Daily Distances on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Congratulations, you are off to trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! Hopefully you are going on an Ian Taylor Trekking trip!  There are a lot of factors you need to consider when you are preparing for your Inca Trail trip.  The daily distances you will cover will also depend on what itinerary you have chosen to take.  Our favorite itinerary on the Inca Trail is the Classic 5 Day trek.  This will give you a better idea of how much distance you will cover each day on the 5 Day trail.

Once you have looked at the daily distances on the trail, then you should read about the elevation gains on the Inca Trail.  These two combined should then give you a better idea of how you want to train and prepare. You have to walk up and down hill quite a bit on mixed rocky terrain. Most of the time, this will be on steep steps up and down. Therefore, you have to make sure you have the conditioning in the legs and body to handle the distances and more importantly the steps. You need to focus on strength and endurance training for this type of hiking. We are available to discuss training with you at any stage. Read some REVIEWS from our trips.

Daily Distances on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

In total, the Inca Trail covers a total of 54.2 K/ 33.7 miles over four days.  The following information is ONLY if you are doing our Classic 5 Day Inca Trail itinerary.  If you are doing the Traditional 4 Day trek or the Salkantay Route, then your daily distances will be slightly different.  We prefer the Classic 5 Day Itinerary for a few reasons.  Firstly, it gives you more time to enjoy each site on the trail.  Secondly, it breaks down the daily distances on the trail each day, so that you spread the hiking distances out.  Finally, it gives you two visits to Machu Picchu, where the other itineraries only have one!
Daily Distances on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Day 1).  Llactapata

The Inca Trail starts with the transfer from your hotel. You will be picked up from the hotel at 7 o’clock in the morning and will have 3 hours and a half hour drive.  Our teams will make a stop in Ollantaytambo, to buy a few final supplies, and stop for a short break.  Then, you will continue about another 40 minutes in the car until you reach Piscacucho at 2,700m/ 9,000 feet.  This is the KM 82 marker and starting point of our trek. After checking in and showing passports and permits, the trek will begin! After approximately 5 – 6 hours of walking today, we will reach the Inca City of Llactapata 2,750m/ 9020 feet. From this point, we descend to the ruins, next to which we set our camp.

The Total time trekking today is approximately 5 – 6 hours and you will cover a distance of 10k/ 6 miles.  The highest elevation reached today is 2,950m/9,676 feet.

Camp on our first night on the Classic 5 Day Inca Trail

Day 2). Llulluchapampa

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. With a stunning walk through the forest today, we will enjoy the diverse wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley. We will be making our way approximately half the way up the Abra Warmihuañusca, otherwise known as the Dead Woman Pass.   After a tough uphill climb, we will then reach Llulluchapampa camp 3,850m/ 12,589 feet, where we camp and spend the night.  

The distance today will cover 12 km/ 7.46 miles and will take approximately 6 hours.  The high point of the day is where we will camp, at 3,850m/ 12,631 feet.

Day 2 on the Classic 5 Day INca Trail

Day 3). Phuyupatamarca

After breakfast, we then continue our hike up the highest point in the Inca Trail, reaching the mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca or the Dead Woman Pass 4,215m/ 13,776 feet after approximately two hours. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley before heading back up to the second pass,  Abra Runkurakay 3,970m/ 13,022 feet. After lunch and two and half hours walking, we then arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca 3,700m/ 12,136 feet. Here, we set our camp in Phuyupatamarca, where we have the most astonishing sun set and views.

Today you will cover a total of 15 km/ 9.32 miles and it will take approximately 7 – 8 hours.  The highest point of the day (and the entire trek) is at the Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,215m/ 13,776 feet.

Day 3 on the Classic 5 Day INca Trail

Day 4). Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes

After our delicious breakfast accompanied by the “Apus” sacred mountains we will descend for about three hours on steep steps, before arriving at the lunch place we will have an amazing view of the Urubamba valley from the place called Intipata. We will continue the descent for half an hour we will visit one of the most impressive places in all our route of the Inca Trail the place called Wiñayhuayna.  We will hike back the same way, where will have our last lunch on the Inca trail and the opportunity to thank our porters team and the cook for the great experience we had in this Inca trail.

After lunch we follow a narrow trail that walked around Machu Picchu mountain leads us all the way to the Sun Gate (intipunku) and veiws down into Machu Picchu.   After enjoying the Inca citadel we will descend for about an hour further before arriving down into the City.  We will take photographs and enjoy the beauty of the city before we take the bus from the Inca city of Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.  We will spend the night here in a hotel. Around 7 o’clock at night we will have a great dinner at the famous Indio Feliz restaurant.

The total distance walked today is 11 km/ 7 miles and will take approximately 5 hours.  The highest point on the trail today is 3,680 m/ 12,073 feet.

The Inca Trial to Machu Picchu

Day 5). Machu Picchu – Cusco

We wake up early and board a bus, which will take us back up to Machu Picchu.  There, 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 Huayna Picchu Mountain if you booked it(additional cost), where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu.  In the afternoon, we head back down to Aguas Calientes where we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo.  Finally, by private bus, we will return from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.  Today you will only be walking through the town of Machu Picchu!

The beautiful city of Machu Picchu

Get in Touch Today

The Classic 5 Day Inca Trail is our favorite itinerary to the beautiful city of Machu Picchu!  This itinerary gives you more time to enjoy each of the sites, including two visits to Machu Picchu!  READ MORE about why this is the best itinerary!

If you want to make the journey to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail, then GET IN TOUCH today! Let us help you make this incredible journey with the Incas!

All you Need to Know About Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
5 Reasons to Pick the 5 Day Classic Trek to Machu Picchu
Top 10 Tips while you are on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu