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Inca Trail - Trek to Machu Picchu

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 5.0 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Experience a 4 day hike through rugged mountains and ancient ruins on the way to the famed Machu Picchu.


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Map Key

19.4

Miles

31.2

KM

Point to Point

13,665' 4,165 m

High

8,436' 2,571 m

Low

6,822' 2,079 m

Up

6,876' 2,096 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (8°)

87%

Max Grade (41°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Commonly Backpacked · River/Creek · Views

Permits are required, and many find the use of a guide or outfitter helpful.

Overview

This 4 day hike will take you into the clouds at 13,700 feet and through endless Inca ruins. The landscape is stunning, dramatic, and peppered with history.

Need to Know

It's advised to gear up with all water and food before you start your journey since supplies along the route are very limited. Some people bring little toys or candies to give to the children in the villages you'll pass through.

Description

This trek starts out in the small town of Piskacucho. Most outfitters will drop you off here to stage and prepare for your 4 day/3 night journey to Machu Picchu. Once you are with your guide, you'll enter through the checkpoint where permits are checked. Be sure to bring your passport.

The first day is relatively easy as it follows the Urubamba River Valley. The elevation gain is low. Around 3.5 miles in, you'll come up on the Llactapata Archeological Site. Meander through the ruins and look to the other side of the stream to see neighboring ruins. The first day will most likely end at Wayllabamba, the last community on the Inca Trail.

Day 2 is by far the most strenuous since you'll climb over Dead Woman's Pass, which peaks out just under 14,000 feet above sea level. It's a beautiful section, but most focus on breathing and putting one step in front of the other. A beautiful camp is just over the pass in Llulluchapampa. While running water is available, its bacteria levels are questionable. It's best to bring a filter.

Day 3 keeps you high on the peaks as you wind around the mountains exploring and soaking up a handful of Inca ruins. This section is spectacular and unforgettable for historical and geological reasons. Most find their last night at Winay Wayna, giving you only an hour on day four to reach the Sun Gate. This is the best way to beat the rush of people visiting Machu Picchu via train and bus.

History & Background

Inca ruins galore, need I say more?!

Shared By:

Caleb Joyce with improvements by Jack M

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 10 votes

#480

Overall
  5.0 from 10 votes
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#480

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Photos

Looking over the steep valley from Winay Wayna ruins
Jul 24, 2017 near Santa T…, PE
Day 2 campsite at the top of Dead Woman's Pass
Jul 24, 2017 near Santa T…, PE
Approaching the Llactapata ruins
Jul 24, 2017 near Ollanta…, PE
These sherpas are hard-working men
Jul 24, 2017 near Ollanta…, PE
Starting spot of the Inca Trail.  KM 82
Jan 1, 2018 near Ollanta…, PE

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Check-Ins

Aug 30, 2019
Jack M
Aug 3, 2019
Ninad Amin
8h 00m
Apr 30, 2019
Doug Geiger
Day 1 complete. Stunning, and we're not to the stunning part yet
Mar 29, 2019
Alex Johnston
19.4mi
Nov 20, 2018
sambroad
Aug 20, 2018
Josh Read
Got off the train at 104, awesome hike!
May 28, 2018
Trevor B
Inca trail: this was an incredible hike! There were very difficult times but the whole thing was worth every bit of sweat.
May 15, 2018
Jan More
We did this hike over 3 days. The trail is in great shape, but some of the steps are quite tall. The views are spectacular.