The 3-Day Inca Trail offers a wonderful opportunity to explore two destinations of great importance: the iconic Inca Trail and the breathtaking Sacred Valley. This itinerary combines beautiful landscapes, a rich diversity of flora and fauna, and a visit to the spectacular archaeological site Wiñay Wayna on the Inca Trail. It also allows you to discover the wonders of the Sacred Valley, including Pisac, its vibrant market and Ollantaytambo.
This tour gives you the chance to experience the highlights of the Inca Trail in just three days. Although it covers a distance of only 10 km (6.3 miles), each step immerses you in an enriching experience. Although the short Inca Trail is not recommended for beginners due to its intensity, it is perfect for families with children and those with a limited schedule.
By combining two exceptional destinations in one trip, this option allows you to make the most of your time and enjoy an unparalleled enriching experience.
inca trail itinerary 3 days
Day 1: Cusco – Km 82 – Ayapata
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu tour begins with pick up from your hotel or hostel at approximately 5:30 am. After that, we will drive for an hour and a half to Ollantaytambo, where we will make a stop to enjoy breakfast. After this comforting moment, we will continue our journey by car to the actual starting point, kilometer 82, where the access controls to the Inca Trail take place. Here, you will need to present your tickets along with your passports or the identification documents you took out to reserve your space.
The Inca Trail trail welcomes us at an altitude of 2,720 meters above sea level. Once we pass the control procedures at the designated point, we will cross a picturesque suspension bridge over the Vilcanota River. The first day is considered a warm-up stage, as the terrain is mostly flat and relatively easy to traverse. Throughout this day, we will witness breathtaking panoramas, such as the Inca fortress of Huillca Raccay, the fascinating archaeological site of Llactapata (also known as “Patallacta”), the majestic Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle from the Andes, and the imposing snow-capped peak of W’akay Willca, at 5,860 meters, also called the Veronica.
After an exhilarating hike, we will set up our first camp in Ayapata, located about 60 minutes walk from the small village of Wayllabamba. The altitude in this area is 3,300 meters above sea level. This
- Distance : 14 km
- Hiking time: 7 hours approx. including rest and stop for breakfast and lunch.
- altitude: 3,300 meters
- Difficulty: Moderate.
- Temperature: Temperate
Day 2: Ayapata – Warmiwanusca – Chaquicocha
This day promises to be the most challenging and at the same time the most rewarding of the entire Inca Trail journey. Spectacularly beautiful Andean landscapes and rich native vegetation await us. We will start early, at 5:00 am, and after a nutritious breakfast, we will embark on a climb that will take us about 4 hours to the climax of the trail: the Abra de Huarmihuañusca, also known as the “Paso de la Mujer Muerta”, which is located at 4,200 meters above sea level. During this stretch, we will witness a varied vegetation that includes native plants and trees such as Polylepis or Q’ueuña, which develop in the cloud forest at an altitude of 3,650 meters. After completing the intense 4-hour ascent, we will celebrate together having reached this high point.
After taking a well-deserved rest, we will begin a descent of approximately an hour and a half until we reach the second point of the day, where we will enjoy a revitalizing lunch in Pacamayo, located at 3,550 meters above sea level. After replenishing our energy, we will start the last stage of the ascent, which will last about 2 hours, taking us to the Runkuraqay Pass, located at an altitude of 4,000 meters. Once in this pass, and after taking a well-deserved rest, we will continue with a descent of 1 hour and a half until we reach our camp in Cachicocha, which is located at 3,600 meters above sea level.
- Distance: 16 km.
- Hiking time: 9 to 10 hours, including breaks and lunch stop.
- Camp altitude: 3,600 meters above sea level.
- Difficulty level: Difficult.
- Temperature: Cold, with winds that intensify in the afternoon.
Day 3: Chaquicocha – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Today is the most exceptional day of the entire journey. We will embark on an exciting tour of a series of outstanding archaeological sites along the trail, including Phuyupatamarka, Intipata and Wiñay Wayna, whose name means “Forever Young”. After an enriching lunch, we will depart from Wiñay Wayna around 12:00 pm with the objective of reaching Inti Punku, also known as the Sun Gate, which rises 273 meters above sea level. From this point, the first views of Machu Picchu will unfold before you, and from here you will also be able to marvel at the majestic sunset.
Afterwards, we will continue our journey along the last stage of the Inca Trail, arriving at the iconic point from where you can capture the classic image of the ancient city, a true postcard. At Machu Picchu, you will enjoy a detailed 2-hour guided tour of its wonders. After this enriching experience, we will head to the main entrance, where we will board the bus that will take us to Aguas Calientes, where you will receive your train tickets for your return trip to Cusco.
- Distance to be covered: 16 km.
- Hiking time: Approximately 9 hours, taking into account breaks and lunch break.
- Altitude of Aguas Calientes: 2000 meters above sea level.
- Difficulty level: Moderate.
- Temperature: Temperate, with winds that intensify in the afternoon.
- Private tourist transportation for the tour of the Sacred Valley.
- Tourist guide during the 3 days of the journey.
- Lodging in a hotel in Ollantaytambo.
- Breakfast, Box Lunch and Dinner for the first and second day of the Inca Trail, with options adapted for vegetarians, vegans, people with gluten intolerance, lactose and other food allergies.
- Additional breakfast for the third day.
- A porter assigned to carry your lunch on the second day of the Inca Trail, allowing you to walk in comfort.
- Entrance tickets for the Inca Trail and the entrance to Machupicchu.
- Tourist Ticket that enables the visit to the Inca Ruins in the Sacred Valley.
- Round trip train tickets between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes.
- Private transportation from Ollantaytambo train station back to Cusco.
- Orientation prior to the trek: briefing to be held at the hotel or office.
- Three bus tickets for the Machupicchu-Aguas Calientes-Machupicchu-Aguas Calientes routes.
- Lodging in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.
- Waterproof cover for your backpack, ensuring the protection of your belongings from humidity.
- Rain poncho to stabilize sheltered in case of unexpected rains.
- Sleeping bag, trekking poles (These can be rented at our office. All our sleeping bags are washed after each use)
- Tips for guides and porters (optional)
- Original Passport or Identity Card: The authorities on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are extremely strict in this regard.
- Sleeping Bag: A sleeping bag preferably modified for temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees below zero. If you do not have one, you can rent one at our office.
- Appropriate Hiking Clothing: Waterproof and comfortable shoes for long hikes, long and short pants, quick-drying sport shirts and rain jacket or poncho.
- Warm Clothing: Comfortable cotton clothing.
- Water bottle and water: Bring a water bottle with water for the first day. Starting at lunch on the second day, we will provide you with cold, filtered, boiled water to fill your canteen. Plastic bottles are not allowed on the Inca Trail.
- Personal Hygiene Items: Small towel, soap and water.
- Personal Medication: Includes medical
- Sun and Mosquito Protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat or cap and mosquito repellent are indispensable to protect you from the sun and insects.
- Headlamp and Extra Batteries: A headlamp with batteries and an extra battery for your camera. You will need these flashlights every night, especially