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Portada / Useful information for travel to Peru / Data for traveler / Reasons to book the Inca Trail Now!

Reasons to book the Inca Trail Now!

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an epic adventure, taking you along the same paths that the ancient Incas once traveled.
Camino Inca De Dos Dias A Machu Picchu
Section of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

In the Inca Empire of Tahuantinsuyo, a network of roads spanning over 60,000 km was constructed to connect the entire territory. Among this vast network of pathways is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a route that connects Cusco with the citadel of Machu Picchu.

What is the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail is a stone path that winds through the valleys and mountains of the Andes. Along this route, many Inca constructions can be found, such as observation towers high in the mountains, small villages, agricultural terraces, and other archaeological complexes, all built with lithic material (stone).

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is located in the Andes mountain range, at elevations ranging from 2,040 m to 4,200 m and with a length of over 40 km from the starting point to the arrival at the citadel of Machu Picchu.

5 Reasons to Explore the Inca Trail

Exploring the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an unparalleled adventure that every traveler visiting Peru should experience. However, securing your spot on this iconic route requires planning and anticipation. Here are five compelling reasons to ensure your experience:

Trekking One of the World's Best Hiking Routes

The Inca Trail is one of the best treks in the world and is an unforgettable experience. This path blends beautiful archaeological remnants scattered throughout the trail with stunning landscapes, and an unmatched flora and fauna, making this route one of the most coveted travel destinations in the world.

Discovering Machu Picchu and Other Archaeological Sites

Exploring Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites along the Inca Trail is a fascinating experience that no traveler should miss when visiting Peru. Some sites are exclusively accessible via the Inca Trail.

  • Machu Picchu: is the main attraction of the Inca Trail.
  • Wiñayhuayna: an impressive archaeological complex composed of agricultural terraces, ceremonial fountains, and Inca dwellings.
  • Intipata: Known for its extensive agricultural terraces and strategic location with panoramic views of the surrounding valley.
  • Sayacmarca: perched on a cliff, offers an intriguing insight into the urban planning and advanced architecture of the Inca civilization.
  • Phuyupatamarca: known as the "city above the clouds," offers spectacular views of the snowy peaks of the Andes and the surrounding landscape.
  • Inti Punku (Sun Gate): An important ceremonial site that marks the entrance to Machu Picchu and offers a breathtaking view of the citadel at sunrise.
Wiñayhuayna on the Inca Trail. Source: CuscoPeru.com
Access to Wiñayhuayna is exclusively via the Inca Trail

Experiential Tourism

Imagine waking up one day amidst the mist-covered mountains of the Andes. The sun has just risen, revealing the silhouette of the peaks and casting the first rays of light on the place. You can also see many wild birds and other species starting the day, just like you. No sounds of vehicles nor pollution. Just you and other travelers who share the same eagerness to explore and discover this beautiful route. Live this experience now and book your entry to the Inca Trail as soon as possible.

Enjoying Natural Beauty

Exploring the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu not only immerses you in ancient history but also connects you with the stunning natural beauty of Peru. Along the route, you will witness spectacular landscapes, from lush cloud forests to majestic snowy mountains. Rivers and waterfalls add a refreshing touch of vitality to the path, while the abundant flora and fauna will amaze you at every step.

Pausing to contemplate the vastness of the Andes and feeling the energy of the environment invites you to reflect and appreciate the grandeur of nature. Walking the Inca Trail is not just a journey to Machu Picchu, but also a journey into connecting with the land and its unparalleled beauty.

Personal Challenge

Embarking on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is more than a trip; it's a personal challenge that invites you to surpass yourself. Walking the same stone paths that the ancient Incas trod centuries ago is a truly unique experience. The Inca Trail provides you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of the Inca civilization and connect with its legacy in a deep and meaningful way.

With each step, you face steep slopes, traverse valleys, and cross rivers, which leads you to discover your inner strength and endurance. The altitude and changing weather add complexity to the challenge, but each overcome obstacle brings you closer to the summit. At the end of the trail, the feeling of achievement and satisfaction upon reaching Machu Picchu is unparalleled, leaving you with unforgettable memories and a sense of personal fulfillment.

Girl posing on the Inca Trail. Source: CuscoPeru.com
Trekking the Inca Trail is an experience for everyoneino Inca

How Long Does the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Last?

The duration of the Inca Trail varies depending on the version you choose. CuscoPeru offers options for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your preferences:

Tours Duration Dificultad
Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 days and 1 night Easy-Intermediate
Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days and 3 nights Moderate

Differences Between the 2-Day and 4-Day Versions

Deciding which tour to take can be quite complex. Below is a comparative chart to make this decision easier:

Tour Short Inca Trail Tour To Machu Picchu 2 Days Classic Inca Trail Tour To Machu Picchu 4 Days
Distance 10.37 Km 43 Km
Difficulty Moderate Moderate - High
Maximum altitude 2690 m 4200 m
Minimum altitude 2141 m 2160 m
Hiking time 6.20 h 25.1 h
Price per person 495 USD 755 USD

Remember that when visiting these archaeological sites, it is essential to respect the conservation and preservation rules to ensure that future generations can also enjoy their beauty and historical significance.

Availability of the Inca Trail 2024

The Inca Trail, as well as the citadel of Machu Picchu and other Inca archaeological remains, are under the responsibility of the Peruvian National Institute of Culture, which determines the maximum number of visitors per day.

There are 200 tickets available for sale, in addition to the 300 allocated for the entry of cooks, porters, and other team members accompanying the traveler, making a total of 500 slots per day.

If you wish to book the Inca Trail for the months of June and July, you should do so at least nine months in advance, as this is the best season for the hike and coincides with the festivities of the city of Cusco.

Short Inca Trail Short Inca Trail

Price of the Inca Trail

To explore the Inca Trail, it is mandatory to hire a tourism agency or operator; it is not permitted to make the journey on your own. The cost varies depending on the level of luxury the traveler desires, the type of agency, and any extras that are hired. It usually ranges between USD 600 and USD 800.

Alternatives to the Inca Trail

If for various reasons you were unable to secure a ticket to take the Inca Trail but are eager to discover the Inca citadel through hiking or trekking, you may consider the following alternatives:

  • Salkantay snow-capped mountain route (6,271 m above sea level), a tour that typically lasts five days, ending in the town of Aguas Calientes. Many travelers who have experienced this journey comment that the experience was even better than they expected from the Inca Trail.
  • Choquequirao complex route, which was discovered about ten years ago. This tour lasts an average of nine to ten days, exploring the Choquequirao citadel and ending in the town of Aguas Calientes, before ascending to the Inca citadel.
  • Lares Valley route to Machu Picchu, this tour lasts an average of four to five days. This route is not well-known, and there may be few tour operators available.
Inca Trail Salkantay to Machu Picchu. Source: CuscoPeru.com
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu via Salkantay