The Inca Roads System

The Inca Roads System

The network of Inca Roads was a trail system that linked essential points of the Coast, the Andean Mountains, and the Jungle. Today the Inca Trail begins at kilometer 82 of the railway line to Aguas Calientes.

Location of the Inca Trail km 82:
It is located northwest of Cusco and after the Sacred Valley between the towns of Ollantaytambo, Piscacucho, Aguas Calientes, Santa Tereza, Mollepata “Soraypampa” and Valle de Aobamba.

  • Area: 32,592 ha
  • Country: Peru
  • State: Cusco
  • Date of creation: January 8, 1981

Description of the Inca Trail km 82:
The Inca Trail of km 82 is paved and has a width between 1.5 to 3 meters. There are quite a few steps from the second day of the crossing until you reach Machu Picchu. On the sides of the Inca, the Trail system is Inca archaeological sites such as:

  • Canamarca
  • Llatapata,
  • Patallacta
  • Wayllabamba
  • Paucarcancha
  • Runkuracay
  • Concha Marca
  • Phuyupatamarca
  • Intipata
  • Wiñauwayna
  • Choquesuysuy
  • Chachabamba
  • Inti Punku
  • Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Huayna Picchu
  • Machu Picchu

Step by step on the Classic Inca Trail

Day 1: Cusco – Km 82 Piscacucho – Patallaqta – Hatun Chaca – Wayllabamba – Ayapata camping

The first day of warm-up on the Inca Trail

  • Pick up from your hotel at 05:00 am private transport to Piscacucho KM 82 2,720 meters/8,923 feet. We will meet the porters.
  • Inca sites to explore and observe:
    • Cana Marca Inca site.
    • Patallaqta Inca site.
    • Llactapata Inca site (exceptional views from the natural lookout).
    • Patawasi Inca site.
  • Lunch: Hatun Chaca “big bridge.”
  • Camping: Ayapata 3,300 meters/10,829 feet.
  • Maximum altitude point: Ayapata 3,300 meters/10,829 feet.
  • Elevation gained: from 2,720 meters/8,923 feet. to 3,300 meters/10,829 feet.
  • Hiking distance: 14 km/8.6 miles.
  • Estimated time hiking: 6-7 hours.
  • Weather: Changes from hot to warm.
  • Meals: Lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.

Day 2: Ayapata – Llulluchapampa – Dead Woman’s – Pacaymayo Alto – Runkurakay Pass – Chaquicocha camping

Today, the Hikers will conquer two high passes of the Inca Trail, the Warmiwañusca and the Runkurakay!

  • At 4:30 am, the activities begin with a cup of Coca tea served in your tent by our waiter.
  • Inca sites to explore and observe:
    • Runkurakay Inca site.
    • Sayacmarca Inca site.
    • Concha Marca
    • Original Inca Trail between Pacaymayo to Chaquicocha.
  • Lunch: Pacaymayo Alto 3,600 meters / 11,877 feet.
  • Camping: Chaquicocha 3,550 meters / 11,646 feet.
  • Maximum altitude point: Warmiwañuka 4,200 meters / 13,779 feet.
  • Hiking distance: 16 km/9.9 miles
  • Estimated time hiking: 8-9 hours.
  • Weather: several microclimates, “sunny, humid, and hot.”
  • Meals: Wake up Coca tea, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.

Day 3: Chaquicocha – Phuyupatamarca – Inti Pata – Wiñaywayna camping

Today is the most accessible day; hiking through the cloud forest is downhill. From the Phuyupatamarca Inca site, we have the first glimpses of Machu Picchu and the town of Aguas Calientes.

  • At 7:00 am, the activities begin with a cup of coca tea,
  • Inca sites to explore and observe:
    • Phuyupatamarca Inca site
    • Inti Pata Inca site.
    • Wiñaywayna Inca site.
    • Original Inca Trail between Chaquicocha to Wiñaywayna.
  • Lunch: Wiñaywayna 2,650 meters / 8,694 feet.
  • Camping: Wiñaywayna
  • Maximum altitude point: Phuyupatamarca 3,650 meters / 11,975 feet.
  • Hiking distance: 10 km/6.2 miles
  • Estimated time hiking: 4-5 hours.
  • Weather: several different microclimates, “sunny and humid.”
  • Meals: Wake up Coca tea, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.
  • Free afternoon to recover energy to next day for exploring Machu Picchu

Day 4: Wiñaywayna – Intipunku – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

Explore Machu Picchu Inca citadel via Sun Gate.

  • 03:30 am, time to wake up the group of hikers.
  • 04:00 am Continental breakfast.
  • 04:20 am 5 minutes of hiking towards the Wiñaywayna control.
  • Between 04:20 am and 5:30 am, we wait for the Wiñaywayna control doors to open. “The regulation of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is that this control opens at 5:30 am for safety reasons for hikers of the classic Inca Trail.
    • We get up at 3:30 am if the control opens its doors at 5:30 am; the reason is that the train for the porters organized by the railway company of Peru Rail has a single local train back to Ollantaytambo at 5:35 am.
  • Inca sites to explore:
    • Inti Punku “Sun Gate”
    • Machu Picchu Inca citadel.
  • Maximum altitude point: Intipunku 2,515 meters / 8,907 feet.
  • Hiking distance: 5 km/3 miles.
  • Estimated time of hiking: 2 hours.
  • Meals: Continental breakfast.
  • Machu Picchu Elevation: 2,400 meters / 7,874 feet.
  • 7:30 am, the guided tour of Machu Picchu begins 2 hours.
  • Aguas Calientes elevation: 2,065 meet / 6,774 feet.
  • At 12:30 noon, take the bus to Aguas Calientes village.
  • From 13:00 to 14:00, take lunch at a local restaurant in Aguas Calientes “recommended Indio Feliz; book in advance.”
  • PM Expedition or Voyager train return to Ollantaytambo and private transport to Cusco from Ollantaytambo.

Step by step on the Short Inca Trail

Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo, and Train to Km 104

  • Pick up from your hotel at 04:00 am on private transport to Ollantaytambo Train Station (two Hrs.).
  • Expedition or Voyager train to Km 104 (starting point of the hike).
  • Entrance fees for the Short Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
  • Explore three Inca sites along the hike:
    • Chachabamba
    • Wiñaywayna
    • Inti Punku
  • Trekking distance ten km/6.2 miles
  • Trailhead elevation: KM 104 2,000 m/6,550 feet.
  • Highest point elevation: Inti Punku (the Sun Gate – Inti Punku) 2,720 meters/8,920 feet.
  • Machu Picchu Inca site elevation: 2,400 meters/7,875 feet.
  • Machu Picchu Pueblo elevation: 2,040 meters/ 6,690 feet.
  • Hiking hours: 6-hour trek
  • Trek difficulty level: Moderate and easy (Ascent: 546 meters/1,791 feet. – Descent: 315 meters/1,033 feet.).
  • Meals: one box lunch hikers and tour guide.
  • PM’s first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate and the Inca guardhouse.
  • One bus ticket Machu Picchu Inca site to Machu Picchu Pueblo.
  • One night hotel in a three STAR hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes “Andina Luxury hotel ***, or El Presidente hotel **.”

Day 2: AM Machu Picchu Guided Tour – PM Train Return to Cusco

  • At 05:00 am, there is a Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
  • Between 5:30 am and 6:30 am, bus service from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Inca site, “the trip lasts 30 minutes on the dirt road called Hiram Bingham.”
  • At approximately 7:30 am, the guided  2-hour tour begins to explore the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
    Climb to Huayna Picchu (Optional not included– book in advance with us) at 07 am or 10 am.
  • At 12:30 noon, take the bus to Aguas Calientes village.
  • From 13:00 to 14:00, take lunch at a local restaurant in Aguas Calientes “recommended Indio Feliz; book in advance.”
  • PM Expedition or Voyager train return to Ollantaytambo and private transport to Cusco from Ollantaytambo.

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