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Inca Trail Trek 5D

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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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5 Days / 4 Nights
Availability : We depart 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
ALTITUDE
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DISTANCE
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TIME
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AVG DAILY HIKE
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Description

Our 5-day trek is a great Inca Trail trek 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. 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? 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.

What to Expect on the 5D Inca Trail Trek

From snow-capped mountains and alpine tundra to lush cloud forest and sub-tropical Andean jungle, the 5D Inca Trail Trek provides an unparalleled journey through a series of micro-climates, with breathtaking Inca ruins along the way. You’ll see incredible mountain views, spectacular sunrises, and lots of incredible flora and fauna.

 

Price

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

$1980

4-6 people

$1395

7-8 people

$1195

9-12 people

$1150

Details

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
  • 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.
  • 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.

What is Not Included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Dinner on the last night.
  • Entrance to the hot springs
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • 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.

    Important!

    • 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. A valid student card which clearly shows the expiry date must be presented upon booking
  • 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.

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

  • “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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Llactapata

    Today will be a relatively easy and relaxed day, starting at a respectable 8am 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) 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, including our campsite! We then walk down to the expansive Inca site Llactapata, where we will spend the night.

    Total Walking Distance – 5km
    Total Walking Time – 2.5-3h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude – 2650 m / 8692 ft
    Altitude of camp – 2620 m / 8595 ft

Day 2Llactapata to Llulluchapampa

    We wake up early to continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing until we reach the farming community of Huayllabamba (3000m / 9840ft). 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 in altitude! We’ll also pass an incredible diversity of wild flora and fauna along the way. 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 / 13,780 ft).

    We will only climb half way up the pass today, stopping at Llulluchapampa 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).

    Total Walking Distance – 12 km
    Total Walking Time – 5-6h
    Minimum Altitude – 3000m / 9840ft / Maximum Altitude – 3850m / 12,589 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3850m / 12,589 ft

Day 3Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca

    After breakfast, we continue our hike up to the highest point in the Inca Trail after about 2 hours. Immediately after the Dead Woman’s Pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600m / 11,808ft), from which we then 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 3800m / 12,464 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 / 11,887 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 / 12,136 ft). 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.

    Total Walking Distance – 15km (9.32 mi)
    Total Walking Time – 8h
    Minimum Altitude – 3600m / 11,811 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4200 m / 13, 780 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3600m / 11,811 ft

Day 4Phuyupatamarca - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes

    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 / 8692 ft), where we find a campsite equipped with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge. Wiñaywayna is the biggest archaeological site on the Inca Trail besides 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. 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!

    Total Walking Distance – 11km (6.84 mi)
    Total Walking Time – 5h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude – 3600m / 11, 811 ft

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. Arriving at the site, your guide will give you a 2-3 hour guided tour, explaining the history of this majestic site. After this, you can explore some of the alternative routes to view additional highlights of the site on your own. For more tips on visiting the site, check our Visiting Machu Picchu page.

    You may want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain to cap off your Machu Picchu experience, but remember that permits are limited and must be reserved at the time of booking! There is an additional cost to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain not included in the price of this trek.

    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.

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