Spend 4 days on a magnificent journey to Machu Picchu, stopping to see ancient Inca structures and splendid views of nature. It’s not a surprise this is the most popular tour in Peru and South America!
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu four day tour is our most popular trek in both Peru and South America. In order to get a place for this tour, you must book 4 to 6 months in advance. Explore the incredible scenery and history of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with expert guides, thrilling views and exciting physical challenges. Truly a once in a lifetime experience!
4 Days/3 Nights
CUSCO – WAYLLABAMBA
Between 4:00-4:30 am our staff will pick you up from your hotel to begin the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. From there we drive to Piskacucho (2700m/8856ft), a community located at the start of the Inca trail at kilometer 82 on the Cuzco-Machu Picchu railroad. Crossing the bridge over the Urubamba River begins our hike. From there, we move along its left shore in the Sacred Valley.
Following the flat trail, we arrive in Miskay (2800m). Upon ascending to the tallest part of an overlook, we see the impressive Inca city of Llactapata (2650m). We continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River until we reach the community of Wayllabamba (3000m) after approximately 5 hours of gradual ascent. We will set up our first camp here.
From this spot, we witness marvelous views of the Vilcanota ridge across from the Urubamba River and regal Veronica peak stands impressively at 5,832 meters above sea level. In addition, there is an incredible diversity of flora and fauna along the trail.
(Lunch and dinner are included)
WAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYO
After waking up around 6:00 am, we eat breakfast. Then, we begin an abrupt and steep 9 km ascent where the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a high, dry area with hardly any vegetation). This is one of the most difficult parts of the trek, but it also presents several opportunities to see diverse flora and fauna. On the way to the first mountain pass, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s Pass – 4200 m), we may see domesticated llamas and alpacas. They graze on ichu, one of the few plants that grows at high altitude. We also cross an area of the cloud forest that is the habitat of the Andean bear or “Spectacled Bear” (Tremarctus Ornatus). Hummingbirds and sparrows, as well as various other birds, call this area home too.
To maintain your sugar levels high and help with altitude sickness, we advise that you stock up on chocolates, candies and coca leaves. This is especially true on this day. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600m), where we camp after approximately 7 hours of hiking.
(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included)
PACAYMAYO – WIÑAYWAYNA
Even though this is the longest day, it is also the most impressive and the most interesting because we will see several archaeological sites as we cross a lush cloud forest area full of Andean flora and fauna. From Pacaymayo we climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m). Halfway up, we stop to visit a small oval structure with the same name likely used as an Incan watchtower.
After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m). This is a semicircular construction of enclosures at varying levels with narrow streets, fountains, patios and irrigation canals.
The climb to the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (3700m) is relatively easy. Here we can appreciate the grandiosity of the Incas’ ancient craft, by walking along semi-detached paths that were stabilized and leveled by filling up ravines with rocks that are remain intact. To get to the third pass we also have to go through an Inca tunnel at the highest point of the mountain that is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Fittingly, Phuyupatamarca means “town over the clouds.” From above, one can take in astonishing views of the Urubamba River valley.
We continue our trek down the long descending stone steps that lead us to Wiñaywayna (2650 m), an impressive Inca complex close to camp made up of agricultural, religious and urban sectors. This campsite hosts a hiker lodge, a bar and bathrooms with hot shower facilities. Later, we enjoy our farewell dinner at our camp.
(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included)
WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU
On this fourth and last day we get up at 4:00 am. We leave Wiñaywayna by 5:00 am to climb the Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This is an hour hike along the edges of cliffs in a highland jungle on a trail of flat stones. From this fantastic place, we might see the sunrise over the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. From Intipunku, we descend into Machu Picchu, and 40 minutes later we enter the citadel from its highest point, the “House of the Guardians.”
Then we register ourselves and leave our backpacks at the check point. From there, we immediately begin a 2 hour guided tour of the Inca citadel. You will then have free time to walk around and climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain (entrance ticket not included) where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu and the valleys and mountains that surround it. You can also choose to visit the the spectacular Inca Bridge or the Temple of the Moon.
Later in the afternoon, we meet up in the town of Aguas Calientes where we take the train back to the city of Cuzco, arriving at night. Some people prefer to stay one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes. In this case, we can provide a train ticket for the next day.
(Breakfast is included)
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.