Inca Trail | Responsible Tourism | Alemana Tours

The Classic Inca Trail

Overview

The Inca trail (accessible from March to January/closed in February) is without doubt one of the most beautiful trails in the Americas and, therefore an unforgettable experience which shouldn’t be missed. In its journey, unforgettable impressions of unique ecological diversity, landscapes and archaeological can be obtained, all within the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. In addition, far away from cities and modern life. With altitudes varying between 2050-4200 m.a.s.l, you will experience an encounter with yourselves and your physical capabilities. Given the great demand and the limited access, the reservations must be made with at least 6 months in advance (especially for access in the months of April to October).

  • Departure: On request
  • Service: Guided group tour
  • Language guide: English and Spanish
  • Tour Category: Cultural, Historical, Adventurous, Nature, Trekking

Tour description

Day 1: Cusco – Piskacucho Km 82 – Llactapata – Ayapata

You will leave early by bus from Cusco until the official entrance control is reached at Piscacucho (KM 82 at 2200m). Here you will start with a delicious breakfast. Then the hike starts for its first stage on the legendary trail.

The first two hours are relatively easy and you will pass Patallacta which is an ancient Inca checkpoint for the approach to Machu Picchu. From there it is two hours hiking to the lunch stop. After lunch you will hike 2½ hours more until you reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata.

You will pass through two small communities, where you can buy attributes that you might have forgotten.

Around 5 pm you should arrive at the campsite where you can relax and enjoy a hot drink and a snack. Later at night your dinner will be served.

Distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)

Altitude campsite: 3300 m.a.s.l.

Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Dead Woman´s Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha

This is the longest day so you will start early. After breakfast you will hike to the highest pass of the trek, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 m). After a short break enjoying the magnificent views, you will descend to the next valley named the Pacaymayu Valley where you will reach the lunch spot.

After lunch you will ascend again to the second pass of the trek. You will pass a small Inca site called Runcu Raccay and see two huge waterfalls. After the second pass you descent to the magnificent Inca site Sayacmarca.

You will have a tour on this site and then watch the sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range. Then it is a short hike to the second campsite Chaquicocha.

After dinner it is possible to do star gazing. The southern hemisphere sky, away from all the artificial lighting, is really amazing!

Distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)

Altitude campsite: 3600 m.a.s.l.

Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna:

This day is considered to be the most easy and most beautiful day of the Inca trail. After breakfast you will start hiking, entering into the jungle. During your walk you will enjoy the majesty of Salkantay and have a fantastic panoramic view on the Vilcabamba mountain range.

First we ascend to Phuyupatamarka (3600 m) having a great view over the Urubamba River. Then we descent to the last campsite close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) which is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu.

During the descent we visit two Inca ruins, Phuyupatamarka (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun).

You arrive at the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch there you will visit the archeological site of Wiñay Wayna and the guide will give you information about next day´s visit to Machu Picchu.

Walking distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)

Altitude campsite: 2.600 meters

Difficulty: Easy

Day 4: Sun Gate – Machu Picchu

Today you wake up very early. After breakfast you will hike to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here you have a spectacular view on the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. Then you descend to reach the Lost City of the Incas, the views on Machu Picchu just get better and better! When you enter to Machu Picchu you will have a two hour private guided tour.

After the tour you have plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu on your own or climb one of the mountains nearby (Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain). This must be arranged in advance and is not included in the price.

Then you will descend by bus to Aguas Calientes where you can enjoy your last lunch in a local restaurant. This is optional and not included. Later in the afternoon you will take the train back from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where you will continue by bus going back to Cusco to your hotel.

Walking distance: 3.1 miles/5km (2 hours)

Level: Easy

Included

Included in the tour:

Professional bilingual guide (English and Spanish).

Night before the trail you will get a briefing at your hotel.

All transportation: The bus from your hotel to KM 82, the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and the bus from Ollantaytambo back to your hotel in Cusco.

Entrance fees: This includes the permit to enter to the Inca trail and the entrance fee to Machu Picchu.

A duffel bag. You will receive this bag on your briefing the night before the Inca trail. This duffel will be carried by a porter and cannot weight more than 7kg/14lb including your sleeping bag and air mattress.

Camping equipment: 4-person tents shared by only two persons and a dining tent.

Food: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners are included. Also you will receive a snack on every trekking day.

Water: You will receive boiled, filtered and cooled water after the first lunch until the last breakfast during the trail.

Not included:

Sleeping bag, air mattress or walking sticks. It is possible to rent these items.

Lunch on the last day and water on the morning of the first day.

Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu

Price

Price of this tour is 650 USD per person.

Students can get a discount of 35 USD. Please send us a copy of your student card.

If you wish to hire additional equipment:

Sleeping bag: 20 USD

Inflatable Air Mattress: 15 USD

Walking Sticks (Pair): 15 USD

If you want to include a visit to Huayna Picchu or to Machu Picchu Mountain to the trail, there is an additional charge of 75 USD.

Private Tour

Instead of a group tour it is also possible to do this tour as a private tour. This means more, personal attention from the guide and more flexibility during the tour.

The price of a private tour depends on the number of participants:

$ 925.00 Per person, when booking with 2 people

$ 895.00 Per person, when booking with 3 people

$ 845.00 Per person, when booking with 4 people

Practical information

When to book

The Inca Trail is the most popular trek. It has to be booked a lot of time in advance because of limited availability. During high season (April until October) you need to book at least half year in advance.

Briefing

The night before your trek, you will have a briefing of your trek at the office of the operator of your trek. Alemana Tours will make sure you will know where to be and at what time. At this briefing you will receive, detailed and important information about your trek. You will also receive equipment that you rented for your equipment like a duffel.

What to bring

Backpack with rain shelter

Sleeping bag and air mattress if you didn´t hire this

Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket

Rain pants and lightweight pants

Trekking shoes

Slippers or sandals for showers and hot springs (optional in Aguas Calientes)

Woolen or synthetic socks and a sweater

Long- and short-sleeved polo’s/t-shirts

Rain poncho and a hat

Bathing suit for the hot springs

Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle or Camelbag, toiletries and toilet paper

Camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and batteries

Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in soles

Since the weather can be very cold and moistly, your clothes once gotten wet, won’t dry at night. So take some clothes to change

Food and Water

You will be surprised about the quality and great taste of the food during a trek. Every trek is accompanied by a cook. It is no problem if you have special diet wishes, or if you are vegetarian or vegan, let us know in advance. During the trek you will also be given a variety of snacks.

During your trek you will be supplied with drinking water. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributed. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back.

Weather Conditions

It is impossible to predict the weather during a trek. Dry season in the region of Cusco is from April until October. In the other months you can expect a lot of rain. But in the mountains it is not possible to predict the weather accurately. It also can rain during dry season. Because of the many micro-climates you will pass, the weather can change drastically during one day.

You will have to be prepared for all weather conditions: warm and cold, dry and wet. Bring proper rain gear and a warm winter jacket, also bring gloves. Layers are always a good answer on the changing weather conditions.

Altitude

Here in Cusco and during a trek you are at quite a high altitude. This can cause altitude sickness, especially the first days. This is because there is a lot less oxygen in the air than at sea level and your body needs some time to adjust to that. Symptoms are mostly mild like: headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, trouble sleeping and trouble breathing during exercise. If you get these symptoms, they mostly go away after a few days.

What can you do about altitude sickness:

Take your time to acclimatize, take it easy the first days. It is better the first days not to do hard physical activities.

Drink lots of fluids like coca tea or water, but don´t drink alcohol or coffee.

You can visit your doctor before going to Peru and get medication against the altitude.

Health and Fitness

A trek means multiple days, walking longer distances, at a higher altitude. So it definitely will help if you are in a reasonably good shape and bring an adventurous attitude. It is highly recommended to acclimatize to the altitude a few days before you do a trek. If you think you have concerns about your health, we recommend you visit your doctor first. Let us know about any health issues that could affect your trek.

Insurance

We strongly recommend you take a travel insurance going on vacation to Peru and doing a trek. Having a travel insurance will help you and avoid a lot of problems in case you need medical assistance or you lose your luggage for example.

First aid

On your trek there will be an emergency first aid kit available including oxygen. Your tour guide has received a training in first aid.

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