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Inca Trail 4 days 3 nights

The complete tour of the authentic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 4 days

6 reviews
  • boy howlanders doing the inca trail 4 days tour
  • inca trail poster
  • howlanders boy in huayllabamba
  • hot water trays at the camp
  • boy howlanders on a trail on the inca trail
  • howlanders boy climbing the stairs
  • boy howlanders observing abra warmiwañuska
  • inca temple
  • guide explaining to the group about the inca city
  • howlanders boy walking along a trail of the inca trail
  • gate of the sun
  • howlanders boy at the sun gate
  • howlanders girl at machu picchu
  • group descending stairs on the guided tour of machu picchu
  • guide explaining on the guided tour of machu picchu
  • machu picchu views
  • howlanders girl with her arms open in front of a big stone
  • machu picchu ruins
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Cusco
4 days
English and Spanish
Starts: Pick up between 4:00 and 4:30 AM at your accommodation in Cusco
Ends: Between 6:00 and 8:00 PM in the center of Cuzco
Flexible cancellation policy
Briefing

The Inca Trail 4 days 3 nights is one of the most iconic routes in Latin America and recognized worldwide. During 4 days you will walk along an Inca trail protected by UNESCO, you will stay in mobile camps and always with the help of the porters. Finally you will arrive at Machu Picchu through its highest part, the Sun Gate. 

This tour includes everything you need (guide, porters equipment, food, entrance fees...). Along the route, the guide will explain the different archaeological sites you will visit: Llactapata, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, etc, turning this experience into an authentic immersion in the Inca culture. The route is demanding due to the altitude, you will walk at more than 4,000 meters above sea level and in the winter months the weather is cold, but we assure you that the effort will be worth it 💪. 

Dare to live this experience!

Tour details

Included

  • Access ticket to the Inca Trail
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu (circuit 3)
  • Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Professional guide
  • Cook
  • Porter service for your luggage: maximum 6kg per person
  • Porter service for all tour logistics (camping, food, etc...)
  • Food
  • Transportation from Cusco to the trailhead
  • Train back to Cusco
  • 4-seater 2-passenger tent
  • Mat
  • First aid kit

Not included

  • Tips
  • First day breakfast
  • Lunch and dinner on the fourth day
  • Sleeping bag (rental option)
  • Additional inflatable mattress (rental option)

Important information

The Inca Trail 4 days tour is a demanding trek, it is not recommended for all travelers and it is very important to make a good acclimatization to the altitude before starting. We recommend staying in Cuzco 3-4 days before the start of the tour and if possible do some physical activity or a tour at higher altitude. In addition, due to the weather conditions, it is very important to bring good mountain equipment.

Cancellation policy

If you cancel more than 7 days in advance we will refund 75%. If you cancel more than 48 hours in advance we will refund 50%. If you cancel with less time, arrive late or no-show, no refund will be offered.

Tour itinerary

BRIEFING

The day before the tour starts, you will meet with the guide and the rest of your fellow adventurers to prepare for the tour. You will be given the indications you need and any questions will be answered so that you can enjoy the experience to the fullest. In addition, you will be given the bag in which you will store the luggage that the porters will carry each day (maximum 6 kg). Now yes, let's start!

Machu Picchu views from above

DAY 1

Distance: 8,69 mi. (14 km)

Duration: 6-7 hours

Difficulty level: medium

📍 Pick up in Cuzco - Ollantaytambo - Km 82

The 4 day Inca Trail tour starts with pick up from your accommodation in Cuzco at around 4 am. The guide and the porter leader will take you and the rest of the group by minibus to Ollantaytambo, where you will have breakfast and meet the porters (honestly, the real heroes of this adventure). You will continue in the minibus a few more kilometers until you reach the beginning of the Inca Trail: Piscacucho (also known as Km 82). At this point, at an altitude of 2,700 meters, is where the adventure really begins.

howlanders boy inca trail

Llactapata - Ayapata Camp ⛺

This first day is one of the least demanding of the route, both because of the altitude and the distance covered, which does not exceed 14 km. You will start walking a flat stretch along the valley of the Vilcanota River, you will pass through the last village that you will find along the route and you will enter the road. Gradually you will gain altitude and two hours later you will reach the viewpoint of the Inca site Llactapata (Patallacta), where you will make a stop to appreciate it while the guide explains its origin, use, etc. Start the immersion in the Inca culture!

guide explaining at the inca temple

You will continue walking for 2 hours, stopping for lunch to face with energy the slope that will take you to the 3,300 meters of altitude of the Ayapata camp, where you will arrive at 5 in the afternoon. As every day, when you arrive at the camp, the porters will be waiting for you with the camping area ready, a hot drink and some snacks. You will have time to rest and around 7 p.m. you will have dinner in the dining tent with your group - you will be surprised how well the team cooks!

dinner in the dining tent

DAY 2

Distance: 9,94 mi. (16 km)

Duration: 7-8 hours

Difficulty level: high

6:00 AM

Ayapata Camp - Abra Warmiwañusca (dead woman's pass)

Days on the Inca Trail begin early, with one of the porters bringing you a hot drink at the door of your tent. You will have breakfast and start the longest and most demanding day of the Inca Trail. In the first 4 hours you will cover less than 4 km and it is a stretch with lots of stairs to help you climb the almost 1,000 meters of elevation gain to the Dead Woman's Pass, the highest point of the trail. You will take advantage of this time to rest, have a snack and above all enjoy the views on both sides.

traveller howlanders by the sign at the Abra Warmiwañusca pass

Runccuracay Pass - Chaquiccocha Camp ⛺

You will descend more than 500 meters to the Pacaymayu valley, where you will have lunch and take strength for the second climb of the day: 2 hours of ascent to the Runkurakay pass. On the way you will visit the Runcu Raccay Inca area and the village of Sayacmarca while the guide explains what you have before your eyes. Finally you will arrive at Chaquicocha camp, where you will spend the night at 3,600 meters altitude. 

views on the way to camp in Pacaymayo valley

DAY 3

Distance: 6,21 mi. (10 km)

Duration: 6-7 hours

Difficulty level: medium

Chaquiccocha - Phuyupatamarca 

A new day begins, much less demanding than the previous one. Although the first part of the route is a very gentle ascent to the Phuyupatamarca peak (3,600 meters altitude), the rest of the day is downhill. Little by little you will enter the cloud forest, you will see and feel the change of ecosystem, a more temperate zone with much more vegetation.

howlanders boy on the road in the cloud forest

The City above the clouds ☁️ - Wiñaywayna⛺ Camping

You will continue the route passing through an Inca tunnel until you reach the archaeological complex Phuyupatamarca, which means "city above the clouds", an archaeological site nestled at the highest point of the mountain. You will continue the hike through the long descending stone steps until you reach Wiñaywayna, where you will find an impressive Inca complex where they dedicated themselves to agriculture. You will arrive at lunchtime and have the afternoon free to rest and prepare for the big day: the entrance to Machu Picchu. It will be your last dinner with the group and the cook always surprises 😉 . In addition, you will take advantage of this afternoon to chat a little with the porters and thank them for their work, at this point of the route you will have already realized why we say that they are "the heroes" of the Inca Trail.

travellers in Phuyuoatamarca the city above the clouds

DAY 4

4:00 AM

Sun Gate - Machu Picchu

It will still be dark, and before 4 o'clock you will be walking to the checkpoint to be one of the first groups to access the trail that will take you to the Puerta del Sol (Inti Punku). At this point you will have to wait a little over an hour as it opens at 5:30. 

Howlanders Tip:

We know that an hour wait in the morning can be hard, but there is an explanation: it is done this way so as not to be one of the last groups to enter and to live a better experience in Inti Punku, with much less people. Open up and live it with a good attitude, the time will fly by!


Finally you will pass the checkpoint and in just over an hour you will arrive at the Sun Gate, you will see how the clouds leave, the sun begins to enter and you will live a unique moment in Machu Picchu, the sacred citadel of the Incas.

sun gate landscape

Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Afterwards, you will descend to the citadel itself and take a two-hour tour with your guide, you will have already seen that he is an expert in Inca culture, but in Machu Picchu he will surprise you even more, he is the icing on the cake, he will make you enjoy it to the fullest!

Once the visit to Machu Picchu is over, you will take the bus back to Aguas Calientes, where you will have lunch at a local restaurant. Normally the whole group gathers for this last meal and share a few beers to celebrate.

travellers with guide during the guided tour to machu picchu

Return to Cuzco 🚂

Later, you will take the panoramic train that will take you back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival, the minibus will be waiting for you to take you to the center of Cusco, where this Inca Trail 4 days 3 nights adventure ends.

return train from machu picchu to cusco

What to bring to Inca Trail 4 days 3 nights

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm clothing
  • Comfortable hiking shoes (waterproof if possible)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Waterproof jacket (especially important during the rainy season from November to March).
  • Passport
  • Small backpack (to carry what you need for each hike)
  • Bathing suit and towel (for the hot springs of Aguas Calientes)
  • Medication to avoid altitude sickness (in case you consider it necessary)
  • Trekking poles

Where does the tour Inca Trail 4 days 3 nights start

The tour starts in Cusco, and includes pick up from your accommodation, as long as it is located in the historic center of the city. If the street where you are located is not accessible for the minibus, the coordinator will accompany you from your accommodation to the pick-up point. In case your hotel is not located in the city center, the minibus will not be able to deviate so much from its pick-up route and you will be offered a pick-up point as close as possible to your accommodation.

Questions & Answers

Inca Trail 4 days 3 nights tour reviews with Howlanders

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