Salkantay and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 7 days – 2021

84KM – 52.5 miles

(888) 812-8687

info@tourleadersperu.com

f

LENGTH

7 DAYS/6 NIGHTS

MAX. ALTTITUDE

5600m/18372ft

Hiking Miles

52.5 miles (84 km)

l

Group Size

8 People max

Difficulty

Moderate to Challengue

Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail 7 Days to Machu Picchu

Price From

$1149 PP

This seven days trekking combines the Salkantay Trail and the Classic Inca Trail Trek; where you’ll see the huge peaks of the Salkantay region which are considered important “Apu” or spiritual protector to locals. The Inca Trail Trekking Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu leads you through the “Vilcabamba” mountain range which is formed by two deepest canyons of the region: Urubamba and Apurimac. During the trek, for the first 3 days, you will be surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery and rarely see other groups; on the fourth day. We’ll join with the Classic Inca Trail 4 Day/3 nights at Wayllabamba Community and then continue to Machu Picchu over the “Dead woman’s pass (4,200m). The Inca Trail Trekking & Salkantay Trek season extends from mid-March to November. Daytime temperatures can reach 20°C – 27°C at high altitude in June July nights can drop to below -5°C. Trekking in Cusco during winter, from June to September, offers cool to mild and clear days with often very cold nights. Daytime temperatures around 20°C and at night may drop to 0°C or as low as – 5°C. Occasionally winter storms can bring snow as low as 3,500m.

Salkantay Trek Weather

The weather patterns are not so predictable that you can be absolutely positive about weather conditions in advance, but there are well-established patterns. The lower altitude treks experience the forests, village culture, and Fantastic Mountain views and are likely not to experience extremes of weather, but rather mild weather conditions throughout the trekking season. Salkantay Machu Picchu HIke is geographically an outstanding trek to Machupicchu. The highest mountains, the deepest gorges, tracts of wild forest, the rolling high plateau of the Andes, and the greatest biodiversity are some of these

  • HIKING 95% 95%
  • FOOD 90% 90%
  • HISTORY/CULTURE/NATURE 100% 100%
  • PHOTOGRAPHY/ADVENTURE/CAMPING 100% 100%

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TRAVEL INFORMATION

Watch Our Highlight VIDEO

INCA TRAIL MAP

Inca Trail Map

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MACHU PICCHU HIKE

  • 100% Operated by Tour Leaders Peru, we never put you with other tour operators.
  • Pick up from Airport and Hotel
  • Top of the line equipment REI Co-op Half Dome 4 Tent. Only for Two Persons
  • 8 kg per person, other companies offer you only 6 kg
  • Best English Speakers Tour Leaders, We know Communication is very important in your trip
  • Extraordinary Chefs! Don’t get stressed about food and forget your power bar. We serve you a 5-star outdoor restaurant with delicious organic gourmet food in your dining tent.
  • Hotel Aguas Calientes with all facilities
  • Free and Safe Storage in Cusco and Aguas Calientes while you are hiking and visiting Machupicchu
  • Umantay Lake included (most companies skip this wonderful lake)
  • Private transportation on each trip
  • Perfect Location For Photographers
  • Comfortable and Panoramic Train to Aguas Calientes.
  • Visit Machu Picchu twice with this tour!

DAY 1 : Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa.

We start the day by picking you up from your hotel at approx 04:00 AM. We will drive for around 4 hours, crossing Anta and Mollepata and ending up at Challancha. Through the windows of the bus, you can clearly see the white, snowcapped mountains of Apus Salkantay and Humantay: two colossal gods of the Incas. You will also see the spectacular scenery of high peaks and low valleys in a colorful and contrasting panorama filling every direction you turn your eyes! After the first two hours of driving, we will stop quickly in Mollepata to take advantage of the toilet facilities, souvenir shops, and optional, short breakfast. We will then continue to Challacancha, the starting point for our trek. We will meet our support staff, and they will organize all of the equipment and cargo mules. Around 09:30 AM, we will begin trekking to Soraypampa (3850 MASL – 12631 FASL), the first campsite on our journey.

The first section of the path takes us over a few deep valleys along the side of a mountain. At some parts of the trail, an old aqueduct can still be seen which still supplies water to farmers in the lower valleys. We will travel 7 km (4.35 miles) in 3 hours to Soraypampa where we will have our lunch at the base camp of Salkantay. After lunch and a short rest, we hike up to the unforgettable Humantay Lake (4200 MASL – 13779 ft). This is a 5 km (3.1miles) round-trip which we will walk in a total of 3 hours. This place one of the most beautiful sights in all the Andes with unbelievable blue-green water reflecting the mountain glaciers of Apu Humantay. It seems like something out of a dream or fairy tale! Back at our camp, the background of the valley at sunset creates the most peaceful scene with an energy that can only be felt and not described! Because Soraypampa (our camp) is located in the middle of the glacier valleys, the sky is so immensely clear at night that you can truly appreciate the stars, constellations, and even comets shooting across the pitch blackness, uninterrupted by the hustle, bustle, or lights of the city. Take a moment this night to re-center your spirit and consider all the deep things of life in the profound silence and tranquility of Soraypampa!

Hiking distance: 13 km / 8.1 miles
Hiking time: 6½ to 7 hours approximately.
Climate: hot in the day and warm at the night.
Accommodation: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 4200 Masl / 13779 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2954 masl / 9694 ft.

DAY 2 : Soraypampa – Inka Chiriasqha Pass – Sisaypampa Camp.

Today will be a beautiful day because we will see the snow mountains of Humantay (5,217 masl), Salkantay (6,271 masl), and Chullunku (5,570 masl). We will start the trek at 07:30 a.m; the trail climbs up gentle to “Pampa-Japonesa” (Japanese Climbers Base-camp set 3 decades ago) then, we’ll continue to the highest pass called Inka Chiriasqha (5,200m / 17060ft) from where one is rewarded with splendid mountain scenery.

The trekking time from the camp to the pass will take us 4 to 5 hours. After we have a rest on the pass, we’ll continue down through old moraine until the Accobamba zone where our lunch will be served. After lunch we will descend until Sisay pampa Camp (3,790 m / 12434ft).

A Sisaypampa section we will be able to fully enjoy and take in the imposing Andean topography, quiet and cozy place where you can see a herd of llamas, alpacas and with luck, we might see the Andean condor consider an important deity among the locals. Our camp will be near the kid’s school. (7-8 hours walking)

Hiking distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles
Hiking time: 6½ to 7 hours approximately.
Climate: cold by day, very cold at night.
Accommodation: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 4650 masl / 15255 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2750 masl / 9022 ft.

DAY 3 : Sisaypampa – Paucarcancha.

After breakfast, we will start the trek at 07:30 a.m; we will walk down in a beautiful valley with native flowers and exciting views; after 3 hours, we will arrive at the Pampaccahuana community near the Inca canal repaired a few years ago by Kendall’s Project (American archaeologist) to help local farmers and shepherds. From Pampaccahuana, it will be 3 hours to Paucarcancha camp where we will find a beautiful Inca ruins.

Hiking distance: 15 km / 9.3 miles
Hiking time: 7 hours approximately.
Climate: cold by day, very cold at night.
Accommodation: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 5000 masl / 16404 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 3750 masl ASL / 12303 ft.

DAY 4: Paucarcancha – Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa Camp.

After breakfast we’ll continue one hour to the Wayllabamba community; at this place, we will enter the original Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Here is also where our muleteers return home with their mules; fresh porters will welcome us to continue the trek carrying the gear, equipment, and food all the way to Machu Picchu; Horses aren’t allowed on the Inca Trail Trek. From Wayllabamba we’ll continue the gentle climb up to Llullucha camp, along the way we will see a rushing stream, we’ll walk through enchanted native Polylepis woodland.

Distance Travelled: 14 Km. / 8.7 mile
Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours approximately.
Climate: tropical warm.
Logging: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 3000 masl / 9842 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 3750 masl / 12303 ft.

DAY 5: Llulluchapampa – Dead Woman Pass – Pacaymayo – Runkuracay – Chakiccocha

Today will be a long day; After breakfast, we’ll climb up for two hours to reach the second-highest pass known as “Warmiwañusqha” or Dead Woman Pass (4,200m / 13779ft), from where one is rewarded with spectacular mountain scenery. After a good rest, we will continue trekking down to Pacaymayu Valley through several Inca steps.

The descend to Pacaymayo Valley will last for two hours; here our lunch will be served. After a good rest, we climb up again for 1 hour to visit the archaeological site of ‘Runkuraqhay’ (round shape balcony) and then continuing one more hour to Runkuraqhay pass at 4,000m / 13123ft; from wherein a clear day you can see on your bag “Dead Woman Pass” and in front of the Pumasillu snow mountain range.

From the pass, we’ll continue descending for one hour through Inca steps until the Inca site of ‘Sayacmarka’ (inaccessible town) which also was discovered by Mr. Hiram Bingam in 1915. We will have a short rest here before we continue walking for 20 minutes to Ch’akiccocha camp.

Distance Travelled: 16 Km. / 9.9 mile
Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours approximately.
Climate: tropical warm.
Logging: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 4200 masl / 13776 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 3400 masl / 11144 ft.

DAY 6: Chaquiccocha – Phuyupatamarka – Wiñaywayna.

Toda is another beautiful but short day. You will notice a change in the eco-system while walking through the tropical forest. After two hours walk, we’ll arrive at the Inca settlement named Phuyupatamarca (Town above the clouds) (3,600 masl/11,811 ft). A well-preserved site with a long chain of Inca baths where one can see impressive Inca engineering. Here you’ll receive an explanation from the tour guide for a half-hour.

From Phuyupatamarca, we will descend approximately 3,200 of well-preserved Inca steps (3 hours); we also will pass another Inca Tunnel before we arrive at the Inca ruins of Wiñaywayna (Young Forever) (2,650 m/8,694 ft). Next to the ruins will be set up in our camp. Today’s lunch will be served in the camp so, after lunch, you’ll have time to rest and be ready to start very early the next day.

Distance Travelled: 16 Km. / 9.9 mile
Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours approximately.
Climate: tropical warm.
Logging: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 3600 masl / 11811 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2600 masl / 8530 ft.

DAY 7: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – “Aguas Calientes” town – Cusco

Today, we will start the tour very early; the breakfast will be served at 04:30 a.m, and we’ll begin to trek at 05:00 a.m to be in time at the Sungate or Inti Punku to get the first glimpse of Machu Picchu and watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu. We will continue with the last triumphal descent to Machu Picchu and you will receive a relaxing tour for two hours approximately.

After the tour, you will have enough time to explore the Machu Picchu site on your own. At around noon, you must take the bus that will take you down to the town of “Aguas Calientes”; Here you will have your lunch in one of the restaurants; in the afternoon at 2.55 pm we’ll take the train to Ollantaytambo train station from where you’ll be transferred to your hotel in Cusco arriving there at 7:30 pm.

Distance Hiking: 6 Km. / 3.7 mile
Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours approximately.
Machu Picchu guided tour: 2½ hour.
Climate: tropical warm.
Shuttle to Cusco:3 hours by train and bus from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.
Maximum Altitude: 2429 masl / 7972 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2040 masl / 6692 ft.

We are excited to be part of your adventure and lead you to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Make sure to book your tour in advance. Only 500 people a day are permitting on the Inca Trail of which 250 are reserved for tourists. Machu Picchu allows 2500 tourists daily. Don’t miss your adventure!

From: $ 1149 per person Group Service

Note: An initial deposit of $450.00 is required to reserve your spot. We require this deposit to buy train and bus tickets, entrance fees to Machu Picchu, Inca trail admission ticket, and for your return transportation. The remaining balance is due 21 days prior to your trek. Please see our Terms and Conditions.

Additional Upgrades

Hauyna Picchu

If you want to climb Huayna Picchu make sure to book in advance as there are only 400 permits allowed daily to this location.

$40 per person Please notify us during your booking if you wish to purchase this upgrade.

Vistadome Train

From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo: Prices vary from $57.00 to $73.00 per person one-way.

Machupicchu Mountain

Machupicchu Mountain offers even more magnificent views than Huayna Picchu. There are also only 400 permits allowed daily to this location. A 360-degree view of Machupicchu and the surrounding valley and glaciers are seen from this mountain.

US$35 per person Please notify us during your booking if you wish to purchase this upgrade.

Additional Night in Aguas Calientes hotel

The price depends on the season and Hotel availability.

Inka Bridge

If you did not have the opportunity to book an additional upgrade this one is available for free. It is an hour and a half round trip hike.

Sun Gate

If you did not have the opportunity to book an additional upgrade this one is available for free. It is a two-hour round trip hike.

Peru Travel Packing List Sleeping Bags and Accessories

  • Single Tent $40 (if you wish to sleep alone)
  • Sleeping Bag $20 per person (minus 5 degrees Celsius)
  • Air Mattress $20 per person (REI inflatable mattress)
  • Professional Walking Poles $20 per pair
  • Backpacks $25
  • Head Lamp $10
  • Extra kilograms $10/kg (Example 5kg=$50)

Inca Trail Hike Packing List To Machu Picchu

  • Original passport and (ISIC student card if applicable).
  • A comfortable 45 Lt trek backpack if you want to carry all your belongings.
  • A small daypack to carry your personal belongings
  • Warm sleeping bag Minus 8ºC (You can hire from SAS Travel.)
  • Lighter style trekking boots with good ankle support or tough sport shoes, (light sandals or clogs are recommended to rest at campsites).
  • Trekking poles with rubber tips. (metal tips are not allowed on the trail).
  • Warm clothes, layers for variable temperature especially at night
  • Thermal underwear can be worn in the sleeping bag or in cold conditions
  • Gloves or mittens, scarf, wool socks, woolen hat for cold nights
  • T-shirts and trekking pants that zip off to short pants for comfort
  • Flashlight, head torch, and extra batteries
  • Camera and extra batteries, – Binoculars
  • Wear a hat with a broad visor to keep the sun off your face
  • Sunscreen, and sunglasses
  • Personal medical kit, insect repellent
  • Rain Gear: a good rain jacket, rain poncho
  • Toiletries, toilet paper, small towel
  • 2-liter water bottle, (disposable plastic bottles are forbidden).
  • Bathing suits for hot springs for hikers with a night in Aguas Calientes (5 Day Special Inca Trail)
  • Extra money for drinks en route, Machupicchu and Aguas Calientes. ($10-15)
  • Tips for (porters, cooks, guides. ($30-40) Not mandatory.
  • Emergency money at least 200-300 soles. ($ 120)

  • Temperature checks for all traveler are mandatory
  • Face masks required for travelers and staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff at all times
  • High traffic places and equipment sanitized regularly between use
  • Maximum 8 people per group to reduce crowds, for bigger groups we will assign two teams
  • Transportation and touristic sites capacity will be reduced to 50%
  • Printed material such as maps or vouchers will be avoided.
  • 100% online payments with no booking fees at all
  • Flexible bookings during COVID – 19 outbreak

INCLUTIONS

INCLUDE

  • Pre-departure briefing at 7:00 pm the night before your tour in our office or your Hotel.
  • Collection from your Hotel in Cusco from (05:30 am) or from Sacred Valley.
  • Private transportation (Start of our trek).
  • Breakfast in Urubamba in our farmhouse,
  • 11 Full meals for the entire tour (4 Breakfast, 4 Lunch 3 Dinner) + snacks (vegetarian, vegan option, gluten, wheat-free, or special diets upon your request.)
  • Permit and fees for the Inca Trail Park and Machupicchu Sanctuary.
  • Porters to carry (camping equipment: client tents, dining and cooking tents, table, stools, cooking gear, stove, gas container, cutlery, plates, food, and fresh vegetables).
  • 7-kilogram duffle bags (per Person)
  • 2 Excellent experienced top tour guides (9-16 person / 6-8 with 1 tour guide)
  • 2 expert gourmet mountain cooks, assistants.
  • Hot drinks every afternoon include popcorn.
  • Boiled water provided from 2nd day.
  • 2 people per tent, clean, new, spacious (4 people REI Half Dome 4 tents).
  • Thick, comfortable sleeping mattress,
  • Buckets of hot water for washing in your tent every day.
  • Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel.
  • Emergency First-aid kit and Oxygen assistance.
  • 3-4 hours guided tour in Machupicchu
  • Round trip Bus Ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu.
  • Tourist Expedition train return to Poroy Station or Ollantaytambo.
  • Bus to Cusco

NOT INCLUDE

  • Sleeping bag (4 season -Minus 8ºC)
  • Tips for the trekking crew, Guides, Cooks, and porters at your discretion.
  • Flight Ticket to Cusco.
  • Accommodation in Cusco. (see recommendation)
  • Travel Insurance. (check that your insurance covers you for treks above 4,200 masl) and (COVID-19)

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(888) 812-8687

RELATED INCA TRAIL TOURS

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The trail itself is breathtaking, but the end of the trail is a spectacular sight as you reach the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu at sunrise. The classic Inca trail runs 26 miles (42 km) long, is usually hiked over 4 days and 3 nights, and is tucked away in the beautiful Andes mountains in Peru.

5 DAY INCA TRAIL | FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

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Elevation: 4,200m/13,779ft
Good for Hikers
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INCA TRAIL 7 DAYS

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Total distance: 46.7 miles/75km
Elevation: 4,821m/15,817ft
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Inca Trail: Permit Require

LARES TREK & INCA TRAIL 4 DAYS

Total distance: 29,3miles/47km
Elevation: 4,700m/15,419ft
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Food & Drink

Healthy Organic Gourmet meals in all of your trips

Daily Seasonal Food on each trip and Tours

Peruvian cuisine has only recently exploded onto the international culinary stage, but Peruvians have always been crazy about their nation’s culinary heritage, and they steadfastly cling to the traditional, multiculti flavors of home. Even in the face of modern gastronomic innovation. A range of climates, from high altitude to low, offers an impressive diversity of produce. Yes, that means potatoes over 3800 kinds but also a variety of corn and other grains, to say nothing of the country’s native aji chilies that are often puréed into sauces.

Coffee, Tea, Water, & Assorted Beverages

Every morning and afternoon, before and after your daily hikes you will find hot drinks and snacks in your dining tent.

*Special Diets Available Upon Request

TRAVEL REVIEWS

{PERU PACKAGE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! Date of Experience: 12/2019 I visited Peru with my family back in Dec. 2019 with this company. We were picked up at Lima airport by our guide Miguel and given a tour of Lima city along with the Larco museum. The following day we headed to…
5
KInghoney
{If you’d like hiking to see the stunning view at Salkantay lake and one of the seven worlds wonders Machu Picchu while having someone to set your tent and cook your fresh gourmet Peruvian dinners every night, then you have to sign up with Tour leaders Peru. Their tour guide is very fun, friendly, and knowledgeable. Their REI equipment is new and up to date.
{We, unfortunately, didn't get to travel with Tour Leaders Peru because of Covid-19. We had to cancel our May tour and postpone our vacation until further notice. We had paid a deposit and Natalie and the team worked diligently with the government to refund our trip. We are…
5
Austin P
{We had a great tour of With Tour Guide Aldo (he's great): Cusco, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu. Jose was always there, attentive, hiking in front, back, side, showing us extra ruins on side trails. It was great! For the Amazon, we switched to great naturalist and super birder Jose Antonio and hiked and birded in Manu National Park.
{I had an AMAZING time hiking Salkantay Trek with Tour Leaders Peru! Our guides Cesar and Christian were fantastic! You can tell they really love their Peruvian culture and they portray this as they guided us through this trek. All of the other staff were amazing as well including…
{I initially booked with Tour Leaders Peru after a recommendation from a friend. I admit I was a little hesitant at first but all of that doubt went away just in the booking process alone. Natalie knows what she’s doing and has actually been to Peru, and has visited the places I…
{I have always wanted to see Machu Picchu and when the opportunity came, I didn’t want to pass. My friends and I did the Salkantay Trek with Odon as our main guide and he was just so passionate about telling us the history and the culture behind Machu Picchu. Odon took care of us like we were his children haha, he helped us adjust or feel better with altitude sickness.
{We just got home safely from Peru. We saw the Sacred Valley, hiked the 26 mile Inca Trail for 4 days from 8,000 to 13,800 feet to see the ancient stunning Machu Picchu, learned about Incas, went to the exciting Amazon Rain Forest to see Macaw birds in the wild, shopped at San Pedro’s Market in Cusco, celebrated New Year’s Eve in yellow hats in Cusco...

Travel Perks when you book with us

Free Storage

Free luggage storage when you are traveling or Hiking with us

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REI Camping Equipment for each trip

We are not affiliated with this REI Brand But as a local Tour operator we support local business and our customer enjoy their private Sleeping tent only for two persons learn more in our Camping Equipment for Inca trail

Private Eco Toilets

We do not share public toilet along the Inca trail we carry our portable ECO Toilets Only for our Groups

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Peruvian Gourmet Food on each Tours

Food Include in each Trek, Vegetarian option available. we really take care of your gluten-free food contact with our office for any food restriction.

Private Transportation on each trip

As a responsible tour operator in Peru, we do not share our mobility with other tourists, all our transportation is only for your group or family members.

Best Chaskis (Porters)

We do not overbear our staff, they are principal resources in this travel industry 

We leave no trace

We carry all our Trash From The begging to the end of each hike keeping clean all our hiking trail 

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  • Independent City Stays
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  • Customized Travel Vacations 
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INCA TRAIL HIKE FAQ

The trail itself is breathtaking, but the end of the trail is a spectacular sight as you reach the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu at sunrise. The classic Inca trail runs 26 miles (42 km) long, is usually hiked over 4 days and 3 nights and is tucked away in the beautiful Andes mountains in Peru.

How much it actually cost to hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu?

The price tag for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu depends largely on the tour company, package, and guide you choose. Here are some of the general costs, plus actual specifics from our own recent treks on 2021.

Doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu independently is not an option. The Peruvian government limits the number of hikers on the trails each day. Everyone must have a permit and be accompanied by a licensed guide. And yes, through a series of checkpoints on the trail, they actually enforce it.

The general cost for Inca Trail trek: $600

On average, the classic Inca Trail hike costs around $600/person (this generally includes transportation to the trailhead from Cusco, a guide, porters, three meals a day, hiking permits, entry to Machu Picchu, and tents). You can find it even cheaper. But besides the advertised sticker price, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a tour company: How many hikers are in each group? How often and how much food is provided during the trek? And finally, what’s the reputation for the company’s treatment of its porters?

Even though we tend to focus on budget traveling, it’s good to remember that sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Cheaper companies for the Inca Trail often have larger groups (15-25 people), provide smaller meals, and/or no snacks. Some even have a bad reputation for inadequately providing their porters (i.e. lacking rain ponchos, jackets, or even proper hiking shoes). I was surprised by how many people online included snacks as a necessary item to pack and bring along because some companies don’t provide enough food pro by other companies.

How hard is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Hiking the Inca Trail is an experience that should inspire excitement, invoke a little bit of fear, stoke jealousy amongst your friends, and stir a sense of wonder in your soul.

One of the most popular things to do in South America – and one of the world’s most famous hikes – the Inca Trail is the sort of singular adventures for which we all travel. The hike itself, which brings you along ancient narrow paths deep into the Peruvian countryside and high into the Andean mountains, is gorgeous; perfect Incan ruins, cloud forest, and majestic valley views laid out like breadcrumbs along the way to perhaps the greatest end-point of any multi-day hike on earth, the iconic Machu Picchu.

After our own hike, we wanted to share our hard-earned insights, advice, and tips to help you plan and prepare for your own successful Trail experience – all neatly whittled down into this comprehensive guide.

So, whether you’re heading there in high or low season and want to understand the camping and accommodation situation better, have no idea what to pack or how to get a permit, are worrying about whether you’re fit enough, will get altitude sickness or if it’s too late to book a spot on a tour, then this post will provide you with all the necessary information answers from experienced fellow travelers (and, we hope, quite a bit of excitement and inspiration for the hike itself!).

Ready? Here’s everything you need to know before doing the Inca Trail hike.

How hard is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Hiking the Inca Trail is an experience that should inspire excitement, invoke a little bit of fear, stoke jealousy amongst your friends, and stir a sense of wonder in your soul.

One of the most popular things to do in South America – and one of the world’s most famous hikes – the Inca Trail is the sort of singular adventures for which we all travel. The hike itself, which brings you along ancient narrow paths deep into the Peruvian countryside and high into the Andean mountains, is gorgeous; perfect Incan ruins, cloud forest, and majestic valley views laid out like breadcrumbs along the way to perhaps the greatest end-point of any multi-day hike on earth, the iconic Machu Picchu.

After our own hike, we wanted to share our hard-earned insights, advice, and tips to help you plan and prepare for your own successful Trail experience – all neatly whittled down into this comprehensive guide.

So, whether you’re heading there in high or low season and want to understand the camping and accommodation situation better, have no idea what to pack or how to get a permit, are worrying about whether you’re fit enough, will get altitude sickness or if it’s too late to book a spot on a tour, then this post will provide you with all the necessary information answers from experienced fellow travelers (and, we hope, quite a bit of excitement and inspiration for the hike itself!).

Ready? Here’s everything you need to know before doing the Inca Trail hike.

Are there toilets on the Inca Trail?

This is where the bad news begins. Inca Trail toilets are not the most hygienic, clean or private affairs. You’ll be lucky if your toilet has a lock. On the first day the toilets are usually fairly decent and clean. However, as you venture further along the trail the quality rapidly decreases.

Our Inca Trail toilets – Portable option

As a tour operato, the best option on the Inca Trail is to hire a tour company that provides a portable toilet all the way up. These are known as ‘toilet tents’.

Although not as common, this is probably one of the most important things we would recommend when deciding on what tour operator to use. You’ll probably have to book with a western operator and it may cost slightly more, but it’s definitely worth it! The toilet tent is carried up with you by porters.

Our Toilete sit and tent are clean and only used by your group. You’ll be able to sit on a toilet drum within the privacy of a tent, and if there are any issues, we will solve immediately. 

When to book the Inca Trail trek 4 days?

The government has strictly limited the number of people permitted on the Inca Trail (permits are issued to about 200 trekkers per day plus 300 porters this 500 permits include 4 days inca trail). We recommend that you make a trek booking as early as posible we recommend 4 months in advance.

It is recommended to book the tour inca trail to Machu Picchu 2 days in advance, before booking flight tickets and hotels, because there are limited spots to reservation for Inca trail at INC and PERU RAIL (train Tickets).

How Many Miles is The Inca Trail from km 82?

We’ve outlined our own route on the Inca Trail below and, in broad terms, this is the sort of the itinerary you can expect (note that this relates solely to the days spent on the hike, not the days of travelling to/from Cusco and Ollantaytambo):

Day One: Travel from Ollantaytambo to km.82 in the morning and hike to campsite

Distance | Approx. 6.8 miles/ 11 km

Elevation Gain | 350 metres

Difficulty | Moderate, with a steep tiring section towards the end.

Day Two: Early rise to hike through cloud forest and up to Dead Woman’s Pass and the descent to campsite

Distance | Approx. 7.5 miles/ 12km

Elevation Gain | 1,115 metres

Difficulty | High, this is the hardest day of walking but after you reach DWP, it’s mostly downhill.

Day Three: Early rise to hike the most photogenic section of the Trail

Distance | Approx. 9.6 miles/ 15.5km

Elevation Gain | Minus 1,000 metres

Difficulty | Moderate to a little difficult as there are several steep sections.

Day Four: Very early rise (3 a.m.) to reach the entry check-point and hike 1-2 hours to the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu.

Distance | Approx. 3.1 miles/ 5 km

Difficulty | You’re almost at the end and Machu Picchu, you should be hopping, skipping, and jumping all the way there!

Best time to hike Inca Trail

Towards the end of February is the wettest month in the Andes. The Inca Trail, as well as several other national parks in Peru, is closed throughout the month for essential maintenance. Machu Picchu remains open at this time.The trail reopens in March, though the highlands are still rainy through into

early April.May and October, are the best times to trek the Inca Trail as permits may sell out slightly less fast as in the peak months, plus it’s dry, and warmer than June, July and August.The Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi) takes place towards the end of June and cities, such as Cuzco, always get busier with local crowds heading towards Machu Picchu.Peru’s national vacation at the end of July is also a peak time for Peruvians to tackle the Inca Trail or visit Machu Picchu by train. The dry conditions prove popular with vacationmakers all the way through August and

into September.By November, the rainy season is starting up again in earnest. However, you still might get some solid trekking conditions with nothing like the crowds of the summer – and you won’t need to secure your pass quite as far in advance.December is wet and attracts crowds over the vacations with accommodation and flight prices rising, despite the weather. Things ease off again in January – which is wet but without the vacation crowds.

Machu Picchu hike difficulty

First, the numbers: if you tackle the classic four-day Inca Trail you’ll have 24-26 miles to trek (depending on which trailhead you set out from), over 2,000 metres to haul yourself up and level yourself down, and over 3,000 steps to deal with in total.

In terms of fitness and technical challenge, this is considered to be a trek of moderate difficulty. The effort required, though, isn’t evenly distributed across the four days. Rather, the greatest lung-bursting effort is front-loaded into the first day and a half. The high point, Dead Woman’s Pass, is – at 4,198 metres – definitely the toughest of the three passes, both in terms of the potential effects of altitude and the sharpness of the elevation gain. There are, however, a number of campsites on the way to this first pass, and some groups opt to make the second day easier by staying at the highest campsite on the first night. 

Due to Coronavirus Machu Picchu Tickets and Inca Trail, Permits can be Changed

Peruvian authorities are allowing visitors to change their Machu Picchu entry tickets. And tour operators can change Inca Trail permits. I’ve included a link to see information about the new rules at Machu Picchu, a link to the new Machu Picchu website, and other tips to help you navigate your way through the process of canceling or changing your trip to Peru.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to perhaps salvage some of your expenses if you canceled a trip to Machu Picchu. The borders of Peru are closed and train service to Machu Picchu is suspended since March 17, 2020, to limit the spread of Covid19. The Peru government has extended the border closing now until October 30, 2020. However, they announced that international flights to Peru will resume on January 1, 2021.

INCA TRAVEL BLOG /POST

Our Events

Join us in 2021

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04/16/21

INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 4 DAYS

Make your reservation 8 people max in each group – 4
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06/12/21

INCA TRAIL 2 DAYS WITH HOTEL

6 PEOPLE LEFT
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06/16/21

INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

3 CUSTOMERS
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08/02/21

INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 4 DAYS

6 PEOPLE 2 LEFT
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