The legendary Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu is one of the world's classic adventures - a four-day epic pilgrimage that echoes ceremonial journeys of the ancient Incas. History unfolds as you climb stone staircases, pass long-abandoned villages and impressive temples, and traverse green valleys and misty forests. Your reward? Arriving at South America's most awe-inspiring archaeological site - the enigmatic stone citadel of Machu Picchu. Our Inca Trail experience is unlike any other, with two nights at Machu Picchu and ample pre-trek time to acclimatize and explore evocative Inca monuments and out-of-the-way villages near Cusco.
Take a classic 26-mile hike on the famous Inca Trail - one of the world's greatest mountain routes
Explore enigmatic Machu Picchu over two days, including a special early morning tour
Camp amid breathtaking Andean scenery and bookend your hike in luxury boutique hotels
Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival in Cusco, an MT Sobek representative meets you outside the airport's baggage claim area and transfers you to your hotel. After dropping your bags, enjoy a half-day walking tour of this ancient capital of the Inca Empire, rich with temples, palaces, and artisans at work.
Wake for a morning visit to several Inca ruins near Cusco, which may include the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman, animal temple of Kenko, and the ceremonial bath of Tambomachay. Next visit Pisac, with its vibrant market and archeological treasures. The town's ruins extend from a hilltop fortress to a temple complex, home to some of the world's finest Inca stonework. Descend into town through a network of stairs, walkways, tunnels, and temples to the valley floor (9,500') and enjoy a hearty lunch. Continue to your hotel in the Urubamba Valley.
Enjoy a scenic drive from the valley to a highland plateau and the market town of Chinchero (12,398'), famous for preserving traditional Andean weaving techniques and for the town square's massive Incan wall. En route, pass through fields and adobe houses with red-tiled roofs, and enjoy views of distant snowcapped mountains. From Chinchero, continue to the town of Maras (11,086'), with its vast saltpans from which the world's finest salts are extracted. After lunch, head to the striking Inca earthworks and agricultural terraces at Moray. Return to your Urubamba Valley hotel this afternoon.
Rise to visit the well-preserved Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo, including Incan canchas, ingenious stonework, cobbled streets, and an extensive communal water system that survives to this day. Continue to Km 82 and, after passing the control point, cross a footbridge and begin your four-day Inca Trail trek! Follow the Urubamba River inland and uphill at the Cusichaca Valley along the Incas' marvelous path, including stone staircases through cloud forests and open grasslands. Enjoy great Urubamba Valley views as you trek to Llaqtapata (8,692'), where you tour the archaeological site before camping for the night.
Following the course of the Cusichaca River, the ancient trail takes you to the Inca town of Wayllabamba, whose Quechua name means "grassy plain." Here you have lunch and then continue to cross the Cusichaca Valley, ascending until you reach the campsite at Llulluchapampa (12,631').
Wake early for the hike's longest leg, a steep hike through three climatic zones that tackles the trail's two highest points. First is the fabled Warmiwanusqa Pass (13,776'), also known as Dead Woman's Pass - the highest point on the Inca Trail! Enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding ridges and peaks, then continue through Pacaymayo Valley to various archaeological sites as well as the second pass, Runkuracay (12,795'). After lunch, descend to Phuyupatamarca, meaning "town at the edge of the clouds," and camp.
After breakfast, descend zigzagging stone steps to the jungle-bound ruins of Winaywayna ("Forever Young"). After lunch and visiting the complex, continue to Inti Punku ("Sun Gate," aprx 9,400'), the original entrance to Machu Picchu. Nestled between striking peaks high above the Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu exists as a well-reconstructed city of staircases, terraced hillsides, altars, temples, fountains, and incredible vistas. Take in spectacular views from here, with the gentle late-afternoon light both illuminating ruins and casting them in mystical shadow, then head to your luxury hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Catch an early bus in time to experience the morning light over Machu Picchu and explore the ruins before the train arrives with day visitors. Enjoy an in-depth walking tour of the site's various main structures and learn about their importance in Incas' lives. After lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, spend the afternoon exploring more on your own. If you're up for it, hike the Inca Bridge, an ancient drawbridge leading to the jungle. Alternatively you can return to your hotel and stroll its lovely gardens. Dinner is at the hotel.
Return to Machu Picchu this morning for another few hours of exploration on your own. In the afternoon, enjoy lunch at the Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel and catch the return train to Cusco. Once in Cusco, transfer to the Palacio del Inka hotel, and then enjoy a free evening of city exploration and dinner on your own.
Transfer to Cusco airport for flight to Lima and connect with international flight home.
MT Sobek has been bringing travelers to Peru for over 40 years, and our expertise and local knowledge is second to none.
Due to permit restrictions, only a limited number of travelers are allowed to make this trek each year. MT Sobek can help secure permits.
This trip includes acclimatization time in Cusco, in-depth cultural exploration, an expert-led Inca Trail experience, and two days at Machu Piccu.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderate to strenuous high-altitude hiking from 4 to 8 hours a day, following the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Also includes cultural exploration.
Three nights of tent camping in the Sacred Valley, plus boutique hotel stays near Machu Picchu and in Cusco.
April through October expect to see mostly sunny days followed by cooler nights and the possibility of morning frost.
Your trip leader or another MT Sobek representative will wait for you in the airport arrival area then take you to your hotel.
Best time is during the dry season April to October. November and March are also a good option with only occasional showers.
You will be hiking on steep, rocky, sometimes muddy terrain up to 13,777 feet elevation. We rate this a difficult hike that required physical preparation.
You will only have to carry a day pack for each day's hike. Your duffel will meet you upon arrival at each lodge.
Purified water will be provided during your trek.
We offer this trip on a private basis with seasonal departure dates that offer great flexibility (pending availability). Click below to request dates and an MT Sobek Regional Specialist will be in touch to help organize your private adventure.
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