We recommend following the basics of ecotourism. We must respect and protect the environment, as well as the archaeological complexes and local customs.
This is the ultimate tour for people who have sufficient time, good health and are in good physical shape. ATTENTION: A large part the Inca Trail consists of steps. People with bad knees or ankles should keep this in mind!
In four days we will pass in incredibly varied landscape of sharp mountain passes, rugged grasslands and dense forests. We will walk over mountain passes with incredible views, parts of the original Inca Trail, and along the Inca ruins will appear out of nowhere from the green jungle.
DAY 1: BUS CUSCO (3350m.)–KM. 82 (PISKAKUCHO 2850m) – WAYLLABAMBA (3100m.).
Early morning (between 5:50am and 6:30am) we will with bus drive to Km. 82, where the starting point of the Inca Trail lies. The bus goes through the sacred valley and passes the villages Chinchero, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo you will have time to have breakfast and purchase some final necessities for the hike (example a walking stick, rain poncho or some snacks).
At km. 82 (2850 m) we will meet the crew, and after passing the check point for the Inca trail, we will together cross the Urubamba River towards the village Miskay. From here the trail turns west to the ruins of Huillcaraccay. We will descend into the Kusichaca Valley to the last inhabited village of the trail: Wayllabamba (3100m). We will here have a dinner and stay the night in tents. This is the final stop where you can buy drinks and snacks for the tour.
Total time: 4,5 to 5 hours
Total km walked this day: 12km.
DAY 2: WAYLLABAMBA (3100) – WARMIHUAÑUSCA (4200) – PACAYMAYO (3600m.).
The second day of trekking will be the toughest as we are going to cross the highest mountain pass on the tour, the Warmihuañusca pass. We leave early in the morning Wayllabamba and starts ascend up to Llulluchayoc. From Llulluchayoc we will walk in the cloud forest upwards to the Llulluchapampa point (3850m) where we will have a beautiful view of the valley behind us.
In front of us we now have an intense climb to the Warmihuañusca pass, and will pass a river up to the páramo vegetation above 4000m altitude. The view from the Warmihuañusca pass in an altitude of 4200m is impressive. The Warmihuañusca pass is from Quechua translated to “dead women pass”.
Before we reach our campsite we need to complete a significant descend to the bottom of the valley to the Pacaymayo River (3600m).
Total time: 7,5 to 8 hours
Total km walked this day: 13km.
DAY 3: PACAYMAYO (3600m.) –SAYACMARCA (3725) – PHUYUPATAMARKA (3580m.) – WIÑAY WAYNA (2650m.).
The program of the third day is filled with historical and natural beauty, and will therefore also be the longest day of the trail, because we use time enjoying this. From the campsite we ascend to the ruins of Runkurakay (3800m) having a view of the Pacaymayo Valley. During this part the Inca trail really shows its beauty because a large part until the second pass, Abra de Runkurakay (4000m), is original Inca paved road. The trail follows us to amazing Andean peaks, deep gorges and through a beautifully designed staircase to Sayacmarca (3725m). This name signifies ‘inaccessible city’ and with good reason as the ruins are protected by steep cliffs.
From here the nature show us forests full of orchids, hanging moss and tree ferns, and we pass through an Inca tunnel up to the third pass in 3700 meter. From here we will be able to see beautiful views of snow captured mountain such as the mighty Salkantay (6180m) and Veronica (5750m).
The ‘city in the clouds’, Phuyupatamarca is the next stop along the trail. These impressive ruins can only be reached by a long set of steps. After our visit in Phuyupatamarca we have to descend down of hundreds of steps before we reach Wiñay Wayna (3km).
Wiñay Wayna will be our final campsite before reaching the ruins of Machu Picchu. Wiñay Wayna will be a more comfortable camp site with a restaurant, toilet and hot shower facilities. Hot shower can be used against a smaller charge. Close to the campsite lies the beautiful ruin of Wiñay Wayna. Wiñay Wayna mains “forever young” in Quechua witch also is a name of a pink orchid that grows in the surrounding area. Because ten Inca baths are located in the area, it is assumed that Wiñay Wayna was a place for ritual bathing before entering Machu Picchu.
Total time: 8,5 to 9,5 hours
Total km walked this day: 15km.
DAY 4: WIÑAY WAYNA (2650m.) – INTIPUNKU – MACHU PICCHU (2430m.) – TRAIN BACK TO CUSCO.
To see the sun rice over the Machu Picchu ruins is impressive. To be able to see this, we will leave our camp early at 04:30 heading for the ‘sun gate’ (Intipunku). From here we will have an amazing view of the first sunbeams hitting Machu Picchu at approximately 7:30am.
The descend to Machu Picchu is short, only 45 minutes and we will have more than enough time to observe the scenery and take pictures. At the entrance of Machu Picchu we have to register and we can also safely leave your large backpack here. After having coffee, there will be a two hours long guided tour along the most important parts of Machu Picchu. After this, we have sufficient time on our own and maybe climb the Huayna Picchu. Huayna Picchu is the mountain in the background of Machu Picchu. It takes about an hour to ascend and forty minutes to descend. If you want to climb Huayna Picchu must make a minimum stay of 6 months before the tour, this income is not included in the Inca Trail, you need to reserve in advance as they only provide 400 seats per day, times are 7 am and 10 am and has an additional cost.
Total time: 2, 5 hours
Total km walked this day: 6km.
Many travellers choose to take the bus around 13:00 down to Aguas Calientes for lunch. In Aguas Calientes you may also want to visit the famous hot spring, which can be very relaxing after four days of hiking. The entrance fee is relative low, and last for about two hours.
The train to Cusco departs in the afternoon from Aguas Calientes, and it is important to be aware of the time schedule of the bus bringing you from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes. Normally busses leave every 25 minutes and the prices of the bus and train tickets are included in the total price of the tour.
RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST
Below you will find a list of equipment we recommend you bring with you.
- Cash money (Dollars and Soles)
- Backpack with rain protective cover
- 1 poly/fleece (wind stopper) jacket
- 1 poly/fleece sweater
- 1 shirt with long sleeves (optional)
- 2/3 T-shirts
- 1 rain-poncho (Preferable) or raincoat
- 1 wind/rain pants (Gore-Tex or similar)
- 1 lightweight cotton pants (baggy pants/khakis)
- 1 lightweight fleece pants
- 1 pair of trekking shoes
- 1 pair of slippers or sandals (for relaxing and for showers and hot springs)
On your head:
- 1 woollen or fleece hat
- 1 cap
- 1 pair of sunglasses (countering UV light).
- 4 pair woollen or synthetic socks
- 1 pair woollen or fleece gloves
- Bathing suit (for hot spring in Aguas Calientes, optional)
- Water (2L) for the first day and water bottle
- Snacks (energy bars or dried fruit)
- Toilet bag (medicines against altitude sickness and personal medication)
- Toiletries (soap, toothbrush, deodorant, etc.)
- Lip balm
- Insect spray
- Toilet paper
- Torch or headlight (preferably) and extra batteries
- Sleeping bag (possible to rent)
- Camera, sufficient film, plus extra batteries
- Binoculars (optional)
- Map of the Inca Trail
- Transport from hotel Km. 82
- Entrance Fee Inca trail / Machu Picchu
- English speaking guide
- Porters (NOT responsible for personal gear)
- Complete camping equipment (two-person tents with simple inflatable madras’s, kitchen tent, toilet-tent, dining tent, tables and chairs, cooking equipment, cups, plates and cutlery, first aid kit and oxygen bottle.
- All meals from lunch day 1 until breakfast day 4 (as such; 3 x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3 x dinner)
- We provide 1 litre of boiled water every day, except day one.
- Visit at Machu Picchu included 2, to 2.5 hours guided tour
- Bus: Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
- Train: Aguas Calientes to Poroy or Ollantaytambo
- Transfer from Train station in Poroy or Ollantaytambo to the hotel in Cusco
- Breakfast first day and lunch last day
- Water bottle for the first day
- Extra energy food (energy bars, dry fruit, etc.)
- Personal trekking gear (clothing, sleeping bag, more comfortable madras); last two mentioned available to rent.
- Porter for personal gear (available for rent, however, this should be early enough). Its inflatable mattress provided by Machupicchu Travel Adventure will be carried by porters