Standard Inca Trail Trek 4 Days
Overview for Standard Inca Trail Trek
Standard Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu offers a number of stunning mountain scenery of the Vilcabamba mountain range; and the mysterious Inca ruins along the trail. It runs through the reserve area of Machu Picchu; inscribed as a world heritage in the list of UNESCO. The Standard Inca Trail Trek is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world. The Standard Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, traverses a variety of terrain and explores the rich cultural and natural diversity of the southern Peru. This trek offers amazing views of the Mountain range from which Salkantay mountain is the highest with 6,271m.
Our customized Standard Inca Trail Trek allows a gentler acclimatization process; as it traverses the variety of landscapes. From jungle to high alpine; lush valley and up to arid peaks passing through hospitable villages through the world’s deepest gorge. The trekking is walking at your own pace; on well-developed trails that pass through Inca settlement; located mainly in the hilly or mountainous region elevation up to 3,000m.
You do not need to be a professional mountaineer to trek on the Standart Inca Trail. But it is always beneficial to explore something more if you are physically fit. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of our trek; will be the cool air of the mountains and magnificent views of the mountain peaks; and the iconic Machu Picchu.
Highlights of Standard Inca Trail Trek
- Standard Inca Trail Trek is commonly referred to as one of the best hiking trails the world has to offer.
- The Standard Inca Trail Trek is a trip that you need no prior experience to do – just a comfortable pair of boots and “Sunrise Peru Trek” as your trusted guide.
Enjoy the photo opportunities every moment
- You will cover 45KM (26 miles) of ancient stone paved Inca Trail in 4 days and 3 nights
- Standard Inca Trail Trek includes trek across two mountain passes the highest of which reach to 4,200masl.
- Explore every Inca sites along the trail such as: Pata LLacta, Willcaraqhay, Runkuraqhay, Sayacmarka, Conchamarka, Phuyupatamarka, inti Pata, Wiñayhuayna, Inti Puku and Machu Picchu itself.
- This is the only hike that allows you to go directly through the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu – seeing the amazing sacred Inca citadel of Machu Picchu from above for the first time.
Important: please book early, because the permits for Standard Inca Trail to Machu Picchu are sold out months in advance.
Outline itinerary – Standard Inca Trail Trek
Day 01: First Day walk
Drive from Cusco for 3:30 hours to Pisqhakucho, pass the control point and trek for 6 -7 hours; today’s trekking is considered from easy to moderate, we’ll covert a distance of 13km
Day 02: The hardest trekking day
Today we’ll trek over the highest pass at 4,200m and in the afternoon we’ll trek over the second pass at 4,000m. Today’s trek is considered hard but you’ll rewarded by splendid views.
Day 03: Beautiful walk
Today the walk is through the tropical forest with the presence of wildlife and also we’ll explore several Inca sites along the trail, also you’ll pass Inca tunnels, Inca terraces and more.
Day 4: Machu Picchu
Trek for two hours very early in the morning and arrive to Machu Picchu for the sunrise and visit for 2 – 3 hours; After the tour you’ll ahve free time for further exploration. In the afternoon we’ll return to Cusco.
Standard Inca Trail Trek Lincks
Day to Day Itinerary for Standard Inca Trail Trek
Day 01: First Trekking Day
We’ll Pick-up you from your hotel in Cusco at 05:30 am and travel for 3:30 hours in our private bus to Piscacucho at 2,750m known as the km 82; we’ll stop in the town of Ollantaytambo to get breakfast and purchase some item for the trek. Once at Pisqhakucho we will meet our trekking porters who will carry the trekking equipment.
The trail starts with a gentle climb, and then we have three hours on relatively level terrain as we follow the course of the river, rewarded with superb views of Mount Veronica (5,750 m). Three hours after, at the zone of Miskay we take the trail to the left, ascending gradually to the Inca ruins of Willkaraccay high above the mouth of the Cusichaka stream and across from the Inca town of Llactapata (Terraced Town). Here we’ll have an introduction to the Incas culture and history of Llactapata Inca ruins which was discovered by Mr. Hiram Bingham in the 1915s
After the tour and a short rest, we continue another one hour to our lunch place at Hatunchaka. The trail in this section is adorned with native flowers and bromeliads growing in the boulders along the left side, and by majestic views of the mountains in both valleys.
Walking times are always approximate, depending on weather conditions, group ability and other factors. After lunch, another 2-3 hours will bring us to Yukachimpa Camp (3,300 m).
- Meals Included: L, D
- Total distance: 13 km
- Estimated time: 7-8 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 3,300 m
- Campsite altitude: 3,300 m
The Highlights of today
Day 02: Trek over the highest pas of “Dead woman pass” (4,200m)
After breakfast we’ll start early climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca Pass, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4, 200m/13,776ft. After and early breakfast, we begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km.
Along this climb, the landscape changes frequently; along the trail we may see domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at high altitude. We also cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows, and the Andean bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear.
Is’t very important to be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass, drinks lots of water along the hike. We advise that on this day specially, your daypack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness.
Immediately after the pass, we descend through Inca steps for three hours into the Pacaymayu valley (3,600m/118,08ft); where will be served our lunch; after the lunch you can reset and refill your water bottle; then we continue the second mountain.
From Pacaymayu the trail is climbing for one hour to the Inca ruins of Runkuraqhay, named like this for its circular shape; Runkuraqhay is Located at 3,800masl; Runkuraqhay Inca archaeological site consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a relay station of the “Chaskis” or Inca messengers. From here the trail is climbing up for one more hour to the second pass at 4,000masl. Where you’ll have plenty of time to rest and take pictures of the snow caped mountains.
From the second pass most of the trail is down or undulated until the camp; One hour after you’ll arrive to the Inca ruins of Sayacmarka; a small Inca town located on the top of a rocky mountain; from Sayacmarka the trail continues for 30 minutes through a beautiful cloud forest to Chakiqhocha camp at 3,600masl
- Meals Included: B, L, D
- Total distance: 16 km
- Estimated time: 7-8 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 4,200 m
- Campsite altitude: 3,600 m
The Highlights of today
Day 03: Beautiful walking Day
Today is the shortest day but also the most impressive and the most interesting, due to the number of archaeological sites and the lush cloud forest area that we’ll cross, so the hike of today is very rich in Andean flora and fauna.
From the camp of Chakiqhocha the trail is continuing undulating by the site of “Cedrobamba” mountain, you’ll pass Inca tunnels and impressive mountain landscapes. Two Hours after you’ll arrive to the Inca ruins of Phuyupatamarka (3,600m/11,850ft); the name means “town over the clouds”. From here, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley.
From Phuyupatamarka is a 3-hours walk down to “Wiñayhuayna” where will be served our lunch; this is also our camping site for today. The rest of the afternoon you can rest or walk 10 minutes to explore the Inca Ruins of Wiñayhuayna. Wiñayhuanya means “Forever Young” is an impressive Inca agricultural area where you’ll see terraces with water baths, Aqueducts, store houses, domestic buildings and one temple for the Mother Nature.
- Meals Included: B, L, D
- Total distance: 11 km
- Estimated time: 6 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 3,900 m
- Campsite altitude: 2,600 m
Highlights of today
Day 4: Explore Machu Picchu
The hike of today will begin very early (wakeup call at 4:00am); then hike to Machu Picchu overlooking the Urubamba River to the sun Gate or INTIPUNKU; from the INTI PUNKU is possible to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. The sky starts getting light by 6:00am and the first rays of the sun reach Machu Picchu at about 7:00am.
From Inti Punku (the Sun Gate); a final easy 45-minutes walk downhill steps will bring us first, to the upper south sector of Machu Picchu (The Guardian houses). The trail ends at a series of terraces; which present classic views of the overall city; after enjoying a panoramic view we must walk straight down to the entrance of Machu Picchu, where we have to pass the last control point and you’ll have the option to use the toilets. After that we’ll go within Machu Picchu for the tour which will be for 2 -3 hours.
During the tour you’ll visit the most important places accompanied by your Inca Trail Guide; in each of these places you’ll receive an explanation; and also you’ll have enough time to take pictures.
The Tour within Machu Picchu will end in the late morning; after which there will be a couple of hours for exploring on your own or to just rest. In the early afternoon take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town where you can have your lunch in one of the restaurants; and in the afternoon we’ll take the train back to Cuzco. Arrival to Cusco is generally around 8.30 -9:00 pm.
- Meals Included: B
- Total distance: 5 km
- Estimated time: 2 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 2,700 m
- Machu Picchu Altitude: 2,400 m
Highlights of today
The Standard Inca Trail Price includes
- Briefing: Group and guide meeting at 7:00 pm in our office or in you Hotel, this will be the night before of your trek
- Early collection from your hotel in Cusco from (04:30 am) or from Sacred Valley at 8:00am
- 3-hour drive a private bus from Cusco to km 82 –Piskacucho village (The trek starting point)
- Full meals for the entire tour (3 Breakfast, 3 Lunch 3 Dinner) + snacks (vegetarian, vegan option, gluten, wheat free or special diets upon your request.)
- Permit and fees for Inca Trail Park and Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
- Porters to carry (camping equipment: client tents, dinning and cooking tents, table, stools, cooking gear, stove, gas container, cutlery, plates, food and fresh vegetables).
- 2 Excellent experienced tour guides (9-16 person / 6-8 with 1 tour guide)
- 2 expert “Sunrise Peru Trek” gourmet mountain cooks, assistants.
- Boiled water provided from 2nd day.
- 2 person per tent clean, new, spacious (4 person dome igloo tents).
- One inflatable sleeping pad per person
- One pillow per person
- Buckets of hot water for washing in your tent every day
- Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel
- Emergency First-aid kit and Oxygen assistance
- 3-4 hours guided tour in Machu Picchu and extra time for you within Machu PIcchu
- Bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes town
- Tourist Expedition train return to Ollantaytambo train station and bus to Cusco
Breakfast on the first morning
Lunch on the last day
Sleeping bag (4 seasons -Minus 8ºC) can be rented by us $25 for the trip.
Porter service to carry: (sleeping bag, mattress, extra clothes.) 7 Kg for US$ 60 or 15 Kg for US$ 120
Tips for the trekking crew, guides, cooks and porters (It is a tradition but not mandatory).
Standard Inca Trail Trek FAQ’s
How far in advance do I need to book the Standard Inca Trail Trek?
4-day Standard Inca Trail Trek is extremely popular, and permits are strictly limited on a first-come, first-served basis, therefore early booking is important (ideally 6 months or more in advance of your travel dates). If you are unfortunately inflexible with dates, another option you may like to consider is the quieter Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu which does not require permits, for now.
How does it work with the guide and porters for Standard Inca Trail Trek?
OUR GUIDES.- Quality guides make the difference between a great trip and a wonderful experience. “Sunrise Peru Trek” guides are fully qualified and trained. All have many years of experience of guiding trekkers in Peru, and speak excellent English.
They bring a wealth of knowledge to your journey, opening your eyes to the legends, culture, food, flora and fauna of the Andes.
Additionally they are first aid trained and fully trained and experienced in dealing with cases of altitude sickness. They also carry a comprehensive first aid kit.
OUR PORTERS.- Your luggage and the camp equipment will be transported by “Sunrise Peru Trek’s” porters who come from the local communities (Tinki, Phacchanta, Lares, Cunacani, etc) around the city of Cusco. This kind of work allows them to support their family and communities. All porters have a specific task, dependent on the size of the group: cook, porters’ chief, assistant cook, tent attendant, and WC attendant. Weight is an essential variable on the Inca Trail (each porter carries max. 20kg). All of our equipment weight is pre-measured to fit within the weight requirements for our porters’ health and safety. Tips are not included in our arrangements.
What equipment do I need for the trek?
While trekking the Inca Trail you will only have to carry a day bag with water, snacks, spare clothes and your camera (if you pay for extra porter US$ 60 for 7 kilos). Your main bag will be moved by a porter. You must limit your luggage to one bag of up to 7kg per person. It is possible to store excess luggage at your hotel in Cusco.
We will supply you with a detailed equipment list as part of your pre-departure information pack. You will need normal walking and travelling gear as well as a sleeping bag and warm clothes. See the packing list section.
How fit do I need to be for Standard Inca Trail Trek?
The Trek is graded moderate to strenuous, and on walking days you will be trekking for between 5 and 8 hours per day. You will be trekking at high altitude and we recommend that you enjoy a good level of physical fitness before tackling this trek. The trails are generally well maintained and are a good walking surface.
Are there toilets?
Many new, flush toilets have been built along the Inca trail including all of the major campsites. This has helped a lot to improve sanitary conditions on the trail although conditions are still not always perfect. Each toilet block has cold running water. We recommend that you bring hand-sanitizer to use after visiting the public toilets. Every evening we will provide you with a bowl of warm water to wash with.
When is the best time of year?
The trekking season on the Inca Trail is from March to December. Many consider the best months to do the Inca Trail are from May to September when the conditions are fairly dry and the weather generally sunny. Please bear in mind however that you’ll be trekking at altitude, and the months of June, July and August can also be very cold at night.
The Price for Standard Inca Trail Trek
Standard Group Service Adult
Available discounts (these discounts are not cumulative)
- Students: US$ 30 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please note that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
- Teenagers: US$ 30.00 (up to 16 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
- Children: US$ 45.00 (up to 7 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
Fixed departures are available along the year. Exception: one-month closing period of all Inca Trail routes in February. Please contact us to check departures to alternatives routes.
All Classic Inca Trail departures are subject to government space availability, please contact us fo the availability