Classic 5 Day Inca Trail Trek

Trekking alone on the Inca Trail is possible. We have mastered the best way to explore this world famous trail. You can explore every Incan site with few or no people around.  Trekking on this famous route to Machu Picchu on this extended version will give you so much more than the traditional 4 day route. Our unique option gives you more time on the trail. Check out our up coming trips to Machu Picchu and Top 10 Tips for a success and enjoyable Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu. Watch our video and then read this post with all you need to know about trekking to Machu Picchu.

Our 5 day Itinerary is the best option

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. In my experience of trekking the Inca Trail over 10 times, our 5 day itinerary is the only way to experience this famous trail.  This route helps us reach quieter, more distinct and beautiful campsites on route to Machu Picchu. It is also recommended for families with teenagers, as it allows better acclimatization to high altitude and the daily walking distances are less than the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Here are 20 reasons to pick us for your Inca trail adventure.

More time to explore every Incan site

We still cross over 3 passes with the highest at 4,215m/ 13,828 feet. but we will enjoy are more relaxed approach to each day and enjoy more Inca sites like Sayaqmarka, Intipata and Winay Wayna. Personally exploring Winay Wayna is really important and having this extra time on the 5 day Inca Trail Trek is important. Our 5 day trekking option also takes off the pressure of rushing trough the trail. If you are a slower hiker the 5 day trek is the only way to go. CONTACT US for more information.  Read our training information.

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek
 Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

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

The Inca Trail Trek is the most famous trek in South America, you will be able to learn more about the ruins and enjoy the unique scenery which make this trail so famous. Our classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek departs from a place known as Kilometer 82 at 2,700m/ 9.022 feet. 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. Getting permit is challenging, Learn more.

Breaking up the more challenging days

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.

We have a professional team to lead you

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 Sayaqmarka. 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.

Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek
Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek

The Best way to Enter Machu Picchu

On the fourth day of your Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek, we will rise early at 5am have a beautiful breakfast and watch the sun rise in this absolutely breathtaking location high on the western side of the Andes looking down towards the Amazon. After you catch your breath we will walk down hill and explore the amazing sites of Intipata and Winya Wayna.

After lunch, we continue through the check point and continue for one hour to the famous sun gate. From the sun gate we will see the magical city of Machu picchu for the first time. The sun gate is also called Inti Punku. The remainder of the day is spent exploring this fabulous ancient city of the Inca’s, or get lost in the city of Machu Picchu.  The scenery is spectacular and so rewarding to finally arrive at this famous destination. We will head down to Aguas Calenties for dinner which we cover and spend the night in a hotel.

Two visits to Machu Picchu

The following morning we will return to Machu Picchu for a full guided tour of the ruins and then return all the way back to Cusco. 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. 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.

Get professional advice on how to prepare

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 led 10+ 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 $2,550.

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


View Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu in a larger map

Day 1

Arrive at Cusco International airport. Our team will pick you up from the airport and bring you to the hotel for your stay in Cusco, which is on a shared basis. Because you are arriving into high altitude, we recommend taking this day to rest, rehydrate and slowly take in the sites of this beautiful and historical city! You will stay the night in the nice, 4 Star hotel of our choice, in a shared accommodation. We will have a briefing this evening, to go over the itinerary, and then you will want to get to bed early as tomorrow will be a long day! Remember, you are arriving in to high altitude in Cusco at 3,400m/ 11,152 feet above sea level.

Day 2

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 day of travel, you will return to your hotel in Cusco. The day your will start at 8am and finish at 6pm and will include lunch along the way.

Day 3

The Inca Trail starts with a pickup from your hotel after breakfast, and then drive to the town of Ollantaytambo, where you can pick up any last-minute items you may need. From Ollantaytambo, we continue to the start of the trail, Piscacucho (AKA km 82) at 2,700m/ 8,858 feet. From here, we will have enough time to organize our backpacks and tour the entrance building, where we will learn more about the flora and fauna on the trail. Then, we will go through the controls where we need present our passports in order to enter the trail.

In the first stretch of the hike we will have beautiful views of the landscape and surrounding peaks, such as Apu Huakay Willka 5,850m/ 19,193 feet, otherwise known as Veronica. We will begin to see the many plants and trees of the region, which our team will explain as we walk. After a few hours on the trail, we will stop in Miskay (2,800m/ 9,184 feet), where we will have the first delicious lunch prepared by our chef. After lunch, we will continue a short distance on the trail until we reach an overlook, where we can see the Inca City of Llactapata at 2,750m/ 9,020 feet. From this point, we descend to the ruins of Llactapata, next to which we set our camp. We will spend the afternoon exploring and visiting this archaeological site. Today, the walk will take approximately 5 hours at a slow pace.

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 at 3,100m/ 10,170 feet. Along the way, we will see spectacular views of the Vilcanota Mountain Range, on the opposite side of the Urubamba River. Before lunch, we will stop in to explore the first Incan site of the day, just off the main trail. After an explanation of the Ruins and a chance to explore them, we will continue to Wayllabamba, where we will stop for lunch.
After lunch, we begin the long ascent, up approximately 750m/ 2,461 feet, to our camp site where we will stop for the night. Llulluchapampa Camp sits at 3,850m/ 12,589 feet, and will spoil us with beautiful sunset views! Along the climb today, the landscape will change from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). We will also have 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 Cloud Forest, which is inhabited by many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows as well as the Andean Bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus). Today is a tough and long day and we will reach a high altitude at 3,850m/ 12,589 feet.

Day 5

After a very early breakfast, we will continue our hike up the highest point in the Inca Trail, reaching the high mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca, or the Dead Woman Pass, at 4,215m/ 13,776 feet. This should take us approximately 2 hours to reach the top and we will be rewarded by the spectacular views! Immediately after the pass, we will descend the steep steps, into the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,500m/ 11,483 feet. From here, we then start to climb up to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay at 3,970m/ 13,022 feet. Halfway up the pass, we will stop to 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 visiting the site, we will continue to the top of the pass. From there, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest. We will then arrive at the beautiful complex of Sayacmarca at 3,624m/ 11,887 feet, which we will do a tour. After the tour, we will arrive at Chaquicocha, where a beautiful lunch will await! It has been a long morning until we reach the lunch spot, so having an extra snack with you to tide you over will be important today!

After lunch, we will continue on the trail towards the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca, at 3,700m/ 12,136 feet, where we spend the night. This section of the trail takes us through lush landscapes, with great views off the trail towards Mount Salkantay and the Amazon Forest. We will go through the first of the Incan Tunnels before reaching our camp site at Abra Phuyupatamarca, which means town over the clouds. Tonight, we are high above Macchu Picchu, and will have stunning sunsets and views of the surrounding mountains. Today will have been a very long day, but worth it with the wonderful views and experiences you will have!

Day 6

After our delicious final breakfast on the trail, we will have a short walk down to the Phuyupatamarca Ruins, where we will have a tour. From there, we will continue down 900m/ 2,952 feet, to reach Wiñayhuayna, on steep stairs all the way down. On the way to Wiñayhuayna, we will stop in to view the beautiful ruins of Intipata. From there, we will continue the descent for half an hour before visiting one of the most impressive Incan sites, Wiñayhuayna, which is built into the side of the mountain. After this spectacular tour of the ruins, we will hike back the same way, to have our last lunch on the Inca Trail. Here, we will thank our porter team and the cook for the great experience we have had.

After lunch, we follow a narrow trail that leads us around Machu Picchu mountain, towards the Sun Gate (Intipunku), which will give us the first views of the city of Machu Picchu. Before reaching the Sun Gate, we will have a very steep section of approximately 50 steps, which leads you up to the exciting and stunning views below! With the views of Machu Picchu city below, you will stand in awe of this unique mystical place. After enjoying the famous Sun Gate, we will descend for about an hour until we arrive the Guardian’s House, where we will have the opportunity to contemplate Machu Picchu in all its splendor. We will take photographs and enjoy our first visit to Machu Picchu on our itinerary.
After we have spent some time enjoying the views, we will continue down to the checkpoint, where we will take bus from the Inca city of Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu town. We will spend the night in a 4-star hotel, on a shared basis. After a well-deserved shower, we will head out for a celebratory dinner at the famous Indio Feliz restaurant.

Day 7

We will wake early this morning and have breakfast in the hotel before we begin the journey back up to Machu Picchu. From town, we will board a bus, which will take us back up to Machu Picchu City. Here, we will have a complete guided tour of the City, which will take approximately two hours. After the tour, you will have some free time to enjoy the views or if you have booked the climb up Huayna Picchu Mountain (which needs to be booked/paid for in advance), then you will continue on to do this. Huayna Picchu will give you spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it.

Once you are finished in Machu Picchu, you will have your bus ticket to get back down to Aguas Calientes. You will have some free time to explore the city of Aguas Calientes before meeting at a designated time and location set out by the guide. From here, we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo, where our private transportation will await, for the journey back to Cusco. After a long day, we will reach the hotel in Cusco and you will be free to enjoy the evening in the City for your final night.

Day 8

You will be picked you up from your hotel in Cusco depending on your flight time. We will drive you to the airport for your onward journey. There are options to join tours to the Amazon, Lake Titicaca and other treasures Peru has on offer. If you decide to spend additional nights in Cusco, we are happy to assist with booking extra nights in the hotel for you.

Ready to go?

We hope this information about our Classic 5 day Inca Trail Trek gives you further.  If you would like take the next step, get in touch today. We pride ourselves on making sure that our clients have every opportunity to succeed on the mountains. We are available to help you with training advice, gear lists, video links and much more.  We are always available to answer any questions you may have by email or phone, so contact us today!