Inca Trail Hikes

About the Inca Trail

They could have followed the valley but they chose the high route to Machu Picchu, with its gorgeous and climactic mountain views. True Andean highlanders, the Incas knew and loved the countless natural zones that lay within the folds of their vast domain. Their trail to Machu Picchu traverses a startling variety of microclimates, beginning with an arid cactus zone on the Urubamba valley floor, rising through native Polylepis forest to bleak high-altitude grassland, and ending in mossy cloud forest draped with orchids and bromeliads.

We take this challenging trek across high, treeless passes up to 4,200 m (13,776 ft), and down through multi‐layered zones of cloud‐forest, culminating at the threshold of the Sun Gate where we face the final unforgettable view down to Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River.

The Machu Picchu area and surroundings are forested, tropical and rainy. It is found in the middle of steeply sloped mountains and flanked by a profound canyon that Urubamba river forms.

Machu Picchu harbors within its boundaries a diverse flora and fauna that includes:

  • Mammals such as bobcat, puma and the endangered spectacled bear.
  • Interesting reptiles and amphibians in the Cloud forest.
  • More than 700 species of butterflies. 
  • Around 415 species of birds including colorful hummingbirds, ducks, eagles, parrots, quetzals, Toucans, manakins, tanagers, Cock-of-the-Rock, etc. 
  • More than 190 species of orchids.

To follow the Inca's footsteps on the royal highway to Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience. Few other hikes in the world can offer the variety of breathtaking scenery: from high sierra to tropical jungle. No other will take you through so many well preserved archeological sites.

Inca TrailThe Inca trail formed an important communication and transportation link within the empire, connecting a large area including Cusco and Machu Picchu. Although steep in places, Inca engineers designed it for efficient travel with carefully constructed stone staircases and tunnels. The important archeological ruins we will visit in this adventure are Llactapata, Runkurakay, Phuyupatamarca, Winay Wayna and finally Inti Punco, all on the way to Machu Picchu.

Your Inca Trail trek includes all meals, guides, porters, cook, camping gear, food and supplies, Eureka tents for sleeping, Dining tent and bathroom tent. A knowledgeable and experienced bilingual guide accompanies the group assisted by a cook and several camp helpers and porters who are responsible for setting up and breaking down the camp. Trekkers are free to enjoy the mountains without logistical concerns.

A typical day on the trail begins at 7:00 AM with a hot breakfast. Tents are taken down and the walk begins. Around noon we break for a leisurely lunch after which there will be time to get some sun and just relax. The walk continues until about 4:00 PM when we stop for the night, with time to explore local ruins. Evenings are free for relaxation.

The Inca Trail is CLOSED during February due to weather conditions. Inca Trail Programs are available all year except February.

 

We offer the following Inca Trail hikes:
Short Inca Trail (Day Hike)
2 days/1 night, (no camping)
Departs any day upon request except February.

This day-hike gives a taste of the Inca Trail without days of hiking and camping. We begin the hike from the train stop at Kilometer 104 and follow the trail for six hours to the spectacular view of Machu Picchu from Inti Punku, the Gate of the Sun. From here we descend into the world famous “Lost City.” After a restful night in a hotel, we return to Machu Picchu at dawn to see the ruins in perfect morning light. In the afternoon, we return to Cusco by train.

Inca Trail Classic
4 days/3 nights, (all camping)
Monday & Wednesday - Program available all the year except February.

This is the classic four-day trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This magnificent hike is for travelers who are in condition to hike up to ten hours, with breaks, in a single day. The pace may be daunting for some, but the beauty and history of the area surround the hiker every step of the way. On the last morning we arrive at Machu Picchu with plenty of time to explore the ruins before returning to Cusco by train.

Inca Trail Discovery
5 days/4 nights, (3 nights camping, 1 night hotel at Machu Picchu)
Departs Tuesday & Thursday - Program available all the year except February
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This is our best recommendation. Our five-day program allows the traveler time to explore and enjoy the amazing archaeological sites, landscapes and nature along the way. While most other programs force trekkers to speed through the stunning high-altitude Inca Trail, we take the time to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We camp the first three nights, enjoying great meals and sturdy tents. The hikes average six to seven hours each day, including time to explore the Inca sites we pass through and to take in the unparalleled scenery. On the fourth afternoon we arrive at Machu Picchu. After a well-deserved night at a comfortable hotel, we return to Machu Picchu to see the ruins in perfect morning light and a guided exploration of the ruins. In the afternoon we return to Cusco by train. This program is specially designed to offer a more relaxed trek and a deeper understanding of Inca culture.

On the above hikes you will share the trail services of a guide, camp staff and porters with a group of hikers. This can be up to around a dozen people, but frequently less than half that number. But if you have a group of 4 or more people, you can have a PRIVATE SERVICE INCA TRAIL HIKE at a lower cost!

Also PRIVATE SERVICE hikes can depart any day.
Inquire about Private Service