The Inca Trail is a magnificent, well preserved Inca Trail route which connects Machu Picchu with what once were other regions of the Inca Empire, and today it is one of the world’s most popular treks. This four-day walk goes from the highlands of 4,200mts and down through the cloud forests to finally arrive at Machu Picchu – 2,380mts.
DAY 01. – Between 06:00 and 06:30 we pick you up at your hotel in our private bus. Ensure you have your original passport and ISIC student card (if applicable – for a discount on entree fee to Machu Picchu).
The journey by bus to km 82 (the starting point for the Inca Trail) takes approximately 3 hours. Once we get there and are all ready to go, this first day will have us walking mostly through the valley. It starts at 2380m with a small climb to a plateau overlooking the Incan site of Llactapata and rewards you with superb views of Mount Veronica. Walking times are always approximate depending on weather conditions, group ability and other factors, but generally you will walk about 2-3 hours before lunch. Then after lunch we walk on just past the village of Wayllabamba to reach our first campsite at 3000m.
Approx 14km, 6 hours walking this day at Inca Trail.
DAY 02. – Day 2 is the most difficult day as you Inca Trail walk from about 3000m to 4200m — the highest pass of the trek (known as Dead Woman’s Pass – but don’t be discouraged!). You can walk at your own pace and stop to get your breath whenever you like. You’ll find your energy returns once you continue down to the valley of Pacaymayo, where we camp at 3600m.
You can hire a porter from the village of Wayllabamba to carry your pack to the top of this pass for approximately 70 soles. If you wish to do so you must organize and pay this money directly to the person who carries your items, and please check your belongings upon receiving them at the end of this service as these people are not Sap Adventures staff.
This is the coldest night at Inca Trail; between +2/+4 degrees Celsius (in December) and -3/-5 degrees Celsius (in June). Approx 12km, 7 hours walking this day at Inca Trail.
DAY 03.- Day 3 is exceptionally beautiful because of the ruins you will witness and the incredible stone Inca Trail you walk one, and also because there is a lot more downhill than uphill! However, there are about 2000 stairs descending from the ruins of Phuyupatamarca to those of Wiñaywayna, so take care with your knees. If you have had knee or ankle injuries an extra porter is recommended so that you are not carrying extra weight and overstressing your joints. There is a guided tour of all the ruins on the way. Camping is usually at Wiñaywayna 2700 mtrs.
Take extra care of your personal belongings at this campsite as all the tours campsites are nearby. As usual, always keep your daypack containing your valuables with you. The only hot shower on the Inca Trail is on this third night at Wiñaywayna. There is a hostel near the campsite with an 8min hot shower for 5 soles, and a bar and restaurant where you can purchase bottled water.
Approx 16km, 6 hours walking this day on Inca Trail.
DAY 04.- We get up extremely early to arrive at the magical Intipunku "The Gate of the Sun" as the first rays begin illuminating the lost city of Machu Picchu down bellow. A further 20 min walk down from here takes us to the famous view from the terraces at the end of the trail. It is a good time to take pictures before the 10:30 crowds arrive. Your tour of Machu Picchu should last about 2 hours and finish between 10:30 and 11:00am. Then you have free time to climb Huayna Picchu if you wish (This is the famous peak in the background of most images of Machu Picchu. The trek is about 90 minutes). A maximum of 400 hikers can climb this mountain per day so if you are determined then start immediately after your tour! Or, of course, you may simply just collapse under a tree and quietly reflect in amazement at the mystery, the architectural achievement and beauty of Machu Picchu.
From Machu Picchu, it is a pleasant walk through sub-tropical jungle down to Aguas Calientes (about 45 mins), but if you are weary you may also take a bus – the $7 bus ticket is included and your guide will give you the ticket.
Once in Aguas Calientes you can have a hot shower, and then store your backpack while you go to have lunch, visit the hot springs or shop around the village.
If you are not extending your stay for one night in Aguas Calientes*, you will leave around 6pm to return to Cusco by train or by a combination of train & bus. Please note that during the high season there are a number of different departure times for the trains that run only to Ollantaytambo, from where buses run onwards till Cusco. The type of return journey depends simply on availability. You will arrive back in Cusco around 9 – 9.30pm.
Approx 7km, 2 hours walking this day on Inca Trail.