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Classic inca trail to Machu Picchu

Inka trail

Classic inca trail to Machu Picchu

What would you say if I told you that you could travel back in time to see the Incan Empire before its fall? Well, it’s true! The Incas built the classic inca trail and some incredible structures throughout their empire, and they left behind a legacy that continues to inspire today.

Machu Picchu was once home to over 1,000 people who lived in stone huts and farmed crops such as potatoes, corn, beans, and squash. Today, is visited by around 4,000 per day, and the ruins of these ancient buildings remain.

Today, Machu Picchu is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it attracts thousands of tourists every year. If you want to visit the site, you'll need to book tickets well in advance.

Hiking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Hiking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchú in Peru is one of those vacation experiences you don't want to miss out on. This incredible trek takes visitors on a journey into the heart of South America where they'll see some of the most beautiful scenery and meet some fascinating cultures along the way.

The Inca Trail to Machupicchu is one of the most popular treks in South America, and it's easy to understand why. There are many reasons why this trail is such a great adventure. First off, there's the stunning beauty of the landscape. From the lush green valleys to the snowcapped peaks, the classic Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu offers amazing views of the Andes Mountain range. Then there's the culture; the history and traditions of the area are fascinating, and the friendly locals make for interesting conversations. Finally, there's the challenge of the trek itself. With over 14,000 feet of elevation gain, the Inca Trail is no stroll in the park. But the rewards are well worth the effort.

 You can choose from several different types of hikes, including the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a shorter version called 2 day inca trail Trek, and even a multi-day option called the "Classic Inca Trail and salkantay trek." All of these options offer spectacular views, unique cultural encounters, and plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding areas.

 If you're planning a trip to Peru, we highly recommend adding the Inca Trail to your itinerary. Not only does it give you a chance to experience the best parts of South America, but it also allows you to enjoy some of the most breathtaking sights in the entire world.

 Classic inca trail Permits

The Inca Trail Permit system was established by the Peruvian government in 2016 to help prevent serious overcrowdedness, overuse, and eroding on the historic Inca trail. Only licensed Inca Trail Tour Operators in Peru can secure permits for hikers. There are a limited amount of permits available each day for hiking the Inca Trail. The permit process includes a registration form, payment of fees, and submission of documents required by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture. Once approved, the permit holder must present themselves at the Inca Trail offices located along the route. 

Important things for classic inca trail

Travel insurance is very important for the Classic Inca Trail.

Good physical condition

Good health

Inca Trail Elevation

The Inca Trail elevation varies considerably. People often suffer from altitude sickness, especially if it is their first time in Cusco. The Cusco city stands at 3,400 meters and is already significantly higher.

Starting at 2,600 meters, the trail ascends steadily to 3,100 meters on the first day. On the second day, the ascent continues over Dead Woman's Pass – the highest point on the trail at 4,200 meters. At this point, there is no respite from the high altitudes, and the trail climbs further up to 3,700 meters. From here, the descent begins.

This is the most difficult point on the Inca Trail for altitude sickness. However, you only spend a short time above 3,500 metres, and the trail descends back down to 3,400 metres. The next section of the trail leads to Machu Picchu, where you reach 2,430 metres.

Inca Trail Cooks

A professional team of chefs specializing in healthy cuisine prepared with Andean ingredients

The Inca Trail offers tourists a unique experience where they can taste authentic Peruvian dishes while hiking along the ancient route. This culinary journey includes three meals per day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks throughout the day.

Tourists with different dietary requirements can make requests for specific dishes in advance. These menus will be offered during the entire trip.

The best time of year to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The best time of the year to do the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is in the dry season, which is from April to November. However, it is important to mention that the months with the highest demand are June and July, when even the town of Aguas Calientes is full.

For the month of June and July we recommend booking well in advance for the Classic Inca Trail as well as Huayna Picchu.

How do I book an Classic Inca Trail trek?

You can only book an Incan Trail Trek with a tour provider licensed to operate tours on this trail in Peru. We recommend booking directly with the tour provider listed here. This way, you are guaranteed to receive the best price and service.

Life Expeditions the tour provider will reserve your trek dates, and will secure the Incan Trail Permits necessary to walk on the Inca Trail, we will also prepare a detailed itinerary for you, and send it to you via email.

You first fill out a booking request form that includes all details about yourself, and for any travelers joining you if you have a party.

Once we have received all information, we will contact you to confirm everything. If there are no issues, we will proceed with booking your permits.

We will charge a $190 deposit per traveler, payable in cash upon arrival in Cusco. After receiving payment, we will transfer the funds to our bank account and issue you a receipt.

Some countries in South America have discounts, please consult when making your reservation.

If you want to make changes to your trip, please let us know as soon as possible. Otherwise, once we have booked your permits, we cannot change anything without incurring additional costs.

What is the difference between Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain?

Huaynapicchu and Macchu Picchu Mountain are both permit restricted hikes that must take place within a certain amount of time. While both require a permit, there are some differences between the two.

You cannot hike up to either mountain during the rainy season.

Both mountains offer incredible views of Machu Piccu from viewpoints directly above. However, Huaynapicchu offers better views because it is much closer to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Mountain takes about 3.5 hours Extra time to the top and requires a lot of hiking. Views are often restricted by clouds, especially on cloudy days.

Huaynapicchu takes about 45 minutes to the top, but it is definitely the most popular option. Views are always great.

Climbing Huayna Picchu is challenging and not appropriate for people with vertigobut if you have the ticket to Huayna Picchu you will have extra time inside the citadel of Machu Picchu.

All views are amazing.

After walking the Inca Trail you may find yourself too tired to climb the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and you may not have the energy to climb the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, keep in mind, the Inca Trail is challenging.

Why Is It So Popular?

The Inca Trail Peru in a Microcosm; lush green Cloud Forest Alive With Birds, Andean Peaks & Steep Mountain Passes, A Landscape Dotted With Centuries Old Ruins Accessible Only To Those Who Follow This Most Famous Pathway.

However, As Truly Beautiful As The Hike May Be, The Real Reason For Its Popularity Lies At The Very End Of This Four Day Adventure; Passing Through The Sun Gate For That First Magical Sighting Of Machu Picchu In The Distance.

Lifetime experience in these 4 days full of adventure and making new friends.

Only Classic Inca Trail hikers Can Access The sun Gate At Sunrise, And It Is This Crescendo, At One Of The New Seven Wonders Of The World Which Makes This Hike A Feature On So Many 'South America Bucket Lists.

The sun gate is a dream come true for people who do the classic Inca Trail.

The cloud forest, the orchids and the mountain ranges is an unforgettable experience.

Classic Inca trail variations

Classic inca Trail 4D/3N

Short Inca Trail 2 days

Classic inca Trail and Salkantay trek 7 days

Inca Trail and Machu Picchu full day