Inca Trail Tours & Reservations 2023




What to Expect for the Classic Inca Trail Tours

Interested in hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? Backpack through what many consider the most beautiful and serene hike in the world and definitely the best in South America. The 4 day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu takes you through the spiritual path to Machu Picchu, one of the Wonders of the World. The Classic Inca Trail tours to Machu Picchu start in the beautiful Incan city of Ollantaytambo and travels into the Andes Mountains. Along the way, you will pass through beautiful waterfalls and see breathtaking panoramic views of glacial mountaintops. After passing through the high point of Warmiwañusqa (Dead Woman’s Pass), at 4,215 meters or 13,828 feet, it is all downhill through the cloud forest past the Sun Gate to the “Lost City of the Incas.” Look no further than this multi-day trek for an experience so sacred and remarkable.

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Included in the 4 Day Inca Trail 2023 Tour Package:


  • English Speaking Tour Guide
  • Entrance to historical Machu Picchu site
  • Expedition Train
  • Chef
  • Porters (carries group gear)
  • Transportation to and from the hotel
  • Dining Tent
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 snacks, and 3 dinners (We are able to accommodate most diet variations)
  • Hot coffee/Hot tea
  • Clean private pop-up toilet (no one likes going to the bathroom outside)
  • Nightly pisco drinks
  • Clean Water
  • 4 person tent per 2 people
  • First-aid kit

Not included in 4 Day Inca Trail Tour 2023 Package:


  • Sleeping bag – $50
  • Trekking poles – $30
  • Therm-a-Rest Comfort Sleeping Pad – $40
  • Panoramic Vistadome Train – $99
  • Half porter to carry personal gear – $125
  • Full porter to carry personal gear – $250
  • Single Person Tent – $99
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain – $99
  • Personal items
  • Breakfast on the first day and lunch/dinner on the last day
  • Porter/Guide Tips

David, our tour guide, he’s a true history buff and his years of experience as a tour guide really shows. We loved hearing about the history of Cusco, Peru, Machu Picchu, and the Incas. Seemed like David had an answer to every question we had! Plus, his English was great – a must-have when spending money and time on a trip.

Kevin K.



The first day of the Classic Inca Trail trek is relatively easy. Hikers are picked up at their hotel between 5:30 – 6:00 AM and travel by bus through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo for the 2.5-hour trip to Kilometer 82 which is the start of the Inca Trail. We will eat breakfast as a group in the town of Ollantaytambo, which is in Sacred Valley for about an hour.

At the start of the Inca Trail, hikers will cross the Vilcanota River and follow the trail which follows the river. The ruins of the Incan Hillfort of Huillca Raccay come into view high above the Cusichaca River meaning Happy Bridge. From parts of the trail, you will be able to see the Cordillera Urubamba (Urubamba Mountain Range) and the snow-capped peak, Veronica.

You will then see the Incan ruins of Llactapata, also known as Patallacta. Llactapata means upper town in Quechua and was an agricultural site used to supply Machu Picchu with maize or corn, the main crop for the Incas. This settlement comprised over one hundred buildings, and houses for the workers and soldiers.

We then follow the path for 7 km as it follows the river to the small village of Wayllabamba at 3,000 meters elevation. This means grassy plain in Quechua. We will likely spend the night here depending on our progress.


As we continue hiking the Inca Trail the second day is a steep climb up to the first pass at 4200m. We will climb from Wayllabamba for about one hour and arrive at ‘Tres Piedres’  which means Three Stones. There is a small campsite here with restroom facilities.

We then follow the path for 3 hours through steep woods and spectacular terrain bringing you to a meadow known as Llulluchapampa at 3,680m. It is another 1.5-hour climb to the first and highest pass of the trail, Abra de Huarmihuañusca or Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,200m. Once at the top, hikers will complete the trail’s most challenging section. It is downhill from here!

The descent from the pass is steep, but moderately easy, following the trail to the valley floor and the second night’s campsite at Pacamayo at 3,600m. There are restroom facilities here.


From Pacamayo, it takes an hour to hike up to the ruins of Runkuracay. These small circular ruins occupy overlook the Pacamayo Valley.

Sayacmarca is another 45-minute hike that will bring you to a second pass: Abra de Runkuracay at 4,000m. The descent down the steps from the pass is steep. This section is spectacular as the trail crosses high stone cliffs and past deep ravines. After about one hour from the second pass, you’ll arrive at Sayacmarca following a grand Incan stone staircase.

The trail then passes Conchamarca, a small Inca village situated in the shadows of Sayacmarca, which was likely a respite for travelers on their way to Machu Picchu. The path then descends into a spectacular cloud forest of orchids, mosses, tree ferns, and flowers, passing through an impressive Incan tunnel, carved into the rock leading down.

The trail goes to the third pass (3,700m). The view from the pass offers picturesque views of several snow-capped peaks including Salkantay (6,180m) and Veronica (5,750m). A few minutes after the pass is Phuyupatamarca, which means Town in the Clouds. Access to the Inca ruin is by a steep set of Incan stairs as you descend approximately 1000 steps.

We will then arrive at Wiñay Wayna as the last official campsite before Machu Picchu.


The trail from the Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu is clearly marked and takes about 1.5 hours. We wake early at 4:30 AM, have breakfast, and get to the trail at 5:30 AM to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. The trail follows a mountainside and drops into a cloud forest before coming to a nearly vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Inti Punku meaning Sun Gate. At this point, we will be able to see Machu Picchu.

We will descend to the main entrance where you can safely leave your backpacks and grab a snack. The group will re-enter Machu Picchu with the same guide for a tour. The tour takes approximately two hours. Starting at approximately 11:00 AM there will be free time to explore the ruins.

Huayna Picchu is a day hike, and we can help obtain permits at the same time you will register for the Inca Trail at an additional cost.

The train back to Cusco departs from Aguas Calientes, the nearest village to the ruins of Machu Picchu at 6:45 PM (time can vary, subject to ticket availability) and arrives back in Cusco at about 10:30 PM. Included is the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, return on the train to Ollantaytambo, and bus back through the Sacred Valley to Cusco.

We suggest that you take the bus from Machu Picchu by 5:00 PM. Buses depart every 15 minutes. Most people leave Machu Picchu at 2:00 PM and return to Aguas Calientes for lunch. You may want to visit the town’s famous thermal springs which feel great after completing the trail. The entrance to the springs costs approximately US $3.00. If attending the springs, plan for 2 hours to spare..

Please Note: Campsites used during the trek may be subject to change depending on the availability of spaces as issued by the UGM. The UGM is responsible for allocating the campsites to the various trekking companies. This is the same for all trekking companies and is outside our direct control.


When should I make Inca Trail reservations for 2023?

Make sure to make Inca Trail reservations as far in advance as possible. The government has strictly limited the number of people permitted on the Inca Trail (permits are issued to about 200 trekkers per day plus 300 porters). Permits may sell out 6-9 months in advance.

How fit do I need to be to participate in the Inca Trail guided tour?

The Inca Trail is a 43km (26 miles) strenuous hike through mountainous regions involving trekking for 5-7 hours at high altitude and over rough terrain. The maximum altitude is 4200m above sea level. The Inca Trail is a difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. Try to spend 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3400m) prior to starting the trek. If you do not exercise regularly, have heart, respiratory, knee or back problems do NOT consider doing the trek.

Is there an age restriction for the Machu Picchu & Inca Trail Tour?

Cachi Life, Inc does not accept reservations for children under the age of 8 years old and adults over 67 years old. All children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.  The service of an extra half porter (6kg) is included with purchase. Trekkers over 64 years old must consult with their doctor prior to hiking the Inca Trail to check that they are fit to participate in the trek. We require proof of physician consult if you are over the age of 64. We recommend that clients over 64 years old arrive in Cusco at least 3 days prior to starting the trek. We recommend that all clients over 59 years old talk to their doctor in advance about how best to plan for the trek and also to ensure that their travel insurance covers such adventure activities.  We do not accept bookings from hikers over 60 years old traveling on their own and group bookings where everyone in the group is over 64 years old.

What sort of meals do you offer?

We offer standard meals as well as a vegetarian meal option. Make sure to let us know your meal preference when booking your tour. We do not offer vegan meals. Please note that all meals are made using the same pots. We will do our best to wash dinnerware and cookware, but there may be contamination.

Meal options:
Standard (no dietary requirements, eats everything),
No red meat
No fish

What about medical conditions?

You must disclose at the time of booking any medical condition that could affect your ability to do the Inca Trail. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to deny a trek booking if we feel that a medical condition may put your life or the lives of any of our trekking staff or other clients at risk on the hike. People with medical conditions such as mild asthma/diabetes must bring a medical note from their doctor stating that they are fit to undertake the trek. They will also be required to be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek at all times who will trek at their sides and be familiar with any medicine required in case of an emergency. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to cancel the booking of a client if the client has not fully disclosed at the time of booking a medical condition that may pose a risk to the health of the client and/or other hikers. No refund will be given.

Due to the nature of the remote geographical location of the trail and the lack of suitable nearby medical facilities along the trail Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special dietary requirements / medical condition. We suggest that you check with your doctor before booking the trek.

When's orientation?

Orientation will take place at your hotel prior to the trip. We know everyone’s travel plans are different therefore we try and accommodate. Once your trip is booked you will be assigned a travel expert who will help you organize a time and place for your guide to meet you.

Where do I store my luggage?

You will have to make your own arrangements. Most hotels will hold your luggage for free or with a fee.

How's the weather?

You should prepare for any type of weather at any time of the year. We run rain or shine. January through March tend to be the rainy season. June through September is the dry season.

How many people can be in a group?

We have no minimum. However, if we are unable to combine you with a Cachi group due to group size we will place you with another company. If that happens you will have your own Cachi guide with that group. 

Do I have to share a tent?

No. We try to accommodate everyone and their privacy needs. If you are requesting a private tent, make sure to consult your travel expert 3 months prior to departure.

Can I climb Huayna Picchu?

Huayna Picchu is the large mountain situated in front of Machu Picchu. There is a narrow and steep trail right to the top of the mountain and there are also some interesting Inca ruins at the top. The view of Machu Picchu from the summit is breathtaking. The government charges an additional fee for climbing Huayna Picchu. The entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu is only available as part of a combined Machu Picchu – Huayna Picchu ticket, which will have an additional charge. You will get entrance to Machu Picchu and be able to climb Huayna Picchu which offers better value for money. You will have to pay for your accommodation in Aguas Calientes as travelers will have to get into the early morning Machu Picchu group or hike Huayna Picchu the next day. The entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu must be bought BEFORE you go to Machu Picchu and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis often several months in advance. During the high season, these tickets can sell out more than 8 weeks in advance. During the low season, it may still be possible to buy the tickets from the government offices when you arrive in Cusco. However, this is not recommended as there are only 400 tickets sold per day. You must be at least 12 years old to hike. Check out the complete guide here.

Can I climb Machu Picchu Mountain?

Machu Picchu Mountain is the large mountain just behind Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu Mountain rises higher than Huayna Picchu. Machu Picchu Mountain tends to have fewer people on the trail compared to Huayna Picchu but the view is equally as amazing. The government charges an additional fee for climbing Machu Picchu Mountain. The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain is only available as part of a combined Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Mountain ticket. You will get entrance to Machu Picchu and be able to climb Machu Picchu Mountain which offers better value for money. You will have to pay for your accommodation in Aguas Calientes as travelers will have to get into the early morning Machu Picchu group or hike Machu Picchu Mountain the next day. The entrance tickets to Machu Picchu Mountain must be bought BEFORE you go to Machu Picchu and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis often several months in advance. During the high season, these tickets can sell out more than 8 weeks in advance. During the low season, it may still be possible to buy the tickets from the government offices when you arrive in Cusco. However, this is not recommended as there are only 400 tickets sold per day. Check out the complete guide here.

Can I rent a sleeping bag or hiking poles?

If you prefer to not bring your own hiking poles or sleeping bag, we do have these available for rent. Sleeping bag rental is $50 per person, sleeping pad rental is $40 per person, and hiking poles are $30 per person.

Do you have a map?

Yes! Check out our Inca Trail map here. This shows the elevation profile and the day-by-day portions. It includes all the sites and ruins that you will see on the Inca Trail.

What are the Inca Trail reservations cancellation policy?

Unfortunately, no refunds can be provided within 30 days of departure. The payment is used to purchase your Inca Trail trek permit and reserve space within the group. After purchasing the permit we cannot change the date of trek departure or change the name or passport number on the trek permit. If you decide to cancel we cannot transfer your Inca Trail reservations to another client. Government regulations prevent us from filling your canceled space with another traveler and the government won’t refund or credit us the cost of the permit. Any cancellation over 30 days is subject to a cancellation fee as outlined in the terms and conditions.

When is payment due for the Inca Trail guided tour?

A non-refundable deposit is due at time of booking. The full payment is due at 30 days prior to the tour departure. If booking within thirty days of the tour, full payment of the tour is required. This guided tour is $750 per person. This provides payment for your transportation, Inca trail permit, tour guide, food, porter, chef, tour guide payment, entrance fee to Machu Picchu, etc.

What if the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu closes?

During the month of February, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance, thus resulting in no bookings at this time.  During the wet season, heavy rains can result in landslides that can block part of the trail or close some of the campsites. Usually, these partial trail closures are just for a few days but they can be for several weeks or even months. In the event of such closures Cachi Life, Inc will do our best to find an alternative route to get to Machu Picchu. If we can’t offer a suitable alternative then we will have to cancel the trek and refund any payments less than any costs already spent or committed to operating the trek. You will have to reclaim the remaining proportion from your travel insurance.

Do I need a passport for the Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu?

A passport is required to book the Inca Trail. Make sure the passport number must match the number that was used to book the trek. You will not be allowed to book if your passport expires within the next 6 months. You are required to bring your passport on the trek or you will not be able to start. The government will not allow you on the trail if you do not have your permit. If you lost your passport you will have to obtain a replacement prior to the trek. This requires you to submit an application with a $25 processing fee to the Peruvian government. You will be required to submit photocopies of your old and new passport along with the police report of the lost passport. Even so, the government may not accept the transfer to the new passport. As such, this is considered a last resort. If this happens, this will be considered a cancellation by the trekker and no refund will be given. Peru will not let anyone in that has a passport expiring within 6 months the date of entrance.

Can I do the Inca Trail tours with my friends/family?

Yes, and we encourage it! However, if your friend’s reserve later they may not be guaranteed a permit with your group. Permits are issued on a first-come-first-served basis. We recommend everyone in your group books your trek at the same time

What if I have food allergies?

Please give us details of your allergy at time of booking. Please indicate the severity of the reaction and what type of medicine you have to take in case of emergency. If your allergy is severe, you must be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek who is aware of your allergy and the location of any required medicines. We do not accept clients with life-threatening allergies. Due to the nature of the remote geographical and lack of suitable nearby medical facilities, Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special medical/dietary requirements. Check with your physician prior to booking.

Do I have to get acclimated to the elevation before the Inca Trail tour?

We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the trek, three nights is preferred. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the altitude before starting the trek. This helps to avoid altitude sickness and help you hike the Inca Trail.

What should I bring?

We highly recommend you pack a backpack, sleeping bag, rain jacket, hiking boots, hiking poles, one change of clothing, sweater, jacket, water carrying device, flashlight and batteries, a cap for sun protection, sunblock, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, toiletries, and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, etc, camera and spare batteries in addition to any other articles you may need. There is nowhere to charge batteries during the Inca Trail.

We provide tent, food, a small bag for your half porter to carry belongings, cooking gear, water, and you may rent a sleeping bag and double-thickness foam mattress (which weighs approximately 1kg).

Make SURE to bring your original passport that was used to book the trek. Government authorities will NOT allow you on the trail without your original passport. Therefore if your passport is expiring prior to your trek date, please obtain a new passport prior to booking with us. You must bring your ISIC card during the trek if you have a student discount. Once again, the government will NOT allow you to start the trek without this if you have a student rate.

You carry all your own personal gear. We will provide the services of a half porter to help assist you. The half porter will carry up to 6kg (13.2lbs) worth of your gear.

Wear clothing and footwear that is sturdy, comfortable, and can withstand the rigors of the trail.

We recommend hiking poles. However, metal tips are NOT allowed on the trail. Please use rubber tips/protectors. Rubber protectors can also be bought in several shops in Cusco. Please do not purchase/use wooden poles as many of these are obtained from deforestation.

Please bring cash to tip your cooks, guides, and porters

We recommend that you bring antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI, antibiotic for severe bacterial infection, medication for upset stomach/indigestion, anti-diarrhea medication, anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed, cold/flu medication, general painkiller/fever reducer, and have all your vaccinations up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc).

What are my porter options?

A ‘half porter’ can be rented for $125. The maximum weight a half porter can carry varies from male to female. If you select a female porter they can carry a maximum of 4 kilograms (8.8lbs) and a male porter can carry a maximum of 6 kilograms (13lbs). Keep in mind your sleeping bag and sleeping pad, if rented through us, will weigh approximately 3kg (6.5lbs) in total.

The night of orientation we will provide you with a sack for you to place what you’d like the porter to carry. This will be weighed the morning we arrive at KM 82. We suggest you plan out what you want to bring on the trail and weigh it before your departure to Peru. If you’re looking for a complete packing list for the Inca Trail you can download one here.

If you require more weight, you can hire a full porter (female 8 kilograms/Male 12 kilograms) for the cost of $250.

Are there bathrooms?

We provide you with a popup tent toilet that is clean and sanitary. There are bathrooms built along the Inca Trail including all of the major campsites, however, they can be a bit disgusting. Each bathroom block has cold running water. We recommend that you bring a hand-sanitizer to use after visiting any bathroom.

Will there be drinkable water?

At meal times we will give you teas, coffees, etc to drink. We will have some boiled water for the group each day. However this should not be relied upon. A cold night may not allow us to boil water for your usage. You may have to use a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 2 hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. You should use a water filter or sterilization tablet. We do not provide these tablets or filters. You will have to bring them for your own personal use.

Can I have my own tent?

Yes. We charge $85 for this. If this is a request please consult your travel expert prior to departure.

Is the One Day Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu available?

Yes. This is the best way to trek if you did not get the four-day Classic Inca Trail permits in time or you want to hike but not camp. This consists of the last day of the Inca Trail hike past the cloud forest, entrance through Inti Punku (Sun Gate), overnight stay in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, and guided tour of Machu Picchu on day 2. This runs at $689 per person.

What can I expect from my Machu Picchu and Inca Trail tour guide?

Our tour guides all speak excellent English. We guarantee that your guide will stay with you while hiking the Inca Trail guided tour. All our guides provide the highest level of service. Ask as many questions as you would like and ask to see what you want. Our guides will tailor your experience on the Inca Trail to your needs! This is your trip! 

Have Questions? Contact us!