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How Long Does It Take to Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?


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Cesar Conde


For over 15 years, Cesar has been leading adventure tours across the Peruvian Mountains to include Machu Picchu. Patient and enthusiastic, he enjoys showing others the awe-inspiring Cultural Wonderworld as much as he loves discovering its wonders for himself. As a Mountaineer and Hiker expert, at Tour Leaders Peru Adventure, Cesar is a great storyteller who loves spending evenings around the campfire or dinner table sharing travel tales and making new friends.

How Long Does It Take to Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Apr 28, 2021 | Peru Travel Blogs | 0 comments

How long is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?, Have You ever had an Idea or planing to Hike in Peru? Do you crave adventures? Then you must keep your eyes open to find opportunities for feeding those cravings. Hiking Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 Days is one of the most amazing things to do in Peru. Most amazingly, this is one of the top things to do in Peru that most of the travelers here dream about. It is because hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu comes up with so many adventurous opportunities. All of these make classic Inca Trail worth checking out.

However, when it is about to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, then there are multiple things to know. While here we will let you know all the important information including how long is the Inca trail. So, you can plan your itinerary accordingly.

Inca Trail Map

How long is the Inca Trail?

Before knowing the time required to hike the Inca Trail, you must know how long is the Inca Trail here. It is because this will let you know how to manage your Inca Trail tours itinerary more effectively.

The length of classic Inca Trail is about 26 miles, or 42 km. The trail is tucked away in the lavishing and beautiful Andes Mountains in Peru. Much part of this classic trail can give you a true Incan engineering testament. It is because most of its part is still originally constructed Inca Trail.

Even more, the scenery throughout the Inca Trail is truly magnificent and breathtaking. Most importantly, it can let you experience a lot of variety when it comes to scenery around.

How long will it take to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

As the classic Inca Trail is 26 miles long, so, it takes about 4 days and 3 nights to hike the Inca Trail. The standard Inca Trail tours come up with a four-day itinerary but You Can update and go on Luxury Glamping The Inca Trail.

  • The Inca Trail tours can offer you a lot to enjoy. It comes up with a variety of scenery around. Also, the Inca trail passes through Andean Landscapes’ different types such as alpine tundra and lush cloud forest.
  • Hikers on the Inca trail also spend two famous mountain passes more than 13,000 ft. above.
  • Even more, the trail also drops down at 7,982 feet, where Machu Picchu sits.

Even though there are various other quick hikes as well to reach Machu Picchu. But all of the above-mentioned things make Inca Trail the most classic and adventurous route to reach Machu Picchu.

How Long Does It Take to Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
How Long Does It Take to Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

What’s the difficulty level of the Inca Trail hike?

When planning your Inca Trail tours, you must understand the difficulty level of this hike as well. However, each day on the Inca Trail will give you a different hiking experience. It is because:

  • The first day hike on this trail is easy.
  • While the second day hike can be challenging for hikers.
  • However, the third day hike will give you some unforgettable experiences. You will definitely cheer these sights and experiences throughout your lives.
  • The 4th day hike is here to offer you a unique experience.

Do you want to know how? Let’s have a look at a general 4-day itinerary of Inca Trail tours here to know more.

A general 4-day Inca Trail tours itinerary

So, here we go:

Day 1 on Inca Trail

On the first day, every traveler is usually excited to start their hike day. So, you should start your hiking earlier. It is because this will let you get used to your companions, pack, and trail more effectively.

After that Trail will get a bit challenging. However, most of the Inca Trail tours consider the first day as a warm-up. So, they hike for 6 to 7 hours only depending on the speed and itinerary of the group.  

Day 2 on Inca Trail

However, the second day can be challenging for you. So, it is important to keep some things in mind to be well-prepared for it:

  • Ensure to drink water and stay hydrated. Don’t forget to keep your water bottle handy with you on the Inca Trail.
  • Take it slowly and hike at your own pace. Avoid pushing yourself too hard on the trail.
  • Here you will pass over two mountain passes over 13,000 feet. So, when you reach at the top of the pass, you will definitely be able to enjoy some amazing views that you will never forget.

Overall, day-2 on the Inca Trail can be an exhausting day. However, the views and sense of accomplishment make this day worth your every step.

While, you can expect to hike for about 8 to 9 hours on the trail.

Day 3 on Inca Trail

As we have described this day as a day to enjoy unforgettable experience. So, after trekking you will definitely know why everyone would say that.

Well, on third day of hiking, landscape will change dramatically. It is because:

  • You will find yourself walking from the cloud forest. Undoubtedly, it’s a tropical forest but above the clouds.
  • Also, you will cross two popular Incan tunnels here which are carved out of the mountainside.
  • Even more, you will also visit amazing ruins here such as Winaywanya.
  • There is also a waterfall behind the ruins which is worth-checking.

You can expect to hike for 5 to 6 hours only. It means you have a lot of time to enjoy the sites around and make your day unforgettable.

Day 4 on Inca trail

This day will start from getting the glimpse of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate. If you see the view before sunrise, you won’t believe your eyes. However, from the Sun Gate, you have to hike for an hour more to reach Machu Picchu. Even more, a tour to the ancient city here is worth considering. Overall, your last hiking day involves of trekking for 1 to 2 hours only.

You can spend the rest of the day wandering around and enjoying the best of the Machu Picchu experience with ease. And at the end of the day, you can take a bus or train to Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo. From here you can take another bus to return back to Cusco.

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