Classic Inca Trail

to Machupicchu

4 days / 3 nights – Group Services

Classic Inca Trail to Machupicchu

4 days / 3 nights – Group Services

About Inca Trails

The Incas developed a network of more than 30,000 km (20,000 miles) of trails to connect the most remote corners of their vast empire. These constitute the most important pre-Hispanic communication route in America and the spinal column of the then all-powerful Inca Empire. The “main” Inca Trail consists of over 3,000 km (2,000 miles) connecting Quito and La Paz, in today’s Ecuador and Bolivia respectively.

The Inca Trails are considered an engineering masterpiece. They were built for the passage of people and goods, as well as for the transmission of news, through the “chaskis” or Inca messengers, who are known to have run along these paths between the coast and the highlands non-stop. These trails are designed to be hiked, with stones covering their surface and sides, ensuring a firm footing and stability in such varied areas as high plateaus, grasslands and cloud-forests rich in vegetation, while fully integrating and respecting the nature and environment they cross.

About this Trek

The Classic Inca Trail to Machupicchu is Peru’s most iconic trek leading to the Sacred Inca City of Machupicchu. The classical 43-km (26.8-mile) trek follows a cobblestone path that departs from the fertile grounds near the Sacred Valley of the Incas, at 2,800 masl (9,128 ft), and ascends to the infamous Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,200 masl (13,776 ft), above the vegetation line. It then follows to other valleys and mountain passes, threading past fascinating archaeological sites built in unbelievable locations with impeccable techniques, slowly winding down into a lush cloud forest rich in Andean flora and fauna. The combination of the gorgeous mountain scenery, the mysterious ruins and the very special energy of the area makes this trek an experience of a lifetime.

Enigma’s experienced trekking guides enrich the days with their knowledge and sharing, covering diverse topics such as Inca history, archaeology, architecture, social structure, economy, politics, astronomy, and fascinating traditions and beliefs. Lodging is within designated and authorized campsites along the route, and Machupicchu is reached at sunrise on the fourth day.

Our Insight

We can’t help but love this route. No matter how many times we walk it, it continues to fascinate us. An absolute must. Don’t listen to those saying it is too crowded: Enigma avoids the masses as much as possible, often by being ahead of them. A maximum of 500 people are allowed per day, of which about 40% are porters, which leaves about 300 visitors per day, entering through two points and occupying different campsites, the biggest of which we avoid. Compared to the crowds at the world’s famous monuments, the trail seems nearly empty! And by tuning in to the beauty of this route, the other trekkers fade away and you become immersed in having the experience of a lifetime.

Our group services are a phenomenal way of enjoying the beauty of this trekking route at our most affordable price if you can commit to a set departure date. These groups are led by the same quality guides and overall the same equipment, with extras and additional perks being available at an extra cost. They are also a great way to meet other travelers and make new friends for life!


Day 1 Cusco to Wayllabamba

Between 4:00-4:30am our private transport and staff will pick you up from your hotel. We drive to Piskacuchu (2,700m/8,856ft), a community located on the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco –Machupicchu railroad, which is the starting point of the Inca Trail. We begin our hike by crossing the bridge over the Urubamba River and walking along its left shore as it flows northwest through the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay (2,800m/9,184ft), to then ascend and finally see, from the highest part of an overlook, the impressive Inca city of Llactapata (2,650m/8,692ft). We continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours until we reach the community of Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,840ft), where we set our first camp. All along the way we enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5,832 meters above sea level. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley.

Meals: B, L, D

Total distance  12 km (7,47 miles)
Estimated hiking time  5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point  3,000 m (9,840 ft)
Campsite altitude  3,000 m (9,840 ft)

Day 2 Wayllabamba to Pacaymayo

We wake up at around 6:00 am and after breakfast, we begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for nine km. Along this climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). On the way to the first mountain pass, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman´s Pass – 4,200m/13,776ft), we may see domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on “ichu,” one of the few plants that grows at high altitude. We also cross an area of the cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows, and the Andean bear, also known as the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus). We advise that on this day especially, your daypack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high and help with altitude sickness. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3,600m/11,808ft), where we camp after approximately seven hours of hiking.

Meals: B, L, D

Total distance  11 km (6,84 miles)
Estimated hiking time  6-7 hours
Maximum altitude point 4,200 m (13,776 ft)
Campsite altitude  3,500 m (11,480 ft)

Day 3 Pacaymayo to Wiñaywayna

This day is the longest but also the most impressive and interesting, due the number of archaeological sites and the lush cloud forest area that we cross, so rich in Andean flora and fauna. From Pacaymayo we climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3,970m/13,022ft). Halfway up, we stop to visit the archaeological complex of the same name. This site, located at 3,800m/12,464ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3,624m/11,887ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. Continuing up an easy climb, we arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (3,700m/12,136ft). Along this climb we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas´ ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multileveled Andean geography. We go through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to the complex of the same name. This is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Appropriately, Phuyupatamarca means “town over the clouds”. From above, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We continue our trek down the long descending stone steps that lead us to Wiñaywayna (2,650m/8,692ft), an impressive Inca complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector, close to which our camp is located. After visiting the impressive archaeological site, we enjoy dinner at our camp.

Meals: B, L, D

Total distance  16 km (9,94 miles)
Estimated hiking time  8 hours
Maximum altitude point  3,900 m (12,792 ft)
Campsite altitude  2,650 m (8,692 ft)

Day 4 Wiñaywayna to Machupicchu

On this fourth and last day, we get up at 4:00 am to leave Wiñaywayna an hour later and climb to the Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may see the sacred citadel of Machupicchu. From Intipunku we descend into Machupicchu, and 40 minutes later we enter the citadel from the highest point through the “House of the Guardians.” We then descend to the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks. We immediately begin a complete guided visit of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. Then, if you would like, you can choose to climb Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machupicchu and the surrounding valleys and mountains or visit the Temple of the Moon or the impressive Inca Bridge (***). In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit and relax in its hot springs. From here we take the train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.

Meals: B

Total distance 4 km (2,49 miles)
Estimated hiking time 2 hours
Maximum altitude point 2,700 m (8,829 ft)

* * Departure and arrival times are approximate
** Campsites are subject to change according to the designation of the governmental institution regulating the use of the Inca Trail, as well as to our guide’s criteria and the group progress
*** The visit to these sites is subject to limited capacity, must be booked in advance and is subject to an additional cost. Please let us know at the time of your booking, if you wish to add any of these options to your visit




Departure Dates

Fixed departures are available throughout 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: Ministerio de Cultura ( > Consultas > Disponibilidad > Seleccione Ruta – please select Camino Inka Rutas 01, 02 y 03 > Select the month.

We have the following 2023 fixed departure dates scheduled:

• Mar: 2, 9, 16, 25, 28
• Apr: 6, 9, 13, 15, 20, 23, 27, 29
• May: 2, 4, 6, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 25, 27, 30
• Jun: 1, 3, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 22, 24, 27, 29
• Jul: 1, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
• Aug: 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 31
• Sep: 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30
• Oct : 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28
• Nov: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
• Dec: 7, 14, 21, 28

Groups may be confirmed on alternative dates to the ones stated provided a minimum group size of six passengers is reached upon booking and Inca Trail spaces are available.

Group Size

Minimum 2 – Maximum 12

Price Information

Price per person
US$ 1040.00

Available discounts (these discounts are not cumulative)

  • Teenagers: US$ 40.00 (up to 17 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
  • Children: US$ 80.00 (up to 3 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)

Additional discounts (may be added to the above)

  • Early bookings: 5% on full program price for all bookings confirmed at least six months in advance. This discount may not be applicable in case a promotional price is offered.

What’s Included

  • Pre-departure briefing
  • Pick up from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transport to km 82 (starting point of the trail)
  • Inca Trail and Machupicchu entrance fee
  • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. Our tents are 3-season, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in the field. Eureka Timberline 4 Outfitter tents are employed when double accommodation is requested and Eureka Timberline 2XT for single travelers.
  • One foamy sleeping pad per person
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Kitchen tent
  • Toilet tent with bio-degradable toilet facilities
  • English-speaking, professional, and official tourist guide (2 guides for groups of over 8 people)
  • Chef and cooking equipment
  • Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
  • Accommodation for all our staff
  • Meals (04B, 03L, 03D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost
  • One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment
  • Filtered boiled water from lunch time on first day onwards
  • Bio-degradable personal hand soaps
  • Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our kitchen staff
  • Other things: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough advance notice
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Bus ticket from Machupicchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Expedition service). Should there be no train tickets available in the direct route Aguas Calientes – Cusco, a train ticket Aguas Calientes – Sacred Valley with an additional private transportation from the Sacred Valley to your hotel in Cusco will be provided
  • Transfer train station to hotel in Cusco only if returning on day four
  • 24-hour guest service: please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit

What’s Not Included

  • Lunch and dinner on the last day: after the guided tour at Machupicchu, you can enjoy free time to further visit the ruins and choose to have lunch either in Machupicchu or in Aguas Calientes at your own expense. Arrival in Cusco is estimated after nightfall, dinner being at your own expense, too.
  • Porter to carry your personal items
  • Sleeping bag
  • Inflatable sleeping pad
  • Visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes: a relaxing way to wrap-up the trek while you’re awaiting the return train to Cusco, only 10 minutes from the village center, entrance fee is s/20.00 (Peruvian Soles).
  • Huayna Picchu entrance fee: if you would like to climb this mountain, an additional entrance fee applies (US$70.00).
  • Machu Picchu mountain entrance fee: if you would like to climb this mountain, an additional entrance fee applies (US$70.00). This is a separate mountain visit from the Machupicchu citadel.
  • Tips: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish.

Optional services at additional cost

  • An extra porter to carry your personal items: US$ 250.00 / 4 days. A porter can carry up to 18 kg, which should be enough for 2 people
  • An extra hotel night in Aguas Calientes can be booked for you at an additional cost depending on the hotel you choose. Please note that if you wish to visit Machupicchu again the following day, the additional cost of the entrance fee is not included
  • Superior Service train instead of the Expedition one (Tourist train), at an additional cost of US$ 50.00 per person. Please note that our guide travels back to Cusco in the Expedition train in all group services, so if you wish to book this extra service, you will not be accompanied by our guide
  • Hiram Bingham Luxury Belmond train instead of the Expedition one (Tourist train), at an additional cost of US$ 510.00 per person. This train departs Aguas Calientes at 5:50pm and includes a gourmet dinner and entertainment on board, with an estimated arrival time to Poroy train station at 9:16pm. Please note that our guide travels back to Cusco in the Expedition train in all group services, so if you wish to book this extra service, you will not be accompanied by our guide
  • Sleeping bag rental: US$ 28.00 / 4 days. Our sleeping bags are –18ºC-comfort (0ºF) and mummy form and include a sleeping liner. They are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips
  • Therm-a-rest inflatable sleeping pad rent: US$ 28.00 / 4 days


Inca Trail Important Notice

According to the Resolution #002-2004-UGM-CD, published in El Peruano on Nov 12, 2004, modifying chapter III of the Inca Trail Regulation that refers to Inca Trail space bookings, bookings will only be guaranteed by the governmental institutions when providing full names, nationalities and passport numbers of passengers, and when having paid the full amount for passengers and staff (cook and team of porters) entrance fees.

ENIGMA Adventure Tour Operator will guarantee the spaces booked provided:

  1. The booking has been first confirmed by our Reservation Department by e-mail, this meaning that spaces are available on the Inca Trail for the requested date at the moment of the booking.
  2. The full passenger data has been provided and the required deposit has been paid .

Since the Inca Trail has a maximum allowance of 500 people per day (including guests and agency staff), we strongly recommend making your bookings as early as possible to make sure you will find spaces on the desired departure date. We receive bookings for departures scheduled as far as one year prior to the trek departure date, so if you wish to travel with us on the Inca Trail, please make sure to confirm your booking as soon as possible.

The following client information is requested for any Inca Trail booking:

  1. Complete names and surnames
  2. Nationality
  3. Passport copy
  4. Date of Birth
  5. Gender

The exact information you provide will be submitted to the governmental institution in charge of regulating the access to the Inca Trail 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 (i.e. new passport number), we kindly request you to inform the Reservation Department at ENIGMA via email as soon as possible. The government reserves the right to deny entrance to any visitor whose data is not exactly as on the official permit. ENIGMA is not responsible for denial of entry if the passenger information has changed without prior notice to us.


Cusco’s climate is divided into two differentiated seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 ºC at night.

Along the Inca Trail, temperatures range from 15-20ºC during the day if it’s sunny, from 05-10ºC during the day if not sunny, and from 0-05ºC at night in the first 2 campsites. At Wiñaywayna and Machupicchu, at lower altitude, temperatures are usually warmer though warm clothes are still recommended at night.

Appropriate clothing along the Inca Trail

Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light rain gear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required in the first two campsites, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machupicchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machupicchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the Pack List.

What’s Included

  • A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
  • Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
  • Warm clothes, including jacket and fleeces. Thermal clothing is recommended, especially for sleeping
  • Sleeping bag (please inform our Reservations Department if you wish to book this extra service at the moment of your booking)
  • Sleeping pad: will be provided by us but is to be carried by you
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
  • Camera and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
    • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
  • Sun block
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Insect repellent – minimum 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported
  • Toilet paper and tissues
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, dried fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection.
  • Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed on the Inca Trail.
  • Optionally: water-sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has never reported any health issues.
  • Small towel
  • Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Cash in soles and/or US$
  • Original passport
  • Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the Inca Trail)


If you would like to make a reservation for this trek, please follow the process below:

  1. Please make sure to read and agree with the Booking Terms & Conditions as your booking is subject to these terms.
  2. Then click on the Book Now button below. This will lead you to a Reservation Form that we kindly request you to fill out and submit.
  3. Once received by us, one of our travel consultants will reply within 48 hours to confirm or discuss options available for your booking.
  4. When your booking is confirmed, a money deposit will be requested within a specific time frame to secure your reservation.
  5. Once we have received your deposit and if received in time, your booking is secured and confirmed. A service confirmation form will be sent to you including all the details of your program.

In case you have any questions or require additional information, please contact us, we will be very glad to assist you.

Don’t miss out! Limited spaces available

Due to government restrictions, Inca trail permits are limited to just 500 per day and issued on a first-come, first-served basis. This means they can sell out as far as six months in advance – so be sure to book early with us to avoid disappointment!


  • Because all our treks are only and strictly operated by Enigma and its very professional staff. Other agents claiming daily departures operate their treks jointly with other companies in service rotation. Hence, you book a departure with tour operator A, which risks being operated by tour operator B without you knowing. ENIGMA has a high quality of service and a great reputation, which is only possible by ensuring that only ENIGMA staff operates ENIGMA treks. Even if we only have a single traveller for a set departure date, we will operate this trek.
  • Because we have and can prove an excellent treatment of our staff, including chefs, porters, and wranglers. ENIGMA not only complies with the Porter Law and Regulation, but our wages are above the minimum requested by law and above the average paid by most of the tour operators. All our staff eats well and more than enough, they are provided with sleeping bags, thermal clothes, sleeping tents, trekking boots, thick rain ponchos, harnesses, and lumbar support for their duty on field. Most importantly, they have a program ensuring them a minimum number of departures per month and hence, a minimum income per month as well.
  • Because we are very careful to choose and train the best guides for each group. About 80% of our guides work exclusively for ENIGMA and are highly trained, have excellent language proficiency and communication skills, and are regularly evaluated by the reports each guest fills out after each service. We have specific guides for special requests (ornithology, history and archaeology, flora and fauna, and also generalist guides). Our guides have been trained in Wilderness First Response and/or Advanced First Aid by NOLS and are updated every two years by local authorized schools. We also have guides proficient in several languages besides English and Spanish, including French, Italian, German, Chinese and Japanese. In all of our treks, not only on the Inca Trail, there will be a guide for every 8 guests with one of them being the head guide. This ensures a higher safety and attention to guests versus other operators.
  • Because we have some of the best equipment in field, renewed every year, employing excellent brand and performance tents, surgical steel vaiselle for best hygiene, the best water filters, therm-a-rest sleeping systems, with adequate-warmth bags and inflatable and high-isolation pads, and orthopedic foamy three-level base sleeping pads, among others.
  • Because we have one of the best in-field meal services in the area: throughout our decades of operation, our chefs have been trained by several institutes in Lima and Cusco, with chefs coming from the NY Culinary Institute and renowned chefs from Lima as well, with whom menus have been designed and implemented. Their operation ensures maximum hygiene. Above all, be prepared to not only have a superb trekking experience but also a culinary one, including generous and delicious breakfasts, snacks, lunches, tea services and dinners that we can adapt to your very specific requests. Our menus include a variety of Peruvian and international food and also cater to vegetarian, vegan and special dietary requests (Atkins, Gluten-free, etc.), all at no extra cost. ENIGMA is recognized for its gourmet meals, the quantity and quality of food, as well as for its outstanding menu design. We take natural, locally sourced ingredients on the treks and prepare them in the field; we do not take prepared low-quality food, the meals being an added experience in all of our programs.
  • Because ENIGMA’s responsible operation makes sure to have a minimal impact on the environment of the natural protected areas in which it runs. We train all our staff in our environmental policy, and while ENIGMA used to be the only Inca Trail Official Operator to run a yearly Inca Trail Clean-Up, this initiative has now been taken over by the government, and we continue to participate actively.
    • Because we pay legal taxes on all services contributing to the country’s growth and development. Other tour operators do not declare their sales or most of their earnings, or declare them with a lower value, thus allowing them to lower their prices through a dishonest competition. We always declare our earnings and pay the appropriate taxes.
  • Because all our Group Services have a maximum group size of 12, whereas most tour operators work with a maximum of 16 on the Inca Trail, since this is the number authorized by law, or even higher on other routes. We have established 12 as a maximum since this increases the quality of our service, as there are spots along the treks where being 16 makes it impossible to provide a personalized service.
  • Private Services have no size limit. Enigma guarantees to assign 1 guide for each 8 trekking guests, which means an additional guide is added as of guest number 9.
  • Also, our excellent treatment to our staff is not reduced in the low season: porter wages and guide fees are maintained throughout the rainy season, a gesture highly appreciated by our staff.
  • Finally, due to all of the above, we have very highly satisfied guests, as our numerous testimonials prove. In our Testimonials section of our website, you may find reports dating from 2003 (when we started our operation) to today. The original reports are available at our office in Cusco.
  • We are aware other operators may offer the Inca Trail or other programs at a lower price. This does not mean they are offering the same program at a lower price: the level of service will not be the same. We understand price is an issue, but we kindly request our potential guests and clients to choose a responsible tour operator as otherwise, you risk indirectly promoting the exploitation of rural communities and the growth of informal and illegal operators that do not support the country’s development and growth.

“I cannot begin to describe how amazing the trek itself was, like living in the pages of a National Geographic magazine. It was difficult to believe we were actually in this astounding landscape, high above the valleys and with clouds below us and ruins everywhere. In fact, Machu Picchu, while breathtaking, was the least remarkable thing on the trip to my mind. Being alone as a family in a ruin with only the mountains around us was much more moving. Then add on Nilo and his assistant guide Marco, and it was perfect. We asked questions constantly and they always took the time to answer with care. They stopped and showed us cool things we never would have noticed or even known about had they not been there. Those little asides, such as pulling a cochineal bug off a cactus leaf and crushing it to show us the red pigment the Incas used in their dyeing, or a really masterful and fascinating impromptu talk about Incan beliefs about the afterlife, gave a depth to what we were seeing that added immeasurably to the experience.”

Mrs. Elizabeth Murphy / USA
Inca Trail 4D/3N
December 2019