Inca Trail 5 Days
The Inca trail 5 days trek takes the same route as it is in the 4-Day Inca trail version. The great option for this trek is that if you are a bit doubtful of your physical capability and say: “I may not do this”. Precisely for that reason, this trek was made for, so you can do it at a much slower pace that allows you to walk calmly, relaxed, and more importantly, it allows you to acclimate better.
Our local company AB Expeditions include Professional highly trained, educated, and passionate head guides to lead the groups on the Inca trail 5 days and answer all questions, amazing porters who will help to carry all the needed camping gear and personal belongings; a professional chef who deliver hot restaurant-style meals at each camping site to guarantee delicious food and to ensure you have plenty of energy to appreciate the amazing landscapes that 5 day Inca Trail offers.
Why should you hike Inca trail 5 days with us?
- Our 5-day Inca Trail itinerary is designed to avoid the crowds by keeping half a day ahead and behind everyone else. Check out what is difference between 4 days and 5-day Inca Trail here.
- Our porters are treated with respect, we provide them a fair salary, a decent tent with a pad, proper meals, and proper equipment. We care for their health, well-being, and the health of their families, also we are committed to social projects to improve their lives.
- We are a practical, punctual, reliable Travel company, welcoming individuals or groups. Check out our reviews on trip advisor.
- At AB Expeditions, our porters, guides, driver, and Cooks receive their salaries as soon as they finish their job.
- We don't share our group of Inca trail 5 days with other companies.
- Small groups of 2 to 8 people maximum. This fact sets us apart from other travel companies that take bigger groups.
- AB Expeditions is A 100% locally owned Travel Company and fully licensed Inca Trail operator.
- Our Tour Guides pride themselves on being up-to-date and have a comprehensive program of continual professional development. We love showing what a fascinating and amazing Inca trail is.
- Your return train ticket on day 5 is at 02:55 pm from Aguas Calientes. Therefore you arrive in Cusco early so you will sleep enough to do any tour the next day.
- Our Inca trail porters got their vaccine against covid-19. they are ready to work!!!
** IMPORTANT NOTE **
The Peruvian Ministry of Culture and SERNANP are in charge of all regulations of the Inca Trail, including permits and campsites. To access the Inca Trail, you have to have a permit that matches your FULL NAME, PASSPORT NUMBER, NATIONALITY, and AGE issued by the Ministry of Culture.
Only licensed Inca Trail Travel Agencies like AB EXPEDITIONS can secure these, and they are not transferable in date or name at any time. If you are not able to start your Inca Trail hike on your start date, it is not possible to transfer the permit to someone else. If you need to change your start date, you have to make sure permits are still available for the new date and purchase a new permit. These are all rules of the government of Peru that all Travel Agencies need to follow. If permits are sold out for your desired start date, many other treks lead to Machu Picchu such as Salkantay Trek, Inca Quarry Trek, and Lares Trek. We can help you find the perfect trek for you.
INCA TRAIL 5 DAYS ITINERARY
Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Hatunchaca /Chamana.
We will depart 07:00 am from your hotel to Machu Picchu Inca Trail Tour in private transportation. After 1 hour and 30 minutes we will stop in Ollantaytambo and we will explore the town. Then we will keep driving for about 40 minutes to the Trailhead, The starting point of the Inca trail is located beyond Ollantaytambo village, about 3 hours from Cusco city; hence it is going to be a long but beautiful drive. We will get to the checkpoint when all the 4 day hike groups already left 2 hours ahead, after everyone has got the entrance permits validated (the group and the support crew porters), We all start the hike, first crossing the suspension bridge and continuing along the left shore of the Urubamba River.
The trek is relatively easy for the first couple of hours as we make our way to the Mesqay where we will have our lunch. After our meal, we will hike to Inca site named Patallacta. This is the place that welcomes everyone for the rest of the adventure on the Inca trail with great views above the Urubamba river. After getting the explanation, we will hiekt to our campsite. The campground for the first night is at the Hatunchaca or Chamana sector. We will spend the with very few people because the 4 day group sleep in Huayllabamba and Ayapata campsites.
- Distance: 5 km (3,10 miles)
- Hiking time: 3-4 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 2,650 m (8,331 ft)
- Campsite altitude: 2,650 m (8,331 ft).
- Elevation gain: 190 m(623 ft)
Day 2: Chamana – Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa
Some sort of bell ring or door knock will wake you up early for breakfast and then begin our hike to Wayllabamba. The trail is almost flat until you get to the town of Huayllabamba. This is the last settlement that you will find on the Inca trail. Along the way, you will still have private toilets and small shops to buy some snacks and bottles of water.
Once you pass the town, no more flat trail, you will hike all the way up to the Ayapata resting point. The views of the alluring snow-capped mountains and the cloud forests are fantastical. The first portion of the trek is through a path surrounded by vegetation, and as it reaches higher and higher, the trek turns difficult.
After our meal, you will keep hiking until Llulluchapampa which is our campsite. Again you will spend the night with very few people. This campsite is a beautiful grassy area that has amazing views and you might see the Andean deer that come to eat here. Also, the llamas will come to greet you and you can chase them.
- Distance: 12 km (7,56 miles)
- Hiking time: 5-6 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 3,850 m (12,498 ft)
- Campsite altitude: 3,850 m (12,498 ft).
- Elevation gain: 950 m(3,116 ft)
Day 3: Llullucpampa – Runkurakay - Sayacmaraca Ruins – Phuyupatamarca Ruins.
After our delicious breakfast, we will continue to the first and highest mountain saddle in the route: Abra Warmiwañusqa, Quechua for Dead woman´s pass. Hiking all way up and conquering the high point is no mean feat, but the prize is what is behind the mountain; a lush green valley. Probably this hike up will take us 1 hour and a half to complete and another two hours to hike down behind to the Pacaymayo campground for lunch. Again, you will be with very few people at the Summit and you don't need to deal with the crowd to take pictures with the dead woman sign. With a bit of luck, we may see some Andean deer and endemic birds in the area. After lunchtime in the Pacaymayo area, we will start the march on the Inca trail, step after step towards the second pass on the trek. Along the way, we will see fantastic views of waterfalls and flora, and fauna. Not long after the start, there is an Inca site called Runcu Raqay, where we will stop and take a break for a few minutes before continuing our hike to the pass, walking far away from any modern city but over the bush-grown valleys. Once up to the pass, we will have the chance to take some of the most spectacular pictures, overlooking the snowcapped mountains and pristine landscapes in the purest nature.
Later, the descent begins all the way down to Sayac Marca Inca Complex, and little by little, we will be entering the jungle eyelash, where vegetations start surrounding the path. At Sayaq Marca, we will have a guided tour, and thereafter the hike will continue for about three more hours through a more or less flat and then the Inclined path, to Phuyu Pata Marca. That afternoon, we will observe the sunset and see the Machu Picchu mountain as well as the Urubamba River down in the Valley. With that done, at night after dinner, everyone gets to bed early for the next day's morning's spectacular sunrise observation.
- Distance: 15 km (9,23 miles)
- Hiking time: 7-8 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 4,200 m (13,786 ft)
- Campsite altitude: 3,600 m (12,113 ft). }
- Elevation gain: 732 m(2,401 ft).
Day 4: Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
Today, as usual, after breakfast once again, we will start our way through the Inca site of Phuyu Pata Marca down the long descending stone steps to the Wiñay Wayna Inca site, where we will have lunch. Before getting to Wiñay Huayna, we will have time to get to the Inti Pata viewpoint, and by the way, we will see once an important agricultural area for Machu Picchu. Visiting the Intipata sector, we descend straight down to Wiñay Huayna, one of the largest Inca sites outside of Machu Picchu. What is particularly interesting here is the intricacy of the architectural development in the housing structures in the upper action and the section on the lower edge united by a long staircase. Also, the great pattern of terraces makes Wiñay Huayna a beautiful Inca site then it also offers once again views of the Urubamba river much closer. What is next is Lunchtime at the campsite just by the Inca site.
It is customary on the Inca trail to make a farewell ceremony for our Inca trail porters and cook, so if you have prepared some tips or have something to say, then that is the right time. Afterward, we say farewell to our crew team and continue our hike to the Sun gate through a leveled Inca path for about 1 hour 30 and reach the magic sun gate overlooking Machu Picchu for the first time in life. As the sun sets down, we approach Machu Picchu little by little and take pictures before taking the shuttle bus down to Aguas Calientes town overnight.
- Distance: 11 km (6,79 miles)
- Hiking time: 5-6 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 3,600 m (11,692 ft)
- Hotel altitude: 2,000 m (6,561 ft).
- Elevation gain: 180 m( 590 ft).
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco
Today, the wake-up is early to get to Machu Picchu as early as possible before the crowds. At about 5:30, We will board one of the first buses to Machu Picchu. These buses are on first come because everyone makes a line with permits in hand. Up in Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour for about 2 hours: visiting the must-see places. After that, you will have free time for exploring Machu Picchu at your own pace.
If you have purchased permits for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, then our guide will show you the trailhead for you to register and give you all the advice for the rest of the hike and how to return to take the bus back to Agua Caliente therefore to take the afternoon train. With that done, you say bye to the guide and according to your itinerary, you will meet the guide in Cusco again or not. Lunch is not Included for the last day in Aguas Calientes as there is a bunch variety of food in different restaurants. Later you have to catch the train back to Ollantaytambo, where our AB expeditions representative will meet you and take you in a car drive, to your Hotel In Cusco.
- A personal porter to carry your 7 kg of your personal belongings
- Pick up and drop off in your hotel.
- Private tourist transport Cusco - Km 82 (the starting point of the walk).
- English speaking guide with conduct radio communication.
- Foam mattresses.
- Professional chef
- Kitchen equipment.
- Dining tent with chairs and tables.
- Portable environmental biodegradable toilet (The Pett).
- Meal service at the campsites (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, 4 snacks). With option for vegetarians, gluten free, lactose Intolerance and any food allergy.
- 4 season Tents for two people (tent with capacity for 3 people used as doubles - Kayla Doite).
- Porter service. As detailed in the table authorized by the Ministry of Culture. (To carry our camping equipment and food) we never overload our porters and they have proper equipment.
- Inca trail Permits and Machu Picchu ticket.
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes on day 04.
- Round trip bus ticket on day 05 from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and viceversa.
- Expeditions train ticket back (14:55 Hrs.) To Ollantaytambo.
- Private transportation from Ollantaytambo train station to Cusco.
- Emergency oxygen bottle and first aid kit.
- Hotel of 3 stars in Aguas Calientes town( Tara Machu Picchu or similar)
- Pre-departure Inca Trail briefing, presented by the tour guides at 6:00 pm at the office a day before.
- Wake-up tea. Hot herbal tea brought to your tent, each morning before breakfast.
- A duffle bag, where you put your 7 kg / 14 pounds of personal items per person (personal cares, personal items, sleeping bag are within this 7 kg / 14 pounds).
- We provide hot water bins each day to help our clients clean and feel good at night.
- Rain Poncho to cover from the rain.
- Two hour guided tour in Machu Picchu
- Boiled water to fill in your water bottles or Camelback (your chef will provide clean water after each meal)
- Day pack cover to keep you dry your belongings.
- Lunch - Day 5.
- Entrance to the hot springs in the town of Aguas Calientes (US $ 5).
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO UPGRADE
- Sleeping Bag: $25 USD.
- A pair of Walking Poles: $15 USD.
- Personal tent: $30 USD.
- Vistadome Train Upgrade: $50 USD.
- Huayna Picchu Mountain: $70 USD.
- Machu Picchu Mountain – $70 USD.
WHAT TO BRING FOR THE INCA TRAIL 5 DAYS
- Original Passport and student cards if you are students.
- A trekking Backpack (21 liters capacity).
- Hiking Poles with rubber tips. You can bring your own or rent it from AB Expeditions.
- Trekking Clothing: Hiking shoes, waterproof pants, waterproof shorts, two shirts, a light sweater, jacket for rain, and clothes to rest in at the hotel. On the other hand, it is quite comfortable and relaxing for the body to wear light clothes for the walk; for this, waterproof materials are very good, because they enable quick drying from sweat and rain.
- Night in Aguas Calientes: Please bring with you a clean set of clothes to wear after the trekking. Also, you can bring along swimwear and towels if you decide to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes.
- Personal Hygiene items: toothpaste. toothbrush, and wet wipes.
- Medicine: If you are taking any medications, please bring them with you. It is also recommended to bring some over the counter medicine for the altitude sickness (Coramina, Aspirina, Diamox, Sorojchi, Acetazolamide). It is also suggested to bring Anti Blister Gel to avoid getting blisters on your feet and being unable to continue on your trek.
- Digital Camera with an external memory (2-4 Gb) (Optional).
- Sunglasses with UV protection.
- Sun Block SPF 60 (UVA-UVB) waterproof and sport.
- Waterproof Insect Repellent lotion, not spray.
- Swiss Army Knife.
- Water bottle made of flexible plastic. This type of bottle is very easy to carry and does not take up a lot of space. At the same time, they help in our effort to protect the environment.
FREQUENT ASKED QUESTION
HOW TO BOOK THE INCA TRAIL 5 DAY TREK WITH AB EXPEDITONS?
In order to book your Inca Trail 5 days with us, Click on the BOOK NOW button, then select the day of your departure, then, fill out all your personal information of each participant and the last step is the payment of your deposit of $150 per person.
Once we get your deposit, we will send you a confirmation of your trek and the booking form to fill out. Here is all the detail that you need to send us.
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- Date of Birthday (dd / mm / yyyy)
***We need copies of the Passports of each participant because they are required when buying Inca trail permits.
Once your Inca trail permits are in our hands, we will send you a confirmation that everything is 100% organized. All start dates, once confirmed, are guaranteed.
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE?
Yes! During the Inca Trail 5 day trek to Machu Picchu, you can store your luggage at our office or at your hotel, whichever is more convenient for you. Please bring what you will only need during your Machu Picchu 5 day hike.
WHAT ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING BALANCE?
The Outstanding balance can be made in cash one day earlier your trek in USD or soles or if you prefer PayPal at least one week prior to your trip(a 7% service fee applies). Also, you can pay us with a Credit card only Visa(5% service fee applies). Please let us know what you prefer. Cash payment MUST be paid 1 day prior to your trip.
HOW ABOUT THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?
According to Peruvian Law, you have to be under 18 years old at the time of your hike to the Inca trail 5 days (if you are 18 or over, you need to have valid student cards). Below is a sample of a valid student card
- All students from 11 to 17 years old have a discount of $30 USD.
- For children from 2 to 11 years old a discount is $40 USD.
All students have to send a copy of their passport and student card at the time of their booking to get the student discount. Send us a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE PERMITS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Sadly it is not possible. The Peruvian government doesn t allow us to change once the Classic Inca Trail 5 days permits have been purchased. Inca Trail permits are not transferable nor refundable. . The only information that the government allows us to change is passport numbers.
DO I NEED TO BRING MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE INCA TRAIL 5 DAYS TO MACHU PICCHU?
Yes! You must bring your original passport and it is very important that it should be the same passport you sent us to reserve your Inca Trail 5 days permit. Your passport will be checked at 3 Inca trail checkpoints, Machu Picchu, and when you board the train.
UPDATING PASSPORT NUMBERS
If you are renewing your passport, go ahead and email us a copy of your old passport to book your Inca trail 5 days permits. If you no longer have your old passport, any government issue ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same. Once you receive your new passport. Please email us a copy of your new passport ASAP to change the information on your permit.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE OF MY TRAIN TICKET?
It will depend on the train availability. We usually book a return train tickets at 02:55 pm on day 5 so you arrive in Cusco at 06:30 pm and you have enough time to sleep and do any tour the next day, like Rainbow Mountains.
HOW DOES IT WORK IF I BOOK HUAYNA PICCHU?
For our customers who hike the Inca trail 5-day trek, we will always book the 09 – 10 am Schedule for Huayna Picchu Mountain. You will arrive to Machu Picchu at 6 am on the last day. So you will have a guided tour of Machu Picchu citadel from 06 until 08:30 am. Then you will enter Huayna Picchu at 09:00 am. This hike takes around 2 hour and a half roughly. Consecuently you will finish this hike at 12:00 roughly. Then you will take the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes which takes around 25 minutes. So you will be in Aguas Calientes 12:30 pm. Then you will have time to eat your lunch until 02:50 pm.
When you hike Huayna Picchu Mountain, we always book the 15:20 train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Therefore you will get back to Cusco around 19:30.
Note: The 09 am and 10 am Huayna Picchu ticket run out quickly, so it is better to book the Huayna Picchu together with your 2-day Inca trail permits in Advance.
HOW DOES IT WORK IF I BOOK MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN?
In case you book the Machu Picchu Mountain, we book the Schedule of 08 – 09 am. So you will have a guided tour of Machu Picchu citadel from 6 to 8 am then you need to exit Machu Picchu, use the toilet, and reenter Machu Picchu then you need to walk for 10 minutes until the Machu Picchu Mountain checkpoint. You will access the Mountain at 8:45 am. This hike takes 3 hours roughly so you will be back in Machu Pichu at 12 pm then you will take the bus to Aguas Calientes which takes 30 minutes. You will be in Aguas Calientes around 12:30 then you will have time to explore the town and have lunch until 14:25 pm.
IS THE MACHU PICCHU TICKET INCLUDED IN INCA TRAIL 5 TREK?
Yes, it is Included Machu Picchu ticket.
CAN I STAY IN THE SACRED VALLEY FOR MY INCA TRAIL 5 DAYS?
Yes, you can stay in Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. by staying in the Sacred Valley, your pickup will be 1 hour after the Cusco pick up so you will sleep more.
ADDITIONAL INFO FOR INCA TRAIL 5 DAYS
A maximum of 500 people per day are allowed to access the Inca Trail 5 days at km. 82; This number includes all support staff such as authorized porters, cooks, and tour guides and is most tightly controlled; when the Inca trail reaches its limit of 500 visitors, the Trail is closed off for the day and no further reservations could be made; Booking are not held on the Trail and all permits must be purchased a year in advance, if possible.
THINGS TO KNOW
- No departures in February due to trail maintenance.
- Spend at least 2 days in Cusco before your Inca Trail 5 day hike to get used to the altitude.
- For peak season, June to August, you should book your permits to a year in advance.
- Bottled water is available for purchase at some places along the trail on the first and second days, and then not until Machu Picchu.
- This 5 day trek to Machu Picchu is not recommended for travelers with back problems
- Make sure your trekking shoes are broken in before the hike.
- Daily departures with a group of 2 or more.
- There is no accessible for wheelchair.
- DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS: Original passport, insurance card, and personal medications.
This hike is difficult, it’s highly recommended to be in good physical condition; The classic Inca Trail elevation changes make the hike tough as there are three passes during your trek.
We will give you duffel bags at our office at the end of your briefing. Our porters will carry them and you will have access to them only at the campsites. Put your clothes and other personal items that you won't need hiking. Things like water, snacks, a first aid kit, and rain gear should be in your day pack.
The duffel should weigh 7kg. Remember only 4kg will be for your personal belongings. The remaining 3kg is going to be for your pad, and sleeping bag.
Strikes and roadblocks are frequent in Peru and can disrupt our Inca trail to Machu Picchu 5 hike and rail service to and from Machu Picchu. We will do our best that your hike to Machu Picchu continues as planned with some changes.
If the strike happens on the first day of your Machu Picchu 5-day tour, we will take you to the trailhead the night before your start date. So you will sleep at the trailheads in tents.
If the strike happens the day that you finish your Inca Trail 5-day hike. We will send our vans to Hidrolectrica. So you will need to hike extra 2 hours from Aguas Calientes to Hydroelectric. Then we will drive by van to Cusco. We will drop you off at your hotel around 11:00 pm. Another option will be that you will visit Machu Pichu on day 4 in the afternoon and take the train the same day to Cusco.
During the Inca trail to Machu Picchu trek, solo travelers will be paired to share a tent with another traveler of the same sex and couples will have a tent to themselves.
We highly recommend you get travel insurance because if you cancel your 5-day Inca Trail tours at the last minute it can reimburse you for your pre-paid, non-refundable Inca Trail permit. Also when you get sick or hurt while you are far away from home, it can reimburse you for care following a covered medical emergency while traveling.
INCA TRAIL WEATHER
The weather is unpredictable in the Andes. The dry season in Inca Trail is from April to October and the rainy season is from November through March, but this does not stop rain from falling in the dry season or the sun from coming out in the rainy season so just be prepared. No matter what season you are hiking 5 day hike to Machu Picchu, make sure that you get rain clothes such as a rain jacket, rain pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves.
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu hike involves various microclimates. You might experience 4 seasons in only one day too. So you must be prepared. Layers are the key since they are easy to adapt to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a down jacket since the early morning and evening will be cold.
RETURNING FROM MACHU PICHU TO CUSCO.
Returning from Machu Picchu to Cusco needs a lot of logistics. But it is already organized by us.
Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, you will take a bus down to Aguas Calientes for about 30 minutes. Buses run every 15 minutes. Then Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy train station. Our guide will give you your train tickets. Make sure to get to the train station 30 minutes earlier.
- The estimated time on the train is 1 hour and a half from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- The estimated time on the train is 3 hours and a half from Aguas Calientes to Poroy.
Once at the train station, our transfer will wait for you with AB Expeditions logo. He/She will then transfer you back to Cusco and then to your hotel.
- The estimated time from Ollantaytambo to Cusco is 1 hour and half.
- The estimated time from Poroy to Cusco is 40 minutes.
There is a mandatory pre-departure briefing at our Cusco Office one day before your departure to the Inca trail 5 days at 6 pm. You will meet your guide and He will give you detailed information about your hike, a list of what to bring, rental equipment, or questions in general. Our office is located at Marquez Street 250, Second Floor. Office 03. Cuzco, Peru.
TYPICAL MEALS ON THE TREK
We train our cooks every year during the low season to provide you with the best-tasting meals on the mountain, with specialty menus and the freshest local ingredients available on all of our Treks to Machu Picchu. Here is an idea of what you will be eating during your hike.
*Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and more Options Available Upon Request (please let us know at the time of booking).
Hot porridge, quinoa or oats, fried eggs, omelet or pancakes with fresh bread, fried bananas, Thick oatmeal with large fresh chunks of sweet apples, and boiled water for hot teas, coca tea, coffee, chocolate, and milk.
Lunch & dinner:
First Course: Quinoa, corn, noodle, asparagus, mushroom or vegetable soup, stuffed avocado, or potatoes.
Second Course: Chicken breast, beef stew, quinoa, fried rice, hamburgers, fried chicken, spaghetti bolognese, typical dishes: aji de gallina (chili pepper chicken), escabeche de Pollo (marinated chicken), or ajiaco de ulluco (spicy ulluco stew).
Fried plantains, chocolate pudding, chocolate or vanilla cake, peach.
candies, cookies, juice, crackers, and a variety of Peruvian fruits such as Banana, Chirimoya, Granadilla, Apples, oranges, and Mandarine.
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