Inca Trail, Peru

A high Andean altitude combined with overnight camping makes this expedition not for the faint hearted. With a little training and plenty of acclimatisation though, the Inca Trail is a truly worthwhile challenge.

Inca Trail Holidays

Inca Trail HolidaysDue to the high elevation along the Classic Inca Trail route (above 8,500ft) it's very important to get acclimatised prior to setting off, with a couple of days spent in Cusco definitely recommended. The Classic Trail to Machu Picchu can be joined at two points (51 miles or 55 miles), both of which require spending at least three or four nights camping overnight.

Campsites are situated at designated areas along the trail and contain dining areas, bathrooms and sometimes showers with hot water. This is by no means luxury camping, but with the chance to wake early for sunrise to listen to the crack of the fire before laying down for the night, this hike is an absolute treasure and definitely worth the slightly rugged conditions.

Dead Woman's Pass

Warmiwañusqa (Dead Woman's Pass) can be found at an altitude of almost 14,000ft and is the highest point on the Inca Trail, so be prepared to quite literally catch your breath. Thought to resemble the shape of a languid female form the ascent to Warmiwañusqa also consists of many different habitats (including a cloud forest) and the chance to spot grazing llamas and alpacas offers some respite on the final push to your overnight camp.

The Sun Gate and descent into Machu Picchu

Your first glimpse of Machu Picchu will stay with you for years to come, and if you get the chance to witness the sunrise from Intipunku (the Sun Gate) then all the better. This archaeological site overlooks the main ruins of the Inca settlement and is thought of as the final resting point for trekkers who have undertaken the classic five day hike from Cusco. An early start promises an incredible once-in-a-lifetime moment and the short descent from the ridge of the Sun Gate will take you back in time to the ancient capital of the Incas: Machu Picchu.

Interactive Map

Inca Trail, Peru

Insider Tips

Take your time
One of the best ways to acclimatise whilst in the Andes is to take your time and not zoom off before your body has had the chance to acclimatise. There are some incredible sights en-route and waking up early to catch the sun rise over the crest of a mountain or pausing to watch a stream flow by a ruined Inca temple are among many amazing experiences that should be savoured.
When to go
May all the way through to October is popular and also fairly dry, with June and July offering most of the dry, warm weather but also the most visitors. Bordering the summer months is great if you want to avoid the crowds. It is essential that you take enough layers to keep your body insulated and protected no matter what time of year that you intend to visit.
Award Winning Tours

Our Inca Trail tours

We are also extremely proud to have received the gold award for 'Best Small Escorted Adventure Tour Operator' at the British Travel Awards for 3 years running plus a 5-star Gold Trusted Service accreditation from Feefo, the independent and trusted ratings and review platform.

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