"Classic" Inca Trail Itinerary
Duration: 4 days/3 nights | Distance trekked: 55km | Elevation: 2400-4200m | Difficulty: Moderate | Crowds: Heavy
One or two days before your trek you will be met by your guide for a thorough briefing. This is an opportunity to ask questions and buy any last minute supplies before leaving Cusco.
DAY 1: CUSCO – TRAILHEAD AT KM 82-AYAPATA
This action-packed day of our tour begins with a transfer to the Km 82 via private transportation, where you begin the Classic Inca Trail trek. After meeting our porters, you cross the Urubamba River by bridge and continue along the river with views of the Vilcanota mountain range and Mt. Veronica (5,713m / 18,745 ft). Traveling through the Sacred Valley, you’ll see vestiges of an ancient culture and its agriculture practices. and get to see a variety of native plant life and birds throughout the day.
Hiking up the narrow Cusichaca valley takes us pass more Inca ruins and small farms before arriving in Huayllabamba,where or lunch will be, Our campsite for the night is at Ayapata (3300m / 10829ft) which is a little further along the trail than most groups go; as we’re camping further up the trail the next day’s trek up to the pass is a little easier for us and with fewer tourists at the campsite we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place.
6 hours walking, 2700-3300m 14 km
DAY 2: AYAPATA – CHAQUICOCHA
Our day will start with generous breakfast. Physically, this is the most strenuous day of theClassic Inca Trail, as the trail ascends steeply toward Warmiwañusca pass (4,170m /13,680 ft). From there, the trail descends to the Pacaymayo River and then climbs slowly past the ruins of Runkuraqay. Another pass takes you from Runkuraqay to the ruins of Sayacmarca (3,850m / 12,628 ft). Along the way, you’ll see some advanced Inca engineering before coming upon the beautiful ruins of Chaquicocha (3,657m /12,000 ft). Our campsite tonight is at Chaquicocha (3600m / 11800ft) which like Ayapata is one of the quieter campsites and affords beautiful views of the sun-setting over the mountains in the distance.
8-9 hours walking, 3300-4200-3600m 16km.
DAY 3: CHAQUICOCHA – WIÑAYWAYNA
Today is a diversed day. relaxing day through some of the most beautiful scenery the Inca Trail has to offer. The next major Inca site on the trail, Phuyupatamarca, or the “town in the clouds,” is a large administrative and religious complex complete with a series of sacred baths. After this site, the Inca Trail continues to descend stone steps through cloud-forest where we will see hanging mosses, orchids, hummingbirds, and other native plants and animals. this is by far one of the most impressive days of the Classic Inca Trail. Our campsite for tonight is at Winay Wayna (2680m / 8792ft) which means “Forever Young.” Wiñay Wayna is located along the same watercourse as Phuyupatamarca and contains well-restored Inca ruins, this is largest site on the Classic Inca Trail, it has agricultural terraces, fine stone work, and a series of ten baths.
4 hours walking, 3600-2700m
DAY 4: WIÑAY WAYNA-MACHU PICCHU-CUSCO
On our last day we wake up before dawn in order to reach Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, in time to watch the sun rise over the sacred city of Machu Picchu. After a two-hour walk through a cloud forest along the Classic Inca Trail, you at last come to a highlight of our Peru tour: Machu Picchu (2,400m / 7,875 ft), entering through Intipunku, the Sun Gate.
After watching the sunrise, we descend the final 45 minutes along a flagstone path to the city for a two-hour tour. At the conclusion of the tour, you can rest on the terraces, explore the ruins, or, if you have any energy left, climb Huayna Picchu or visit the Inca Bridge. After a full day, we will then descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Cusco.
2 hours walking, plus tour and optional activities, 2700-2400m