Inca Trail 5 Days
Inca Trail 5 Days
Ready for one of the world’s must-do adventures? Join us on our trek along the Inca Trail 5 days to Machu Picchu, Inca’s glorious city of stone perched high above the Sacred Valley. This fabled lost city is the most magical of all the Incan sites, and its exquisite setting makes it utterly unforgettable. Climb through beautiful mountain valleys filled with wild orchids and rainbow-colored mosses.
This Trail has a distance of about 26 miles, the ancient trail laid by the Incas from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu winds its way up and down and around the mountains, snaking over three high Andean passes on route, which have collectively led to the route being dubbed the Inca Trail. The views of snowy mountain peaks, distant rivers, and ranges, and cloud forests flush with orchids are stupendous – and walking from one cliff-hugging pre-Columbian ruin to the next is a mystical and unforgettable experience.
Our perfectly paced trek follows on the path of the ancient Incas and brings you to fascinating ruins accessible only on foot and through the legendary Gate of the Sun right into Machu Picchu itself. We’ve honed this journey to perfection with spectacular campsites, superb camp amenities, and an extraordinary team of Tour Leaders. If you’ve ever dreamed of hiking the Inca Trail 5 days, this is the way to do it!
Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Physical Rating: 4 – Moderate, Strenuous – Some high altitude hikes – depending on your fitness level. Full-day hikes (6-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many hikes. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 15,600 feet are in this category.
Service Level: Upgraded, Comfort
Group Size: Small group experience, Min 02 – Max 8, Avg 04.
Overnight In Machu Picchu Town? YES.
Limited Trekking Permits: YES, Reserve your trek early!
The Peruvian Government has restricted the number of Inca Trail trekking permits to 500 hikers per day. With many individuals and groups vying for an opportunity to trek this spectacular route, obtaining permits has become a bigger challenge than ever. It is common for permits to be sold out five to six months in advance. Don’t miss your opportunity to experience this unforgettable, world-class hike… reserve your spot early for the best selection of date options and leave the rest to Machu Picchu Travel Company!
Please Note. Passport information must be submitted to Machu Picchu Travel Company at the moment you book prior to departure. This information is necessary to issue Inca Trail, Machu Picchu train tickets, and Machu Picchu entrance fee.
Day 01. Hotel – Piscacucho Km 82 – Wayllabamba.
Our excitement mounts as we board our private van for the two hours long drive to the trailhead at Piscacucho Km 82 (8,923 feet). Here, we meet our Quechua porters and begin trekking the amazing Inca Trail. With snow-capped Mount Veronica (19,188 feet), and the rest of the Urubamba range as a backdrop, we follow a well-marked path past the first beautiful Incan site of Llactapata and through some small Andean villages on the way to our campsite near Huayllabamba (9,745 feet). All meals included.
Hiking Distance: 5.7 miles.
Hiking Time: 6 hours.
Day 02. Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa – Pacaymayu
A nutritious breakfast prepares us for today’s challenging trek along the narrow Llullucha gorge and over the first pass on the trail. We hike through dense forest encountering abundant birdlife and flowering plants before reaching the open meadows of Llulluchapampa, where we have our succulent lunch. The final approach to the high pass begins here with a long, steep ramp leading to Warmiwanusca (13,780 feet), which is the highest point on the trail. At the top, the views of the surrounding peaks and verdant forest canopy are spectacular. The trail then descends steeply and passes through a meadow rife with, long grass, waterfalls and Andean wildflowers. Tonight we camp in the upper meadows of Pacaymayo very close to cloud forest. All meals included.
Hiking Distance: 7 miles.
Hiking Time: 8 hours.
Day 03. Pacaymayu – Phuyupatamarca
We cross the Runkurakay Pass (12,753 feet) in the morning, enjoying excellent views of the glacier-clad peaks of the Pumasillo Mountains and deep gorges of the eastern Andes. We then descend gradually through a unique ecological zone – a high jungle transition area rich in plant and animal life. After entering the cloud forest, our route takes us past the ruins of Sayacmarca and through a natural tunnel elaborated on by the Incas. This portion of the trail is well-paved with Inca stonework and leads us to the spectacular campsite at Phuyupatamarca (12,034 feet). The campsite offers superb sunset and sunrise vistas over the Urubamba and Aobamba River Valleys and of glacier-covered peak Salcantay (20,575 feet). All meals included.
Hiking Distance: 6.1 miles.
Hiking Time: 7 hours.
Day 04. Phuyupatamarca – Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu
As we leave Phuyupatamarca, we begin a steep stone staircase descent, followed by a series of additional descents varying in grade, to the Winay Wayna (8,666 feet) ruins where we stop for lunch. During the afternoon, our anticipation rises as we make our way to Intipunku (the Gate of the Sun). We arrive at Intipunku in mid-afternoon and are rewarded with our first breathtaking sights of Machu Picchu. After spending time at this lookout point, we descend to the Incan city and briefly explore some areas close to the trail. This evening, we enjoy a well-deserved shower and hotel stay in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes, on the valley floor. All meals included, except for the last dinner.
Hiking Distance: 6.2 miles.
Hiking Time: 8 hours.
Day 05. Guided Tour at Machu Picchu – Free Time to Explore or Hike to Huayna Picchu Mountain – Back to Cusco
We have an early breakfast and head up to the Inca city to experience the peace and solitude of this magical place. Our knowledgeable Leader leads us through, explaining the significance of the various structures and the theories behind Machu Picchu’s purpose and construction methods. We have the rest of the morning and early afternoon to attempt the optional hike up Huayna Picchu mountain and/or explore the Inca city on our own. We catch the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and from there take the bus back to Cusco, arriving at approximately 6:45 p.m. The day concludes with our Leader joining us for a final celebration dinner at a traditional local restaurant. Only breakfast included, the rest of meals don’t include
Hiking Huayna Picchu: Optional Huayna Picchu hike may be unguided and is steep with some exposure. Permits are limited to 400 spaces a day. An alternative optional hike may be available if Huayna Picchu permits cannot be obtained.
– Transportation from your hotel to the start of the trail.
– Entrance fee to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu.
– One night hotel in Machupicchu town.
– Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
– Bus tickets up and down in Machupicchu town, the day of guided tour.
– Train ticket back to Cusco at the end of our journey.
– Camping Equipment Black Diamond 4 season tent (04 people tent for 02 people).
– Other camping equipment, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a kitchen tent, manned by a professional cooking staff.
– Private bus from the train station to hotel in Cusco.
– Tour Leader.
– First-Aid Kits, Oxygen tank.
– Meals: Breakfast (4), lunch (4), dinner (3), and snacks.
– A professional Quechua chef who grew up in the countryside, and several Quechua Porters who will carry the equipment.
– Sleeping pad (Therma-Rest mattresses) and pillow.
– Duffle bag, to pack your personal ítems max amount 16 pounds to be carried by our porters.
– Outdoor toilet tents with chemical toilets at our campsites.
What’s Not Included
– Sleeping bags, you might get them rented from us US$ 5 per day.
– Hiking poles,you might get them rented from us US$5 per day a pair of poles, Black Diamond or Leki brand.
– Last dinner on 4th day.
– Last lunch on 5th day.
– Extra expenditure during the trek, such as: soda, alcoholic drinks, extra snacks, tickets for the Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes.
– Travel Insurance.
– Travel and health insurance (bring copies with you please), we highly recommend to get an insurance of trip cancellation, interruption; an insurance to protect your travel investment, Included with your pre-departure package, bring your travel insurance to cover trip cancellation, interruption, baggage loss and delay, emergency medical evacuation insurance and emergency medical expense insurance. Any unexpected situations occurred during the journey and which are beyond our control, including changes in scheduling trains or flights, delays, strikes, cancellations, missed connections, etc. it should be covered by the passenger as a whole. Also, if you for physical reasons of health cannot continue the trek or walk, and will need emergency evacuation then all charges incurred such as transportation, hotel, ambulance, doctors, medication, hospitalization, etc. will be at passenger’s expense.
– International or internal airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Detailed Itinerary, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
Lodging & Camping Amenities
Inca Trail Trek Camps.
We make hiking and camping in the Andes as comfortable as it can get! On the trail, you are accompanied by our experienced team of trek Leaders, and all your gear is carried for you, leaving you free to hike with just a light daypack to hold your camera, water bottle, jacket, etc. Our camp amenities include a dining tent with a dining table, chairs with backs, camp meals prepared by our highly trained staff, toilet tents with chemical toilets. Our camp crew takes care of all camp chores, including bringing tea or coffee to your tent each morning and providing beautiful picnic lunches each day at a scenic spot along the trail. Accommodations are in sturdy mountain-four season tents, mountain-four season sleeping pads, pillows. Our camps are operated to the highest environmental standards. Most trip members bring their own sleeping bag, but we can arrange for you to rent them in Cusco at our office if you prefer.
Tents: Black Diamond tents, North Face Summit Series. Our tents are 4 season and roomy, high-quality 4-person mountain tents (used for only two people) and 2-person tents (used for singles).
Sleeping Pads. Therma-rest 4 season. Our Sleeping pads are comfortable and high-quality mountain type.
Hotel in Machu Picchu Town. On the fourth night of the trek, after your final day of hiking, you’ll overnight at charming Gringo Bill’s boutique hotel or similar hotel, in the town of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes).
From USD 1000.00 Per Person.
Prices are quoted in US Dollars and all payments must be made in US Dollars.
To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are tier priced according to the number of full-paying participants on the trip.
All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. If you are willing to share accommodations, we will match you with a roommate if one is available. If we cannot match you with a roommate, the “forced single supplement” is listed if applicable.
Trip Payment Schedule.
– At the time of reservation: 30% of total balance.
– 90 days prior to departure: Balance should be paid fully, or once upon your arrival in Cusco the other 70% of final balance must be paid fully.
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule.
– Minimum fee (Inca Trail permit fee): $130 per person
– 61-90 days prior to departure: 30% of trip cost
– 46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
– 45 days or less: 100% of trip cost.
Preparing For Your Trek
Whichever trail people choose, it’s important that they make the right preparations. The hike into the Andes is difficult for most, if for no other reason than the high altitude. No matter what, hikers should give themselves at least two days to adjust to the high altitudes in Cusco before beginning their journey. Once setting out, it’s important to be prepared with all of the essentials. Vendors will sell bottled water and snacks on the way, so it’s a good idea for travelers to carry currency just in case. Also, the trail gets cold at night, so it’s important to have proper sleeping bags and warm clothes even when hiking in Peru’s summer months.
The Inca Trail 5 days is mostly stone-paved (Inca stones) and it goes up and down across green mountains while crossing two high-altitude passes. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed because we always have a staff member hiking in the lead as well as one behind with the slowest hiker in our group if there are 7 participants in the group. Any fit, experienced hiker will enjoy this hike, but we recommend you make an extra effort to prepare by engaging in regular exercise well beyond your normal routine. To accelerate your conditioning, try walking faster than 1.5 miles per hour, walking on steeper inclines, using your gym’s stair-climbing machines, or going on long hikes (also a good way to break in your boots). Please be aware that there are a few sections of long, steep stone staircases, so we do suggest hiking poles to protect your knees. The trek takes place at altitudes between 9,840 feet and 13,780 feet.
What To Pack. The Peruvian government has a strict regulation 42-pound weight limit for Quechua porters on the Inca Trail. Keep in mind that weight will include your sleeping bag and pad. Thus, you do need to pack light for the trek, but you will find it is not that challenging since all you really need are the following: comfortable hiking clothes, with additional warm layers, good hiking boots, and personal toiletries (we provide a detailed clothing list). You can bring your own, or rent a Machu Picchu Travel Company sleeping bag, and hiking sticks. Your non-hiking luggage will be safely stored for you at your Cusco hotel. One of our Area Managers will be your point person from your first inquiry throughout your preparation for the trip, and they will be happy to answer any questions you have about preparing and packing for this incredible journey.
A professional Machu Picchu Travel Company Tour Leader with a deep knowledge of the destination and a focus on customer service makes all the difference. Our leaders are experts in Inca history, nature, birding, gastronomy, local language, etc, with a profound connection to Peru’s fascinating traditional culture. They take care of all the details so that you can savor the experiences of the trip. And just as important, they have a remarkable gift for sharing their extensive knowledge and favorite places. Our Tour Leaders have the warmth, endless energy, and that special “it” factor that transforms a trip into an unforgettable journey.
Make the most of Peru’s natural beauty with outdoor picnics on each adventure tour, and Discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine in each tour destinations and outdoor tours. So food is awesome!
Our chefs are to Food what Leonardo da Vinci is to Art, so we rely on really experienced Quechua chefs who were trained and chosen to make this food in the mountains, and they are our stars.
You’ll be surprised and delighted at the variety and quality of our on-the-trail cuisine, a blend of freshly made Peruvian & Fusion dishes with vegetarian options. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in our enclosed dining tent, complete with table and chairs. Each morning, you’ll wake up to hot coffee, cocoa, and a choice of teas brought right to your tent. This is followed by a freshly prepared breakfast of eggs, pancakes, fruit salad, quinoa porridge, fresh juice, French toast, or oatmeal. As you start the day’s hike, we provide tasty trail snacks including fresh fruit and chocolate.
Lunches consist of a wide variety of dishes, depending on the day, including delicious roast guinea pig (a local delicacy dish), beef, chicken, fish, pasta salads, soup, casseroles, and other offerings, or surprises with appetizers and delicious desserts. They are served at a comfortable and scenic spot along the trail where our staff has set up tables and chairs, and quite often an open tent for shade. At each lunch stop, we set up our own private toilet tent and chemical toilet for minimal impact on the environment.
This trip is Level 4, Moderate to Strenuous. Most hiking is between 8,000 and 12,000 feet. The maximum elevation we reach is 13,780 feet, and the highest place we camp is 12,034 feet. The total mileage hiked is about 26. Trails can be rugged, not the well-maintained trails you may be accustomed to in your country. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed. Out group will spread out along the trail during about six to eight hours of hiking each day (shorter on some days). On the trail, you will just carry your own daypack for the items that you want with you on the trail, such as a water bottle and a jacket. Our team of Inca Trail Quechua porters carries all your other gear from camp to camp.
A Typical Trekking Day. Hiking distances on trek are normally measured in hours, not miles, since maps aren’t really accurate enough to assess how far we walk up and down on winding mountain trails. With rest stops and photo stops, few people walk faster than one mile an hour in a mountainous region. Some hiking days are shorter than others, and some days are more difficult than others due to altitude gain and loss.
– Original passport and Student ISIC card (if applicable), and some copies.
– Travel insurance (and some copies).
– Sleeping bag (or you can rent one from us).
– Backpack to carry your things.
– Phone, power bank battery, camera charger and adapter.
– Bathing suit (if you would like to enjoy the hot springs in Machu Picchu town).
– Torch or headlamps.
– Deet or mosquito repellent ( recommendable 30% deet).
– Hiking poles ( or you can rent one pair from us).
– Rain gear (especially if traveling in the wet season, from October to March).
– Comfortable hiking clothes, including warm clothes for the nighttime.
– Good hiking boots with protector ankle or similar, and one pair of flip-flops or light sandals.
– Sunblock and sunglasses.
– Hiking long sleeve T-shirts.
– Hiking trousers.
– Ear Plugs.
– Thermal underwear.
– Hiking socks.
– Water bottle or canteen.
– American dollars and Peruvian soles in cash.
– Sun hat, cap, and warm hat and gloves for the nighttime.
– Toilet paper, and face tissue paper.
– Credit or debit card.
– Luggage Tags and Locks.
– Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen).
– Personal first-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may take).
– For more info you can visit Gear Lexicon https://www.alpineascents.com/pdf/gear-lexicon.pdf
When to Go
The Inca Trail 5 days can be hiked all year except in late January and February, the rainiest months, when the trail is closed for repairs. The trail reopens in March and April, when the rains lighten up and the mountains are still green. High season begins in May and extends through September, as these are the driest months. October through December is considered shoulder season, when occasional rain is possible, but keep in mind that the highlands of Peru are a temperate desert and it is not uncommon for it not to rain for weeks at a time even in the height of the rainy season. This is also the time with the fewest hikers on the trail, more flowers in bloom, and fewer tourists at Machu Picchu as well as in Cusco. Temperatures in the Cusco-Machu Picchu region range from the high 60s in the daytime to the low 40s at night, with some variation depending on the time of year you go.
Route & Acclimatization
Whichever trail people choose, it’s important that they make the right preparations. The hike into the Andes is difficult for most, if for no other reason than the high altitude. No matter what, hikers should give themselves at least two days to adjust to the high altitudes in Cusco before beginning their journey. Once setting out, it’s important to be prepared with all of the essentials.
The trail gets cold at night, so it’s important to have sleeping bags and warm clothes even when hiking in Peru’s summer months.
Our trek has five hiking days (most companies push it with just four days on the trail—and some even three). The Machu Picchu Travel Company way allows you to acclimatize gradually to the altitude, have reasonable wake-up times (no hiking in the dark, as with other companies), and enjoy well-paced hiking days that give you time to explore the extraordinary archaeological sites along the route. We want you to experience the wonder of the Inca Trail, not race through it.
With us, you can have the Inca Trail 5 Days largely to yourself!. We have perfected the timing of our daily hiking schedule so that the majority of other hikers will be either far ahead or far behind you each day. This delivers a much better experience of this World Heritage Site, and our travellers often comment on the magic of having the Inca Trail 5 Days to themselves!.