The Inca Trail


From: Pisacacucho near Chilca (KM 82)

To: Machu Picchu

Length: 24 mi (39 km)

Permits: should have a permit for tracking (500 people a day)

Dec- Apr are wettest months and thus most dangerous


The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or Tahuantinsuyo Road Network to Machu Picchu is a hiking trail in Peru that ends in Machu Picchu. It consists of three overlapping trails: Mollepata, Clásico and Un Día. Mollepata is the longest of the three routes with the highest mountain pass and intersects with the classic route before passing through Warmiwañusqa ("dead woman").

Located in the Andes mountain range, the road passes through various types of Andean environments, such as cloud forest and alpine tundra. Settlements, tunnels and many Inca ruins are found along the trail before ending at the Puerta del Sol on the mountain of Machu Picchu. The two longest routes require a climb to more than 4,200 meters above sea level, which can lead to altitude sickness.

Concerns about overuse leading to erosion have led the Peruvian government to put a limit on the number of people who can do this route per season, and to drastically limit the companies that can provide guides. As a result, prior reservation is mandatory. A maximum of 500 people are allowed on the trail each day, of which only 200 are walkers; the rest are guides and porters. As a result, the high season gets booked up very quickly.

The trail is closed every February for cleaning.


Travel Destinations on the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to a great Incan settlement of Machu Picchu is one of the greatest hikes you will ever undertake. It lies in a beautiful Andean mountain range and connects numerous ancient archaeological settlements along its way.


1. Llactapata or Llaqtapata (aka Patallacta)

Llactapata or Llaqtapata is an ancient Incan site along the Inca Trail. Its ancient name is lost, however its modern name is a combination of two Quechua words "yakta-pahta" and translated roughly as a "town on a high point" or a "town on a hillside". It was discovered by Hiram Bingham. Archaeological digs at this site still continue.

2. Huayllabamba (last place to buy food and supplies)

3. Abra de Warmiwanusca

This is the highest point on the Inca Trail and also the hardest point to climb. The view of Pacaymayu valley (Hidden River) below.

4. Runkurakay

5. Sayacmarka

6. Winay Wayna

7. Phuyupatamarca

8. Intipunku

End point destination: Machu Picchu


The Inca Trail or Capaq Ñan to Machu Picchu is one of the most classic and requested routes in the world. The Capaq Ñan was built by the great Inca emperor Pachacutec, then governor of the Inca empire. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the system of enormous length that connects the Imperial City of Cusco with Machu Picchu.

Best time for the trip
The best time to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is during the high season (May to December). Due to the total absence of rain, it is known as the dry season or harvest season in the entire Peruvian highlands.