The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a must for any walking enthusiast. This four-day, 50km trail will take you along a hand-built footpath from outside Cusco all the way to Machu Pichhu's Sun Gate.  The scenery is breathtaking, and the experience is truly unforgettable.
Walking the Inca Trail is one of those lifetime experiences that the team at South America Odyssey have all had to complete as part of their induction! We all know the best ways to take on the trek to Machu Picchu on your Peru holiday or Peru honeymoon. Below is a day to day outline of the trek; jump to the botttom of the page for further information about the Inca Trail.

What is the Inca Trail route?

Day One: KM.82 to Huayllabamba
You will meet your guides and porters before beginning the official Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You are eased in gently with a couple of hours of easy walking along the Urubamba River to the Inca ruins of Llactapata. After a little exploration of the site, you follow the path of the Cusichaca River towards the Huayllabamba.
- Distance: 7.47 miles
- Approximate walking time:  6 hours
- Maximum altitude: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)

Day Two: Huayllabamba to Pacaymayu
A tough day as you reach the high pass known as “Warmiwañusta” or Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200 meters above sea level). After reaching the pass you descend to the campsite at Pacaymayu. (B, L, D)
- Distance: 6.84 miles
- Estimated walking time: 7 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 4.200 m (13,776 ft)

Day Three: Pacaymayu to Winaywayna
Today you pass through different climatic zones along the original Inca paths to the second highest pass, at 3.950m. On route you stop at Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca ruins.
-Distance: 9.94 miles
-Approximate walking time: 8 hour
-Maximum altitude point: 3.900 m (12,792 ft)

Day Four: Winaywayna to Machu Picchu
An early rise as today you head to Machu Picchu. After breakfast you pass through a passport control point and hike a couple of hours to reach Inti Punku, The Sun Gate. From here you will get your first glimpses of the spectacular ancient citadel. A quick descent will then take you to the site where you can be given a thorough and in depth tour.
- Distance: 2.49 miles
- Approximate walking time: 2 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 2.700 m (8.829 ft)

Is there only one Inca Trail?

There is only one official Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and it does get booked up very far in advance. It is the number one choice for trekking in the region. There are several less well-known, quieter treks in the region, including the Lares Trek and The Salkantay trek.

Do I need a permit to trek the Inca Trail?

Yes, you do need a permit to trek the Inca Trail. Only 400 people are allowed to start the famous hike per day. Permits can be tricky to aquire, but if you have a little flexibility in your dates and speak to us early, you will have a very good chance of aquiring one of the highly sought after permits.

Are there other good treks in Peru?

Yes! The central backbone of Peru is the Andean mountain range, and a glorious playground for all outdoor activity. Trekking, cycling, horse riding and exploring these high altitude mountains is a super way of experiencing the best of Peru. For the outdoor enthusiast, Peru is a dream.

Where do you sleep whilst on the Inca Trail?

There are designated camp sites all along the Inca Trail, at which to rest, recuperate and sleep. We hire porters, chefs and a crew that carries all the equipment and food for you, so you can concentrate on enjoying the trek. When you arrive at the campsite it is all set up for you.

Are there showers and toilets on the Inca Trail?

All the campsites have very basic facilities for washing.


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