Everything You Need to Know About the Inca Trail Distance

by | Dec 5, 2023 | Inca Trail | 0 comments

Distance of the Inca trail

The Distance of the Inca Trail route is 43 km (26 mi) long this classic trail is one of the most thrilling trek routes in the world. It offers its hikers many breathtaking views and is a perfect opportunity to connect with the astounding natural beauty. The Inca trail route is famous for its ancient ruins, and the mystery that they hold within themselves. 

The Inca trail route acts as a bridge between Cusco, the capital of Peru, and Machu Pichu. However, hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu isn’t a piece of cake. It requires 3000 total steps. Walking the Inca trail route requires you 4 days and 3 nights. However, many people are not familiar with the Inca Trail route’s distance. 

Today, we are going to talk about the things that you need to know about the Inca trail distance. These things will aid you in your Inca trail route trek. 

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Inca trail distance: Things that you need to know

As hiking, the Inca trail route takes 4 days and 3 nights, and the distance you have to travel is immense. Some of the statistics related to how much distance you will travel while hiking the route are specified below. 

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The distance you will travel on Day 1 along the Inca trail

The Classic Inca trail route will start from Kilometer 82. It is the starting point of the Inca trail route. You will either reach Kilometer 82 from Ollantaytambo. Here you can get breakfast, it all depends upon your tour operator. 

On your first day, after reaching Kilometer 82, you will be asked to pack all your hiking essentials. You will also be required to show your permits before you hike the Inca trail route. 

On the first day of your hike, the land is slightly uphill and is not tough.

The terrain is smooth and doesn’t require much effort. After 6-7 hours of hiking, you will reach Llactapata, an archeological site. It is located 5 km west of Machu Pichu. 

After reaching Llactapata, you will descend to Ayapata, a place with mountainous landscapes and mesmerizing valleys. It is where you will set your camp. At the end of the first day, you’d have covered approximately 6 -7 miles or 10- 11 kilometers. In addition to this, the highest elevation that you would have ascended during the day will be around 3000 meters. 

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HumanTay Lake Salkantay

The Inca Trail distance you will travel on Day 2

On your second day, you will wake up early and hike through the cloud forest before you reach the Dead Woman’s Pass. Before hiking through the cloud forest, you will continue to ascend to reach Wayllabamba. 

On the second day, you will hike through two passes. The first pass that you will cover is the Dead Woman’s pass. The height of the Dead Woman’s Pass is 4,215m (13,828 ft), while the altitude of the Runcurracay Pass is 3,970m (13,022 feet).

The second pass that you will cover would be the Runcurracay Pass. Covering both of these passes will require you to ascend 13000 feet. 

The total distance that you’d cover at the end of the day will be 7.5 miles, which is 12Km. The elevation gain here will be 1115 meters. You will hike for 6-9 hours on your second day.

During this day, you will mostly be ascending places before reaching Runcurracay Pass. Hiking and reaching the Dead Woman’s Pass is the most strenuous thing on the Inca trail route. As the pass has a jaw-dropping 4,215m high altitude, it can cause a shortage of breath, nausea, and headaches. 

Make sure to stay hydrated during your second day to avoid getting sick. In addition to this, the land that you will trek on your second day will be tough. It will consist of rocks and boulders with lots of stairs. 

Inca Trail Elevation
Inca Trail Elevation Dead Woman Pass 13,000f

The distance you will hike the Inca trail on Day 3

On your third day of trekking, you will be required to wake up early, around 5 AM. After waking up, you will further descend to reach the third and final pass. This pass will be known as Abra Phuyupatamarca, which sits at almost 3700 meters.  

After reaching Abra Phuyupatamarca, you will hike along the Inca Trail route to reach the majestical Incan ruins of Winay Huayna. The ruins are neighbored by beautiful mountainous landscapes, covered in lush green grass. 

It is one of the most gorgeous places that you will see during the hike. After reaching Winay Wuayna, you will set up your camp and rest. Your guide will also tell you about the last day of the Inca trail route trek. 

Day 3 will require you to hike for 6 – 8 hours. The total distance you would cover during the third day of your hike will be 9.6 miles. It is approximately 16 kilometers. During the third day of your Inca route hike, you will experience a subtle change in the weather and landscapes. 

However, trekking on the third day is comparatively easier than on the second day. You will be descending rather than ascending on the third day of your Inca trail route trek. 

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Inka trail Private Tour To To Machu Picchu

The distance you will travel on Day 4

On your fourth and last day of the trek, you will wake up very early. Then you will hike through the Sun Gate to reach Machu Pichu. After arriving at the Sun Gate, you will walk for an additional 1 – 2 hours before reaching Machu Pichu. 

You will only hike 5 kilometers on the fourth day of your trek. Arriving at the Machu Pichu before sunrise will allow you to view the sun hovering over the mountains. After reaching and spending some time in Machu Pichu, you will catch a bus back to Cusco. 


The above-specified is everything that you should know about the Inca trail route’s distance. While going on the hike, make sure to pack hiking essentials such as boots and trekking poles. 


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Cesar Conde

Cesar Conde

Position: Tour Leaders & Digital Creator

I’m Cesar Conde, owner of Tour Leaders Peru & Travel Advisor and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own amazing Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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