Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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Stages of the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is obligatory for any visitor to Peru. Its 26-mile span is a microcosm of the country's historical and natural diversity! Here are the main places you'll stop during the course of the trail.

  • Mollepata

    1. Mollepata

    This is where the story starts! Meet your guides in the village of Mollepata, a beautiful, snow-capped setting.

  • Salkantay Pass

    2. Salkantay Pass

    The highest point of the Willkapampa range in the Andes, this is a comparatively peaceful route on the Inca Trail.

  • Winaypoco

    3. Winaypoco

    Relax and enjoy Andean biodiversity, with plants used by the Inca for medicinal and nutritional purposes. There may also be time to indulge in the hot springs at Santa Teresa!

  • Patallaqta

    4. Patallaqta

    The "hummingbird village" is the first ancient archeological site you'll see on the trail. It includes a military hill fort and a religious shrine.

  • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

    5. Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

    It's what you've all been waiting for - the most iconic part of the Inca Trail. Climb the mounds and prepare to be astonished!

Planning Your Visit

  • When is it open?

    You can access the trail at all times of the year except February, when routine maintenance is being done.

  • When is the best time to go?

    High season is from April to November - since it's in the southern hemisphere, Peruvian winter falls from around May to August. Temperatures during this time can go below 32 degrees.

  • What should I wear?

    It goes without saying that decent walking boots are a must. You should dress in light layers. Since the trek takes place over five days, you will want to keep what you're carrying to a minimum. Snowfall can also occur at high altitudes during winter, so make sure you have a good coat, hat, gloves, and other winter-appropriate attire if you choose to go during this season.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The trail is open all year, except February.
  • Is it expensive?
    The entrance fee is about $45, tour guides vary in price.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Absolutely, hikers are prohibited from trekking without one. Might be worth it to check out our great tours.
  • How to get there
    You'll need to take the bus to kilometer 82, along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes.
  • Additional information
    ** Make sure to do your research and plan ahead, only 500 permits are issued per day. | You need to be fit to hike the trail. | Don't forget extra shoes, bug repellent, sunscreen, and a poncho, among other things!*

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What people are saying about Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 110 reviews

An excellent stay that we highly recommend! A team caring, beautiful scenery and all-inclusive service to let yourself be carried and enjoy the stay. The trek of Lares makes it possible to hike in all tranquility (we crossed 2 tourists in 3 days); after a good period of acclimatization, the pace allows even the less athletic to follow easily; nights in a camp make it possible to meet locals without all the bad taste folklore that some tour operators can offer; Finally, the fascinating explanations of the guide allow to learn about the fauna and flora as well as the history of a Perou from the pre-Inca period to the political and social context of our days. A big thank you to the whole team !

My tour guide, Maribel, was great - she was there for me, encouraged and supported me. She was very well read and told me a lot about history and nature. The tour itself - super beautiful and the ruins very impressive. Everything worked out great. Thank you for an incomparable experience. Anja

Edwin was a great guide. The tour is absolutely worth hiking. Everything was top organized. We stayed at Suzanna Inn and enjoyed the breakfast with pancakes and fresh eggs. Unfortunately the hotel seemed to be a place of construction, the plugs were open and it was a bit loud.

Maribel was an INCREDIBLE guide! She was so fun to spend time with, and also had in-depth knowledge about the area, including flora & fauna, Incan history, and so much more. Highly recommend this tour (and Maribel!) to anyone looking!

Amazing experience. Inca trail is difficult yet so rewarding. Machu Picchu is just beautiful. Our private tour guide, Anthony, was brilliant. Lovely guy, taught us so much and was such a good photographer too! Highly recommend!