Trek the Inca Trail

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Trek the Inca Trail
Duration:
8
Days
Priced from:
2199.00
USD

Trek the Inca Trail

Trip Overview

The definitive Inca Trail tour. Hidden under the dense foliage of a highland jungle, Machu Picchu was forgotten by the Incas themselves. The ruins escaped the Conquistadors and eluded treasure hunters until Hiram Bingham brought "The Lost City of the Incas" to the world's attention in 1911. Further exploration uncovered an ancient highway, a royal road that connected Machu Picchu to Cuzco, the Inca capital. We hike in the timeworn grooves of centuries of footsteps. We camp with striking views of the high sierra and dense rainforest. There are two high passes we cross at 14,000 feet/4,267 meters before we arrive at Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, for our first view of Machu Picchu below us.

**Trail permits are limited. Reserve your space early.

Watch our Peru Trekking FAQ video

WOW FACTORS

  • Wander the cobblestone streets of charming Cuzco, the former capital of the Inca Empire
  • Trek through the Peruvian mountains and past ruins for four days on the iconic Inca Trail
  • Explore the stunning ruins of legendary Machu Picchu overlooking the Urubamba River

Here's a great Inca Hiking FAQ video.

Activities

Difficulty Level

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Questions?

Itinerary & Map

Day 1

Cuzco
Arrival
Upon arrival into Cuzco, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to a comfortable hotel in the city. The remainder of the day is at leisure to acclimate to this high altitude colonial city located at 3,350 m / 10,988 ft. The streets of Cuzco are filled with artisans selling sweaters, pottery, and a variety of other handicrafts. Overnight in a comfortable hotel.

Meals: none

Day 2

Cuzco - Sacsayhuaman
Horseback Riding
This morning is at leisure to wander through the cobblestone streets of Cuzco exploring the cathedral, museums or shopping for local handicrafts. Later this afternoon we depart by horse, riding to the nearby ruins of Kenko, Tambomachay and Pucapucara. Our final destination is Sacsayhuaman, a spectacular mountaintop fortress overlooking Cuzco. We return to the hotel late afternoon. Approximately 2 hours on horseback.

Horseback Riding Duration: 2 hours
Horseback Riding Distance: 11 km / 7 mi
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3

Inca Trail
Trekking
This morning we are transferred to the village of Chilca. Our porters will be awaiting us here, ready to assist us for the next four days of trekking. The trail runs along the canyon sculpted Urubamba River to the colorful village of Huayllabamba, where the locals are draped in their vibrant hand woven costumes. We soon reach the ruins of Llactapata, a former agricultural settlement, and have time to contemplate the history of this area. The day ends at 9,840 ft/3,000 meters, camping in the Andes. 

Trekking Distance: 11km / 7 mi
Trekking Duration: 5 – 6 hours
Ascent: + 255m / 836 ft
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Inca Trail
Trekking
From Huayllabamba we climb towards the highest pass of our journey, Warmiwaousca (4,300 mt/14,000 ft). We are dwarfed by the impressive Urubamba mountain range surrounding us, especially Mt. Veronica - the largest and most spectacular of all the peaks. Our campsite is in the valley below, on the edge of the Pacaymayu River.

Trekking Distance: 10 km / 6 mi
Trekking Duration: 5 – 6 hours
Ascent: +1,275m (4,182 ft)  
Descent: -700m (2,296 ft)
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Inca Trail
Trekking
We pass the ruins of Runkurakay and cross our second and final pass this morning. There are fabulous photo opportunities here to capture the grandeur of the Vilcabamba mountain range. On the way to camp, we have our first view of Salcantay (6,100 mt/20,569 ft) - the sacred mountain of the Incas. There is time this afternoon to explore the Sayacmarca ruins. We end the day camping nearby the impressive ruins of Phuyupatamarca. 

Trekking Distance: 14 km / 9 mi
Trekking Duration: 5 - 6 hours
Ascent: +450m (1,476ft)
Descent: -1,300m (4,264ft)
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Inca Trail - Aguas Calientes
Trekking
Continuing our descent, we pass the ruins of Winaywayna: a series of steep terraces and fountains carved out of the mountainside. Our trail passes through a dense, hanging forest decorated with orchids and groves of bamboo. We arrive at Inti Punku: the famous sun gate, and there upon us is the mother of all Inca ruins - Machu Picchu (2,500 mt/8,118 ft). We descend to Aguas Calientes to check-in to our hotel. The evening is free to explore the town. 

Trekking Distance: 6km / 3.7mi
Trekking Duration: 2 - 3 hours
Descent: - 250m (820ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Walking
A full day dedicated to exploring the site. If you are keen to climb this, only a certain number of people can climb Huayna Picchu a day as permits are required. These permits sell out well in advance and are subject to availability at time of booking. The hike is a challenging one, but the views are well worth the effort! A much less busy alternative is the Sun Gate, where the Inca Trail finishes. We highly recommend this option. In the afternoon, we take the train through the Urubamba valley, destined for Cuzco. We are met at the train station and transferred to our hotel. 

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Cuzco
Departure
After breakfast you'll be transferred to the airport for your international flight home. 

Meals: Breakfast

NOTE about Ascent/Descent numbers: 

The ascent/descent numbers are usually generated using Ride with GPS. The numbers are TOTAL ascent/descent for the day and these numbers do not suggest altitude. There are usually multiple small ascents and descents added up throughout the day to reach this total ascent/descent for the day. (While our numbers are generally consistent with Ride with GPS, depending on the mapping technology used, numbers may vary).


 

What's Included

TRIP INCLUSIONS:
Meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), all accommodation (twin shared), all internal transportation excluding internal flights Lima-Cuzco-Lima, camping equipment (except sleeping bag), airport transfers, porters and cooks, and English-speaking guides.

TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International and internal airfares, airport taxes, meals not included, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

MEALS:
7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 3 Dinners

ACCOMMODATION:
Hotel: 4 Nights
Tent: 3 Nights

Trip Facts

Weather in Peru

Generally the Andean trekking season, April-November is clear, dry, and cool. During the transitional months of April/May and October/November, one can experience variable weather patterns with a general build up of afternoon clouds and possible showers that rarely last throughout the night. Andean nights are cold, ranging from 25 to 40°F (-4 to 5°C) depending on the elevation, while the days are pleasantly warm with temperatures between 60 to 80°F (15 to 26°C). In spite of warmer temperatures, trekking during the Andean rainy season (Jan- March) is not recommended because of the high risk of mudslides, rock fall or lightening. Also, trails and high passes may be closed due to heavy snowfall. Expect showers or mist on most departures. The daytime temperatures will be warm between 70 to 85°F (21 to 30°C), with the nighttime temperatures around 45 to 50°F (7 to 10°C).

Lima
October to May:
 Sunny, dry, clear days with hot weather.
June to October: Still fairly hot but mornings tend to be foggy or misty.

Cuzco (includes Machu Picchu)
May to September: Dry with 8 hours of sunshine daily.
October to April: Rainy season, heaviest in January.

Travel Documents

Canadian and US citizens require a valid passport with an expiry date that is beyond six months from the date of entry. A visa is not required for North American citizens for stays up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries should contact the Peruvian Embassy for specific entry requirements.

Food and Water

One of the delights of Peruvian adventure is the delicious cuisine. Traditional food in Peru includes seafood on the coast and roasted Guinea pig in the highlands. There are a wide variety of fruits available. Most food is safe to eat, although a little common sense with regard to street food is sometimes necessary. Some of the popular traditional dishes are lomo saltado (stir-fried beef with onions, vinegar, ginger, chili, tomatoes, and fried potatoes) ceviche (shrimp or sea bass marinated in lemon, chili, and onions), papas rellenas (stuffed baked potatoes), palta rellena (avocado stuffed with chicken salad), and picarones (deep fried flour fritters made with eggs and served with honey). While in Peru, it is best to drink only bottled water. Milk should be treated with suspicion. If you do drink milk, make sure it has been pasteurized. Fruit juices, soft drinks and tea are all widely available and safe to drink. Drink plenty of fluids and try to avoid alcohol when you first arrive into higher altitudes. Some popular and traditional drinks include Inca Cola (lime green soda pop that tastes like fizzy bubble gum), pisco sour (similar to a Tom Collins made with white grape brandy), and mate de coca (tea made from coca leaves to relieve altitude sickness).

FAQ

How big are BikeHike's groups?

Our adventures are built for small groups, with a maximum of 12 travellers on each guided tour. Each group is diverse, comprised of men and women of many different nationalities and ages. By travelling in small groups we leave minimal ecological impact, cause less disruption to the native life and are able to gain a better appreciation for our surroundings. Small numbers also allow greater flexibility and spontaneity: a dinner in a local home, an impromptu village wedding invite and any such experiences that can become among the most memorable experiences of your BikeHike adventure.

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?

We understand that people come in many fitness levels, so we've graded our trips accordingly. There are four difficulty levels on our trips: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, and Strenuous. 

This is a “challenging” trip.

The main challenge of the trip is the physical demands of consecutive days of hiking during the trek along with the demands of altitude. Although the hikes themselves are not particularly strenuous, their length and challenging terrain will be more taxing than expected. Days are full, average 6-9 hours per day. The winds can be extremely strong and the temperatures change from one moment to the next. For the most part, you are only expected to carry your daypack on the trail while hiking. Your daypack should be large enough to include your lunch, water, camera, sunscreen and any layer clothing you may need to adapt to the changing weather on the trail. You should have a good level of fitness and the stamina to cope with consecutive hiking days.

We strongly recommend that you begin a regular fitness program that includes walking or hiking - that is if you are not already doing so. Working out four times a week (including some hiking whenever possible), 60 minutes per session should be a minimum to prepare you for this adventure. In addition, try to get in some longer distance hikes beforehand to prepare for your adventure. 

What do I need to know about trekking at altitude?

Cuzco is located at 11,200 feet and Lima is at sea level. And most people are living at sea level. So, your body needs time to acclimate. Take your time settling in at the new altitude. Don’t rush things. Drink lots of water. Don’t physically exert yourselves for the first couple days. Avoid alcohol. Don’t eat heavy meals. It’s really important to spend a couple days at altitude before even thinking about starting a trip. So, many travellers arrive into Cuzco at least two or three days before starting any treks. It’s definitely NOT recommended to fly up to that altitude and then start a trip right away.

Listen to a more detailed answer HERE.

What are the trekking conditions?

You are right on the equator in Peru so it will be warm during the day. But, as soon as the sun goes down, it is cold. And the sun goes down quickly. Expect to be wearing a good jacket, hat, gloves. The terrain itself is nearly the same on all three trails. The trekking conditions on the Lares Trails is sometimes on dirt paths, sometimes through forests, through villages, some sections over rocks by streams, and there are many sections of up and down. The famous Inca Trail has steps because it is so much more touristy.

Listen to a more detailed answer HERE.

 

How has Inca Trail trekking changed in recent years?

The number of trekkers has increased exponentially. In the early days of Peru trekking, the Inca Trail was the most popular. However, these days there is usually a constant line of trekkers moving along the main (most famous) Inca Trail. As a result, many travellers have begun looking for alternative paths to experience Peru away from the now mainstream Inca Trail and mainstream trekking tourism. As well, the Peruvian government has begun limiting the number of trekkers allowed on the main Inca Trail each day to 500 and those spaces sell out quickly, months in advance.

Listen to a more detailed answer HERE.

How should I pack for this trek?

Packing for this trip must be very organized. 

We have also prepared a specific packing list with instructions that you can download by clicking the link to the right on this page. 

 

Can you tell me about your typical BikeHike travellers on this trip?

Our travellers share a common love for outdoor adventure. Most are looking for a physical adventure in an unfamiliar destination. A typical trip is comprised of men and women in good physical condition, who exercise regularly and are invigorated by a personal challenge. The age range on this trip is typically from 30-60, although we occasionally get younger and older travellers as well. 

Which airport do we fly in and out of for this trip?

Cuzco, Peru. You can arrive anytime on day 1 of the trip and depart anytime on day 8.

Can I take this trip if...

I am a solo traveller? How does solo accommodation and costing work?

Absolutely! This trip is quite popular with singles. Unlike many adventure travel companies, we don't charge single supplement fees to solo travellers. Instead, we pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If we can't find you a roommate, you get your own room at no additional charge. A single private room supplement fee is only required if you specifically request a confirmed private room for the duration of the trip. Learn more about solo travel with BikeHike

I have special dietary requirements?

We will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), but ask that you please discuss your request with us when signing up for a trip.

I am travelling with children? Is this trip children friendly?

This trip is generally not a family focused trip for young families but could be suitable for families with strong teenagers. However, we do offer many Family Focused trips, some of which are able to accommodate children as young as six.

Accommodation

Most of our trips include comfortable mid-range accommodations. However, this trip includes a combination of hotels and multiple nights camping along the trail in tents while trekking. 

This trip includes the following types of accommodation:

CAMPING
This is an incredible experience as you'll be tenting in Peru along the ancient Inca routes! There are four consecutive days of trekking, with three nights of camping with altitudes ranging between 10,000 – 13,500 ft/3,050 – 4,100 m. Expect nighttime temperatures to be chilly (-5°C to +3°C/20°F to 25°F). Tents and Therm-A-Rests are supplied, and down filled sleeping bags are available for rent.

Camping on this trip does not involve pitching your own tent. Porters and cooks, with llamas, will carry our gear and have our campsites ready upon arrival. Our skilled cooking staff will freshly prepare all meals, and the tents will be pitched at predetermined campsites.

Our bathing facilities are the occasional river we pass and warm bowls of water in the mornings. Each morning, you will be brought a washing basin filled with warm water to wash your face and brush your teeth; bathing facilities are not available along this trek.

Other days on this trip includes stays in comfortable hotels. 

HOTELS
This trip's nights in Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman and Aguas Calientes are at mid range accommodation that provides a clean and comfortable experience in characterful surroundings that reflect the destination. To build stronger connections with the communities and support the local economies, we avoid using large international chain brands on BikeHike trips. Instead, in an effort to keep money in the communities we visit around the world, BikeHike prefers small hotels that better connect our travellers to each destination.

Click HERE for more information about accommodation styles.

NOTE: The itinerary is designed so that day one is spent relaxing and adjusting to the altitude, which can adversely affect blood pressure, digestion and energy level. We encourage participants to arrive an extra day or two before the trip begins to help your body to acclimatize. 

Adventure Dates

  • Oct 06 - Oct 13, 2019
  • Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2019
  • Nov 03 - Nov 10, 2019
  • Nov 17 - Nov 24, 2019
  • May 10 - May 17, 2020
  • May 24 - May 31, 2020
  • Jun 07 - Jun 14, 2020
  • Jun 21 - Jun 28, 2020
  • Jul 05 - Jul 12, 2020
  • Jul 19 - Jul 26, 2020
  • Aug 02 - Aug 09, 2020
  • Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2020
  • Aug 30 - Sep 06, 2020
  • Sep 13 - Sep 20, 2020
  • Sep 27 - Oct 04, 2020
  • Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2020
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Price

(Land only, based on twin/shared room)
2199.00
USD
per person

No single supplement fees
** Guaranteed departures on two travellers

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Add-Ons

  • It's easy to add days before and after your tour.  Just ask! 
Day Destination Activity
Durations
Distance Ascent / Descent Lodging Meals
1
Cuzco
Arrival
— / —
Hotel
2
Cuzco - Sacsayhuaman
Horseback Riding
2 hours
11 km / 7 mi
— / —
Hotel
b
3
Inca Trail
Trekking
5 - 6 hours
11 km / 7 mi
+ 255m / 836 ft
Tent
b,
l,
d
4
Inca Trail
Trekking
5 - 6 hours
10 km / 6 mi
+1,275m (4,182 ft)
-700m (2,296 ft)
Tent
b,
l,
d
5
Inca Trail
Trekking
5 - 6 hours
14 km / 9 mi
+450m (1,476ft)
-1,300m (4,264ft)
Tent
b,
l
6
Inca Trail - Aguas Calientes
Trekking
2 - 3 hours
6km / 3.7mi
- 250m (820ft)
Hotel
b,
l
7
Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Walking
— / —
Hotel
b,
l
8
Cuzco
Departure
— / —
b

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