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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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.
We trek for four days, crossing Dead Woman's Pass at 4200 metres, before arriving at Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate early on the final day.
Inca Trail Permits
Please note: Permits for the Inca Trail are tightly restricted and nearly all dates this year are already sold out. This applies to all operators. No Inca Trail operator will have permits they can sell you as all permits are tied to a passport number. There are though some great Inca trails which do not need permits, all of which take you to Machu Picchu. We particularly recommend the Lares trail or the Salkantay trail. Alternatively, if you are set on trekking the Classic Inca trail then we are running an offer for 2018 bookings where you can register for a permit for the date you want for only £100 pp.
The Kandoo team can meet you at Cuzco airport if you've requested airport transfers, otherwise make your own way to your pre-trek hotel. Later you will attend a pre-trek briefing with your Lead Guide
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.
After a shower and a good night's sleep; if you've booked transfers; we will meet you at your hotel to transfer you to Cuzco airport. Otherwise make your own way to the airport.
Kandoo specialises in creating adventures for active people. Our small group tours take adventurers to the world's most famous mountain destinations, including Mount Kilimanjaro, the Himalaya and the Andes.