- Availability: Available now
- Group size: 2-10
- Tour Type: Trekking/Hiking
- Max. Elevation: 4200 meters above sea level
CLASSIC INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU 3D/2N
680 USD Per person
CLASSIC INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU 3D/2N
The 3-day classic Inca trail express to Machu Picchu, is designed for those people who have very good hiking skills or people who do not have the time to do the 4 day classic Inca trail to the Inca citadel. This 3-day trek covers the same distance, path and highlights as the 4 day Inca trail.
This ancient trail is considered one of the best treks in the world, due to its incomparable scenic beauty, harmoniously combined with the Inca ruins distributed along the classic Inca trail. In these 3 days of hiking, we will cross 12 types of microclimates and landscapes, we will explore imposing Inca ruins with different functionalities, we will learn about the incredible work, that the porters of the Inca trail do; In addition to hiking on a cobbled Inca trail half a century ago.
The Classic Inca trail express to the sacred city of Machu Picchu, is recognized worldwide as one of the 5 most beautiful treks in the world by the National Geographic Magazine.
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR CLASSIC INCA TRAIL EXPRESS
- We will work hard to create a lifetime experience for you and your loved ones on this journey on the Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu.
- Our campsites, are off the beaten path, thus tranquility and direct contact with nature are assured.
- We have the best and most passionate team of workers.
- We treat our porters as if they were our tourists; come see for yourself.
- We have new, high quality and spacious, camping equipment
- Be part of our social and environmental projects
- Our Express Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has a fair and cheap price compared to other operators
- In addition to all the above, we prepare food for our hikers and team with 100% organic veggies purchased from local producers.
CLASSIC INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TRIP OVERVIEW
- Trek Type: Hiking on an Inca Trail, paved 500 years ago, cultural, historical, scenic and informative
- Good for: Those in moderate shape or better
- Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
- Season: From March 1st to February 28th
- Consideration: Inca trail permits required
DAY 1. CUSCO – PISCACUCHO – WAYLLABAMBA – LLULLUCHAPAMPA.
- Hiking distance: 11 miles/16.5 km (8 to 9 hours).
- Highest altitude: 3.800 meters above sea level.
- Considered: Moderate to challenging.
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner! All served as buffet.
- Area: Highlands.
- Weather: Warm and dusty.
We will pick you up from your hotel at 4:30 am. And we will drive you in our private bus to the community of Piscacucho, also known as Km 82; which is the starting point of our magical 3-day adventure on the Inca express trail. After a delicious buffet breakfast prepared by our cook, we will show our entrance tickets to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu along with our passports at the first checkpoint located in this community. Yes, now! Our adventure will begin, we will hike for 3 hours through a relatively flat path and surrounded by many colorful and interesting plants; your tour guide as you hike, will explain the highlights of the path. We will ascend a steep path for 30 minutes to the Llactapata viewpoint, from where, we will have a spectacular view of the Vilcanota river (Urubamba river), surrounding the cultivated fields of the sacred valley and the imposing Inca ruin of Llactapata.
Later, we will hike for 2 hours and 30 minutes through a slightly inclined section surrounded by steep mountains, to the hamlet of Wayllabamba, where we will have lunch. Upon our arrival, our porters will be waiting for us with a very cold fruit juice and a delicious buffet lunch. After having satisfied our tummies and recharged energy, we will hike uphill for 3 and a half hours through a stone-paved Inca trail, to Llulluchapampa, where we camp. This section officially begins the Inca trail made by the Inca civilization 600 years ago.
Once in our camp, our porters will give us a container with warm water, liquid soap and a towel to wash ourselves a little. After resting in our tents, our tour guide will introduce us to all the porters and cook, who will work these 3 days very hard, so that this express trip on the Inca trail is satisfactory. Later we will share a pleasant conversation and tea time, and then taste a delicious buffet dinner.
** Finally it is time to sleep like «drunk baby alpacas«, after having enjoyed the first day of our Machu Picchu journey a lot and having known more about the rock stars of the Inca trail, our porters.
DAY 2. LLULLUCHAPAMPA – DEAD WOMA´S PASS – PACAYMAYU – CHAQUICOCHA – PHUYUPATAMARCA.
- Hiking distance: 12.4 miles/20 km (8 to 9 hours).
- Campsite altitude: 3650 meters above sea level.
- Considered: Challenging.
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner! All served as buffet.
- Area: Highlands and beginning of the amazon jungle.
- Weather: Cold and windy.
Your tour guide will wake you up very early with a cup of hot chocolate, after 5 minutes, our super porters will bring you a container of warm water, so you can wash your face. Once your daypack is ready, we will enjoy a nutritious Andean breakfast. Our second day on the express Inca trail, begins with a 2-hour ascent to the highest point of the entire trek, the Pass of the Dead Woman. From this point, we will have a fabulous panoramic view of the Andes; we will see huge snow-capped mountains and in the distance other trails off the beaten track. After taking memorable photos and holding a small ceremony of gratitude to mother earth (Pachamama), we will hike downhill for 2 hours to the Pacaymayu checkpoint. From this point, we will ascend for 1 hour and a half to the second highest point of the express classic Inca trail, the Runcuracay pass; from this mountain pass we will have a 360-degree view of the Andean foothills and the beginning of the Amazon rainforest. We will hike downhill for 1 hour to the archaeological complex of Sayacmarca, perched on the top of a hill; exploring this Inca ruin will be very interesting, of much learning and with exceptional views of the cloud forest.
Then we will hike 30 minutes on a relatively flat section to our lunch spot. After eating a delicious buffet lunch prepared by our expert hiking cook, we will enter a unique microclimate of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. We will hike for 1 hour and 30 minutes through the subtropical very humid montane forest; where we will appreciate multicolored mosses, dwarf palm trees and giant grasses. Once in our camp, our tents will already be set up to take a well-deserved rest. From this camp, we can observe the majestic Salkantay snow-capped, which gives its name to the famous Salkantay Trek; from this camp, we will also glimpse Machu Picchu mountain in the distance in a beautiful sunset. At night we will enjoy a tea time and a yummy dinner.
** This challenging classic Inca trail express, will allow you to camp the second night, in the best spot of the entire Inca trail for stargazing, observe constellations and the Milky Way.
DAY 3. PHUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – AGUAS CALIENTES – CUSCO.
- Hiking distance: 5.6 miles/9 km (5 to 6 hours).
- Machu Picchu altitude: 2400 meters above sea level.
- Considered: Moderate.
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner! All served as buffet.
- Area: The beginning of the amazon jungle or cloud forest.
- Weather: Warm, hot and humid.
We will wake you up very early, to contemplate the beautiful sunrise on the best camp on the classic Inca trail. After you have got ready your daypack and enjoyed a nutritious breakfast, we will begin our adventure in Inca lands. We will hike downhill for 10 minutes, until we find an Inca ruin in front of the Machu Picchu mountain; It is presumed that Phuyupatamarca was an astronomical observatory in Inca times. From this place we will officially enter the cloud forest of the Peruvian Amazon jungle; we will descend for 2 hours and 30 minutes through a steep Inca trail surrounded by a lot of vegetation and birds of different colors. We will arrive at the Inca cultivation terraces of Intipata, a place that according to previous hikers, has the best panoramic view of the Inca trail express; after taking instagrammable photos and enjoying the tranquility of the place, we will descend for 40 minutes to Wiñaywayna. This archaeological complex is also known as mini Machu Picchu, due to its similar archaeological distribution and scenic beauty.
Later we will walk 5 minutes to our lunch place, where our super porters will be waiting for us with a cold passion fruit juice and a varied buffet. Once our tummies are satisfied, we will hike for 1 hour and 30 minutes to Puerta del Sol, from where we will have the first view of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu; without a doubt a magical moment for you and your loved ones. Then we will descend for 45 minutes to the official viewpoints of the sacred city, from where, we will take our long-awaited postcard photos of Machu Picchu. Once your guide has shown you all the photographic angles of the lost city of the Incas, we will enter the urban sector of the citadel and explore it from corner to corner. The guided tour in Machu Picchu lasts around 3 hours and the most outstanding points are visited, such as: the temple of the sun, the king’s palace, the temple of the three windows, the temple of the condor, etcetera.
After finishing our visit, we will board a bus, that will take us for 30 minutes to the town of Aguas Calientes. Our return Peru rail train is at 18:30 pm. and the trip lasts around 1 hour and 45 minutes to the Ollantaytambo station, from where we will go by private bus to our hotels in Cusco, where we will arrive at 22:00 pm.
** After having challenged ourselves on the Inca trail, we will have a well-deserved award, one of the 7 wonders of the world in all its splendor.
INCLUDED ON THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU
Professional local English speaker Guides: all our super leaders grew up in Cusco region and studied tourism for five years at Cusco’s university, they are friendly, funny charming, knowledgeable, professional and will care your safety into this one-day trip to Machu Picchu.
Briefing: The night before your trip, you will come to our office for your informative meeting. You will receive your duffle bag that will stay with your porters while you hike on the Inca Trail. This duffle bag should not exceed 7 kg / 14 pounds and should include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
Permits: As soon as we get your details and deposit, we will purchase your permits for the Inca trail express and Machu Picchu.
Transportation: INCAS PATH will be providing all transportation for this trip. It is included the round trip by bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo train station. The train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo is also included. In addition is included the bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes. You don’t need to pay anything extra.
Food: Our 3-day Machu Picchu tour includes expert hiking chefs who will cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have loved. We honor all food restrictions, so be sure to add any that you have on your booking form and let us know. Food is typically all served as buffet.
Water: Starting from your first lunch until your last breakfast, we will provide you boiled, filtered and then cooled water before distributing. You must bring personal water bottles and or a camelback. We advise you to bring a bottle or camelback of 1.5 litters, as being well hydrated is the key to feeling great in the mountains.
Details: We profess that it is the attention to small details that separates us from other travel agencies. Each hiker receives a small sleeping pillow, a foam mattress to insulate, a backpack cover to protect their belongings while hiking and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best holiday.
First Aid: Every guide has got training in first aid from a clinic and firemen. We elaborate mandatory training sessions every February on the Inca Trail, which every INCAS PATH tour guide must attend. Your tour leader is going to have always a first-aid kit for basic medical problems.
NOT INCLUDED ON THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU
Rentals: Due there we are hiking for 3 days to Machu Picchu, each trekker needs a sleeping bag when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and trekking poles (with rubber tips). They are optional but encouraged for a better comfort. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent:
- Sleeping Bag: $20
- Inflatable Air Mattress: $15
- Trekking Poles (Pair): $15
Vistadome Train: Our 3-day Inca trail express, includes the Expedition Train Service. This train is always booked at 3:20 pm. or 4:22 pm. departing from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. There is also the Vistadome Train Service, which is an upgraded train that offers slightly larger seats and windows, some entertainment and snack. Usually, the Vistadome train is booked for 4:43 p.m. and goes to Poroy, a train station 30 minutes from Cusco. As this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel. The ticket is $40 per person.
Extra day at Machu Picchu
If you wish, there is also the possibility of staying an extra night in Aguas Calientes, which is the closest town to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. If you decide to stay an additional day in Machu Picchu, your return train on the 4th day will be at 3:20 pm. or 4:22 pm. so you will have to visit Machu Picchu in the morning and leave it at 12:00 pm. at the latest.
If you also want to have a guided tour again the next day in Machu Picchu, we can also organize it.
- 1-night hotel is 60 USD in a twin room.
- The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu is 55 USD per person.
- The round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is 25 USD per person.
We would love to tour the classic Inca trail express with you and your loved ones and take care of immortalizing your visit to Machu Picchu. We can leave any day from March to January while Inca trail permits are still available in the government booking system.
Group Price (2022):
- $650 per person
Private Tours are based on Group Size (2022):
- 2 Trekkers: $680 per person
- 3 Trekkers: $675 per person
- 4 Trekkers: $670 per person
- 5 Trekkers: $665 per person
- 6 Trekkers: $660 per person
- 7 Trekkers: $655 per person
- 8 or more Trekkers: $650 per person
- $ 25 discount per person
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid International Student Card (ISIC) at the beginning of the hike or who is 17 years old or younger. For those who use an international student card or for children under 17, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount of the Inca Trail of the government.
Please send everything to [email protected]
This express classic Inca trail includes porters who will carry all your duffle bag while you hike on the Inca Trail. We suggest you to carry lightweight backpack that the is key to feeling good during the Inca trail and at the lost city of the Incas; the great Machu Picchu.
- Original Passport.
- STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student).
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru).
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better).
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbacks are encouraged – but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles) remember that the Inca path is entirely made of stones.
For Your Duffel: Our porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
- 3 wicking t-shirts.
- 2 hiking pants.
- 4 sets of undergarments.
- 4 sets of hiking socks.
- 1 Fleece and 1 down jacket; it gets cold at night.
- 1 Rain jacket and rain pants /rain poncho.
- 1 sun hat.
- 1 wool hat.
- Hiking boots.
- Comfortable shoes for camp.
- Quick dry towel. We provide small ones; you might bring a towel a little larger.
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug, on the classic Inca Trail!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep away clean clothes from dirty clothes.
- Earplugs in case someone from the group snores
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Face moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Toilet paper
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
Inside Your Daypacks:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25 litters will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside in the Machupicchu check point. Some items are listed below.
- Rain gear.
- Music (IPhone).
- Hand sanitizer.
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste.
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips.
Where do we pick up the hikers for the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
The Pick-up will be from your hotel at 4:30 am. Please provide clear contact information of your place of accommodation when approaching our office in Cusco.
Where to pay the remaining amount for the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
Most hikers arrive in Cusco 2 or 3 days before the hike for proper acclimatization. Once you are in Cusco, it is imperative that you come to our office to review the last details of your excursion and also pay the remaining amount of your hike.
Reserve for the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
We try to make the booking as easy as possible in INCAS PATH. We prepare a reservation form, where you will complete and include all the details for the excursion, and then a deposit of $ 200 per person. Once we have all the deposits and details, we will reserve your permits. Once the permits are in our hands, we will send you, your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% organized. All excursions once confirmed, are guaranteed.
Permissions for the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
Only tour operators licensed by the government, such as INCAS PATH, can obtain the corresponding permits from the government. Once we have obtained your permits, the name and start date cannot be changed under any circumstances. The only information that the government allows us to change are passport numbers.
Passport Number Update?
The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and the old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any identification document that you have in your hands will be accepted while the name is the same as in your passport.
Where to stay in Cusco?
You can stay in a hotel, that you consider convenient, however you must have into account the location of the hotel, because the traffic within the city has become stressful in the last 5 years. Many roads are up to 100 years old; Especially near the main square, the roads are only for pedestrians. We will notify you, if it is not possible to pick you up by car from your hotel and coordinate another nearby pick-up point. For a list of recommended hotels, consult your INCAS PATH sales representative.
Where do I store my luggage?
All luggage not necessary for the hike, must remain in Cusco. All hotels are very helpful and are quite accustomed to storing client´s luggage; or if you wish you can store it safely with our customer service team in our office storage.
Can I stay in the sacred valley?
Yes, as the driving route to get the trailhead, goes through the sacred valley of the Incas.
During the trip, how challenging is the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
Remember that this 3-day hike to Machu Picchu , it is challenging because you will climb two very high mountain passes in the second day of hiking, if rains the stone steps could be a little slippery ( don´t worry if you have good hiking boots) also on the last day the Inca trail is a bit humid and hot all the time, so it will be exhausting but it will be worth it when you arrive at to the sun gate from where you will observe Machu Picchu for the first time and then once you arrive to Machu Picchu itself.
Will I need extra money on the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
Of course, if you want to buy some type of drinks, snacks, souvenirs «also remember that, only cash is accepted in small stores».
How many people will be in my group on the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
We require a minimum of 2 people for our tour, and if you are traveling alone, we invite you to join our groups, that start each day. We can have up to 8 hikers with a guide and if our groups are between 9 and 16 people, we have 2 accredited guides with a lot of experience in this hike. During the low season, it is most likely that the groups are small and during the high season the groups are probably much larger.
Do you need hiking boots for the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
We always recommend hiking boots, since if it rains a little, the path can become a bit muddy and slippery. Please make sure they have good soles.
Are trekking poles really necessary on the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
For this hike, we recommend the use of trekking poles for everyone, especially for those passengers with knee problems or older people. There are several sections during the tour where you will need to use the walking sticks, either climbing or descending the dirt soil path.
Are there any toilets along the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
Along the classic Inca trail there are 3 places that has toilet. Firstly, at the hiking start, then at lunch spot and at basecamp. Please carry a roll of toilet paper in your daypack.
What should I expect from the weather on the Classic Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu?
Historically in the Peruvian highlands, we have the dry season that goes from April to October and the rainy season that goes from November to March. Unfortunately, this pattern is changing a bit due to climate change. Be ready with your cap/hat and your bottle of sunscreen, because the solar radiation in Cusco during the day fluctuates between 16 and 18 points. And do not forget to bring warm clothes for the cold at night, since the temperature can drop as low as 0 ° C degrees Celsius.
Can Incas Path please my dietary needs? What kind of food will there be?
For us it is an honor to please all kinds of dietary needs, just let us know at the time of booking. If you are vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant or any type of allergies, we have a team of chefs with a lot of experience in the preparation of all types of diets. Also remember, that we want to pamper you during your trip to Machu Picchu and for that reason we use 100% organic vegetables for the elaboration of our buffets.
What type of outlet is used in Cusco and Machu Picchu?
Most hotels and even homes in Peru now have the standard US output and also that of South America.
What is the standard procedure when it comes to tip?
Tipping is part of the tradition of any trip in Peru and, although we pay good salaries to our entire team, we always appreciate any extra appreciation. Keep in mind that this is not mandatory and that you should never feel pressured for this reason.
In general, participants in a group show their appreciation as a group for their porters and chef and a personal appreciation towards their tour guide, which will be according to their degree of satisfaction with the service provided.