The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4d/3n - Ascend Adventure Travel
Trekking > The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4d/3n
Trip Notes
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Duration: 4d/3n

Distance: 46 km or 28 miles

  • Hike along the authentic Inca Trail that was used to reach Machu Picchu
  • Amazing Incan Ruins (Huayllabamba, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna, Intipunku, and Machu Picchu)
  • Amazing scenery – panoramic views and waterfalls
  • Pass through different Andean ecosystems – ranging from high Andes to mountainous jungle
  • Hotel pick-up and transportation to and from the Train Station
  • Train ticket from Cusco to the starting point of the trail
  • Bilingual and experienced trekking guide
  • Boiled water for your water bottle
  • Hot water for rinsing/washing
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
  • Meals - 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners
  • 2 person per tent (spacious)
  • Large kitchen and dining tent at camping site
  • First aid kit (including oxygen kit)
  • Bus service from the ruins on the final day
Not Included:
  • Personal Porter (6 kg/13 lbs.)
  • Trekking Poles
  • Sleeping bag (Can be rented for $5 a day)
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes on the last day
  • Bottled water
Packing List:
  • Backpack
  • Four to five changes of clothes and warm clothing
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Hiking or sports shoes
  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: Candy or energy bars
  • Water bottle and sterilizing tablets/water filter
  • Swimsuit (if you want to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Cash in Peruvian Soles or $US
  • Original passport (required for entry to the Inca Trail)
  • Walking stick or poles (Suggested)
Possible Extensions/Upgrades:
  • Train upgrade: Upgrade to the classy Vistadome train with better views, live entertainment and a complementary meal for the return trip!
  • 1-Night extension: Want to spend an extra night in Aguas Calientes? Just let us know!
Available Discounts:
  • Students (Requires a valid International Student Identity Card)

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The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4d/3n

The Inca Trail (“The Royal Highway” of the Incas) to Machu Picchu was built with the purpose of reaching renowned site for religious pilgrimage. The Incas built many of the ruins on the trail for religious worship of the enormous snowcapped peaks of the Vilcanota Range. The trail was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1915, four years after he found Machu Picchu - and was built at the height of the Incan Empire in the early to mid-fifteenth century. Today it brings trekkers from around the world as one of Peru’s most renowned tourist destinations. In this trek, we will pass through the incredibly unique and bio-diverse environments of the Andes such as alpine tundra and cloud forests, Marvel at the natural tunnels crossing through the mountains, explore ancient ruins, learn the importance of the ancient Tawantinsuyo settlements and emerge into the Lost Incan City of Machu Picchu through the famous Intipunku "Sun Gate."

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Cusco - Piscacucho Km 82 – Patallaqta – Cusichaka – Wayllabamba or Ayapata

We will start the day by picking you up from your hotel or hostel in our private bus to start our journey to the Sacred Valley. You must remember to bring your passport or ISIC card (students in possession of an ISIC card will receive a discount). We will first pass through enchanting villages of Chincheros and Urubamba before arriving at the legendary Incan town of Ollantaytambo, which will take us between 2 to 2 1/2 hours. From Ollantaytambo you will have the opportunity to take pictures and enjoy a tasty Peruvian breakfast to prepare for our adventure before continuing on to Piscacucho (the starting point of the trail). Once there, you will be greeted by our camping crew and meet our porters who will carry your belongings throughout our journey on the Inca Trail. We will then cross a suspended bridge stretching over the Urubamba River where we clear the official Trail checkpoint. From there, we will follow the river towards Mt. Veronica onwards to Miscay, where the view stops just short of taking your breath away. Continuing onwards from Miscay, we ascend towards Willkaraccay and towards to the mouth of the Cusichaca River in the Cusichaca Valley (an area famous for growing corn during Inca times). After a short hydration break and well-deserved rest, we will continue towards Tayaroc where a gourmet lunch awaits you prepared by our reputable chefs. After you have had some time to recharge your batteries, we will continue onwards for approximately 3 ½ hours until we reach the village of Wayllabamba (3,000 m / 9,840 ft.). Depending of the weather, we will either camp here or continue onwards to Ayapata (3,300 m / 10,824 ft.).

Day 2
Ayapata – Llulluchayoq - Huarmihuañusca – Pacaymayo – Runkurakay – Sayaqmarka - Chakicocha

We will wake up early in the morning to start on of the most beautiful days of the hike, filled with scenery that only the Andes can possibly offer. We will start a 4-5 hour hike to reach the Pacaymayo Valley, where you will find an overlook of the Andes and another exquisite lunch to help you continue on the path. After lunch, we will continue on to our camping destination for the night at Chackicocha, another 3-4 hours up the trail. We will begin our ascent to Huarmihuañusca or “Dead Woman's Pass” at 4,200 m / 13,776 ft., which will take us 4-5 hours to reach from our starting point of Ayapata. We will first climb to Corralpunku Valley and over to the meadows of Llulluchayoc. This part of our hike is one of the most scenic, including numerous encounters with species of birds and intriguing fauna that change with every step up the trail. From Llulluchayoc, we will continue onwards for 2 hours until we reach Huarmihuañusca, where will cross over the highest pass of our trek. A short break here will be required here for rejuvenation before we start to descend down towards a well-deserved lunch at Pacaymayo Valley. After lunch, we will ascend to the renowned Incan ruins of Runcuracay below the pass, where you can snap some photos before we continue on the trail towards Sayacmarca. Our descent from Runcuracay to Sayacmarca is calm, leading us to another famous Incan ruin site for some more photos. From here we are just half an hour away from our campsite at Chakicocha. The elevation here is 3,400 m / 11,000 ft.)

Day 3
Chakicocha - Aobamba – Phuyupatamarca – Intipata – Wiñay Wayna

We start trekking early this morning, departing from camp at and heading towards the Aobamba Valley. Today’s hike is exceptional - filled with many Incan ruins, natural tunnels running through the mountains, and the astonishing views of Aobamba Valley. This is one of the calmest parts of the trail, mainly downhill – which gives you the chance to catch your breath. On our way to Phuyupatamarca (meaning the town of clouds in Quechua), we will pass through astonishing tunnel that will lead us to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca. After a brief tour and some photos, we’ll reach the famous stone steps leading to Winay Wayna, our campsite for the night (if you have bad knees some trekking poles will come in handy). Around noon or so, we will arrive at Winay Wayna to a big lunch and an opportunity to rest your legs. From here, we will hike to Intipata to explore the ancient Incan terraces, one of the most fascinating sites of our journey. After we are done exploring Intipata, we will descend to our campsite where there is a bar, gift shop, and most importantly, a hot shower. There will also be other trekkers to converse with as you get ready for your final day to Machu Picchu. Get ready for beverages and a gourmet buffet - we get to Machu Picchu tomorrow!

Day 4
Wiñay Wayna – Intipunku - Machu Picchu!

We will wake up before first light, enjoy a quick breakfast, and be among the first groups to access the control station before the last section of the Inca Trail. Winding along the mountainside and dipping into magnificent cloud forests, this final part of the trail takes about two hours and culminates in a set of almost vertical steps leading to the Intipunku “Sun Gate”.  Suddenly, the unforgettable sight of Machu Picchu is laid out before your eyes. We will take the trail leading down to the ruins all the while taking in the beautiful sights and scenery. 

Machu Picchu is situated between two peaks, Mt. Machu Picchu ("Old Peak" in Quechua) and Wayna Picchu ("Young Peak" in Quechua). We will enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the ruins in which we will learn about Incan architecture and uses of different structures, as well as visit the Main Square, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Sundial and the ancient burial grounds. After the guided tour, you will have free time to continue to visit the world-famous ruins. Some possible activities besides visiting the main ruins include:

  1. Climbing Wayna Picchu (approx. 1 and ½ hours and special entrance ticket required)
  2. Visiting the Temple of the Moon (approx. 3 hours and special entrance ticket required)
  3. Walking to the Inca Bridge (1 hour)
  4. Climbing the last part of the Inca Trail to Intipunku ("Sun Gate," 1 and ½ hours)
  5. Climb Mt. Machu Picchu (twice as tall as Wayna Picchu and less crowded, approx. 2 hours - if you haven't already tired yourself out)
Around 4 PM we will descend to Aguas Calientes where we will grab a quick dinner before heading to the train station and returning to Cusco where you will arrive after nightfall and be dropped off at your hotel. This concludes an unforgettable journey to one of the 7 Man-Made Wonders of the World accessed via the Inca Trail!!


See the Inca Trail 4-day Trek Map!






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