Explore the Inca Trail in solitude and visit the most remote and isolated Inca Sites. The Ultimate Inca Trail tour takes you to places where others don’t arrive and enjoy these fantastic trails with few people around. Available every day with a minimum of 2 people to depart.
The Ultimate Inca Trail is a multi-day trek that takes four to seven days. The trail winds through the Andes Mountains, passing by several Inca ruins. The final destination is Machu Picchu, one of the world's most well-preserved archaeological sites.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is rated as one of the best hiking trails in the world due to its beautiful natural environment, rich history, and amazing views of the Andes. Our expert tour guides are familiar with these ancient Inca Trails and will lead you safely to Machu Picchu.
During the Ultimate Inca Trail, you will visit high mountain passes, lush tropical valleys, dense cloud forests, rushing rivers, and ancient Inca ruins. Finally, reach Machu Picchu through the Intipunku (Sun Gate).
- Duration: 5 days 4 nights
- Depart: Cusco
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Season: All year round, except in February
- Destination: Machu Picchu Citadel
- Total hiking distance: 48 km – 30 miles
- Type: Adventure tour
- Explore the unique Inca sites that other groups don’t visit
- Arrive in Machu Picchu twice (sunset and sunrise)
- Spend the night at exclusive and beautiful campsites
- Board the Vistadome panoramic trains to return
A day-by-day summary of the Ultimate Inca Trail Tour
Day 1: Cusco – KM 82 – Chamana
Pick up from your hotel at 5.00 am, drive to Km 82 for breakfast and begin the Inca Trail along the right bank of the Urubamba River. You will visit local villages and important archeological sites such as Salapunku, K’anabamba, Machu Q’ente, Q’oriwayrachina, Wayna Q’ente, and camp near the Patallaqta Inca site.
Day 2: Chamana –Patallaqta – Huayllabamba – Llullluchapampa
After breakfast, we continued up the narrow Kusichaka Valley visiting several Inca sites until Huayllabamba, where lunch is served. The second part is a steep climb to our second campsite at Llulluchapampa, with magnificent views of Huayanay Mountain and the Queuña or Polyepis tree.
Day 3: Llulluchapampa – Runqurakay – Phuyupatamarca
You will conquer 2 mountains; After breakfast, you will start with a 2-hour ascent to Warmiwanuska (dead woman) pass (4,228 m / 13,871 ft), then Runqurakay (3,968 masl / 13,018 fasl).
Day 4: Phuyupatamarca – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
Wake up with the sunrise over the Andes; this is the most beautiful trek day, visiting several archaeological sites: Phuyupatamarka, Intipata, Wiñaywayna, Sungate, and finally arrive at Machu Picchu in the afternoon and see the great citadel almost empty. Spend the night in a 3-star hotel.
Day 5: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of The Incas) – Cusco
Take the early buses to Machu Picchu and explore with your tour guide the most important places; before leaving the citadel, you will have time to explore yourself. After lunch, board the Panoramic train back to Ollantaytambo and a private van to Cusco.
- Pick up and drop off from your hotel.
- Professional tour guide (2 guides for groups 9+)
- All entrance fees to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- All transportation during the tour from hotel to hotel
- Personal porter to carry up to 8 kilos from you
- Chef to prepare your meals
- All meals are included except the last day’s lunch.
- 4-men tents for every two trekkers
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Drinkable water after day one lunch
- Private portable toilets, portable solar showers
- Panoramic trains back to return
- Taxes Included
Full Itinerary of the Ultimate Inca Trail 5 days tour to Machu Picchu
Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – KM 88 – Chamana
The day starts with an early pick-up from your hotel in Cusco (5:00 am) or the Sacred Valley (7:00 am) and a 2-hour drive to kilometer 82. On the way, we will stop at Ollantaytambo for breakfast and visit our Social Project. Upon arrival at Km 82, we will start the Inca Trail expedition. While other groups cross the Urubamba river to the left bank, we will begin hiking along the river's right bank, visiting Salapunku, K'anabamba, and Machu Q'ente.
After 3 hour hike, we will arrive at the control point of KM 88 – Q'oriwayrachina, where you will show your passports and cross the river using a hanging bridge with Inca foundations. Lunch is served in Chamana, where our campsite is located. Later in the afternoon, your tour guide will take you to the impressive Inca Site of Wayna Q'ente, a unique Inca Site situated in the middle of the mountain, offering fantastic views of the valley and the mountains. We camp in Chamana, near the Inca Site of Patallaqta, with hot showers and porta-potties available every night.
- Hiking distance: 13 km / 8 miles
- Duration: 7 hours
- Meals: B, L, D
Day 2: Chamana –Patallaqta – Huayllabamba – Llullluchapampa
After a delicious breakfast prepared by your trekking chef, you will start the day by visiting the impressive Inca Site of Patallaqta, most Inca Trail hikers will be back in km 82, and we will have the place for ourselves. Next, you will hike along the Cusichaca River until Huayllabamba Village, where we will visit Incarakay and enjoy lunch. The second part gets more challenging as we climb to our second campsite in Llulluchapampa. During the last part, you can enjoy various ecosystems, including the thick cloud forest with numerous flowers and birds.
- Hiking distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
- Approximate time: 8 hours
- Meals: B,L,D
Day 3: Llulluchapampa – Runccuracay – Phuyupatamarca
The day starts with an early climb to Warmiwanusqa (Dead Woman's Pass), the Inca Trails highest point at 4200m / 13779f. Here you will take some time to enjoy the amazing views before going for 2 hours to Pacaymayo Alto for a well-deserved lunch.
The second part starts with a steep 2-hour climb to the second pass, the Runccuracay Pass (3956 m / 12979 ft). Next, continue for 3 more hours to the final campsite at Phuyupatamarca (3660 m / 12007 ft). Throughout the day, you will visit the Inca sites Runccurakay, Sayacmarca, and Conchamarca and enjoy amazing views of the Salkantay and Vilcabamba mountains.
- Hiking distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
- Approximate time: 10 hours
- Meals: B,L,D
Day 4: Phuyupatamarca – Wiñaywayna – Sungate – Machu Picchu
Wake up on the most spectacular campsite of the Inca Trail with a cup of coffee or tea while you enjoy the sunrise. Today's route is mostly downhill along the cobblestone trail; you can visit the Inca Sites of Puhyupatamarca, Intipata, and Wiñaywayna before lunch.
After enjoying the last lunch in Wiñaywayna with the porters and saying goodbye to them, we will hike for 1 hour to the Sungate (Intipunku), where we will have the first and most amazing view of Machu Picchu with the sunset. We will spend the night in a hotel at Aguas Calientes Town (Machu Picchu Pueblo).
- Hiking distance: 11 km / 6.8 miles
- Approximate time: 7 hours
- Meals: B,L,D
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
After breakfast, we will board the first buses to Machu Picchu and explore the best Inca Citadel. Your tour guide will take you to the most amazing places like the Inca Bridge, temples, and palaces and give you free time to explore independently after the guided tour. After Machu Picchu, you will board the Vistadome Panoramic train back to Ollantaytambo. Our private transportation will be waiting for you to transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco. The expected arrival time is around 7.30 pm.
- Hiking distance: 3 hours
- Meals: B
Price of the Ultimate Inca Trail 5 days
Price Per person:
- 890.USD for adults
- 850.USD For children and students
To book the Ultimate Inca Trail 5 days tour to Machu Picchu, you need to make an initial payment of 200.USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or Cusco with any credit card or PayPal with no booking fees at all.
We require a minimum of 2 participants per booking to guarantee departure; if you are a solo traveler, contact us to see available group departures.
All travelers under 17 will have a $40 discount. If you are 25 years old or under when traveling, you can get a 40$ discount with your Student ID. Please advise by email to give you a code for the discount.
Valid Student ID for IncaTrail and Machu Picchu
To get the student discount, travelers should have a Valid ID with the following:
- 25 years or less at the time of entering Machu Picchu. Older than 25 can not enter as a student
- The ID must have the Name of the university, name, and photo of the student
- The ID must have a valid expiration date
Invalid Student IDs
Student IDs are not eligible for a discount when:
- Traveler is older than 25
- Expired ID
- Student Id without expiration date
- ISIC cards are not valid.
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5 day Machu Picchu trek Packing List
You will need a small daypack for the 5-day Machu Picchu trek; this must be small, light, and comfortable. For Machu Picchu, backpacks should not be larger than 25 liters; however, if yours is bigger is ok; you can make it look smaller on the last day or leave some stuff in the lockers while visiting Machu Picchu.
TreXperience staff will provide a duffle bag the day before the tour departure; here, you will be able to put all the necessary equipment needed during the 5 days tour. Porters carry the duffle bags, and a weight limit of 7 kilos includes your sleeping bags and air mats.
An original passport is required to enter the Inca Trail; ensure the expiration date is at least 6 months from when you visit the country. If you book as a student, you will need to show the Student card.
You need to bring good sleeping bags (-10°C), during winter the temperature in the mountain can drop below 0°C, in case you don’t have one, you can rent one from us for 20$ for the whole trip.
We provide foam mattresses for the Inca Trail; if you want more comfort, you can bring an inflatable mat or rent from TreXperience for 15$ for the whole trip.
Trekking poles are handy when hiking up and down the mountains; your tour guide will explain how to use them. You can bring your own or rent from us for 15$ a pair for the whole trip.
Waterproof hiking boots are essential for this hike; make sure you use them before hiking the Inca trail, and bring thick wool socks to avoid blisters.
Sandals or sneakers:
After a long day of hiking, you will remove the boots and walk around the campsite with something lite and soft. Bring sandals or light shoes for the camp and the night in the hotel.
You must always bring rain gear; even during the dry season, rain can occur at any time. We will provide you with a rain poncho during the Inca Trek; bring waterproof jackets, gloves, pants. You will need to get some plastic containers to keep your clothes.
During the day, you will need warm clothes with you always in your daypack. You will need to bring good jackets, gloves, bennies, and thermals as temperatures might reach below freezing at night.
Bring toilet paper always with you on the daypack; also, you will need to bring wet wipes or tissues.
Water bottles, water bladders, or any reusable container for at least 2 liters of capacity. Single-use plastic bottles are not allowed on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, dry shampoo, moisturizers, small towel
Headache pills, pain killers, Pepto, Imodium, Diamox, band-aids, hand sanitizer, and a basic first aid kit.
Cellphones, GoPro, and cameras need to be comfortable to use and not very heavy. Note that to use tripods need special permission. During The Inca Trail tour, we camp in the mountains, and at some campsites, we don’t have electricity; you need to bring extra batteries.
Headlamps are essential for the Inca Trail; you will need them to go top the restrooms at night, during dinner time, and if you are late on the trail to walk in the dark.
Sun hat, long sleeves, sunscreen are always with you.
Make sure you bring bug spray; something with feet works very way. If you are hiking the Inca Trail during July, August, September, and October, we recommend Mosquito Head Net Face.
Bring power bars, chocolates, candies, crackers, granola. We provide snacks every day, but it is always good to have some extra.
Bring extra money in Soles to the Inca Trail; you will need them to buy water, use toilets during the first and last day, buy souvenirs, or tip.
Ultimate Inca Trail FAQs
What is the difference between the Classic Inca Trail and Ultimate Inca Trail?
The Ultimate Inca Trail will take you to explore unique places that cannot be visited during the Classic Inca Trail. You can hike slower, spend more time at each archaeological site, and camp in less crowded campsites. You will spend 3 nights camping in the mountains and 1 night in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes.
The 5-day option also allows you to arrive twice at Machu Picchu, one in the afternoon of day 4, where you will enjoy the sunset, and one in the morning of day 5, where you will enjoy the sunrise early in the morning.
How high are the campsites of the Ultimate Inca Trail?
- Cusco city is located at 3,399m
- The start point of the Inca Trail is KM 82 at 2642m
- The average altitude of the Inca Trail is 3,000m
- The highest mountain is Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,215m
- The second highest mountain pass is Runccuracay at 4,000m
- Machu Picchu, where the Inca Trail ends, is at 2,430m
- The first campsite is located at 3000m
- The second campsite is located at 3600m
- The third campsite is located at 3600m
- The last night at Aguas Calientes town at 2,040m
How challenging is Ultimate Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail is considered a moderate difficulty; you must train, exercise, and go short hiking before coming to Peru to complete this trek.
Where does the Ultimate Inca Trail start?
The Inca Trail 5 days and 4 nights starts at Km 82 – Piscacucho, a small village in the Ollantaytambo district.
Where does the Ultimate Inca Trail end?
After 4 days of hiking, you will arrive in the afternoon at the Sungate, where you will finally see Machu Picchu from a distance. The tour ends in your hotel on the 5th after visiting Machu Picchu and boarding the Vistadome train back to Cusco.
How long is the Inca Trail 5 days?
The 5 days Machu Picchu Trek covers 48 km – 30 miles from Km 82 to Machu Picchu.
When is the best time of the year to hike the Ultimate Inca Trail?
This question is often tough to answer, Inca Trail is Inca Trail, and you will be amazed by the sun, rain, wind, cold, or any weather you might encounter on your trip. You must have the proper equipment and always be prepared for all types of weather. Inca Trail is located in the cloud forest, famous for having the most unstable weather in Peru and perhaps the world.
- The best months to hike the Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu are April to October.
- The Driest months on the Inca Trail are May, June, July, and August. However, these are the busiest day in Machu Picchu.
- The rainy season starts in November and until March; however, it is possible to have whole weeks without rain.
- February is permanently closed due to heavy rains and maintenance.
Why is the Classic Inca Trail Important?
After the Inca Trail’s rediscovery in 1915, archaeologists explored the ancient route. They found many Incan temples, religious sites, and administrative areas, such as Llaqtapata and Runcuracay Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamrca, Initipata, Wiñaywayna, and Intipunku.
The vast number of Inca Sites, the very well-preserved ancient Inca Trail, the secluded location of the area, the varied landscapes, the fantastic view, endemic flora, and fauna are a few of the reasons why the Inca has become one of the most important hikes in South America.
How many days in advance do I have to arrive in Cusco Before Inca Trail Trek?
We recommend arriving at least 2 days before your trip departure. This way, you will have time to adapt to Cusco city’s altitude and prepare for the Inca Trail.
When is the Classic Inca Trail Closed?
The Inca Trail is closed during the entire month of February due to the heavy rains and maintenance.
Where do I have to book Inca Trail Permits?
Authorized registered tour operators can only book the Inca Trail permits in Cusco City. You can not secure the permits yourself and must travel with a tour guide, chef, and porters.
How to get Inca Trail Permits?
The Inca Trail permits are released during the first days of October for the following year. This October 2022, we will book the permits Inca Trail 2023 seasons.
A few months may sell out fast, like May, June, and July, so it is essential to get manual confirmation that the tour operator has secured the permits.
How To Book Inca Trek?
Booking Inca Trail is easy with TreXperience; click the BOOK NOW button, select your departure date, fill up the form with all details requested, including passport information, and finally submit the initial payment required to book the Inca Trail. Due to the permits’ strict booking policy for the Inca Trail administered by the Peruvian Government, all Inca Trail bookings must be confirmed manually.
Is the Inca Trail Hike Dangerous?
Any adventure trip you go on, there are always risks involved. Dangerous situations during the Inca Trail could be due to negligence or the force of nature. The best way to stay safe on the Inca Trail is to follow your tour guide’s instructions.
Can I Hike The Inca Trek Without A Guide?
You can not enter the Inca Trail without hiring a registered tour company. You must hike the Inca Trail with a tour guide, chef, and porters.