The Inca Trail to the Sacred site begins either at Km 82, Piscacucho, or at km 88 Qorihuayrachina, at 2600m. In order to reach km 82 hikers are transported by their tour operator in a minibus on the road that goes to Quillabamba. From Piri onward the road follows the riverbank and ends at km 82, where a bridge is placed. First, the Sernarp and Ministerio de Cultura will check you personal details and they will compare your full name, passport number and nationality with your Inca Trail authorization, it is very important to take your original passport for the Inca Trail.
The walk to Huayllabamba, following the Cusichaca river, is about 3 hrs and isn't too arduous. Beyond Huaynayllabamba, a popular camping sport for tour groups, there is a camping places about an hour ahead, at Llulluchayoc (3200m). A punishing 1 1/2 hr climb further is Llulluchapampa, an ideal meadow for camping. If you have the energy to reach this point, it will make the second day easier because the next stage, the ascent to the first pass, Warmiwañuska (Dead Women's pass) at 4200 m, is utterly exhausting 2 1/2 hrs.
Afterwards take the steep path downhill to the Pacaymayo valley, beware of slipping on the rainy Inca steps. You could camp by a stream at the botton (1 1/2 hrs from the first pass). It is no longer permitted to camp at Runkuracay, on the way up to the to the second pass (a much easier climb 3850 m). Magnificent views near the summit in clear weather. A good overnight place is about 30 mins past the Inca ruins at Sayacmarca (3500 m), about an hour on after the top of the second pass.
A gentle 2 hr climb on a fine stone highway leads through an Inca tunnel to the third pass. Near the top there's a spectacular view of the entire Vilcabamba range. You descend to Inca ruins at Phuyupatamarca (3650 m), well worth a long visit, even camping overnight. There is a 'Tourist bathroom' here where water can be collected (but purify it before drinking). From there, steps go downhill to the impressive ruins of Wiñay Wayna (2700 m) with views of the recently cleared terraces of Intipata. Access is possible, but the trail is not easily visible. There is a small campsite.
The path from this point goes more or less level through jungle until the steep staircase up to the Intipunku (2 hrs), where there's a magnificent view of Machu Picchu, especially at dawn, with the sun alternately in and out, clouds sometimes obscuring the ruins, sometimes leaving them clear.
This is a new rule from the government; Inca Trail and Huayna Picchu passes are only available for purchase with the general Machu Picchu entry ticket and there is a special entry ticket for the Inca Trail which does not allow this add-on. When you do the Inca Trail you are among the only people who enter Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate (rather than the general public entrance) and you receive a special Machu Picchu tour from there. If you want to purchase a Huayna Picchu pass you will need to buy a new entry ticket for Machu Picchu as well (total USD $65 per person) – note that depending on the speed of your group you may actually have to sacrifice part of your Machu Picchu tour in order to climb Huayna Picchu in the second group. Ask us if you really want to climb Huayna Picchu – otherwise we do not recommend it for the Inca Trail.
Since only 500 trek permits are issued per day for the Inca Trail tours (trek permits are also required for the porters and cooks) it is important to try to make a trek reservation as far ahead as possible. There is no clear rule as to how far ahead be enough to guarantee you a space since this depends on demand.
If you would like to hike in December, January, March: 3-5 weeks in advance
If you would like to hike in April, October, November: 6-8 weeks in advance
If you would like to hike in May, September: 2-3 months in advance
If you would like to hike in June, July, and August: 3-4 months in advance
Tierras Vivas Tour Operator will guarantee the spaces booked provided:
The booking has been first confirmed by our department booking by e-mail, this meaning that spaces are available on the Inca Trail for the requested information at the moment of the booking. The full passenger data have been provided and the required deposit has been paid for.
Only tour operators and authorized agencies can get this permit
These permits are booked within 8 months prior to the trip for the following months May – October. Between November and April you can book within 2 months of anticipation.
IMPORTANT: Inca Trail is closed in February.
Tierras Vivas agency has 10 years of experience doing the inca trail. Our Inca Trail Tourist packages are thought for your conveniece and safety.
Years before Inca trail was not regulated by any government agency and anybody could go. The problem was that the ruins were being deteriorated by this situation.
Since 2002, Regulations for Inca Trail were introduced and in this way there is control in this area because only authorized people can do the trek.
The following client information is requested for any Inca Trail booking:
The exact information provided by you will be submitted to the governmental institution in charge of regulating the access to the Inca Trail Cusco and will be included in the official permit to enter the Inca Trail on the requested date. Should there be any change in the above-mentioned data (ie. New passport number), we kindly request you to inform the department booking at Tierras Vivas Tour Operator via email as soon as possible.
The government reserves the right not to allow the entry to any visitor whose data are not the exact ones as those in the official permit. Tierras Vivas Tour Operator excludes any responsibility for a no entry in case the passenger information has changed without prior notice to us.
Departure dates to Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Daily departures are available along the year. Exception: one-month closing period of all Inca Trail routes in February. Please contact us to check departures to alternative routes. All Inca Trail departures are subject to government space availability, please check the following website: Inca Trail Available
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The Inca Trail will be closed each February for conservation projects and to give the vegetation projects and to give the vegetation a chance to recover. It is also the wettest month of the year. However, other treks remain open.