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4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu

4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu

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Activite type

Cultural

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Group Size

min 2 / max 10

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Max Altitude

2430 m / 7932 ft

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Activity Level

Easy

4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – OVERVIEW

This 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is truly a journey to one of the world’s most ancient civilizations. Discover and immerse yourself in the history, the mountains, the vegetation and wildlife, and, most of all, the people. Explore these archaeological sites that rest along the last know Inca Trail. 

Machu Picchu is a wonder to hat shouldn’t be missed, and half the adventure is getting there by the Inca Trail. Learn how these ancient people lived and worked on this authentic and memorable trek and experience 4 days of adventure, and most of all, a cultural experience.

Though Machu Picchu is the final destination for everyone, the trip there is half the adventure. With this trek, you can get a feel for the architectural skill and prowess of this legendary civilization. Though the Inca citadel is a wonder to behold, its location and the trek there only adds to its mystery and magic. As it sits like royalty upon the top of a mountain, you’ll be able to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds it as equally as you’ll love the site itself.

This 4 day Inca trail trekking experience is an opportunity of a lifetime. If you have time to spare and want to immerse yourself in the journey to Machu Picchu fully, then this hike is made for you. With cloud-covered peaks offering an abundance of mystery to the site, you’ll feel the ever-present call of Machu Picchu with every step you take.

BOOK EARLY

To ensure you get your spot, we advise booking at least three months before traveling between Oct and Apr and 6 months before traveling in May to Sept, although it is a times possible to get permits outside these timelines. Please note that the trail is closed in February for maintenance.

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1: Cusco – km 82 – Ayapata campsite

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Campsite Altitude: 3300m / 10,826ft
  • Walking/ Hiking Distance: Km 82 to Ayapata Campsite 13.5km / 8 miles
  • Walking/ Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours approx.
  • weather: Warm and windy
  • Highlights:

Day 2: Ayapata – Chaquicocha campsite

  • Difficulty: Moderately difficult
  • Campsite Altitude: 3600m / 11811 ft
  • Walking/ Hiking Distance: Ayapata to Chaquicocha Campsite 16km / 9.94 miles
  • Walking/ Hiking time: 9 – 10 hours approx.
  • weather: cold & rainy
  • Highlights:

Day 3: Chaquicocha – Wiñaywayna campsite

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Campsite Altitude: 2600 m – 8530 ft
  • Walking/ Hiking Distance: Chaquicocha to Wiñaywayna Campsite 10km / 6 miles
  • Walking/ Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours approx.
  • weather: Warm and humid – Subtropical forest
  • Highlights:

Day 4: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu tour & back to Cusco

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Walking/ Hiking Distance: Wiñaywayna to Machu Picchu site 6km / 3 miles
  • Walking/ Hiking time: 2 hours approx.
  • weather: Hot & humid – Subtropical forest
  • Highlights:

Useful Info

  • Level of difficulty: Moderately difficult / Challenging.
  • Walking Distance – 45 km / 26 miles
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Consideration: Entrance fee required
  • Tour availability: Daily departures min 2 people
  • Weather: dry from May to October, wet from November to April
  • To climb Huayna Picchu mountain you need to book in advance
  • 2 or 3 days Acclimatization is Recommended
  • Service offered: Group service, Private Service and Luxury Service
  • Tour Operator: Machu Picchu Tours & Treks

4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – DETAILS

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – km 82 – Ayapata campsite

Our adventure starts with a bright and early pick up at 4:30 am and make our first stop at the town of Ollantaytambo where we’ll have an early breakfast. After breakfast, we travel to KM 82 (45 mins trip) and start our adventure! This will be our starting point for the trek which is considered one of the easiest days.

After trekking for 4 hours we will make our way to an exquisite buffet lunch setting organised and prepared by our Machu Picchu Tours team. Once lunch is finished, we will continue our journey of 3 hours ascending through the valleys of the Inca Trail. Ayapata (1,0826 ft/3,300 m) is the first campsite and today is basically a training day for the following days to come.

Today we meet our friendly team who will be in charge of the equipment and the entire trek! A time to socialise and make new friends too!

Ready for dinner? Dinner is normally ready by 7pm served by one of our top chefs! Camping under the stars is a moment to remember whilst at the same time you appreciate the natural beauty and tranquility this place offers.

Day 2: Ayapata – Chaquicocha campsite

Today is the longest day and by far the most challenging! We begin the day with an uphill climb of 4 hours (approx.) Warmi Wanusk’a (the dead woman’s pass) is known to have furthest altitude in the Inca trail (13,829 ft/4,215) so be prepared to have your cameras ready for some beautiful scenery. We continue on the trek descending to Pacaymayu (2 hrs approx) and take a break to enjoy a variety of meals offered for lunch.

After enjoying a wholesome lunch, we continue on trekking for another 3 hours and finally a further 2 hours of descent to arrive at our final campsite of the day at Chaquicocha (11811 ft/3600m). Treat yourself to a traditional Peruvian hot ‘mate’ tea whilst glancing at the sunset and ending the day with a great hearty dinner!

Day 3: Chaquicocha – Wiñaywayna campsite

Today we’re on our own in the morning! This will be more of a relaxed climb with 2 hours of beautiful landscape and gain more insight into Peru’s history and culture. We make a stop to Phuyupatamarca (11811 ft/3600m) and take a minute to enjoy the panoramic view. From there, we descend a further 3 hours to reach our final campsite, Wiñaywayna (8530 ft/2600m).

We will have the rest of the afternoon to recover all of our energy and visit one of the great archaeological sites along the Inca Trail known as Wiñaywayna (forever young).

This will be our last dinner with our team where we say our goodbyes and thank the porters who have gone above and beyond to make this trek amazing!

Day 4: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu tour & back to Cusco

Last day of the trek and we start super early, 4am! After breakfast, we pack our gear, get ready and make our way to Intipunku. We will be one of the first groups to enter the sungate of Intipunku and be ready for a glorious sunrise surrounded by superb views.

Today will be a grand and rewarding day as we make our way to Machu Picchu trekking for 2 hours to the Sungate and a further 30 minutes to the entrance of Machu Picchu.

Capturing first-hand views of this magnificent citadel. After visiting Machu Picchu with a 2 hour guided tour, you will have free time to explore a little more of Machu Picchu. Once we finish exploring, we will take the bus to Agua Calientes. We do recommend you have lunch in the town before you leave to Cusco.

The return to Cusco will take us 4 hours approximately, 2 hours by train and 2 hours by bus arriving at Cusco at 7pm.

INCLUSIONS

Included

  • Pick upend drop off in your hotel.
  • Professional Tour Leader
  • Entrance tickets for the 4 day Inca Trail and Machu Picchu site
  • Private transportation by bus to Km 82
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu site to Aguas Calientes town (Machu Picchu pueblo).
  • Drinkable Water
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 afternoon snacks, 3 dinners and various snacks to be eaten throughout the day (breakfast on day 1 + lunch in Aguas Calientes are not included).
  • 2 man tent for every 2 trekkers
  • Inflatable Air Mattress
  • Porters: They carry cooking and camping equipment
  • Return transportation by train and bus to Cusco
  • First Aid kit.
  • Oxygen bottle

Not included

  • Huayna Picchu Entrance ticket
  • Sleeping bag: Us $20
  • Walking sticks  Us $8
  • Single supplement fee Us $30
  • Personal porter Us $90
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day are not included
  • Tips for your crew
  • Travel insurance ( Highly recommended)

4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Packing list

Essentials
  • Essential: Original Passport ( Same as used at time of booking for permits)
  • Student Card (if you are a student and have booked in advance to qualify for the discount)
  • Backpack / Daypack (With a supportive hip belt)
  • Supportive footwear (Trekking footwear, recommend waterproof)
  • Walking sticks or poles (only with rubber covers while on the Inca Trail)
  • Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or water bottle(s)
In your Daypack
  • Original Passport
  • Student Card
  • Water
  • Cash (For water, snacks, tipping )
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
  • Warm jacket, hat and gloves
  • Sun hat or cap & bandana or similar (Sun, rain and cold)
  • sunglasses
  • Protect & hydrate sunscreen lotion (factor 60 or 70+ is recommendable )
  • Insect repellent
  • First aid + digestive meds, ibuprofen
  • Headlamp / flashlight
  • Walking sticks
  • Camera fully charged ( Batteries drain quicker in the cold)
In your duffle bag
  • Sleeping bag (Some nights can drop below freezing)
  • 3 sets of long sleeve shirts (Lightweight & protection from sun)
  • 2 sets of pants (Zip off pants are ideal in changing weather conditions)
  • Undergarment & socks (Synthetic recommended)
  • Thermal clothing is recommended for evening /sleepwear
  • Sandal or sneaker (Campsite use)
  • Power bank (Electronic outlets are not available until after the trail )
  • Toiletries: toothpaste, Brush, lip balm and personal hand towel
  • Inflatable Air Mattress

4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – ESSENTIAL INFO

Pre-Talk

At Machu Picchu Tours & Treks, a representative will organize a simple meeting the night before your tour or trek starts. During this meeting, you meet fellow adventures or tourists and gain valuable information regarding all aspects of your trip. If you do arrive late, your Machu Picchu Tours & Treks representative will leave you a message regarding the time and meeting details for the next morning.

Luggage Storage

Your luggage is limited due to the train restrictions, even if its an overnight tour. All bags that you bring to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) should be carry-on only. All extra luggage can be left safely in Cusco at your hotel or the Machu Picchu Tours office depot while you enjoy your tour or trek. We’ll take them from you on the morning of your journey and return them once you’re back in Cusco. Make sure your bags are appropriately identified, so it’s easy to locate them.

Baggage Restrictions

Please note any type of bag or bagged when visiting Machu Picchu. A bag can be no bigger than 40cm, or 157 inches high X 35cm or 14 inches wide X 20cm or 8 inches deep as anything bigger won’t be permitted into the citadel. There is storage near the citadel. Even if your bags are already tagged with ID tags, please use any Machu Picchu Tours luggage tags. This makes it easier for Machu Picchu Tours staff to find and manage your luggage for you.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential as it offers you protection against circumstances like trip cancelations, delays or interruptions, loss of baggage, medical emergencies, and other problems that may occur. There are medical evacuation plans that are offered for additional protection in case of an emergency. At Machu Picchu Tours, we care about your health, and our recommended affiliate will fly you on their ICU-equipped aircraft to the hospital of your choice. 

We recommend that you purchase a form of travel insurance to protect your travel investment.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Booking Information

The rules and regulations that control the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are always changing. You must be aware of any issues that are detailed in this document before you embark on your adventure to Peru.

Keep in mind that only 500 people per day are allowed to start on the Inca Trail trek at km. 82. This number includes all the support staff and is controlled. Once this limit is reached, the trail is closed off for the day, and no other bookings can be made. No reservations are held on the trail, and all permits to trek must be bought as far in advance as possible with you complete and correct passport information. No modifications can or will be made. Any attempts to modify your permit will result in its loss and money paid.

Any booking made at least 90 days or more before the Inca Trail portion of any Machu Picchu Tours & Treks should proceed without any issues.

Important Note:

The name and passport number that is submitted to Machu Picchu Tours at the confirmation time will be used to purchase the permit for the Inca Trail and entrance to Machu Picchu. This number and name will be used to identify yourself as you enter the checkpoint at the start of the trail and throughout the hike. If any of this information doesn’t match what has been submitted initially at confirmation, changes and correction can be subject to fees as discrepancies can lead to you being denied admission to the Inca Trail. 

Please take note that these rules and regulations are strictly enforced by the governing bodies of the Inca Trail in Peru. They are out of the control of Machu Picchu Tours, and no exceptions can or will be made. If you are denied access to the Inca Trail due to providing incorrect or invalid information, the cost of accommodation and other services during this time will be your responsibility and not Machu Picchu Tours & Treks. 

Inca Trail Maintenance

At times, portions of the Inca Trail will be closed down for general maintenance. This is usually during February each year. Closures can occur at various times throughout the year due to weather or other conditions beyond our control. During these periods of closures, any tour affected will hike the alternative one—for example, the 3-day Huchuy Qosqo trek, 4-day Lares Trek, or the 5-day Salkantay Trek.

Porters Information

To support the right of porters on the Inca Trail continually, we want to ensure that they never exceed the weight limits for the packs that have been detailed out by Peruvian Authorities. They are allowed to carry no more than 6kg of personal belongings per hiker. Other Peru treks see a limit of 7kg. This includes the following:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Toiletries 
  • Clothing

You’re allowed 6kg for the hike, which can be carried in a duffle bag provided by our local office. Any additional weight must be in your day pack. To help achieve this goal, we highly recommend travel-size toiletries, sports sandals that can be worn with socks, and you limit electronics to those that you’re willing to carry. Any additional baggage can be left at Cusco. It is recommended that you bring anything of value like money, passports, credit cards, cameras, and other items of value while on the trek.

4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – FAQs

How to Book a 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  1. When booking your 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you’ll need to fill out our booking form by clicking on the BOOK NOW link on Machu Picchu Train Tours’ homepage. Be ready to supply the following information for each participant in your group. Keep in mind that we can’t purchase the entrance into Machu Picchu or the train without this information.
    1. Personal Information (Full name as it appears on your passport)
    2. Gender
    3. Passport Number
    4. Date of Birth (D.O.B.) example: dd/mm/yyyy
    5. Nationality
    6. Date of Passport Expiration. This date must be valid for at least six months past the time of travel. 
  2. There is a required USD$300.00 per person for us to purchase the train tickets and entrance into Machu Picchu. Click on the VISA, Western Union, or the PAYPAL links on our booking page. Once we receive the deposit and details, we can then book your permits. Once we have those in our hands, we’ll send you the invoice and confirmation that everything is ready to go. All start dates, once they’re confirmed, are guaranteed.

Do I need My Original Passport for my 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Yes! Please bring your original passport. It must be the same passport number information you sent us when you booked your entrance into Machu Picchu, train ticket(s), and other entrances or reservations. The site rangers will check your passport when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also do the same before you board.

If you do happen to renew your passport, you can send us your old passport information to secure your permit. Once you get the new one, we change it for a nominal USD$10 fee per person. Keep in mind, and we need an old copy of your passport and the new one to make any changes. Before you make any changes, keep your old one.

Note: If you don’t want to pay this fee, bring both passports to Peru. You can enter Peru with your most recent passport but will need to show both to be allowed entrance into Machu Picchu or on the train. If you don’t have both, then you won’t be allowed access. This is a strict policy that must always be adhered to.

How Hard are the Treks and do I Need to Acclimatize Before Starting a Trek?

If you have experience as a hike, then the distances in the itineraries will seem short. This does compensate for the altitude. This can make a difference in how difficult a trek feels. Most involve steep climbs and descents. These can take a hard toll on your body and joints.

Make sure you do some preparation and be of average fitness to truly enjoy these treks as attitude is vital to the experience. Two to three days of acclimatization before your trek may help reduce the risk of getting sick during the trek. A couple of days won’t make a difference in terms of how difficult you find the hike.

How Much Does It Rain During the Rainy Season?

This is dependent on the exact location. La Paz experiences a much drier climate than Cusco. In the jungle areas, it’s more-than-likely to rain daily, but the rain showers will fall in short heavy bursts. If you’re in the mountains, most showers are short-lived but can be cumbersome and usually in the afternoon or overnight. Rain is interspersed with periods of sunshine, but it has been known to rain all day, especially in February. It can also remain overcast all day.

What is the best Machu Picchu trek? 

The Inca Trail is the most famous trek to Machu Picchu. However, due to the restricted number of permits, the entrance sells out around six months in advance. A fantastic alternative is the Lares trek or the Salkantay Trek.

Are There Different levels of Service Offered on the Treks?

  • Group Service: This the standard service as described but shared with others in the group. Ten people maximum are allowed per group.
  • Private Service: Standard service as described but on an individual level for your group.
  • Luxury Service: You get bigger tents, air mattresses, gourmet meals and snacks, shower, and massage services are also included. (See the full description in the specified documents).

INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – PICTURES

INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU – REVIEWS

Reviewed September 2019 Gina B

wonderful tour guide

Machu Picchu is a must see if you’re going to Peru, I highly recommend taking the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in and enjoying the sight as you approach from the mountains. John is an amazing tour guide, he knows all the spots that you need to see, great organisational skills – everything was always clear – and is also such a cool guy to travel with, always up for joining in the fun 🙂

Reviewed September 2019 josephly429

The most memorable experience I ever had.

If you haven’t been to Peru before I highly recommend it, especially if you’re into nature, hiking, culture and food.

Let me first start off to say that I highly recommend John because not only was he very informative and professional, he’s also extremely friendly and fun to be with. He will show you a great time, laugh with you, and to be honest I can say that I am very grateful that he was my tour leader because not only did we cover everything I wanted to see, it felt as if he went the extra mile and showed me even more of Peru than I ever anticipated!

Lastly, not once did I not feel safe with him as he was very trusting, honest and looked out for the group’s best interest. I will come back to Peru one of these days because I’ve fallen in love with everything that I experienced, and when I do, you better believe that I am picking this company over the rest(requesting only for John as my tour leader of course). I highly recommend first timers traveling to Peru to choose Machu Picchu Tours & Treks.

Reviewed February 2020 Lauracmarsh_732

Excellent trip and unforgettable experience

I travelled to Peru in October and had an amazing time. John is a great tour guide, he is very informative, helpful and a lovely guy. He did all he could to make sure we all had everything we needed. During the 4 days trekking the Inca Trail he kept us motivated and made the experience fun. Also excellent at taking photos for you to remember the experience long after you have left and your muscles no longer ache. Me and my friend were at the back as our group was faster than us and he never made us feel like we were slow. If anyone is thinking of doing a tour I highly recommend John as he is somebody who looks after his guests well!

$710 USD
Contries: Perú stay: 4D/3N

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