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Inca Trail - Best Tours & Trips 2019

195 trips to Inca Trail tours from 52 tour companies. 737 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

The Inca Trail is one of the most popular ways to access the incredible site at Machu Picchu. You must go with a guide, if you wish to hike the famous trek. This can be arranged in country, but a more sure way is to book a guided trip. They provide insights and support along the way to spectacular Machu Picchu.

All Inca Trail tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 450 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more

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Inca Trail Trek

Lost World Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4 days
$ 259 / day
$ 1,037
From : $ 1,400
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : High intensity hiking, trekking, mountain climbing, cycling. May experience dramatic changes in altitude. Extreme activities included. Extreme
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit the village of Huayllabamba
  • Experience 2-hours hike leads to Intipunku (Gate of the Sun) which overlooks the awesome Machu Picchu
  • Enjoy the climb magnificent views of the mountain ranges.
  • Visit the Runkuraqay and Sayacmarca ruins
Visits:
Cusco, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Urubamba, Peru
View Trip

Machu Picchu Trek

ROW Adventures
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 427 / day
$ 2,990
From : $ 4,037
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore Cusco
  • Visit Soraypampa and experience with a hiking level of moderate to challenging is the most popular activity
  • Explore the complete guided Machu Picchu
  • Visit Santa Teresa River Valley
Visits:
Cusco, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Peru
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The High Inca Trail

Exodus Travels
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 149 / day
$ 2,379
From : $ 3,212
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Remote full-service camping trek through the beautiful Vilcabamba Range
  • Walk on the classic Inca Trail and enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Spectacular views of Mt Salcantay (6271m) and its glaciers
  • Spend four nights in Cuzco, the old Inca capital
  • Explore the fortresses and markets of the Sacred Valley
Visits:
Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Peru
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Absolute Peru & Galápagos Central Islands

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
27 days
$ 267 / day
$ 6,999
From : $ 9,719
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Cruise the galápagos for four nights aboard the xavier iii
  • Snorkel with sea lions
  • Spot rare birds in secluded lagoons
  • Find land iguanas feeding in the cactus forests on south plaza island
  • Visit lake titicaca and opt to fly over the nazca lines
  • Trek the inca trail to machu picchu
  • Encounter wildlife in the amazon jungle
Visits:
Arequipa, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca, Lima, Machu Picchu, Nazca, Puerto Maldonado, Puno, Quito, Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Guayaquil, Isla Santa Fe, Santa Cruz Island, Urubamba, Ecuador, Peru
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Inca Trail Adventure

World Expeditions
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
6 days
$ 267 / day
$ 1,599
From : $ 1,860
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
    Highlights
    • Trek the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with magnificent mountain views
    • Visit incredible Machu Picchu
    • Enjoy three hearty meals a day on trek prepared by our cooks
    • Journey on the train from Machu Picchu to the Sacred Valley
    Visits:
    Cusco, Inca Trail, Sacred Valley, Peru
    View Trip

    The Inca Trail in Comfort

    Exodus Travels
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    11 days
    $ 225 / day
    $ 2,479
    From : $ 3,347
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu to discover the ruins 
    • Visit the Sacred Valley, including Pisac and Ollantaytambo 
    • Explore the museums and churches of the ancient Inca capital, Cuzco 
    • Have two days to acclimatise before the trek
    • Alternative Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out
    Visits:
    Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Peru
    View Trip

    Peru Family Vacation

    ROW Adventures
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    9 days
    $ 328 / day
    $ 2,950
    From : $ 4,130
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
    Highlights
    • visit all of the sacred sites like Machu Picchu, The Sacred Valley
    • Visit Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca and other monuments and ruins important to the Peruvian culture and people. 
    • Explore places truly have a mysterious, yet revered, feel to them. 
    • Our local guides will accompany you every step of the way
    • Also experience delectable local cuisine and stay at fantastic four-star hotels along the way.
    Visits:
    Andes Mountains, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru
    View Trip

    Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    Road Scholar
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    13 days
    $ 328 / day
    $ 4,270
    From : $ 5,765
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : N/A
    Physical Level : N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Hike the famed Inca Trail from Pisacucho to Machu Picchu
    • Experience the “Lost City of the Incas” through an on-site lecture or an optional hike to the summit of Wayna Picchu
    • Learn about the remarkable Incan agriculture system in the Sacred Valley
    Visits:
    Aguas Calientes, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Pisa, Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Peru
    View Trip

    Enchanting Peru

    SmarTours
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    11 days
    $ 209 / day
    $ 2,299
    From : $ 5,697
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Board on rail to see Machu Picchu
    • Visit the world renowned and colorful Indian market in Pisac 
    • Enjoy a guided walking tour around Cuzco
    • Visit lake Titicaca
    • Embark on an unforgettable boat journey to explore the magnificent scenery and fascinating life on and around the lake. 
    • Visit the floating islands of the Uros Indians
    • Enjoy a guided afternoon tour of both colonial and modern Lima
    x
    Visits:
    Andes Mountains, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Puno, Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Peru
    View Trip
    Peru by Land and Water tour
    Group Tour
    Popular
    Stride climate
    This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

    Peru by Land and Water

    Lost World Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    14 days
    $ 338 / day
    $ 4,725
    From : $ 5,812
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
    Highlights
    • Explore Lima
    • Visit the ruins on your own or explore Aguas Calientes
    • Explore the walls, stairways, temples and terraces of Machu Picchu.
    • Visit the colorful Pisac market where you'll be able to trade with locals for a variety of handicrafts
    • Explore the heart of Amazon River on board of the Amatista River boat.
    • Visit the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, Peru's largest national park
    • Explore Iquitos
    Visits:
    Cusco, Iquitos, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Peru
    View Trip

    Ausangate Llama Trekking

    11 days
    $ 345 / day
    $ 3,800
    From : $ 5,130
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
    Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Highest trek in Peru
    • Stunning "Rainbow Mountain"
    • Classic Peruvian llama trekking
    • Enjoy  full day at Machu Picchu
    Visits:
    Cusco, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Peru
    View Trip

    Romantic Andean Getaway

    Kuoda Travel
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    12 days
    $ 515 / day
    $ 6,178
    From : $ 7,043
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
    Highlights
    • Fall in love with Peru’s wide-eyed llamas, alpacas and delicate vicuñas at Awanakancha Living Museum.
    • Walk the grounds of a stoically beautiful hacienda that specializes in corn production practices dating back to the Incas; try one of the world’s most unique corn varieties locally called choclo also known as Giant White Corn!
    • Take the harrowing journey up Mountain Huayna Picchu that lovingly overlooks and protects the Machu Picchu ruins below.
    • Spoil your taste buds as you embark on a journey tasting three exquisite Peruvian products: coffee, chocolate and pisco!
    • Practice yoga by the shore of crystalline Lake Piuray before connecting with the still water on a stand-up paddle or kayak.
    • Explore the vibrant marine life, idyllic beaches and soft sunsets of Peru’s Northern Coast.
    Visits:
    Aguas Calientes, Cusco, Lima, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Peru
    View Trip

    A Journey through a Fabled Past

    Kuoda Travel
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    12 days
    $ 852 / day
    $ 10,225
    From : $ 11,657
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : High intensity hiking, trekking, mountain climbing, cycling. May experience dramatic changes in altitude. Extreme activities included. Extreme
    Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
    Highlights
    • Take the road less traveled by hiking the lesser-known Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, which is every bit as scenic as the Inca Trail.
    • Wander the capital Incan city of Cusco with your private guide, discovering local highlights and hidden treasures at your own pace.
    • Delight in luxury trek amenities, such as deluxe lodges, Jacuzzis, and nightly massages.
    • Relish a luxury tour to Machu Picchu with your very own expert guide to explain the history, architecture, and theories surrounding the site.
    • Discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine at the country’s finest dining establishments.
    • Immerse yourself in local life with visits to remote Andean villages that are, for most travelers, uncharted territory.
    • Enjoy enriching experiences with local artists at their workshops.
    Visits:
    Aguas Calientes, Andes Mountains, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Santo Domingo, Urubamba, Peru
    View Trip

    Machu Picchu Luxury Tour

    Kuoda Travel
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    8 days
    $ 960 / day
    $ 7,683
    From : $ 8,759
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
    Highlights
    • Visit an ancient hacienda dedicated to agriculture surrounding giant Peruvian corn and delight in a one-of-a-kind culinary experience.
    • Immerse yourself in local life with visits to remote Andean villages that are, for most travelers, uncharted territory.
    • Embark on a private city tour of Cusco, whose fascinating streets feature a unique concoction of Inca ruins and colonial constructions.
    • Scale the ancient stone stairway up Machu Picchu’s neighboring peak, Huayna Picchu.
    • Relish a Machu Picchu luxury tour with your very own expert guide to explain the history, architecture, and theories surrounding the site.
    • Discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine at the country’s finest dining establishments.
    • Enjoy enriching experiences with local artists at their workshops.
    • Relax in hand-picked luxury accommodations throughout your personalized trip of Peru.
    Visits:
    Andes Mountains, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru
    View Trip

    Lights of the Inca Empire – 8 Days

    Say Hueque
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    8 days
    $ 168 / day
    $ 1,340
    From : $ 1,809
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Explore Lima
    • Discover Cusco
    • See Sacred Valley
    • Visit to Machu Picchu
    Visits:
    Aguas Calientes, Cusco, Inca Trail, Lima, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Pacific Ocean, Sacred Valley, Urubamba, Peru
    View Trip
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    Top Inca Trail Experiences and Attractions

    Top Inca Trail Experiences

    Reaching the famous archaeological site of Machu Picchu just as the sun was rising

    Completing the full Inca Trail trek, a great achievement!

    Learning the ancient history of the Incas along the trail, and walking among the famous Machu Picchu ruins

    Passing through other ancient settlements on the way to Machu Picchu

    Getting up early to catch the bus from Aguas Calientes and feeling the excitement of fellow travelers completing a bucket list item

     

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    Inca Trail Trip Reviews

    737 Inca Trail Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

    4.8 out of 5
    Excellent 585
    Great 137
    Average 14
    Disappointing 0
    Terrible 1
    Value
    4.8
    Guide
    4.8
    Activities
    4.8
    Lodging
    4.8
    Transportation
    4.8
    Meals
    4.8

    Tour Reviews Write a Review

    It was amazing!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    We are just returning from our 15 days trip to Peru. It was amazing ! Peru is such a beautiful country. People there are very friendly. A special thanks to Peru for Less team for helping us creating a memorable itineraries. We are visiting Lima, Cuzco, Puno and Puerto Maldonado to name a few. Silvana Zavala & Matthew Hay are our travel advisors. They have done a great job from the beginning to end.Thank you to both of you. I have already recommended your company to some of our friends who are interested to visit Peru after seeing our pictures. Tour guides are very knowledgeable, accommodations are excellent. All hotels we stayed are very clean & comfortable.

    Read more
    Operator Peru For Less

    BEST INCA TRAIL TREK!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    Best tour company hands down!!! We booked this tour not really knowing what to expect but what we received was amazing! This tour company has put time into thinking what will make an even better experience for their customers. I'm a very picky eater and I was always able to find something to fill my tummy up with, with all the meals. The soups were so delicious!!! I can't believe the amount of food and the variety of food they can bring along on this trip. The camp grounds were great! Our tents were great and comfy. I rented a sleeping bag from them and it was clean and perfect for the trek.

    Our guide, porters, and chefs were friendly, professional, and did an amazing job. We can't forget Rox in the main office. If I ever return I will defiantly use them and will tell all my friends who are heading that way the same thing. I can't think of anything bad or negative to say about our experience with APT.

    I could write a book on this tour company that's how much I enjoyed it. I know I kept thinking , I'm so glad we found them. We had our own private tour, most times we were the only group at the trails and campsites. I saw the second nights camp ground that the other groups take and I had anxiety looking at all the people and praying we weren't going to a place like that. The campgrounds were quaint, clean, and in areas that we could get a nice, quiet nights sleep. I would not hesitate booking them!!! cheers! p.s. they carry their own private toilet around for the whole trek, a bonus in my eyes.

    Read more
    Operator Action Peru Treks

    Fabulous time with a wonderful guide, Jorge.

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 4.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 4.0

    This trip was fabulous and it was made even better with the knowledge and expertise of our Spanish-speaking guide, Jorge Riofru. Jorge smoothed over all our difficulties and showed us the real Peru that is his homeland. He was able to ensure that my coeliac diet was catered for even when we were trekking to Machu Picchu! this trip was enhanced by the deep knowledge and love that Jorge has for his country. this has been one of the best trips ever.

    Read more
    Operator Peregrine Adventures

    Excelente!!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    Excelente atendimento recebido pela empresa.

    Read more
    Operator Inka Rainbow

    Enchanted Peru

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    We just returned from our Tour in Peru, unfortunately it was riddled with strikes by the Transportation Department. HOWEVER!!! we must say that Smartours went beyond what was normal. We were treated like Royalty, additional nights at the hotel, flight upgrades. We were able to see everything we came for. Some other Tour Groups we shared our hotel with were not that lucky and they ended up stranded. Also I like to say that our Tour Guide in Peru (Enrique) was funny, very knowledgeable and just overall a super nice person, we never felt like that we were a burden or "just a job". Too bad he wasn't able to come to Lima, we really missed him there. Overall our group was amazing and fun, we had a wonderful time. This was one of our many trips with Smartours and I am looking to see where we will go next. Thank you for all your effort. I will email some pictures ;-)

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    Operator SmarTours

    peru may 2015

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    Excellent trip.weather hot,cold,freezing.food very good.,and reasonably cheap.use sols not dollars.in a trail terrific.camping very good.porters and cooks great.a Hugh tarantula came into the tent during the night.sacred valley the most scenic.lake titicaca and floating islands great.
    Coming down from inca trail to machu pichu.

    I have been on 12 exodus trips and to as rates one of the best.has been guide for 10 years and is still totally enthusiastic.nothing was a bother .terrific organiser.

    Lots of walking on this holiday,lots of stone steps.the amazon basin is pretty basic accommodation. Rather squelchy and wet under foot in the forest,but we'll worth it.

    Only 8 on trip,no one complained about any thing.everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Read more
    Operator Exodus Travels

    Inca Trail Tours and Travel Guide

    Inca Trail Attractions & Landmarks Guide

    The Inca Trail is one of the most popular ways to access the incredible site at Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is one of the most popular ways to access the incredible site at Machu Picchu. You must go with a guide, if you wish to hike the famous trek. This can be arranged in country, but a more sure way is to book a guided Machu Picchu tour. They provide insights and support along the way to spectacular Machu Picchu.

    What is the Inca Trail?

    Part of the draw of travelers to the Inca Trail is the sensation of literally walking through history. Originally a pilgrimage route used by the Inca, the trail was part of an intricate and advanced road system created by the Inca people. Approximately 24,800 miles, the road system was used to transport goods and send messages as efficiently as possible.

    When the Spanish arrived, these roads became important methods of evasion from groups of explorers and colonists. The Spanish, with their clothing ill suited to the area, lack of experience with altitude, and no frame of reference for where to go, had difficulty tracking the Inca warriors through this web.

    The Inca Trail portion of this complex road system, as we know it today, is 26 miles long, and typically takes 4-5 days to hike.  

    Planning Your Inca Trail Tour

    The process of embarking on your Inca Trail trek begins at least six months prior to your arrival in Peru, at which time you’ll need to purchase your Inca Trail permit. These sell out extremely fast, so the earlier you can plan ahead the better.

    One of the reasons they sell out so quickly is that a limited number of hikers are allowed on the trail a day - 500 to be exact, and this includes porters and guides. You may only travel on the Inca Trail with a guide, which includes a porter for carrying food and camping gear. It is possible to find a guide in country, but do so at your own risk. Some may be scams ready to pray on the many tourists milling around Aguas Calientes or Cusco preparing to visit Machu Picchu.

    The safer option is to plan to travel with a guided tour company. Most major travel companies have trips along the Inca Trail, and there's a lot of variety in terms of group size, and age range. They company will help ensure you get your permits in time and allows you more time to enjoy preparing for the trip and the actual journey, without having to worry about hiring legitimate guides and porters to take you along the trail.

    The Inca Trail winds its way, 26 miles long, through many ancient settlements, each one providing clues to the history of the Inca Empire’s history; where and how they lived, their customs and culture. You will reach Machu Picchu with a more detailed context of the life led by ancient Inca people, allowing you to fully appreciate the incredible archaeological site.

    You can check out our article on the best time to visit Machu Picchu for more information about weather and crowds.

    What to Pack for the Inca Trail

    You’re going to want sturdy, broken in equipment. Prepare by going on long hikes with your pack and hiking shoes at least six to eight months prior to your trip. This will minimize any surprises you have along the way in terms of rubbing, chafing, and blisters. It will also get you used to the weight.

    It will most likely rain or be damp at least part of the time along your trek. You’re hiking through jungle after all! Appropriate, light, rain gear, will be essential. This includes a jacket and cover for your backpack. You’ll want lots of layers with breathable material. Avoid cotton as it absorbs sweat and aside from being smelly, will get warm and uncomfortable as you heat up throughout the day. The best materials are Polyester and Nylon.

    You’ll be hiking in mud, over slick rock in some area, up and down steep hills. For this you’ll want good hiking boots with a lot of ankle support. Bring sock liners to help prevent blisters and make your shoes more comfortable. Wool hiking socks overtop are the final ingredient for perfect Inca Trail hiking feet!

    Hiking poles are also a very good idea. You may scoff and think they aren’t necessary, but once you’re out on the trail you may find them more useful than you think! Small, light, collapsible poles are available at most major outdoor gear outfitters. And even if you don’t end up using them, someone else in your group will most certainly be able to.

    Nighttime can get very chilly. Bring a down sleeping bag and liner. The tour company will provide tents, cooking materials, and other accessories.

    Besides clothing, you’ll want to bring some first aid. Bandaids, antiseptic, vaseline, bug repellant, water purification tablets, and moleskin, will all prove themselves useful.

    Other useful items include a travel towel, rope which has several uses - a popular one being as a clothes line, swiss army knife, bathing suit, and plastic bags for trash.

    Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    Of the three main treks to Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is by far the most popular. Seen as a rite of passage by many, the trek is challenging, but by no means impossible for the vast majority of travelers. You’ll pass through some incredible history as you make your way to the classic bucket list item that is Machu Picchu.

    Guided tours along the Inca Trail typically begin in Cusco, where you’ll spend a few days to get used to the altitude and visiting some other significant archaeological sites from the time of the Inca Empire. These sites have less notoriety than Machu Picchu, but are no less fascinating.

    When you leave Cusco you'll transport to “kilometer 82” which is the beginning mark for hikers. Here you’ll present your pass and be permitted into the park where you will meet your group, guides, and porters.

    Most Inca Trail tours last 4 to 5 days, hovering between 5-8 hours a day. Even despite the strictly enforced restrictions on the number of hikers per day, in most months of the year, you will see and pass other hikers along the way. Campsites are usually buzzing with the activity of multiple groups settling in for the night.

    For most people, the toughest day along the Inca Trail is Day 2, Dead Woman’s Pass. This section includes around 5 hours of constant uphill, after which you’ll get a slight respite. The days following are difficult, with uphill and downhill portions, but not as tough as the summit to Dead Woman’s Pass (for most).

    If you are moderately in shape, the Inca Trail will be challenging but definitely doable. If you have difficulty walking, or have health complications, the trail is probably not the best choice. But this doesn't mean your days of visiting Machu Picchu are over! Many opt to take one of the three popular trains (of varying comfort levels from luxury to basic) from Cusco through the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes. This is the perfect trip for active senior travelers. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes you can arrange to stay a few days, giving you plenty of time to explore the ruins and take advantage of the towns nearby hot springs.

    Is the Inca Trail Ever Closed?

    Yes. The Inca Trail is closed during the month of February, when Peru experiences the heaviest rainfall during the year. This causes mudslides, and dangerous hiking conditions. Not to mention, it would just be uncomfortable and underwhelming - with dense fog obstructing most of the incredible views there are to see along the way.

    However, the site of Machu Picchu itself is open year round. So while the Inca Trail is closed in February, you can still visit Machu Picchu via one of the three different rail options, which leave from Cusco, or the Salkantay Trek. While crowds will be minimal, it will be extremely wet, muddy, and rainy.   

    Trekking in Altitude

    If you’re not prepared for it, high altitude can cause mild to severe discomfort. Machu Picchu is at nearly 8000 ft above sea level, and it’s important to acclimate before heading off on the Inca Trail trek.

    Most people spend a few days in Cusco getting used to the altitude. Guided tours to Machu Picchu will often include this time in their tour itinerary. If not, however, it will be a good idea to plan on arriving in Cusco a few days before your tour begins.

    Along the way, as you hike the Inca Trail your tour guide will have any number of remedies to help if you experience altitude sickness, including the most popular - eating raw cocoa leaves. Know the signs so you can recognize as soon as possible when you need to take a break - these include nausea, headache, and disorientation. Drink plenty of water and take it slow. You will adapt, but it takes different amounts of time for everyone.

    A Sunrise to Remember

    One major benefit of hiking the Inca Trail, instead of taking the train, is the opportunity to be among the first to see Machu Picchu as day breaks. Arrive as the early dawn sun filters through the misty fog, welcoming you to step into history.

    While hoards of tourists staying in Aguas Calientes line up at 4am to catch the bus and reach the Sun Gate before the afternoon crowds, hikers on the Inca Tail get the opportunity to enter the site even before these eager travelers. Beware though - the fog can be dense in the morning and you may not see the sun until it rises dramatically above the clouds a few hours into the morning.

    Alternatives to the Inca Trail

    If you don’t want to hike, or are seeking a less crowded route, fear not. There are multiple routes and ways to reach Machu Picchu; the Inca Trail just happens to be the most well known.

    Many opt for the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. This is a beautiful rail journey through the Andean countryside, where you can sit back and relax, visiting various historical stops along the way.

    You’ll arrive in Aguas Calientes, the small yet mighty hub at the base of Machu Picchu, 5 miles from the Sun Gate. You can opt to stay here for a few days, which allows you ample time to visit the site two days in a row, as well as take advantage of the nearby hot springs.  

    Other routes to Machu Picchu include the Salkantay Trek and the Lares Trek. The Salkantay Trek is 37 miles, and very challenging, while the Lares Trek is slightly shorter than the Inca Trail (21 miles) and moderately challenging.


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