Day 1: Cusco - Ollantaytambo – Wayllabamba (total distance: 10.4km, 6.46 miles)
You will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco between 5:30 and 6am and driven to the town of Ollantaytambo with the rest of your group, 1hr45 from Cusco. In Ollantaytambo you will have about 40 minutes to get some breakfast (not included) or use the bathroom. Afterwards it is a 20 minute drive to KM 82 which is the check-in point for the Inca Trail. Here you will be given your mattress and have some time to adjust any last minute packing details. The porters will check in to the trail and once they have passed the control we will begin the trek. You will need your original passport (and ISIC card if you have applied with a student discount) to enter the trail. The first hour or so walking is on mainly flat ground until we reach the lunch stop. After lunch and a break to enjoy the scenery we will continue hiking for about 2 more hours on a gradually ascending trail. You will pass the archaeological sites of Llactapata, Qoriwayrachina and Wayllabamba before reaching the first campsite at 2853m.a.s.l. (9360 feet).
The first day you will have the opportunity to purchase water, alcoholic drinks and snacks from local people living in the area and there are bathrooms at the campsite. Lunch and dinner are included on day 1. 4-5 hours walking time.
Day 2: Wayllabamba - Warmiwañusca – Pacaymayo (total distance: 9.7 km, 6.034 miles)
After breakfast you will begin the toughest part of the trail as you walk up and up through the cloud forest for about 3 hours until emerging into a Puna ecosystem in the high Andes. Here vegetation is sparse and you will feel the temperature drop as you reach the highest pass on the Inca Trail called Warmiwañusca or “Dead Woman’s Pass” at 4314m.a.s.l. (14,153 feet). From the pass you will have an unbelievable panoramic view of the whole area. After a break you will begin descending once again for about 2 hours until reaching the campsite for lunch. This day will be a tough day, but you will arrive to the campsite in the early afternoon – make sure to bring along with you playing cards or a book to read, or you may choose to take a nap until dinner time! The campsite is at 3564m.a.s.l. (11,692 feet) - there are basic toilets available. Water, alcoholic drinks and snacks are not available to buy on this day. 5-6 hours walking time.
Day 3: Pacaymayo - Puya Patamarka - Wiñay Huayna (total distance: 12.2 km, 7.58 miles)
After breakfast you start the steep ascent towards the second most important pass of the trail at 3,921m.a.s.l (12,864 feet). About 2 hours into the climb you will reach the Sayamarca ruins, and from there it is about 40 minutes further to the pass. After the pass the trail will be ascending and descending with stairs – a good work out! You will have a guided visit of Puya Patamarka (Cloud-level town), another important archaeological monument. A short distance from Puya Patamarka you will have lunch and about 1 hour to rest. In the afternoon there will be about 2.5-3 hours more trekking, the final portion being a descent of approx 2000 Inca stairs to Wiñay Huayna (Forever Young).
You will have a guided visit of this impressive archaeological complex with a spectacular setting. We have dinner and overnight at the camp. Camp is at approx. 2692m.a.s.l. (8,845 feet). Water, alcoholic drinks and snacks are not available to buy on this day. 5-6 hours walking time.
Day 4: Wiñay Huayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco (total distance: 3.5km, 2.17 miles)
This final day we have a very early start at about 3am to arrive in time for sunrise at Machu Picchu. After breakfast we will begin the trek, and we will need to wait for the gates to open at 5:30am and from there it is about 1.5 hours walking to “Inti Punku” or the Sun Gate where you will have the most impressive panoramic view of the citadel. At the Sun Gate your group may choose to wait while the clouds lift from Machu Picchu for a magical picture of the site.
Machu Picchu is the best known of the Inca ruins, as it is recognized worldwide, however it is not mentioned in any of the writings by the Spanish Conquistadors. It is believed to have been constructed around the mid-15th century and was “rediscovered” by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911. The guided tour of this fascinating place is an awe- inspiring experience. From the Sun Gate it will be another 40 minutes walking until reaching the Lost City. You will leave your bags at the main entrance and take a break here for a snack. After the break your guide will bring you for a full guided tour of the archaeological site which will last for about 2 hours. Machu Picchu is open until 5:30pm so you can stay for the rest of the afternoon if you choose to explore the site on your own. 1.5-2hrs walking time.
After your visit in Machu Picchu you will descend the mountain to Aguas Calientes (1hr downhill on foot, 20 minutes by bus – US$9). In Aguas Calientes you have the chance to take a shower (Loki Travel clients only) and you can choose from one of the many restaurants in Aguas Calientes for lunch (included for Loki Travel clients only). You will return to the Sacred Valley by train which departs from Aguas Calientes at around 7pm (depending on availability), and from the Sacred Valley to Cusco by van/bus, arriving normally around 11pm.
• Entrance for Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
• special briefing before departure
• transport from Cusco to KM 82 – private with group cook and porters for camping equipment and food
• tents, kitchen and dining tent
• bilingual Inca Trail guide
• first aid kit
• 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners (veg. available) and snacks
• *lunch day 4 is for Loki Travel guests only, see note
• *shower available to use after Machu Picchu visit in Aguas Calientes
• train ticket Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
• transport Ollantaytambo-Cusco
• breakfast day 1, last meal/snacks on day 4
• personal porter (must be reserved at time of booking, afterwards may not be possible)
• *Huayna Picchu (see note at bottom of page)
• Bus Machu Picchu-Aguas Calientes (US$9)
• sleeping bag and Mattress
• walking sticks
• tips for porters / guide/ cook
• bottled water (boiled water available at campsites
• travel insurance
• your original passport and ISIC student card
• camera with extra batteries (!!)
• sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
• a book
• personal medical kit
• sleeping bag * backpack max 40L *
• trekking shoes with good ankle support trekking poles (no metal tips on the trail) *
• water bottle *
• Micropur tablets for purifying water
• rain jacket/trousers/poncho) for rain season warm clothes, layers for variable temperatures
• thermal clothes (good for sleeping & chilly days) gloves, scarf, wool socks and hat for cold nights
• comfortable pants and t-shirts for trekking head torch and extra batteries or slippers for use in the campsites or cards for entertainment while in if you walk fast you will arrive early!
• toilet paper insect repellent
• snacks (granola, energy bars, muesli, chocolate, etc)
• extra cash to tip the guide, cook, porters and
• for souvenirs and meals in Aguas Calientes.
Huayna Picchu information*
Please note that it is not possible to add the $9 Huayna Picchu entry ticket to your Inca Trail pass. If you are keen to climb Huayna Picchu you will need to purchase a new entry ticket for Machu Picchu as well (US$56 in total) and we
recommend you spend 1 night in a hostel in Aguas Calientes (we offer one for US$15 per night) and thus return to Cusco in the evening of the 5 day. You CAN also get your Huayna Picchu + additional Machu Picchu ticket for the 4
day of your tour (the day you arrive to the site on the Inca Trail) in the second group time but this is not recommended as often people are quite tired after visiting Machu Picchu and furthermore if your group wants to wait for the clouds
to lift off Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate you may need to miss part of your guided tour in order to get to Huayna Picchu at your climbing time. Ask us for more details about Huayna Picchu if you are interested!