Machu Picchu Hike Inca Trail Trekking Peru

Machu Picchu Hike Inca Trail Trekking Peru

Machu Picchu hike.

We introduce one of the most famous trekkings in the world. We will do it illustrating the various alternative there are for Machu Picchu hike. First of all, we need to say is known in the world as Inca Trail. There are many possible variations of the original.

The classic Inca Trail is just part of the old Inca empire roads network. Cusco is more or less in the middle of the Inca empire.

Around Cusco there a lot of archeological sites. Noteworthy is the Sacred Valley. It is a valley of the Urubamba river and it starts near Cusco. The Sacred Valley arrive in the Machu Picchu area. So probably from Cusco to Machu Picchu, there is the most important archeological area in Peru. Or at least is the more known.

How to do the Machu Picchu hike Inca Trail

Machu Picchu hike
Machu Picchu from above. CC0 licensed.

The Machu Picchu hike Inca Trail in all his different versions, don’t use all the Sacred Valley. It is a track that moves between the mountains. It follows the ancient track built by the Inca people. Since 2001 it has forbidden the independent treks.

The Inca Trail is restricted in numbers of visitors per day. Just 500 are permitted and this number includes guides and staff.

It is possible to use an independent guide instead of a tour operator.  This solution has some restrictions. First of all, you can’t have any porter, you need to carry all by yourself. After that, you can’t have a cook. Then the guide needs to be qualified, licensed and he must pay the tickets in advance. In fact is not very easy to arrange by yourself the Inca Trail. Absolutely forbidden to do the trail solo, without any guide or tour operator.

Our suggest Is to choice a tour operator looking for the quality. You can save money if you want to choose a budget service. Important to know in that case the trail will be a little bit less comfortable.

At the end Machu Picchu

The final destination of any classic Inca Trail is Machu Picchu. You can do the Trail even without visit Machu Picchu but I think are very few who do. It is an essential destination, one of the New Seven Wonders. So we want to encourage the Machu Picchu visit. It is not only a wonderful place, it is a mystical experience.

Here we illustrate just the most significative and spectacular versions of the Inca Trail. The programs are not explained deeply because we are not the tour operators.  Anyway, you can have an idea of the trek. And you will know what you are talking about when you will choose the tour operator.

Inca Trail – Machu Picchu Hike Two Days One Night

Day 1 Cusco – Winay Wuayna – Machu Picchu – Agua Caliente

Early in the morning, they will pick you to your hotel, drop to the train station. Typically the train start from Cusco at 6.10 am.

The train will follow the Sacred Valley and it will stop at the km 104.

From there after crossing the Urubamba River will start your trekking.

Typically there is a stop to Chachabamba archeological site, that you will visit.

Then you will start to hike the mountain up to Winay Wuayna. There is a break because will be even lunch time.

Following you will reach Intipunku (Sun Gate). Where you can see from up the impressive scenario of Machu Picchu.

From Intipunku you will descend to the city looking panoramic views. After that usually, you will go down to Agua Caliente village. It is the place of your dinner and overnight.

Day 2 Agua Caliente – Machu Picchu – Agua Caliente – Cusco

In the morning after breakfast start to Machu Picchu. Entering in the ancient site and start the visit. In the beginning, there is a guide that explains the history of the city. When he finished, you will have more time for you picture time and meditation maybe.

In the afternoon you will go back to Agua Caliente, take a train to Cusco where the Inca Trail will finish.

Inca Trail – Machu Picchu Hike Four Days Three Nights

Day 1 Cusco – Wayllambamba

Machu Picchu hike
One of the dozen Inca ladders  –  Photo by Gene Taylor

Early in the morning, they will pick you to your hotel, drop to the train station. Typically the train start from Cusco at 6.10 am.

The train will follow the Sacred Valley and it will stop at the km 82.

From there after crossing the Urubamba River will start your trekking.

It is not a very difficult day, around 5-hour walking ( it will depend on the touring operator). Most noteworthy is the altitude, Wayllambamba is at 3000 asl will be good to acclimatization.

Day 2 Wayllambamba – Pacamayo

Second Day is maybe the most spectacular and is a little challenge with the altitude. In around 7 kilometers you will walk on the ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’. It is 4.200 mt asl high but doesn’t fear. We suggest you at list one night complete in Cusco before the trail. Other suggestion is the speed of walking. Keep a medium speed and try to be constant. Drink a lot, don’t reduce the liquid level in your body. After the pass there is a descending, will be good for you body, easily you will reach Pacamayo.

The night will be good, you will be completely acclimated now and sleep to 3.600 is not a problem.

Day 3  Pacamayo – Winay Wayna

The third day is easier, despite the effort to climb a pass 3.950 mt. After the pass will descend to another pass around 3.500 mt. And other few kilometers you arrive at Winay Wayna.
In fact sometimes the tour operator the stop before for sleep. But will depend even on the availability of the camping.

Altitude now is low, Winay Wayna is 2.650 mt asl. So you can rest with any problem, your legs will say you thank you!

Day 4  Winay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco

The fourth day, prepare yourself, the awakening will be at 3.30 am!! Yes, you need to start early, will be a busy day.

In around four kilometers you will arrive at the famous Intipunku, it meaning sun gate, Puerta del Sol in Spanish.

The view is incomparable, you can see Machu Picchu from 350 mt above it. It is another very emotional moment.

The descending to Machu Picchu is 2 kilometers long. Then you can finally visit the lost city.

In the afternoon according to your tour operator, you will go to Agua Caliente and by train will go back to Cusco.

In Conclusion, Machu Picchu hike Inca Trail one of the best trekking in the world?

We have no doubt, YES absolutely YES. The environment is wild and at the same time full of ancient culture.

The landscape, especially in the 4 days Trail, is majestic. High mountains everywhere, and many with the snow hat.

Finally, you can see Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders.

Visit Peru’ and do even Machu Picchu hike Inca Trail. Will be a medicine for your life.

More information about Peru adventure

The official Peru Tourism Bureau

If you need information or help to organize your trip contact us. Our experts can help you free of charge

In the video below you can see the four days Trail, it is very nice, watch and comment.

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