INCA TRAIL OPEN GROUP SERVICE
Machu picchu tours group tours Service top bucket-list experience for all travelers.
Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (4 Days) – Shared Tour
Experience the awe-inspiring Inca Trail journey to Machu Picchu in just 4 days! Immerse yourself in the natural splendor and rich heritage of this remarkable adventure, guided through magnificent ruins, lush cloud forests, Andean mountain passes, and breathtaking landscapes. Join our stress-free Shared Trekking Group with One Travel Destinations Tour Operator.
Where we take care of all the details – from securing nice-view campsites to serving delectable and healthy meals. Don’t miss this enchanting opportunity to explore the iconic Sun Gate and discover the beauty of Peru’s fascinating history. Book now with REI.COM for top-of-the-line equipment and a dedicated team that goes above and beyond!
From your knowledgeable Tour Leader, who becomes both a teacher and a friend, to our skilled porters, who perfectly cater to your every need, we ensure a seamless great Hiking Destination to Machu Picchu.
NOTE: Kindly inform us promptly if you are interested in booking the Inca Trail. The Inca hike allows only 500 individuals per day, including guides and porters, as regulated by the local authorities. For optimal availability, during the peak season of June/July/August, we suggest securing your Inca Trail permit at least six months in advance. During the remaining months, we recommend securing your Machu Picchu entrance and Huaynapicchu Ticket at least three months ahead.
Inca Trail Trek Group Service
Price $ 890 USD Per Person
Exploring the colonial city of Cusco, Discover Hidden Places with our experts tour Leaders in Peru
Get ready to Explore in the mesmerizing Sacred Valley of the Incas and level up your hiking skills!
Embark on an epic adventure, tracing the sacred Inca Trail of the Incas along the legendary pilgraming Path!
Rediscover the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu and Huaynapicchu
Private guide, leading you to the awe-inspiring wonder of Machu Picchu.
Hotel accommodations in Cusco & Sacred Valley, for every budget.
Meet and greet airport service
PRE TREK INFORMATION
How To Get To Cusco City?
Currently, the airport in Cusco serves exclusively domestic flights. As a result, all international travelers arriving by plane must disembark in Lima and proceed through Customs.
Even if your flight to Cusco is scheduled on the same day with the same airline carrier, it is necessary to retrieve your luggage in Lima and check it in again.
The best way to reach Cusco is by air, and luckily there are several options from different airlines. Start Peru or LAN are highly recommended, although they can be a bit pricey. They offer the most flights and flexibility.
Just keep in mind that delays or cancellations may occur. The high altitude of Cusco makes landing a bit challenging, especially in bad weather conditions. If you’re up for an adventure, bus travel is always an option.
Although it can be a long journey, the buses in Peru are well-maintained and quite comfortable. This option is particularly encouraged if you’re coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Arequipa, Puno. If you’re traveling from Lima, be prepared for a 21-hour bus ride. Safe travels!
How To Treat The Elevation In Cusco Peru
Treating elevation (altitude) sickness in a place like Cusco, Peru, which sits at a high elevation of about 3,400 meters (11,150 feet), requires some precautions and strategies to help your body acclimate to the thin air.
Altitude sickness can range from mild discomfort to severe symptoms, so it’s important to take it seriously. Here’s how you can treat elevation sickness:
– Gradual Ascent: If possible, try to gradually ascend to higher altitudes over a few days rather than going directly from sea level to Cusco’s altitude.
– Take Breaks: Plan for rest days or shorter activities upon arrival to allow your body to adjust.
– Drink Plenty of Water: Staying well-hydrated helps your body cope with altitude. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, as they can contribute to dehydration.
– Allow for Rest: Listen to your body and get plenty of sleep during the first few days at high altitude. Avoid overexertion.
– Eat Lightly: Consume easily digestible foods and avoid heavy, greasy meals that can stress your digestive system.
Diamox (Acetazolamide): This prescription medication can help prevent and alleviate altitude sickness Please consult a doctor before using it and discuss potential side effects.
6. Supplemental Oxygen:
– In severe cases, supplemental oxygen might be necessary. Some hotels in high-altitude areas offer oxygen tanks for guests.
7. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking:
– Alcohol and smoking can worsen the effects of altitude sickness. It’s best to avoid them while acclimating.
8. Listen to Your Body:
– Pay attention to any symptoms like headache, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, or dizziness. If symptoms worsen, it’s crucial to descend to a lower altitude.
9. Natural Remedies:
– Some people find relief from altitude sickness by drinking coca tea, a traditional remedy in the Andes. However, it’s important not to overdo it, as excessive consumption could have negative effects.
10. Consult a Doctor:
– If you have a history of heart or lung problems, or if you’re concerned about altitude sickness, consult a doctor before traveling to high altitudes.
Remember that everyone’s body reacts differently to altitude, and there’s no way to completely avoid altitude sickness. It’s essential to be prepared, give your body time to acclimate, and seek medical attention if symptoms become severe.
How Is The Weather In Cusco Peru?
Cusco, Peru, has a temperate and relatively mild climate due to its elevation in the Andes Mountains. The city’s high altitude of around 3,400 meters (11,150 feet) influences its weather patterns. The climate is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons. Here’s an overview of the weather in Cusco:
1. Dry Season (May to September):
– This is considered the best time to visit Cusco, as it experiences less rainfall and generally clearer skies.
– Daytime temperatures are mild, ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F).
– Nights can be chilly, with temperatures dropping to around 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F).
– It’s the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds, especially around popular attractions like Machu Picchu.
2. Wet Season (October to April):
– The wet season in Cusco coincides with the Southern Hemisphere’s summer and is characterized by more frequent rainfall.
– Daytime temperatures during this period are similar to the dry season, but nights might be slightly warmer.
– Rainfall is heaviest from November to March, with January and February being the rainiest months.
– Rain showers can be intense but are often followed by periods of sunshine.
– This season is considered the low tourist season, so there might be fewer crowds and lower prices on accommodations and tours.
Keep in mind that weather can be unpredictable, even during the dry season, due to the city’s high elevation. It’s a good idea to pack layers, including warm clothing for the nights, as well as waterproof gear for potential rain showers. Additionally, the weather in Cusco can vary based on the specific month and even week, so checking a reliable weather forecast before your trip is recommended.
Bring Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an absolute must! 🌍✈️ Whether you’re planning trips for months or embarking on adventurous journeys, unexpected events can strike at any moment. Protect your investment and embrace peace of mind with the right insurance. Need assistance? We’re here to connect you with an expert agent who’ll guide you through the process! 🛡️💼
Health Concert Along the Inca Trail
Open communication with your Tour Leader regarding any health conditions or concerns is vital. Although our guides are not medical professionals, they are equipped with first-aid training. Additionally, we collaborate with a clinic in Cusco to provide support to our team when needed.
Please that you assess whether a Tour is suitable for you. Consulting your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in planned activities is recommended. It’s also important to seek your physician’s advice regarding vaccinations and medical precautions. Please note that One Travel Destinations does not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level, and medical needs.
If you experience severe altitude sickness or any other condition that prevents you from hiking, but you still want to visit Machu Picchu, we will gladly assist you in coordinating a train trip. Please note that since this will be a new itinerary, additional fees may apply. However, we will make every effort to utilize as much of the original plan as possible to keep costs to a minimum.
If you encounter difficulties during your hike and are unable to proceed, a dedicated porter will accompany you to the nearest road. They will wait while a car is arranged to pick you up and transport you to the closest health clinic for assistance.
Comparison Between Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain in terms of time, distance, and location
Machu Picchu Mountain: Price $80.00
– Time: The hike to the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain usually takes about 3 to 4 hours round trip, depending on your pace.
– Distance: The trail is approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) one way, making it a total hike of about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
– Location: Machu Picchu Mountain is located to the northwest of the Machu Picchu archaeological site itself. It offers panoramic views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding area.
Huayna Picchu Mountain: Price $80.00
– Time: The hike to the top of Huayna Picchu generally takes around 2 to 3 hours round trip.
– Distance: The trail is shorter but steeper, with a distance of about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) each way, making it a total hike of around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).
– Location: Huayna Picchu is the iconic mountain that rises directly behind Machu Picchu. It offers breathtaking views of Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River valley.
Both mountains require a separate entrance ticket and have limited daily slots due to conservation efforts and the preservation of the sites. The hikes are considered moderately challenging and involve steep ascents, uneven terrain, and sections with stairs and narrow pathways. It’s important to consider your fitness level and any altitude-related factors before attempting either hike.
Machu Picchu entrance Times and Circuits
As of our last update in September 2023, Machu Picchu has specific entrance time slots to manage the flow of visitors and preserve the site. These times may vary, so it’s important to confirm the current entrance times with our office before your visit. Here’s a general idea of the entrance times:
There are typically two entrance time slots for Machu Picchu:
1. Morning Entrance:
– The morning entrance allows you to enter Machu Picchu early in the day.
– It often starts around 6:00 AM and lasts until around noon.
– This entrance time is popular for visitors who want to experience Machu Picchu in the cooler morning hours and have more time to explore the site.
2. Afternoon Entrance:
– The afternoon entrance is usually from around 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM.
– This time slot is often less crowded than the morning entrance and can be a good option if you prefer a quieter experience.
It’s also important to book your tickets well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your preferred entrance time.
Pre Departure Brieffing
We kindly request you to join us at our office for the pre-trek briefing, which takes place at 7:00 PM on the evening before your trek. If you are unable to attend at this time, we would be more than happy to arrange an alternative time that suits you. The briefing session typically lasts between 30 to 45 minutes, during which you will also be provided with your duffel bags for the Inca Trail, spanning 4 days.
The 2D/1N Short Inca Trail Trek with HOTEL package does not include a briefing session. However, our friendly office staff will be more than happy to assist you and review all the necessary details during your check-in time at the hotel. Rest assured, we are dedicated to providing you with a seamless and enjoyable experience throughout your trek.
Duffel Bags For Each Hiker
During your Meeting, duffel bags will be waiting for you at the briefing. Our dedicated porters will take care of carrying them, ensuring they are returned to you at each campsite, so you can focus on enjoying your adventure. The duffel bags measure 65 cm long X 30 cm wide (equivalent to 2ft long X 1ft wide) to accommodate your essentials.
It’s important to note that each duffel bag has a maximum weight allowance of 7kg. Out of this, 4kg is allocated for your clothes and other personal items, leaving you with a remaining 3kg specifically designated for your cozy sleeping bag and comfortable pad. We want to make sure you have all you need to have a restful night’s sleep amidst the breathtaking surroundings of your journey.
Pick-Up Time For The Inca Trail Trek
ONE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS stands out as one of the few companies that offers hotel pick-up services. If your accommodation is located within Cusco City’s central area, your Tour Guide will arrange the pick-up time during the briefing session. Please note that pick-up times may vary by 30 – 45 minutes due to traffic conditions and previous pickups.
Cusco, a city steeped in history, boasts charming cobblestoned streets and narrow passageways. However, it’s important to note that smaller hotels and Airbnb options are often nestled in car-inaccessible streets, sometimes located on hilly terrains. As a result, hauling luggage could pose a challenge. For a more convenient stay, we highly recommend selecting accommodations with improved accessibility. We have curated a list of comfortable hotels that are easily reachable for both pick-up and drop-off purposes.
Certain treks offer the convenience of pickups in the mesmerizing Sacred Valley, as described in detail below.
The List below outlines potential pickup locations for the start of our tour.
Trek Possible Starting Locations
- Inca Trails Cusco, Urubamba, Yunahuara & Ollantaytambo
- Salkantay Treks – Only Cusco
- Lares Trek – Only Cusco
- Huchuy Qosqo Trek – Only Cusco
- Ausangate and Rainbow Trek – Only Cusco
- Day Tours Cusco, Urubamba & Ollantaytambo
Return To Cusco After Your Hike
Returning From Machu Picchu requires a lot of logistics, which are all included in your tour.
From Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, you will take a 25-minute bus down to the village. Buses are first come first serve and run all day.
You will take a train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. Your guide will give you your train tickets with train time. Make sure you get to the platform 30 minutes ahead of time.
* Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo is 2 hours
* Train from Aguas Calientes to Poroy is 3.5 hours
Once you arrive at the train station, look for a gentleman wearing our Logo sign. He will then drive you to San Francisco Square, Cusco
* Van ride from Ollantaytambo to nearby San Francisco Square is 2 hours Aprox.
* Van ride from Poroy to nearby San Francisco Square is 30 minutes
Once you arrive near San Francisco Square, you will separate into separate pre-paid taxis and be driven back to your hotel.
INCA TRAIL INFORMATION
Inca Trail Travel Information
The majestic hike along the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an awe-inspiring adventure that ranks among the most breathtaking Destinations in the world! Constructed by the Incas during the 15th century, these paths, known as the Qhapac Nan or Inca Trails, formed an extensive network that played a crucial role in connecting their vast empire, spanning across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
As the capital of the Great Inca Empire, Cusco held unparalleled significance. Not only did it serve as the epicenter of all Inca Trails, but it also facilitated connections with various destinations throughout South America, spanning an astonishing distance of over 40,000 kilometers.
Embark on the renowned Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a captivating journey that commences at Kilometer 82 – Piscacucho Village. Nestled within the Sacred Valley of Cusco, Peru, this trail showcases the allure of the picturesque Ollantaytambo district in the Urubamba Province. Discover the enchanting beauty of this remarkable path renowned worldwide.
The Incas built the Iconic Classic Machu Picchu Inca Trail in the 15th century. It is thought that the same people who built Machu Picchu also built the Inca Trail. The trail was used for trading between Cusco and the area around the Amazon region.
Following the Spanish invasion, this trail remained lost for several years alongside Machu Picchu, until it was rediscovered in 1915 by Hiram Bingham III, an American explorer on his quest for the Lost City of the Incas in Peru. Today, the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu stand as renowned tourist attractions, epitomizing the splendor of Peru destinations.
Weather conditions along the Inca Trail can be highly unpredictable and constantly changing. While there are two distinct seasons, it is crucial to be adequately prepared for all possible weather scenarios when embarking on a hike to magnificent Machu Picchu.
The wet season runs from November to March
The dry season runs from April to October
The temperature during the Machu Picchu Trek varies significantly depending on the altitude and season; temperatures can reach as high as 80°F (27°C) during the day and drop below freezing at night, so hikers must come prepared for hot and cold weather conditions.
Hiking the Machu Picchu Inca Trail can be challenging due to its length and high altitudes; however, its rewards make the experience worthwhile; Its breathtaking scenery will impress anyone while feeling great satisfaction from having accomplished something big!
Inca Trail altitude map
Inca Trail Map One Travel Destinations
Inca Trail permits
For those seeking to embark on the iconic Classic Machu Picchu Trek, securing permits well in advance is crucial. With a daily limit of just 500 permits encompassing porters, chefs, tour guides, and fellow adventurers, planning is essential.
Inca Trail length
Stretching approximately 26 miles (42 kilometers) through the majestic Andes Mountains, the Inca Trail trek leads from the Sacred Valley (Km 82) to the enigmatic lost city of Machu Picchu.
When the Inca Trail is fully booked, there are alternative treks to Machu Picchu worth considering.
Below, you’ll find a comprehensive comparison of the top tours, allowing you to make an informed decision. The Inca Trail stands as one of the world’s most sought-after trekking routes, but if availability is limited, these alternatives offer equally rewarding Hiking experiences.
Inca Trail vs. Salkantay Trek
When deciding on a trek to Machu Picchu, two primary options present themselves: the legendary Inca Trail and the awe-inspiring Salkantay Trek. Both routes boast breathtaking landscapes and offer an unforgettable adventure, yet they do exhibit distinct characteristics that set them apart.
Embark on the Inca Trail hike, the ultimate choice for an awe-inspiring Machu Picchu trek. Renowned for its popularity, this remarkable journey will guide you through breathtaking landscapes and unfold a passage through history. As you trace the ancient path of the Incas, the Classic Machu Picchu Trek culminates with a magnificent entrance through the Sun Gate, revealing the marvel and awe of Machu Picchu in all its glory.
The Salkantay Trek presents an exceptional alternative to the Inca Trail, offering a less crowded and more affordable experience while immersing you in stunning landscapes. At a staggering height of 6,271 meters (20,549 feet), Mount Salkantay reigns as one of Peru’s tallest peaks, treating adventurers to awe-inspiring vistas from its summit. As an additional bonus, the Salkantay Trek concludes with a visit to Aguas Calientes, where you can relax in a comfortable hotel before embarking on the journey to Machu Picchu.
Inca Trail vs. Lares Trek
For those seeking an exceptional alternative to the Machu Picchu Trek, the renowned Lares Valley Route offers a rich cultural experience with a slightly less rigorous journey compared to the Salkantay and Inca Trail.
Embark on an extraordinary 4-day journey along the legendary Inca Trail, leading you straight to the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu. This iconic trek winds through breathtaking mountains, where secluded campsites become your sanctuary overnight. Finally, you’ll make your way to Machu Picchu through the revered Sun Gate, basking in the rare experience of reaching this awe-inspiring destination purely on foot.
The Lares Trek offers a more compact, four-day alternative that commences in the quaint village of Lares and culminates at the majestic site of Machu Picchu. While it may not boast an abundance of Inca ruins en route, it presents an exceptional option for those seeking solace from bustling crowds and a desire to gain firsthand insights from the locals. To reach Machu Picchu, a train journey and an overnight stay at a hotel in Aguas Calientes are requirements.
Classic Inca Trail vs. Short Inca Trail hike
The iconic Classic Inca Trail is renowned for its 4-day trek, the test of endurance, and immersive experience. However, an alternative option, the Short Inca Trail, offers a shorter yet equally captivating journey. Now, the question arises: which one is the perfect choice for you?
The awe-inspiring Classic Machu Picchu Inca Trail covers a 26-mile (42-kilometer) journey that spans four days. Commencing at Km 82, nestled within the Sacred Valley, the trail culminates at the renowned Machu Picchu. Along the path, trekkers will be treated to breathtaking vistas of alpine forests, picturesque mountain valleys, and vibrant jungles. Brace yourself for traversing high-altitude passes, gracing the pinnacle of 13,829 feet (4,215 meters) above sea level.
The Short Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu spans a mere 10 miles (16 kilometers) and can be accomplished within a single day. Commencing at Km 104 and culminating at Machu Picchu, this route, although not as diverse in scenery as its lengthier counterpart, still traverses breathtaking landscapes, encompassing captivating cloud forests.
Inca Trail vs. Quarry Trek
For adventurous travelers seeking unique experiences, there lies another awe-inspiring trek known as the Cachicata Trek, also referred to as the Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu. The Cachicata Trek presents an extraordinary, lesser-known route to Machu Picchu, awaiting exploration by only a fortunate few.
Embarking on the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is a truly unparalleled adventure, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that captivates the hearts of countless travelers. This epic trek amalgamates thrilling challenges, mesmerizing landscapes, and the richness of history and culture. It culminates in the extraordinary reward of reaching Machu Picchu through exhilarating hiking, offering an unforgettable journey that only the courageous few dare to undertake.
For those seeking a shorter and more manageable trek, the Quarry Trek stands out as an excellent choice. Spanning a mere 20 miles, this trail offers a captivating journey to some of the most breathtaking viewpoints in the Sacred Valley. Notably, it presents a compelling alternative for travelers seeking to avoid the bustling crowds typically found along the Inca Trail.
Inca Trail vs. Choquequirao trek
Embark on an extraordinary adventure through Peru’s untamed terrain, where the Inca Trail and Choquequirao Hike await. These two remarkable treks lead to magnificent ancient citadels, offering breathtaking panoramas of the majestic Andes mountains and the enigmatic Inca ruins. While both journeys hold captivating allure, it is crucial to note their distinctive characteristics.
The Inca Trail is widely favored over the Choquequirao trek due to its popularity. However, the Choquequirao trek, although more challenging, presents a unique and less crowded experience, characterized by authenticity. While the Inca Trail usually takes 4 days to complete, the Choquequirao trek offers a variety of durations ranging from 4 to 10 days, allowing for a more customizable experience.
Inca Trail Marathon
The Inca Trail Marathon stands as one of the world’s most beloved events—an extraordinary race set amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Peru, tracing the iconic Inca Trail to the mystical Machu Picchu. Renowned for its formidable challenges as runners face high altitudes and rugged terrains, this marathon is a test of resilience. Yet, courageous athletes around the globe embrace the hardship, driven by the promise of an unparalleled, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Every year in May or June, the remarkable Inca Trail Marathon takes place. The race commences at KM 82 of the Inca Trail, situated about 2,000 meters above sea level. Runners immerse themselves in a captivating journey through lush jungles, majestic mountains, and awe-inspiring ancient ruins, culminating at the majestic destination of Machu Picchu. With a total distance of approximately 42 kilometers, this race is a true testament to endurance and adventure.
Inca Trail elevation gain
The Inca Trail includes an elevation gain of approximately 3,000 feet (914 meters) from start to finish. The highest point on the trail reaches 13,828 feet (4,215 meters) at Dead Woman’s Pass. The majority of the ascent occurs during the initial days, with Day 1 encompassing roughly 1,000 feet (305 meters) of ascent and Day 2 featuring 800 feet (244 meters) of ascent. Subsequently, the trail levels out to a certain extent, although there are still occasional undulations along the way.
Inca Trail Reservations
If you’re considering embarking on the renowned Classic Machu Picchu Trek, it is crucial to secure a reservation well in advance. This trail is globally celebrated as one of the most sought-after hiking experiences, and obtaining a spot can prove to be quite challenging.
To secure a reservation for the trail, it is imperative to book through an accredited tour company such as TreXperience. When making your reservation, ensure you provide your passport information and select a preferred start date for your hike. Please note that the Inca Trail ceased operation in February.
For optimal chances of securing a spot, it is advisable to make your booking at least six months in advance as availability tends to diminish swiftly. Once your reservation is confirmed, all that remains is to pack for your upcoming adventure!
Inca Trail’s highest point
Dead Woman’s Pass, situated on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, stands as a lofty mountain reaching 4,215 meters (13,829 ft) above sea level. Known as the highest point on the trail, the pass derives its name from its striking resemblance to a reclining woman. This challenging segment of the Inca Trail presents steep ascents and descents, testing the endurance of adventurers seeking its awe-inspiring beauty.
Inca Trail 2 days
The Inca Trail provides a wonderful opportunity for those with limited time to experience the trail’s beauty. This 2-day journey unveils breathtaking views of the majestic Andes Mountains. Beginning at Km 104, just an hour’s train ride from Ollantaytambo, you’ll embark on a 4-5 hour hike to the remarkable site of Wiñay Wayna. Following a delightful box lunch, continue your trek to the Sun Gate (Initupunku), where your first awe-inspiring view of Machu Picchu awaits.
Inca Trail 5 days
The Inca Trail offers a 5-day slow version, perfect for those seeking to savor the breathtaking scenery at their own pace. This leisurely journey grants ample time to capture mesmerizing photos, immerse in awe-inspiring vistas, and explore ancient ruins. Moreover, this trail variant proves ideal for individuals with varying fitness levels, as it presents a less demanding experience than its shorter counterparts. Secure your spot early as bookings for the Inca Trail fill up rapidly, especially during the peak season from May to September.
The Sun Gate or Intipunku
Sungate, also known as Intipunku, serves as the official entrance to Machu Picchu from the Inca Trail. The vistas from the Sun Gate are truly awe-inspiring, and standing atop Machu Picchu, absorbing it all is an indescribable experience of grandeur and beauty.
Inca Bridge in Machu Picchu
Constructed by the Incas during the 15th century, the Inca Bridge spans a deep gorge with a towering height of approximately 60 meters (200 feet). While its exact purpose remains ambiguous, it is widely speculated that this remarkable structure served as a convenient means for the Incas to traverse the gorge, bypassing the need to descend into the valley below.
The construction of the bridge suggests its primary purpose was defensive, serving to impede enemy access to the citadel. The Inca Bridge located at Machu Picchu stands as a remarkable testament to the ingenuity of engineering, leaving a lasting impression on all who behold its splendor.
Training for Inca Trail
Getting ready for the Machu Picchu Inca Trail can be quite challenging. Here are some helpful suggestions to fully relish this extraordinary trek.
Once’ve confirmed your tour booking, it’s time to kickstart your training and embrace regular hikes. Gradually increase your physical activities and aim for a 30-minute walk or run three to five days a week to enhance your overall health. Remember, robust leg muscles are crucial for navigating Vietnam’s hilly terrain, so incorporate squats, lunges, or venture on mountain hikes from home to prepare for your upcoming adventure.
When planning your excursion to Machu Picchu, allocate ample time to acclimatize to the high altitude of Cusco. The trail guides you to heights of 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), making progressive acclimatization essential to prevent altitude sickness. Prioritize your well-being by acclimating gradually and embracing the breathtaking journey that awaits you.
Inca Trail stairs
The Inca Trail offers a range of routes, each with varying numbers of stairs depending on the path you select. The exact count of trails fluctuates annually due to maintenance and updates, making it difficult to provide an exact number.
However, we can offer valuable insights from previous hikers to give you a better idea of what to expect during your trek. Rest assured, we’ll help you prepare for an unforgettable experience!
A study conducted on hikers who completed the Inca Trail revealed that they took approximately 5,000 to 7,000 steps. On average, it takes around 200 to 300 steps to cover a mile, equivalent to roughly 120 to 190 steps per kilometer. When embarking on the Inca Trail, be prepared to encounter numerous stairs. Rather than feeling discouraged, remember that the invaluable experience gained from this journey will make it all worthwhile.
Inca Trail facts
The Inca Trails form a historic network of pathways and roads, stretching over 4,000 miles across the magnificent Andes Mountains. Among these trails, the renowned Classic Inca Trail gracefully links the charming city of Cusco with the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu.
Over 500 years ago, the Incas constructed the legendary Inca Trail, which still stands as one of the world’s finest hiking trails today. Stretching across 26 miles and spanning four days of awe-inspiring trekking, this remarkable trail is nestled in the majestic Andes Mountains of Peru, at an elevation of 13,000 feet.
The Inca Trail offers a gratifying hiking experience, presenting breathtaking panoramic vistas of majestic mountains, lush valleys, meandering rivers, and awe-inspiring ancient ruins. However, this trail presents numerous challenges for trekkers, including narrow paths with steep ascents and descents, as well as unpredictable weather conditions.
Typically, adventurers invest four days traversing this magnificent trail, although shorter or longer options may also be available.
The Inca Trail is dotted with numerous archaeological sites that showcase the advanced engineering and architectural skills of the Inca civilization. Some of the notable sites along the trail include:
Also known as “Laqtapata,” this site marks the beginning of the Inca Trail and offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
A small circular ruin that served as a watchtower or resting place for travelers. It is believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes as well.
A well-preserved site with intricate stone masonry, likely serving as a tambo (a traveler’s lodge) and possibly a religious site.
Known as the “Town above the Clouds,” this site offers breathtaking views and features impressive terracing and stone structures.
The Intipata ruins are a kind of hidden gem in the classic four-day Inca trail to Machu Picchu. A frequent question we get from our Inca trail hikers is always which and how many ruins will they see along the way. The Intipata ruins are sometimes referred to as the “gringo killers” because we visit them right before we begin our descent on day three of the hike.
6. Wiñay Wayna:
This site includes terraced agricultural areas and well-preserved structures. Its name means “Forever Young,” possibly referring to the surrounding waterfalls.
Flora and Fauna:
The Inca Trail traverses diverse ecosystems, allowing trekkers to witness a range of flora and fauna as they ascend through different altitudes:
1. Highland Vegetation:
The trail starts in grasslands and cloud forests with various types of moss, ferns, and orchids.
2. Montane Forest:
As trekkers climb higher, the landscape transitions to cloud forest, with trees covered in bromeliads and abundant bird species.
3. Páramo Ecosystem:
In higher altitudes, you’ll find the páramo, a unique high-altitude ecosystem characterized by hardy grasses, small shrubs, and cushion plants.
The Inca Trail was a vital route in the Inca Empire’s extensive network of roads. It served as both a pilgrimage route and a means of communication between different parts of the empire. The trail is a testament to the Inca’s engineering prowess, as it includes intricately built stone paths, staircases, and bridges that have withstood centuries.
The significance of the Inca Trail lies not only in its historical importance but also in its role as a gateway to Machu Picchu. The trek offers a profound cultural and spiritual experience, allowing trekkers to connect with the ancient traditions and ways of life of the Andean people.
Keep in mind that trekking the Inca Trail requires careful planning, including obtaining permits, hiring guides, and preparing for the physical demands of the journey. It’s advisable to book with authorized tour operators and adhere to responsible trekking practices to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIKE WITH ONE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS.
LOCALLY OWNED COMPANY.
Founded by former Inca Trail Tour Guide Cesar Conde, One Travel Destinations is a locally-owned company in Cusco, Peru. It proudly stands as the sole tour operator and agency with deep roots in the region, offering unparalleled expertise and insider knowledge.
With its dedication to utilizing top-of-the-line equipment like REI tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags, One Travel Destinations has established itself as a trailblazer in the industry, driving impactful change.
Embark on a remarkable hike with One Travel Destinations, where indulging in culinary delights is almost guaranteed. Our talented chefs undergo specialized training annually to craft exquisite meals throughout the journey. Prepared with fresh ingredients, our buffet-style food selection includes delectable options spanning breakfast, snacks, and lunches complete with soup, main courses, and hot beverages. To welcome you at each campsite, we’ll treat you to a delightful hot drink during our happy hours. For dinner, be prepared for a culinary journey featuring soup, main courses, and desserts. As an added convenience, we ensure all hikers have access to potable drinking water while on the trails.
At One Travel Destinations, we prioritize the comfort and convenience of our valued clients. That’s why we offer exclusive access to portable ecological toilets at all of our campsites. Rest assured, these facilities are available solely for the private use of our esteemed clientele, ensuring a seamless and eco-friendly experience for everyone involved.
Our hiking services encompass porter assistance, allowing travelers to bring along 7 kg (16 pounds) of personal belongings while on the trail. Our dedicated porters will shoulder the responsibility of carrying all your belongings, ensuring your trek is hassle-free and enjoyable.
HOTEL TO HOTEL SERVICE.
One Travel Destinations provides convenient hotel-to-hotel service for all our travelers. Our comprehensive services start by offering direct pick-up from your Cusco hotel accommodation and conclude with a seamless drop-off in Cusco. Experience seamless and hassle-free transportation throughout your journey with us.
FREE LUGGAGE STORAGE.
At One Travel Destinations, we go the extra mile to provide exceptional service. That’s why we offer complimentary luggage storage for all your extra bags and personal belongings. So, whether you’re exploring the city or catching a flight, you can trust us to keep your belongings safe and secure while you enjoy your journey worry-free. Experience hassle-free travel with One Travel Destinations!
TOP QUALITY SERVICE.
We are the only company that prides itself on consistently receiving excellent reviews on TRIPADVISOR. Our satisfied customers have raved about our exceptional services, describing the unforgettable experiences they’ve had on our tours. With us, you can expect nothing less than a remarkable journey filled with immersive adventures, knowledgeable guides, and delightful discoveries. Join us for a tour that will leave you with cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
Beginning of The Hike Day 1: Km 82
To begin our adventure along the magnificent Inca Trail trek, One Travel Destinations will arrange transportation from your place of accommodation in Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo. Pick-up from Cusco will be scheduled between 4 and 5 AM, while pick-up from Urubamba or Ollantaytambo will be confirmed during your briefing.
Later, we will embark on a 1.5-hour journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas using our private transportation. Our destination is Piskacucho – kilometer 82, the first checkpoint of the Inca Trail where our trek begins. Upon crossing the Urubamba River via the bridge, our crew will be introduced. And so, our thrilling 4-day adventure—the classic Inca Trail hike—begins.
Our first day is off to a pleasant start as we leisurely explore remarkable ruins like the ancient Inca city of Patallacta. This significant center once served as a hub for administration, economy, and religious activities. Additionally, we will venture to Willkarakay, a strategic military outpost situated above the Patallacta site. Join us for an enriching journey through fascinating historical landmarks.
Consequently, after visiting these two sites we will enter the lush valley of Wayllabamba. Walking along the banks of the Cusichaca (“happy bridge”) River. Continuing our gradual walk upward through the dense Andean forest. We arrive at our first campsite in Wayllabamba.
Walking Distance First Day
Walking Distance: 12km / 7.45 miles.
Starting Elevation: 2720 meters / 8923 feet.
Campsite Elevation: 3000 meters/ 9842 feet.
Weather: Warm and windy
Meals: Lunch and dinner (Plus snack and afternoon tea)
CAMPSITE: Camping in Wayllabamba
Day 2: Dead Woman Pass 13.000f
Fig.2 – Dead Woman Pass Most Elevated Point Along the Inca Trail 4200m/13000f.
The Inca Trail Group will start the day at the bottom of the trail Wayllabamaba Campsite, embarking on the Inca trail trek to reach the summit at Warmihuañusca, commonly known as the “dead woman’s pass”. It’s the highest point of our journey, and it promises breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience.
The morning trek can be physically challenging for those unaccustomed to high altitudes and Inca stairs, but it is also a truly awe-inspiring hiking experience. The initial leg of the Inca Trail hike takes approximately 1.5 hours, winding through lush vegetation until we reach the Ayapata campsite, where we will pause for a brief rest.
During our ascent, the habitat undergoes a transformation as we venture into the inter-Andean forest adorned with magnificent Unca trees. Following this enchanting path, two hours later, we reach the next campsite, Llulluchapampa. Here, we shall indulge in a well-deserved break, savoring your snacks and comforting hot beverages served by our Staff.
From here, we start the final ascent to the pass of Warmihuañusca 13000f, the highest point of the trek. It’s an amazing chance to enjoy panoramic views of the valleys below. After that, we’ll trek down for a few hours to our final campsite in Pacaymayu, where we’ll spend the night.
DISTANCE INCA TRAIL 2ND DAY
Walking Distance: 12 km / 6.82 miles
Starting Elevation: 3000 meters / 9842 feet
Campsite Elevation: 3580 meters / 11700 feet
Maximum Altitude: 4200 meters / 13779 feet ASL (Warmy Wañuska Pass)
Weather: Cold and rainy
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, &; Dinner (Plus snack and afternoon Popcorn & tea)
CAMPSITE: In Pacaymayu
Day 3: Runkurakay pass and Winayhuayna Campsite
On This Day we will then proceed to ascend for approximately 45 minutes to reach the remarkable archaeological site of Runkurakay. This site once served as a resting lodge, or “Tambo”, for ancient pilgrims. Continuing our journey, another 45-minute ascent will bring us to the second-highest pass of the Inca trail trek – Runkurakay. From there, we will descend to the stunning archaeological site of Sayacmarca, strategically located and steeped in history.
On the other hand, once we’ve had a thorough visit, we’ll continue down this beautifully paved road to our lunch spot at Chaquicocha. From there, we’ll enter the high Andean cloud forest to Phuyupatamarca – it’s truly a breathtaking display of Mother Nature’s beauty!
So, the hike to Machu Picchu keeps going along this narrow ridge until you reach the Phuyupatamarka pass. It’s a fantastic spot where you can catch breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley and plenty of majestic mountain peaks.
Afterward, we’ll head down to our final campsite. We’ll pass by this super important archaeological site and a temple dedicated to offering to the sacred mountain spirits. Just a bit further is our campsite for the night, Wiñayhuayna.
Walking Distance: 16km / 9.94 miles
Starting Elevation: 3580m / 11745f
Maximum Altitude: 4200m / 13123f (Runkuracay Pass)
Campsite Elevation: 2680m /8792f
Weather: Warm and very humid
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping in Wiñayhuayna
Day 4: Sun Gate - Machu Picchu Lost City
After an early start with hot drinks, you will be on the final push of the trail by 5 a.m. in order to reach Inti Punku, the Sun Gate entrance to Machu Picchu for sunrise. While weather conditions may vary, the view is always awe-inspiring. As Soon You reach Sun Gate you will descend to the citadel for a guided tour of Machu Picchu.
You will be able to appreciate the intricate Inca stonework carved into the fantastic Andean scenery. You will have the chance to explore the three zones of this centuries-old city: the urban, agricultural, and adjacent zones. The Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana (Sun Dial), and the Principal Inca Temples are only a few of the impressive sights that you will see.
DISTANCE OF HIKE
In the afternoon, you will take a comfortable train back to Cusco and then be transferred to your Cusco hotel for the evening.
Hike Distance to Machu Picchu: 3.7 mi (6 km)
Approximate Time: 4 to 8 hrs
If you would like to spend more time at Machu Picchu, this package can be customized to include an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, allowing for a second visit to the ruins — with an optional hike to Huayna Picchu — on the following day. Please let your Travel Advisor know if you’d like to add this to your itinerary.
- Passport: Unexpirered validated for 6 month
- Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
Inside Day Pack
When it comes to daypacks for hiking, we always say the smaller, the better! Inside Machu Picchu, they won’t allow bags larger than 25L. If yours is bigger, don’t worry! You can store it outside the citadel gates in their secure storage facility.
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoirs like Camelbaks are encouraged – but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
- Water: We provide clean water with every meal. Please note that you will need to arrange for your own water on the first morning, as we won’t have enough time to filter it until lunchtime.
- Rain gear
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks &; Tips
The Item for the Hold Inca Trip
Our amazing porters are ready to help you carry up to 7 kg of your belongings, including your sleeping bag and air mattress (if you bring/rent one). Please note that these two items from us weigh 3.5 kg. Thank you!
- 2-3 Convertible hiking pants
- 2-3 wicking t-shirts
- 4 sets of undergarments. ( girls )
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
- 1 Rain jacket
- 1 rain pants
- 1 sun hat
- 1 wool hat
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable sandals for camp
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Waterproof rain poncho
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
- Small bottle of soap: We provide warm water each day to clean – might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
- Headlamp: essential
- Power Bank: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Solar Charger
- Face moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Toilet paper
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band-aids, moleskin, etc.
Your personal travel advisor will build a tailored itinerary. (408) 898 8724
In Trip Support
24/7 emergency assistance from English-speaking staff.
MEET OUR TEAM
Founded in 2016, One Travel Destinations offers the finest boutique tour packages. Our travel advisors are trusted by over-satisfied travelers every year.
CESAR is originally from Cusco, currently living in San Jose, CA. With a background in tourism ( TOUR GUIDE ) and business, he has over 15 years of experience in the industry. Cesar has extensive knowledge of Peru and has traveled to Europe, the South Pacific, the Bahamas, Hawaii, and more. He is passionate about research as a Digital Nomad and photographer. Cesar is a dedicated professional in the business field.
R.N San Jose University
Owner of Blissful Travel Escapes
Her first experience of South America was when she traveled through Argentina and then to Peru… but she liked it so much she stayed! She realizes that traveling is always going to be an important part of her life but for the time being.
Price Per Person From:
$30 for The Entire Trip
*Kindly take note that the prices indicated above are solely valid for the year 2024. The rates may differ based on the scheduled departure dates. We suggest that you reach out to one of our Travel Advisors for a complimentary quotation and additional details. Best Regards One Travel Destinations.
The Group Service Inca Trail Tours depart From Cusco City and the Sacred Valley Of Cusco
4: am Pick Up time from Cusco Hotels
All meals on Inca Trip
- Private transport from your Cusco hotel to the start of the trek KM 82
- Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
- Train Machu Picchu – Cusco (Vistadome Train for 5-star and 4-star packages / Expedition Train for 3-star packages)
- Transfer from Cusco train station back to your Cusco hotel
- We use four-season REI tents with two entrances and a capacity for four people (for comfort, only two people per tent)
- Infable REI mattresses.
- Hiking Poles for each Hiker
- Tables, and seats for each Hiker
- Food and drink utensils
- Dinner tent and kitchen tent
- First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
- Professional, knowledgeable bilingual Tour Guide
- A Cheff to prepare your meals
- Porters to carry provided equipment and food (additional porters are available for rent to carry your personal belongings) such as your Duffle bags or Any other Staff. 7 Kilos Per 40 Dollars Per Day.
Food On The Inca Trail:
- High-quality meals to provide the necessary energy for this challenging trek
- In addition to three meals daily, you will be given revitalizing snacks
- Hot drinks such as tea and coffee, as well as enough water for your canteens (collected from local streams and boiled while on the trek)
- For more information about the trek, please see our Inca Trail FAQs.
Sleeping Bag, You must Bring your own or You can rent one from our office
Classic 4 day Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions
Inca Trail Trek & Tours FAQs: Usually before booking the Inca Trail, you will have questions, such as the best time to go to Machu Picchu and Inca Trail Trek.
Which day is the hardest part of the Inca hike?
Known its steep elevation gain and numerous stone steps, Day 2 is widely regarded as the most challenging leg of the Inca Trail hike. Despite the arduous ascent and descent, I persisted and believed that conquering Day 2 would make the remaining stretch feel like a breeze. Undoubtedly, Day 2 stands as the pinnacle of steepness throughout the entire journey.
Beginner Can climb to Machu Picchu?
You do not need to be an expert hiker or have done several multi-day treks in order to complete a 2, 4, or 5+ day trek to Machu Picchu. Our advice if you want to trek the Inca trail to Machu Picchu is to spend a few days in Cusco beforehand getting acclimated to the high elevation and have a good and tough mindset.
Can you hike Machu Picchu without a tour group?
Machu Picchu visitors can not enter without tour guides. (New rules recommend that all INCA trail hikers should hire a tour operator is Mandatiry
7 days you need for the Inca Trail? 4 days
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu offers various trekking routes. Among them, the Classic Inca Trail stands out as a 4- to 5-day hike, typically taking around 4 days and 3 nights to reach the majestic Machu Picchu.
Including acclimatization include 2 more days
What is the hardest day of the Inca Trail?
How to spend 9 days in Peru?
Day 1: Sacred Valley (Ccochahuasi & Pisac)
Day 2: Sacred Valley (Maras, Moray, & Ollantaytambo)
Day 3: Machu Picchu.
Day 4: Cusco.
Day 5: Cusco Ruins (Sacsayhuaman & Puka Pukara)
Day 6: Lake Titicaca Train. Second Option Manu National Park – Amazon Jungle.
Day 7: Lake Titicaca.
Day 8: Puno –> Lima. Optional tours