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Classic Inca Trail 4D

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Why Book With Us?

  • High quality, personalized experience from start to finish
  • Unique, off-the-beaten track routes
  • Experienced staff
  • Verified sustainability practices
  • $20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Threads of Peru

Martina Puma Ccama – Chaullacocha

Handy in the Andes

handy in the andes

  • Want to give back while on vacation? Do some good while having a blast and join us on one of our Clean Up Treks!                                                                                                  Read More


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4 Days / 3 Nights
Availability : We depart almost any day with 2 people. NOT AVAILABLE in February.
Km 82
Machu Picchu
Difficulty : ★★★ Moderate
Adventure : ★ A popular Peru tour
Solitude : ★ Extremely popular
Min Age : 8
Max People : 12
h per day

The Classic Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the adventure-seeker wanting to hike a famous trek in Peru. The Inca Trail is a very popular 4 day trek in Cusco. You’ll travel from Cusco to Km 82, where the trail begins, in a combination of private transport and train. Each day brings something new as you travel from Andean tundra to cloud forest, passing incredible Incan sites along the way.

Read about hiking the Inca Trail vs an alternative trek in Peru.

Hiking the Classic Inca Trail

From Colombia to Chile, the Andes are home to thousands of “Inca Trails”. The ancient Incas connected their vast empire through an intricate network of roads, facilitating transport for trade and in times of war. There are an estimated 26,000 – 40,000 km of roads criss-crossing the Andes, of which the Classic Inca Trail trekking route is just a tiny part.

The Classic Inca Trail starts in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and finishes in the jungle. This now-famous trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, never to be forgotten. Read more about what makes the Classic Inca trail routes so awesome in our blog!

Did you know? FAQs about the Inca Trail

Only a special few actually get to hike the Inca Trail every year. Peru’s permit system means that just 500 people are allowed on the trail every day – approximately 200 visitors and 300 trekking staff.  Permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and are in very high demand: they can sell out as much as 6 to 8 months in advance! Once spaces have been booked, NO OPERATOR CAN OFFER YOU A SPACE. All spaces are personal and non-transferable, and there is no waiting list, so if someone cancels, their spot cannot be taken by someone new. Also note that the Classic Inca Trail is closed in February for maintenance.

We treat our staff right! 

The Classic Inca Trail is notorious for the mistreatment of porters and other trail staff who are asked to carry more than government regulation allow. At Apus Peru, we do things differently, going above and beyond these minimums. Read more about how we take care of all our staff, including porters and horsemen.

What to Expect on the Classic Inca Trail

The Classic Inca Trail follows an ancient Inca road, meaning that you will be hiking along a combination of ground trails and stone-paved paths. Some sections are very steep, and require sustained uphill or downhill climbing. Much of the trail consists of stone steps, some of which are quite tall, as much as 30 cm (12 inches). This can be hard on the knees, and could be a problem for someone with a knee injury. The Inca Trail may also be a problem for you if you suffer from vertigo or have a severe fear of heights, as there are sections with steep drop-offs, where the path narrows and becomes single file.

You will hike through a wide-ranging series of micro-climates, from alpine tundra to lush cloud forest. Expect to see a variety of flora and fauna, including different species of cacti, orchids, birds and possibly a vizcacha or two. Majestic views at high altitude of neighboring mountain ranges also await, as well as the chance to see several impressive Inca ruins along the way.

This is a very popular and busy trek. If you hike the Inca Trail, you will be hiking with hundreds of other people, and staying in busy (sometimes noisy) campsites. If you want a remote, wilderness trekking experience, the Inca Trail is not the trek for you. Talk to one of our Peru trekking experts for tips on alternative treks to Machu Picchu.

>>For more great insight about what to expect on the Classic Inca Trail, check out this great blog about hiking the Inca Trail day by day by past Apus Peru passengers Trans-America Journeys.


Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. We do not have fixed-date group departures. If you do not want to book a private trek, please see our Trekkers Wanted page for a list of open departures within your dates.

2 people


4-6 people


7-8 people


9-12 people


What is Included?

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of the Inca Trail Trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • Inca Trail Permit (includes entry to Machu Picchu)
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • Cook and cooking equipment, plus assistants for larger groups.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary. Our professional cooks prepare a combination of traditional Peruvian and Western cuisine. Talk to your guide if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Porters, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7kg/15lbs per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire a personal porter. Please contact us for costs.
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals.
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Lunch on the last day.

What is Not Included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last night
  • Entrance to the hot springs
  • Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Toilet tent is not included on Inca Trail routes because we use facilities provided by the Ministry of Culture

You Should Bring

Optional Extras & Upgrades

    We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.
  • Porter to carry your own things
  • Sleeping Bag suitable for -5˚C
  • Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15˚C
  • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
  • Thermarest inflatable mattress
  • Thermarest inflatable pillow
  • Single-occupancy tent supplement
  • Aguas Calientes Hotel Upgrade
  • Extra Day at Machu Picchu
  • If you’d like to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain , let us know at the time of booking as it requires a separate permit.
  • If you’d like more flexibility in your return travel to Cusco, consider upgrading to the Vistadome train (Executive Class) for an extra $30 per person. This upgrade must be requested at time of booking.


  • When calculating the cost of renting equipment, calculate using the length of the entire trip, not just the number of trekking days.
  • Please be careful with rented equipment! You are responsible for the cost of replacement if something is damaged or broken.
  • Any upgrades or trip extensions must be requested at time of booking.

Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off, in certain circumstances. Please enquire for details about eligibility.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11 years: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4 years: Free. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group. This discount does not apply to train fares. Children under 2 will not be considered to occupy a seat on any train or bus, and instead must ride on a parent’s lap.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

Trekkers Wanted!

    Want to join a trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone! Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!
    Note: Trekkers Wanted for the Inca Trail ONLY available while permits last for your departure date.

Important Info

    General Information About trekking with Apus Peru

    • Each guide has their own preferred route and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
    • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group, and the guide may change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group.

    Specific Information About Hiking the Classic Inca Trail 4D

    • The Inca Trail is not open in February
    • Campsites or itinerary are subject to change, depending on the time of booking and availability of campsites. The Ministry of Culture, the government institution responsible for operating the Inca Trail, allocates campsites to authorized trekking companies on a first-come, first-served basis, and so we cannot guarantee that all campsites described in this itinerary will be available when you book.
    • Wiñaywayna vs Phuyupatamarca campsites. Your last night on the trail will be spent either at Wiñaywayna or Phuyupatamarca campsites. Many people covet Wiñaywayna as it’s just a 2-hour hike to Machu Picchu from there, whereas it is 5 hours from Phuyupatamarca. Being the most popular, Wiñaywayna is allocated first. If you have your heart set on camping at Wiñaywayna, book early! The plus side to Phuyupatamarca is that it is generally less crowded.

    Booking Your Classic Inca Trail 4D Trek

    • A scanned copy of your passport and a non-refundable deposit must be provided upon booking a Classic Inca Trail trek. This is due to government regulations which require complete passport details and full payment of the Machu Picchu entrance fee in order to issue a permit. Your reservation will only be confirmed when we have your entrance ticket in our hands.
    • If your passport number changes after you book, you must tell us immediately or you may lose your booking! If the name or number on your passport is different from the name or number on your Inca Trail permit, you will not be allowed to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund.
    • You must carry your original passport with you on the trail.
    • If you booked a Classic Inca Trail tour at a student rate, you must bring your valid student card and ISIC card on the trail with you. If you do not present your student card, you will not be allowed to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund, nor given an opportunity to pay the full rate.

    Extras & Upgrades on the Classic Inca Trail 4D

    • If you’d like to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain , let us know at the time of booking as it requires a separate permit.
    • This trek includes transportation by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on the Expedition service (Tourist Class), followed by bus transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. If you’d like more flexibility in your return travel to Cusco, consider upgrading to the Vistadome train (Executive Class) for an extra $30 per person per leg. This upgrade must be requested at time of booking.

Ready to Book?

  • Does this trek sound like just what you were looking for? If you’re ready to book or just want to find out a bit more information, fill out the Inquiry Form in the top right-hand corner of this page to get the ball rolling. You’ll be connected with one of our amazing sales people who will be able to turn your dream of hiking in the Andes into a reality. For more information on the entire booking process, please see our How To Book page.
  • Travel insurance is a must! World Nomads offers travel insurance for adventure activities.

Day 1Cusco - Ollantaytambo - KM 82 - Llactapata - Huayllabamba

    You will be picked up from your Cusco hotel early in the morning in private transport. You should have breakfast in your hotel or bring some snacks. We will stop in Ollantaytambo for last minute purchases, or a quick breakfast if you missed it in Cusco! We will continue to Piscacucho (also known as Kilometer 82) where the Classic Inca Trail starts. On arrival at Kilometer 82, it is necessary to show entrance tickets, original passports and student card (if applicable). Crossing the Urubamba River, we begin our trek through typical dry forest growing prickly pear and other cactus, and the tara tree. We will walk around 3 hours (6kms) to Llactapata the first archaeological site on our journey. From there, another 4 km of gentle uphill through farmland takes us to Huayllabamba and our campsite for the night.

    Total Walking Distance – 12kms
    Total Walking Time – 5hs
    Minimum Altitude – 2,700m / 8,858 ft / Maximum Altitude – 3000m / 9,842 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3000m / 9,842 ft
    Approx. night temperature: 7˚C

Day 2Huayllabamba - Llulluchapampa - Dead Woman's Pass – Pacaymayo

    After a good night’s rest, we will get started on what is generally considered the most challenging day of the Classic Inca Trail trek. We wake early in order to get a good start, then, leaving pastoral villages and farmland behind, we enter the subtropical forest, stopping for lunch around Llulluchapampa. From here we will start a steep ascent towards the highest pass: the Abra de Warmihuañusca, or ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’, coming in at an impressive 4215m (13,828ft). You’ll feel an amazing sense of achievement upon reaching the top! After a short rest, we continue downwards 600m (1,968 ft) over 3 kms (1.8 mi) through very humid forest to the evening campsite of Pacaymayo.

    Total Walking Distance – 10kms
    Total Walking Time – 6hs
    Minimum Altitude – 3,000m / 9,842 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4,215m / 13,828 ft
    Altitude of Camp – 3,000m / 9,842 ft
    Approx night temperature: 7˚C

Day 3Pacaymayo - Sayakmarka - Phuyupatamarca / Wiñaywayna

    After another early breakfast, we walk to the beautiful Inca site of Runkurakay, one of the check points and the beginning of the original Royal Inca trail to Machu Picchu, known as Qhapaq Ñan. We continue on to Sayakmarka, one of the most beautiful Inca remains on the Classic Inca trail. After lunch, we enter the cloud forest, trekking through some incredible scenery filled with orchids and hummingbirds. After another hour, we arrive at Phuyupatamarca (‘town in the clouds’), the third highest point on the trail (3680m / 12,073ft) where we will have breathtaking views of Salkantay mountain. After feasting our eyes for a moment, we continue downhill through the forest for about 3 hours until we reach Wiñay Wayna (‘forever young’), our campsite for the evening. Steps away from camp is the Inca site of the same name, the most impressive on the trail. No matter how tired you are, talk to your guide and don’t miss out on seeing this wonder!

    Please note: Campsites are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and we cannot guarantee that Wiñay Wayna will be available. If not, the alternative campsite is located at Phuyupatamarca, located farther away from Machu Picchu but generally less crowded.

    Total Walking Distance – 12km (to Phuyupatamarca); 16km (to Wiñaywayna)
    Minimum Altitude – 2,670m (8760 ft) / Maximum Altitude – 3,680m (12,073 ft)
    Altitude of Camp – 2,670m (8,760 ft) Wiñaywayna / 3,680m (12,073 ft) Phuyupatamarca
    Approx night temperature: 9˚C

Day 4Wiñay Wayna - Inti Punku - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes - Cusco

    We will rise very early on this day in order to arrive at Inti Punku (the ‘Sun gate’) (2730m/8,956ft) in the early morning. This early morning hike is the final part of the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and from the Sun Gate, you have your first view of the enigmatic Machu Picchu. If we’re lucky, we may be able to spot the sun rising over Machu Picchu from where we stand!

    After some time there, we will walk down the last part of the trail to the spot where you can take the classic shot of this ancient city. From Inti Punku we descend into Machu Picchu through the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks and then we enter this famous city. Finally, we visit Machu Picchu itself! Your 4h visit to Machu Picchu can be spent exploring some of the alternative routes, like the Inca Bridge, after which your guide will give you a 2-3h walking tour of the historic citadel.

    If you’re feeling adventurous you may wish to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, but take note: this requires an extra permit, and they can sell out well in advance! Be sure to tell us at booking if you would like to add one of these hikes. For more tips on what to see, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.

    After spending time enjoying Machu Picchu, you will return to Aguas Calientes on your own, either on foot or by bus (bus fare is included in the price of your trek), where you will meet your guide. There, you will enjoy your last lunch together before heading back to Cusco on the train.

    Total Walking Distance – 6km
    Minimum Altitude – 2,670m (8,760 ft) / Maximum Altitude – 2730m (8,956 ft)

5 Reviews
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Erin B. from USA

Group Traveller

The trek was difficult but very rewarding; amazing scenery and breathtaking inca sites. We particularly enjoyed sleeping out under the stars and hiking in the rainforest along the stream.
Thank you Apus Peru for a remarkable vacation!

7 September, 2018

Lauren K. from USA

Group Traveller

I was blown away by the beautiful natural scenery and very impressed with hard work of the Apus Peru team ! The trek was perfect I couldn’t have asked for more! Our guide and porters was seriously amazing, and the food was delicious and exceeded our expectations.

6 August, 2018


Couple Traveller

I’ve been trekking all over the world, including many treks in Peru, so I had to experience the iconic Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu as well. This is the most famous and most popular multi-day trek in Peru and, honestly, I was afraid that the trail and campsites would be annoying crowded. I certainly was not alone on the trail, but there were only a few moments of trail congestion and camping areas, for the most part, were reasonably spread out and peaceful. Another pleasant surprise? The logistics and services provided by Apus Peru. The Apus guide was extremely well-informed, spoke excellent English, and taught me a lot about Andean culture and Incan culture. The Apus cook was another star, providing delicious, creative, healthy, and plentiful meals and snacks including fresh fruit and vegetables cooked properly (not mushy). My partner’s dietary restrictions were also 100% accommodated and there was real coffee (not instant). We ate better on this trek than on any other trek we’ve done. The high quality North Face tent that Apus provided for us was also very spacious (even with our gear inside) so we were able to sleep well every night. We already miss the laughter of our Apus trekking team along with the gorgeous views and challenging trail on this trek.

30 June, 2018

Yolie H. from USA

Group Traveller

I just returned from an absolutely amazing trek along the Inca Trail, organized and led by Apus Peru personnel. Things could not have gone any better! We encountered quite a bit of rain, but this was no damper on the experience at all. The porters were very kind and dedicated to keeping us comfortable, safe, dry and happy. Our chefs, served us 3- and 4- course delectable, fresh, gourmet meals that far exceeded our expectations. The restaurants included in the package were top quality, festive and fun!! Our guides were knowledgeable about Incan history, the sites, the vegetation, flowers, and local customs. They were also very patient, friendly, and funny! Our trip coordinator, happily guided us through every step of the reservation process, kindly and promptly answering our incessant questions. Our group was 9 guests’ strong, but the porters and guides were so well-organized they made managing us look simple! Everyone had a wonderful time; nobody was disappointed. Apus Peru is praiseworthy and worth every dollar and minute spent with them! They are HIGHLY recommended!

28 April, 2018

Alicia N. from NZ

Family Traveller

Our family of 5 just finished the 4-day/3 night trek and loved every moment of it. We’re grateful for the quick, clear and easy communication right from the beginning. Once arriving in Cusco our sales representative was sure to check in with us and make sure we were okay. As soon as we met our incredible guide we knew that we would be in good hands-with him and our phenomenal team of porters, chefs etc. The trek itself was everything we thought it would be but having these guys take care of us made it even better. Our guide´s knowledge about the Inca history and people as well as his wealth of information about flora and fauna was outstanding. The camping set ups was comfortable, clean and dry (esp during rainy season) and the food was just as good if not better than what we ate at home, in fact we had to ask our chefs to cook less food as all of meals were so plentiful. The guide´s experience ensured that our varied fitness abilities and altitude worries were all catered for as the boys and husband were always raring to go while I was slow and steady at the back! Everyone went at different paces but we always ended up together. And of course reaching MP was the highlight but only because of the experience of the trek there. Right until the very end where we were transported back to out hotel in Cusco our guide was with us. Our trek with Apus was worth every penny- thank you all so much.

24 January, 2018
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