will be picked up in the early morning from your hotel from where you will be transferred to the train station in Ollantaytambo. Once there, you will take the train for 1.5 hours to KM 104. You'll pass the checkpoint at KM 104 from where you will begin trekking for around 3.5 hours to Wiñayhuayna. As you ascend you will be able to take pictures of the beautiful landscapes, including views to the sacred Wilkanota River and Challabamba. At the archeological site of Wiñaywayna your tour guide will explain to you the function of the site, and once you have enjoyed a delicious box lunch you will continue along the classic Inca Trail to arrive to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From this place you will be able to enjoy the beautiful and unforgettable views of Machu Picchu's Citadel, after which you will travel down the trail for around an hour to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunset. From Machu Picchu you will take a bus for 30 minutes to Aguas Calientes Village, where you will be taken to your hotel. You'll end your day in the evening with a delicious dinner with your guide. Day 2: Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, and Cusco   Following breakfast at your hotel, you will head to Machu Picchu by bus. Inside Machu Picchu you will receive a 2-hour guided tour during which you will learn about the types of amazing constructions, the engineering of the terraces, and the most important places in Machu Picchu (including how they were used). When you finish your tour you’ll return to Aguas Calientes by bus or by hiking. Once at the village you you will find that there is plenty to discover, as you explore the shops, crafts, and art, and can also enjoy the hot springs or try new foods. Later in the afternoon you will take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where as you arrive you will meet with your driver who will return you to your hotel in Cusco.

Cusco: 4-Day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu with Panoramic Train

8. Cusco: 4-Day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu with Panoramic Train

The Lares trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. You will learn all about life in isolated villages, become familiar with Andean culture and traditions, and even visit a local school. This trek is also outstandingly beautiful, combining the majestic Andean mountains with spectacular glaciers, glacial lakes, stunning waterfalls, and countless llamas and alpacas. Finish your experience on a high, spending an unforgettable day exploring Machu Picchu, one of the most incredible locations on the planet. Day 1: After pickup from your hotel at around 5:00 AM, you will drive through the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the famous Lares thermal baths. Jump into the medicinal pools, all of which are set at different temperatures. The water is great for your bones and muscles, as well as for stress and headaches. The route on day 1 is relatively easy with a 2-hour uphill trek until you reach Kiswarani village for lunch. After lunch, continue for 2 hours to the campsite, located on the banks of a beautiful blue lake. Day 2: The second day is the longest and most challenging. After breakfast, set out on a 4-hour hike uphill to Condor Pass at 4700 meters, the highest point of your journey. After a break, descend for 3 hours through the breathtaking scenery. Day 3: Start day 3 with a beautiful view of the mountains and a delicious breakfast to prepare for the descent from the highlands into the sacred valley. Take some time to explore the ancient streets and the water channel that has been in use since Inca times. Have dinner in a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo before catching the 7:00 PM train to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in a hotel. Day 4: On your final day, take the 5:30 AM bus to Machu Picchu and arrive as the sky brightens. You can watch the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu on a clear day. This is truly an unforgettable sight. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb either the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be booked as far in advance as possible and are not included). Your guide will tell you how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes and then take the Vistadome train and bus back to Cusco. You will be met at the station and dropped off safely back at your hotel.

4-Day Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Biking and Rafting

9. 4-Day Inca Jungle Adventure with Mountain Biking and Rafting

Experience the thrill of adventure, the breathtaking natural beauty of the Inca Trail, and the marvel of Machu Picchu on a 4-day tour from Cusco. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Cusco – Santa Maria (Bike and Rafting) Travel by bus to the high mountain pass of Malaga, where you’ll start your descent on a mountain bike to the town Huamanmarca. The bus will take you to the town of Santa Maria, where you’ll have a short break before beginning a rafting adventure on class III and IV rapids. Overnight at a home stay in Santa Maria. Day 2: Santa Maria – Santa Teresa (Trekking) Begin your trek with an ascent, stopping along the way to learn about the local flora and fauna. Enjoy a rest stop to resupply with water and taste regional tropical fruit. Cross a section of the Inca Trail that historically connected Machu Picchu with the city of Vilcabamba. Take in impressive views of the Huancarccasa Canyon. Descend to the small town of Quellomayo for lunch and a rest in a hammock. Continue to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. Overnight in a home stay in Santa Teresa. Day 3: Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes (Trekking and Zipline) Begin your trek to Aguas Calientes after breakfast. Walk through the Aobamba Valley, stopping for lunch along the way. See a series of waterfalls and admire the majesty of the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Overnight at the Hatun Samay Hotel or similar. Day 4: Machu Picchu – Cusco Get an early start and board one of the first buses to Machu Picchu. See the sun rise over the Incan city and have plenty of time to take photos. Enjoy a guided tour of the site and hear about the history of Machu Picchu and its most important structures. From the top of Huayna Picchu take in breathtaking view of the complete Machu Picchu area. Take a bus down to the village of Aguas Calientes for lunch before heading back to Cusco.

From Cusco: Machu Picchu Private Day Trip with All Tickets

10. From Cusco: Machu Picchu Private Day Trip with All Tickets

Make the most of your time in Cusco with a full-day private tour of the best of Machu Picchu. Enjoy pickup from your hotel in Cusco, travel through the Andes by train, and learn about the origins of Machu Picchu on a guided walking tour. After getting picked up from your hotel, travel to Ollantaytambo for your train ride to Aguas Calientes. Take in panoramic views of the Andes mountains and surrounding jungle from the window of your train. Next, board the bus for a quick 25-minute journey to Machu Picchu and avoid the long trek. Enjoy a guided walking tour of this historic citadel and learn about its most important landmarks, including the Main Square, Temple of the Three Windows, the sacred Sun Clock, and the cemetery. After your tour, enjoy some free time in Aguas Calientes to explore the city or grab lunch before hopping on the train back to Ollantaytambo, from where you will be dropped off back at your hotel in Cusco at the end of the day.

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What people are saying about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 200 reviews

I would give this 6 starts if I could. I highly, highly recommend this for any traveler with adequate fitness. While Machu Picchu feels a bit crowded and touristy to me, the Inca trail is incredibly serene and wonderous. The views are unequivocally in the top 5 most beautiful natural(ish) wonders I have seen. This is bolstered by the incredible paved trails, including 10+ meter retaining walls and various empty Inca sites along the way. Are main guide was very knowledgeable, spoke solid English and had a (IMO) big heart. The food spread was also excellent (like many freshly cooked dishes not like the backpacking food I am used to in the USA). We did not encounter rain during the day during this mid November trip though that's invariably a dice roll at that time of year. Do be sure to prep for the altitude though the guides do have coca leaves and other (more Western) medications to help with that or other similar issues.

We just had the most incredible trip with treXperience. We did the 4 days Inka Trail with our Guide Willian! It was one of the best experiences in my life! Not only because of the breathtaking views and nature, but also because of our team! The Porter under the lead of Juvenal were sooo incredible!! You could not ask for more. The food from chef Walter was from another world! Never would I‘ve thought, that we would be so spoild! All in all a lifetime experience and recommendable to everyone!!

Amazing food all the way through! Quite challenging but the views you see along the way are incredible. Great organization - very happy with the experience

Despite the chaotic conditions in Peru, everything possible was done to enable us to have a safe and pleasant trip, just great

It was an amazing hike through the Andes. Going solo with a guide made the experience rich.