1 800 670 9510

 sales@intenseperu.com

Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu

INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU – OVERVIEW

The Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu is for trekkers with little time to hike the Inca Trail or the ones that do not wish to walk the traditional 4 day trek, yet are eager to live the one-in-a-lifetime experience of hiking to Machu Picchu while accesing it through the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) and admire a first glimpse of this architectonic marvel from the distance.

Right from the beginning of the Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu, you will be startled by the changing landscape and climates as you reach Wiñay Wayna a superb site because of its capricious structure, yet with a very specific function: to take as much advantage of the land as possible. Build on a steep hillside overlooking the Urubamba River, comprises an upper and lower house structures surrounded by agricultural terraces.

From Wiñay Wayna, you will continue along a splendid and colorful trail and right before you lose your breath climbing up a steep flight of stairs on the last bit of the trail, you will have reached Intipunku (Sun Gate) and Machu Picchu will majestically reveal itself right in front of your eyes. A short downhill walk will lead you to the citadel to meet your tour guide and to begin your Machu Picchu Tour.

INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU – ITINERARY

DAY 1

Cusco / Sacred Valey – Km 104 – Intipunku – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes:
We will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to any of the two train stations which are closer to you, either Poroy or Ollantaytambo station so you maybe get on your train for the route to Machu Picchu. You should get off at km 104 (Beginning point of the trail). As you travel along on the train, you will witness a dramatic change in the scenery, as you lower from the Sacred Valley to the beginning of the jungle.

Once you arrive in Km104, before you commence your hike, you will be asked to register your name for administrative ends. Then you’ll start walking up a hill, while you enjoy a pleasant warm weather, with breezes of fresh air and the magnificent landscape unwinding in front of you, a variety of plants, flowers and birds along the way, you might even see Viscachas (rabbit-like Chinchillas) and Spectacled Bears (if lucky!) as you keep on hiking, until you arrive in Wiñay Wayna, where you will take a short break to freshen up, visit the site, and register once again at their checkpoint so you may continue your hike to Machu Picchu.

A few hours later, in the afternoon you will have reached Inti Punku (Sun Gate), the entrance to Machu Picchu (2,350m/7,710ft). The view from Inti Punku at this time of the day, will truly allow you to admire the impressive construction right in the middle of the mountains that form a natural boundary between the Andes and the jungle. The perfect time for an amazing photoshoot.  Once you are down at the architectural compound of Machu Picchu, you will find it peaceful and easy to connect with the past and for a brief moment imagine what it was like in the time of the Incas.

You will then, exit the site and take your bus (booked in advance) to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will check into your hotel (not included in the tour price).

You may enjoy a free evening to relax and reminisce your trek to Machu Picchu.

See Hotels in Machu Picchu & Aguas Calientes

Informative facts for the Trek to Machu Picchu

Altitude Km 104: 2145masl / 7037 ft
Vertical variation: +232masl / +761 ft
Altitude Inti Punku: 2732masl / 8964 ft
Vertical variation: -644masl / -2112 ft (bus)
Altitude Aguas Calientes: 2088masl / 6850 ft
Distance: 10.79 km / 6.67 ml (to Inti Punku)
Approximate walking time: 07 hours

Evening free.

Overnight in Aguas Calientes (not included).

BL

DAY 2

Machu Picchu Full-day tour and back to Cusco:
Early in the morning, you will take the bus up to the imposing Machu Picchu complex. Your tour guide will meet you there. You’ll learn about its history, how it came to be, its many functions and its social and mystical meaning within the Andean society.

After the tour, if you’re the adventurous kind, you can hike the Huayna Picchu Mountain (the entrance fee is not included in the tour price and the number of people admitted is limited), and contemplate Machu Picchu from a different perspective and also visit the Temple of the Moon (not included in the tour price). After lunch, you can visit the Inca Bridge or once again climb up to the Inti Punku and admire the view.

Later on you can take the bus down (last bus departs at 17:30) to Aguas Calientes, on your own. Depending on the time your train back to Poroy/Ollantaytambo station (not included in the tour price) is schedule to leave, you can take the chance to explore a little bit of what Aguas Calientes has to offer, such as Hot Springs at the top of one of the main streets, or take a walk to their natural museum, etc. You should go on your own to the train station to hop on your train back to Poroy/Ollantaytambo Station (20min/90min respectively from the City of Cusco) There a driver will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it to take you to your hotel in Cusco.

LEGEND
B Breakfast.

S Snack.

L Lunch.

D Dinner.

BL Boxed Lunch.

NOTES:

The Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu is customizable. If you would prefer to add destinations to your trip, please let us know in the Comments Section of the Get Free Quote form. You can also fill out our Design Your Trip form or Contact Us form with your specific needs.

  • This Inca Trail Express is available every day of the year, except on February beacuse it close for maintenance.
  • The recommended period to do the Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu is in dry season (from mid-April to mid-October).
  • We only offer the Inca Trail Express only in private service.
  • For more Andean Trek options go to Peru Treks.
  • Price does not include local sales taxes; as foreign travelers are sales tax exempt according Peruvian Law.
  • You can add this hike to our 4 day Machu Picchu Tours and thus have a complete experience in Cusco.

Please do not hesitate to Contact Us about customizing this hike.

INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU – PRICES

Price Per Person

Private Service: 2 travelers US$ 485
Private Service: 3 travelers US$ 415
Private Service: 4 travelers US$ 379
Private Service: 5 travelers US$ 365
Private Service: 6 travelers US$ 355
Private Service: 7 travelers US$ 345
Private Service: 8 travelers US$ 335
Private Service: 9 travelers US$ 365
Private Service: 10 travelers US$ 359

* This tour is offered in private service only (no shared service tours available). Price is based on the number of people traveling with you. 

NOTE: Prices can change depending on train stations (Poroy or Ollantaytambo) and train schedules available at the time of you request.

INCLUDED IN INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU

Included in Tour Price

Pre-departure briefing.

Transfer to Ollantaytambo Train Stations from Cusco or Sacred Valley.

Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Km 104 and Aguas Calientes to Poroy.

Inca Trail and Machu Picchu entrance fees.

Spanish / English speaking adventure guide.

Boxed lunch on day 1.

Bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to the village of Aguas Calientes and round trip again the next day.

Not included in Tour Price

International and domestic flights.

Visas required for entry.

Airport taxes.

Drinks.

Tips.

Breakfast and dinner on day 1.

Brekfast, lunch, and dinner on day 2.

Hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes.

Tags:

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – OVERVIEW

The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is not only a marvelous and unique trail because of its incredible variety of flora, fauna and climates hence the colorful and the ever changing landscape, or its singular and aesthetically harmonious construction, but it is also an important Inca remain because of its historical and spiritual meaning. The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was a royal trail back in the times of the Inca Empire, and it was travelled by the Inca and his court for sacred and ceremonial ends, in pilgrimages. Many visitors and trekkers have had indescribable experiences during their hike along this classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu which have had a special impact on their lives…

The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is part of an impressive road network which connected the entire Inca Empire, all the way from Ecuador to Chile and Argentina. The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is paved with blocks of stone, stone stairways, tunnels, and wooden bridges. It crosses rivers, streams, temperate valleys, warm cloud forests, and cold highlands. Along the way, you will encounter the different enticing Inca constructions which served a purpose in its golden years.

Hiking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu can be very rewarding, available for all ages as long as you are fit and in good physical condition. Previous acclimation to the altitude is highly required, since you will be hiking through different levels of altitude.

INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate to Challenging. We strongly recommend acclimatizing to the altitude by staying in Cusco for at least two – three days prior to the trek.

Please do not hesitate to fill out a Get Free Quote form and use the comments section to customize or add to this trip itinerary afterwards.

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – ITINERARY

DIFFICULTY: MODERATE TO CHALLENGING

DAY 1

Cusco – Piskacucho (Km 82) – Llactapata Ayapata:
We will pick you up from your hotel between 04:30 – 05:00AM and travel by car to Km 82, arriving at about 07:00AM.

We will have a satisfying breakfast prepared by our cook, then we’ll start the trek by first stopping at the first Inca Trail checkpoint (please make sure to bring your passport with you to enter the Classic Inca Trail). The first 2 hours of the trek are relatively easy as we make our way to our first Inca remaining: Patallacta, an ancient Inca checkpoint for all people travelling to Machu Picchu. From there it is another 2 hour hike before our next stop for lunch.

After lunch we will hike for another 2½ hours until we reach the first night’s campsite at Ayapata (3300 meters). On this last stretch of the day, we will pass by 2 small communities. If you want to buy any energy drinks or snacks you can do so here, you can also buy any essential items such as batteries for your flashlight, etc.

We will arrive in our campsite by 17:00hrs, giving us enough time to adjust and relax while we share a hot drink and snack with our fellow travellers. By 19:30hrs dinner will be served. Afterwards you can go to bed and rest.

Informative facts for your first day hiking the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu

Trek Daily Statistics

Walking Distance: 8.7 miles/14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite Altitude: 3300 meter high above sea level
Considered: Moderate day (getting used to the Inca Trail)
Weather: Warm and windy

Evening free.

Overnight at campsite.

B S L D

DAY 2

Ayapata – Dead Woman´S Pass – Runcuraccay Pass – Chaquiccocha:
Your porters will wake you up early in the morning with a hot cup of coca tea to energize you for the hike. This day will be the longest in all the hike therefore we’ll start early. We will be reaching the highest pass of the trek, Warmiwañuska (Dead Woman’s Pass: 4215 meters/13829 feet) after hiking approximately for 4 hours.

On the pass we will make a quick stop to take a breath, enjoy the scenery and set off to our descent to Pacasmayo (Hidden River). After descending for an hour and a half, we will make a lunch stop and also refill our water bottles, before we start ascending again for the next 2 hours to the second mountain pass. On the way we will stop at a small Inca site Runcurakay, considered a Tambo (something close to an Inca version of an Inn). As we reach the second pass we will be able to notice the landscape, gradually changing to a more jungle like scenery, a colorful forest welcoming us as we walk for another hour downhill to reach the magnificent Inca site of Sayaqmarka, a small town for 200 inhabitants more or less, of fine architecture, built up on top of a mountain which made it difficult to access, therefore the meaning of its name.

We will stop here to rest. We’ll have a quick tour of the site while we witness a compelling sunset over the Vilcabamba mountain range, 20 minutes more and we will be arriving at our second campsite Chaquicocha (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). Once we arrive we can get comfortable and have dinner, and if you are not too tired, we can star gaze and learn about the Inca names for the constellations on the Southern Hemisphere, away from city lights, the sky magically unfolds before our eyes and let us admire its infinite number of stars.

Informative facts for your second day hiking the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu

Trek Daily Statistics

Walking Distance: 9.94 miles/16 km (7-8 hours)
Campsite Altitude: 3600 meter high above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Top day (you will have survived the two highest passes)
Area: Andes and Cloud Forest
Weather: Cold and rainy

Evening free.

Overnight at campsite.

B S L D

DAY 3

Chaquiccocha – Wiñaywayna Camp:
Today we’ll be getting up at 06:30hrs, have breakfast and set off for the next 2 hours hiking on what is recon as one of most pleasant walks on the trail entering the Cloud Forest. We hike along the “Inca flat” (gradual inclines). As we walk we will spot in the distance the awe-inspiring Salkantay peak, the second highest snowcapped mountain in the Sacred Valley, along the fantastic panoramic view of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Towards the end of the Inca flats we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Puyupatamarka (3600 meters) from where we will have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Looking across the valley we get our first sights of the Machu Picchu Mountain yet the architectural site is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarka we will continue a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps to our last campsite, close to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail before arriving in Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu.

During the descent we will visit 2 Inca ruins, the Phuyupatamarka site (Town in the Clouds) and Intipata (Terraces of the Sun). We will arrive at our campsite approximately at 13:00hrs to have lunch and then you can have some relaxing time and at about 16:30hours, your guide will give you a brief explanation of what to expect the next day and you will visit the Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, spending about an hour and a half there. We will explain the significance of the site and combine all the information given during the trek so you are fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu the following day.

Since this is the last part of the trek and we like to spoil our guest, we prepare a little party to enjoy our last day together with the porters and chefs. It is an Inca Trail tradition to organize a ceremony in the evening to introduce the team to the tourists once again and to thank them for the great job done (if you wish to provide tips for them this is the ideal moment to do so). It is advisable to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up in the early hours of the morning to arrive to Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn in hopes that the weather will give us a beautiful sunrise over the ruins at Machu Picchu as we reach the Intipunku (Sun gate).

Informative facts for your third day hiking the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu

Trek Daily Statistics

Walking Distance: 6.2 miles/10km (5 hours)
Campsite Altitude: 2.600 meter high above sea level (chilly weather)
Considered: Easy day – all downhill!
Area: High Cloud Forest
Weather: Warm and very humid

Evening free.

Overnight at campsite.

B S L D

DAY 4

Machu Picchu, “The Lost City of the Incas” – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo – Cusco:
We will get up at 03:30hrs, have breakfast at 4:00hrs and head to the checkpoint so we can be the first ones to start the trek to Machu Picchu when the gate opens at 05:30hrs. We will say good bye to our helpful and great porters and cook and off we will hike the last stretch of our exciting trek to Machu Picchu with our main goal in mind, to reach the impressive Sun Gate (Intipunku). From here we will have our first glimpse of the spectacular citadel of Machu Picchu and the mountains surrounding it as the valley opens up before our eyes and fill us with an amazing feeling of accomplishment and awe. We will reach Intipunku at about 06:30hrs. As we descend the sun will rise higher in the sky and offer us amazing views as we come closer to the legendary Lost City of the Incas within an hour. At about 07:40hrs we will have reached the final checkpoint and officially enter Machu Picchu! And our 2 hour private guided tour will begin. Once the tour is completed we will hand you, your bus tickets so you may take your trip down to the town of Aguas Calientes. In town you will have 3 to 4 hours to explore the place on your own. If you are up to and with enough energy and enthusiasm to try the Huayna Picchu hike you can sign up for the trek which takes about 45 minutes to reach the summit. From here you will enjoy charming views from a different angle of Machu Picchu and the surrounding scenery (the Huayna Picchu hike is optional and not included in the price).

In the afternoon at about 13:00hrs we will meet up in Aguas Calientes and if you like, you can join in and relax in the hot springs of the town (not included in the price) or just go directly on your own to the Train Station to get on the Expedition Train departing at 16:22hrs and arriving at 18:10hrs in Ollantaytambo (1hr 30min from Cusco) where you will find a pickup person with a sign with your name on it, ready to assist you and transfer you to your hotel in Cusco.

Informative facts for your fourth day hiking the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu

Highlight: Intipunku: best views of Machu Picchu at the beginning of the day
Area: High Cloud and Subtropical Forest
Weather: Hot and very humid (bring lots of water)

Evening free.

Overnight in Cusco (not included).

B  S

LEGEND
B Breakfast.

S Snack.

L Lunch.

D Dinner.

BL Boxed Lunch.

NOTES:

The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is customizable. If you would prefer to add destinations to your trip, please let us know in the Comments Section of the Get Free Quote form. You can also fill out our Design Your Trip form or Contact Us form with your specific needs.

  • The Classic Inca Trail departures dates are subject to space availability given by the Culture Ministry (Only allowed 500 people per day including guides, cooks, porters, and travelers).
  • The recommended period to hike the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is from March to October.
  • Group Departure availability: every day of the year except February (closed for maintenance).
  • Minimum number of people: 01 person per group.
  • Student Discount (International Student Identity Card required): US$ 45.
  • Children Discount (under 7 years old): US$ 45.
  • Extra Services (not included): sleeping bag, walking poles, Inflatable sleeping pads for extra comfort, changing your train trip to Vistadome Train (return only), Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains, Buffet lunch at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
  • For more Andean Trek options go to Peru Treks.
  • Price does not include local sales taxes; as foreign travelers are sales tax exempt according Peruvian Law.
  • You can add this hike to our 4 day Machu Picchu Tours and thus have a complete experience in Cusco.

Please do not hesitate to Contact Us about customizing this hike.

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – PRICES

Trek Price per Person / double occupancy tent (US$)

Group Service (minimum 2 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings*. US$ 615

Private Service (based on 2 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings*. US$ 1,125
Private Service (based on 3 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings*. US$ 900
Private Service (based on 4 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings*. US$ 800
Private Service (based on 5-7 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings*. US$ 840
Private Service (based on 8-10 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings* US$ 690
Private Service (based on 11-13 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings*. US$ 660
Private Service (based on 14-16 people) includes extra porter to carry your belongings*.US$ 610

Single Supplement (additional to have single tent). US$ 35
Sleeping bag rental for 4 days.US$ 30
Inflatable sleeping pads for extra comfort. US$ 25
Pair of Walking Sticks.US$ 15
Upgrade to Vistadome Train (return only). US$ 75
Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains.US$ 80
Buffet lunch at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. US$ 40

*Pricing based on Expedition Train.

INCLUDED IN CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

Included in Tour Price

Pre-departure briefing.

Transfer in private transport to km.82 (starting point of the Inca trail) from Cusco or Sacred Valley (In the valley, this service is only available for hotels located between the towns of Urubamba and Ollantaytambo).

Professional English speaking tour guide.

Inca Trail and Machu Picchu entrance fees.

A maximum of 2 people per tent (4 person capacity tents, giving you plenty of room for your bagpack and personal items – clean & waterproof).

Foam sleeping mat (1/2 inch/1.25 cm thick).

Small pillows for sleeping, more comfortably!

Rain ponchos.

Day Pack Rain Covers.

Dining tent with tables and chairs and kitchen tent.

Private, portable toilet tent for your group’s use only.

Cook and cooking equipment.

Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment).

Porters to carry your belongings (up to 7kg/15.4lb per person) – at no extra cost!

Permits and entrance fees for our porters, cooks and guides.

Meals (4 breakfasts, 4 snacks, 3 lunches, 3 happy (social) hours, 3 dinners. Vegetarian food and specialized menus are available upon request and at no extra cost).

Previously boiled, cold water provided after breakfast, lunch and dinner to refill your water bottles.

Coca tea served each morning in your tent for an energetic altitude sickness free, start of the day.

First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank.

2 hour private guided tour in Machu Picchu the site.

Bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to the town of Aguas Calientes.

Expedition Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.

Transfer from Ollantaytambo Train Station to your hotel in Cusco.

Sales taxes and payment transaction fees.

Not included in Tour Price

International and domestic flights.

Visas required to enter Peru.

Airport Taxes (if not included in the flight ticket)

Drinks.

Tips.

Sleeping bag per person for 4 days.

Inflatable sleeping pads for extra comfort.

Pair of Walking Sticks

Upgrading to Vistadome Train (return only).

Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains.

Buffet lunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge (only hotel located right next to the entrance to Machu Picchu).

Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Q&A:

When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

The best time of the year to visit Machu Picchu is from April to mid-October. For more information click here.

What Kind of Clothing and Footwear Should I Bring?

Bring clothes you can use in layers so that you can adjust your body temperature depending on local conditions and time of day. Alternatively, you will also find excellent quality alpaca and llama wool products available in town, for easy wear and staying warm at night.

Bring a small foldable pouch, daypack or backpack to carry your valuables, a water bottle to keep you hydrated and any extras like a light coat to be prepared for lighter temperature.

Daytime in the Andes can be extremely sunny and bright so bring sunglasses, a hat and some sunscreen; lip moisturizer is also useful since the air is dry.

Hiking Machu Picchu requires proper footwear. Sturdy shoes with good ankle support or light hiking boots. Heavier hiking boots for the more extreme hikes like the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu or the Ausangate to Rainbow Mountain.

What to do about altitude sickness?

We strongly recommend you rest for at least 3 hours upon arrival to your hotel, and limit food intake as digestion might be a bit slow during your first day. Also, many hotels offer a tea made with the leaves of the coca plant (considered a sacred plant in the Andes), it possess the property to ease oxygen into the body blood cells and helps relieve altitude sickness.

You can also purchase “Sorocchi pill” or “Gravol” pills sold over-the-counter at drugstores and airports in Perú. However, the best thing you can do is to take a nap, eat lightly on the first day, drink lots of fluids, and avoid excessive physical or mental effort until acclimatized. Most people do NOT have serious problems with the altitude, and only experience a mild headache and shortness of breath on the first day.

Tags:

Find Us:

  

We Accept:

  

1 800 670 9510  Toll Free (US, Canada)

(+51) 99 400 8833

 (+51) 99 400 8833

 sales@intenseperu.com