September 26 – October 3, 2020

Inca Trail permits require advance reservations. Book by December 15th deadline for the upcoming season.


8 days in Peru
Trekking Grade: Intermediate


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Experience “The Lost City of the Incas“… forgotten for centuries and rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Our trek follows the classic “Inca Trail“ into the lush emerald forest of the Peruvian Andes. Machu Picchu a sacred city of the Inca Empire is regarded as one of earth’s great archaeological sites. The Incas started building it around AD 1430 but was abandoned a hundred years later at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.

Machu Picchu and Classic Inca Trail • 8 Days

After arriving in Lima, we begin our journey in the bustling colonial city of Cusco where we tour the colorful markets and visit nearby ruins. Then visit the Sacred Valley. From here, our fully supported trek follows an ancient path through the Urubamba Valley to what is referred to by the Quechua people as the “Cloud Forest“. At last, we descend 1,500 cut-stone steps and enter the Gateway of the Sun, beyond which lies the glories of Machu Picchu. Built in the 14th century and unspoiled by the Spanish conquistadors this historic site also known in Quechua as “Old Peak“ will enchant the explorer within you.

“The trip was great! This was my first experience with camping/hiking/trekking of any kind, and our guide from Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, made the experience so amazing and doable for a beginner like me! I can’t say enough great things about the porters and the cook, who worked so hard every night to make sure I was well fed, even with my dietary restrictions I’ll never forget the amazing things I saw in Peru and the other people I met on the trail. Thanks so much for all your help in making this happen for us! Machu Picchu has always been a dream of mine and this was such a rewarding way to experience it.” June 2015 Valerie L

Trek Highlights

  • 8 days exploration in Peru
  • 4 days trekking to Machu Picchu
  • Co-led by Peruvian and western guide
  • Our trek allows amble time for acclimatization and allows you to trek at your own pace
  • 4 nights in Cusco includes breakfast
  • Guided tours in Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
  • Comfortable tented camps during the trek
  • Fully supported trek includes meals with mule service
  • Transportation and airport transfers
  • Friendly MG office staff will help you prepare for your adventure

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Arrive Cusco
Day 2 • Tour Sacred Valley
Day 3 • Tour Cusco
Day 4 • Huayllabamba
Day 5 • Dead Woman’s Pass • 13,828 ft
Day 6 • Cloud Level • Phuyupatamarka
Day 7 • Machu Picchu • 7,972 ft
Day 8 • Depart


Machu Picchu Inca Trail

Begins and ends in Cusco, Peru

Day 1 • Arrive Cusco

Arrive Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ), Peru. After checking into our hotel, a short walk from the Plaza De Armas, you’ll have time explore the center of Cusco on your own. Visit the local Cathedrals and local markets. We will have an orientation during the late afternoon.

Accommodations: Hotel in Cusco

Day 2 • Sacred Valley

Today we will visit the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley). At 9,400 feet it’s a good way to begin our acclimatization for our approaching trek. While visiting the Sacred Valley we will explore ruins, visit markets and can enjoy local foods before our return to Cusco.

Accommodations: Hotel in Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 • Cusco

After breakfast we offer a half-day city tour as well as visit the historical site of Sacsayhuaman. During the afternoon you’ll have time to organize your gear and explore Cusco on your own before we embark on our journey to Machu Picchu.

Accommodations: Hotel in Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 • Piscacucho • Huayllabamba

Early morning we will be picked up at our hotel in Cusco and transferred to Piscacucho where we will begin our trek at 9000 feet. We hike along rivers and over hills with wonderful views of mountains and Inca ruins until we arrive at the village of Huayllabamba which sits just below 3,000 meters, or 9678 feet.

Altitude ascent: 1,300 feet
Altitude descent: 700 feet
Trekking times: 4 hour hike

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 • Huayllabamba • Dead Woman’s Pass • Pacaymayo

Starting on the bank of the river we begin to ascend gradually entering steepening woods and cloud forest. We have an excellent view of a beautiful waterfall along the way. The trail ascends towards Warmiwañusca known as “Dead Woman’s Pass“. The trail passes through differing climate zones, one of which is a cloud forest containing Polylepis trees. The pass itself is located at 13,780 feet and is the highest point on the “Classic Inca Trail”. We then begin our decent to Pacaymayo complete with camp and facilities at 10,991 feet.

Altitude ascent: 4,100 feet
Altitude descent: 2,800 feet
Trekking times: 6-7 hour hike

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 • Chaquicocha • Phuyupatamarka

The trail continues to ascend; passing a small lake named Laguna Cochapata. The trail reaches another high pass at 13,035 feet. Once again the trail descends steeply, then more gently, passes another small lake and soon affords a view of Sayaqmarka, perched atop a sheer rocky spur. A steep, narrow staircase leads up to the ruins. After descending into a small drainage, the trail passes Chaquicocha and continues through high cloud forest, undulating, sometimes steeply while affording dramatic views. We pass a long Inca tunnel overlooking the valleys of Urubamba and Aobamba. We reach our camp at Ruinas Phuyupatamarka otherwise known as “Cloud Level“.

Altitude ascent: 2,050 feet
Altitude descent: 1,060 feet
Trekking times: 5-6 hour hike

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 • Machu Picchu • 7,972 ft

We get an early morning start (before sunrise) for the short hike of just a few hours to Machu Picchu. We will be contouring a mountainside with views of peaks and cloud forest below until we come to a vertical stone staircase, which leads to our last pass. From here the first views of Machu Picchu are soon to be had. The whole day can be dedicated to exploring these extraordinary Inca remains with our local guide. The late-afternoon train takes us back to Cusco and transfer to our hotel.

Altitude descent: 4,600 feet
Trekking times: 2-3 hour hike

Accommodations: Hotel in Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 • Depart Cusco

Transport to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport for flights home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Itinerary Notes
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner




Rates are quoted based on double sharing hotel accommodations while in Cusco. Single room fees apply. An American co-guide is based on 6 or more trekkers.

Deposit and Payments

  • $1000.00 deposit includes a $1000.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 120 days prior to start date.
  • The balance can be paid by check, wire transfer, or by credit card with a convenience fee of 3.0%

Price Includes

  • Park and entrance fees
  • Scheduled land transportation in Peru
  • Machu Picchu rail transfer
  • Hotels in Cusco
  • Tented accommodations
  • Cusco & Sacred Valley guided sightseeing tours
  • Scheduled meals in Cusco and during the trek
  • Professional trekking guide
  • Scheduled porter service based on the itinerary
  • Baggage transport (limited to 10kg – 22lbs)
  • All group equipment for the trek

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare and meals during travel
  • Domestic airfare
  • Hotels in Lima
  • Non-scheduled airport transfers
  • Non-scheduled meals
  • Snacks during the trek
  • Personal gear
  • Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • Single room supplement (hotels only) $400
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Early departure fees
  • Tips and gratuities


A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool/ synthetic, one that covers the ears.
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic short-sleeve shirt.
  • Softshell Jacket: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof shell. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Light Insulated Jacket: Light synthetic insulated jacket
  • Poncho: Quick and handy protection for body and rucksack


  • Lightweight Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)

Lower Body

  • Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: One pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations in the mountains.
  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Trekking Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated
  • Hardshell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants.


  • Trekking Socks: Six pair synthetic medium weight
  • Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots/shoes large enough to be comfortable with sock.


  • Sleeping Bag: Bring a warm bag (rated to 20ᵒ fahrenheit).
  • Sleeping Pads: A full-length closed-cell foam pad or inflatable pad.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 30L pack with good support, adequate to carry personal.
  • Liner Bags: One large plastic contractor bags.

Trekking Gear

  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible.


  • Water Bottle: Two, 1L wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications



Program Location:
Begins and ends in Cusco, Peru

Visa/Entry Information:
A valid passport is required for American citizens to enter Peru. American citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism.

Health & Immunizations:
Immunizations are not required for entry into Peru.

Flight Travel Information:
Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ), Cusco, Peru

International Departures:
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.

Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.

A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Machu Picchu Explorer Fitness & Training

Trekking Grade: Intermediate

The trek requires hiking with a 20 lbs. pack. Good physical condition is recommended.

Prior to the expedition we recommend running, hiking local peaks, backpacking and trekking to gain strength and stamina for the climb.

Here’s a suggested progression of treks before attempting the Machu Picchu Trek.

  • Mount Fuji, Morocco High Atlas, Mustang Explorer, Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Northwest Climb (Mount Baker), optional

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the physical requirements needed for this trek?

This trek requires 6-8 hours of hiking per day with a small day pack. Elevation gains of 2000-3000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and excellent physical conditioning are required.

Who will be guiding the trek?

Our Machu Picchu trek is led by a Peruvian guide with extensive experience leading our trekking teams. They will be accompanied by assistant local guides. On occasion we offer specialty treks led by an experienced American mountain guide.

What is the Machu Picchu trekking seasons?

The best time to trek is May to September. The driest period being June, July and August. The Inca trail is closed for the rainy months due to the persistent downpours and washed out trails (December through February).

How much will my pack weigh?

During the trek you will only carry the gear you’ll use for each day. Porters will carry all your extra clothing items and overnight gear. At no point will you carry camping gear or equipment for overnight. Daypacks should not weigh more than 15-20 lbs. for your comfort.