DAY 1: CUSCO – KM 82 – WAYLLABAMBA – AYAPATA
Your journey begins at the early hour of 4am. We begin our scenic drive to Ollantaytambo. On arrival, we head over to the hiking checkpoint of Piskacucho (KM 82). At the checkpoint the ranger will check passport, permits and all relevant discount cards. The adventure begins! You will now embark on the 3rd most popular hike in the world (according to lonely planet). We also meet our dedicated support staff, including our porters and cooks. After getting suited and booted our trek begins.
Our hike begins on flat terrain along the Vilcanota river. Enjoy the stunning views of the ragged Andes mountains that tower above you. Spend the first day of this trek enjoying the view, feeling humbled by your surroundings, as well as admiring the breath taking landscape. We stop along the way for our first 5-course lunch made by our talented chef, an unexpected fine dining experience in the wilderness. As we make our way through the Inca Fortress Huillca Raccay , we take a break while the guide gives you a brief history on the Incas.
From the Fortress there are spectacular views of the vast Inca site of Llactapata and the snowcapped peak of W´akay Willca. Continuing towards Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,842ft) we trek uphill for another 2 hours before reaching our first campsite of Ayapata. On arrival, our porters will have camp already set up and afternoon tea accompanied by a delicious snack is served. Later, your chef will prepare an abundant and nourishing dinner that’s been made from both local and international ingredients. Finally, settle into your spacious tent and reenergize for a challenging second day of hiking.
- Meals: Lunch. Afternoon tea. Snack. Dinner
- Accommodations: Camping facilities
- Distance: 12KM / 7.5MILES (at approx. 6-7 hours’ hike)
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
DAY 2: AYAPATA – PAQAYMAYU – CHAQUICOCCHA
Your guide wakes you up with a steaming cup of tea at 5:00am. After, we provide a basin of warm water to freshen up before the chef and his team serve a hot and hearty breakfast. We serve varied breakfast options over the days. You can look forward to things like pancakes, omelets, fruits, porridge, toast with butter and jam and hot drinks like hot chocolate, various hot teas and coffee. Our sizable breakfast is exactly the right amount of fuel needed to tackle the most challenging day on the Inca Trail. After filling up your water bottle with the boiled water we provide , we set out for a day that promises to be the most challenging, but satisfying at the same time.
We begin our day with a steep incline going through cloud forest towards Llulluchapampa (3800m/12 460ft), gaining almost 800m/ 2 625ft in elevation. Along the way you come across llamas and alpacas grazing lazily and drinking from the fresh water streams available throughout the mountain side. After catching your breath, we continue on the steep incline toward the prized peak of the day, Dead Women´s Peak (4200m/ 13779ft). This is the highest and most challenging peak of the trail. Once you reach the top, the sense of achievement you will feel is indescribable. The spectacular views from the hill top are absolutely mesmerizing, almost as if you are standing on top of the world.
After a well-deserved rest, we start our hike down to our lunch spot in Pacaymayu (3 580m/ 11 700ft). Our walk passes by calming waters cascading from the tops of the mountain peaks and we cross over well-structured Inca bridges. Upon arrival at our lunch sport, our hard-working porters will have everything already set up and welcome us with a hot drink, before another 5-course gourmet lunch is served in our dining tent. Later, we start our second steep incline towards our second peak of the day Runkuraqay (4 000m/ 13 123ft). This basket shaped hill top is usually covered in fog and it gives the illusion of being within the clouds.
Next, is a descent to the Archeological site of Sayacmarka (3 650m/ 11 975ft), which translates to ´inaccessible town´ in English. Finally, we make our way down to camp in Chaquicocha (3 600m/ 11 800ft). At camp we enjoy our afternoon tea, which is later followed by a scrumptious dinner. Enjoy the great views of glaziers as you wind down from the physically challenging day.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snack, dinner
- Accommodations: Camping facilities
- Distance: 16KM / 10MILES (at approx. 9 hours’ hike)
- Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
DAY 3: CH´AQICOCHA – PHUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAY WAYNA
Your third morning on the Inca Trail is unreal, a mythical day that represents a kind of living that only existed over 600 years ago. Your guide wakes you up with a hot cup of tea in your tent before you head out for a scrumptious hot breakfast at 06:00AM. After breakfast we trek on an undulating trail towards Phuyupatamarca (3 670m/ 12 040ft) which means ¨Town in the Clouds¨.This area borders the jungle and has a low-lying mist that creates a unique and surreal scenery that has everything covered in cloud. This archeological site has 15 constructions, with 6 of them being ritual water baths. From the top you get an expansive view of the valley, the canyons below and the spectacular landscape that surrounds you.
Later, we continue trekking through cloud forest to the newly discovered agricultural site of Intipata (2 897m/ 9 505ft). The trail takes you through tunnels that the Incas created through the mountain side and tree trunks, with its staircases carved into the rock. The rest of the trail for this day is a steep downhill and the rocks can get slippery. Boots with good grip and walking poles really come in handy at this point. Intipata was only discovered in 1992 and comprises of a vast terraced farming area. It was an important agricultural source for the royalty living at Machu Picchu. You can still find fully functioning water fountains that were used for irrigation purposes.
As we continue on our descent, the weather warms up significantly, this is because of the significant drop in elevation, as well as the fact that we are approaching the Amazon Jungle. Getting closer to Wiñay Wayna (2 680m/ 8 793ft), the flora becomes more vibrant in color and the mountains are a beautiful lush green. Upon reaching Wiñay Wayna campsite, we stop for a well-deserved lunch in our last campsite of the trek. We can rest assured knowing Machu Picchu is only a day away.
After lunch we take a very short hike to the second most popular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu. This stunning archeological site stands as the most well-preserved Archeological site in the world. It gets its name from an orange orchid on the trail that grows abundantly throughout the year. Your guide will share the fascinating history of this site. Also enjoy the breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, the waterfall below and the Urubamba River snaking its way through the valley. We head back to camp for afternoon tea, followed by our last gourmet Andean dinner, made by our talented chef. The night in this campsite is much warmer. And on a clear night, you can look forward to spectacular star studded night skies.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snack, dinner
- Accommodations: Camping facilities
- Distance: 10KM / 6.2MILES (at approx. 5 hours’ hike)
- Difficulty: Moderate
DAY 4: WIÑAY WAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
The day you have been waiting for is finally here!! This will be our earliest start so far. Breakfast is served at 4:00am. We say good bye to our superhuman porters and the chef and his team, as they rush to catch the only staff train available. The best thing about our last camp is that you can indulge in a shower before getting dolled up for pictures at the great Citadel of Machu Picchu.
We start are gradual hike to the famous Sun Gate, passing the notorious steep and narrow gringo steps. The Sun Gate (2 720m/ 8 924ft) also known as Inti Punku, will give you the first jaw dropping view of the Machu Picchu Citadel (2,400m/7,872 ft). Watch the citadel just as the sun rises behind it, spreading over it like melted gold. Finally, we walk downhill the Royal Inca Trail to enter the Citadel of Machu Picchu from the top through the “House of the Guardians” where all of the famous postcard pictures of Machu Picchu are taken.
From there, we proceed towards the control point, where we register and leave any large backpacks or walking poles. The rangers do not allow anyone to take small bags into Machu Picchu, such as camera bags. Walking poles are not allowed because they can damage the stones. Your guide will give you a guided tour and educate you about the history of the ruins for about two hours. You will see many of the important parts of Machu Picchu.
After your tour, those who have booked in advance for the extra hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on our train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping or sightseeing.
The Expedition Train at 2:55 or 3:20pm will take you back to Ollantaytambo, following the spectacular Urubamba River. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 7:00pm.
Meals included: Breakfast ONLY
- On the 4 day Inca Trail, we will be doing the Circuit #3 and there is no way to do another circuit unless you buy an additional entrance to Machu Picchu (US$57).
- You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for the same times, 2:55 or 3:20, 4:22, or 4:43pm. The cost is $67 USD.
- Early trains can be organized by request and it has to be done by booking time.
- The Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike depends on availability and let us know about it at booking time.
WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR TEH 4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
- Briefing a night before the trek at our office
- Extra porters for your belongings up to 5kg
- Hotel pickup
- Professional English tour guide
- Meals (Indicated on itinerary only)
- First aid kits
- Oxygen tank
- Hot water for washing at campsite
- Boiled water at campsite
- 4 season Eureka tents
- Thick foam mattress
- Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Transfer back to Cusco hotel
- Admission permits for the Inca Trail
- Entrance ticket to Machupicchu
- 2 hour guided tour
- Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Chef and cooking equipment
- Dining tents with tables and chairs
- Day pack rain covers
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED FOR THE 4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
- Huaynapicchu: US $75 per person
- First breakfast in Ollantaytambo
- Last lunch in Aguas Calientes
- Upgrades: Vistadome train US $57 per person (return trip only)
- Tips for guides, cooking crew and porters
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY FOR 4-DAY / 3-NIGHT CLASSIC INCA TRAIL 4 DAYS
The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is available on any date as long as we have a minimum of 2 people and there are permits available. Please check with our office!
|No. OF PEOPLE||PRICE|
|2 to 5 people||$ 657USD per person|
|+5||$ 637 USD per person|
- We require a minimum of 2 hikers to start this trek.
- We operate group tours up to 12 hikers maximum.
- 18 to 25 years old: $30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
- Under 18 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Under 11 years old: $40 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Sleeping Bag: $20 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
- Air Mattress: $20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
- Walking Poles: $15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
- Personal Tent: $30 USD – (For single travelers only)
- Additional Night in Aguas Calientes: From $60 USD (Depending on availability)
- Vistadome Train Upgrade: $57 USD per person (For the return to Cusco at 4:43pm)
- Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
CHECK YOUR 4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU TREK AVAILABILITY BY CLICKING ON MONTH OF YOUR CHOICE!
Please read the following information to help answer any questions you may have about our Services and the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
We will pick you up from the Cusco airport and take you to your hotel in Cusco. Please let us know your flight details at least 14 days before arrival. Our representative will be holding an orange sign reading ORANGE Nation outside the arrivals. You must exit the terminal to find our representative as they cannot enter. (Please let us know if your hotel is in the Sacred Valley so we can make the necessary arrangments).
The Briefing will be the night before the trek at 6 pm in our office, which is located at Garcilaso Street 210 Office Nº:213 (2and Floor)
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:
ABSOLUTELY! During the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free.
HOW TO BOOK THE 4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
FIRST, to book your 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here – BOOK NOW.
We will need the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). This information is necessary to purchase the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu the train tickets:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person , in order to purchase your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket. You can make you deposit by clicking on the PAYPAL symbol on the top of our home page, or you can click on the PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Unfortunately No. Once the Permits have been purchased, the government does not allow any changes. That also includes the departure date. Tickets are also non transferable nor refundable. If you cancel your Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the deposit is lost!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE 4 DAY INCA TRAIL?
DEFINITELY! You MUST bring your original passport with the SAME passport number you sent us to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket, other entrances and reservations. They will check when you enter Machu Picchu and to board the train.
In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, please send us a COPY of your old passport to secure your permit, and we can change it when we receive a COPY of your new passport for a fee of $25 USD per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to enter Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter into Machu Picchu or get on the train.
Remember to check your current passport to make sure it doesn’t expire within 6 months of your arrival to Peru!!! The Government of Peru is enforcing the existing law that requires all foreign travelers to have a passport valid for a minimum of six months past the time of entry into Peru. Peruvian authorities will deny entry into Peru for travelers not meeting this requirement.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE 4 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
The weather is very unpredictable and always changing in the Andes Mountains, so it is difficult to say with any certainty. We recommend that you be prepared for warm weather, possible rain showers (Orange Nation provides rain ponchos) and a warm jacket in case of cold. We also recommend that you dress in layers so you may take off or put on clothes as needed.
The climate in Cusco has temperatures between 10º – 20º C/ 50º – 68º F, with warm days and cold nights. The best time to hike the Inca Trail is between April and October, when the weather is warm. During June, July and August the nights are very cold, which is why Orange Nation rents good quality 4 season sleeping bags.
The rainy season is during the months of November through March, if you want to hike the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu during this season, bring warm clothes and be prepared for rain but there will be a beautiful landscape and colorful flowers.
The month of February, the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed for safety, repairs and restoration.
The Average weather conditions on the Inca Trail:
- Dry Season: April – October
- Day temperature: 20ºC – 25ºC – Night temperature -1ºC – 7ºC
- Wet Season: November – March
- Day temperature: 17ºC – 22ºC – Night temperature 4ºC – 7ºC
WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as shortness of breath, discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche Quechua for high-altitude sickness.
Don’t do anything other than rest
If you travel from Lima to Cusco, the effect can be immediate. This lack of oxygen, scientifically known as hypoxia, begins to manifest itself at 7,874 ft (2,399 m) above sea level. That’s why right after landing in Cusco, visitors can feel fatigued and have difficulty walking. Walking one block could feel like walking ten blocks carrying a backpack full of rocks. It is advisable to take it easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.
How do people feel after a night of drinking? Thirsty! That’s how you’ll feel when you arrive in Cusco. As already stated, the body dehydrates quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco. Also, avoid heavy meals since your stomach takes longer to digest food at high altitudes. A diet of low proteins and high carbs is advisable.
No one knows the effects of high altitude better than indigenous people. Coca is the best natural medicine to combat altitude sickness. It was even considered sacred because of its curative powers and is still used in the same way now as it was in the time of the Incas. It contains iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, and calcium, among other nutrients. Coca makes it easier for your bloodstream to absorb oxygen, suppresses hunger, combats fatigue, headaches and can ease your stomach. If you don’t feel like chewing leaves (which can be bitter and numb your mouth), you can try drinking coca tea, which is most commonly found in the lobby of hotels in Cusco.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?
The maximum group size is 8 people. Usually, our groups are between 2-6 people. Orange Nation specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized service.
HOW MANY COOKS/PORTERS FOR THE GROUP?
You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends on the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, there will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.
DUFFEL BAG AND SMALL BACK PACK
The evening before your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFEL BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/15lbs including sleeping bag so 5kg/11lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffel bag for you together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, rain jacket, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. A 30 to 50L backpack is sufficient.
IS THE TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?
The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a 42km (24.4 miles) hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. The maximum altitude on the trek is 4,217m / 13,907ft. On the second day of the trek, we climb two mountains. The Trail is fairly difficult, and you should be prepared and healthy before starting. You have to be relatively fit and exercise regularly. In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatized to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 days in Cusco (3,350m/11,047ft) before starting the trek.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip is appreciated. It means a lot to the staff and their families who will take care of you during the tour. It inspires better service and is a major part of the tourism industry across many ORANGE Nation destinations. Of course, you are free to tip more or less what you want, depending on how you feel about the quality of service and the length of your tour.
ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?
Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator that incorporates the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand, and respect the local places and its people.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU FOR THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
- Original Passport: (Must be the same you used for booking your trek)
- Valid, University Card: (Only if you booked as a student)
- Good Daypack: One with extra room for a box lunch (the smaller, the better)
- Water: 2-3L (Camelbak bladders are encouraged)
- Boots: Comfortable broken in hiking boots or shoes (Boots with ankle support recommended).
- Sleeping Bag: 4 season bag (can be rented from ORANGE NATION)
- Headlamp or flashlight: Headlamp frees up hands (Back-up flashlight & batteries are recommended)
- Toilet paper: Make sure to bring your own.
WHAT TO PUT IN THE DUFFEL BAG FOR THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
As a Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 15 lbs. including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
- Warm clothes
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Quick dry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer your own
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash
- Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them
- Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us for $20USD
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal medications
- First aid kit
WHAT TO PUT IN THE DAY BACKPACK FOR THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 – 40 Liters for hiking. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.
- Drinking Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water at every meal. Please bring your canteens or bottles
- Sun Hat
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Rain gear
- Snacks like chocolate bars, ice cream, cereal bars, protein bars
- Coca leaves
- Rain plastic poncho
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
10/10 Amazing experience
If you’re thinking about which agency to use, look no further- Ray and Jimmy went well above and beyond and made this a memorable, safe, fun, and professional experience.
Ray is the most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had in any country for any excursion - during both the Short Inka Trail and the actual tour of Machu Picchu, Ray’s expertise shined through in his ability to give us a detailed background on every aspect of the history, climate, nature, flora, animals.. anything!
Likewise, Ray and Jimmy were truly the friendliest, kindest hosts that I could have imagined our group having.
Thank you both so much and I will definitely book with you again if (when) I come back!
Did the 2 day Inca trail with Ray and Jimmy they were great and knowledgeable. Ray not only guided us along trail to Machu Picchu but also was an excellent photographer and taught us the history. It was a group of 10 and we had a great time. Even everything going on in Peru, we always felt in good hands.
Short Inca Trial (2-Day)
This tour was the perfect experience for our (group of 10) short trip to Peru. The trail was sometimes challenging, but the views and history made it all worth it. Ray and Jimmy were our guides and imparted sooo much knowledge about the history of Peru, Inca, and beyond. I would definitely recommend!