4 day Inca Trek 'Classic Inca Trail'
Walk the Inca Trail in Peru to Machu Picchu and experience 4 days of Mountains, Waterfalls, Cloud Forests and the majestic Machu Picchu and Sun Gate.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you need to book ahead for the Inca Trail?
- Is it possible to do without an agency?
- Is it possible to enter the National Park with a different name than what I gave when booking the Inca Trail?
- Are there alternative routes?
- Are numbers of day visitors to Machu Picchu also limited, like those doing the Inca Trail hike? Or can you just buy the bus / train and entrance ticket on the day we want to go?
- How is the weather on the Inca trail?
- What should I bring when I'm on the trek?
- How fit do you have to be to do the Inca Trail?
- What about altitude sickness?
- How many people in the groups?
- What does the trail look like in the peak season?
- Are there toilets on the trail?
- Should I hire an extra porter ('third of a porter')?
- Are there any discounts for students?
- Are there any discounts for large groups?
- Can I read your testimonials of people who have gone through your trekking company?
Ask your question
Yes, It is recommended that you make a reservation for the Inca Trail and pay for your entrance fee well in advance.
Bookings should be done :
Dec, Jan, Mar : 3-5 weeks in advance
April, Oct, Nov : 6-8 weeks in advance
May, Sep : 2-3 months in advance
Jun, Jul, Aug : 3-4 months in advance
In Feb, the trek is closed.
You can still visit Machu Picchu. The number of trek permits is limited to 500 per day (check inca trail availability) (about 200 tourists and 300 trekking staff) This includes the 2 day - short inca trail, and 4 day classic inca trail treks as well as the Salkantay 7 day trek.
The estimate is 160 trekkers per day on the 4 day trek, 25 on the 2 day trek and 15 on the 7 day trek.
Check availability of permits from the official tourism board (note these are in PDF format and in Spanish)
Since June 2002 trekking independently on the Inca Trail has been prohibited. Regulations state that each trekker must be accompanied by a professionally qualified guide.
The UGM (Unidad de Gestion Machu Picchu) is the regulatory body responsible for controlling access to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. Pachamama Explorers must meet these requirements proving professional guides and good camping equipment,radio communications and emergency first aid including oxygen.
View information about Pachamama Explorers.
Yes, there are alternative routes, here are a few.
- 2 day Inca Trail (requires permit)
Checkout our alternative inca trail treks.
Treks not requiring a permit
Are numbers of day visitors to Machu Picchu also limited, like those doing the Inca Trail hike? Or can just buy the bus / train and entrance ticket on the day we want to go?
No limit to Machu Picchu number of visitors,everyone can visit the ruins .You can stay overnight in Aquas Calientes and take the first bus up to the ruins, this way you see Machu Picchu before the 1500 visitors of the train arrive.
The trains are normally full so make your reservations in advance.
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- Pair of trekking shoes and plenty socks
- Insect repellent
- Sun block
- Dark glasses (shades)
- Rain coat or rain poncho
- Light clothing for the day and warm for the night.
- Trekking pants (the ones you unzip for shorts)
- Hat or sun cap
- Water Bottle
- Sleeping bag (unless you rent one from the company)
A more detailled suggested list of equipment can be found in the 4 day Inca Trail Itinerary.
You have to be fit. It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail then it must be easy. but it isn't.
The trail is 45km (26 miles) long and involves great physical exertion to complete. On the second day you climb nearly 1200m (about 4000 ft) in the morning.
Combined with high altitude (lack of oxygen) and extreme weather (you can easily burn in the high altitude sun during the day and temperatures can drop to below freezing at night) the trek can be hard work.
However all this suffering can make the final arrival at Machu Picchu all the more enjoyable.
In general if you take regular exercise and spend a few days in Cusco, or better, in the Sacred Valley, acclimatizing to the altitude you shouldn't have to suffer too much.
We offer the Cusco City Tour which you can book whilst you acclimatize.
The maximum group size is 16 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-10 persons. Pachamama Explorers operates small groups and offers a personalized itineraries service.
The Inca Trail is a 43km (26 mile) hike through mountainous regions. The maximum altitude reached is 4200m above sea level.
On the second day of the trek we climb 1200m. The Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise.
In preparation : try walking 15km in a day or go to the gym in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatized to the altitude.
Try to spend 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3400m) prior to starting the trek.
It could get a little bit crowded, but with the regulations in place, you have enough space for everyone.
Toilets have improved a lot in the last couple of years and all of the larger campsites have toilet blocks with flush toilets and running water.
On the whole they are kept pretty clean. If you do need to go to the toilet between campsites then defecate well away from the trail and water supplies; dig a hole, or cover your faeces with a rock, and take the paper with you in a bag to deposit in one of the several bins along the way.
There are hot shower facilities at Wiñay Wayna on day 3, although they are usually pretty unclean.
About 60% of the people hired the services of a porter to carry their personal items.
A personal porter can be hired for $70 for the 4 day trek (includes porters entrance fees, meals, transport and wages). If you hire the services of a porter you can give him a maximum of 7kg to carry which is usually sufficient for your personal clothes you are taking with and your sleeping bag which if you hire from us is about 1.5kg.
The porter will not walk at your side during the trek so you will still need to bring a day pack to carry essential items such as water, snacks, camera, warm sweater and rain jacket. We will give you a duffle bag so that you can put your items into. This you will give to the porter on the day of the trek and return to us after use.
There are discounts available to Students with valid ISIC Student Cards and to young persons under the age of 15 years old ($40).
When making your booking please send us a scanned in version of your Student Card or for young persons, a scanned in version of your front passport page, to entitle you the discount.
If you are travelling with a large group of more than 8 passengers please consult with us for discounted rates! contact us.
Need to ask us a question not answered on this page?
Contact us if you need further help with the Inca Trail.
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