Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

our Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is a unique itinerary you do not want to miss.  Trekking on this famous route to Machu Picchu will give you so much more than other routes. We find this a great group option. Check out our 2018 dates and Top 10 Tips for a success and enjoyable Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu.

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

Our classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek program is an excellent alternative to avoid most of the crowds found on the 4 day classical route to Machu Picchu. This route wells us reach quieter, more distant and beautiful campsites. It is also recommended for families with children, as it allows better acclimatization to high altitude and the daily walking distances less than the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

We still cross over 3 passes with the highest at 4,215m/ 13,828 feet. The positioning of Machu Picchu and the incredible way the Inca’s re-enforced the mountain below the city from possible earthquakes, hand carved each structure, managed to cultivate crops, redirect water and positioned the city out of reach of invaders in truly remarkable. The journey to Machu Picchu will leave you inspired with true admiration for the incredible Incan people who ran these trials over 500 years ago.Read our training information.


 

A little bit more about the Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

On our classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek, the most famous trek in South America, you will be able to learn about the ruins and scenery which make this trail so famous. Our classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek departs from a place known as Kilometer 82 at 2,600m/ 8,528ft. We will cross a narrow bridge at Kusicancha, that leads straight on to the famous Trail. There are many sights of interest in this first day as we move uphill to the Incan city of Llactapata 2,750m/ 9020 feet. From this point, we descend to the ruins and set up camp in this amazing Incan site.

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

The second day on our classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek, we wake up early to continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca river, gradually climbing until we reach the farming community of Wayllabamba 3100m/ 10,170 feet. This would be night one of the famous 4 day Inca trail trek.  All along the way we see spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns high in the region at 5,832m/ 19,133 feet. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley. Continuing through the trail, we get to Wayllabamba which is the lunch spot and after that one, we begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 8km and reaches the first mountain pass in the Inca Trail, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman pass). We only climb half way up the pass, stopping at Llulluchapampa, where we camp and spend the night at 3,840m/ 12,598 feet.

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

It is really important to take it slow and steady before the pass. Some people find this pass hard, at 4,215m/ 13,776ft you really have to manage your pace and breathing to move up and over this big hurdle.  Trekking at altitude needs to be managed correctly. Speak to us about how to train and prepare. We will have done the bulk of the climb the day before. We will hike up 375m/ 1,230 feet to the Dead Women pass.  Prior training is needed to complete this trek.  Once over the pass we will move into another amazing valley and drop 700m/ 2,296ft  and pass Pacaymayu 3,500m/ 11,480ft.  We will continue back up hill to Runkurakay and Sayacmarca. We will continue on further on the Inca Trail an set up our camp in Phuyupatamarca 3,670m/ 12,040 feet we have the most astonishing sun set and spend the night there in this amazing place.

On the final day of your Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek, we will rise early at 3am walk to the check point and wait for Machu Picchu to open. It will take one hour to the amazing Sun Gate. We will aim to see the sun rise over Machu picchu from the Inti Punku (Sun Gate).  The remainder of the day is spent exploring this fabulous ancient city of the Inca’s, climbing Huayna Picchu or get lost in the city of Machu Picchu.  The scenery is spectacular and so rewarding to finally arrive at this famous destination. Trekking the Inca Trial is one of the world’s greatest treks and one that may chance your life. This trekking experience deep in the Peruvian Andes gives you insight into how intuitive and resourceful the Inca People were. These true mountain tribes were genuinely remarkable people, completing the entire Inca Trail in one day.  On our classic 5 day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, we will be following the traditional Inca Trail in one of the world’s most unique and famous trekking trails.

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

We are available 5 days a week in support of your Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek, your training, preparation and answering any questions you may have. Ian has climbed Everest the top, climbed Kilimanjaro 30+ times and lead numerous treks on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. We have the experience and expertise to help you prepare and fully enjoy your Inca trail experience. On signing up we send out our 35 page dossier on the trek with full information and details of undertaking this adventure. The cost of this trek starts at $2,650.

Why not climb Huayna Picchu overlooking the lost city of Machu Picchu, giving you a different perspective of this wondrous place. This climb needs to be booked along side your Inca trail booking.  Check out our up coming treks in 2018

Itinerary

View Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu in a larger map

Day 1

Arrive in Cusco, Peru where you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to comfortable hotel. You are free to do some sight seeing in this unique and magical city. After you have settled in at your hotel go out and tour the City of Cusco. The afternoon is free to rest, acclimatize, and sight see around Cusco.  However, we strongly urge you to take it easy, go for a walk and drink plenty of water, as Cusco sits at 3,400m/ 11,152 ft above sea level and you are at high altitude with 30% less oxygen than sea level. You will need to stay well hydrated.

Day 2

It is important to spend two night in Cusco before the trek so we recommend our full day private sacred valley tour including: Pisaq remains, Pisaq market, local corn beer brewery, Ollantaytambo remains, Ollantaytambo village and return to Cusco. The Pisaq and Ollantaytambo remains are very special experiences in themselves, along with mixing with the culture, this day will live long in the memory.  This day also gives your body a chance to acclimatize to the lower levels of oxygen.  After a long way you will return to your hotel in Cusco. The day your will start at 8am and finish at 6pm.

Day 3

We depart Cusco at 8:00am in a private transport and your classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek is underway. We will drive to km.82, the starting point of the famous Inca Trail. We start our hike walking along the left shore of the Urubamba river. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay 2,800m/ 9184 feet, to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the Inca city of Llactapata 2,750m/ 9020 feet. From this point, we descend to the ruins, next to which we set our camp, after an approximated 3 hour walk. We spend the afternoon exploring and visiting this archaeological site.

Total distance today: 5 km/ 3.11 miles.

Estimated walking time: 3 hours.

Maximum altitude: 2,650m/ 8,692 feet.

Campsite altitude: 2,650m/ 8,692 feet.

Meals: Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time –  Dinner

Day 4

We wake up early to continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca river, gradually climbing until we reach the farming community of Wayllabamba 3,100m/ 10,170 feet. All along the way we see spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5,832 meters above sea level. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley. Continuing through the trail, we get to Wayllabamba which is the lunch spot and after that one, we begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 8 km and reaches the first mountain pass in the Inca Trail, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman pass). We only climb half way up the pass, stopping at Llulluchapampa, where we camp and spend the night. Along the climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation), having the chance to spot domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at that altitude. We also cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows and the Andean bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus). We advise that on this day and the next one specially, your day pack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness.

Total distance: 12 km/ 7.46 miles

Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours

Maximum altitude: 3,850m/ 12,589 feet

Campsite altitude: 3,850m/ 12,589 feet

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner

Day 5

After breakfast, we continue our hike up the highest point in the Inca Trail, reaching the mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman Pass  4,200m/ 13,776 feet) after about 2 hours. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley 3,600m/ 11808 feet, from which we then start to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay 3,970m/ 13,022 feet. Half way up, we visit the archaeological complex with the same name. This site, located at 3,800m/ 12,464 feet, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca 3,624m/ 11,887 feet. This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. Continuing up an easy climb, we arrive to chaquicocha which the lunch spot. After lunch and two hours and half we arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca 3,700m/ 12,136 feet. Along this climb we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multi leveled Andean geography. We go through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to the complex of the same name. This is one of the most complete and best preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phuyupatamarca means town over the clouds. From above, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We set our camp in Phuyupatamarca we have the most astonishing sun set  and spend the night there.

Total distance: 15 km/ 9.32 miles

Estimated walking time: 8 hours

Maximum altitude: 4,215m/ 13,776 feet

Campsite altitude: 3,600m/ 12,033 feet

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner.

Day 6

Today, we might have the chance to appreciate one of the most spectacular sunrises in the Inca Trail, provided the sky is clear, as Phuyupatamarca,  location offers awesome views at this moment of the day. We then start our way through the long descending stone steps which will lead us to Wiñaywayna 2,650m/ 8,692 feet, where we find. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge. Wiñaywayna is the biggest archaeological site in the Inca Trail besides Machu Picchu and consists of an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector, offering spectacular views over the already narrower Urubamba River valley. After our visit, we have the last lunch then  leave Wiñaywayna to hike to Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may enjoy spectacular views over the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu, weather permitting. From Intipunku, a short walk brings us down to the entrance from where we continue down by bus to Aguas calientes. You can visit and relax in its hot springs and we will stay in Aguas Calientes for the night.

Total distance: 11 km/ 6.84 miles

Estimated walking time: 5 hours

Maximum altitude: 3,600 m/ 11,772 feet

Accommodation:  hotel 3 stars 2,400m/ 7,872 feet

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch  – Dinner.

Day 7

We wake up early and board a bus, which will take us back up to Machu Picchu where we begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. We will then have free time to walk around, climb up the Huaynapicchu Mountain (additional cost), where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it, or we can visit the Temple of the Moon or the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, From here we take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then by bus, from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.

Meals: Breakfast at the hotel

Day 8

Your classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek is over. You will be picked you up from your hotel in Cusco depending on your flight time.  We will drive you to the airport in order to take your flight for your onward journey. There are options to join tours to the Amazon, lake Titicaca and other treasures Peru has on offer.

Ready to go?

Does this information Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek excite you to take the next step towards achieving your goals in the mountains?  If so, get in touch today.  We pride ourselves on making sure that our clients have every opportunity to succeed on the mountains, including professional training advice, gear lists and video links on how to pack your bag, and much more.  We are always available to answer any questions you  may have by email, phone or skype, so contact us today!