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The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 Days is one of the most famous treks in South America, and for a good reason. Mixing history and wildlife and spectacular scenery, this four-day, three-night adventure is an unforgettable experience, with a final destination — Machu Picchu itself — that ranks among the world’s most impressive archaeological sites.
The classic Inca Trail is only about 42 km (26 miles) long, but it goes up and down and along mountains, rising up through three mountain passes, and generally takes a circuitous route through the tricky terrain in this part of Peru. That makes it a more strenuous 42 km than most, with spectacular scenery, passing through various Andean environments, including cloud forest and alpine tundra.
Along the trail, you’ll be trekking through an area of incredible biodiversity. At any moment, you could come across orchids, foxes, cocks-of -the-rock (Peru’s national bird), spectacled bears, deer, and many more species of flora and fauna. As you trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you’ll also pass by other impressive Inca ruins, such as Wiñay Wayña and Phuyupatamarca. It’s an incredibly rich trekking experience, and that’s before you even reach your destination: the sublime mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
It’s impossible to overstate the beauty of Machu Picchu, from its incredible architecture to the surrounding mountains and mist-filled gorges. But we won’t describe it all here. Far better if you come with us on the Classic Inca Trail with our professional guides, porters, and talented cooks and discover this magical trek for yourself.
Departure & Return Location:
Pick up from your hotel (4:30am – 5:00am).
The first day is relatively easy and serves as training for the following days of Classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Travelers are picked up from their hotels (5:30am) and travel by bus, past the picturesque villages of Chinchero, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. Buses usually stop at the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley for about 30 minutes to give people the opportunity to have breakfast.
At km 82 we will cross the Urubamba River and follow the trek to the right as it climbs steeply upward. We will pass through a small village, as ruins of the Inca hill fort of Huillca Raccay come into view high above the mouth of the river Cusichaca (‘happy bridge’).
You will be able to view over the extensive Inca ruins of Llactapata (also known as Patallacta on some books). Llactapata means ‘upper town’ in Quechua and was first discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and was primarily an agricultural station used to supply Machu Picchu with maize, the staple crop of the Incas.
We will continue the Inca Trail 4 day trek, on a path that follows the left bank of the river up to the small village of Wayllabamba (3,000m). We will spend the night here depending on the speed of the group. (This is the last place along the trek that you can buy snacks and drinks).
Overnight at the campsite
After breakfast we will keep hiking the Inca Trail 4 days as we climbing up from Wayllabamba following the left bank of the Llulluchayoc River, we arrive in ‘Tres Piedras’ (three stones). There is stream named after the Huayruro, which is an ornamental tree that has red and black seeds. Many of the porters from Ollantaytambo district are also known as Huayruros because of their traditional red and black ponchos.
As we trek further up the trail, we will begin to see spectacular terrain known as Llulluchapampa. We will walk another 2 hours uphill to the first and highest pass of the trail (Abra de Warmiwañusca or ‘Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,215m. During this part of the Inca Trail tour 4 day, hikers are exposed to the Andean elements: first scorching sun and then, closer to the pass, freezing winds. Once at the top hikers can celebrate having completed the most difficult section of the hike.
The down hill from the pass is steep but not difficult. We will follow the trail on the left side of the valley floor and spend our 2nd evening at the Pacaymayo campsite.
Overnight at the campsite
The third day of the Inca Trail 4 days, leaves from Pacaymayo; it takes about an hour uphill hike to the ruins of Runkurakay. These tiny circular ruins occupy a commanding position overlooking the Pacaymayo valley below.
Another 45-minute hike will bring you to the top of the second pass: Abra de Runkurakay (4,000m). At last, you’ll feel that you are walking along the pilgrimage trail of the Incas. An hour from the 2nd pass, you’ll arrive at Sayacmarca Inca site by way of a superbly designed stone staircase. The name Sayacmarca means ‘Inaccessible Town’ and describes the position of the ruins perfectly protected on three sides by sheer cliffs.
After visiting Sayacmarca, we will rejoin the trail as it passes Conchamarca, a small Inca dwelling situated in the shadows of Sayacmarca. From here, the path descends into the magnificent cloud forest full of orchids.
The trail goes up to the 3rd pass (3,670m). This pass offers excellent views of several snow-capped peaks, including Salcantay (6,300m) and Veronica (5,900m). Phuyupatamarca, the most impressive Inca ruin, is located a few minutes away from the pass. The name Phuyupatamarca means ¨’Town in the Clouds¨.
After walking through the cloud-forest, you may be able to see the tin roof of the park ranger’s house (Wiñay Wayna). However, it will be 3 hours until we arrive at Wiñayhuayna, which is the last official campsite before Machu Picchu. There is a short Inca Trail located in the southern end of the campsite that leads to the ruins of Wiñayhuayna.
The four day Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu is clearly marked and takes about 2 hours to finish this last section of the trail. We will awake early at 4.00 am, have breakfast, and set off on the path by 5.30 am to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. The Classic Inca Trail contours a mountainside and drops into cloud forest before coming to an almost vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Intipunku (Sun Gate). Suddenly the whole of Machu Picchu is spread out before you in all its glory – a fantastic sight for all.
When you arrive at the ruins, you’ll have plenty of time to take photos of Machu Picchu from the classic viewpoint’. When the group is back together again, we descend to the main entrance, where you can safely leave your large backpacks. The group will re-enter the ruins with the same guide for a complete tour of the major sectors. The tour takes approximately 2 hours. Afterward, you will have free time to explore the ruins alone (not included in the price):
In the afternoon, take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival to the Train Station, reception, and transfer to your hotel in Cusco, the journey by train takes approximately 3 hours.
We also offer a special service only for you or your group, you have the power to choose the size of your group and the date of departure, we will never add other people since it will be organized only for you.
Our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 Days private service, includes additional items such as:
We offer 3 kinds of service, each with different price ranges and you can book in any of these services according to your convenience, we just need you to be a minimum of 02 people to organize your trip on the date that suits you, all our services are 100 % guaranteed.
We are a direct TOUR OPERATOR that never passes clients to other agencies as most agencies do it here in Cusco to save operating costs with poor quality.
We will make the trip even if there are only 02 people in your group.
Can I be picked up from Urubamba (Sacred Valley)?
Yes, let us know in advance to organize your pick up time.