Portrait of the Classic Inca Trail

Classic Inca Trail 4 days

   Cusco, Peru
   Moderate difficulty
   43 km
   2400 to 4200 meters

About the Journey:

The Inca trail is the most iconic trek in South America and today’s trek to Machu Picchu is the same exact pilgrimage that the Incas did years ago. You will travel through the Andes’ lush vegetation, climb through cloud forests, and explore archaeological ruins. Believe it or not, Machu Picchu is just one of many exciting parts of the trail as it is unparalleled for its ecological diversity. There are also over 250 species of orchid in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, as well as rare animals, birds, and reptiles- several species considered to be in danger of extinction. Note that permits are required for this trek so there will be a set number of people on the trail each day.

* Note: The altitude can be a problem for beginner hikers. It is recommended to spend at least three days prior in Cusco to adjust.



We will start the day early with a three hour drive from the hotel to the starting point of the trek in Piscacucho. Along the scenic drive, we’ll pass valleys, Andean villages, and the Urubamba River. We’ll start the journey by crossing over the river, passing by a small village, and climbing up towards Huillca Raccay, the Incan fortress. We’ll continue on for great views of the ruins of Llactapata and the Urumbamba mountain range that divides the jungle and the Andes mountains. We’ll then finish our hike for about an hour and a half to our first campsite.

This morning, we will trek through a beautiful cloud forest and up to Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest pass on the trail at 4200m. Dead Woman’s Pass is one of the most iconic moments on the trek, as it should be, the hike up is difficult and the temperature can drop quickly. After the pass, the descent is steep to the valley, and we will hike until we reach our campsite at Pacamayo.

Possibly the longest day of inca trail hiking, but one that is most rewarding with beautiful landscapes. Once we leave camp it will take about an hour to ascend to the ruins of Runkuracay. We will continue on to the second pass, Abra de Runkuracay. The descent to the Sayacmarca ruins is steep so be sure to be careful with your knees. These ruins are perched on the edgy rocks, protected on all sides, which is fitting since Sayacmarca means “Inaccessible Town”. We’ll continue on into the cloudforest and climb until we reach the 3rd pass from where we will have beautiful views of the Salkantay and Veronica snow-capped peaks. After the pas, we will reach the Phuyupatamarca ruins, meaning “Town in the Clouds” from which you will descend about a thousand steps from. We will finish up the day hiking to the campsite at Winyahuayna.

Hiking to Machu Picchu takes about an hour so most people like to leave early to catch the sunrise over the ruins. We’ll hike around the mountain and into a cloudforest before coming to the steep stairs that lead up to the final pass at Sun Gate. From there you will be able to see a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu. When we arrive at the ruins we will go through a guided tour and have time to explore on our own. Then you will have the opportunity to head to the Inca Bridge or the infamous mountain of Huayna Picchu, for which you need a separate permit for. When we are done exploring, we will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and then the train to Cusco. Once we arrive back in Cusco, private transportation will take you to your hotel.

What's included:   +

  • English speaking professional guide with many years guiding on the Inca Trail; first-aid certified
  • Brief session before the trek
  • Train tickets
  • Private transportation to the start of the trek and back to Cusco
  • Entrance to Machu Pichu and camping fees
  • First-aid kit, oxygen tank
  • 4 person, 3 season tent for every two persons
  • Inflatable pad & pillow
  • Toilet tent
  • Dinning tent with tables & chairs
  • All meals
  • Boiled water to fill your water container
  • Cook and porters (can carry up to 5kg of your personal stuff, apart from sleeping bag)

What's not included:   +

  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last day
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking poles
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (highly appreciated)

Reservations:   +

Once your payment is done, you spot will be automatically reserved. However, please keep in mind that we require at least three people for any departures to be confirmed. For more information please visit our Cancellation Policy

Open Departures