Trek The Inca Trail

Epic views on an epic hike



Trekking the Inca Trail is the ultimate backpacking rite of passage. An unreal journey that takes you four days to complete, trekking high up in the Andes in search of the lost city of Machu Picchu. Not for the faint hearted, this trail leads you through steep mountain passes, with dramatic scenery culminating in a magnificent view of the Inca citadel, through the infamous Sun Gate.


Trek The Inca Trail: Trip Highlights


When was the last time you took an adventure? Now you can experience one of the last great adventures, the Inca Trail. Discover the The Lost City of  the Incas, Machu Picchu, which is undoubtedly the most recognised symbol of Inca civilization. Perched high up in the Andes, it is known to be the only Inca city that was never found by the Spanish.

“The Inca Trail”, as it is commonly called, was originally the Camino Real, or Royal Highway, that led pilgrims and officials of the Empire to the Sacred City of the Incas. Winding through several mountain passes high up in the Andes, the trail leads through several lookout points, from where the Incas could see any approaching enemies.

What makes the Inca Trail so intriguing is the amazing combination of Inca ruins, superb views, the dramatic Andes scenery. There is plenty of flora ( 250 species of orchid have been counted in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary) as well as fauna –   numerous birds such as hummingbirds, waterfowl and the majestic Andean condor. Not to mention the odd alpaca lama!

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Following the footsteps of the Incas on high mountain passes
  • Seeing the sun come up over Macchu Picchu through the sun gate
  • Exploring the cool city of Cuzco
  • Amazing views from the Inca Trail
  • Crossing a must do before you die item off that bucket list!
  • Pre-trek night in Cuzco with great backpacker nightlife!

Trek The Inca Trail Photos





Itinerary


DAY 1:

Arrive into Cuzco and head to the hostel for check in. You have the day to settle in, explore Cuzco and attend a pre trek briefing  and meet the other members of the group. Get a good nights sleep and be ready to start your adventure the next day.

DAY 2:

Hostel Pick-Up at 6:00am. Please make all of the necessary preparations one day prior to the trek. You will be taken by bus to the town of Ollantaytambo where you will have an hour to eat breakfast and purchase last minute snacks, water and walking sticks. A good hot breakfast will give you energy to start the Inca Trail off on a good foot. Then you will hop back on the bus to KM 82 where the famous Inca Trail journey will begin. Hike along rolling hills in the Urubamba River Valley passing by several small archaeological sites along the way. Lunch will be prepared half-way and you will have time to relax before reaching Wayllabamba camp (2,980m) around 17:00pm. (11 km trek; 6 hour duration).

DAY 3:

Today is the most challenging day along the trail with a vertical hike of approximately 5 hours to reach Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,215 m followed by a 2 hour hike down stone steps to reach Pacaymayo camp at 3,600 m.   You will begin with a 5:30 am wake-up call with hot coca-leaf tea in your tent.   After packing up and eating breakfast at 6:00 am you will start off for the big hike.
Take your time and rest as much as you feel necessary as you ascend more than 1,200 meters over the course of the morning. Don’t miss awe-inspiring views of the valley as you reach the pass and remember to take your photograph at the top!   Just after you cross Dead Woman’s Pass you will be rewarded with spectacular views of nearby snow-capped mountain peaks and roaring waterfalls.   Stroll slowly down to Pacaymayo Camp (3,660m) to enjoy the scenery.   Arrive in time for lunch and a well-deserved nap to the sounds of the nearby waterfalls and nature.   Then you will have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the camp before dinner and an early bedtime.   (10 km trek; 7 hour duration).   (It may be possible to rent an extra porter on days two and three for approximately £15  per day – this can be organized directly with your guide).

DAY 4:

An unforgettable journey along ancient Inca stairways, mountain lakes, intriguing archaeological sites and humid jungle scenery awaits you.   Another early start with a wake-up call at 5:30 am in your tent and breakfast at 6:00 am with cocoa leaf tea to get you kick-started for this full day.   Start with a one-hour hike uphill to visit the oval-shaped Pacaymayo archaeological site believed to have been either a crop-storage structure or an Inca military fortress overlooking the valley to control the region.   Continue one hour to Runquracay Pass where you can climb to the tip-top of the mountain for incredible views of surrounding peaks.   Visit two more archaeological sites with your guide and have lunch along the way.
By late afternoon you will reach Wiñayhuayna High Jungle camp (2,700m) set above a river valley in a high jungle/ rain forest climate.   Throw down your gear and grab a place in line for the hot-shower that awaits you.   Then stroll over to the lodge and order a (not-so-cheap but well-worth-the-money) cold beer or hot chocolate to enjoy with friends on the balcony looking out over lush green mountains.   After dinner, say a big THANK YOU to your porters and guides.   (14 km, 8 hours duration).

DAY 5:

A unique and magnificent experience is in the cards for you today.   Wake up before the sun (depending on your guide, between 3:30 – 4:30 am) for breakfast.   Get on the trail before the rest of the groups and hike about an hour to reach Inti-Punku (Sun Gate).   Walking through magical Inti-Punku to glimpse the first sights of Machu Picchu is truly a once-in-a-lifetime unforgettable experience.   Then continue down the final length of the trail to reach the wondrous Machu Picchu archaeological complex perched delicately on the top of the sacred Machu Picchu mountain.   You will have time to check your backpacks (bring water, sunblock, sunglasses, hat and sweater or rain poncho with you), grab a quick bite at the snackbar and use the restrooms before re-entering the site with your guide. (7 km; 2 hours duration).


Accommodation


The Inca trail trek involves camping at high altitude, camping equipment is provided and expect to wake up to some amazing views from your tent zipper!

A Rough Idea of Price

All of our gap year holidays are completely customised to your needs and prices will therefore vary based on things like the time of year and level of accommodation; but we want to give you as good an idea of how much this itinerary will cost.

1 Week - Classic

USD 1299




What's Included?


  • Pre-departure information
  • Professional English/Spanish/Quechua speaking guide
  • Inca Trail and Machu Picchu entrance fees
  • Tourist bus Cuzco – Kilometer 82 (starting point of trek)
  • Tourist train Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
  • Tourist bus Ollantaytambo – Cuzco
  • Cuzco hotel drop-off
  • Meals: 3B/3L/3D/3 snacks with typical menus
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • 4-man tent for 2 people
  • Porters and cook to carry shared camping and cooking equipment
  • First Aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle

What's Excluded?


  • Flights to Peru
  • Airport pickup
  • Transfers to and from Cuzco
  • Day 1 Breakfast
  • Day 4 Lunch
  • Tourist bus Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes ( £5.00)
  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Inflatable sleeping mattress (you will be provided with a normal sleeping mattress)
  • Bottled water
  • Extra porter
  • Bottled water (NOTE: you need to bring your own bottled water on the first day.   You will have access to boiled water during the trek.   We recommend bringing water purification tablets and an aluminium water bottle so you can drink water at any time during the trek.   The cost of water may double or triple along the trail so plan to bring extra cash to purchase water)
  • Tips for guides and porters
  • Travel insurance

Frequently Asked Questions



  • The most common question we are asked is how fit do you have to be to trek the Inca trail? Is is tough?

    Well the short answer is it is not hard, but not easy either. The challenge comes because you are walking at altitude, where the air is thin and you do not get as much oxygen. This turns a stiff uphill walk into something a lot more tricky.

    The worst part  comes on day two, and whilst it does not look so bad it is a long way up when you have to stop and catch your breath for a few minutes more frequently than you would think is normal.

    Do not let that put you off though, the reward is more than worth it, not only in terms of the views and experience, but also from the sense of accomplishment. Just you try and walk for four days straight, over 50km, and you would feel like you have achieved a lot anyway.


  • This one is entirely at your discretion, just bear in mind they are carrying 25kgs of gear, for you and they do not get paid very much. Please tip whatever you feel is worth it. Personally we feel £5 to £10 a day per trekker is pretty nice.


Trek The Inca Trail Trip Dates


There are no set start dates for this trip you can start all year with the exception of in February when the Trail is closed for upkeep. We do however advice you get your booking in many months ahead; as permits are limited and sell-out way ahead.

So you've seen the trip and you like what you see, but you've still got questions?

Our staff are seasoned travellers (no, really!), so they'll be able to answer just about every question you can think of. All you have to do is ask...

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  • We take your privacy very seriously, and will never rent or sell your personal information to 3rd parties. To get a better full understanding of our privacy policy you can read more about it here.

    https://xtremegapyear.co.uk/privacy-policy/

    By providing your name and email address above, you're giving us consent to communicate to you, to help answer your questions or send you trip notes. Or provide you with further information about our trips. We may also communicate with you to keep you updated about new trips or special offers, you may opt out of any time.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.