Extended Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Extended Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days 4 nights

Follow in the footsteps of the Incas and hike the world-famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, on this fully-equipped and guided 5-day Inca Trail itinerary. The 5-day Inca Trail follows the route of the world-famous classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hikers will arrive at Machu Picchu on the fourth day of the trek and descend directly to the small town of Aguas Calientes, for a well-deserved night’s rest in a comfortable hotel. Starting early, on the following day a knowledgeable guide will provide a tour of Machu Picchu, after which there will be time for the optional ascent of Huayna Picchu Mountain or a visit to the Temple of the Moon, before the return train ride to Cusco.

YOUR DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY AND SERVICES:

Day 1: Cusco – Piscacucho (Km. 82) – Huayllabamba

We will pick you up from your hotel in the early morning for the journey by private vehicle to Piscacucho, a community at Km 82 of the Cusco-Machu Picchu railroad. After crossing the Urubamba River, we will begin our trek. Along the way, you will be met by fine views of snow-capped Mount Veronica (5850 meters / 19,193 feet). After hiking along the riverbank, we will arrive at the beautiful Inca ruins of Llactapata, from where our route continues to the village of Huayllabamba and our first campsite.

Day 2: Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo

After a good breakfast, we will begin the day by hiking up to Warmihuañusca Pass (4205 meters / 13795 feet), the highest part on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Along the way, the landscape will change as we move into the sparse vegetation of the high plains. It is possible to spot alpacas and llamas on this section of the Inca Trail. Arriving at the pass, we will have time to rest and enjoy the fine views, before descending to our second campsite at Pacaymayo in time our evening meal.

Day 3: Pacaymayo – Phuyupatamarca

Today, the trail will climb to the second pass at Runkuraqay (3950 meters / 12,956 feet), from where there are spectacular views of both the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges. After a short rest, we will descend along a paved Inca road to the restored ruins of Runkuraqay and Sayacmarca. Here, our route takes us into the cloud forest and in the afternoon we will hike along a series of stone Inca steps, passing the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3640 meters / 11,942 feet) before camping for the night.

Day 4: Phuyupatamarca – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes

From Phuypatamarca, the trail descends a vertiginous slope along a remarkable set of stone Inca steps, a descent of approximately three hours to the picturesque Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna (2665 meters / 8743 feet), surrounded by tropical forest. You will have at least an hour to explore the ruins of Winay Wayna. In the afternoon we will walk for another two hours, enjoying spectacular scenery with the Urubamba River far below, until we reach the Sun Gate, from where you will get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. From here it is a forty-minute walk, followed by a 30-minute bus ride to the small town of Aguas Calientes (2070 meters / 6791 feet). 

Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco

Today we will make an early start to ensure you will have plenty of time to visit Machu Picchu, the Inca city rediscovered in 1911. Located at the top of a steep, forested hill overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu was hidden by dense vegetation for centuries until the American explorer Hiram Bingham began to clear the site. Today the city has been extensively restored, creating an unforgettable sight for visitors who arrive from all over the world. Your guided tour includes a visit to the temples, plazas, palaces, watercourses and residential areas of Machu Picchu, and you will have the option of scaling Huayna Picchu Mountain (2-3 hours, subject to availability).

EXTENSIONS: DO YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN PERU?

Other travelers added the following extension to this Peru itinerary...

SACRED VALLEY TOUR Full day 
Explore Cusco’s Sacred Valley of the Incas on this full-day excursion. Beginning in the city of Cusco, this full-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas includes visits to the remarkable Inca sites of Pisaq, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero, with plenty of time to enjoy and photograph the spectacular scenery of the Sacred Valley and surrounding peaks. You will be escorted by an experienced and knowledgeable guide as you walk the narrow streets of the Inca village of Ollantaytambo and wander through the handcraft market in the village square at Pisaq.

CHECK TO SEE WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING...

Included

Transport and tickets

  •  Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to the trailhead
  • Return train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Poroy station). Expedition class train. We can provide an upgrade to Vistadome upon request
  • Transfer from the train station to your hotel in Cusco
  • Entrance tickets to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus ticket to and from Machu Picchu   

 Camping equipment

  • Personal tent
  • Air mattresses
  • Kitchen utensils, complete tableware, chairs and tables
  • Dining tent and kitchen tent
  • Latrine tent
  • First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle

 Team

  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Cook
  • Porters to carry camping equipment, food and up to 7 kilograms of each participant’s personal gear

 Food

  • Delicious meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinking water to fill your water bottle regularly (from natural sources, filtered and boiled)
  • Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruit, biscuits, chocolate and energy bars, candy)
  • Hot drinks such as tea and coffee
Not included

 Not included:

  • Sleeping bags (we offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost)
  • Entrance fee to visit Huayna Picchu (subject to availability)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal items, including personal medical supplies
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
What to bring:
  • Passport (bring additional photocopies of your passport)
  • A daypack for personal items (to be carried personally)
  • Warm clothing for the Andean sections of the trek
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeved shirts (cotton)
  • Shorts for walking (optional).
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Camera
  • Binoculars for birdwatching enthusiasts
  • Good hiking boots
  • Walking poles (make sure they are not metal tipped, to protect the Inca Trail’s original stone steps)
  • Swimming gear and sandals (if you would like to visit the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes)
  • Flashlight
FAQs - Frequently asked questions

Is there a minimum group size and what happens if Andean Adventures Peru does not meet the minimum size?

The minimum number of participants for each group is 2. In the event that we do not reach the minimum number of persons required for a selected date, we will try to offer you an alternative trek date or refund your trek deposit in full. Andean Adventures Peru can operate with a single participant on a private tour basis (many of our clients choose to travel individually).

I would like to do the trek with my friends, can I book now and my friends book later?
That depends on the availability of places on the Inca Trail. We cannot guarantee that once you have booked, your friends will also be able to do so. On certain dates during the high season, we recommend that groups of travelers who want to hike the Inca Trail should do so under a single booking. Refunds are not given for the Inca Trail, and so if your friends don’t manage to get a place on the same date, or if those who succeed in booking decide to cancel the trip, there will be no possibility of a refund. 

Is there a minimum or maximum age limit for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? 
There is no official restriction on the age limit for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or other treks in Peru. However, as a responsible trekking and hiking company we recommend that children under 9 years of age should not hike Inca Trail. 12 years is a better age to do the Inca Trail. Also, all children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

What is the maximum group size? Is there a maximum?
The maximum group size is 16 persons. For more than 16 persons, a second group must be organized. A single guide travels with 8 participants. For larger groups, an assistant guide will also accompany the participants.

If I am traveling alone can I have my own tent / hotel room?
If you are traveling alone and are willing to share a tent, with a member of the same sex or partner, family member or friend, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own private tent an additional supplement will be payable. Please contact us in advance, because this option will depend on the availability of spaces at the campsites designated by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

Can I wait until Cusco to hire an extra porter?
If you want to hire the services of an extra porter to carry your personal gear, then you must let us know at the time you make your booking for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. By letting us know in advance, you ensure we will be able to organize the services of an extra porter for each day of the trek. If you make this request in Cusco just days before the start of your trek, the extra porter will only be able to accompany you during the first two days of the Inca Trail.

What is the Inca Trail level of difficulty and do I need to be in good physical condition?
The Inca Trail is a 43-kilometer (25-mile) trek through a mountainous region, involving hiking for 5-7 hours a day at high altitude and over rough terrain. Make no mistake, the Inca Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You should be fit and exercise regularly before your trek. It is also important to be well acclimated before starting the trek. We recommend spending 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3400 meters / 11,154 feet above sea level) prior to starting the trek. If you do not take regular exercise or have a heart, respiratory, knee or back problem, do not consider doing the trek.

What is the weather like on the trek?
Both in Cusco and on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, days tend to be warm and nights cold. On the Inca Trail, from April through October, which is the dry season, the weather during the day is warm. During June, July and August nights can be cold, and a good four season sleeping bag is recommended. The rainy season runs from November through March. In February, which is the rainiest month of the year, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance.

What do we do for water along the Inca Trail?
Use of plastic bottles on the network of Inca Trails to Machu Picchu is not permitted. Other treks do not have this restriction but we always recommend and encourage our travelers to use reusable canteens or second use plastic water bottles. Our cook will provide you with boiled water to refill your bottle at all the campsites.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

What do I need to carry?
You will need to carry your daypack with all the personal items you need during the day. The rest of your luggage will be transported by us (van / porters). Porters are only permitted to carry 8 kilos for each person (including sleeping bag). As a company, Andean Adventures Peru is committed to the well-being of its porters during treks, ensuring that they are properly paid, well fed, and comfortable at our campsites. 

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