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Trek Along The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 25-10-2022


The Classic Inca Trail will take you on an epic hike, along the footpaths of the Ancient Incas, with breathtaking views, remarkable archaeological sites, and exceptional flora and fauna, for a true and legendary experience of a lifetime. The classic Inca Trail hike involves a four-day, three-night hiking and camping adventure.  This particular 43-kilometer (26.7 miles) stretch of trail connecting major Inca archaeological sites to Machu Picchu, is just one of the trails of the Inca road network called the Qapaq Ñan, which has more recently become known as “The Inca Trail.” Over the last 10 years, this hike has become incredibly popular to the point that access to this trail is strictly limited and requires a permit to be purchased roughly 6 months in advance.  It is impossible to hike this trail without a licensed guide and the daily number of hikers allowed on the trail is limited to 500, including porters and guides. This is why it is essential to book well in advance. Our Trek Along The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu package not only includes this magnificent trek but allows adequate time in Cusco city to acclimatize properly and explore the Inca capital, prior to the trek.


Llama at Machu Picchu




Enjoy the impressive Inca Capital of Cusco, with its fine blend of Inca constructions and colonial buildings, along narrow cobblestone streets, where history and the modern way of Andean life, combine perfectly in this eclectic city. On your arrival to Cusco, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. There you will receive a short briefing and then have the rest of your time for acclimatizing or exploring the city. Enjoy the sights, along with indigenous and colonial heritage at your leisure. At night, experience Cusco’s nightlife (not too much of course, we have a bucket-list hike waiting for us!) and sample some of the exquisite Andean cuisines at one of the traditional Peruvian restaurants.


Plaza de Armas, Cusco


Inca Trail

Day 1-12.5 km (7.2 miles)

This first day is relatively easy and flat. It starts off with approximately 5-7 hours of hiking before you get to your campsite. You will hike 5 km along the Urubamba River to the ruins of Llactapata. After lunch, you will continue along the Cusichaca River until you reach your campsite at Huayllabamba.


Campsite on The Inca Trail


Day 2- 8.3 km (5.1 miles)

This is the most challenging day of the trek. Today is approximately 8-9 hours of hiking with lots of elevation gain. The day will begin the day climbing Warmiwañusca or “Dead Woman’s pass”, The Inca Trail’s highest point. This will take 5.5 hours until we reach our lunch site shortly after getting over the pass. The pass shows an amazing view of Pitusiray and Colquecruz mountains if it is not too cloudy. After lunch, it is approximately hours to the campsite at Rukurakay.


View from the Tent


DAY 3 - 7.3 km (4.5 miles)

The third day is slightly easier than day two but is longer. There is less elevation gain however it is the longest day of hiking, taking approximately 10 hours. The stunning scenery makes up for it as it is possibly the most beautiful day on the trek. The trail climbs up another pass to the ruins of Sayacmarca.  From here, we will go up the third and final pass of the day through the cloud forest to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, also known as Cloud-Level Town. From there we hike to our campsite at Winay Wayna, which means "Forever Young" in the ancient language of Quechua. 


Wiñaywayna Archaeological Complex


DAY 4- 11 km (6.9 miles)

Enjoy an EARLY breakfast to see the sunrise over the ruins of Machu Picchu. You will hike the remaining 11 km (6.9 miles) taking 4 hours approximately, to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. You will pass through the Inti Punku, or “sun gate” entrance into Machu Picchu in the morning for a 2-hour guided tour.


The sundial in Machu Picchu


The Inca Trail trek is a relatively moderate hike. But when you combine the length with the high altitude it can be somewhat challenging.  Fortunately, the spectacular sights along the way will help to lessen the pain in your muscles. This unparalleled hike is on many people’s bucket lists, and is absolutely an experience you are going to remember for many years to come!


Inca Trail


Join us at Valencia Travel for an unforgettable Trek Along The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu....... Book here now!