River Explorers
The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Duration: The Classic Tour (4 days)
Location: Intense hike for 43 km - 26.7 ml.
Price: From U$880
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The Inca Trail was superb. They gave us a 3 course meals in a tent that was equivalent to a good restaurant – even baked a birthday cake! What an experience, never to be forgotten – thank you all so much.

  • Overview

    This classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the world’s greatest adventures. During the Inca Empire, the trail served as a kind of royal highway, linking Cusco with Machu Picchu. This trail traverses across the magical Peruvian Andean mountains, taking in long Inca stone stairs through the Amazonian rain forest. It features ancient storage buildings, houses, temples with strategic observatories along the way, that allow you to see breathtaking views.

    Day 1 Cusco – Huayllabamba
    Day 2 Huayllabamba – Pacaymayu
    Day 3 Pacaymayu – Wiñay Wayna
    Day 4 Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco

  • Day 1: Cusco - Huayllabamba

    Day 1: Cusco – Huayllabamba

    Distance to cover: 12 km – 7.45 miles during a 5 to 6 hour hike.

    The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu begins at 6 am, where guides collect the passengers from their hotels. After two hours’ driving through the beautiful villages of Chinchero, Maras and Urubamba, we arrive at Ollantaytambo. Here, we will have a little break before we begin the last bus ride to the starting-point of the hike to Machu Picchu.

    Piscacucho (Km 82) is the final destination and the Inca trail checkpoint, the start of the hike. Here we will meet our porters and camp staff for the trail. While our porters load the gear, the group can go ahead and start hiking downriver, alongside the rushing Vilcanota River through beautiful cactus, gardens, and Andean farms with a magnificent panorama of the Salkantay mountain “Wild mountain” snow peak.

    A little later, we will arrive at the Inca complex of Patallacta (“Town on hillside”), where some time will be spent exploring this site before continuing with the hike on the Inca Trail. Our next destination will be the Cusichaca (“happy breach”) Valley and Huallabamba, our camp for the night.

    Hiking distance: 12.1 km – 7.52 miles / 5 to 6 hours

    • Piscacucho (Km 82) – Patallacta: 6.3 km – 3.9 miles
    • Patallacta – Huayllabamba: 5.8 km – 3.1 miles
    • Highest altitude: Huayllabmba 3000m – 9843ft
    • Camping Facilities: Tents, sleeping pads, portable camping toilet, no showers and no shops.
    • Meals included: 1 lunch – 1 dinner.
    Day 2: Huayllabamba - Pacaymayu

    Day 2: Huayllabamba – Pacaymayu

    Distance to cover: 8.8 km – 5.47 miles / 6 to 8 hours.

    This day is the most challenging part of the hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We take a steep ascent towards the highest point of the trail. Vegetation changes constantly while hiking, and we can appreciate a variety of native plants such as Icchu and the beautiful Queuñas – one of the few tree’s that has adapted to altitudes above 3,000 meters.

    Ascending steadily for couple more hours, we will arrive at the mountain pass called Warmiwañusca (“Dead Woman’s Pass”) on the classic Incan Trail. Warmiwañusca is the highest point on the Inca Trail, located at 4,200 m or 13,776 ft. above sea level. On this portion of the  trail, there are amazing views of the Andean mountains including Mount Veronica. The hike then continues, descending to Pacaymayu at 3,600 meters, where we set up our second camp.

    Hiking distance: 8.8 km – 5.47 miles / 6 to 8 hours

    • Huayllabamba – Wamiwañusca Pass: 6.4 km/3.7 mi
    • Wamiwañusca Pass – Pacaymayo: 2.4 km/1.49 mi.
    • Highest altitude Wamiwañusca Pass: 4205m – 13796f

    Camping Facilities: Tents, sleeping pads, portable camping toilets, no showers and no shops.

    Meals included: 1 breakfast – 1 lunch – 1 dinner.

    Day 3: Pacaymayu - Wiñay Wayna

    Day 3: Pacaymayu – Wiñay Wayna

    Distance to cover: 13.4 km – 8.33 miles / 7 to 8 hours

    After a hearty breakfast, the third section of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu tour begins. It will take one hour and a half of gently walking uphill on a well-preserved, paved Inca trail with spectacular sculptured stairways until reaching the small complex of Runkurakay. After a short stay  we slowly climb the second pass of Runkurakay at 3950 meters – 12960 foot. Continuing along this Inca stairway, we cross the pass and head down to the major and spectacular sites of Sayacmarca (“Inaccessible Town”), a colossal Inca complex located atop a cliff for lunch, where our guide will speak about Inca architecture and life and the various mysteries of this ancient culture.

    We continue along a well-crafted paved Inca road, passing through a cloud forest with many beautiful orchids until we arrive at the impressive Inca ruins of Phuyupatamarca. Where we stay for a few more hours and then we go to Wiñay Wayna (“Forever Young”), the last official camp of the Inca Trail, where you can buy refreshments, water, beer, etc.

    Hiking distance: 13.4 km – 8.33 miles / 7 to 8 hours

    • Pacaymayo – Runkurakay: 0.8 km – 0.5 mi
    • Runkurakay – Runkurakay Pass: 0.6 km – 0.37 mi
    • Runkurakay Pass – Sayaqmarka: 1.6 km – 0.99 mi
    • Sayaqmarka – Phuyupatamarca: 5km – 3.1 mi
    • Phuyupatamarka – Wiñaywayna: 5.4km – 3.35 mil
    • Highest altitude: Runkurakay Pass 3950m – 12960f

    Camping facilities: Tents, sleeping pads, toilets, hot showers available for U$2 and small shop.

    Meals included: 1 breakfast – 1 lunch – 1 dinner.

    Day 4: Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco

    Day 4: Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco

    Distance to cover: 4.67 km – 2.9 miles / 2 to 3 hours.

    The day that everyone is waiting for! It takes two hours walking on the Inca Trail through the cloud forest to get to Intipunku (“The Sun Gate”). This is where we can get our first breathtaking and impressive views of Machu Picchu citadel. The trail will continue for some more minutes until we arrive at the famous citadel itself.

    Machu Picchu is the highlight of the Inca Trail. The complex is large and well-preserved. One of the most astonishing things about Machu Picchu is the incomparable view. This fortress is surrounded by incredibly steep mountains, thick Peruvian jungles and winding rivers. Later after this great tour on the classic Incan Trial, we will meet with the rest of the group at the bus station and travel to Aguas Calientes to take the train to Ollantaytambo, where we transfer to a bus to Cusco.

    Hiking distance: 4.67 km – 2.9 miles / 2 to 3 hours.

    Wiñaywayna – IntiPunku:  4.3km – 2.67  miles
    Intipunku – Machu Picchu: 0.37 km – 0.23 miles
    Highest altitude: Intipunku 2680m – 8793f

    Meals included: 1 breakfast.

  • Included

    What’s included?

    Camping gear: Four seasons and double occupancy tents, dinner tent, kitchen tent, dining tent, tent for porters and cooks, sleeping mattress, cooking equipment.

    First aid: First aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle.

    Meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners – vegetarian option:

    Fees: Entrance fees to Inca Trail, train ticket to Cusco.

    Transport: Train backpacker cerrojo, from Machu Picchu to Cusco, transfers to and from train station, bus terminal to hotel.

    Staff: Porters to carry the tents, food, and cooking equipment; experienced cook.

    The price of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu includes all local sales taxes.

    Important

    Personal porters can be hired to help carry your personal items. The services of a third porter is $70 USD. Still you need to take a day pack or bag to carry your essential items. Note that due to new government regulations, the maximum number of porters that we can use in each group has been reduced. Therefore, we have to limit the maximum amount of personal equipment that you can ask a porter to carry for you to a certain kg or lb. per person. The maximum amount that each porter can carry on the Inca Trail has also been limited to a specific kg or lb. per porter. Approximately 30% of our clients hire the services of a third porter.

    An extra night in Aguas Calientes can easily be arranged for you if require it.

    What’s not included?

    Breakfast on the first morning, lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day, entrance fees to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes, sleeping bags (may rent in our office for $16 USD), tips.

    Checking list

    What to bring for your Inca Trail?

    During hiking: Convertible dry fast synthetic trekking pants and shirt, woolen or synthetic t-shirt, hiking boots and poles (can be rented for 15 dollars), hat, sun-glasses, sun-block, raincoat, sunblock with SPF 40, refillable (non-disposable) water bottle

    For camping: Sleeping bag (suitable for -15 degree weather, which you can rent for $25 USD at the office), mosquito repellent, woolen or synthetic tops, warm jacket, fleece, gloves, woolen hat to cover ears, woolen or synthetic pajamas,, flashlight, personal medical kit,

  • Departures

    Everyday. Guarantee departures with a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 16 passengers per group.

    Note: The Inca trail is closed for essential maintenance during February.

Inca Trail tour map

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