Tour Details

See for yourself why the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is the most popular trek in the Andes!

On this Inca Trail tour you’ll enjoy spellbinding mountain scenery, unforgettable Inca sites, and a cornucopia of flowers and hummingbirds. With Best Andes Travel, you spend 4 full days hiking to Machu Picchu, and a 5th day exploring in the famous ruins themselves. After more than 30 years operating this route, we know how important it is to give all participants adequate time to properly acclimatize to the altitude in order to enjoy the sights at a comfortable pace.

Most of our returning passengers tell us they appreciated that our Inca Trail trek is 5 days instead of the more usual 4 days, enabling them to better adjust to the altitude, which mades them feel stronger, and to spend more time on this challenging trek. During four hiking days you cover 35 km/21.9 miles, starting at 8,700 ft and finishing at 7,860 ft above sea level. You cross two high passes, with a maximum elevation of 13,887 ft. While trail conditions are generally good, and the condition of the centuries-old Inca paving stones is astonishing, some steep trail sections require careful footing and good hiking boots with lug soles. Nevertheless, thanks to our careful pacing, dedicated guides and professional support staff, this Machu Picchu trip is suitable for novices and experienced hikers alike.

Porters carry the heavy gear; you carry only a daypack so you’re free to enjoy the spectacular scenery. You’ll be amazed at the hearty and delicious meals you have on the trail—our cooks prepare wholesome meals from fresh ingredients and handle all the kitchen chores. You sleep warm and protected in high-quality tents. Join Best Andes Travel, the most reliable outfitter in the Andes, for a trip you’ll never forget.

Note About Trekking Permits: Plan Ahead!

The Peruvian government limits the number of people allowed on the Inca Trail to 500 per day, including passengers, guides, cooks and porters. That leaves about 250 permits for trekkers. Permits sell out quickly for popular dates, so we recommend that permits be purchased 5-6 months ahead of your trek date. Don’t be disappointed. Check with us at least 5 months prior to your departure date about permit availability. For the last several years, we have had to turn away many disappointed people who waited too long or who did not know about the permit situation. In order to include you in the trek roster, we must receive: your full name as it appears on your passport, your nationality, passport number, age, occupation and gender. Permits are not refundable or transferable. If you are unable to secure a place on our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu tour, please ask about our excellent alternative treks in the Andes.


Day 1: Huayllabamba
Day 2: Pacaymayo
Day 3: Phuyopatamarka
Day 4: Machu Picchu
Day 5: Machu Picchu/Cusco

Itinerary: Inca Trail Expedition 5 day

We pick you up at your Cuzco hotel and transfer by van to our trailhead at Piscacucho, on the Vilcanota River (km. 82 on the train route to Machu Picchu), a 3-hour drive from Cuzco. After clearing the trailhead control point, we hike along the left bank of the powerful Vilcanota River, beneath the impressive snowcapped Nevado Veronica. The valley is dry, with Opuntia and Cholla cactus common; where irrigation is possible, we walk adjacent to fields of corn. In the rapids below the trail, you can spot Torrent ducks swimming in the eddies. We explore the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, then turn south and begin to gain altitude following the narrow side valley of the Cusichaca River. We camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba (2,954 m/9,690 ft). Distance 11.4 km/7.2 miles, elevation gain 300 m/984 feet. (L,D)

We climb steeply through fields and forest, then emerge above the treeline and reach Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,234 m/13,887’). Enjoy magnificent views to the Huaynay Range snowpeaks and distant Inca ruins. Descend to our camp at Pacaymayo in the valley bottom (3,613 m/11,850 ft. Distance 8 km/5 miles, elevation gain 1,280 m./4,200 feet (B,L,D)

We cross a second pass (3,975 m/13,038’), and follow a fine Inca highway down to the exquisite ridge-top ruins of Sayaqmarka. Further on, we pass through a tunnel amid luxuriant cloud forest vegetation. Camp at the superb Phuyopatamarka ruins (3,679m/12,067 ft) overlooking the Vilcanota River far below. Phuyopatamarka is Quechua for “City above the Clouds”. The views toward the sacred peak of Salcantay are sublime. Distance 7 km/4.5 miles, elevation gain 362 m/1,190 feet (B,L,D)

We descend steeply, following the Royal Highway through orchid-rich cloud forest to Winya Wayna ruins. The final part of the trail on the back of Machu Picchu Mountain is a stunningly beautiful traverse leading to the Gate of the Sun overlooking Machu Picchu. We reach this highlight in the golden sunshine of late afternoon. Descending into the city, we board a shuttle bus to descend a switchbacking road to Puente Ruinas and our camp by the river beneath the ruins (2,000 m/6,560 ft). See below for optional hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes. Distance 8.9 km/5.6 miles, elevation drop 1,150 m/3,772 feet (to Machu Picchu. (B,L,D)

We return to the site by shuttle bus. Those wishing to view sunrise over Machu Picchu can take the pre-dawn shuttle bus, which delivers you to the main gate at 6.00AM when the gates are opened. An early start gives you more options to hike some of the peripheral trails, such as Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. We include an in-depth guided tour of the ridge-top city. We descend to the nearby village of Aguas Calientes for return in late afternoon by train, arriving into Cuzco around 9.30PM. Transfer to your hotel. (B)


  • Indicated meals
  • Transport by train and bus
  • Porterage of up to 7 kg personal gear
  • Communal camp gear including tables and camp chairs
  • Dining tent
  • Spacious sleeping tents
  • Water filter and other amenities.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes

Not Included

  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu – there is a fee of $65 per person
  • Sleeping Bag – $20 per bag for entire trek
  • Tips to guide and trek staff
  • Walking sticks ($15).
  • Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.

When’s the best time to go?

The most popular months to trek the Trail are June, July and August, when the weather is warm and visibility is at its best. However, the summer shoulder months; April, May and September are less busy, so walkers will have more time and space to enjoy the trail.


Similar Posts