Known as one of the world’s ten best hikes, the Inca Trail is unparalleled for its ecological diversity and wealth of archaeological treasures. The Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary covers 32,952 hectares and it is home to a network of Inca highways, scores of archaeological sites, 10 ecological zones (from glacial peaks to tropical forests), over 450 species of birds and 200 species of orchids, as well as the legendary city of Machu Picchu. See our Inca Trail availability 2017
Private groups are great for persons that want to spend personal time only with a loved one(s), such as newlyweds, spouses, friends or family. They offer personalized service and lots of attention from the trek staff. Private groups are also great for those hikers of a more mature age. The trek pace and rest times can be adapted to the needs of the trekkers as needed and you do not have to worry about keeping up with the younger more athletic trekkers. Of course, there is a certain amount of distance that must be covered daily.
Today begins your adventure of a lifetime, the Classic Inca Trial. We will pick you up from your hotel in our private van very early in the morning at 4:30am. 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 (2720m/8923ft) 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 (3000m/9842ft) 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 4200m/13779ft. 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 (3550m/11646ft).
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 3650m/11972ft!
After lunch, begins the second two-hour steep climb to Runkuraqay pass (almost 4000m/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 (3680m/). 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 3000 stairs through the cloud forest to the impressive agricultural Incan site of ‘Intipata. After taking some time to visit this site, we continue 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, it´s a moment you cannot miss, the most impressive site on the Inca trail.
At around 4:00am it´s 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 Inti Punku or 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. (2400m/7872 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. You can wander around the town squares as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made from stone. Machu Picchu is considered as the world’s spiritual center by esoteric wisdom. Once the guided tour is over, you will have free time to explore the site on your own.
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 by 4:22pm to the Ollantaytambo Train Station where you will meet our private van and be transferred to your hotel in Cusco arriving around 8:30pm.
*** Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains hike depends on availability, please let us know if you want to add one of these extra hikes at the time of your booking.
*** We only take SAM Travel Peru clients in our vans / cars – We do not use public transport.
*** This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kilos (including the sleeping bag : 2kgs), we will provide you a duffle bag to put your belongings in.
***We provide large Eureka 4 man tents for each 2 trekkers.
If permits are sold out for the Classic Inca Trail on your preferred date,” don’t get stressed out,” you have so many options that will still allow you to trek and enjoy the Andes on the way to MACHU PICCHU. Alternative treks are just as beautiful as the Inca Trail. They are less crowded because we take you OFF the beaten track” in the Andes and we make sure you don’t miss anything on your trek to MACHU PICCHU.
***Sam Travel Peru Requires only a 2 participant minimum for our departures! “You can Chose any day that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers.”
***If you are a single traveller and are flexible with your start date, we will make sure you have a group to travel with and you won’t miss out on any of the fun.
ALTERNATIVE TREK OPTIONS:
Important Note: We will buy your Inca Trail trek permit using the names and passport numbers that you send us with your trek booking application (they must to complete and accurate)
You must bring the same passport with you to Cusco and take it with you on the Inca Trail.
Very Important Note: If the name or number on your passport does not match the name and number on the trek permit, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund.
If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you mustsend us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to do the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and Train.)
If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trial, Machu Picchu or Train. “If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!
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 not about quantity, nor is it about cheap prices and large groups…. We have a fair-price 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: The Company is owned and operated by Saul Alvarez Montalvo a native of Cusco, Peru and experienced guide himself. 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 with our professional staff. 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 also 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! Also 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 in 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.
I am very proud of my guides! Highly professional, speaking in fluent English and very knowledgeable. Passionate for the Inca heritage/ history, dedicated to a steady personal development and learning to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories about the Inca Andean culture. Fun loving, great sportsmen and well educated some having a degree in Archaeology, Botany, History or Anthropology. Others are great entertainers and the best “Salsa Dancers” on this side of Machu Picchu.
What a luxury to take a hot shower after 3 days of long hiking at Wiñaywayna the third camp site on the Inca Trail! Then enjoy the guided tour of this beautiful Inca City of Wiñawayna afterwards taking time to explore on your own later. For SAM Travel Peru little things make a big difference.
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 through on our treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment in responsible tourism, we socially support and employee from these communities.
SAM Travel Peru is proud to be able to support these beautiful people, not only in hiring them for work but to bring things back to grassroots, to share in their home and families. This makes us happy to have a holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!
A beautiful reflection of our attitude in everything we do, is that we wish to make life richer and more meaningful for all involved.
“Please read carefully the following information; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the trek to Machu Picchu”
You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full 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) It can be done on any date that is best suited to you!
It will take place the night before the trekking departure 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 Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are for free. Please don´t pack anything you will need for your hike.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permit without the following information:
SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu. 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 or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. 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 tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the ticket has been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable.
*** If you cancel your Inca Trail Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!
Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number 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 your old number to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number…if so, please send the new passport number as soon as possible.
First I would say that the weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. BUT 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 to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.
In general if you have regular exercise and spend a couple of days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatisation to the altitude, you may be fine.
The recommended medicine 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 Tour or Sacred Valley Tour that you can book while you are acclimatizing. 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.
It could get a bit crowded but with the regulations in place by the government to limit the amount of persons per day, there is enough space for everyone. To improve your experience on the Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu, we have the privilege of being the only tour operator camping at Llactapata, from where you have a great lookout point to Machu Picchu! However if crowding is a concern we recommend that you also consider all of the alternative treks available.
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 trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/15lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffle 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 duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, 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 Inca Trail 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 (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.
It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by the female ones 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 trek 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 trek.
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!
If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, we wil pick you up there.
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
For sure you may upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$57 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy (Cusco) 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 (Cusco), takes 3.5 hours, and then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at their hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take the bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, 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 more or less as you feel, 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 local sustainable & responsible tourism operator in that we incorporate the 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 it´s people.
As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres 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.