Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an adventure that travelers from all over the world must do. This legendary path goes through the beautiful Andes Mountains and leads straight to the ancient wonder of Machu Picchu, with stunning views at every turn.

With Ultimate Trekking, your journey along the Inca Trail will be even more memorable. We organize daily premium group tours that include personal porters, top-notch gear, delicious food, and Panoramic Vistadome trains for the return trip.

Get ready for an incredible journey that will create memories that will last a lifetime!

Trek details

4 days - 3 Nights
Hiking - Camping - Adventure
Maximum Altitude
4214 m - 13829 ft
Machu Picchu
Group Size
Average 12

The Classic Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is one of the most popular hikes in South America and is often listed as one of the top ten hikes in the world. On this 4-day adventure, you will encounter the perfect combination of history and natural beauty. Visit the ancient Inca site and get to Intipunku (Sun Gate) before sunrise to see Machu Picchu.

Embark on the journey of a lifetime on the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with Ultimate Trekking. This adventure offers the perfect blend of history, nature, and unforgettable experiences. Don't miss the chance to create memories that will last a lifetime. Book your tour with Ultimate Trekking today and start your adventure!


  • Arrive at Machu Picchu through the Sungate
  • Stay at the best and least crowded campsites
  • Enjoy the best of Peruvian cuisine
  • Return on the panoramic trains (Vistadome or 360°)

Inca Trail at Glance:

Day 1: Cusco - Inca Trail - Ayapata

  • 4:30 AM - Depart from your hotel to Ollantaytambo for breakfast.
  • After breakfast, drive to Km 82 and start a 4-hour hike to lunch.
  • Visit Patallacta, Willkarakay, and local villages.
  • Continue for 2 more hours to the Ayapata campsite.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Tea Time, Dinner
  • Distance: 13.5 km / 8 miles
  • Campsite Altitude: 3,300 m / 10,826 ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Day 2: Ayapata - Dead Women's Pass - Chaquicocha

  • Start with a 4-hour hike to Dead Woman's Pass.
  • After reaching the highest point, descend for 2 hours to Pacaymayu for lunch.
  • After lunch, conquer the second mountain: Runkuraqay Pass.
  • Visit the Inca sites of Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, and Conchamarca.
  • Arrive at the campsite at Chaquicocha (3,600m / 11,811ft).
  • Meals: Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Tea Time, Dinner
  • Distance: 16 km / 10 miles
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Chaquicocha - Phuyupatamarca - Wiñaywayna

  • After breakfast, hike for 2 hours to Phuyupatamarca.
  • Start a 3-hour descent to the cloud forest.
  • Visit the Inca sites of Phuyupatamarca, Intipata, and Wiñaywayna.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Tea Time, Dinner
  • Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
  • Campsite: Wiñaywayna (2,600 m / 8,530 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Day 4: Wiñaywayna — Machu Picchu — Cusco

  • Early 2-hour hike to the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu.
  • Enjoy a 2 to 3-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu.
  • After the tour, head to Aguas Calientes
  • Return on the Panoramic Vistadome Train
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Distance: 6 km / 3.7 miles
  • Final Altitude: 2,430 m / 7,972 ft (Machu Picchu)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco - Km 82 - Llactapata - Ayapata

At approximately 4:30 AM, we will collect you from your hotel in Cusco and commence our journey to km 82. En route, we will stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo at a charming town restaurant and soak in its picturesque setting before continuing to km 82 (Piscacucho Village).

Starting our journey at Km 82 around 8:00 AM, we will pass through a checkpoint and officially start our trek towards Machu Picchu. Your original passport is necessary for entry. The first two hours of our hike should be relatively gentle as we travel toward Patallacta - our first Inca site that showcases their lifestyle as well as providing stunning panoramic views over mountains and valleys.

Once we've explored Patallacta and Wilkarakay, our hike will continue for another two hours to Hatunchaca, the heart of the Inca Trail. Here, we'll stop for a well-earned lunch break to recharge our energy for what lies ahead on this adventure!

After lunch, we embark on a two-hour hike to Ayapata - our first campsite on the legendary Inca Trail at an elevation of 3,300 meters (10,826 feet). We aim to reach Ayapata around 5:00 PM so as to have enough time to set up tents and settle into the campsite before tea time and dinner service later that evening - providing ample opportunity to unwind while taking in breathtaking views around us! After dinner service ends for the day, we'll rest well so as to be ready for an adventure that awaits us the following morning!

  • Campsite Altitude: 3300m – 10826ft
  • Distance: 13.5km – 8 miles
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Day 2: Ayapata - Warmiwañuska - Runkuraqay - Chaquicocha

Our Trekking team will wake you up early in the morning with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea, and you will prepare for our toughest trek day yet. After breakfast, we'll embark on an intense four-hour hike towards Dead Woman's Pass, which stands at 4,214 meters (13,829 feet). Our efforts will be rewarded by stunning mountain vistas!

From there, we descend two hours to the peaceful Pacaymayu Valley for lunch prepared by our trekking chefs before beginning the ascent to the second pass, Runkuraqay Pass, at 4,000 meters (13,123 feet).

After lunch, our journey continues with a four-hour hike to Chaquicocha campsite. Along the way, we'll discover ancient sites such as Runkuraqay and Sayacmarca, which provide further insights into Inca culture.

After an exhaustive 10-hour day of hiking, we will reach Chaquicocha campsite at 3,600 meters (11,811 feet) just in time to witness an exquisite sunset over the Vilcabamba mountains. For those still feeling energetic enough, stargazing offers a stunning opportunity amid crisp mountain air—you might even spot constellations!

  • Campsite Altitude: (3,600m / 11,811ft)
  • Highest altitude:
  • Distance: 16km / 10 miles
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Meals: Meals: Breakfast, snacks, Lunch, tea time, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: Challenging
Day 3: Chaquiccocha — Phuyupatamarca — Wiñaywayna

Day 3 is a relaxing five-hour hike across several ecosystems and into the cloud forest. We will enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped summit of Salkantay Peak, Cusco's second-highest mountain in the Vilcabamba Range. Along the way, we will explore beautiful archaeological sites such as Phuyupatamarca (3,600 meters—11,811 feet), often known as the "City in the Clouds."

After exploring Phuyupatamarca, we will begin a three-hour hike to our final campsite, Wiñaywayna, which means "Forever Young" in Quechua. This trail winds through lush cloud forest ecosystems, home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. We will stop to visit Intipata (Terraces of the Sun), which offers breathtaking views of the Andes and insight into Inca agricultural ingenuity.

We will arrive at the Wiñaywayna campsite around 1:00 PM, in time for lunch and a well-deserved break. The afternoon is free for leisure and exploration. You might choose to observe llamas, take a refreshing shower, or explore the Inca site of Wiñaywayna in the late afternoon. Here, you will discover agricultural terraces, sacred shrines, and residential buildings.

Following our tour of the Inca Trail, we will return to our campsite to enjoy our final tea time, where we can relax and discuss our anticipation for Machu Picchu. After dinner, we will participate in a farewell surprise and go to bed early in preparation for the final day.

  • Campsite Altitude: (2600 m - 8530 ft)
  • Highest altitude: 3600m – 11811ft
  • Distance: 16km - 10 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, Lunch, tea time, Dinner
  • Campsite at Wiñaywayna (2600 m - 8530 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Day 4: Wiñaywayna — Machu Picchu

Today is our most important day: We arrive at Machu Picchu, the famous Lost City of the Incas. We get up early, head straight to the gate after breakfast, and wait for it to open at 5:30 AM. Then, we start our hour-long hike to the Sun Gate (Intipunku). From the Sun Gate, you will have the first and most amazing view of Machu Picchu, and if the weather allows, you will enjoy a beautiful sunrise over Machu Picchu.

After taking time to enjoy the Sun Gate, we will embark on a final one-hour descent to the viewpoint of Machu Picchu. Every stop will offer a different view of Machu Picchu until we arrive at the top, where the main viewpoints are located. This is the perfect place to take that iconic picture.

Next, we will continue to the main checkpoint and re-enter Machu Picchu to explore the central area. You will explore the important sites of the great citadel, including terraces, the Temple of the Sun, the palace of the king, and other significant buildings. After our guided tour, you can continue exploring on your own, or if you have planned ahead, you can climb Huayna Picchu Mountain for an extra thrill. After Mahcu Picchu, we will take a bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch. Then, we'll board the Vistadome Panoramic train and a private van back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco around 7.30 PM.

  • Final Altitude: 2,430m / 7,972ft (Machu Picchu)
  • Distance: 6km - 3.7 miles
  • Hike Duration: 2 hours
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu: 2-3 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Moderate


  • Pre-departure briefing
  • Pick up from your hotel in Cusco or Sacred Valley
  • Complimentary luggage storage
  • All Transfers Included during the four days
  • Permits to Inca trail
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Duffle bags for your personal stuff 7 kilos
  • Personal Porter to carry your stuff (Max 7 kilos)
  • Porters to bring food and equipment
  • Trekking chef to prepare your meals
  • Professional tour guide
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu
  • Panoramic Trains to return (Vistadome or 360)
  • 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners.
  • Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
  • Camping equipment (tents, chairs, tables, pillows)
  • First aid kit, Oxygen tank, satellite phones
  • All taxes and fees included

Not Included

Important to know about this tour

  • Permits are based on availability. All booking needs manual confirmation
  • Veg, vegan, and all dietary restrictions available on request

What will I see on the 4-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu?

On this four-day hike to Machu Picchu, you will pass through several distinct environments, including lush cloud forests, rugged mountain terrain, and ancient Inca ruins such us Patllacta, Willkaracay, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Conchamarca, Phuyupatamarca, Intipata, and Wiñaywayna. Each day introduces a new setting, culminating in a breathtaking first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate early in the morning on the final day.

Is the Machu Picchu trek tougher than other Peru hikes?

The Classic 4-day Machu Picchu trek is challenging, primarily because of its long distances and high altitudes. However, other treks in Peru, such as those in the Cordillera Blanca or Salkantay Trek can be equally or more challenging. These treks often involve steeper climbs and more extreme weather conditions.

What are the camping conditions like on the Inca Trail?

While hiking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will stay at designated campsites that are basic but equipped to meet hikers' needs. These sites include toilet facilities and designated areas for tents. Your tour operator will typically set up tents and provide all necessary camping equipment, ensuring a comfortable experience in the outdoors.

During the Inca Trail, there is only a camping option; no hotels or lodges are available. This unique experience is the highlight of this iconic trek to Machu Picchu.

Which parts of the Classic Machu Picchu hiking trail have the best views?

The Classic Inca Trail is known for its stunning landscapes throughout, but the views from Dead Woman’s Pass, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Initipata, and the Sun Gate are particularly spectacular. They offer panoramic vistas of the Andes and, especially, the Sun Gate, which offers the first magical glimpse of Machu Picchu.

What should I pack for the Classic Inca Trail?

When packing for the Classic Inca Trail trek, it's important to bring essential items to help you stay comfortable and safe during the journey. Here are some general recommendations:


  • Comfortable hiking boots with good ankle support
  • Moisture-wicking socks (2-3 pairs)
  • Hiking pants (2-3 pairs)
  • T-shirts (2-3)
  • Long-sleeved shirts (1-2)
  • Fleece jacket or down vest
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Gloves for warmth


  • Daypack (25-30 liters)
  • Sleeping bag (rated for at least 0 degrees Celsius)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottle or hydration system
  • Personal first aid kit with blister treatment, pain relief medication, and any necessary prescription medications
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Insect repellent
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Quick-dry towel


  • Camera and spare batteries/charger
  • Binoculars
  • Snacks (e.g., energy bars, trail mix)

It's important to remember that porters will be carrying most of your gear, so it's best to pack light and bring only the essentials. Additionally, the weather can be unpredictable in the Andes, so it's important to be prepared for changing conditions. Be sure to check with your tour operator for any specific gear recommendations and requirements.

What's the best time of year to trek in Machu Picchu?

The dry season, which lasts from May to September, is the best time to hike to Machu Picchu. It doesn't rain as much during these months, and the roads are usually drier and safer to walk on. However, we strongly recommend being prepared for all kinds of weather during the Inca Trail; rain can take place even in the driest months.

How does the high altitude affect hiking Machu Picchu?

The high altitude can make breathing difficult and can lead to altitude sickness. It's important to acclimate yourself at a high altitude for a few days before starting the hike to reduce the risk of illness.

When should I book my Inca Trail hiking trip?

It's advisable to book your Inca Trail trek several months in advance, preferably at least 6 months, especially if you plan to travel during the peak season from May to September. Permits can sell out quickly during these months, so early booking is essential to secure your spot.

What animals might I encounter on the hike to Machu Picchu?

The region is home to a variety of wildlife, including the rare spectacled bear, Andean condors, llamas, and numerous species of birds and smaller mammals indigenous to the Andean mountains.

Will I learn about local culture during my Peru Machu Picchu hike?

Throughout the hike, your guide will explain the rich history of the Incas and the archaeological significance of the ruins you pass, providing insight into the ancient and modern cultures of Peru.

What kind of meals are provided on the Inca Trail trek?

The Machu Picchu trek's meals are designed to be high-energy and include a variety of local and international dishes prepared by the trek staff. Expect a mix of soups, rice dishes, pasta, cereals, meats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

How does the 2-day Inca Trail compare to the 4-day Inca Trail?

The 2-day trail is shorter and doesn’t cover as much of the historic route or ancient sites as the 4-day trail. It's better suited for those who have less time or prefer a less physically demanding experience, but still want to enjoy the essence of the Inca Trail.

How should I prepare for the Machu Picchu hike?

Physical preparation should include cardio and endurance training. Familiarize yourself with hiking and, if possible, spend some time at higher altitudes to acclimate your body. Ensure you have all necessary gear and discuss any medical concerns with your doctor.

What safety measures are there on the Inca Trail hikes?

The trail is monitored for safety with guides trained in first aid and emergency response. Groups are equipped with radios and satellite phones, and the route includes checkpoints for added security.

What expertise do guides bring to the Inca Trail hiking tours?

Guides on the Inca Trail are experts in local history, culture, and geography. They are also trained in guest safety and environmental preservation, making them invaluable companions on your hike.

How many hikers are there in each group on the Inca Trail tour?

Typically, tour groups are kept small, usually consisting of 10 to 16 people, to ensure a more personalized and manageable hiking experience.

Is a guide required for the Machu Picchu trek?

Yes, a guide is required by law for hiking the Inca Trail. This regulation helps preserve the trail and ensures that all hikers receive the historical context and safety oversight necessary for such a trek.

What are the sanitation facilities like during the Machu Picchu hiking trips?

Sanitation facilities along the Inca Trail are basic; most campsites have toilet blocks and handwashing stations. These facilities are maintained regularly to ensure hygiene and comfort for all hikers.

Can I combine my hike with a visit to Rainbow Mountain?

Ultimate Trekking can arrange to combine your hike with a visit to Rainbow Mountain. Due to the distance and altitude differences, this requires additional days and planning. Contact us to get a special deal.

How environmentally friendly are the hiking tours of Machu Picchu?

Ultimate Trekking operates under strict environmental guidelines to protect the area. This includes limiting the number of hikers, managing waste responsibly, and educating guests on the importance of conservation.

Do most hikers complete the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

The majority of hikers complete the trail, although it can be physically demanding. Proper preparation, acclimatization, and pacing are key to a successful trek.

Are there age restrictions for the Machu Picchu hike?

There are no formal age restrictions, but the physical demands of the trek make it suitable for individuals who are relatively fit and healthy. Children and older adults should be well-prepared and physically capable of completing the hike.

What's the difference between private and group tours of the Inca Trail?

Private Inca Trail tours offer a tailored experience with flexibility in timing and pacing, and personal attention from the guide. Group tours are more cost-effective and provide an opportunity to meet and interact with fellow travelers

What makes sunrise and sunset special on the Machu Picchu trail?

Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular on the trail, offering dramatic lighting over the landscape and ruins, creating perfect photo opportunities and unforgettable moments

How long is the entire Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek?

The complete Inca Trail trek covers approximately 26 miles (42 kilometers) and is traditionally completed over four days, ending with the arrival at Machu Picchu.

Who helps us on the Inca Trail and what do they do?

Along the trail, you’ll be assisted by a team of porters, cooks, and your guide. The porters carry camping gear and supplies, cooks prepare all meals, and the guide leads the way and provides information about the sites.

How are the porters and guides treated on the Inca Trail trips?

Ethical tour operators ensure that porters and guides are treated well, with fair wages, proper gear, and reasonable working conditions. This support helps them to perform their roles effectively and sustainably.

Why do some hikers not complete the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Reasons for not completing the trail may include physical exhaustion, altitude sickness, or underestimating the trail's difficulty. Adequate preparation and realistic expectations are crucial.

Have there been any recent changes to the Inca Trail regulations?

Recent changes often involve adjustments to permit allocations, improved safety regulations, or measures to protect the environment and archaeological sites further.

What feedback do people give after hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Most hikers express immense satisfaction with their experience, citing the physical challenge, the beauty of the landscape, and the depth of cultural history as highlights of their adventure.