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Peru Inca Trail Trek Tour

The Legendary Route to Machu Picchu


The Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu is an epic pilgrimage and one of the world's classic adventures. History unfolds as you follow ancient Inca footpaths and stone staircases over Andes mountain passes and through lush valleys and misty forests, stopping to explore evocative ruins not accessible any other way. Your reward? Arriving at the Inti Punku, or Sun Gate, with an unforgettable first view over South America's most awe-inspiring archaeological site - the enigmatic stone citadel of Machu Picchu. Our Inca Trail experience is unlike any other, with careful planning to avoid crowds of fellow trekkers. We also build in ample pre-trek time to acclimatize in the Sacred Valley, so you can best enjoy the trek and Machu Picchu.

9 Days

From: $3,395

The Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu is an epic pilgrimage and one of the world's classic adventures. History unfolds as you follow ancient Inca footpaths and stone staircases over Andes mountain passes and through lush valleys and misty forests, stopping to explore evocative ruins not accessible any other way. Your reward? Arriving at the Inti Punku, or Sun Gate, with an unforgettable first view over South America's most awe-inspiring archaeological site - the enigmatic stone citadel of Machu Picchu. Our Inca Trail experience is unlike any other, with careful planning to avoid crowds of fellow trekkers. We also build in ample pre-trek time to acclimatize in the Sacred Valley, so you can best enjoy the trek and Machu Picchu.

Highlights


  • Beat the crowds of fellow trekkers on the Inca Trail with later start times and special campsites

  • Enjoy delicious hot meals and relax each night in comfort at campsites set up by our dedicated porter team; you carry only a daypack!

  • Explore Machu Picchu at the end of your hike, arriving via the Inti Punku, then return to explore the site the next day with fresh legs!

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Peru Inca Trail Trek

Start: Lima, Peru  End: Cusco, Peru

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Lima

    Day 1

    Arrive in Lima anytime today or this evening. An MT Sobek representative meets you and walks with you to your adjacent airport hotel. Spending this first night at the convenient airport hotel in Lima allows us to fly together to Cusco the following morning and travel together to the Sacred Valley for a two-night stay before setting out on the Inca Trail. Lima is at sea level and the Sacred Valley (and our first Inca Trail campsite) are at approximately 8,500'-9,000' elevation, around 2,000' lower than Cusco, so you will be able to acclimate more slowly and enjoy the trek portion to the fullest.

    Accommodation: Wyndham Costa del Sol

  • Fly to Cusco, Scenic Drive to Chinchero & the Sacred Valley

    Day 2

    Fly this morning to Cusco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Enjoy a scenic drive from Cusco (11,200') to the market town of Chinchero for a visit to the iconic Sunday market and a private demonstration of traditional Andean weaving techniques. After a special picnic lunch with views of distant snowcapped mountains, continue to the base of the Sacred Valley (9,000'), passing fields and adobe houses with red-tiled roofs. Arrive late afternoon at Las Qolqas, a new eco-luxury retreat set in gorgeous garden grounds at the west end of the valley, just past the town of Ollantaytambo, and enjoy time at leisure to rest and acclimate to the altitude.

    Accommodation: Las Qolqas Eco Resort

    Transportation: 1-hour flight, 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike Trails from Pumamarca and Explore Ancient Site of Ollantaytambo

    Day 3

    Rise for a hike along a mountain path, starting in the village of Pallata and climbing to ancient Pumamarca (11,200'). The Inca chose this place well, as a high vista point overlooking the verdant Patacancha Valley and the convergence of two rivers far below. Explore the archaeological complex, with its carefully hewn stone stairs and ceremonial buildings, then begin the descent, passing functional yet beautiful farmed terraces accompanied by sweeping, panoramic views, as well as local communities and isolated dwellings, where you'll catch brief glimpses into traditional daily life. Arrive in Ollantaytambo for a traditional Pachamanca lunch, then climb to the top of the city's well-preserved ruins. This monumental fortress is one of the few places where the Inca Empire won a major battle against the Spanish. Descend back to the town and discover fascinating vestiges of Incan town planning, including traditional housing compounds, stone streets, and an extensive communal water system. Gather this evening for a briefing in preparation for the Inca Trail Trek that begins tomorrow.

    Accommodation: Las Qolqas Eco Resort

    Activity: 3-4 hours/4.5 miles with 350' elevation gain and 1,700' elevation loss; 1.5-hours visit to Ollantaytambo (200 steps up and down)

    Transportation: 40-minutes total driving by private van

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Start Inca Trail Hike

    Day 4

    Drive a short distance this morning to Km 82, the starting point for the Inca Trail Trek. Most groups cross the Urubamba River at Km 82, but you'll follow the river downstream and cross at Km 88, setting the tone for the rest of the trip - isolated, avoiding the crowds and having the landscapes all to yourselves. Arrive in Chamana, a small village that's part of the Llaqtapata Community, and enjoy a picnic at a private campsite (8,465'). As evening approaches, you will have the option to hike to the archaeological sites of Wayna Q'ente and Llaqtapata, charming ruins of Incan stone walls, stairs, and other constructions that will leave you in awe. Enjoy the luxury of hot showers and a warm dinner at camp this evening.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp Inca Trail

    Activity: 4-5 hours/6.3 miles hiking with 520' elevation loss and 280' elevation gain

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek from Llaqtapata to Llulluchapampa

    Day 5

    Continue your journey up the narrow Cusichaca Valley, passing houses inhabited by farmers and herdsmen, until you reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here, the Inca Trail ascends steeply up stone steps through an ancient native forest bursting with melodic birdsong. The trail begins to level out at your campsite at Llulluchapampa (12,336'), situated just below the first pass. Here, experience breathtaking views of Mt. Huayanay and a first glimpse of the rare Andean cloud forest of Queñua, or Polylepis trees. Their reddish bark peels into paper-like sheets, hence their familiar name, "Paper Tree."

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp Inca Trail

    Activity: 7-8 hours/7.3 miles hiking with 3,870' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tackle Warmiwañusqa and Runkurakay Passes

    Day 6

    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 Warmiwañusqa Pass (13,802')-the highest point on the Inca Trail! The Quechua name translates to "Dead Woman's Pass," so named because the crest of the pass resembles a woman lying down. Enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding ridges and peaks, then descend to the Pacaymayo River for a hearty lunch. Ascend again to the second pass of the day, at Runkurakay (12,375'), then begin a short descent that reveals the first signs of the mist-filled Andean cloud forest, including endemic species found nowhere else on Earth. Look out for hummingbirds, butterflies, and delicate orchids. Continue along a ridge with views of snow-capped Mt Salkantay on the western side and Mt Pumasillo silhouetted on the horizon to the north. Follow the flag-stoned trail to Phuyupatamarca, meaning "village at the edge of the clouds," and camp (12,008').

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp Inca Trail

    Activity: 8-9 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,470' elevation gain to first pass, then 2,000' elevation loss, then 590' elevation gain to second pass and 370' elevation loss to overnight camp

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek the Last Leg to Machu Picchu

    Day 7

    Today you'll get your first glimpse of the citadel at Machu Picchu - a long-awaited moment you've worked hard for! Rise for a glorious sunrise view and steaming cup of tea uphill from the campsite. After breakfast, trek along a buttress, passing the ruins at Phuyupatamarca, with an irrigation system built over five centuries ago, that still works today! Zigzag down a series of stone steps into the cloud forest and arrive at the ruins of Wiñay Wayna ("Forever Young"), located just below the ridge. After lunch, continue ascending ancient stone steps and the narrow trail up to Intipunku, the original entrance to Machu Picchu. Pause to absorb the awesome view, with the gentle late-afternoon light both illuminating the ruins and casting them in mystical shadow, then follow the trail down to Machu Picchu itself, arriving late-afternoon. Continue by shuttle bus to your luxury hotel in nearby Aguas Calientes.

    Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel-Aguas Calientes

    Activity: 7-8 hours/6.8 miles hiking with 4,030' elevation loss

    Transportation: 30-minute public shuttle from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Experience Machu Picchu & Return to Cusco

    Day 8

    Enjoy an in-depth walking tour of Machu Picchu's various main structures and learn about their importance in Inca times. Take a challenging climb up either Machu Picchu's Old Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain (optional-additional cost applies and tickets are subject to availability for the date) and be rewarded by breathtaking views of the citadel and the surrounding mountains. After lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, return to Aguas Calientes for the train journey back to Ollantaytambo, and continue by private van to Cusco. Gather for a festive farewell dinner this evening at Cicciolina, one of the best restaurants in Cusco.

    Accommodation: Antigua Casona San Blas

    Transportation: 30-minute public shuttle to/from Machu Picchu; 2-hour train ride; 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Cusco and Fly Home

    Day 9

    Enjoy a walking tour of this ancient capital of the Inca Empire, with remnants of the original walls and temples, and artisans at work. Also venture above the city to visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most impressive examples of Incan engineering. Transfer to Cusco airport for evening flights home.

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

  • Jun 10 - 18, 2023
    $3,395 price per person dbl occ
    +$200 internal airfare+$750 single supplement
    Available
  • Aug 05 - 13, 2023
    $3,395 price per person dbl occ
    +$200 internal airfare+$750 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 09 - 17, 2023
    $3,395 price per person dbl occ
    +$200 internal airfare+$750 single supplement
    Available

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Call for Private Trip Pricing

800-974-0300

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains and other modes of overland travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and hotel porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, internal flight from Lima to Cusco (billed separately), airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and Inca Trail porters and camp staff
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian is a British-Peruvian guide and an outdoor enthusiast with many interests, including photography, archaeology, and trekking in the Andes. His spirit, enthusiasm, and knowledge make Ian an ideal guide for exploring the enchanting and ancient wonders of Peru. He will enrich your experience in one of the world's most interesting countries! Ian also speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Manolo Lazo

Manolo Lazo

Manolo is one of Peru's most skilled adventure travel guides, with more than 20 years of experience leading treks and whitewater rafting trips. A resident of Cusco, Manolo is well versed in the rich history of the Andes and the classic trekking routes that trace the footsteps of the Inca trade paths. His knowledge of the region, people, and traditions immensely enrich the travel experience. He is fluent in English as well as Spanish, and conversant in Quechua-the historic language of the Incas-and he has a gift for instilling confidence in every trekker.

Manuel Luna

Manuel Luna

Manuel started out as a field assistant with MT Sobek more than 20 years ago, and is now considered one of the best trek and tour leaders in Peru. He graduated with a degree in agriculture and when not guiding trips, he raises white corn on a farm in a valley near Cusco. Manuel's knowledge of the local Quechua language combined with his extensive studies in Inca culture, provide a unique understanding of the Andean people. His love of Peru and easygoing manner make him the ideal traveling companion.

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Arrive in Lima anytime today or this evening. An MT Sobek representative meets you and walks with you to your adjacent airport hotel. Spending this first night at the convenient airport hotel in Lima allows us to fly together to Cusco the following morning and travel together to the Sacred Valley for a two-night stay before setting out on the Inca Trail. Lima is at sea level and the Sacred Valley (and our first Inca Trail campsite) are at approximately 8,500\'-9,000\' elevation, around 2,000\' lower than Cusco, so you will be able to acclimate more slowly and enjoy the trek portion to the fullest.

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Drive a short distance this morning to Km 82, the starting point for the Inca Trail Trek. Most groups cross the Urubamba River at Km 82, but you\'ll follow the river downstream and cross at Km 88, setting the tone for the rest of the trip - isolated, avoiding the crowds and having the landscapes all to yourselves. Arrive in Chamana, a small village that\'s part of the Llaqtapata Community, and enjoy a picnic at a private campsite (8,465\'). As evening approaches, you will have the option to hike to the archaeological sites of Wayna Q\'ente and Llaqtapata, charming ruins of Incan stone walls, stairs, and other constructions that will leave you in awe. Enjoy the luxury of hot showers and a warm dinner at camp this evening.

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Continue your journey up the narrow Cusichaca Valley, passing houses inhabited by farmers and herdsmen, until you reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba. From here, the Inca Trail ascends steeply up stone steps through an ancient native forest bursting with melodic birdsong. The trail begins to level out at your campsite at Llulluchapampa (12,336\'), situated just below the first pass. Here, experience breathtaking views of Mt. Huayanay and a first glimpse of the rare Andean cloud forest of Queñua, or Polylepis trees. Their reddish bark peels into paper-like sheets, hence their familiar name, "Paper Tree."

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Enjoy a walking tour of this ancient capital of the Inca Empire, with remnants of the original walls and temples, and artisans at work. Also venture above the city to visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most impressive examples of Incan engineering. Transfer to Cusco airport for evening flights home.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 4. Moderate to strenuous hiking for 7 to 9 hours a day on 3 consecutive days over rugged mountain trails with high altitude passes above 12,000', plus 2 shorter days of hiking
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 3

3-4 hours/4.5 miles with 350' elevation gain and 1,700' elevation loss; 1.5-hours visit to Ollantaytambo (200 steps up and down)

Day 4

4-5 hours/6.3 miles hiking with 520' elevation loss and 280' elevation gain

Day 5

7-8 hours/7.3 miles hiking with 3,870' elevation gain

Day 6

8-9 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,470' elevation gain to first pass, then 2,000' elevation loss, then 590' elevation gain to second pass and 370' elevation loss to overnight camp

Day 7

7-8 hours/6.8 miles hiking with 4,030' elevation loss

Accommodations


Three nights of tent camping on the Inca Trail, a glamping-style eco-lodge in the Sacred Valley, a deluxe hotel near Machu Picchu, and boutique hotel in Cusco.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel-Aguas Calientes
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel-Aguas Calientes

A village in its own right, Inkaterra Machu Picchu comprises 83 whitewashed casitas set among 12 acres of cloud forest complete with terraced hills, waterfalls, and lush gardens. The individual casitas feature inviting beds and rustically elegant decor. Diners in the first-class restaurant can indulge in Peruvian cuisine with a modern twist, while admiring views over the Vilcanota River.

Wyndham Costa del Sol
Wyndham Costa del Sol

The Wyndham Costa del Sol is conveniently located for flights in and out of Lima's Jorge Chavéz International Airport, allowing you to rest up either before or after your adventure. The large hotel has comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and superb Peruvian hospitality. Enjoy the serenity of your guest room or head to the spa or fitness facilities, complete with indoor pool and Jacuzzi.

MT Sobek Camp Inca Trail
MT Sobek Camp Inca Trail

Each night, our team of porters and skilled cooks will have a comfortable camp set up and a delicious hot meal prepared, with double occupancy tents fitted with Thermarest sleeping pads and solar energy lamps and a dining tent with table and stools. By meeting stringent environmental practices, we are one of the few permitted to camp in remote sites away from the crowds. Additionally, we carry our own ecological toilet, which can be used during lunch breaks and while you are at camp: this means you are able to avoid the use of the public bathrooms that are frequented by many other trekkers.

Las Qolqas Eco Resort
Las Qolqas Eco Resort

Las Qolqas Eco Resort is an exciting new property made up of elegant glamping tents similar to African safari tents, constructed with high-quality canvas, real beds, a full en-suite bathroom with shower, and a wood stove. The tents are insulated to shelter guests from the heat of the day and the cold of the night. The resort is located just outside the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo, near the start of the classic Inca Trail, and is surrounded by botanical gardens and an orchard, and features an excellent greenhouse restaurant focused on locally sourced ingredients. A sauna, Onsen hot bath, and massage treatments are available. The name "Las Qolqas" refers to the beautiful stone structures that the Inca used as warehouses for grains and textiles (of which Ollantaytambo boasts some of the finest examples).

Antigua Casona San Blas
Antigua Casona San Blas

Housed in a former 18th century private residence that has been painstaking restored with adobe walls and hand-carved balconies, the charming Antigua Casona San Blas is located in Cusco's artisan district of San Blas, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods with narrow cobblestone streets and excellent galleries, coffee shops and restaurants, and just a 5-minute walk from the city center. The rooms are beautifully appointed, with authentic terracotta brick or hardwood floors, insulated and soundproofed windows and doors, and modern conveniences and comforts, such as flat screen TV, WiFi, and comfortable beds with hypoallergenic sheets and pillows.

Weather


April through October expect to see mostly sunny days followed by cooler nights and the possibility of morning frost.

 
Jun
Aug
Sep
Cusco 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Cusco
67
33
68
35
69
39
Machu Picchu 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Machu Picchu
65
35
65
37
70
40

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

An MT Sobek representative will wait for you in the Lima airport arrival area and walk you to the adjacent airport hotel.

What is the camping like?

By meeting stringent environmental practices, we are one of the few permitted to camp in remote sites away from the crowds. These campsites are therefore quieter, cleaner, and more private than the more crowded sites (and we are even able to provide hot showers on the first night)! Additionally, we carry our own ecological toilet, which can be used during lunch breaks and while you are at camp: this means you are able to avoid the use of the public bathrooms that are frequented by many other trekkers. Each night, our team of porters and skilled cooks will have a delicious hot meal and a comfortable camp already set up for your convenience, with double occupancy tents fitted with quality Thermarest pads and solar energy lamps. Since we highly value sustainable tourism, we\'ll have very little impact on the land, communities, and environment we encounter along the trail.

How difficult is the hiking?

You will be hiking on steep, rocky, sometimes muddy terrain between 7,972\' and 13,802\' in elevation, and covering 6-8 miles per day with maximum elevation gain of 3,870\' and maximum elevation loss of 4,030\' during the 4-day trek. We rate this a moderately challenging hike that requires physical preparation.

How much do I have to carry?

You will only have to carry a day pack for each day\'s hike. On arrival in the Sacred Valley, we provide you with a canvas duffle bag for you to pack just your overnight essentials for the trek portion and Machu Picchu stay (4 nights total). Weight limit is 17.6 lbs per person (8kg), including your sleeping bag. We take care of transporting the rest of your luggage to the hotel in Cusco to await your arrival there after the trek and Machu Picchu stay. On the trek, a team of porters will carry your duffel and sleeping bag along with all camping supplies, and will meet you upon arrival at each camp. Purified water will be provided at each camp and lunch site.

How early do I need to book?

If you want to hike the Inca Trail, you should make your reservation as early as possible! Regulations created to minimize impact on the fragile environment of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary allow only 500 people per day (including porters and staff) on any Inca Trail route inside the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Inca Trail permits are not issued without a passport number, and often sell out months in advance! We recommend booking six months or more before your intended trip departure - or for June 2023 dates, ideally by October 1, 2022. Call or book online today!

What is the best month to hike the Inca Trail?

May to October is the dry season and the days are typically full of steady sunshine. These are considered the best months to hike the Inca Trail, as the days are exceptionally and consistently clear with fresh temperatures and the landscapes are even more beautiful. The nights, however, can get quite cold.

Information on other months follows:
-January - rains can be persistent, especially at night. Days are typically cloudy, with a few sunny days thrown into the mix on occasion.
-February - the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance and to improve the route.
-March - like January, expect rainy nights and cloudy days. If you\'re lucky, you may get a sunny day or two.
-April - the rainy season typically peters out. The days grow warmer and more pleasant, with a few sporadic rains here and there.
-November - the rainy season begins again. Expect sporadic rain showers and storms between bouts of sunshine.
-December - tends to be a rain-filled month with the occasional sunny day; however, cloudy days with and without rain are more likely.

Download Itinerary

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Guest Reviews


"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."

Jane B.
MT Sobek Guest

"Traveling with MT Sobek is like gaining a new set of close friends that have shared an incredible experience together."

Mark N.
MT Sobek Guest