Inca trail, a centuries-old magnificent achievement of the Inca people as their road system. It is estimated the Inca trails cover a length of 40 000 kilometers; it even surpasses the length of the Andes mountains. Now, in the region of Cusco, there is specifically a 43 km long Inca trail, the world-famous Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. It is a tourist destination set usually as an Inca trail 4-day hike; however, there is a 5-day Inca trail hike option as well. The 5-day Inca Trail trek hikes the same route as the 4-day Inca Trail, and it brings in itself a better experience for you. Certainly! In the following paragraphs, we will mention the good things to expect by hiking the Inca trail 5-day and bring you the comparison of the Inca trail 4-day hike vs 5 day.

inca trail 4 days vs 5 days


There is not a significant and huge difference in terms of views and places to see that impact your journey when hiking whichever Inca Trail version. As mentioned above, this is the same Inca trail, scheduled one as the classic Inca trail 4-day hike, and the other 5-day Inca trail hike. There are other benefits and concerns which we are about to come up with, but let’s see first the length comparison of these.

inca trail 4 day vs 5 days

Why Should You Do Inca Trail 5 Day (Benefits)

  • Hiking 5 days, you will wake up late on day 04. But hiking 4 day inca Trail, you wake up at 3 am in the morning and wait for 2 hours in a cold area until the gate is opened at 05:30 am.
  • Most tourist of 4 day Inca Trail miss Intipata Ruins. However in 5 day, you will have plenty of time to explore it.
  • On Inca Trail 5 days, you will have time to explore the Wiñaywayna ruins(Considered the best inca ruin in all Inca Trail).
  • You can acclimatise better on the 5 day Inca Trail, because the first campsite is even lower than Cusco City and you hike short distance on day 01.
  • You have better chance to see Machu Picchu from the Sungate because most the time in the afternoons it is not clowdy.
  • Longer lunch stops and plenty of time to enjoy the views. (flora and Fauna)
  • Advantages of spending more time at inca ruins along the way and especially Machu Picchu itself without the early rush.
  • Camp at less busy camping sites
  • Spend the whole tour out of reach of crowds.
  • Do the down trek section without being harried
  • Wait for the sun real sunrise at Phuyupatamarca campsite (If the weather allows. If it does, very worth it)
  • Reduced trek length to cover each day, compared to Inca Trail 4-day hike
  • Sleep at a real hotel in Aguas Calientes town on the fourth night so you take shower and visit Mapi clean.
  • Better photos to share with friends and family.
  • You get more sleep. Everyday the wake up time will be 7 am in the morning.
  • More time to relax and recover in campsites.
  • You visit Machu Picchu at its quietest. There are few people late in the afternoon (Day 4).
  • You will visit Machu Picchu twice.
  • Walkers may experience a bad Inca trail hike when the weather is bad. It feels disappointing when rain is constant, and when all they have around is obscured landscapes. Even more, knowing that they are spending an extra day, it would have been better to pick the 4-day Inca Trail. Nobody knows accurately; until it happens.
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