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Home > Activity > Classic Inca Trail

Classic Inca Trail

Journey in the footsteps of Incan priests and nobles, over gravity-defying Andean peaks, to their ancient holy citadel of Machu Picchu.

HighlivesPrice: From £620 per person

This hiking tour takes you along the classic Inca Trail which was built by the Incans and was designated a spiritual route, reserved only for priests and Incan people of high social rank. On this tour you can choose to do a 2-day trek or the full 4-day trek, both offering opportunities for spectacular and awe-inspiring views over the Andes Mountains. You can choose between accommodation options varying from basic camping to full comfort, and all tours are offered on a private basis.

Two Day Inca Trek

Day 1: Sacred Valley - Trek Chachabamba - Wiñaywayna - Machu Picchu

In the morning you will be transferred from your hotel to the train station at Ollanta, where you will board your train to Kilometre 104 (every point along the trail is identified by its distance from Cusco). Here you will start your trek towards the archaeological site of Chachabamba (2150m/7052ft) and Wiñaywayna (2650m/8692ft). You will hike upwards for about 8km (approximately 4 hours) until you reach the Inca Site of Wiñaywayna . This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural centre with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. We will then continue to Inti Punku, ‘The Sun Gate’, which will take about 1 hour, and from this point we can admire the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (2400m/7874ft) (please note that a tour of the Sanctuary will be provided the next day). Finally we will take the shuttle bus down the hill to the village of Machu Picchu, where you will stay overnight.

 Day 2: Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cusco

In the morning we will have a guided visit of the archaeological site of Machu Picchu and after the tour, which will last about two hours, we can either stay in the Sanctuary or take the shuttle bus down to the village of Aguas Calientes, where the train station is located. Depending on the time you have available, you may like to relax in the hot springs of Aguas Calientes, but please note that this entrance fee is not included in the programme. On taking the train back to Ollanta Station, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Cusco. 

OPTIONAL: Climb the small mountain of Huayna Picchu which offers an unreal and beautiful view of the citadel.

Four Day Inca Trek

Day 1: Cusco - Km 82 - Huayllabamba (3,400 m.a.s.l )

Your Trek Leader will collect you from your hotel very early in the morning, at approximately 5:00 a.m. Depart from the city of Cusco (3,350m/10,990ft) and travel for one and a half hours by private bus to the village of Ollantaytambo, where we will stop for 30 minutes for optional breakfast or a snack.  Afterwards we will drive to Kilometre 82 - the starting point of the Inca Trail, which will take approximately one hour. Upon arrival pass through passport control and enter the Machu Picchu National Park. Begin walking along the left bank of the Urubamba River as it runs northwest along the Sacred Valley, following the trail along a flat terrain. Observe the  beautiful view of the snowcapped mountain Verónica, regarded as the highest point of the Urubamba mountain range. 

Continue to the community of Miskay and the archaeological complex of Llactapata and after to the community of Tarayoc, where lunch will be served. Continue walking to Huayllabamba, where evidence suggests that this might have been an important staging post on a network of roads extending from Cusco to Vitcos. Leaving the Urubamba Valley behind, you will walk for approximately 2 hours to finally arrive at Huayllabamba (3,400m/11,154ft), where you will make your first camp. 

Day 2: Huayllabamba - Llulluchapampa - Pacaymayo (4,200 m.a.s.l)

After breakfast, at approximately 8:00am, we will leave Huayllabamba and continue walking through the Llulluchapampa Valley (3850m/12631ft), with a steep four hour climb which will take us through an area of rainforest. Lunch will be served. Continue walking  for approximately one hour to the highest point in the trek, the Abra Warmihuañusca pass or “Dead Woman’s Pass” (4,200m/13780ft). At this point, you will enjoy great panoramic views and see domesticated llamas and alpacas. Make sure that today you are well stocked with some chocolates and sweets to keep your sugar level high to help prevent altitude sickness. After a short rest we will make our way down the deep valley of Pacaymayo (3580m/11745ft), approximately a two hour walk, before making a camp for the night.

Day 3: Pacaymayo - Wiñaywayna (3,900 m.a.s.l.)

Today is the most challenging day, and also the most interesting, visiting several archaeological sites and passing through some amazing cloud forest.

Very early in the morning, we will climb and walk 2 hours to the second pass, the Abra Runkuraqay (3,970m/13022ft), and half-way we will visit the archaeological complex, a site consisting of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower.

After going over the pass, we will descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud-forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3,624m/11,887ft), a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. We will then walk a further 30 minutes to Chakiqocha where we will stop for lunch.

Continue walking towards the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarka or “Town over the clouds” (3,650m/11,876ft). Along this climb we will be able to admire the magnitude of the Incas´ ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain and rocks that fill up ravines in a perfect order, saving the trail from the rough geography of the Andes. Entering an Inca tunnel we will arrive at the complex that shares the same name as the pass and is regarded as one of the most complete and best preserved archaeological sites along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. From above, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations. Journey down along the long stone steps and appreciate the impressive view of the Urubamba Valley, before arriving at Wiñaywayna (2,650m/8,694ft), the biggest archaeological site on the Inca Trail besides Machu Picchu, which consists of an agricultural centre with numerous terraces, and a religious and urban sector. Here, you will camp overnight.

Day 4: Wiñaywayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco

After an early breakfast at 4.00am, walk for an hour and a half to Inti Punku, “The Sun Gate” (2,710m/8,891ft), regarded as the front door to Machu Picchu and from where you will have a spectacular view of the Inca citadel.  Upon arrival at Machu Picchu (2,400m/7,874ft) you will have a guided tour of the ruins. After the tour, there is time at leisure to walk around and explore at your own pace. Later, a shuttle bus will take you to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will have time to relax and visit the hot springs and finally take the train back to Ollantaytambo train station and transfer to the city of Cusco.

OPTIONAL: Climb the small mountain of Huayna Picchu which offers an unreal and beautiful view of the citadel.


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