The Most Famous Hike in Peru & South America

The Inca Trail

Discover the Wonders of Peru's Heartland by Hiking the Inca Trail

Hiking the Inca Trail is an experience which should inspire excitement, invoke a little bit of fear, stoke jealousy amongst your friends, and stir a sense of wander in your soul.

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A Life-Changing Experience

Discover the Wonders of Peru's Heartland by Hiking the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks in the entire world, and is the best route in South America. It leads to one of the New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu and follows along the trail that the Incas created all those hundreds of years ago.

Along the route you’ll get to see some fascinating archaeological sites that can only be accessed by foot. You’ll hike the trail accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who’ll inform you of all the important facts from history, as well as with tourists from across the globe. It’s a great chance to make new friends, too. The trail is tough in parts, but it’s well worth the challenge. Let’s take a look in more detail.

The Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks in the entire world, and is the best route in South America. It leads to one of the New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu and follows along the trail that the Incas created all those hundreds of years ago.

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Average groups of 10; solos, couples and friends, united by a desire for authentic experiences.

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Tackle the legendary Inca Trail for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to approach Machu Picchu through breathtaking mountain scenery, as the Incas themselves did many centuries ago. Join us on the Inca Trail for an experience you'll never forget.

The Classic Inca Trail

Visit unique archaeological sites that can only be accessed on foot along this route and become enveloped in the stunning Andean mountain landscape and thick vegetation. You’ll be challenged along the way but will receive the most amazing reward when you enter through the Sun Gate to look over mystical Machu Picchu for the first time.

The world-famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best trekking routes in South America. Walk in the footsteps of our Inca nobility ancestors to their incredible Inca fortress, Machu Picchu, and dare to discover their secrets.

The Inca Trail is where those most daring choose to trek to Machu Picchu, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit unique archaeological sites that can only be accessed on foot along this route and become enveloped in the stunning Andean mountain landscape and thick vegetation. You’ll be challenged along the way but will receive the most amazing reward when you enter through the Sun Gate to look over mystical Machu Picchu for the first time.

Inca Trail Tours

If trekking the Inca Trail is on your bucket list, you have a few options, ranging from just 2 days to 7 days long, which includes a part of the incredible Salkantay Trail as well. Bear in mind that the 4 day trail is the classic route and the one that most people want to take part in, so you need to book months in advance.

Private Inca Trail Tour guided for the best hiking team
Peru
Moderate to Challenging
4-DAY TREK
Inca Trail Private
Customize your trip according to your needs, preferences, and speed. Walk with an elite team comprised of porters, chefs, and tour guides just for the people in your group. This trek is ideal for couples, families with children, or a group of friends. The Private Tour of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best way to fully experience the most fantastic trek we have in Peru.
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From
US$ 1,000 pp
Admiring the deep valley surrounding Machu Picchu during the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Peru
Moderate to Challenging
2-DAY HIKE
Short Inca Trail
The two-day trek is well worth it and far more rewarding than simply taking the train all the way there as you can pause to enjoy your beautiful surroundings before ascending to the ruins.
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From
US$ 500 pp
Entrance to Machu Picchu, the famous Sun Gate after the 1-Day Inca Trail moderate hike
Peru
Moderate to Challenging
1-DAY HIKE
Inca Trail Challenge
This Trek has a variety of flora and fauna and is rich in history. The 1-day hike is 13km/8m, goes up to 2,720 m/8,920 ft, and is classified as an easy-moderate trek with minimal altitude gain.
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From
US$ 400 pp
The mountains are calling and we must go!
Inca Trail Stunning Scenaries full of history and misticism

The Best Adventure Combinations in Peru

Every journey we design is carefully curated and completely bespoke, fine-tuned to your passions and interests. Experience jaw-dropping natural wonders, mysterious ancient civilisations, diverse indigenous culture and unique wildlife with some of the best trek combinations in Peru and South America.

The Epic Off-the-Beaten-Path Combo Trek

Lares Trek & Inca Trail 5 Days

  • Accommodation Peru Tours
    Camps & Hotel Accommodation
  • Trek Highest Altitude
    4,700 m / 15,420 ft Max. altitude
  • Hiking Level Peru
    Moderate to Challenging Difficulty

If you want to skip the crowds and still enjoy an epic trek to the World Wonder of Machu Picchu, look no further and venture on this combined Lares Trek & Inca Trail. This 5-day tour will take you through the most stunning scenery while interacting with rural Andean communities and retracing ancient steps on one of the best treks in the world, the Inca Trail.

Expect to see majestic mountain glaciers, shockingly blue and green lakes, waterfalls, streams, llamas, and alpacas along this gorgeous picturesque route. Spend three days in the Andean heights before dipping into the Short Inca Trail for the best of both worlds. You'll connect with nature while visiting incredible archaeological sites before ending your trip in the magical Machu Picchu.

If you want to skip the crowds and still enjoy an epic trek to the World Wonder of Machu Picchu, look no further and venture on this combined Lares Trek & Inca Trail. This 5-day tour will take you through the most stunning scenery while interacting with rural Andean communities and retracing ancient steps on one of the best treks in the world, the Inca Trail.

Expect to see majestic mountain glaciers, shockingly blue and green lakes, waterfalls, streams, llamas, and alpacas along this gorgeous picturesque route. Spend three days in the Andean heights before dipping into the Short Inca Trail for the best of both worlds. You'll connect with nature while visiting incredible archaeological sites before ending your trip in the magical Machu Picchu.

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The Rural Inca Trail Experience

Ancascocha Trek & Inca Trail Short 5 Days

  • Accommodation Peru Tours
    Camps & Hotel Accommodation
  • Trek Highest Altitude
    4,650 m / 15,256 ft Max. altitude
  • Hiking Level Peru
    Moderate to Challenging Difficulty

This epic trek combines two of the most incredible trails in Peru. You get to enjoy the highlights of the off-the-beaten-path Ancascocha Trek and the amazing 2-day Inca Trail, famous worldwide. You’ll spend the first three days away from the crowds and enjoying the rustic Andes. You’ll be away from the typical tourist trails and be amazed by the astounding mountain views all around. We’ll pass by remote communities who still live and work off the land as they have done for many generations.

For the last 2 days, we’ll be making our way to the well-known Inca Trail and trace in ancient footsteps as we follow the path through well-preserved Inca constructions and marvel at the ancient culture’s engineering feats. We’ll end this fantastic trip with a visit to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

This epic trek combines two of the most incredible trails in Peru. You get to enjoy the highlights of the off-the-beaten-path Ancascocha Trek and the amazing 2-day Inca Trail, famous worldwide. You’ll spend the first three days away from the crowds and enjoying the rustic Andes. You’ll be away from the typical tourist trails and be amazed by the astounding mountain views all around. We’ll pass by remote communities who still live and work off the land as they have done for many generations.

For the last 2 days, we’ll be making our way to the well-known Inca Trail and trace in ancient footsteps as we follow the path through well-preserved Inca constructions and marvel at the ancient culture’s engineering feats. We’ll end this fantastic trip with a visit to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

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Push the limits! Reach the summit of Salkantay

Salkantay Trek + Short Inca Trail 6 Days

  • Accommodation Peru Tours
    Private Camps & Hotel Accommodation
  • Trek Highest Altitude
    4,630 m / 15,190 ft Max. altitude
  • Hiking Level Peru
    Moderate to Challenging Difficulty

The Salkantay Trek and Short Inca Trail is one of the best routes that you should do at least once in your life. This program will take you out of the routine to transport you to wonderful places that only the Peruvian Andes have for you. You will visit several tourist attractions, including the magical turquoise waters of the Humantay Lake and the imposing Salkantay snow-capped mountain. Around the mountains, you will explore the tropical forest and appreciate its diverse flora and fauna. Finally, you will visit Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the modern world, and learn about the ancient history of the Incas. Without a doubt, this is a complete itinerary to recharge your energy and enjoy it to the fullest.

The Salkantay Trek and Short Inca Trail is one of the best routes that you should do at least once in your life. This program will take you out of the routine to transport you to wonderful places that only the Peruvian Andes have for you. You will visit several tourist attractions, including the magical turquoise waters of the Humantay Lake and the imposing Salkantay snow-capped mountain. Around the mountains, you will explore the tropical forest and appreciate its diverse flora and fauna. Finally, you will visit Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the modern world, and learn about the ancient history of the Incas. Without a doubt, this is a complete itinerary to recharge your energy and enjoy it to the fullest.

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The Best of Both Worlds

Salkantay Trek & Inca Trail 7 Days

  • Accommodation Peru Tours
    Camps Accommodation
  • Trek Highest Altitude
    5,100 m / 16,732 ft Max. altitude
  • Hiking Level Peru
    Moderate to Challenging Difficulty

Are you finding it hard to decide between the Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail? Well, twiddle your thumbs no more. Our Salkantay and Inca Trail 7 Days trek combines the two routes to Machu Picchu in one awesome trip. Both treks are considered in the top twenty-five treks in the world by National Geographic and put together form one of the most epic journeys of all.

Are you finding it hard to decide between the Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail? Well, twiddle your thumbs no more. Our Salkantay and Inca Trail 7 Days trek combines the two routes to Machu Picchu in one awesome trip. Both treks are considered in the top twenty-five treks in the world by National Geographic and put together form one of the most epic journeys of all.

It’s no surprise that this combo will challenge you to the max and test your limits. However, when it all comes to a climax at the astounding Inca Citadel, Machu Picchu, you’ll realize all your efforts were worth it. You’ll feel a huge sense of achievement and fulfillment as you wander among the ancient city and look out over the beautiful panorama that is Peru’s dense jungle.

Our Salkantay and Inca Trail 7 Days trek is the perfect choice for those pondering over the two routes. You get the best of both worlds and can enjoy following in ancient footsteps on the Inca Trail and witness some of the most epic views you’ve ever seen on the Salkantay route. Enjoy this ultimate experience by yourself, as part of a group, or as a couple.

You’ll begin your adventure on the Salkantay trail and visit the stunning Humantay Mountain that sits like a jewel among the white mountain peaks. Next, you’ll make your way to see the imposing Salkantay Mountain before diverging and joining the ancient Inca Trail.

Along this ancient path, you’ll learn all about the fascinating, innovative Inca culture from your knowledgeable guide and stop off at some of the most important Inca archaeological sites that played a huge role in their empire.

To top it all off, you’ll end your challenging trek with a visit to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

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6,000+ Adventures Planned
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70,000+ Happy Clients (and counting)

Why Travel With Us?

We are dedicated and commited to our clients, to the environment, and to our fellow compatriots

Porters
Tour Guides
Cooks
The Food
Camping Equipment

Our Porters "Kallpa Team"

It is not possible to create the experience we provide without the unbelievably hard work of our team of porters. They are made up of men varying ages who are willing to leave their homes several hours away for days at a time. They typically are farmers.

We go out of our way to treat them with respect providing fair wages and proper equipment. We care for their health and the health of their families. In their communities we work on many social projects, especially in education and health, where we have small reinforcement schools with teachers in the subjects that the children of our porters require, we implement libraries, even school buildings.

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Inca Trail Porters Peru
Best Peru Tours Guides

Knowledgeable Tour Guides

Salkantay Trekking relies on an extensive network of highly trained guides and expert ambassadors as a premise to guarantee excellence in our services. We are fully conscious that an excellent guide is key to making your trip a memorable experience, which is why we are extremely demanding when recruiting and regularly training our guides.

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Best Adventure Travel Guide South America
Best Hiking Chefs Peru

Our Chefs

In all of our trekking trips, the chef ensures high-quality meals on time, an adequate diet both in its quality and quantity. The secret lies in the careful selection of our team of chefs, whose top-quality restaurant background, creativity and passion for their jobs provide an unequalled touch to all of our meals. We do not have set menus since we wish to give our chefs the chance to create, innovate and surprise our clients through delicious dishes in every trip.

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Best Andean Chefs Peru
Best Hiking Cooks Peru
Best dishes on the route Peru

The Best Trekking Food in Peru

We do not have set menus since we wish to give our chefs the chance to create, innovate and surprise our clients through delicious dishes in every trip. We provide general guidelines, guest information on dietary restrictions and preferences and, most especially, the tools for a constant updating of our cooks’ knowledge in both Peruvian and International cuisine through specialization courses and training.

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Healthy an well balanced meals on the route
Guests enjoying their meals in a outdoor dining room

The Best Camping Equipment

Enjoy a good night’s sleep in our spacious Eureka tent. All our tents are built to be four man tents, but you will only have to share with one other trekker. This leaves a lot of room to spread out comfortably and store your duffels. They are an A-frame design, with entrances on both sides of the tent. They also include a vestibule in front, giving you some extra outdoor space to leave your boots and walking sticks. We are proud to be the only company to use these tents.

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Best camping and hiking equipment in Peru

Find the Perfect Destination in Peru

With astonishingly varied landscapes, stunning scenery, compelling history, and a legacy of fascinating cultures, there is truly something for everyone. Our expeditions in Peru are designed to showcase all that this country has to offer.

Our expeditions in Peru are designed to showcase all that this country has to offer.

Immersed in lots of vegetation, the choquequirao archaeological center

Choquequirao

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Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain of Cusco Peru half covered of snow

Rainbow Mountain

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Sky Camp Soraypampa. Peru Stargazing near between the Salkantay and Humantay Lake Mountains

Salkantay

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Ausangate trek, an adventure over the Andes of Peru with spiritual glaciars and lakes

Ausangate

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Woman together an alpaca in the Lares Trek Cusco Peru

Lares

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Inca Trail Peru Travel Guide

We hope that this Peru & Inca Trail travel guide will serve as a reference for you to prepare for and undertake an exceptional and seamless journey through this “Empire of Hidden Treasures.”

  • Inca Trail Highlights

    Here are the top highlights that you’ll enjoy on the excursion:

    • Walk this ancient path surrounded by incredible landscapes and great views of rolling hills in the Andean mountains.
    • Enter Machu Picchu through the ‘Puerta del Sol’, or Sun Gate.
    • Be transformed back in time as you retrace ancient steps and let your mind take you back hundreds of years.
    • Hike along one of the most famous and impressive treks in the world.
    • Discover secrets of the ancient civilization and visit preserved historical sites.
    • Explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.
  • What to Expect on the Trail?

    To help you prepare as best as possible for this trip, it’s a good idea to know what to expect in advance. We’ve created a list to help you.

    Effects of the Altitude

    When booking this trek, you need to be aware that it is at a high altitude. You will reach up to 4,200 masl. This can mean you may feel tired more easily or want to eat or drink more. Altitude can cause headaches, nausea, and tiredness, so to make sure you avoid feeling like this on the trail, we recommend 2-3 days in the city of Cusco.

    There Are No Showers

    That’s right. Along the way there are no showers at all, so you will need to go however many days you opt to trek for without a shower. Bringing a change of clothes for each day and some body wipes is a good way to keep on top of hygiene.

    It’s a Challenge

    It isn’t the most difficult trek in the world, but it’s not easy either. Along with the altitude, a lot of the way you’ll be walking along the treasured Inca path, but that means a lot of cobbled walkways that can take their toll on your knees, ankles, and feet. Use the right footwear to aid you as much as possible.

    You’ll See Plenty of Other Hikers

    Due to the trail being one of the most popular in the world, you’ll meet a lot of people along the way from across the globe. It can be exciting to make new friends and experience this journey with many others. If you’re expecting to enjoy a peaceful walk by yourself in the mountains, this isn’t the trek to do it on.

    To Learn a Lot of History

    Along the trail you’ll visit some incredible archaeological sites where your knowledgeable guide will teach you all about the area. They’ll also give you plenty of information as you walk, so be prepared to learn a lot about our ancestors.

    See Some Wonderful Scenery

    Walking through the incredible Andean mountain range along an ancient path means you’re going to see some fantastic landscapes and get some wonderful views. The flora and fauna in the area is spectacular, so make sure you bring a good camera.

    Different Climates

    As you’ll be heading high into the mountain, you’ll be feeling the cold. However, you also head down into the jungle where it gets very warm. Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are also humid. You can expect bugs at this altitude so take plenty of insect repellent. Make sure you pack for the changes in weather.

  • Where is the Inca Trail?

    The Inca Trail is in Peru in South America. It’s located in the Andean mountain range in the department of Cusco. It ends at Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

  • Difficulty Level

    As far as treks go around the world, the Inca Trail is considered relatively difficult by most people. The overall distance of the trail is 26 miles, which is broken up over a few days. You also get porters to carry our backpacks, which makes things a little easier.

    What makes the trek harder is the altitude, the elevation changes, and the difficult terrain of the paths. A lot of steps can also cause a strain on your knees and ankles. As an overall trek we have rated it as moderate, with challenging and easy parts as well.

  • Inca Trail Facts

    Now to share our top facts about the Inca Trail.

    • Only 500 permits are available each day. 300 are taken by guides, cooks, and porters, meaning only 200 for visitors from all over the world.
    • The Classic Inca Trail is just a small part of a 45,000km network of Inca trails that link the whole of the Empire with the capital of Cusco.
    • The highest part of the route is Dead Woman’s Pass (Warmihuañusca) that sits at 4,215 masl.
    • Only trekkers on the Inca Trail will get to enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) and get a fantastic view over the Inca citadel.
    • The 4 day Classic Inca Trail is 26 miles (43km) long in total. It starts from Km82, named that way because it’s 82 kilometers along the railway tracks from Cusco to Aguas Calientes.
    • You need to be on the lookout to buy your tickets well in advance. They go on sale a year in advance and you won’t find out the day they’ll be available until around 3-7 beforehand.
  • Inca Trail Tips

    Below are some useful tips to help you with preparation for your trip.

    • Spend a few days in Cusco and gradually walk a longer distance every day to prepare you for the trail.
    • Do a daily exercise routine including muscle exercises and stretches.
    • Allow 2-3 days to acclimate in the city of Cusco before your trek to get your body used to the high altitude.
    • Speak to a doctor in your country before you travel to Cusco to discuss any possible altitude medications. One is Diamox that may be considered. Always be aware of potential side effects if you’re going to take medicine.
    • Once you arrive in Cusco, drink as little to no alcohol as possible. This will dehydrate you and make trekking in the high altitude a lot more difficult and make you more susceptible to sickness.
    • Think about using walking poles to help you along the trail. There are downhill descents on steps and these can greatly help the impact on your joints.
    • Make sure you pace yourself on the trek. It’s not a race and some people will go faster and slower than you. Listen to your body and go with the flow. You’ll be thankful you did.
    • Be sure to drink enough water to keep you hydrated and your energy levels up.
  • Recommendations

    Finally, to make your trip go as smoothly as possible, here are a few final recommendations.

    Plan Your Trip in Advance

    Remember that the Inca Trail will sell out months in advance, so to avoid disappointment, you need to book as far in advance as you can.

    Make Use of a Packing List

    You’ll find recommendations of what to pack online, and it’s a good idea to use them to your advantage. You don’t have a lot of space and need to make sure you take all the right things.

    Come at the Right Time of Yeare

    The Inca Trail is its busiest from May to October. This is the dry season and days are warm and sunny, whereas nights are cold. From November to April it’s the wet season, which can make things a little tougher, but there may be less hikers. Remember that the Inca Trail is closed in February.

    Take Note of Age Limits

    There are no official age restrictions on the trail, but most companies will only allow trekkers aged 12 and up.

    Opt for Travel Insurance

    Most travellers invest in travel insurance before they come to Peru, and it’s wise to do so. Look for one that includes adventure activities to make sure everything is covered. Most agencies won’t let you go with them if you aren’t insured.

    Take Snacks

    There are no shops along the route, so stock up on a few lightweight items to help you keep up your energy levels along the way. We recommend nuts and dried fruits.

    Tipping

    This is not obligatory, but most will expect a little something. The amount is at your discretion.

Quality Service

For us quality of experience is only second to safety

We are committed to providing world-class trekking experiences for our guests that go way above and beyond the mass-produced tours so common today.

This trip exceeded my expectations. Worth every single penny - the guide, the porters, the chefs, the group - everyone made this experience incredible.

Liam Brown
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Salkantay Trekking clients on the top of the Andean mountains of the Inca Trail

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Travel Associations & Certifications

  • Logotype: CALTUR - Plan Nacional de Calidad Turística
  • Logotype: AATC - Asociación de Agencias de Turismo de Cusco
  • Logotype: SERNANP - Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado
  • Logotype: TOURCERT - Travel for Tomorrow
  • Logotype: DIRCETUR - Dirección Regional de Comercio Exterior y Turismo Cusco
  • Logotype: MINCETUR - Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo
  • Logotype: PERU BRAND - Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru

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