Inca Trail

If you’re keen to explore Peru’s Inca Trail, allow us to take you on a virtual tour of this world-famous trek, walking in the steps of the ancient Incas.

The four day/three night Classic Inca Trail is a challenging, but rewarding journey to the impressive citadel of of Machu Picchu You’ll make your way through the ancient stone path skirting jagged mountains, subtropical cloud-forest and ancient archaeological sites, stopping at various viewpoints to admire the stunning scenery.

The virtual tour is very easy to follow and by using the arrows and menu, you’ll be able to click through various famous landmarks and viewpoints of the Inca Trail.

This is a fantastic way to ‘experience’ the Inca Trail and to see the type of scenery, topography and conditions you’ll be hiking in. We recommend using a desktop for the best possible experience, but the tours can also be enjoyed on your mobile or tablet, and also through a VR headset.

Our Papagaio blog is full to the brim with information about the Inca Trail, in particular the History of Peru’s Inca trail and our Insider’s Guide to the Inca Trail.

Ask Our Experts, chat to us online or call our specialists today; we would love to start planning your trip. What’s better than ‘virtually’ hiking the Inca Trail? Hiking it for real.

What you need to know before hiking the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is one of the world’s most famous treks, and rightfully so. This tough four-day journey to the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu starts on the river bank of the Urubamba and climbs up to mountain passes nearly 5,000 metres above sea level. Passing a number of lesser-known Inca sites along the route, you'll be treading in the footsteps of the Incas themselves on an original ancient stone path skirting jagged mountains and dipping to subtropical cloud-forest.

In order to walk the classic Inca Trail you need to buy a permit. If you want to walk the trail in July and August, then you should book well in advance as these are the busiest months, and permits sell out quickly. The trail is actually closed in February and you might want to think twice about walking the trail from December to March as these can be really wet months in the Andes. Having said that, the first time some of our team trekked the Inca Trail was in January and the weather was great - and they had it almost to themselves!

The highlight for many is arriving at dawn on the fourth day to walk through the Sun Gate and see Machu Picchu laid out before you, resplendent in the remote Andean setting that kept this 'lost city' hidden for centuries.

3 nights are spent under canvas. However, this is a fully assisted trek with a knowledgeable guide to lead the way and a fantastic team of porters who carry all equipment and have the camp set up by the time you arrive. There are 3 hot meals a day, providing you with the fuel to face what is undoubtedly a demanding, yet enormously rewarding experience. Return to Cusco via a spectacular train ride through the narrow Urubamba gorge.

As this is a challenging trail, we advise that you consult your GP before your trip. You should also consider the effect altitude sickness could have on your time during the trail. To minimise the effects of high altitude, we recommend staying for a couple of days at altitudes of 3,000m or above (the city of Cusco is the perfect place for this). During this time you should drink plenty of water and gradually increase your physical activity and restrict your alcohol intake.

Your Inca Trail itinerary

Day 1: Cusco / Ollantaytambo/ Piscacucho/ Llactapata
An early morning drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas is followed by a trip to Ollantaytambo village. It’s the only surviving example of Inca urban planning. Admire the views of Mount Veronica at Piscacucho and the ruins at Llactapata.

Day 2: Llactapata / Llullchapampa

A two-hour hike through the Huayllabamba Valley is followed by a trail climb through the Andean forest to Llullchapampa (the campsite base) to see the Huayanay mountain range.

Day 3: Llullchapampa / Pacaymayo / Phuyupatamarca

After a two-hour walk to Warmiwañuska Pass (Dead Woman’s Pass) you’re on to Pacaymayo River. Afterwards the climb continues to Runkuracay. End the day with a visit to the ruins of Runkuracay, Sayaqmarca and Phuyuptamarca (where the camp is based).

Day 4: Phuyupatamarca / Machu Pichu
Start the day with a trip to the 20 structured ruins of Wiñay Wayna and the impressive temple. Experience your first view of the iconic Machu Picchu from the Urubamba River. Relax in the evening at a local hotel in Aguas Calientes (not included in the price).

What to pack:

• Passport (along with additional photocopies of it)
• Good-quality footwear
• Lightweight trousers with removable zip legs for warmer weather
• Short-sleeved t-shirts
• Long-sleeved cotton shirts
• Thick/trekking socks
• Comfortable evening shoes
• Rain/windproof jacket
• Gloves
• Scarf
• Warm fleece or sweater for layering
• Down or synthetic fill jacket
• Warm hat
• Sun hat/cap
• Bandana
• Sun cream, sunglasses as well as a hat and rain protection
• Camera and spare batteries
• Rubber-tipped walking poles
• Insect repellent
• Personal first aid kit

Discover more

If you’d like to explore more of the region, why not see what else Peru has to offer? We have escorted group tours and tailor-made itineraries that take in all Peru has to offer. Our Peru specialists are on hand to help plan your next holiday with Journey Latin America.

Tailor-made holidays

Flexible, custom-made holidays to Latin America created to match your exact requirements: our tailor-made itineraries are as unique as the clients for whom they are designed.

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    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

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    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

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    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

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    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

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