The Inca Trail in Comfort

9 days
from
2,755 CAD
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5 / 5 from 17 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TPQ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Enjoy a little more comfort as you trek to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu

This trip follows a similar itinerary to our popular Inca Trail trek but with upgraded hotels throughout, an included Sacred Valley tour and included sleeping bag hire. While on the trek itself, we also offer a more varied range of meals and a higher personal weight limit than on our standard Inca Trail itineraries, allowing you to take more clothes and personal items to give that little extra comfort. This trip is designed to maximise the time spent at Machu Picchu with an early morning tour of the ruins, quieter at that hour before the crowds of day trippers and other trekkers arrive. (Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail Permits have sold out).

Highlights

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu to discover the ruins 
  • Visit the Sacred Valley, including Pisac and Ollantaytambo 
  • Explore the museums and churches of the ancient Inca capital, Cuzco 
  • Have two days to acclimatise before the trek
  • Alternative Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out

Key information

  • 5 nights premium hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
  • 4 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Altitude maximum 4215m, average 3050m
  • Increased personal weight limit of 10kg on trek
  • Travel by private bus and train

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Sleeping bag hire for trek duration
  • Inflatable sleeping mat for trek duration
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 6-8 hours walking per day

Terrain:

High altitude; good paths, lots of steps

Day by day breakdown
Day 311.0km/6.8miles
Day 410.0km/6.2miles
Day 512.0km/7.5miles
Day 69.0km/5.6miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus, we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

We operate a zero‐impact policy on the Inca Trail, removing all waste from campsites and separating it so that it can easily be recycled or composted. Using a toilet tent at our lunch stops and in camp removes the need to dig holes at campsites, and alleviates the waste problems caused by the fixed toilet blocks. Our camp staff are paid a fair wage and receive all accommodation, transport and food during the trek. They are also trained and encouraged to put environmental protection practices to use in their own communities. The porters we work with are not directly employed by our local partner but we work with the same communities each year; we supply uniforms, walking shoes and provide safe transport and community support for them. Our Trek Manager is a leading figure and consultant for the Porters' Federation, which campaigns for the fair treatment of porters in the region.

In Cuzco and Aguas Calientes there are opportunities to visit the markets and purchase local handicraft products or to sample Peruvian street food; try the Mercado San Pedro in Cuzco for local produce and the artisan market in Aguas Calientes for textiles. This helps to spread the income from tourism to the wider community. Although Machu Picchu is the highlight, Cuzco itself is awash with magnificent Spanish churches and Inca Museums ‐ your entrance fees to these historic and archaeological treasures (and the cost of your Inca Trail permit) contribute towards their preservation.

Café Daria is the first vocational training site for young adults with special needs. Students are trained across all aspects of hospitality and the food is prepared by the students on site. It's a great way to interact with locals, while also giving those who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Exodus support this cafe, and you will have the opportunity to visit it in Cuzco if you wish. 

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Cuzco
to
Cuzco
  • Day 1

    Start Cuzco (3400m); free time to explore the Inca capital.

    Set amidst hills in the altiplano, the Imperial City of the Incas, Cuzco (3,400) was the geographic, cultural and political centre of a vast empire which, at its peak, stretched from present-day Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile. After the Spanish conquistadores invaded the city they started building on top of the Incan structures, resulting in unique architecture, a fusion of the Incan and Spanish colonial styles.
    The group flights usually arrive in the mid-afternoon, giving time to wander the cobbled streets, visit the museums, churches and pre-Columbian buildings, such as Qorikancha – the Sun Temple, or to sit in a café and enjoy a coca-tea.
    There will be a briefing in the evening.
    Hotel San Agustin Plaza / Eco Inn (or similar)

     

  • Day 2

    Visit the Sacred Valley; continue to Ollantaytambo (2800m).

    Today we visit the magnificent Sacred Valley of the Incas and the incredible ruins at Pisac before continuing on to Ollantaytambo, where we spend the night.

    The Sacred Valley, which runs along the Urubamba River near Cuzco, is the true heartland of Incan culture and tradition, which is still strong today. The high-Andean scenery is dotted with old towns and villages dating back to pre-Columbian times. The ruins of the Citadel at Pisac guarded a road from the lowlands and gives way to a picturesque landscape of terraces carved into the solid rock itself. The Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo give you a sense of the scale of what is to come as huge stone terraces scale the valley sides. This was the royal estate of Inca Emperor Pachacuti as well as being of religious and defensive significance.

    Hotel Pakaripampu (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    The Classic Inca Trail: Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

    The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer, Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.

    We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo; our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

    Walk Profile: approx. 11km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Huayllabamba Camp

    Moonstone Trek: Trek past ruins and hamlets to the village of Chillipawa.

    An early start as it's a very busy first day! We take a private minibus to the trailhead, stopping first to explore the nearby ruins from which the trek takes its name. This is a large site with several distinct Inca remnants, clearly of religious importance. As with the rest of the trek, we are most likely to have the site completely to ourselves. The Moonstone itself is a large carving on an enormous boulder, and its significance is not yet understood.

    The trailhead is in a quiet, dusty valley and we soon climb high enough from the floor to enjoy some great views. At around lunchtime we stop to explore the imposing pre‐Inca fortress of Wata that straddles the trail. The ruin has not yet been accurately dated and pottery can often still be found lying on the ground. The path then traverses along a green side valley as we make our way above a few tiny villages before entering the village of Chillipawa, where we camp.

    Walk Profile: approx. 10.5km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    The Classic Inca Trail: Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4215m), then descend to Pacaymayu.teps to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day. A long climb (largely up stone staircases) takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) pass, at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

    Walk Profile: approx. 10km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Pacamayo Camp

    Moonstone Trek: Up the Accoccosa Pass and onto the high pampas.

    A long, steady climb with plenty of rest stops to aid acclimatisation takes us above the villages and into the high pampas ‐ rugged meadows of long grass. We normally stop for lunch shortly before the crest of the Accoccosa Pass (and the very rare Andean Flicker is sometimes seen (although often heard!)). The last leg of the pass is on loose red scree, but the view from the top makes it all worthwhile: a broad, hidden valley surrounded by snowy peaks ‐ the Huayanay Range on the left, the Urubamba Range straight ahead and beautiful, triangular Mt Veronica (5,800m) to the right. We have time to explore this plateau and experience walking in the high altiplano before returning to our camp for a well‐deserved hot dinner. The camp's isolation, well away from any settlements, results in spectacular night skies when clear.

    Walk Profile: approx. 8.8km / 4‐5hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    The Classic Inca Trail: Over Runquracay Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

    We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. We pass the ruins of Sayajmarca and suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We camp at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

    Walk Profile: approx. 12km / 5-6hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Phuyupatamarca Camp

    Moonstone Trek: Continue along a narrow canyon and Incan aqueduct before crossing over to the Inca quarry of Canchiqata.

    We start after breakfast by following the stream from down this hidden valley into a narrow canyon. Rare polylepis trees grow here and we pass through a small grove as we leave the canyon. Our path then turns North and traverses very high above a deep and steep valley separating us from the Huayanay Mountains. This is probably the most spectacular section of the trek and we roughly follow a (now defunct) Inca aqueduct spectacularly carved out of the cliffs to take water from the hidden valley of our campsite to the Sacred Valley several miles away. At the end of the traverse we have a short but steep climb up to our lunch spot, a flat, ridge‐top meadow facing straight across the Sacred Valley to the snowy Urubamba Range.

    After lunch we walk down to Huayrapunku. Meaning "Gate of the Wind", this is a ridge‐top Inca shrine oriented to Mt Veronica, of which it has a simply incredible view. Finally a short walk brings us to our final campsite in amongst the granite stones of the Canchiqata Quarry. It was here that huge blocks were cut from the rose‐coloured granite before being dragged down the mountainside and across the river to the Sun Temple at Ollantaytambo.

    Walk Profile: approx. 11.8km / 5‐6hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    The Classic Inca Trail: Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

    From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two-kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.

    Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow.

    There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however, in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Moonstone Trek at the hotel this afternoon.

    Walk Profile: approx. 9km / 6-7hrs walking

    Hotel Casa Andina, Aguas Calientes (or similar)

    Moonstone Trek: Descend to Ollantaytambo where the trek ends; catch the train to Aguas Calientes and re-join the rest of the group.

    Photographers are advised to wake up before dawn this morning, to watch the sun rise over the Sacred Valley from our campsite high above it. The sun's first rays catching the glaciers of Mt Veronica certainly makes the effort more than worthwhile. This is our last day on the trek and we descend from the pampas down into the lush valley floor along the enormous stone ramps on which the Incas dragged the stones. We cross the river and explore the huge Sun Temple complex to see where the stones ended and what use they were put to. Our trek ends as we board the train to Aguas Calientes, where we join the rest of the group at the hotel.

    Walk Profile: approx. 8km / 2‐3hrs walking

    Hotel Casa Andina, Aguas Calientes (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Early morning guided tour of Machu Picchu; free time to explore further, then return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. 

    Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it, the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. 

    New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, Exodus will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. 

    We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).

    Hotel San Agustin Plaza / Eco Inn (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day Cuzco; optional activities available.

    Today has been left free to relax after the trek or explore Cuzco further. There are a number of optional excursions available which your tour leader can arrange for you. If you still have the energy you could choose to mountain bike in the Sacred Valley, taking in a 30-35km ride through Moray, Maras and then down to Sacred Valley through ancient communities, farming fields and amazing Andean landscape.. Alternatively, you could try your hand at paddle boarding on Lake Piuray near the town of Chinchero. Or, if feeling more subdued, take it easy and watch the world go by in Cuzco’s Plaza de Armas.

    Hotel San Agustin Plaza / Eco Inn (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Cuzco.

    For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport this morning for your overnight flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (from Cuzco)

Code: XPC

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Lake Titicaca extension

Code: XPT

Journey across the spectacular high altiplano to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable freshwater lake (3,800m). Explore its waters by boat and visit the descendants of the Uros Indians who live on floating reed islands, and are also known for producing fine textiles. Back on the mainland, we visit the pre‐ Incan site of Sillustani, comprised of burial towers with fantastic views over the region. The Titicaca Extension is only available after your main tour as we do not recommend arriving straight into Puno due to the altitude. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the tour. 

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), Alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

In the hotels breakfasts are normally buffet-style.

While on the trek itself, we also offer a more varied range of meals than on our standard Inca Trail itineraries to give that little extra comfort. For instance, substantial breakfasts including a cooked dish, a cooked lunch including soup or a starter followed by a hot main dish (usually with hot drinks), and a hearty three-course cooked dinner, are typical.

Drinking water is provided. The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate between different regions.

Cuzco and the Andes have a temperate climate. December to March is the rainy season in Cuzco/the Andes and April to November is the dry season; characterised by clear skies and strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. Daytime temperatures are usually pleasant (approx. 20 degrees C on average) but night times only 5-10 degrees C, except for May, June, July and August when days are cooler and nights are often close to, or a few degrees below, freezing. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged. Cold fronts sometimes occur from July-August.

Peru is affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon whereby warming of Pacific Ocean surface water off South America drives a shift in the atmospheric circulation resulting in abnormally high levels of rainfall over parts of South America. These events occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and last nine months to two years. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2014-16. 

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Is this trip for you?

This is a Moderate grade trek (level 3) - please refer to our activity level guidelines. There are four days point-to-point walking with full porterage, reaching a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman's Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner's trek to anyone with no previous trekking experience. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation beforehand. The trek is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference. 

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend one day in Cuzco (3400m) and one in Ollantaytambo (2800m) acclimatising before starting the trek.

Protest action/strikes are not uncommon in Peru, and whilst these are generally peaceful, they can involve roadblocks and cause disruption to travel. Occasionally your leader may have to adapt your itinerary in response to this. 

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Inca Trail Regulations

There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible. 
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased on your behalf. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure. 
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities. 
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking and keep it somewhere safe.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options.

Alternative Moonstone Trek

Once Inca Trail permits have sold out for a given date, we can no longer accept bookings for the classic Inca Trail trek. However, we can offer an equally spectacular alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place. The remote high altitude Moonstone Trek takes in a number of recently discovered Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites and there are practically no other tourists along the route.

If selected, the Moonstone Trek will replace days 3 to 6 of the standard land only itinerary. The maximum altitude on the Moonstone Trek is 4625m (higher than that of the classic Inca Trail) and the route is slightly more strenuous. Therefore we class it as a Moderate/Challenging trek (level 4).

 

Depending on the split of the group between the Inca Trail and Moonstone Trek, you may find small group sizes on the Moonstone Trek. Please ask your Sales Consultant if you would like to know how many people are booked on each.

Whilst the Moonstone Trek can also be booked preferentially while Inca Trail permits are still available, a small group supplement may apply. 

New List of Regulations for visiting Machu Picchu (which apply from July 1st 2018).

The main points impacting your visit are the following:

  1. The tickets are valid only for one entry which means that you cannot leave the site and re-enter.
  2. Once you have done the chosen circuit with your guide, you cannot walk back to view anything already visited and once you finish the circuit, you will have to leave the site. You can no longer explore the site further after the guided tour.
  3. The two visit times for visiting the site, either 6am-12pm or 12-16.30pm.

These new regulations will affect how long you are able to spend at Machu Picchu.  In the past, after the guided tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site, this is not possible anymore. The alternative that we are implementing on our visits to allow you further time, is to explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun Gate and Inca Bridge) before starting the guided tour.  The guided tour will be about 2 hrs in duration, and unfortunately at the end of it, you will need to exit the site.

Schedule of visit to Machu Picchu on this itinerary:

  • Early bus to Machu Picchu and explore upper part with the tour leader until 10am.
  • 10 am start the guided tour
  • 12.30pm passengers leave Machu Picchu.
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Premium Hotels & Camping

We spend 5 nights in premium quality hotels and 3 nights full-service camping.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. On this holiday, the hotels that we use offer greater comfort than those on our standard Inca Trail tour - all are a minimum of a local 4-star rating. All of the properties are centrally located, with en suite bathrooms and breakfast facilities and many feature Colonial architecture. In Cuzco the properties that we use are all located within the old town and within walking distance of the Plaza de Armas. All hotels have a safety deposit box in the room.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets.

The trek itself is on a full-service camping basis, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your day pack. We use three-man tents for those on a twin share basis and two-man tents for singles. The tents are relatively spacious with enough room inside for the kitbags. We provide thermarest-type mats which are about 4cm thick when inflated and 3-4 season sleeping bags with a liner.

We also have a dining tent complete with table and folding chairs, and toilet tents for use during lunch stops as well as during the evenings. A hot drink and a bowl of warm water (to wash with) will be brought to your tent each morning.

We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post-tour accommodation. A limited number of single supplements (hotel and tent) are available on this trip; please request upon booking.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Stephenson

    Well worth the long journey and as the guide says it won't feel like 10 hours. Guide was excellent and lunch stop was great. The Incan site in the afternoon was really stunning and a great way to end the adventure.

    Would really recommend this extra trip. Only negative was the hotel which was not the one in the trip notes and was far from the standard of the other hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the views from the Incan burial site and the feeling of isolation and how far removed from every day life this place was. A rainbow appeared which made it super special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Easy to understand and good knowledge of area.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a long way home , 3 flights so be prepared. Also make sure you allow for all the tipping!! It's a big addition to the cost of the holiday.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Stephenson

    Worth doing the inca trail in comfort. Hotels are nice and having the extra weight makes a big difference.

    Excellent trip, you need to be fit as the trek is not easy but it is well worth it when you get to Machu Pichu. You learn a lot on the way from the guides and their support is genuine. Food was really good and overall the trip was fantastic and you get to see some amazing places. The tents could do with an update. You need poles but those who didn't have them were able to hire which is great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top on day 2 and making an offering to the gods was really special especially as I really struggled with the altitude . So it was great that our group leader had waited and didn't rush us and allowed us to have this special moment. Obviously being in Machu pichu was very special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Smithy was really lovely and his partner Xavier was an absolute star. He was so patient when I struggled with the altitude. Only comment I would add is as we were slow we sometimes missed out on the commentary but his knowledge was incredible and so passionate about his country and its wonderful historical sites.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you follow the fitness guide and bring warm clothes.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Stephenson

    Worth doing the inca trail in comfort. Hotels are nice and having the extra weight makes a big difference.

    Excellent trip, you need to be fit as the trek is not easy but it is well worth it when you get to Machu Pichu. You learn a lot on the way from the guides and their support is genuine. Food was really good and overall the trip was fantastic and you get to see some amazing places. The tents could do with an update. You need poles but those who didn't have them were able to hire which is great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top on day 2 and making an offering to the gods was really special especially as I really struggled with the altitude . So it was great that our group leader had waited and didn't rush us and allowed us to have this special moment. Obviously being in Machu pichu was very special too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Smithy was really lovely and his partner Xavier was an absolute star. He was so patient when I struggled with the altitude. Only comment I would add is as we were slow we sometimes missed out on the commentary but his knowledge was incredible and so passionate about his country and its wonderful historical sites.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you follow the fitness guide and bring warm clothes.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Heather Shanahan

    Excellent trip

    Our guide, Wilmer, was extremely knowledgeable, interesting and helpful. Chef provided excellent food, hotels were comfortable. There were some magical moments such as watching the stars and moon at night and the sunrise in the morning over the mountains. I would recommend the trip although recommend getting to Cusco a couple of days early to acclimatise.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the Inca trail and enjoying the views of the mountains. Climbing up to the Sun gate and suddenly seeing Machu Pichu below - magical..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wilmer was excellent. Couldn't have been better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get to Cusco a couple of days early to acclimatise
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Susan Fuller

    The trip of a lifetime

    What a fabulous experience, amazing views, great walking, excellent catering and accommodation, a truly memorable trip and you get to visit Machu Picchu! Brilliant, we thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this trip, outstanding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The journey through the cloud forest and along the Inca trail was stunning but when we arrived at sun gate and the mist lifted to reveal Machu Pichu, wow, that was a very emotional experience for me, a sight I have wanted to see for more than 10 years.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Raul, was superb, such a lovely man, extremely knowledgeable and accommodating, we couldn’t fault him, he was truly committed to ensuring we had a great trip and experienced all his country has to offer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To avoid altitude sickness take it easy for the first couple of days, drink lots of water and avoid heavy meals and alcohol. Make sure you read the trip notes, there are a lot of steps, which you need to be prepared for. Get booking and enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were 12 amazing porters including the cook that provided everything we could possibly need in the middle of nowhere. They work extremely hard, can’t do enough for you and are always cheerful, Thanks to them all.
  • Reviewed June 2018

    A Life Experience to Treasure

    Walking the trails ancient Inca pavements provided breathtaking mountain panoramas and impressive archaeological sites seemingly at every turn, coped with a physical challenge including traversing the high point at Dead Woman’s Pass. Culminating in the truly stunning natural location of Machu Picchu. Our leader, Mike, provided a fascinating insight into Inca beliefs and their way of life that really brought the civilisation to life. At the same time he motivated, advised, cared for and entertained each and everyone! Our Cheskis support team amazed – conjuring 3 course meals from a tiny kitchen tent and portering all tents and equipment with a real style. Truly unforgettable!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

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    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    .
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Holly Streak

    Experience of a life time

    The Inca Trail was always on our bucket list and this trip was beyond our wildest dreams. We had a fantastic group of people but our tour guide Mike really made the trip a 5 star experience! He was extremely knowledgeable of the Inca and Pre Inca culture as well as knowing the Inca Trail like the back of his hand, giving us a secluded environment away from the crowds of the trail. Above all else he kept us safe and made us feel extremely comfortable under his leadership. I would highly recommend him as a tour guide to anyone! Mike was a key connection between us and the porters, who provided fantastic meals and service throughout the trip. We were all truly amazed at what the porters were able to achieve! Thank you Mike, Safe travels, Holly and Sam

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Throughout the trip Mike told us the journey was more special than the destination. He was completely correct. The final camp site provided a stunning backdrop for a sunset and sun rise. A true moment to reflect on the past days hiking and camping.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was the best tour leader we have ever had. He was always full of energy and really made the trip special. I hope that we are able to do another trip with him. There was a balance of detailed knowledge of the South American history, fun and laughter within the whole group and a keen eye on safety. He is a true asset to exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip was harder than expected (the second day is a real hike!!) and having a few days to feel comfortable at altitude was key for us.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Colin Barclay

    Inca Trail breathlessly

    A wonderful trip to my top Bucket List destination.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wandering around Machu Picchu and visiting the floating islands on Lake Titicaca have satisfied two of my lifelong ambitions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Raul Guerra was an excellent guide for the Inca Trail part of my holiday. He was very enthusiastic, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about everything Peruvian especially about the Inca ruins and civilization.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My strongest recommendation would be to arrive a couple of days before the group holiday starts in order to acclimatise to the high altitude.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Stephanie Pinto

    Exceeded Expectations - Inca Trail - Breathtaking

    I have just returned from Peru and would thoroughly recommend this trek. From enquiry to booking and throughout the trip, the service was excellent. Having been on several other trek's throughout the world I had high expectations and these were exceeded! The Inca Trail is an incredible journey and our guide was exceptional. Throughout I felt well looked after, the customer care was superb. I would happily recommend Exodus to anyone, it was 25 years since my last holiday with Exodus, I will not leave it so long this time! The porters were an inspiration and the food provided on the trek was superb!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every part of the journey was an amazing experience, but the moment you first see Machu Picchu has to be the highlight!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Tomas Llancay was exceptional, he had the patience of a saint, a lovely sense of humour, is very knowledgeable and cared for us throughout. Tomas really could not do enough for everyone. It is clear he loves his job and is proud to work for Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is rated as a 3 and suitable for anyone with moderate fitness. Having been on a number of trek's, as this trip is at altitude I would grade it a 4. There are some steep hills and we had all weather to contend with, which at altitude is a challenge. That said if you have a good level of fitness and a positive attitude, I would thoroughly recommend this trip!
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Susan Dean

    Wonderful Moonstone Trek!

    Our group of three selected this trek as we wished for a more challenging and less crowded hiking route. The scenery was gorgeous and we also saw many Incan sites, p,us examples of everyday life---children walking down the mountain to school, a family harvesting their potato crop, animals being moved to high pastures, etc. Aside from another group of about ten hikers (which we passed early each day and never saw the rest of the day), we were alone to enjoy the unbelievable vistas and beauty of the country! Our guides were very knowledgeable and we felt well cared for. And kudos to our cook who managed to feed us wonderfully and with great variety!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although I'd have to say Machu Picchu was the crown jewel, seeing the beautiful stars at night, fabulous sunsets, and visiting Incan burial sites were all awe-inspiring!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    For the trek we had Tina, who was great fun and took superb care of us. It was as if we took another friend along! We were able to hike at our own pace and felt very well looked after. During our time in the city, and with the entire group, Fabrizzio was just as good! He was very knowledgeable about Incan history and culture, and had obvious pride in his country and heritage, as did Tina.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is some tough hiking! I'd advise going a few days ahead to Cusco for extra acclimatization. (And drink the coca tea ALL the time!)Being aerobically fit does not necessarily help overcome the altitude issues. Bring a pole or poles! (Even my 22 y-o daughter found a pole useful to steady her footing.) Nights at altitude are VERY cold (near freezing)l although daytime temps are mild. LAYERS! The sun is fierce! Have a good sun hat plus sunscreen.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't overpack. We had more than enough of the right clothes and just used a carry on bag plus a day pack. Consider the Moonstone Trek if you'd like a more challenging and equally beautiful hike with plenty of Incan sites along the way. I personally like the peace and quiet of the trail versus constantly passing and being passed along the trail, so I found it perfect in that regard. I read "Turn Right at Macchu Picchu" before I went, and HIGHLY recommend it as informative and entertaining reading to get yourself in the mindset for the trip!

Dates & Prices

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Inca Trail Permits: An Inca Trail permit is required to walk the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6-8 months in advance to avoid disappointment. 2018 Inca Trail permits are now on sale so don’t delay! On dates where Inca Trail permits have sold out we can offer the spectacular remote Moonstone Trek in its place – please enquire for details.

Inca Trail Permit Status: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. Inca Trail permits are strictly limited and are only released one year at a time. We cannot reserve or pre-purchase them. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options.

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