Inca Trail Machu PicchuThe Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is considered the best hiking route in Peru and one of the best in the world. In 4 days of hiking and 3 nights of camping, cross 39 kilometers of trails that the Incas built hundreds of years ago. The goal is the Intipunku, the gateway to Machu Picchu used by the Incas and that only tourists who do the Inca Trail can see. In ‘Icaminoinca’ you can find all the advice you need on this route.
The qhapac ñan, the immense network of Inca roads
Did you know that the Incas built an immense network of Inca roads that spanned more than 30 thousand kilometers and that covered parts of the current countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina? These roads were called qhapac ñan or royal road of the Incas . A small part of these roads is the one that connects Cusco with Machu Picchu. Today, the authorities have given tourists this route that, for many, is the most spectacular way to get to Machupicchu, the wonder of the world.
How to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
The Inca Trail is a route controlled by the Peruvian State.
Only 500 available spaces are allowed per day, of which 200 correspond to tourists and the rest to the support team: guides, cooks, porters and more.
Due to this, it is recommended to buy the tour between 6 or 7 months before.
Because it is a route protected by the Peruvian State, it can only be done through a tourism agency.
Tours include everything you need: transportation, guide, cooks, porters, entrance to Machu Picchu and more.
Learn about the prices of the 4-day Inca Trail tour, which vary depending on the tourism agency you choose.
The Inca Trail is open all year round except for February which is the rainiest month.
According to specialists, the months of April to September are the best as it is when it rains the least in the year.
The weather on the Inca Trail varies according to the time of year. It can reach a maximum of 21ºC. and a minimum of 0ºC.
Check the updated Inca Trail availability calendar
Check the availability calendar of the Inca Trail permanently updated. The ’50’ means there are fifty spaces available . The ‘0’ that there are no longer free spaces for the Inca Trail. Choose the month and day of your preference and check the availability of the route of your choice.
The tour / prices of the Inca Trail
The 4-day Inca Trail tour crosses mountainous and tropical landscapes until it ends in Machu Picchu after approximately 39 kilometers of walking. Along the Inca roads you can see Inca archaeological sites as well as the abundant flora and fauna of the place. Know the itinerary, what it includes and what it does not include the 4-day Inca Trail tour.
Day 1: It starts in Cusco and ends at the Huayllabamba camp after 13 kilometers of walking.
Day 2: It starts in Huayllabamba and ends in the Pacaymayo camp after 11 kilometers of walking.
Day 3: It starts in Pacaymayo and ends in Wiñayhuayna after 15 kilometers of walking.
Day 4: Starts in Wiñayhuayna and ends in Machu Picchu after 3 kilometers of walking. That day he returns to Cusco.
- Transportation at the beginning of the walk.
- Permission for the route.
- Tour guide.
- Camping equipment.
- Machu Picchu entrance.
- Return by bus and train to Cusco.
- First aid kit.
The 4-day Classic Inca Trail tour has a cost of 620 dollars .
The 2-day Short Inca Trail tour has a cost of $ 500 .
All tours offer discounts for university students with a valid license.
Prices vary depending on the tourism agency you choose to make the route.
Best time to do the Inca Trail
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu remains open every day of the year except for February. In this month, the rainiest, the route remains closed due to maintenance work at the site. For many, the best time to go is in the dry season. For others, the best is the rainy season. Likewise, any day is a good time to walk these historic roads.
The dry season in Cusco runs from April to September.
In these months the rains are not frequent which facilitates the walks.
For many, the dry season is the best time to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
The rainy season in Cusco runs from November to March.
In those months it rains more often. This can cause inconveniences when doing the Inca Trail.
For many, the rainy months are not ideal for the Inca Trail. However, there are still many tourists who make this route.
Closing in February
February is the only month in which the Inca Trail remains closed.
The reason is the constant rains that can generate dangers for the people who make the route.
In February, in addition, work is carried out to improve the route of the Inca Trail.
Regulations of the Inca Trail
The Inca Trail is not just any hiking route. Its trails are protected by the Peruvian State that imposes regulations for their correct operation. For example, only people with permits can do this walk. In addition, there are camps already established in advance. Of course, there are also prohibitions during the walk.
Permission for the path
No person who does not have a permit can travel the sections of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Tourists can acquire permits with the purchase of the Inca Trail tour through an authorized tourism agency.
The permits are also intended for cooks, porters and tourist guides who accompany the tourist during the walk.
The authorities of the Inca Trail already have three sites where you will camp on the three nights of the Inca Trail.
The camps are: Huayllabamba (1st night), Pacaymayo (2nd night) and Wiñayhuayna or Puyupatamarca (3rd night).
No tourist can choose his own camp as the sites are already distributed in advance.
- Hunting implements.
- Drug or alcoholic beverages.
- Metal tipped poles (only rubber tipped poles are allowed).
- Domestic animals.
Plan your trip to the Inca Trail
To carry out the Inca Trail, certain aspects of the trip must be planned, such as the language in Peru, the type of currency and the main festivities in Cusco. This route is an opportunity to learn about the customs and traditions of the Cusco people.
The language in Peru
The most widely spoken language in Peru is Spanish. However, there are more than 46 languages in the country.
In Cusco, in addition to Spanish, Quechua is also a very widespread language. This language was the one used by the Incas.
However, during the Inca Trail the most used language is English. Tour guides have knowledge of more than one language.
The type of currency in Peru
The official currency in Peru is the ‘Peruvian sol’ (S /.), Whose value is approximately one third of an American dollar.
On the trip to Cusco, in addition to the Peruvian sol, businesses accept the American dollar as a currency.
Most tourism agencies that offer the Inca Trail only accept payments in US dollars.
The festivities in Cusco
Peru has a very rich culture in dance, music, gastronomy and all kinds of cultural manifestations.
In Cusco, for example, the Inti Raymi Festival (June 24), the Qoyllur Rit’i (late or early June) and much more are celebrated.
The Inca Trail is an opportunity to learn about the traditions and customs of the Cusco people.
Other incredible treks to Machu Picchu
The Inca Trail is not the only hiking route with the final destination Machu Picchu. There are also other hikes that are just as incredible. The most famous are the Salkantay trek, the Inca Jungle and the Lares trek. These and other routes are perfect in case there is no availability to do the Inca Trail, the most famous trek in Peru.
The Salkantay trek is a hiking route to Machu Picchu that lasts 5 days and covers 70 kilometers in total.
The Salkantay trek is a demanding trek. The purchase of the tour can be made a few days in advance.
The Salkantay trek tour includes everything: transportation, guide, cooks, porters, entrance to Machu Picchu, return by train, bus and more.
The Inca Jungle is a 4-day adventurer route to Machu Picchu. During the route adventure sports such as cycling and trekking are practiced.
The Inca Jungle is so called because it travels through the jungle part of Cusco until arriving at Machu Picchu.
The Inca Jungle tour includes everything: transportation, guide, meals, lodging, entrance to Machu Picchu and more.
The Lares trek is recognized as the cultural route to Machu Picchu as it passes through towns with many traditions.
Travel a total of 32 kilometers during 4 days and 3 nights. Its name is due to the fact that it begins in the town of Lares in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The Lares trek includes everything: train transportation, guide, cooks, porters, lodging, entrance to Machu Picchu and more.
Frequently asked questions about the Inca Trail and other routes in Cusco
Do you have questions about the Inca Trail and the other hiking routes in Cusco? Learn about the ten most frequent questions that tourists ask themselves before taking these walks.
1) Is the Inca Trail open all year round?Yes, the Inca Trail is open all year round except for February which is the rainiest month of the year. On those days, cleaning and conditioning work is carried out on the route.
2) Is it essential to book the Inca Trail online?Yes, the Inca Trail is a highly requested route by tourists. Therefore, it is necessary to make the reservation in advance. The only way to get availability is buying online .
3) How long before should I make the reservation?The 4-day Inca Trail reservation must be made 6 or 7 months in advance.
4) What to do if I don’t get availability?If you do not get availability for the 4-day Inca Trail, the best option is to do another hiking route such as the Salkantay trek, the Lares trek, the Huchuy Qosqo trek, the Inca Jungle or even the short 2-day Inca Trail.
5) What is the best hiking route besides the Inca Trail?For most tourists and tour guides, the Salkantay trek is the second best hiking route in Cusco .
6) When is the best time to go hiking in Cusco?The dry season (from May to September) offers the best months for hiking trails in Cusco. On those days the rains are not frequent so the climate is the best for walks.
7) What does this adventure to the Inca Trail include?The 4-day classic Inca Trail includes: transportation to the starting point of the trek, cook equipment (food), porters equipment (luggage load), camping utensils, entrance to Machu Picchu and all the sites as well as return in train and bus to Cusco.
8) Can I do the Inca Trail on my own?No, the classic 4-day Inca Trail is a route protected by the Peruvian State so it can only be traveled by people with authorizations. Tourism agencies offer such authorizations. People cannot do this route on their own.
9) Is there an age limit to do the Inca Trail?No. Although there is no age limit to do the 4-day Inca Trail, it is best to be between 8 and 65 years old . It is good to be in good physical condition and, if applicable, have the approval of your doctor.
10) What to take to the Inca Trail?The trip to the Inca Trail already includes the main thing so the tourist should only worry about bringing personal items: good shoes, a poncho in case of rain, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, comfortable sportswear, rehydrating water, personal hygiene items. , some cash and a camera to capture the beautiful landscapes.