Hiking the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best hikes in the world for its exquisite natural beauty and different ecological niches ranging from high deserts to tropical forests. During their empire, the Incas created a vast network of roads that go throughout the Andes from Argentina to Colombia and from the coast to the Amazon rainforest. The 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a branch, which goes from the Andes to the Jungle.
It is becoming more and more difficult to get permits. In 2018, almost all of the permits were sold out for the high demand weeks of April, May, June and July of 2018 within the 1st day of going on sale. By the end of March 2019, the permits were almost completely sold out until mid September!
This year, permits for 2020 are going on sale the 1st of October 2019. It will probably be more difficult for the 2020 season to get permits. The demand is going up! BOOK NOW to secure your 4 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permits!
Starting 22 November, 2019, the government does not allow any changes to Inca Trail permits. If you have to change your date, the fee is now $100 because agencies are required to pay the full permit price upon reservation. Permits are non-transferable, non-changeable and non-refundable.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). Due to government requirements, we cannot purchase an Inca Trail permits, entrances to Machu Picchu, or make hotel or train reservations without the following information:
*** We will need each participants’ passport at the time of booking, as they will be required.
SECOND, we require a deposit of $211 USD per person, in order to purchase permits, entrances, and hotel and train reservations for your tour or trek. You can make you deposit by clicking on the CREDIT CARD or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the CREDIT CARD or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.
“The 4 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu its available on any date that its best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 people”
***This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kilos. We will provide you with a duffel bag. And we are including the VISTADOME TRAIN upgrade for free.
Today, begins your adventure of a lifetime, the Classic Inca Trial. We will pick you up from your hotel in our private van at 4:40am. From there, we travel to Piskacucho, which is called kilometer 82, where the Classic Inca Trail begins. On the way, we stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo at 6:30-7am to load up on energy for our start of the trail. (Breakfast is not included)
Upon arrival at kilometer 82 at 8:30am, we will have some time to organize ourselves, use of the restrooms, apply sunscreen, insect repellent, etc. At the Inca Trail first control point, be ready to show your entrance tickets, passports and (if paying a student rate) your student card.
At the start of the trail (2,720m/8,923ft), we cross the Vilcanota River and follow its route to the right. The first day is relatively easy, a warm-up along the Inca flat terrain. There are great views of the Incan Fortress (‘Huillca Raccay’), the vast and incredible Inca site of Llactapata, (officially called ‘Patallacta’), the Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle, the Andes Mountains, and the beautiful snow-capped peak of ‘W’akay Willca’ (5860m/19225ft) known in books as Veronica.
Our first campsite (Ayapata) is an hour and a half up to the small village of Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,842ft) in the temperate green valley of the same name. Temperatures at night are around 5ºC depending on the month.
During the day, we will enjoy spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains Veronica, (5,860m/19,337ft), the lush green valley around us and a myriad of flora and fauna.
After waking up at 5 to 5:30am and enjoying a hot breakfast, we start a steep ascent towards the highest pass, Abra de Warrmihuañusca or ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ at (4,200m/13,779ft). On this day, you will feel a real sense of achievement upon reaching the top! After a well-deserved rest, we begin the descent to where we stop for lunch, which is located at Pacaymayu (3,550m/11,646ft).
On our way up to the pass, we will be able to see an array of hummingbirds and a combination of other species of bird life. There will be plenty of time to appreciate the incredible variety of native plants and the ´Polylepis´ or Q’ueuña trees which grow in the astonishing cloud forest located at (3,650m/11,972ft)!
After lunch, begins the second two-hour steep climb to Runkuraqay pass (almost 4,000m/13,123ft). We arrive at our campsite by 5 pm. Temperatures at this campsite are around 4ºC during the night.
This is the most impressive day so far; keep this in mind as you ascend on day three! We wake up for breakfast at 6am and start the day with a gentle climb to visit the archaeological site of ‘Phuyupatamarca’ (meaning ‘Town in the Clouds’). Here, we reach the third highest point on the Inca trail (3,680m/12,073ft). The views of the mountains, canyons and surrounding areas are spectacular!
The Inca site of ‘Phuyupatamarca’, is located a few minutes’ walk from the third pass. After visiting this site, we continue walking down 3,000 stairs through the cloud forest to the impressive agricultural Incan site of ‘Intipata. After taking some time to visit this site, we continue on until we arrive at our third campsite Wiñay Wayna. (2680m/8792ft). Today, we will only walk about 4 to 5 hours. We arrive at camp by lunchtime! Temperatures during the night are about 12º C.
A short walk from our campsite, is the famous Incan site of ‘Wiñay Wayna’ (‘Forever Young’). Even if you are feeling tired after your day’s trek, its a moment you cannot miss, the most impressive site on the Inca trail.
At around 4:00am, its time to wake up, have breakfast and start day 4 on the Inca trail to get to Machu Picchu on time. This is the final part of your journey, arriving by 6:00am to reach The Sun Gate. At that point, the majestic Machu Picchu Citadel is in front of us with its intense beauty – an incredible sight for all to see. The reality of what the Inca people must have encountered on their taxing journey to this expansive temple of Machu Picchu. At this point, we walk downhill towards the Machu Picchu Citadel. (2,400m/7,872 ft.) After walking 40 minutes, we enter the citadel from the top through the “House of the Guardians”. From there we proceed to the control point where we register and leave our belongings. Your professional guide will direct you throughout the astounding ruins and its main streets. On your 2.5 hours private tour, your guide will expertly direct you through the enigmatic ruins and its most important sites. You will see the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry, the House of the Inka, the urban areas, agricultural terraces and many different types of architecture.
You will also have time to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own if you choose (not included in the price)
Back to Cusco: You will descend to Aguas Calientes by bus (included) and later board the Expedition train which departs at 14:55pm to the Ollantaytambo Train Station where you will meet our private van and be transferred to your hotel in Cusco arriving around 7:00pm.
SAM Travel Peru is your best choice if you truly want to enjoy your trek in Peru, especially in the Cusco region. We are specialists in creating unique trekking routes, with our customized treks to Machu Picchu which other tour operators are not offering. We have numerous Classic Inca Trail options of 1 to 7 days and other Alternative treks to Machu Picchu! What that means for our clients is lots of unique options to choose from, more enjoyable and exciting treks, personalized service, and small groups averaging 4 to 6 trekkers and with a maximum of 8 trekkers.
Our high quality service is about offering fair prices while providing the best possible service and personalized attention in small groups and providing the best trekking experience through our unique trekking paths. All you have to do is to immerse yourself in the stunning landscape around you and simply feel the magic of Mother Nature (Pachamama) and the Andes. We carry your gear, prepare your meals, set up your tents, avoid crowded campsites, and take care of all your requirements and details so you can relax and enjoy your trek or tour.
All Treks are only operated by SAM Travel Peru: a company owned and operated by Saul Alvarez Montalvo, a native of Cusco and an experienced guide . He is passionate about providing people the best quality service possible. What that means for you is that all our treks and tours are strictly and only operated by SAM TRAVEL PERU. SAM Travel Peru will never pass you onto another company; we will work with you until we get it right…. All the departures are 100% guaranteed – If you are booked and have made your deposit, You are going!
SAM Travel Peru knows how important it is to trust in a reliable honest operator to create your adventure of a lifetime while in Peru. Check out our reviews and certificates of excellence on, TRIPADVISOR for yourself! We are highly recommended on Conde Nast Travelers, Lonely Planet and by many blogs like: Salkantay/Inka Trail ! July 14th to 20th 2016 Trek de Lares 4 hours, “It’s the journey, not the destination…”, Lares Pass – Day 3, Trekking in the Sacred Valley, Alli and Ellie hike to Machu Picchu
In an effort to provide a more personalized service to our passengers, we at SAM Travel Peru have a policy that our groups will not exceed 8 people. This fact alone sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with bigger groups.
We are so proud of our guides! They are highly professional and speak fluent English. They are very knowledgeable and passionate for Incan heritage and history. Our guides are dedicated to continuous personal and professional development. They do research to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories in Incan and Andean culture. Our crew is fun loving, great sportsmen and well-educated. They all hold degrees in one of the following: Archaeology, Tourism, Botany, History or Anthropology.
Our team (Guides, Cooks, Porters, Cowboys) and our equipment are what really makes SAM Travel Peru stand out from all of our competitors…. For all our adventurous hikes, we include the following items:
SAM Travel Peru has always believed that we should “give back” to the communities, we pass by through on our treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment in responsible tourism, we socially support and employ from these communities.
Please click on social projects for more information about what we do.
SAM Travel Peru is proud to be able to support these people, not only in hiring them but to bring things back to grassroots, to share with their families. This makes us happy to have a holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!
Please read carefully the following information; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu-
You will be welcomed at the Cusco airport and taken to your hotel. Please ensure that you inform us of your flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter inside)
The briefing will take place the night before the trek at 6pm in our office, which is located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383 ; 303 (second floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.
Of course! During the Classic Inca Trail, your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are for free. Please pack what you will need for your 4 day Inca Trail Trek.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permit without the following information:
*** We require each participant’s passport at the time of booking as they will be needed.
SECOND, we require a deposit of $200.00 USD per person, in order to purchase a permit for the 4 day Inca Trail. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (we accept US dollars or Peruvian soles). We have many ATMs within the historical center. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of email@example.com.
Unfortunately the answer is No. Once the permits have been bought the Peruvian government does not allow any changes so we can’t change any date after the permit has been bought. Permits are not transferable nor refundable.
*** If you cancel your 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!
Yes! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport copy, you sent to us to book your classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu permit. The rangers will check every day and when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case, you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us a copy of your old passport to secure your permit and we can change it when you get your new passport. Please send us a copy of your new passport as soon as possible.
The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. You will have many different varieties of weather as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on the location. We highly recommend you dress in layers and good rain gear in your day backpack.
In general, if excerise regularly and spend a couple of days in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley, you will acclimate better.
The recommended remedies for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN, IF NEEDED. Our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. See our detailed information about Altitude Sickness under FAQS.
We offer the Cusco City or Sacred Valley Tours that you can book while you are acclimating. Check out our Day Tours on our Home Page.
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-6 persons. Sam Travel Peru specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized service
You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, there will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.
The evening before you start your 4 day Inca Trail trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFEL BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/15lbs. By Peruvian law, a duffel bag must not weigh more than 7 kilograms (15lbs). This limit is set to protect the health of the porters and animals. All bags will be weighed before being accepted. If you require more than 7 kilograms, it will then be your responsibility to carry the extra weight with your day pack. In this 7 kilos, please count 2 kilos for your sleeping bag and 1 kilo for your sleeping pad (foam or air). This leaves you about 4 kilos for your personal gear. Your team of porters will carry your duffel bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.
The 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a 42km (24.4 mile) hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. The maximum altitude reached is 4,217m/13,907ft. On the second day of the trek we climb two mountains. The trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise.
In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3,350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by lady trekkers, who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet!! SAM Travel Peru toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.
In the scenario that you are unable to finish the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu due to a health reasons, Sam Travel Peru will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Generally, those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly they continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to the original plan.
Absolutely! Included in our packages is dropping you off at your hotel on the return from your trek or tour. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too!
It will depend on the train availability but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore, you will take the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu
The Vistadome train service has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is $57 USD per person, which includes the transfer from Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to the Vistadome Train, the trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy, takes 3.5 hours, and then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Our clients are back at their hotel by 8pm.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip as much as you would like, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Yes, we are a locally sustainable & responsible tourism operator. That incorporates universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and its people.
As a Direct Local Tour operator, we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter, who will carry up to 7 kgs or 15 pounds including your sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing. By Peruvian law, a duffel bag must not weigh more than 7 kilograms (15lbs). This limit is set to protect the health of the porters or horses. All bags will be weighed before being accepted. If you require more than 7 kilograms, it will then be your responsibility to carry the extra weight with your day pack. In this 7 kilos, please count 2 kilos for your sleeping bag and 1 kilo for your sleeping pad. This leaves you about 4 kilos for your personal gear.
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40L for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.