Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek 4 days is the most complete trek in our region


Machu Picchu

Tour Type

   Trek & Adventure 



Total Distance

Trek: 43km


4 Days and 3 nights


 2Cº /  28 Cº



Price from: 659USDper person




The excursion to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail in Peru is one of the most incredible tours that Peru can offer, due to the beautiful landscapes, history and culture behind these trails leaves more than one surprised.

In our tour we will visit a part of the famous Qhapaq Ñan which is a circuit of multiple roads that linked the Inca empire, in 4 days we will know more about this wonderful culture to culminate in one of the 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.

Located about 2,500 meters above sea level, Machu Picchu was an Inca citadel that was built in the 15th century. The citadel was built as a royal hacienda, although it was used for less than 100 years before being abandoned when, due to the arrival of the Spanish, they set out to conquer.

It wasn’t until 1911 that the ruins were rediscovered by archaeologist Hiram Bingham III. Although the locals were aware of the ruins, it wasn’t until Hiram climbed the mountain himself that he realized how spectacular his (re) discovery was.

To curb the damage caused by tourism, the entrance to Machu Picchu is “limited” to 6000 people a day, divided into morning and afternoon tickets. Although it seems like a lot, tickets tend to sell out months in advance. For this reason, it is necessary that you make your reservation in advance.

Even more so now that the capacity of Machu Picchu 2021 has been reduced to 50% due to the pandemic, so it is recommended to book in advance.

A brief history

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is, in fact, a small part of a vast network of trails and roads built by the Inca Empire more than 500 years ago.

Depending on the resource you read, it is estimated that the Inca Trails (or Qhapaq Ñan, which means road network) have covered between 23,000 and 45,000 km of distance throughout the empire in the 4 Suyos del Tahuantinsuyo.

Composed mainly of paved stone, the roads were essential to connect the Tahuantinsuyo Empire, which stretched from Colombia and Ecuador in the north; through Peru, Chile and parts of Argentina and Bolivia.

The trails ranged in size from 6 to 8 meters wide at their widest (usually in coastal areas) to narrow 1 meter trails in the mountainous regions of the Andes.

The trails were used for a variety of reasons, including trade, efficient transportation, and warfare. Peruvian historian José Antonio del Busto believes that the trails expanded rapidly under the government of Huayna Capac, who is believed to have added 16,000 km of trails.

It is said that Huayna Cápac put emphasis on the trails in order to mobilize his army more quickly and to be able to crush the rebellions that broke out during his reign.

The trails, especially in the mountainous region, are steep, stepped and high, characteristics of the landscape that the llamas are very adept at traversing.

Author Hugh Thomson writes in his acclaimed and highly recommended book The White Rock

“We are used to a road system designed for the horse and then for the car, a system that tries to avoid steep slopes at all costs and whose ideal (established by the Romans) is the straight road on flat terrain. the Incas were very different: the expansion of their empire was fueled by the flame. “

When the Spanish arrived in Peru in the 15th century, they were amazed by the magnitude, ingenuity, and beauty of the roads, although they had great difficulty navigating them on horseback. Hernando Pizarro, one of the first conquerors to arrive in Cusco, wrote

“The road to the mountains is something to see, because it is built on very difficult terrain. In the Christian world we have not seen such beautiful roads. All crosses have stone or wooden bridges.”

Unlike most roads, which were used for practical purposes, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was only used as a pilgrimage or religious route.

It had no commercial use and that is why it is often called “Camino Real”, “Camino Sagrado Real” or “El Camino del Rey Inca”. The various Inca sites found along the 45 km of the road seem to support this theory.

Hiram Bingham, an American scholar and explorer, who discovered Machu Picchu in 1911, was surprised to discover the pilgrimage route that led to the city.

Between 1913 and 1915, Bingham and his team discovered much of the overgrown road, and large parts of the road were restored in the 1990s.

Currently, the trail, which is located in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, is considered one of the largest trails in the world and is traveled by thousands of tourists every year.

More Details

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your trip and avoid a few hassles:

Arrive before the tour to Cusco: Try to arrive in Cusco 2-3 days before your trek so that you can acclimatize to the altitude earlier. This will make your hike that much easier.

Use trekking poles: Bring your own trekking poles or rent them with us. You will need them.

Chew coca leaves: If the altitude gives you problems, chew coca leaves. It is the local remedy and is used by many of the guides and porters. You can chew the leaves or buy coca candies.

Trekking shoes: Make sure you buy and wear your trekking shoes at least 1 or 2 months before your trip. This will help you avoid blisters.

Bring sunscreen and bug spray: The last thing you want is a sunburn when hiking in the mountains. In addition, mosquitoes are abundant here and their bites are very biting, so be prepared and apply both things every day.

Having some supplies in a first aid kit will help.

Bring extra snacks: You’ll have plenty of food along the way, but you can bring some of your favorite snacks.

Go to the Huayna Picchu Extra Trek: For an incredible view of Machu Picchu, take an extra hour hike to Huayna Picchu ($ 70 extra). It is a bit tricky and the path is quite narrow, but the views are worth it. If you want to buy these tickets it must be at least 2 months in advance, contact our reservations staff.

Train and exercise before you go: This is a challenging hike. You don’t have to be an Olympian to finish it, but the more you train, the easier the walk will be.

Don’t expect to shower: Showers are available mid-hike, but the water is cold.

Bring extra batteries: Bring an external charger for your cell phone and extra batteries for your camera – it would be tragic to arrive at Machu Picchu and not be able to take a photo or two!

Bring earplugs: The Inca Trail can be very crowded and there will be dozens and dozens of hikers at each campsite. Bring earplugs for loud nights.

Consider the Salkantay: For a less crowded route, consider the Salkantay tour. It has epic views and receives fewer tourists than the Inca Trail.

Stamp: You can stamp your passport with a unique Machu Picchu stamp to commemorate the trip.

In the Peruvian subtropical Andes, two climatic seasons predominate: the dry season: from May to early November, and the wet season with rains begins at the end of November and lasts until May.

The Inca Trail is busiest during the months of the dry season, especially from May to September. If you want to go on an excursion at this time of year, it is advisable to book at least 6 months in advance.

The dry months of March / April and October / November can also be a good time for hiking, although the chance of rain is higher.

December, January and February are the rainiest months, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance in February (it is possible to do the Short Inca Trail or any of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu during February).

Temperatures in the region are fairly constant throughout the year, with days reaching as high as 20 degrees Celsius (70 and 80 Fahrenheit), and dropping in the low digits to freezing temperatures at night and in the early hours of the morning. .

Temperature fluctuations are also common when ascending the high passes or descending into the valleys exposed to the sun.

It is important to wear layered clothing to adjust comfort levels, as temperatures fluctuate throughout the day and at different altitude levels.

The microclimates of the mountains make it possible to find rain at any time of the year, so you should also wear clothes for wet weather.


The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (also known as the Inca Trail or Inka Trail) is a hiking route in Peru that ends at Machu Picchu. Located in the Andes mountain range, the road crosses various types of Andean environments, such as cloud forest and alpine tundra.

Altitude is the most difficult aspect of the Inca Trail for many people. If you have spent two or three days acclimatizing in Cusco beforehand, the altitude on most hikes will not cause you any problems.

The classic Inca Trail is 42 km long, it is usually traveled for 4 days and 3 nights and is hidden in the beautiful mountains of the Peruvian Andes.

Yes, the Incas used the Inca roads to connect all their territories with Cusco, thus, we can find Inca roads throughout Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Today it is called Qapaq Ñan, which is translated as Imperial Road.

To reserve you have to hire an authorized tour operator (required by the Peruvian Government). Lorenzo Expeditions is one of the best options with high quality and personalized service.

Your trip to Machu Picchu will begin in the city of Cusco and this impressive four-day trek begins at a place called Kilometer 82.

Talking in days would be:
Day 1: Easy
Day 2: Difficult, this is the most difficult day of the trek.
Day 3: Moderate to a bit difficult as there are several steep sections.
Day 4: Easy, on this day you visit Machu Picchu.

First of all, look for a licensed agency, Lorenzo Expeditions is a licensed tour operator. Then book in advance, especially in high season.

Both companies are from Cusco, we will always say that Lorenzo Expeditions is the best for its extensive experience and personalized service.

What travelers say about Lorenzo Expeditions?

You might also like

Inca Jungle Trek Zip Line

Inca Jungle Trek

4 days / 3 nights

como llegar a Machu Picchu

Classic Salkantay Trek

5 days / 4 nights

Close Menu
Open chat

[elementor-template id=”814″]

[elementor-template id=”810″]