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4 Day Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu Inca Trail Peru

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Tour Details

The 4 Day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu or Inca Trail Peru tops the bucket list of many travellers in South America. Dotted with many Inca ruins, on this four day Inca trail to Machu Picchu, you will be retracing the footsteps of Incas all the way on the road they built 500 years ago.

National Geographic Travel magazine recognised the trail among the best 25 trails in the world.

Inca Trail Peru offers a bit of everything. Apart from experiencing the hike on the 500 years old trail, you will also get to see different archaeological sites. You will be descending from the snow capped Andean peaks to the cloud forests. Along the way, you will be witnessing different flora and fauna, most are typical to the region.

Only those on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu get to see the sunrise from the Sun Gate or Intipunku before reaching the lost city of Incas.

Inca Trail Peru:

Every part of the trail Peru is well preserved by the authorities to maintain the authenticity.

They have imposed a regulation where they restrict the access on the trail to just 500 people a day. This includes porters, guides and cooks. So barely 200 tourists gets to access this in a day. The permit gets sold 6-7 months in advance.


  • Trip briefing.
  • Bilingual guide (English-Spanish).
  • Cook to prepare your meals.
  • Porters to carry camp equipment.
  • Private transportation to the start point.
  • Train Tickets.
  • Inca trail Permit and entrance fees to Machu Picchu.
  • Portable biodegradable bag in toilet with tent.
  • Camping equipment.
  • All meals on the itinerary (B= Breakfast L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free meals on request at no extra cost.
  • Boiled Water.
  • Bus ticket.
  • First-aid kit and oxygen.
  • Samex tours Peru uses walkie talkies.


  • Domestic flights. (we can book for you)
  • Cusco and Sacred Valley tours (we can book for you).
  • Breakfast on first day, Lunch last day in Aguas Calientes.
  • Extra porter to carry your baggage (per person-will carry 7kg/15lbs to include weight of your sleeping bag for the entire trek) US$85. Per person.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Entrance fee: Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain $70 per person
  • Single Tent: $25.
  • Walking Pole set: $20
  • Sleeping bag with liner: $25.


  • Original passport and (University, College valid student card if applicable).
  • A comfortable 45 Lt trek backpack if you want to carry all your belongings.
  • T-Shirt
  • Trekking poles with rubber tips. (metal tips are not allowed on the trail).
  • Thermal underwear can be worn in the sleeping bag or in cold conditions.
  • Gloves or mittens, scarf, wool socks, woolen hat for cold night.
  • Flash light, head torch and extra batteries.
  • Toiletries, toilet paper, small towel
  • 2 litre water bottle, (disposable plastic bottles are forbidden).
  • Extra money for drinks en route, Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes.
  • Tips for (porters, cooks and guides. ($50-60) It is a tradition. Not mandatory.
  • Emergency money at least 300 soles. Total per person ($70-90) Approximately.


We’ll pick you up from your hotel at 5:40 am sharp, and by 5:45 am, we’ll board our private transportation heading to the start of our trek. Don’t forget to bring your original passport and, if applicable, your university student card. Our journey from Cusco to Piscacucho – Km 82 – takes approximately 3 hours, offering stunning vistas of the Sacred Valley, the Urubamba River, Andean towns, and the historic Inca town of Ollantaytambo. After an hour’s ride, we’ll make a stop in Urubamba to stretch our legs and use the facilities before continuing to Km 82 (Piscacucho at 2,680 meters above sea level), the beginning of our adventure.

Here, we’ll meet our camp crew and porters, who will accompany us throughout the trek. With passports in hand,
we’ll clear the official Inca Trail checkpoint, cross a suspension footbridge over the Urubamba River, and embark
on our journey with a gentle climb.

The next three hours will be spent on relatively level terrain along the river, offering magnificent views of Mount Veronica (5,750 m) as we pass through a forest of towering cacti and native bushes. At Miskay, we’ll veer left, gradually ascending to Willkaraccay, overlooking the Inca town of Llactapata (Terrace Town) across the Cusichaka stream.

From this strategic vantage point, we’ll enjoy panoramic views of the extensive site, originally constructed as a fort to control the entrance to the Cusichaka Valley. The terraced fields, a hallmark of Inca agriculture, once cultivated potatoes, maize, and cereals requiring irrigation in the arid highlands.

After a brief rest, we’ll continue for another 15 minutes to our lunch spot at Tayaroc, where native flowers and bromeliads adorn the landscape, complemented by breathtaking mountain views. Walking times are approximate and subject to various factors. Following lunch, we’ll trek for another 2-3 hours to reach Hatun Chaka Camp (3,000 m), where you’ll be treated to a comforting Macho Tea and a buffet dinner. Hot water buckets are provided for washing, and showers are available for 10 soles. Guides will outline our plans for the exciting day ahead before bidding you good night.

Day Statistics

  • Accommodation: Camping (Tents for 2 people)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,680 m / 8,790 ft
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,000 m / 10,824 ft
  • Distance: Approximately 12 km
  • Duration: 6-7 hours / Ascent: 620 m


After breakfast, around 6:00 am, we kick off our journey with a 45-minute walk to Huayllabamba, followed by a climb to Ayapata that takes approximately 1 hour. From there, we embark on a gentle uphill trek through wooded terrain alongside a stream (reaching an altitude of 3,300 m). Today presents our most challenging leg of the hike,
featuring the steepest ascent of our journey. However, fear not, as we have ample time for breaks to catch our breath and enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the way.

The climb is demanding, with an elevation gain of 1,200 meters spread across two stages. But the effort is well worth it, as the journey treats us to awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains, including the imposing Apu Huayanay to the south.

During the 2-3 hour hike, we’ll make several stops to rest and admire the scenery before reaching our lunch spot at Llulluchapampa Valley, offering spectacular panoramic views. As we ascend steeply through the Corralpunku Valley to the Llulluchayoc Zone, keep your eyes peeled for various bird species, such as hummingbirds, falcons,
and black-chested buzzard eagles. With luck, we might even catch a glimpse of the majestic Andean condor, revered in local Andean communities. Our path takes us through a captivating cloud forest, adorned with  polylepis woodlands (featuring Qeuñas and Chachacomos, small Andean bushes), and the treeless grasslands of the Puna region, home to tarucas (Andean deer) and pumas.

From here, we’ll catch sight of our ultimate challenge: Warmiwañusca (Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,215 meters  above sea level. Upon reaching Llulluchapampa, our camp crew will serve up a delicious Peruvian gourmet lunch, providing a well deserved break before our final push to the summit. The subsequent 2–3-hour hike involves a 600-meter ascent to the peak of Warmiwañusca. The path to the summit is adorned with stone steps, some newly laid to prevent erosion. Take your time, pause to catch your breath, and soak in the surroundings. Finally, as we conquer Dead Woman’s Pass, a mix of emotions may wash over you, perhaps a sense of awe at the sacredness of the place or simply the effects of altitude.

Once the entire group reaches the pass, we’ll capture the moment with a group photo before enjoying a brief rest. Then, we embark on a steep descent into the Pacaymayo Valley for approximately 2-3 hours until we reach our campsite for the night. Set against the backdrop of a stunning valley, cascading waterfall, and snow-capped peaks,
tonight’s camp offers a breathtaking setting to replenish our energy. After setting up camp, it’s time for tea and a buffet dinner. While facilities at this campsite are reasonably good, with two toilet blocks available, there are no showers. However, we provide hot water buckets for washing up.

Day Statistics

  • Accommodation: Camping (tents for two)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Minimum Altitude: 3,000 m / 9,840 ft
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,215 m / 13,776 ft
  • Distance: Approximately 12 km
  • Duration: 7-8 hours / Ascent: 900 m


After breakfast, around 7:00 am, we set out on a steep climb from the Pacaymayo camp, taking approximately 1 hour to reach Runcuracay. This circular structure of ruins, accompanied by rectangular outbuildings, perches on the edge of the valley. Historically, it served as an Inca tambo, providing a resting place for chaskis (messengers), a guard post, lookout point, or even a ritual building. The site offers its best view from higher up the path.

Another hour’s climb brings us to the second pass, Runcuracay Mountain, standing at 3,950 m. The ascent is marked by a series of false summits and steep staircases. Just before reaching the true pass, the path winds between two tarns, where Andean gulls may sometimes be spotted. The second pass reveals exceptional panoramic views, offering glimpses back to the Warmiwañuska pass and forward to a breathtaking sweep of snow-capped peaks, including the imposing Pumasillo Mountain.

From here, the majority of our trail descends. Passing through a short tunnel, the path begins a series of tight switchbacks, rapidly dropping in elevation until reaching a small viewpoint atop a promontory. Beyond this point, the descent becomes more gradual as the path winds across the slopes. To the right of the pass lies a small, algae-covered lake, while ahead, the Sayacmarca Inca town comes into view.

We take time to explore and receive insightful lectures from our guides before continuing our descent. The path leads us to Chakicocha (3,400 m), a pleasant campsite where we stop to rest and have lunch. Toilet facilities are available here.
Following lunch, we embark on an exceptionally beautiful hike, tracing the well-kept stone-paved highway past the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, then descending to Wiñaywayna and Intipata, offering dramatic vistas of the Aobamba Valley. The trail’s condition, with its well-preserved paved stone, remains impressive even after centuries.
Today’s trek presents more downhill stretches than uphill, and is notably shorter than yesterday’s. En route to Phuyupatamarca, known as the “Town of the Clouds,” we pass through the first of two short, natural tunnels. After exploring these ruins, we descend approximately 2,000 stone steps to the Wiñaywayna camp.

Trekking poles can help alleviate stress on your joints during this descent. A short additional hike takes us
to Intipata, another remarkable Inca site with terraced farming. By around 5 pm, we arrive at Wiñaywayna (2,700 m). After setting up our tents, we take a 5-minute walk to enjoy spectacular views and a tour around this impressive Inca citadel, the most preserved and largest Inca site on the Inca Trail. This campsite tends to be crowded and noisy, so we advise extra caution with personal belongings, keeping everything secured inside your tent overnight. Tea time and a buffet dinner are served. Please note that the hostel in Wiñayhuayna is
currently closed, offering only basic amenities like cold showers, limited beverage options, and basic
toilets. It’s customary to show appreciation to the porters tonight with a tip, recognizing their hard work.

Day Statistics

  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,700 m / 8,856 ft
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,750 m / 12,300 ft
  • Distance: Approximately 16 km
  • Duration: 7-8 hours / Descent: 700 m


We’ll rise bright and early, around 4:00 am, to embark on a journey to Inti Punku, also known as the Sun Gate, offering a stunning vista of Machu Picchu at sunrise. This hike will take approximately 1-2 hours, with some significant uphill sections in the latter half. As we’ll be trekking in darkness for the first hour, a headlamp is strongly recommended. Please adhere to your guides’ instructions and watch your steps carefully.

Upon reaching Inti Punku, we’ll descend easily for about 50 minutes, arriving first at the upper south sector of Machu Picchu, where the Guardian houses stand. The trail concludes at a series of terraces offering iconic views of the entire city. From there, we’ll make our way straight down to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Backpack storage is available at the gate for a nominal fee of 5 Soles. Following a brief pause, we’ll delve into exploring the
site, guided by our knowledgeable trek guides. The formal tour will encompass visits to the most significant temples and neighborhoods within Machu Picchu.

This ancient citadel, known as the lost city of the Incas, served as a sanctuary for the last emperors, priests, and priestesses, allowing the empire to endure for 40 years following the Spanish conquest. Machu Picchu, a marvel of architecture characterized by its aesthetic boldness and majestic harmony of forms, offers an extraordinary insight into the ingenuity of pre-Hispanic civilization. Our trek culminates at Inti Punku, where you’ll have the perfect vantage point for capturing panoramic photographs of Machu Picchu. Here, your guide will provide insights into the layout of the city, highlighting temples, residences, and other notable areas.

Afterward, we’ll descend to the main Machu Picchu control checkpoint, allowing for 20-30 minutes of free
time (please note there are no toilets inside Machu Picchu). Our guided tour concludes around 10:30/11:00 am.
Following the tour, you’ll have free independent time for additional exploration (subject to new park regulations).
Around 12:30 pm, we’ll board a bus to Aguas Calientes town, where you can store your backpack, freshen up with a shower, and explore the town before catching the train back to Cusco at 2:45 pm. Arrival in Cusco is typically around 7:30 pm.

Day Statistics

  • Accommodation: Not Included
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,400 m / 7,872 ft (Machu Picchu)
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,700 m / 8,856 ft
  • Distance: Approximately 8 km, plus exploration of Machu Picchu
  • Duration: 6-7 hours / Descent: 300 m
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Solo Traveller

My experience on the 4 Day Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu exceeded all expectations. From the moment we were picked up at our hotel in Cusco to the final descent from Machu Picchu, every aspect of the trek was expertly organized, ensuring a memorable and enriching adventure.

March 15, 2024