Classic Inca Trail Trek

SOLD OUT ACROSS ALL COMPANIES UNTIL NOV. 2019

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TREK

Most Popular Route to Machu Picchu. **NOW BOOKING FOR 2020**
Activity Level: 4  | Duration: 4 days, 3 nights | Group Size: 2-16 | Price: $695

Overview

Traverse the most popular route to Machu Picchu as you trek along the exact same path built by the Incas over 600 years ago! Spend 4 days climbing through beautiful mountain landscapes, valleys filled with wild orchids, cloud forests and more. 

The journey along the Inca Trail comes to a close as you ascend 2,000 stone-cut steps and approach the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). On the other side of this magnificent viewpoint lie the glories of Machu Picchu. 

NOTE: Limited trekking permits—reserve your trip early
. The Peruvian Government issues a limited number of Inca Trail permits per day. Due to the popularity of this spectacular route, permits sell out 6+ months in advance.

Trip Highlights

  • Professionally guided tour of several Inca
  • Archeological Sites 
  • Hike on the exact same path built and used by the Incas 
  • Wildlife present throughout the trek
  • Enjoy private campsites, only accessible to Kusa Treks
  • Multiple micro-climates

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Scenery
  • Wildlife
  • Great company

Accommodations

  • Kusa Treks camp for 3 nights

Elevation map

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

TRANSPORTATION
All transportation for the trek.
This includes:
   - Pickup from your hotel in Cusco in a private van
   - Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
   - Train ticket back to Cusco
   - Private van pickup from train station and drop-off at your hotel in Cusco
FOOD
All food is provided. In fact, we'll be hiking with a professional chef! Our chef and his staff will cook you some of the best meals you've ever eaten, and they'll do it in the middle of the Andes.

NOTE: Please notify our staff of any food allergies or restrictions and we will ensure that the food is prepared properly.
WATER
Your guides will supply all of the water you'll need on the trek. The water will first be boiled, then filtered and then cooled. You will need to bring a container for the water (Camelback, Nalgene, etc.). We recommend carrying at least 2L of water. Your water containers will be refilled at each meal.

NOTE: Please ensure that your water containers are filled when you leave the hotel on Day 1 to begin the trek. Our staff will provide clean water for the rest of the trek.
PROFESSIONAL GUIDES
Kusa Treks strives for greatness and this begins and ends with our people. All of our Lead and Assistant Guides are locals to this region and studied Tourism and/or Archaeology in University. They are all fluent in English and are passionate about their work. Trust us when we say, there is no better person to be on a trip with than a Kusa Treks guide. You will be in incredible hands!
PERMITS & TICKETS
Once you pay the trip deposit, we will purchase your hiking permits as well as your entrance tickets for Machu Picchu. The government issues this permit in your name, under your passport number, and for a specific time-frame; they cannot be changed once confirmed, which is why the initial deposit is non-refundable after 24 hours. We will also secure your train ticket back to Cusco at this time.
MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Alright, emergency sounds a bit dramatic. However, you can be confident in your Lead Guide and his staff. All of Kusa Trek's guides receive extensive First Aid training from a qualified and licensed physician, and we conduct mandatory review/training sessions twice a year.

Your Lead Guide will carry a Hiking First Aid kit (including oxygen), and should the need arise we will get you off of the trail and to a medical facility as quickly and comfortably as possible.

NOTE: We have never had to evacuate a hiker.
SUPPORT STAFF
In addition to your incredible guides, this trek requires a support staff including: chef, assistant chef, horse master and porters. We started Kusa Treks for several reasons, one of which was to provide living-wage jobs for local Peruvians.

We employ individuals passionate about Peru's culture and nature and who want to share their incredible country with our clients. You will be absolutely amazed at how hard these people work to provide you with an incredible trip.

NOTE: A personal porter is NOT included in the price of this trip. See more under "What's Not Included" below. 
EQUIPMENT
Your tents are provided. They are comfortable, roomy and cozy. We provide a 4-man tent for every 2 people (unless otherwise specified). The price of this trek also includes one night in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes on Night 4. Sleep well chicos!

We also provide a foam sleeping mat throughout the trek.

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

EQUIPMENT
We have high quality equipment available for rental during this trek. If you choose not to rent these items, you will be responsible for providing them.
   - Sleeping Bag: $25
   - Inflatable Air Mattress (Therm-a-Rest): $15
   - Trekking Poles (2): $20
   - Personal Tent: $35
   - Hiking Backpack: $20

NOTE: These rental prices are good for the duration of the entire trek.
HUYANA PICCHU PERMIT
Huayna Picchu is the pointy, tall mountain in the background of all the pictures of Machu Picchu. Tickets to climb it are available for travelers who wish to hike up an ancient staircase to the top of Machu Picchu's sister mountain.

Hiking to the top provides adventurers with incredible, unique views of Machu Picchu. This secondary hike will have a 1-hour ascent, 15 minutes to take selfies and high-five at the top of the mountain, and then a 45-minute descent.

The ascent and descent are pretty steep, but totally worth it!

Price: $75USD per person

NOTE: Tickets to ascend Huayna Picchu are limited and are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. We cannot guarantee permit availability less than 6 months before a trip start date.
VISTA DOME TRAIN
For your trip back from Machu Picchu to Cusco, we will book tickets on a "regular" train called the Expedition Train. However, there are several train upgrade options available, the most popular of which is known as the "Vista Dome Train".

The Vista Dome train has glass walls and a glass ceiling, which provide panoramic views of the surrounding beautiful Andes mountain-side. Tickets include in-trip meals and entertainment.

Price: $70 USD per ticket
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
The Classic Inca Trail Trek begins and ends in Cusco, Peru. You are responsible for getting to Cusco.

We do offer a flight booking service. The price for international flights will depend on origin city, time of travel and preferred class of cabin. If you are interested in having us book your flights, please inform our team at the time of booking.
HOTEL(S) IN CUSCO
We include the accommodations you will need for the 5 days and 4 nights of this trek. We highly recommend that you arrive to Cusco at least 2 full days before starting a trek to ensure proper acclimation to the high elevation.

You are responsible for booking your own hotels in Cusco before and after the trek. Here is a list of our recommendations.

As with flights, we do offer a hotel booking service. The price for hotels in Cusco will depend on your preferred class of hotel. If you are interested in having us book your hotels, please inform our team at the time of booking.

Pricing:

GROUP TOUR PRICE: $695
A "group tour" means you will be paired with other people that are doing the same hike on the same date as you.

PRIVATE TOUR PRICES: A "private tour" is just your group and our guides.
2 - 3 People: $1,050
4 - 6 People: $855
7 - 9 People: $730
9+ People: $695

PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND IN U.S. DOLLARS ($)

Itenerary:

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL ITINERARY:

High Level Itinerary:

DAY 1: The Journey Begins!

Pick up from your hotel in Cusco. 3 hour drive to Trail Head. 6-7 hours of hiking through beautiful scenery to Wayllabamba, our first campsite.

DAY 2: Challenge Day

Early start. Most challenging day on the trek. Hike to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of our trip. Our campsite will be in the stunning Pacaymayo Valley.

DAY 3: Stunning Views

The prettiest day of hiking! Incredible views all day. Tour of the Runkuraqay Ruins & Wiñay Wayna, location of our last campsite.

DAY 4: Machu Picchu!

Early wake up and quick hike to the Sun Gate. Full day tour of the world famous Machu Picchu. Train ride back to Cusco, arrival between 7-8pm.


Details For Each Day

DAY 1: The Journey Begins!
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 9,843 ft. (3,000m)
  • Min Altitude: 8,438ft. (2,572m)
  • Distance Traveled: ~7.5 miles (12 km)
  • Ascent: +1,405ft (+428m)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Note: Our trekking times are approximate and will vary depending on: weather conditions, group ability and other factors.

MORNING

Your adventure begins early with a 5:00AM pick-up at your hotel! Make sure to have your original passport (and Student ID card if applicable). The drive from Cusco to Piscacucho takes ~3 hours and includes beautiful views of the Sacred Valley, the Urubamba River, and Andean towns, including the Inca town of Ollantaytambo.

Half-way to the destination, you will stop to stretch your legs, use the bathroom, and enjoy a small breakfast before continuing on to Piscacucho8,438ft. (2,572m) where you will start a life-changing journey. Here you will meet your camp crew and porters who will be carrying your belongings during the 26 mile (43 km) trek along the Inca Trail. Passports in hand, you will clear the official Inca Trail check point, cross a suspension footbridge across the Urubamba River, and begin the trek with a gentle climb.

Today’s hike starts with three hours of relatively level terrain (what we call “Inca Flat”) as the trail follows the course of the river. You can enjoy marvelous views of Mount Veronica (18,865ft / 5,750m) in the distance. Your “leisurely walk” will pass through a forest of giant cacti and native bushes. At Miskay you will take the trail left and gradually ascend to Willkaraccay high above the mouth of the Kusichaka River and across from the Inca town of Llactapata (Terrace Town). You will take a break on a flat bluff high above this extensive site, which was built as a fort, as it commands the entrance to the Kusichaka Valley.

AFTERNOON

This will be your first encounter to the unique terracing system that the Incas used to irrigate maize (corn) in the high mountain climate. You will spend 15-20 minutes to rest and take pictures of these incredible ruins before heading down to today’s lunch site at Tayaroc. This lunch will be your first time eating the amazing the food prepared by your incredible chef!

After lunch, you will have another 3-4 hours of hiking to reach a Kusa Treks’ private campsite in the village of Wayllabamba (9,843ft / 3,000m).

EVENING

At the end of each day, you will share a “family tea time” while you wait for dinner to be prepared. During tea time, you will enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas (including the traditional Matcha Tea), delicious finger foods and pleasant conversation. An exquisite dinner will be prepared by our professional chef and served buffet style.

After dinner your Tour Guides will go over the plans for the next great day. Buenas Noches!


DAY 2: Challenge Day
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 13,780ft (4,200m)
  • Min Altitude: 9,840ft (3,000m)
  • Distance Traveled: ~7.4 miles (12 km)
  • Ascent: +3,953ft (+1,205m)
  • Walking Time: 7-8 hours
MORNING

Your day will start early. A Porter will wake you up with a fresh cup of hot tea at 5:30AM. The Kusa Treks crew will then pack up camp as you gather your belongings and eat a nutritious, warm breakfast. After breakfast you will hike for about an hour to the Ayapata valley. After arriving to the valley, there will be a soft, uphill climb through the forest and along a scenic stream. At this point, you will be walking at an elevation of 10,824ft (3,300m).

Today will be the most challenging day of hiking, but you will be able to take your time and enjoy breathtaking scenery along the way. After a short break in Ayapata Valley, you will start the most strenuous climb of the trek, with an ascent of 3,937ft (1,200m) planned in 2 stages. You will be trekking on 400 year-old Inca stone steps, with large gaps between each step, which can make walking a challenge.

Your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular views, as this stretch of the trail is surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountain peaks (Apu Huayanay Mountains). It will take 2-3 hours to hike the first stage, which includes several breaks to catch your breath and enjoy the views.

AFTERNOON

Your lunch stop will be in Llulluchapampa Valley, which has absolutely stunning views. To reach it, you will ascend steeply uphill through the Corralpunku Valley to the Llulluchayoc Zone.

If you’re lucky, you may see some of the hundreds of species of birds that inhabit this area; including: hummingbirds, falcons, and the Condor, also known as the king of the Andean Mountains. Your group will then enter a beautiful cloud forest, also known as the Polylepis woodlands, or the treeless grasslands of the Puna Región, home to the tarucas (Peruvian deer) and pumas. From here, you can see the highest pass of our trek: Dead Woman’s Pass.

Upon reaching Llulluchapampa, the camp crew will be waiting for you with a delicious Peruvian lunch, set against a stunning visual backdrop. After lunch you will have time to rest and recoup before continuing onto the second stage of the climb for another 2-3 hours. The trail continues with large, stone steps, some of them newly laid to protect the mountain from erosion.

You will walk at your own pace and stop to catch your breath, all while enjoying the truly marvelous vistas. You will gain another 1,968ft (600m) in elevation to reach the top of Warmiwañusca Mountain (Dead Woman’s Pass), which marks the highest elevation of our journey at 13,780ft (4,200m). Here you will experience an unforgettable moment, as the top of this mountain is a sacred place for the ancient Inca’s, or maybe the lack of oxygen is finally catching up with your brain! Either way you’ve made it through the hardest part of your journey!

Once your entire group reaches the top of Dead Woman’s Pass, you will take a short break to capture a family picture.

EVENING

After everyone summits Dead Woman’s Pass, there will be a 2-3 hour descent [yay!] into the Pacaymayo Valley to reach camp for tonight. This campsite is home to one of the most incredible vistas of the entire trek, as it stretches over a valley, with views of nearby waterfalls and snow-covered peaks.

Once you arrive, you will enjoy a “Family Tea Time” and another incredible and rejuvenating buffet dinner. After dinner your tour guide will show you the amazing Inca constellations that stretch out overhead (weather dependent).


DAY 3: Incredible Views
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 12,300ft (3,750m)
  • Min Altitude: 8,856ft (2,700 m)
  • Distance Traveled: ~9.9 miles (16 km)
  • Descent: -2,930ft (-890m)
  • Walking Time: 7-8 hours
MORNING

Another early morning with hot tea and a smile arriving to your tent around 5:30AM. You will have breakfast and prepare for the most visually stunning day of the hike. After breakfast concludes (around 7:00AM), you will pick back up on the Inca Trail, which starts with a steep, but short climb (~1-hour), to the Runkuraqay Ruins.

These ruins have a circular center with rectangular outbuildings. It’s perched on the edge of a valley, which commands a strategic vantage point. It served as an Inca-Tambo, which is where chaskis (or runners) would rest, guard the post, or serve as lookout. After a short tour of the ruins, you will continue uphill for another hour to reach our second pass: Abra de Runcuracay (12,956ft / 3,950m).

The hike continues as the path winds between two mountains where Andean gulls will sometimes gather. You will approach a third pass, boasting exceptional views. In clear weather, you can look back to the Dead Woman’s Pass and look forward to a breath-taking sweep of snow-capped peaks, which includes the Pumasillo Mountain (Puma’s Claw) (19,685ft / 6,000m). From here, most of the trail is downhill and will lead you through a short tunnel. You will then encounter a series of tight switchbacks, dropping elevation quickly until you reach a small viewpoint atop a promontory.

AFTERNOON

After reaching the promontory, the descent becomes more gradual, as the path begins to curl across the slopes. To the right of the trail lies a large, algae-covered lake, and up ahead you will see Sayaqmarka, an ancient Inca town. The group will stop here to explore and listen to your guide who will provide interesting historic facts as well as local legends passed down through the ages. Once rested, your trek will continue its descent until reaching Chaquicocha (11,000ft / 3,400m), where you will eat another expertly prepared lunch.

After lunch the hike becomes exceptionally beautiful. You will pass the Phuyupatamarca ruins and descend to Wiñay Wayna and Intipata, all while enjoying dramatic vistas of the Aobamba Valley. This stretch of the trail is made of well-preserved paved stone and is still in great condition considering the many decades of trekkers that have crossed its path. Your lungs will appreciate that today’s hike is steadily lowering in elevation and significantly shorter than yesterday’s.

The trail will eventually lead to Phuyupatamarca (the Town of the Clouds), but first, you will pass through a short, natural tunnel in the mountain. After visiting this site, you will descend ~2,000 stone steps to Wiñay Wayna, known as Baby Machu Picchu. This site is almost as impressive in its majesty as Machu Picchu and infinitely less crowded.

Wiñay Wayna is another important Inca site, located just north of our camp. It is one of the best preserved and largest Inca sites along the Inca Trail and has one of the most breathtaking views of the entire trek.

EVENING

After taking a family photo and enjoying the incredible vistas, you will hike a short distance to tonight’s campsite. Tea time and another delicious buffet dinner will serve as a fitting end for the last full day on the trail.


DAY 4: Machu Picchu
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Max Altitude: 8,856ft (2,700m)
  • Min Altitude: 7,972ft (2,400m) (Machu Picchu)
  • Distance Traveled: ~5 miles (8 km), plus exploration of Machu Picchu
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours
MORNING

This is the day you’ve been waiting for! It will be the earliest day of your hike, starting with a wake up call at 4:00AM in order to get to the Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) ahead of the crowds. This ancient entry-way overlooks Machu Picchu, and you will reach it as the first rays of the sun strike one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The hike from camp to the Sun Gate will take 1-2 hours, with significant uphill stretches in the last half. You will be hiking in the dark for about an hour, so bring a head lamp and listen to your guides.

From the Sun Gate, we will have a leisurely 50-minute walk downhill to the south sector of Machu Picchu (The Guardian houses). The trail ends at a series of terraces, which provide the classic vantage point of the entire city. After enjoying a panoramic view and taking a family picture, you will need to walk straight down to the entrance of Machu Picchu Park to enter the city.

After a few minutes in a security line, you will finally arrive to the heart of Machu Picchu where you will enjoy a professional, unique guided tour from your Lead Guide. The formal tour will end in the late morning.

If your legs and lungs still have energy after four days of hiking, you have the option to climb to the peak of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, which offer incredibly unique perspectives of Machu Picchu. Please note: Special permits are required to do this “hike”, and they are issued in limited quantities, so if you are interested you will need book and pay in advance for this permit.

NOTE: Due to new regulations (effective Jan 1. 2019), the paths that lead through Machu Picchu are all “one-way”, meaning you are not able to backtrack during your visit to Machu Picchu. Each visitor without a permit to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have ~4 hours to spend inside the park and those with permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have 6 total hours to spend inside the park (including the 2 hour climb).

AFTERNOON/EVENING

After touring Machu Picchu, your guide will take you to the bus stop just outside the gates of Machu Picchu Park. You will take this bus to Aguas Calientes. Depending on your train departure time (see below), you will either need to head straight to the train station, or you can go to one of the many fantastic restaurants in Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included).

There are several train class options for the ride back to Cusco. The main two trains are the “Expedition Train” (included in the price) and the “Vista Dome Train” (additional $70 USD per ticket). We usually try to get tickets for a train leaving in the 15:00 (3PM) hour, which will have you back to your hotel in Cusco around 19:00 (7PM).

If you have a preference for departure/arrival time, and provide us with 4+ months notice, we are able to book tickets for the following departures:

Expedition train departure times (train ticket included in price):

  • 15:20, 15:55, 16:20, 18:10

Vista Dome train departure times (additional $70 USD per ticket):

  • 13:37, only available for those who do not do the Huyana Picchu hike
  • 15:20, 16:20, 17:10, 18:20

All trains that depart from Aguas Calientes will arrive at one of two stations:

  1. Ollantaytambo station, 2 hour drive back to Cusco
  2. Poray station, 30 minute drive back to Cusco

Your arrival station will depend on the time of year of your trip, departure time and class of train. Once you arrive to either station, a Kusa Treks van and driver will be waiting for you at the station to take you back to your hotel.

NOTE: Train times depend on: the number of people in your group, the time of year of your trip and the class of train you prefer.