Inca Trail Trek 5D

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Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Availability : Every Day.
Depart: Km 82
Destination: Machu Picchu
Min Age : 8
Max People : 12

About the 5 Day Inca Trail Trek

Our 5 day trek is a great Inca Trail choice for getting a bit off the beaten path, hiking at a pace out of sync with the crowds. This affords you a bit more time to explore and enjoy everything that makes hiking the Inca Trail great, from the archaeological sites along the route to the incredible variety of flora and fauna.


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Hiking the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail starts in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and finishes in the jungle. You’ll begin your journey on this ancient road of the Incas at Km 82, after leaving Cusco traveling in a combination of private transport and train. We’ll camp at sites with fewer people at slightly higher altitudes, making for more relaxing evenings. Note that the relaxed pace of this trek does NOT mean that it is “easy”. We will follow the same route as the Classic Inca Trail, with all its steep ascents and stone steps. Though our hiking days are shorter, you must still be fit and in good physical shape to do this Inca Trail trek!

Did you know? FAQs about the Inca Trail

Only a special few actually get to do the Inca Trail trek 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 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 Inca Trail is closed in February for maintenance.

We treat our staff right!

The Inca Trail trek 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.

Inca Trail Trek Highlights

  • Trek at a slower pace, be more relaxed and have plenty of time to rest, take photos and visit the beautiful Inca ruins along the way like Winaywayna.
  • Be out of sync with the crowds and stay in less packed campsites such as Phuyupatamarca, considered the most spectacular campsite on the entire trek!
  • Spend your last night in a comfy hotel in Aguas Calientes and get a good night rest before adventuring into the mystical Machu Picchu site.


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


High quality personalized experience

Unique, off-the-beaten track routes

Experienced staff

Verified sustainability practices

$20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Important Details About the 5 Day Inca Trail

What is Included?


    • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
    • Basic foam mattress. If you would like greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
    • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a Standard Hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hotel with breakfast included and private bathroom. You can also upgrade to a higher quality hotel.


    • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
    • 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.
    • Boiled water to drink on the hike (which you can carry in your own reusable water bottle)
    • Filtered water provided during the drive on the first day
    • Dinner in Aguas Calientes.
    • Lunch on the last day.


    • 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
    • Bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
    • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
    • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

    Trekking Team

    • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
    • 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.
    • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals


    • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle


    • Pre-trek briefing
    • Inca Trail Permit
    • Entry to Machu Picchu

What is Not Included?


    • Breakfast on the first morning
    • Dinner on the last night


    • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
    • Toilet tent is not included on Inca Trail routes because we use facilities provided by the Ministry of Culture.


    • Tips for the guide, cook and muleteers
    • Flights to/from Cusco
    • Travel Insurance
    • Entrance to the hot springs
    • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

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.

    Equipment Available for Rent

    • 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

    Service Upgrades

    Optional Activities


    • 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.

What to Pack

    We recommend that you bring the following items with you:

    • A fleece or down jacket is an essential item at this elevation;
    • Hiking trousers with zip off shorts are a good idea, as day time temperatures can be quite warm, yet temperatures plummet as soon as the sun goes down. You can supplement these with leggings or thermals to wear underneath;
    • A rain poncho or waterproof jacket is also important. It can rain or even snow at certain times of the year!;
    • Water-resistant trekking boots are advisable. The trail on this hike can sometimes be muddy and wet, so we also recommend to bring extra socks!;
    • A warm sleeping bag, rated to -15°C (5°F). If you prefer, you can rent one from us;
    • A headlamp or torch;
    • A high factor (SPF) sunscreen, a sun cap and sunglasses. The sun can be really strong, especially in dry season. Sun protection is essential!;
    • A small daypack to carry your necessary items for each day’s hiking.

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

Guides & Safety on the Trail

    Our whole trekking team is native to Lares region and know the Inca Trail like the back of their hand! They are some of the warmest, endearing and wonderful people you are ever likely to meet.

    Our guides are all licensed and receive regular training. They share their experience, professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm with our passengers on every trek.

    Get to know our team!

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 hiking 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 Inca Trail Trek 5D

    • The Inca Trail is not open in February
    • “Relaxed” does not mean “easy”. The 5D Inca Trail Trek goes at a slower pace with shorter hiking days, but the route is still challenging. You must be fit and in good physical health to do this trek!
    • 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.

    Booking Your Inca Trail Trek 5D

    • A scanned copy of your passport and a non-refundable deposit must be provided upon booking an 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 will 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 the Inca Trail at a student rate, you must bring your valid student 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 Inca Trail Trek 5D

    • 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. 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.

5 Day Inca Trail Trek Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Huayllabamba

    • Total Walking Distance: 13km
    • Total Walking Time: 6h
    • Minimum Altitude: 2800m (9,186 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5832m (19,133 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3000 m (9,842 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 3°C (37.4°F)

    Today will be a relatively easy and relaxed day, starting at a respectable 6 am when we pick you up from your hotel to drive to Ollantaytambo. Arriving at this incredible living Inca city, we’ll have a chance to stretch our legs, pick up supplies and have a coffee or “second breakfast” at one of the local cafes or restaurants. We recommend Hearts Café, a social enterprise run by the NGO Living Hearts. Proceeds from the café support children in the villages surrounding Ollantaytambo.

    From here we continue to the trailhead at Km 82 (also known as Piscacucho, 2,800m / 9,186ft) where we’ll have to show our entry tickets, original passports and student cards (if applicable). Crossing the Vilcanota River, we head towards the Inca fortress of Huillca Raccay where we’ll have stunning views of the area, we will continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing until we reach the farming community of Huayllabamba (3000m / 9842ft). All along the way we see spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Mt Veronica reigns at a breathtaking 5832m/19,133ft in altitude! We’ll also pass an incredible diversity of wild flora and fauna along the way.

Day 2Huayllabamba to Pacaymayo

    • Total Walking Distance: 9 km
    • Total Walking Time: 6h
    • Minimum Altitude: 3000m (9.842 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4200m (13,779 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3600m (11,811 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: -2°C

    We wake up early continuing on the trail, we leave Huayllabamba behind to begin the most difficult part of the trek: an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km and reaches the first mountain pass on the Inca Trail, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s Pass) (4200m / 13,799 ft).

    We will only climb halfway up the pass today, stopping at Pacaymayo instead where we will spend the night. As we climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation), and we have the chance to spot llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at that altitude. We also cross an area of cloud forest, home to many different kinds of birds, including hummingbirds and sparrows, as well as the elusive Andean bear, also called the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus).

Day 3Pacaymayo to Phuyupatamarca

    • Total Walking Distance: 11km
    • Total Walking Time: 6h
    • Minimum Altitude: 3600m (11,811ft) / Maximum Altitude: 3970m (13,022 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3700m (12,139 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: -3°C (27°F)

    After breakfast, we continue our hike up to start to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m / 13,022 ft). Halfway up, we visit the archaeological complex with the same name. This site, located at 3750m / 12,303 ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lake) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m / 11,889 ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios, and irrigation canals.

    Continuing up an easy climb, we arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (3700m / 12,139ft). Along this climb we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas’ ancient craft as we walk along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and see rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multileveled Andean geography. Phuyupatamarca, which means “town above the clouds,” is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. We set our camp in Phuyupatamarca and spend the night here.

Day 4Phuyupatamarca - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes

    • Total Walking Distance: 11km
    • Total Walking Time: 5h
    • Minimum Altitude: 2650m (8,694 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 2700m (8,858 ft)

    If the weather is good, we start today with one of the most spectacular sunrises on the entire Inca Trail Trek!

    We then start our way through the long descending stone steps which will lead us to Wiñaywayna (2650m / 8694ft). Wiñaywayna is the biggest archaeological site on the Inca Trail beside Machu Picchu and consists of an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector, and an urban sector, and offers spectacular views over the Urubamba River valley.

    After our visit, we leave Wiñaywayna to climb to Inti Punku, The Sun Gate (2700m / 8858ft). This will take an hour of hiking through highland jungle, along a trail of flat stones that line the cliff edge. From this fabulous spot, we may enjoy spectacular views over the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu, weather permitting. From Inti Punku, a short walk brings us down to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Before reaching the entrance, we will take a side path off the trail to go down to Aguas Calientes, as we will save Machu Picchu for tomorrow. We take the bus down to Aguas Calientes where we’ll check into the hotel, before enjoying a celebratory dinner. Then it’s off to bed as we’ll have an early start tomorrow!

    A Standard Hotel is included in your trek price, but we also offer the option to upgrade if you’d like a little more comfort!

Day 5Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

    After a very early breakfast at the hotel, we will take the first bus up to Machu Picchu, which leaves at about 6am. 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.

      Want more time to explore? Consider our Extra Day Upgrades.

      We return to Aguas Calientes by bus and then start our journey back to Cusco in the afternoon by Expedition (tourist class) train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. There, our driver will meet us and transfer you directly back to your hotel in Cusco. Total travel time is about 4 hours from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.

2 Reviews
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Melanie from Canada

Couple Traveller

Our experience reflected the other reviews on this site. Everything was extremely well organized and professional. The crew were amazing and our guide was knowledgeable, caring and just a really nice person. Everything from the morning walk-up Coca teas to the food and information was great. We would definitely recommend the 5 day trek as we could enjoy the scenery and suck up some oxygen! We also forgot something in our hotel in AC and the home office team made sure it was collected and hand delivered to our hotel in Ollantaytambo! Awesome service. Thanks for making this an unforgettable part of our time in Peru.

12 June, 2017

Mike from US

Family Traveller

I truly don’t know where to begin. After seeing all the great reviews on Apus Peru I made the decision to go with them. I did the 5 day Inca trail excursion and Apus went above and beyond to make this a safe, memorable and extremely educational excursion for me. My guide at every step of the way showed me her true passion for what she does and my team of hard working, humble porters did the same…especially the incredibly creative and talented chef. They were kind, prompt and friendly through every step. I can go on and on…If you are looking for this type of experience hire Apus.

Thank you again!

18 April, 2017