Enjoy this trek to Machu Picchu, which is the only one to take you along the original Inca Trail, and reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Along the way, you will enjoy incredible landscapes and changing environments. This is a spectacularly rich experience in the Andean Mountains in which you will immerse yourself in the Inca culture as you hike 26 miles (43 kilometers) through the heart of the beautiful Andes.
Day 1: Cusco to Ollantaytambo to KM 82 and Trek to Wayllabamba Camp (11 kms) (L/D)
Get picked up from your hotel in Cusco between 5am and 6am. Take the bus to the town of Ollantaytambo where you have an hour to enjoy breakfast on your own and purchase last minute snacks, water and walking sticks. Hop back on the bus and head to Piscacucho (KM 82) where the famous Inca Trail journey will begin. You will hike along rolling hills in the Vilcanota River Valley passing by several small archaeological sites. Then, you'll have lunch and relax before reaching Wayllabamba camp.
Day 2: Trek to Pacaymayo Camp (10 kms) (B/L/D)
Today is the most challenging day along the trail with a vertical hike of 6 km (5 hours) to reach Dead Woman's Pass at 4,215 meters followed by a 3 km hike down stone steps to reach Pacaymayo camp at 3,600m (approximately 2 hours). After breakfast, you'll take your time and rest as much as you feel necessary as you ascend more than 1,200 meters over the course of the morning. Just after you cross Dead Woman's Pass, you'll head slowly down to Pacaymayo Camp (3,660m) enjoying the scenery. Then, have lunch and take a well-deserved nap to the sounds of the nearby waterfalls and nature.
Day 3: Trek to Wiñayhuayna High Jungle Camp (15 kms) (B/L/D)
You'll have an unforgettable journey along ancient Inca stairways, mountain lakes, archaeological sites and humid jungle scenery. First, you'll hike uphill for one hour to reach the oval-shaped Pacaymayo archaeological site, This site is believed to have been a crop-storage structure. Hike one more hour to Runquracay Pass (3,950m) where you can climb to the tip-top of the mountain for incredible views. Then, you'll visit 2 more archaeological sites called Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca with your guide and have lunch along the way. By late afternoon, you will reach Wiñayhuayna High Jungle camp (2,650m) set above a river valley.
Day 4: Machu Picchu and Return to Cusco (7 kms) (B)
Wake up between 3:30 and 4:30am and have breakfast. Get on the trail early and head to the Wiñaywayna checkpoint, joining the lineup to wait for the gate to open at 5:30am. Once the gate opens, hike about an hour to reach the Sun Gate. Catch the first glimpses of light over the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu and continue down the final length of the trail for 40 minutes to reach the Machu Picchu archaeological complex. You will enjoy a guided tour and have time to explore it on your own, opting to hike Huayna Picchu if you'd like. Later, head to Aguas Calientes where you can explore the market close to the train station. Then, you'll board the train to Ollantaytambo where you'll board a bus back to Cusco and be dropped-off at Plaza San Francisco.