Inca Trail Tours 2019
4 DAY 3 NIGHT TRIP
$899 PER PERSON
INCA TRAIL TOUR DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
DAY 1: CUSCO TO WAYLLABAMBA (12KM)
The first day of the trek is relatively easy. Hikers are picked up at their hotel between 5:30 – 6:00 AM and travel by bus 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, 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.
DAY 2: WAYLLABAMBA TO PACAMAYO (12KM)
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 have completed the most difficult section of the trail. It is downhill from here!
The descent from the pass is steep, but moderately easy, following the trail to the valley floor and to the second night’s campsite at Pacamayo at 3,600m. There are restroom facilities here.
DAY 3: PACAMAYO TO WIÑAY WAYNA (15KM)
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 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 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 ruins 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.
DAY 4: WIÑAY WAYNA TO MACHU PICCHU (5KM), RETURN TO CUSCO
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 cloud forest before coming to a nearly vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Intipunku meaning aSun 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.
Those interested in climbing Huayna Picchu will do so the next day, which we can help to obtain permits at the same time you will register for the Inca Trail.
The train back to Cusco departs from Aguas Calientes which is the nearest village to the ruins of Machu Picchu at 6:45 PM (time can vary, subject to ticket availability) and arrive back in Cusco about 10:30 PM. Included is the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, return on the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, and bus back to Cusco.
We suggest that you take the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes 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. 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 availability of spaces as issued by the UGM. The UGM are responsible for allocating the campsites to the various trekking companies. This is the same for all trekking companies and are outside of our direct control.