- 4 Days / 3 Nights
Aracari offers private luxury treks on a private basis only, not as a group tour. We offer guided hikes only as part of a tailormade trip, including all guided excursions and hotels, not as a standalone service.
The Inca Trail is perhaps the best known and most popular hike in the Americas. It has everything: gorgeous mountain scenery with lush sub-tropical vegetation, numerous species of flora and three sets of remarkable Inca ruins – which can only be accessed by foot. The views of snow-capped mountains and high cloud forest can be stupendous.
The Luxury Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with Aracari
With over 20 years’ of experience as a locally-based company, we deliver first-class service, expert guiding and tight safety standards. Our Luxury Exploration camping trips provide an authentic experience with comfort – spacious, top-of-the-range tents, inflatable mattresses, pillows, gourmet cuisine, ecological private toilet tents and more. You can also upgrade to Luxury VIP trekking – the most luxurious way possible to do the Inca trail – where you can expect your own masseusse and shower.Read more about our two Peru Luxury trekking camping services. You will travel with a guide, porters, a cook and his assistant as a minimum. Porters will carry the vast majority of your gear. Contact us for tailormade recommendations.
Important Note on Inca Trail Permits: The Inca trail is restricted to 500 people a day by local authorities, including guides and porters. These permits can sell out months in advance and there is no other way to secure one. Permits are confirmed with a non-refundable deposit. Current availability for Inca Trail permits can be seen here: Dirreción Regional de Cultura Cusco. There are plenty of alternative treks that we can arrange on a private basis that do not require a permit.
About the Luxury Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
With the llama more practical than the wheel for transportation on steep mountains and narrow valleys, the Incas opted to develop an extensive road systems in the Andes. These ‘Inca trails’ stretched from north to south and from east to west in order to keep their disparate empire well-stocked and supplied. Along these ran famously efficient messengers, resting at Tambo’s (Inns), strategically positioned within a day’s walk of each other. Today, hiking the luxury Inca trail to Machu Picchu takes allows you to follow in the foosteps of the Incas on the most well-known stretch of the Inca’s extensive road network, visiting ruins only reachable on foot and staying in top-class camping tents en-route.
Luxury Inca Trail to Machu Picchu route
Inca Trailhead – Huayllabamba
We will collect you from your hotel and travel to Km. 82 located approximately one and a half hours from Urubamba. Here, at the trailhead of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will meet your porters and begin your trek following the left bank of the Urubamba River. After a couple of hours of gentle hiking, you will reach and visit the Inca ruins of Llactapata (2,600m/8,531ft). Then you will continue hiking, diverting away from the Urubamba River and following the Cusichaca River towards the village and small agricultural settlement of Huayllabamba, where you will have a picnic lunch and set up camp (3,200m/10,498ft). Your total trek today will cover approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 miles), which is about six to eight hours of hiking.
Huayllabamba – Pacamayo
This morning enjoy the beauty of your campsite as you have a relaxed breakfast before registering at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary control station. Then you’ll to continue on a tough ascending trail with increasingly fantastic views and a clear change of vegetation as you gain altitude. You will pass through a protected cloud forest of native trees before reaching your lunch spot at Llullucchapampa. Continue the tough ascent towards the highest pass of the trail, called Warmiwañusta or Dead Woman’s Pass (4,200m/13,780ft). Enjoy spectacular views in the afternoon as you descend to your campsite at Pacaymayo (3,600m/11,812ft). Your total trek today will cover approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), which is about five to six hours of hiking.
Pacaymayo – Phuyupatamarca
After breakfast you will start your walk and soon encounter the original cobblestone paved trail left by the Incas. You will be able to appreciate the sudden changes in vegetation and geology as you pass through different ecological zones. Today is a long but interesting and rewarding day since you will be encountering both original Inca cobblestone trails, as well as magnificent archaeological sites along the way. You will climb up and over the second pass, the Abra de Runkuracay, (3,800m/12,467ft). On a clear day your efforts are rewarded with unparalleled views of the snow-covered peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the lush valley vegetation. Masterful Inca engineering is visible along the trail and at the Inca remains of Sayacmarca (3,640m/11,943ft), a highlight of the trek. Explore the site, have a picnic lunch and continue to the incomparable site of Phuyupatamarca, (“the place above the clouds”). You will camp here and should have enough time to soak up some of the magical charm of this marvelous campsite (3,680m/12,074ft). Your total trek today will cover approximately 11 kilometres (6.8 miles), which is about five to seven hours of hiking.
Phuyupatamarca – Machu Picchu
Sunrise in Phuyupatamarca is considered one of the highlights of the trek. Today you will reach Machu Picchu, the lost City of the Incas. After an early breakfast, you will trek several hours down a clear stone paved trail with several incredible stairways, some carved in stone, a small tunnel and several viewing terraces. After continuing along a buttress and passing Phuyupatamarca ruins, the flag-stoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (2,644m/8,675ft). After lunch, you will continue on to Inti Punku, or Sun Gate. This is the point where you will get your first glimpse of the spectacular city of Machu Picchu below you. A quick descent along the wide royal Inca road and you will spot the mysterious site. Your total trek today will cover approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), which is about five to six hours of hiking. Please note: On this evening trekkers stay at a hotel near Machu Picchu before returning to visit the archeological site the following day.
Please keep in mind that distances, altitudes and chosen campsites are subject to minor variations as the route undertaken may vary slightly. In addition, trekking time can vary for each hiker and any times detailed in the description below are averages.