4 day/ 3 night Classic Inca Trail & 3 Day / 2 night Quarry Trail
Porter (Inca Trail)
Mules/ horses (Quarry Trail)
All camping gear including sleeping bag and comfortable sleeping mattress
Walking poles Guides and porters tipping
All meals are cooked by an expert expedition cook and served at a dining tent (weather permitting)
These options can be booked through your travel agent on any of the following tours (Subject to permit availability)
You don’t have to be a keen trekker to feel the pull of Machu Picchu. The path to the last Inca stronghold features on many a bucket list. It’s perhaps only when you reach the ancient ruins after trekking for some days whilst standing at the famous sungate that you’ll truly understand why this is one of the most important cultural sites in the world.
These treks are within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but you must be prepared.
On the Inca Trail you will hike up to 45 kilometres often on steep terrain. The maximum altitude reached is 4,200 metres above sea level and each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch.
The Inca Trail has a limited amount of permits available each day so booking early is a must if we wish to opt for this option. If permits are unavailable, you can also chose to hike the less crowded Quarry trail.
The Quarry trail is less established than the Inca Trail yet it offers the same magical scenery, visits three small archaeological sites and is overall less touristy. Overall the distance hiked on this trek is 26km, the maximum altitude reached is 4,450 metres above sea level. Since permits are not required for this trek, there are no restrictions as when you book your trip.
Why we love it
- Follow the steps of the ancient Incas on the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
- No permits? No problem, hike the Quarry Trek for unparalleled views of the Andes and of course - a visit to Machu Picchu
Is this trip right for you
- These hikes travel to places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the essential information for more important information on this.
- Accommodation during both treks is camping in two-people tents (twin-share).
- A moderate level of fitness is recommended for people booking these treks. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch
Classic Inca Trail
Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the ruins of Llactapata, which was burnt to the ground by the last Inca emperor to discourage Spanish pursuit down the trail. In the evening, set up camp while the cook makes dinner.
Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometres long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.
Notes: The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.
Classic Inca Trail
This is the most challenging day of the trek, as we ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, which is only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.
Classic Inca Trail
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps, which takes you to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.
Classic Inca Trail
The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists).
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular sunrise over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.