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Inca Trail Classic Trail to Machu Picchu Sun Gate on the Inca trail

Classic Inca Trail Highlights


The classic Inca Trail, entering Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate
Learn about Inca history through the fascinating ruins along the length of the trail
Trek through diverse environments from high mountain passes to cloud forest
Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas
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7 days

 About the classic Inca trail

The most well-known of all the trekking routes to Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is the original pilgrimage route to this most sacred temple and is by far the most popular route. Starting at the Kilometre 82 gate (so called because it is 82 km from Cuzco by train) this trek to Machu Picchu provides the ultimate combination of mountain scenery and archaeological sites. Trekking through diverse environments including cloud forest, jungle and alpine tundra, there is also the opportunity to visit many Inca ruins, including Runcuracay, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna, before arriving at the big one - Machu Picchu.

As a result of its popularity the Inca trail suffered a lot of erosion damage early this century and numbers are now heavily restricted by a very tight permit system. As a result permits, which are only released in December for the following year, are already sold out until September 2017. If you want to trek to Machu Picchu in 2017 we recommend either the Lares trail or the Salkantay trail. Alternatively, you can book now for  the Inca Trail in 2018 with a low deposit of £100pp.

Detailed Itinerary for the Classic Inca Trail

Day 1Arrival

If you have booked airport transfers the Kandoo team will meet you at Cuzco airport and transfer you to your pre-trek hotel. Otherwise, you can make your own way there. Later you will attend a pre-trek briefing with your Lead Guide to prepare you for the challenge ahead.

Day 2Acclimatisation day in the Sacred Valley

The air is almost as thin in Cuzco as it will be at the highest points of your trek. To help your acclimatisation we will spend the morning in the Sacred Valley, visiting the town of Chinchero and the Salt Mines of Maras. We will then continue by vehicle to our hotel in Ollantaytambo where you will have the afternoon free to rest or explore.

Day 3Drive from Ollantaytambo to KM 82, trek to Wayllabamba

We will leave Ollantaytambo after breakfast to drive to the start of our trek. The official beginning of the Inca Trail is called Km 82. Here we will meet our crew and register for our trek.

After crossing the Rio Urubamba we start the legendary Inca Trail. The first day of the trail is relatively easy and a good warm up for the following days. On the way we will pass a beautiful archaeological site called Llactapata before we reach Tarayoc. After that, we will continue our hike to Wayllabamba (3000m), the camping site where we will spend the night.

  • Elevation: From 2800 metres to 3000 metres
Day 4From Wayllabamba to Pacamayo

Today we cross the first of three passes and the highest point of our trek - Warmihuañusca Pass (Dead Woman Pass) at 4200m. Our trek begins with a fairly steep climb to Llulluchapampa, before levelling out slightly as we head up to Dead Woman's Pass. After a break at the summit to enjoy the view, we  begin the long, steep descent to the Pacamayo River where we will camp overnight.

  • Elevation: From 3000 metres to 3850 metres
  • Highest point: 4200 metres (Dead Woman's Pass)
Day 5From Pacamayo to Wiñay Wayna

This morning we climb up to the oval-shaped ruin of Runkurakay, then continue our ascent to the summit of our second pass, Runkurakay Pass at 3900m. From here you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the entire snow-capped Vilcabamba range, before another steep descent. We will then climb up to our third pass, to Phuyupatamarka, an Inca ruin named “The Town in the Clouds”. Finally we descend once more into the cloud forest, visiting the site of Intipata (Terraces of the Sun), before reaching our campsite at Wiñay Wayna.

  • Elevation: From 3580 metres to 2650 metres
  • Highest point: 3900 metres (Runkurakay Pass)
Day 6From Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu to Cuzco

A very early start today as we set off on the final section of the Inca Trail to the famous Inti Punku (Sun Gate) where, weather permitting, you will enjoy your first views of Machu Picchu. You will have a comprehensive tour of the site, as well as some time to explore on your own. If you wish to climb Huayna Picchu, the famous mountain behind the ruins, you will need to book your permit with us in advance.

In the afternoon, we will return to Aguas Calientes to catch the train to Ollantaytambo. From here, our driver will transfer you back to your hotel in Cuzco.

Day 7Departure

After a shower and a good night's sleep, it will be time to leave. If you have arranged airport transfers we will meet you at the hotel. Otherwise make your own way to Cuzco airport for your departing flight.

Classic Inca Trail Open Group Availability

Last Updated August 15 2017
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Route
Arrival
Days
Price
Comment
 
Ref: M170911KG
Arrival: September 9 2017
Days: 7
Price: £949 $1234 €0
Comment: Permits sold out
Ref: M171009KG
Arrival: October 7 2017
Days: 7
Price: £949 $1234 €0
Comment: Permits sold out
Ref: MT171030KG
Arrival: October 28 2017
Days: 7
Price: £949 $1234 €0
Comment: Permits sold out
Ref: MT171118KG
Arrival: November 16 2017
Days: 7
Price: £949 $1234 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT171204KG
Arrival: December 2 2017
Days: 7
Price: £949 $1234 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: M171212KG
Arrival: December 10 2017
Days: 7
Price: £949 $1234 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180306KG
Arrival: March 4 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180320KG
Arrival: March 18 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180403KG
Arrival: April 1 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: M180417KG
Arrival: April 15 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180508KG
Arrival: May 6 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180522KG
Arrival: May 20 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180605KG
Arrival: June 3 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180619KG
Arrival: June 18 2018
Days: 8
Price: £1119 $1455 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180703KG
Arrival: July 1 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180724KG
Arrival: July 22 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180807KG
Arrival: August 5 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180820LTC
Arrival: August 18 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: M180821KG
Arrival: August 19 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180904KG
Arrival: September 2 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT180925KG
Arrival: September 23 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT181009KG
Arrival: October 7 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT181023KG
Arrival: October 21 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT181106KG
Arrival: November 4 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT181120KG
Arrival: November 18 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT181204KG
Arrival: December 2 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces
Ref: MT181218KG
Arrival: December 16 2018
Days: 7
Price: £899 $1169 €0
Comment: Spaces

History of Machu Picchu

Archaeological sites you will pass on the Inca trail

When is the best time to hike the Inca trail

FAQs about the Inca trail

Q1What is the accommodation like on the Inca trail?

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