Inca Trail Hike 4 Days

Trip Overview

Escape your life for just 4 days and hike the Classic Inca Trail through the Andes Mountains to Machu Picchu. Permits for this hike always sell out in advance. In that case, alternative hikes are always available.

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Day 1: Cusco - Wayllabamba Max alt 3000m/9900 ft. Distance - 10 km/6 mi

Our team will arrive at 6:00 am to pick you up for your departure from Cusco to Km 82 in Piskacucho, with a brief stop in Ollaytaytambo, where you can buy last minute gear and personal items. We arrive in Piskacucho where the hike begins on a strolling, flat path along the Urubamba River and then shifts upward until our lunch stop. Along the way, we stop for a close-up view of the archaeological ruins of Llactapata before we arrive at our campsite for the night.

Day 2: Wayllabamba - Warmiwanusca - Papaymayu Max alt 4270 m/14,000 ft Distance - 12 km/7.5 mi

We'll start the day early with a healthy breakfast prepared by our chef and then hike up to the highest point of the Inka Trail (Dead Woman's Pass). We hike through several ecological zones where we are able to discern between the different microclimates. The chef will have lunch ready and waiting at midday prior to passing the highest point, Warmiwañusca Pass at 4,200 meters/13,780 feet above sea level. Our descent will eventually take us to the campsite Pacaymayo, where will enjoy our dinner and a well-deserved rest.

Day 3: Papaymayu - Chaq 'icocha - Winaywayna Max alt 3600 m/11, 800 ft Distance - 15 km/9.3 mi

Our day begins with a nutritious breakfast and then a 45 minute hike up to the second pass on the Inka Trail (3950 meters/12,959 feet above sea level). Along the way we are able to visit Inka ruins including Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, and Puyupatamarka. Your guide readily provides additional information about the history and signaficance of ruins, wildlife and plants throughout the hike. After lunch we hike to the Wiñaywayna Camp site, for our last night on the Trail.

Day 4: Winaywayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco Max alt 2440/8000 ft Distance 5 km/3 mi

After an early breakfast, we begin the final trek to the lost city of Machu Picchu. We cross over the top of the mountain at Inti Punku “ the Sun Gate”, where we get our first inspiring and panoramic view of Machu Picchu. Then we descend to Machu Picchu where we will register at the check point and enjoy our private, guided tour of the ancient Inka ruins. After the tour you can choose to rest or explore the ruins on your own before we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to board the train back to Cusco.

The process for applying for Inca Trail permits is best if arranged in advance. It is advisable to book at least 4-6 months before your planned travel dates, or more if you have a group of 7 or more.

Campgrounds are available on first-come, first-serve basis and operators do not find out which campgrounds you have been assigned to until the permits are completed. It's possible the hike to Machu Picchu on Day 4 could be 12 KM or 5 Km depending on the campground you are staying in the night before. This affects the amount of time you have to visit the ruins. We have the option to schedule later departure times on the train back to Cusco. Travel time to Cusco is 4- 5 hrs. This makes a long day. The only other option is to add another day to your itinerary and stay overnight in Aguas Calientes so you can return to Machu Picchu the next day. We can book a hotel & defer your train tickets if we know in advance. We do our best to make sure your visit to Machu Picchu meets your expectations. Let us know your preferences.

Tour Options

Join Small Group

4 Days / 3 Nights
Difficulty Level:
moderate to strenuous
Every Tuesday
Starting From$912per person

Private Group

4 Days / 3 Nights
Difficulty Level
moderate to strenuous
Any date permits are available
Starting From$996per person

Frequently Asked Questions

This Adventure Includes

    • Pre-hike briefing in your hotel in Cusco, the day before your hike starts
    • Transportation from: Hotel - Km. 82 (Piscaycucho)
    • Duffle bags that will be carried by the porters (or bring your own) 
    • Shuttle bus Ticket: Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes. (1-way)
    • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
    • English-speaking guide (2 guides if group is 9 or more people)
    • Cook: meal preparation.
    • 2 porters per hiker: Carry tents and cooking equipment
    • Porters carry your sleeping bags, mattresses & personal gear  (Max. 5 kilos/ 11 lbs per person)
    • Meals: 3 Breakfasts/4 Lunches/3 Dinners
    • Snacks and afternoon tea
    • Tickets for the Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
    • Equipment: tents (2 people in each, 3-person-capacity), air mattress, dinner tent, biodegradable bathroom tent, kitchen tent, tables and chairs, table settings
    • First aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle.
    • Minimum 2 people
    • Maximum 8 people for each guide (9 or more requires another guide)
    • (5 day hike) 1 night 3* hotel with private bath & breakfast

Not Included

    • Hotels
    • Gratuities: it is customary to tip each porter $25 USD, cook $40 USD and guide $100 USD at the end (shared by the group.  Includes 2 porters per hiker, 1 cook & 1 guide
    • Personal backpacks - large enough to carry things you need during the hike (recommend max 28 liters men / 24 liters woman)
    • Sleeping bags (bags available to rent for $20 pp)
    • Pillows
    • Trekking poles (can be rented for $20 USD pp)
    • Travel Insurance

    Itinerary is subject to change


    • Students with ISC cards - deduct $30 pp if you are a high school or college student with a valid ISC card
    • Permits cannot be refunded, transferred or cancelled
    • There is no wait list for Inca Trail permits. If someone doesn't show up, their place will go empty.
    • Sleeping bags / mattresses make up about 50% of total weight of duffle bags. About 5-6 lbs/3 kg remain.
    • Once you are on the trail, the only way to get off, even in emergency, is by foot.