CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
***Permits for this trek are sold out for April, May, June & JULY***
Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas to Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
- All-inclusive trip! Click on "What's Included" to learn more
- Professionally guided tour of several Inca Archeological Sites (including Machu Picchu)
- Our guides are local to the Cusco Region, fluent in English and have several years of experience leading tours
- Hike on the exact same path built and used by the Incas in the 13th century
- Wildlife present throughout the trek
- Enjoy private campsites, only accessible to Kusa Treks customers
- Multiple micro-climates, including cloud forests, rain forests and mountain scenery
- The most popular route to Machu Picchu
Prices are per person and in U.S. Dollars ($)
GROUP TOUR PRICE: $685
A "group tour" means you will be paired with other people that are doing the same hike on the same date as you.
PRIVATE TOUR PRICES: A "private tour" is just your group and our guides.
- 2 - 3 People: $1,050
- 4 - 6 People: $855
- 7 - 9 People: $710
- 9+ People: $685
To book a private tour - Click Here
- A $200 deposit is required for each person. We use your deposit to secure hiking permits for the Inca Trail and entrance tickets for Machu Picchu in advance. The $200 will be deducted from your total price.
- A 5% Transaction Fee will be added to the total cost if you pay via credit/debit card. We are charged to convert and transfer money. We do our best to keep this rate as low as possible.
- We HIGHLY recommended that reservations are made 6+ months in advance. We cannot guarantee permit availability for trips requested less than 6 months in advance.
- Professional Guides
- Hiking Permit
- Entrance Tickets
- Medical Supplies
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
- Hiking Equipment - (Available for Rent):
- Sleeping Bag: $25
- Inflatable Air Mattress: $15
- Trekking Poles (2): $20 Guides
- Personal Porter
- Huayna Picchu
- Vista Dome Train
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT WHAT'S INCLUDED
TRANSPORTATION: All transportation is included.
FOOD: All food is provided. In fact, we'll be hiking with a professional chef! Our chef and his staff will cook you some of the best meals you've ever eaten, and they'll do it in the middle of the Andes. Please notify our staff of any food allergies or restrictions and we will ensure that the food is prepared properly.
WATER: Your guides will supply all of the water you'll need on the trek. The water will first be boiled, then filtered and then cooled. You will need to bring a container for the water (Camelback, Nalgene, etc.), we recommend carrying at least 2L of water. Your water containers will be refilled at each meal.
PROFESSIONAL GUIDES: Kusa Treks strives for greatness and this starts and ends with our people. All of our trek leaders are locals to this region and studied Tourism and/or Archaeology at an University. They are all fluent in English and are passionate about their work. Trust me when I say, there is no better person to be on the Inca Trail with than a Kusa Treks guide, you will be in incredible hands.
PERMITS & TICKETS: Once you pay the trip deposit, we will purchase your permits for the Inca Trial and Machu Picchu. The government issues permits in your name, under your passport number, and for a specific time-frame; they cannot be changed once confirmed, which is why the initial deposit is non-refundable. We will also secure your train tickets and entrance tickets to Machu Picchu.
MEDICAL EMERGENCY: Alright, emergency sounds a bit dramatic. However, you can be confident in your Trek Leader. All of Kusa Trek's guides receive extensive First Aid training from a qualified and licensed physician, and we conduct mandatory review/training sessions twice a year. Your Trek Leader will carry a Hiking First Aid kit (including oxygen), and should the need arise we will get you off of the trail and to a medical facility as quickly and comfortably as possible.
Note: We have never had to evacuate a hiker.
TENT: Your tents are provided, they are comfortable, roomy and cozy. Sleep well chicos!
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
HIKING EQUIPMENT: To complete the Inca Trail, you will need a sleeping bag, some type of air mattress (ThermaRest), and walking poles (with rubber tips). If you do not wish to purchase or travel with these items, we have high quality equipment you can rent:
- Sleeping Bag: $25
- Inflatable Air Mattress: $15
- Trekking Poles (2): $20
PERSONAL PORTER: Porters are local men from the Andes who help carry the majority of our supplies during the trek (tents, food, cooking equipment, etc.). You can choose to hire a Porter who will carry up to 19.8lbs. (9kg) of your belongings, we will provide a bag for you to put your belongings in, which the Porter will take and run ahead of our group. If you choose to hire a Porter you will be responsible for carrying the things you need throughout the day (sunscreen, snacks, rain jacket, etc.), as you will not have access to the things the Porter carries until we reach camp at night.
NOTE: You can always "split" a porter with another trekker, you would each pay $40 and the Porter will carry ~10lbs. of each of your belongings.
Learn more about Porters on our FAQ page under "Porter's...Men or Superhero's?".
HUAYNA PICCHU (Wayna Picchu): Huayna Picchu is the pointy, tall mountain in the background of all the pictures of Machu Picchu. Tickets to climb it are available for travelers who wish to hike up an ancient staircase to the top of Machu Picchu's sister mountain. Hiking to the top of it provides adventurers with incredible, unique views of Machu Picchu. This secondary hike will have a 1-hour ascent, 15 minutes to take selfies and high-five at the top of the mountain, and then a 45-minute descent. FYI, the ascent and descent are pretty steep, but totally worth it! Price: $75/person
NOTE: tickets to ascend Huayna Picchu are limited, and are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.
VISTA DOME TRAIN: On the way back from Machu Picchu to Cusco, we will book tickets on a "regular" train. However, there is a company that offers a train ride in a "Vista Dome Train" through the Sacred Valley. This train has glass walls and a glass ceiling, which provide panoramic views of the surrounding beautiful Andes mountain-side. Tickets include in-trip meals and entertainment. Price: $70/ticket.
CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 4-DAY ITINERARY:
Day 1: The Journey Begins!Pick up from your hotel in Cusco. 3 hour drive to Trail Head. 6-7 hours of hiking through beautiful scenary to Wayllabamba, our first campsite.
Day 2: Challenge DayEarly start. Most challenging day on the trek. Hike to the top of Dead Woman's Pass, the highest point of our trip. Our campsite will be in the stunning Pacaymayo Valley.
Day 3: Stunning viewsThe prettiest day of hiking! Incredible views all day. Tour of the Runkuraqay Ruins & Wiñay Wayna, which is where our last campsite is located.
Day 4: Machu Picchu!Early wake up and quick hike to the Sun Gate. Full day tour of the world famous Machu Picchu. Train ride back to Cusco, arrival between 7-8pm.
DETAILS FOR EACH DAY
DAY 1: The Journey Begins!
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Max Altitude: 10,824 ft. (3,000m)
- Min Altitude: 8,790ft. (2,680m)
- Distance Hiked: ~7.5 miles (12 km)
- Ascent: 2,034 ft. (620 m)
- Walking Time: 6-7 hours
MorningOur adventure begins early with a 5:00AM pick-up at your hotel, by 5:30AM we will be aboard our private transportation and on our way! Make sure to carry your original passport and ISIC card if applicable. Our journey from Cusco to Piscacucho takes ~3 hours, and includes beautiful views of the Sacred Valley, the Urubamba River, Andean towns, including the Inca town of Ollantaytambo.
About half-way, we will stop to stretch our legs, use the bathroom, and enjoy a small breakfast before continuing on to Piscacucho (8,790ft / 2,680m) where we will start our life-changing journey. Here we will meet our camp crew and porters who will be carrying our belongings during the 26 mile (43 km) trek along the Inca Trail. Passports in hand, we will clear the official Inca Trail check point, cross a suspension footbridge across the Urubamba River, and begin our trek with a gentle climb.
The trek starts with three hours of relatively level terrain (what we call "Inca Flat") as we follow the course of the river, and enjoy marvelous views of Mount Veronica (18,865ft / 5,750m). Our leisurely walk passes through a forest of giant cacti and native bushes. At Miskay we take the trail left, and will gradually ascend to Willkaraccay high above the mouth of the Kusichaka River and across from the Inca town of Llactapata (Terrace Town). We will take a break on a flat bluff high above this extensive site, which was built as a fort because it commands the entrance to the Kusichaka Valley.
AfternoonThis will be your first encounter to the unique terracing system that the Incas used to irrigate maize (corn) in the high mountain climate. We'll spend 15-20 minutes to rest and take pictures of these incredible ruins until heading down to our lunch site at Tayaroc.
After lunch, we'll hike another 3-4 hours to our private campsite in the village of Wayllabamba (9,840ft / 3,000m).
At the end of each day, we will share a "family tea time" while we wait for dinner to be prepared; during tea time we will enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas (including the traditional Matcha Tea), delicious finger foods and pleasant conversation. An exquisite dinner will be prepared by our professional chef and served buffet style.
After dinner your Tour Guides will go over our plans for the next great day. Buenas Noches!
DAY 2: "CHALLENGE DAY"
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Max Altitude: 13,776ft (4,200m)
- Min Altitude: 9,840ft (3,000m)
- Distance Traveled: ~7.45 miles (12 km)
- Ascent: 2,954ft (900m)
- Walking Time: 7-8 hours
Our day starts early; Porter’s will wake you up with a fresh cup of hot tea at 5:30AM. We will pack our belongings and eat a nutritious, warm breakfast. After we finish eating, we will trek along the Inca Trail to the Ayapata valley, which usually takes about an hour. After we reach the valley there will be a soft uphill climb through the forest and along a scenic stream. We will be walking at an elevation of 10,824ft (3,300m).
Today is our most challenging day of hiking, but we will take our time and enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the way. After a short break in Ayapata Valley we will start the biggest, most strenuous, climb of our hike, with an ascent of 3,937ft (1,200m), planned in 2 stages. We'll be trekking on 400 year-old Inca Stone steps, with large gaps between each step, which can make walking a challenge. Your efforts will be rewarded, however, with spectacular views; as this stretch of the trail is surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountain peaks (Apu Huayanay Mountains). It will take us 2-3 hours to hike the first stage, which includes several breaks to catch our breath and enjoy the views.
Our lunch stop on the 2nd day is in Llulluchapampa Valley, which has absolutely stunning views. To reach it, we will continue along the Inca Trail, ascending steeply uphill through the Corralpunku Valley to the Llulluchayoc Zone.
If we’re lucky, we'll see some of the hundreds of species of birds that inhabit this area; including: hummingbirds, falcons, and perhaps, the Condor, also known as the king of the Andean Mountains. Soon, our group will enter a beautiful cloud forest, also known as the Polylepis woodlands, or the treeless grasslands of the Puna Región, home to the tarucas (Peruvian deer) and pumas. From here, you can see the highest mountain of our trek, Dead Woman´s Pass.
Once we reach Llulluchapampa the camp crew will be waiting for us with a delicious Peruvian lunch, set against a stunning visual backdrop. After lunch you will have time to rest and recoup, and then we will continue onto the second stage of our hike for another 2-3 hours. The trail continues to climb large, stone steps, some of them newly laid to protect the mountain from erosion.
You can walk at your own pace and stop to catch your breath, while enjoying the truly marvelous vistas. We will gain another 1,968ft (600m) in elevation to reach the top of Warmiwañusca Mountain (Dead Woman’s Pass), which marks the highest elevation of our journey at 13,776ft (4,200m). Here you will experience an unforgettable moment, as the top of this mountain is a sacred place for the ancient Incan’s, or maybe the lack of oxygen is finally catching up with your brain! Either way you’ve made it through the hardest part of our journey!
Once the entire group reaches the top of Dead Woman's Pass, we will take a short break to capture a family picture.
After we summit Dead Woman's Pass, we'll being a 2-3 hour descent into the Pacaymayo Valley to reach our camp for tonight. Our campsite has one of the most incredible views of the entire trek, as it stretches over a valley, with views of nearby waterfalls and snow-covered peaks.
Once we arrive, we'll stretch our legs, set up our tents, enjoy a "Family Tea Time" and another incredible and rejuvenating buffet dinner.
DAY 3: INCREDIBLE VIEWS
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Maximum Altitude: 12,300ft (3,750m)
- Minimum Altitude: 8,856ft (2,700 m)
- Distance Traveled: ~9.9 miles (16 km)
- Walking Time: 7-8 hours
Our day starts early again, with hot tea and a smile arriving to your tent around 5:30AM. We will have breakfast as a family and prepare for the most visually stunning day of our hike. After breakfast concludes (around 7:00AM), we will pick up the Inca Trail, which starts with a steep, but short climb (~1-hour), to the Runkuraqay Ruins.
These ruins have a circular center with rectangular outbuildings, it's perched on the edge of a valley, which commands a strategic vantage point. It served as an Incan-Tambo, which is where chaskis, or runners, would rest, guard the post, or serve as lookout. After a short break in the ruins, we'll continue uphill for another hour to reach our second pass, Abra de Runcuracay (12,956ft / 3,950m).
Our journey continues as the path winds between two mountains where Andean gulls sometimes gather. We'll approach a third pass, boasting exceptional views. In clear weather, you can look back to the Dead Woman’s Pass and look forward to a breath-taking sweep of snow-capped peaks; which includes the Pumasillo Mountain (Puma’s Claw) (19,685ft / 6,000m). From here, most of the trail is downhill and will take us through a short tunnel after which we'll encounter a series of tight switchbacks, dropping elevation quickly, until we reach a small viewpoint atop a promontory.
After reaching the promontory, our descent becomes more gradual as the path begins to curl across the slopes. To the right of the trail lies a large, algae-covered lake, and up ahead you will see Sayaqmarka, an ancient Incan town. We'll stop there to explore, and listen to our guide who will provide us with interesting historical facts as well as local legends passed down through the ages. Once we are rested, our trek will continue descending until we reach Chaquicocha (11,000ft / 3,400m), which is where we will stop to rest and eat another expertly prepared lunch.
After lunch the hike becomes exceptionally beautiful. We will pass the Phuyupatamarca ruins, and descend to Wiñay Wayna and Intipata, while enjoying dramatic vistas of the Aobamba Valley. This stretch of the trail is made of well-preserved paved stone, and is still in great condition considering the many centuries of trekkers that have crossed its path. Your lungs will appreciate that today’s hike is steadily lowering our elevation, and significantly shorter than yesterday’s.
Our journey will eventually lead to Phuyupatamarca (the Town of the Clouds), but first, we will pass through a short, natural tunnel in the mountain. After visiting this site, we will descend about 2,000 stone steps to Wiñay Wayna. If you've never had knee problems, you just might after this descent. (In all seriousness, if you have prior knee injuries, or suffer from joint pain, we recommend hiring a porter to carry your belongings. You should also bring or rent trekking poles to relieve the stress on your joints).
After our decent, we'll reach Wiñay Wayna, another important Inca site, located just north of our camp, which is one of the best preserved and biggest Inca sites along the Inca Trail and has one of the most breathtaking views of the entire trek.
After taking a family photo and enjoying the incredible vistas we will hike a short ways to Wiñay Wayna (8,856ft / 2,700m), which is where we'll camp for the night. Tea time and another delicious buffet dinner will serve as a fitting end for our last full day on the trail.
DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU
- Meals: Breakfast
- Maximum Altitude: 8,856ft (2,700m)
- Minimum Altitude: 7,872ft ( Machupicchu ) (2,400m)
- Distance Traveled: ~5 miles (8 km), plus exploration of Machu Picchu
- Walking Time: 6-7 hours
This is the day we've been waiting for! It will be the earliest day of our hike, we need to get up around 4:00AM in order to get to the Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) ahead of the crowds. This ancient entry-way overlooks Machu Picchu and we will reach it as the first rays of the sun strike one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Our hike from camp to the Sun Gate will take 1-2 hours, with significant uphill stretches in the last half. You will be hiking in the dark for about an hour, so bring a head lamp and listen to your guides.
From the Sun Gate, we will have a leisurely 50-minute walk downhill to the south sector of Machu Picchu (The Guardian houses). The trail ends at a series of terraces, which provide a classic vantage point of the entire city. After enjoying a panoramic view and taking a family picture we must walk straight down to the entrance of Machu Picchu to enter the city.
After a few minutes in a security line we will finally arrive to the heart of Machu Picchu where we will explore the ancient site, and you'll enjoy a professional, and unique guided tour from your Trek Leader. The formal tour will end in the late morning, after which there will be a couple of hours for more exploring on your own, or to just collapse under a tree in the central plaza.
If your legs and lungs still have energy after four days of hiking, you have the option to climb to the peak of Huayna Picchu, which offers an incredibly unique perspective of Machu Picchu. *Please note: Special permits are required to do this "hike", and they are issued in limited quantities, so if you are interested you will need book and pay in advance for this Ticket.*
EVENINGAfter we've had our fill of Machu Picchu we will take a short bus ride to the nearby village of Aguas Calientes, where we will share a final lunch together at a local restaurant. After lunch we'll transfer to a train, which will take us back to Cusco, arrival to Cusco is generally between 8:00 - 8:30PM.
Recent Reviews from TripAdvisor
LARES & INCA TRAIL
Just got back a couple weeks ago from the 4 day LARES/INCA trail trek and had an absolutely amazing time! It ended up being a private tour with two other friends and we couldn't have asked for a better experience. Michael, our contact back in the states, made planning effortless. He was always available for questions and made sure everything was ready to go once we arrived in Peru. Our guide, Eric, was fantastic! He was very knowledgeable about everywhere we visited and could tell he was passionate and truly cared about everything he taught us. He was also great about maintaining a sustainable trekking pace since none of us were used to the altitude. Truly blown away by the food from our chef during the hike and all the hard work our porter did for us! Camp was always set up and ready to go once we arrived. Food was delicious! Overall would definitely recommend to anyone coming to Peru to use Kusa Treks! Only wish we had done our other tours through them as well!
Huchuy Qosqo trek
3D/2N trek to Machu Picchu was amazing with the KUSA TREKS. Very professional and friendly approach.
FIRST CLASS SERVICE 👌👍
My friend and I booked a 2 day tour of the Sacred Valley, Macchupicchu and Waynapicchu with Kusa Treks. We are so happy with our experience . The service and proffesionalism was great. We definitely recommend anyone to this company. Eric was our tour guide. He was very knowledgeable about every place we visited. The entire trip was so well coordinated with all our tickets and itineraries provided. Eric and his company did an outstanding job.