43 kilometers of trekking from the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera to the lush nature of the Cusco jungle following an ancient section of the imperial trail that linked Cusco to Machu Picchu! The Inca Trail is probably one of the most beautiful hiking experiences in the world. In addition to its exceptional panoramas, this unique itinerary will also offer you the opportunity to immerse yourself in local history by discovering one or more archaeological complexes of Peruvian heritage each day.
Hotel in Cusco or Sacred Valley
Walk on the most famous trek of Peru and live 4 days of unforgettable experience from the heart of the Sacred Valley of Cusco to one of the 7 wonders of the world: Machu Picchu!
Early in the morning we will pick you up at your hotel and then we will go by bus to Piscacucho located at km 82 (2,800 m / 9,186 ft). On the way we will pass through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the towns of Urubamba and Ollantaytambo where we will have a break to buy some supplies for the trek. Then we continue our journey to Piscacucho. Arriving in Piscacucho we will pass through a checkpoint to start the hike at the beginning of the Urubamba River.
On this first stretch of the Inca Trail we will visit the small community of Miskay (2,800 m / 9,186 ft), from where we will begin to climb to a small plateau, where we can enjoy an extraordinary Andean landscape and an Inca construction known as Patallacta.
Located at 2,750 meters above sea level, the Patallacta ruins have some agricultural terraces that once served to feed the travelers who took this route to Machu Picchu in the Inca time.
After lunch, we will walk through an area of lush vegetation where it is sometimes possible to see the giant hummingbird. After walking about 2 hours, we will arrive at our first campsite located in the area of Huayllabamba at 3,000 m / 9,842 ft, a small village surrounded by fields of corn, potatoes and other crops.
A great challenge awaits us today with the ascent to the Warmihuañusca Valley! To begin with we will have a good breakfast before starting a one hour hike to the Ayapata Valley. Then we will go through a trail with lots of vegetation and a small bridge that will take us through a beautiful forest to the highest point of the day: Warmihuañusca (Quechua name meaning “When the woman dies”) which culminates at 4,200 m / 13,779 ft. During this ascent you will appreciate the change of vegetation before reaching the summit from where you will have an incredible view of the snow-capped mountains and beautiful Andean landscapes.
Finally we will descend through a winding valley to reach the lunch break place. During this trip, it will be possible to observe several species of birds. We will continue to the Pacaymayu River Valley (3,600 m / 11,811 ft) where we will have lunch and spend the night.
One of the longest days, but also one of the most beautiful with the presence of Inca constructions all along the way. After a nutritious breakfast, we will begin our hike on an ascending trail. We will pass through a second plateau where we will find the impressive archaeological remains of Runkuracay (3,800 m). Then we will climb to the Yanacocha lagoon (the black lake) and continue to Sayaqmarca (3,600 m / 11,811 ft), “The dominant village”, where we will discover interesting Inca ruins and have a panoramic view of the Acobamba valley. The only way to access these buildings is by a stone staircase. On the way we will pass by Conchamarka, a small archaeological site recently discovered.
After lunch we will climb to the third and last plateau where we will see the village of Phuyupatamarca (3,665 m / 12,024 ft), “The village in the clouds”, which is undoubtedly the most original site of all on the Inca Trail. Here we will see many Andean terraces and ceremonial springs.
Next, we will descend almost 2,000 cobblestone steps to reach the town of Wiñaywayna (2,700 m), which means “forever young”. The name comes from the typical orchids found here throughout the year, with red, yellow and purple flowers. It is probably the most attractive of all the palaces on the Inca Trail and the last urban center before reaching Machu Picchu.
Our camp for the day will be just a few minutes from Winaywayna.
On this last day of the trek, we will wake up very early and after having received our breakfast, we will have to wait about 1 hour for the officials of the Ministry of Culture to open the gate of the checkpoint that leads to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
After 2 hours of hiking we will arrive at the Intipunku or Sun Gate area (2,490 m / 8,169 ft). A small complex of huts will appear that seems to have been used as a control area. This is an excellent opportunity to take panoramic photos of the city of Machu Picchu. This is probably the best place and time to contemplate the majestic splendor of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas.
Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,430 m / 7,972 ft. in the middle of the rainforest, an extraordinary place. It was undoubtedly one of the most marvelous urban creations at the height of the Inca empire. Its enormous walls, terraces and ramps seem to be naturally cut into the rocky cliffs in a continuous pattern.
We will descend from Inti Punku to the Inca City of Machu Picchu, where we will have a guided tour by our local guide for about 2 hours, followed by free time for you to enjoy this wonder of the world independently.
Then we will descend to Aguas Calientes, from where we will take the train to Ollantaytambo and then a bus to Cusco.