Embark on a distinctive 5-day journey along the revered Inca Trail. This extended version offers not just a walk through history, but a deeper immersion into the Incan wonders. The itinerary is designed to provide a more relaxed pace, allowing you ample time to appreciate each archaeological site in its entirety.

The true magic of this premium tour lies in its timing: you'll experience Machu Picchu not once, but twice during exclusive hours, ensuring a more intimate and serene connection with this ancient citadel.

Join us for a memorable expedition, harmonizing the rich tapestry of Inca history with the tranquility of the Andean landscape.

Trek details

Duration
5 days / 4 nights
Activities
Hiking - Camping - Hotel
Difficulty
Challenging
Maximum Altitude
4215 m / 13829 ft
Destination
Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
Group Size
12
Overview

Embark on a transformative journey starting from Cusco, as you trace the iconic route of the Classic Inca Trail. This exclusive 5-day tour offers a leisurely pace, allowing you to appreciate each Inca landmark thoroughly. Dive deeper into the region's history by interacting with locals and resting at unique, secluded campsites away from the usual tourist spots.

With smaller group sizes, receive a more personalized and intimate experience as you navigate the Inca Trail. Your adventure culminates with an afternoon arrival at Machu Picchu, where you can bask in the magnificent hues of sunset. And, for a grand finale, get ahead of the usual crowds on the last day, positioning yourself for a mesmerizing sunrise cascading over the ancient mountains.

Highlights:

  • Experience the Classic Inca Trail at a relaxed and unhurried pace.
  • Enjoy overnight stays at the finest and least crowded campsites.
  • Revel in the unmatched vistas by camping at Phuyupatamarca, which boasts the best views along the Inca Trail.
  • Witness the breathtaking beauty of Machu Picchu twice, both during the tranquil moments of sunset and the golden embrace of sunrise.
  • Dive deep into Inca history and foster genuine interactions with our dedicated porters.
  • Play a part in giving back by supporting our social projects.

Premium Inca Trail: 5 Days at a Glance

Day 1: Cusco — Km 82 — Llactapata — Hatunchaca

  • Begin with a 5:00 a.m. hotel pickup, followed by a drive to Km. 82 to commence the enchanting Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
  • Embark on a 6-hour hike alongside the Urubamba and Cuscichaca rivers, unveiling Inca marvels like K'anabamba, Wilkaraykay, and Patallaqta.
  • Overnight stay in Hatunchaca village (3000 m / 9843 ft.)

Day 2: Hatunchaca — Lluluchapampa — Warmiwañusca — Pacaymayu

  • Following breakfast, brace yourself for the trek's most challenging segment: a 6-hour ascent to Dead Woman's Pass (4215 m / 13829 ft.)
  • Celebrate reaching the Inca Trail's zenith with a pause for panoramic views.
  • Conclude the day with a 2-hour descent to the Pacaymayu Alto campsite (3600m - 11811ft).

Day 3: Pacaymayu — Chaquicocha — Phuyupatamarca

  • Awaken between two mountains and prep for a 6-hour hike.
  • Tackle a 2-hour climb to Ruinkuraqay's peak (4000m - 13123ft).
  • A 4-hour trek through the cloud forest leads to Phuyupatamarca, your campsite (3600 m / 11811ft.).

Day 4: Phuyupatamarca — Wiñaywayna — Machu Picchu

  • Rise to the trip's most captivating view and set out on a 6-hour leg of the Inca Trail.
  • Capture Machu Picchu bathed in the day's last light from the Sun Gate.
  • Rest in an Aguas Calientes hotel.

Day 5: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of the Incas)

  • Following an early breakfast, board the first buses to Machu Picchu.
  • Tour Machu Picchu's iconic sites with your guide.
  • Opt for additional hikes (extra fees apply) to Huayna Picchu or Montaña.
  • Board the Vistadome train to return. Approx. 7:30 p.m. hotel drop-off.

Optional hikes after the guided tour in Machu Picchu:

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain - This mountain takes 2 hours round trip and costs $75 extra per person.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain - Called Montaña, it takes 3 hours to finish and costs $75 extra per person.
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco — Km 82 — Llactapata — Hatunchaca

Your day starts with an early 5:00 a.m. pick-up at your Cusco hotel, marking the start of your journey to Km. 82. Along the way, we'll make a stop at Ollantaytambo for a satisfying breakfast. Upon arriving at Km 82, anticipation builds as you familiarize yourself with your trekking team. Before commencing the Inca Trail adventure, there's a crucial checkpoint to visit, so make sure you have your original passport on hand.

Once the necessary formalities are completed, the real adventure begins. A 2-hour trek will take you along the tranquil Urubamba River, passing through picturesque villages and granting you views of the intriguing K'anabamba Inca site. Your morning's trek will lead you to the majestic Inca citadel of Laqtapta, set amidst panoramic splendor.

After soaking in the breathtaking views, you'll enjoy a well-deserved lunch. Reenergized, you'll embark on another 2-hour hike, ultimately reaching the Hatunchaca village campsite, nestled at 3000 m / 9843 ft. Here, pre-set tents, warm water, and a welcoming tea-time arrangement will be waiting for you. As nightfall descends, you'll dine under the starry sky.

Comfort is our priority, so you'll retire for the night in spacious Eureka 4-man tents, thoughtfully allocated for two trekkers each, ensuring a peaceful and restful night's sleep.

  • Campsite Altitude: 3000 m / 9843 ft.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Distance: 12 km / 7.5 miles
  • Meals: Snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: camping
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
Day 2: Hatunchaca — Warmiwañusca — Pacaymayu

After a restful night's sleep, at around 6 AM, your trekking team will wake you up with a cup of coffee or coca tea, help you pack for the day, and provide breakfast. The most challenging day of the trek begins with a 4-hour climb to Llulluchapampa, where lunch will be served. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to admire the flowers, birds, and breathtaking mountain views. Afterward, you'll continue for 2 hours to reach the highest point of the Inca Trail, Warmiwañuska, also known as Dead Woman's Pass (4215 m / 13829 ft). Once you reach the summit, take some time to explore and savor the spectacular views along the Inca Trail. Following that, you'll trek downhill for another two hours to reach Pacaymayu alto, where the tents will be set up for a ready dinner, and you'll spend the night.

  • Campsite Altitude: 3600m - 11811ft
  • Highest altitude: 421700m -13835ft
  • Distance: 10 km / 6.2 miles
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: camping
  • Difficulty: moderate to difficult
Day 3: Pacaymayu — Chaquicocha — Phuyupatamarca

After enjoying breakfast, you'll embark on a 2-hour ascent to reach the second mountain, Runcuraccay (4000m - 13123ft). Along the way, you'll explore a beautiful archaeological site with the same name, encounter a serene lake where deer often come to drink, and take in the breathtaking views of nearby waterfalls. Upon reaching the summit, your group will regroup before beginning the descent into the lush Cloud Forest region. Here, the vegetation becomes denser, and the air grows warmer as you uncover the next archaeological sites, Sayacmarca and Conchamarca. Lunch will be served approximately 4 hours from your campsite at Ayapata. You'll continue hiking for another two hours in the afternoon, arriving at Phuyupatamarka (3600 m / 11811ft.). This spot offers some of the most stunning views of the Inca Trail. If weather conditions permit, you'll have the opportunity to witness the most spectacular sunset and sunrise at this campsite.

  • Campsite Altitude: 3600m - 11811ft
  • Highest altitude: 4000m - 13123ft
  • Distance: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: camping
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Day 4: Phuyupatamarca — Wiñaywayna — Machu Picchu

Wake up to the first rays of the sun and savor breakfast while soaking in the breathtaking views of Salkantay Mountain, Veronica Mountain, and Machu Picchu Mountain. Your hike commences with a guided tour of Phuyupatamarca, an Inca site dedicated to the water and mountain deities. You'll then embark on a 4-hour descent of nearly 1000 meters, leading to lunch at Wiñaywayna. Along the way, you'll experience a rapid change in temperature, transitioning from the chilly mountain climate to the lush warmth of the cloud forest. You'll also visit the Inca Sites of Intipata and Wiñaywayna.

During lunch, you'll bid farewell to your trekking team and have the option to leave gratuities. Following this, your tour guide will accompany you on the final leg of the Inca Trail towards Machu Picchu. The initial part involves a one-hour hike to the Sungate, offering a fantastic afternoon view of Machu Picchu. Another hour's descent from the Sungate will bring you to the upper section of Machu Picchu, where you'll find the most stunning vistas. Arriving later in the day provides a unique opportunity to explore this site with fewer crowds, perfect for taking photos. Afterward, you'll take a bus down to Aguas Calientes, check in at the hotel, enjoy a refreshing shower, indulge in dinner, and rest up for the following day.

  • AC Altitude: 2000 m / 6562 ft.
  • Highest altitude: 3600m - 11811ft
  • Distance: 10km / 6 miles
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 5: Machu Picchu — Return to Cusco

On the most important day, you'll rise early and catch the first buses to Machu Picchu to witness the sunrise. Upon arriving at the citadel, you'll be required to present your original passports. Your tour guide will lead you on a comprehensive tour of the fortress, which will last approximately 3 hours. During this time, you'll have the opportunity to explore the most remarkable temples, palaces, and streets. You'll also have some free time to explore on your own or opt for a hike to Huayna Picchu (please note that permits must be booked in advance, and they are not included in this package).

Once you've completed your visit to the Machu Picchu citadel, you'll take a bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where you can enjoy lunch (not included). Afterward, you'll board the Vistadome panoramic train for the journey back to Cusco. The drop-off at your hotel is expected around 7:30 p.m.

  • Highest altitude: 2400m -7874ft
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Meals: breakfast at the hotel
  • Difficulty: easy

Included

  • Professional licensed Tour Guide
  • Second Tour guide for groups of 9 or more
  • Pre-departure safety briefing held the day before the trek
  • All transportation included during the five days of the tour
  • Inca Trail Permits
  • Machu Picchu entrance Tickets
  • Personal Porter included for up to 7 kilos
  • Porters to carry food and equipment
  • Four breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners
  • Drinkable water during the trek
  • Camping equipment (tents, tables, chairs, porta-potty)
  • Three-night camping with comfortable 4-man tents for every 2 trekkers
  • One-night hotel stay in Aguas Calientes (3-star)
  • First aid kit, oxygen, satellite phones
  • Bus ticket to and from Machu Picchu
  • Vistadome panoramic train to return

Not included

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain
  • Machu Picchu Mountain (different form Machu Picchu Citadel)
  • Sleeping Bag, Trekking poles, Air mattress
  • Last day Lunch
  • Travel Insurance
FAQs

What is the Inca Trail tour 5 days to Machu Picchu?

The Inca Trail tour is a 5-day guided hike through some of the most stunning scenery in the Inca Trail route. It takes you through the Sacred Valley, past ancient Inca ruins, and into the Andes Mountains before culminating at the magnificent Machu Picchu archaeological site. The tour includes all meals, accommodation, transport, entrance fees, and an experienced local guide who will share their knowledge of Inca history and culture with you. The 5 days version allows you to spend more time inside the Inca Trail and hike for an average of 6 hours each day, so a good fitness level is required.

How to book the Inca Trail with TreXperience?

First, you need to book your trekking permit. The Inca Trail is strictly regulated to protect the site, and only 500 people are allowed on the trail each day (including porters and guides). This means permits tend to sell out months in advance, especially during peak season (May-September). You can book your permit through several companies, but we recommend using an experienced outfitter like TreXperience or Ultimate Trekking.

Once you have your permit, it's time to start planning your itinerary. The Inca Trail is typically made as a 4 or 5-day trek, with Machu Picchu reaching on the final day. We recommend starting with an acclimatization day in Cusco (the starting point for the trail) to help get your body used to the high altitude. From there, it's onto the trail!

The first days of the trek are relatively easy, following along the Urubamba River valley. On Day 2, you'll start ascending into the mountains, reaching Dead Woman's Pass at 4200m - this is usually considered the toughest part of the hike.

How Hard Is the Inca Trail 5 days?

The Inca Trail is not an easy hike. It is recommended for hikers who are in good physical condition. The trail can sometimes be challenging, with steep sections and high altitudes. Hikers should be prepared for all kinds of weather, as the trail can be cold and wet, even in summer.

A 5-day hike allows for a more relaxed pace and gives hikers more time to enjoy the scenery and take pictures. It also allows for an extra day in Machu Picchu itself, which is well worth it!

What to Take on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Please remember that you will carry a small backpack with all essentials for the day. Porters will carry the rest of your stuff. We will provide you with a duffle bag during the orientation briefing held the day before; in this duffle bag, you can put a maximum of 7 kilos, including sleeping bags and an inflatable mattress.

What to take in the backpack for the Inca Trail Tour?

For the Inca Trail tour, you will need a comfortable, good-quality backpack, which will always be with you during the five-day tour. According to Machu Picchu regulations, your bag should not be larger than 25L.

  • Original Passport
  • Rain gear, Sun protection
  • IOnsect Repellent
  • Warm clothes (fleece jackets, sweaters)
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes
  • Toilet paper, Personal medication, Band-aids, moleskin
  • Camera, extra batteries, flashlight
  • Camel bags or water container for 2 liters (Not plastic allowed )
  • Additional snacks, power bars, chocolate
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips

What to put in the duffle bag provided by Ultimate Trekking?

During the briefing held the day before the trek, Ultimate trekking Peru will give you a duffle bag for your stuff up to 7kg maximum. Our porters will carry this.

  • Sleeping bags (can be rented from us - 2 kilos)
  • Air mattress (can be rented from us - 1 kilo).
  • Walking shoes, sandals, or snickers
  • Warm jacket, hat, and gloves
  • Four sets of clothing
  • 1 Fleece or down jacket
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Toiletries
  • Battery Charger
  • Plastic bag

What is the best time to hike the Inca Trail?

The best time to hike the Inca Trail is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. Little rainfall and cooler temperatures during this time make for ideal hiking conditions.

How far in advance should I make reservations?

When making reservations for your Inca Trail tour, the earlier, the better. Tours typically fill up fast, especially during the high season (May to September). If you plan on going during this time, we recommend making your reservation at least 4-6 months in advance. This will give you the best chance of securing a spot on the tour of your choice.

How hard is it to complete the Inca Trail 5 days?

The Inca Trail is not an easy hike. It covers a distance of 26 miles (42 km) and includes several steep sections with an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet (914 m). The trail also passes through several climate zones, from high mountains to rainforests, so hikers must be in moderate physical conditions.

Is a personal porter included?

Personal porters are included in your Inca Trail tour price for a maximum of 7 kilos per person. Having a personal porter will make your trek much more enjoyable and comfortable and free up your hands to take more photos and enjoy the scenery!

What type of food is provided on the Inca Trail tour?

We provide buffet style with 3-4 options per meal: Chicken soup, rice, Quinoa, vegetables, Pancakes, Potato, Pasta, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Is there purified water to drink on the trail?

Yes, there is purified water to drink on the trail. Please make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if it is hot.

Should I tip the guides and porters?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Your guides and porters work extremely hard to make sure your Inca Trail experience is memorable, and they deserve to be compensated for their efforts. A good rule of thumb is to tip each guide and porter $5 per day and $10 if they go above and beyond. This amount is as a group.

Where will we sleep on the Inca Trail?

During the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, you will spend three nights camping along the trail and 1 night in a hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo (also known as Aguas Calientes).