3 Day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu

3 Day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu

Trip Overview

This the shorter version of the 3 Day Inca Jungle trail to Machu Picchu. This tour was created for those who are seeking more adventurous activities such as Biking, Rafting, and Zip-line included in the tour price. This version of the Inca Jungle Trail omits a day of walking, without sacrificing any of the adventure, and ends at same magical destination: Machu Picchu, the glorious Lost City of the Incas.

Our 3-Day Inca Jungle Trail adventure includes an entrance ticket to Machu Picchu, with circuit options 1 or 2 according to availability. In order to secure one of these circuits, we highly recommend booking 3 or 2 months in advance. However, if circuits 1 or 2 are already fully booked, don’t worry! We will secure a ticket for circuit 3 or 4, ensuring that you still have an amazing experience at Machu Picchu.”

New Regulations for Visiting Machu Picchu

Starting from January 2019, entrance tickets to Machu Picchu are sold with specific visiting hours, ranging from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Visitors are required to board the bus that will take them to Machu Picchu in advance to avoid unnecessary queues in Machu Picchu Pueblo and congestion at the entrance gates.

Since January 2021, new visiting circuits have been established based on the type of entrance ticket purchased, whether for Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu mountain, or Machu Picchu mountain. For detailed information regarding the circuits and schedules, you can refer to our “Schedules and New Circuits for Visiting Machu Picchu” link or contact us for further assistance. We are here to ensure you have an unforgettable experience at Machu Picchu.

Please note; that there will be trekkers of different abilities and differnet lenguaje in your  Inca Jungle Trail  group. Our guides are very experienced and will work to accommodate the needs of all of our trekkers in a safe and friendly manner. However, if you and your friends or family all have the same fitness level and you would prefer to hike in a private group, contact us today about booking a private service for your Inka Jungle Trail  adventure!

3 Day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu

Included in the 3 Day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu:

  • Professional guide who is fluent in English and spanish
  • Private bus to Santa María or biking point
  • Bikes and Safety Equipment
  • Biking, Rafting, and Zip – Line activities
  • 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • 1 Nights Basic Accommodation (Santa Maria, Santa Teresa)
  • 1 Nights  Basic Accommodation Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Guided Tour of Machu Picchu
  • Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco

Not Included in the 3 Day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu:

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day
  • Entrance to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes (10 soles)
  • Tips for the guide
  • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu


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$300 per person

Get in touch with our travel advisor to use this itinerary as a base to design together your perfect Machupicchu adventure!

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Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco to Santa Teresa

Today, you will unleash your adventurous spirit as you embark on a 65 km biking adventure and enjoy 1.5 hours of thrilling river rafting.

Join us for an exciting Cusco adventure as we pick you up from your hotel around 6 am and drive through the breathtaking Sacred Valley of the Incas. Prepare to be amazed by the charming towns, the stunning Vilcabamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges, and the traditional town of Chinchero. After a 2-hour drive, we’ll take a break in the ancient Inca town of Ollantaytambo, where you can stretch your legs and explore.

Our journey continues to Abra Malaga Pass (4350m / 14,271ft), where we’ll provide you with all the necessary gear and a biking tutorial. Get ready for an exhilarating 60km downhill ride that starts with a magnificent view of the snow-capped Veronica peak. As you cycle through the beautiful Andes, we’ll make a stop at the Huamanmarca Inca site for a delicious lunch and some exploration.

After immersing yourself in the rich history of the area, we’ll hop back in the car and head to Santa Maria for an adrenaline-pumping 1.5-hour white river rafting adventure. Prepare to be captivated by the stunning landscape as you navigate the exciting rapids. Once the rafting is complete, we’ll return to town and take a local car for a 1-hour ride to Santa Teresa.

When we arrive in Santa Teresa, you can check into your hotel and relax. If you’re in the mood, we can also visit the nearby hot springs for a couple of hours, where you can rejuvenate and unwind in the soothing warmth and natural beauty. Later, we’ll return to Santa Teresa town to enjoy a delicious dinner and get a good night’s rest at your hotel.

  • Biking distance: 65 km, approximately 3 to 4 hours of downhill biking
  • River Rafting Adventure: 1 to 1.5 Hours of Exciting Fun
  • Difficulty: Moderate day (packed with adventure)
  • Weather: Warm and windy during the day, with pleasantly warm nights
  • Accommodations: Overnight stay at a Basic hotel in Santa Teresa
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 2: Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes: Exciting Ziplining and Scenic 3-Hour Hike Adventure

Get ready for an action-packed day starting at 6:30 am. After breakfast, be prepared for an exhilarating experience. Around 8:00 am, the zipline company will pick you up and take you to the zipline base. After a short orientation, get ready for a thrilling 2-hour adventure featuring four different ziplines and a suspension bridge.

Once you’ve enjoyed the excitement of ziplining, we’ll take a 1-hour car ride to Hidroelectrica, where a well-deserved lunch awaits you. After lunch, embark on a scenic 3-hour hike along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes town. Take in the breathtaking views along the way and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, check into your hotel and take some time to recharge and relax. At 7:00 pm, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at a local restaurant before heading back to the hotel for a restful night’s sleep. Wake up early the next day, filled with anticipation to explore the magnificent Machu Picchu.

  • Zipline Adventure: Experience 4 Unique Ziplines and 1 Thrilling Suspension Bridge
  • Hiking distance: 11 km, approximately 3 to 3.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate day (packed with adventure)
  • Weather: Warm and tropical during the day, with pleasantly warm nights
  • Accommodations: Overnight stay at a hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3: Machu Picchu-  Returning to Cusco

Arriving at Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes  give you have two fantastic options. You can either embark on a scenic and invigorating 1.5-hour hike or opt for a convenient bus ride, available for $12. The choice is entirely up to you, and you can even decide on the same day you plan to visit Machu Picchu. No matter which option you choose, your day will start bright and early at 4 am with a delightful breakfast at your hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Walk Up  from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, your adventure will begin at around 4:30 am. You’ll set off from your hotel in Aguas Calientes and make your way to Puente Ruinas, which takes approximately 30 minutes. Puente Ruinas acts as the first checkpoint, where you’ll need to present your Machu Picchu tickets and original passports for entry. After passing through the Puente Ruinas checkpoint, you’ll embark on an uphill hike to Machu Picchu, ascending around 1,700 steps. This ascent typically takes between one to one and a half hours. Once you arrive at the main entrance of Machu Picchu, you’ll reunite with your group and guide to enter the site and begin your extraordinary exploration of this ancient Inca citadel.

TAKE THE BUS from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, you can conveniently purchase your bus ticket in town either the night before or on the same morning. Each one-way bus ticket costs $12. Once you have your ticket in hand, join the queue to board the first buses, which depart from Aguas Calientes at 5:30 am. The bus ride itself is approximately 30 minutes long and will transport you to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, around 6 am, you’ll meet up with your group and guide to enter the site and embark on an enchanting exploration of the remarkable ancient Inca city together.

While on the walking tour in Machu Picchu, it is recommended that you take advantage of the opportunity to take pictures at every location your tour guide takes you to. This is especially important because, under the new regulations, you will not be able to backtrack and revisit any locations on the same circuit.

Once you have finished your walking tour in Machu Picchu, your tour guide will provide you with your returning train ticket. You will then proceed to the main exit of Machu Picchu in order to catch one of the buses that will take you on a 25-minute drive down to Aguas Calientes. In Aguas Calientes, there are many restaurants where you can have lunch. After that, depending on your returning train schedule, you will need to go to the Aguas Calientes train station 30 minutes prior to your train’s departure.

Depending on your train’s departure time, you will have a 1.5-hour train journey back to Ollantaytambo train station. There, one of our company members will be waiting for you with a sign displaying your name, in order to take you to the place where our transportation is waiting for you. After that, you will have another 1.5-hour car or van drive before you arrive back in Cusco

The 6:20.p.m. train will arrive in Ollantaytambo train station at 8:00 p.m., where you will be picked up by your driver outside of the train station. The driver will be holding a sign with your name on it to avoid confusion. If you do not see the driver initially, just wait for them outside of the train station. Once the driver has picked you up, you will travel for 1 and a half hours in a van before you arrive back at your accommodation. Your arrival time in Cusco will be approximately 10:00 p.m.

However we can also book an afternoon train departure time of 2:55 or 4:12.p.m. for you if you prefer, at an extra cost of US $35. The train we will book depends on availability and will be confirmed at your briefing. There is also an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome train for an extra US $75 per person.

Please let us know your time preference for the train at the time of booking your tour with us!

Price

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DISCOUNT

  • icon studentsStudent Discount: $20 USD
  • icon teenDiscount for Under 18: $30 USD
  • icon childrenDiscount for Under 7: $50 USD

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STUDENT DISCOUNT:

The student discount is available to students worldwide who meet the requirements of the Peruvian government. It can be applied when purchasing tickets for Machu Picchu directly from the Peruvian government.

To qualify for the student price, make sure you meet the following requirements:

Your student ID must be an original document issued by your university, made of PVC material.

  • The student ID must include the following printed information:
  • University information.
  • Student’s name.
  • Student’s photograph.
  • The student ID must have a valid expiration date printed on it, which is valid for only one year. For example, if you plan to visit Machu Picchu in 2024, the expiration date on your ID should be 2024 or 2025. If you visit Machu Picchu in 2024, the maximum allowed expiration date is 2025.
  • The student discount is available only for students 25 years of age or younger.
  • The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is not valid for the discount, even if it meets the requirements mentioned above.
  • The only accepted document for the student price is the original student ID that meets the requirements set by the Peruvian government. Other documents, such as certifications or virtual cards, are not accepted as proof of student status.
  • To request the student price, please send a photo of both sides of your student ID to inkatrailbackpacker@gmail.com when booking the tour. If you send it later, you will not be eligible for the student discount.
  • Feel free to contact us if you have further questions or need assistance.

Additional Upgrades for Your 3 day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu:

Train schedule

The schedule for the return train at the end of the Tour/Trek is the Expedition Train, departing at 6:20 p.m. or 7:00 p.m., depending on availability.

If you prefer an earlier train for the return journey, we can arrange it for an additional cost of $35 per person. The available times are 2:55 p.m. or 4:35 p.m. We also offer the option to book the Vistadome train at 3:40 p.m. for an additional cost of $65 per person. Please let us know in advance which train schedule you prefer. Please note that none of the reserved trains go directly to Cusco; they only go to the Ollantaytambo or Poroy stations. In any case, we will ensure that transportation will be arranged to pick you up and bring you back to Cusco.

Can I change my return train ticket to an earlier one at the Aguas Calientes station?

Yes, you can make this change in person at the Aguas Calientes train station. However, they will ask you to pay an additional fee for changing the ticket, and the change will be subject to availability of space and train schedules.

How long does the return trip to Cusco take?

The return journey to Cusco takes approximately 3 hours. First, you will board a train in Aguas Calientes, which will take you to the Ollantaytambo train station for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then, a transfer from our office will be waiting for you at the train station exit with a sign bearing your name to drive you back to Cusco in a car or van for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Finally, they will drop you off at your hotel or hostel. You will receive your train tickets once your Machu Picchu tour has concluded.

what to bring

What you need to bring in the 3 Day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu:

  • Original passport
  • Small daypack
  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Sun hat or cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • We strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu.
  • Toiletries
  • Personal medication
  • Camera
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Cash

Optional Items to bring

  • Shorts
  • Plasters and bandages
  • Sandals
  • Bathing suit for hot springs in Santa Teresa (Not included in the price)

Why Us

Why does Inka Trail Backpacker charge less than other operators?

At Inka Trail Backpacker, we offer you the basic and essential version of the popular treks in the region. We are a 100% local company that wants to provide everything you will need at the real cost of operations—never unfair upcharging! That is why our slogan is “Fun, Not Fancy Trip.”

Are you a certified company?

Inka Trail Backpacker has been a Licensed Inca Trail Tour Operator since 2014. All companies managing the Inca Trail must be certified and have an Inca Trail operators license. This license is issued annually each December; Inka Trail Backpacker is licensed through the year of 2027.

Our license as an Official Travel Agency is under the name Inka Trail Backpacker E.I.R.L. Our license as an Inca Trail Operator is under the name of INKA TRAIL BACKPACKER E.I.R.L We also work with partner company licenses, such as QESWACHAKA PERU TOURS  E.I.R.L and GRUPO CAMINOS DEL PERU E.I.R.L. For tourists´protection, getting the permit for the Inca Trail from the government is a complicated and stringent process: in order to guarantee an Inca Trail Permit for all the tourists that have decided to book their adventure with us, we are registered to book using any of the above mentioned company licenses. We are all registered on the official Government web site: www.machupicchu.gob.pe.

Does Inka Trail Backpacker care for their porters?

Yes, we absolutely take care of our porters. We do not charge you less than other companies at the expense of our porters’ pay and wellbeing. Since the end of 2014, Inka Trail Backpacker has been paying our porters a wage of 400 soles for the 4 day trek, plus their transportation costs. That is nearly 20% above the legally required minimum wage agreed upon with the Porters Union. Following talks with our porters, they have told us that they know of only a few trekking companies that offer such competitive pay and benefits. Only two companies pay slightly more (and charge their clients almost US$100 more than us). Of the remaining 170 other licensed trekking operators, only about 60% pay the legal wage and 40% pay less than the legal wage. Some companies pay only 70% of the legal wage. Unfortunately, this is difficult to prove as their porters receive a low wage but are asked to sign receipts showing they received more!

However, improving porter welfare is not just about paying fair wages. It is important that the porters have adequate food, a warm and dry place to sleep, and access to medical attention, just the same as any other member of the group.

The wages that the porters get paid are by no means high by Western standards, but you have to look at wages relative to other professions in Peru. For example, a school teacher gets paid the equivalent of about US$400 per month and has trained for 5 years to become a professional. A porter, if he works 4 treks a month, receives about the same if you include his tips. Most porters are seasonal workers and have no formal qualifications. For just 16 days work per month, they receive wages similar to a teacher who works 22 days. Inka Trail Backpacker also tries to help the porters in additional ways, such as financial and educational support for their families.

Trek with Like-Minded Travellers

As a traveller, you know that one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of going to new places is meeting people along the way. When you book a tour with us, you can be confident that your group will be filled with similar travellers looking for adventure in the Peruvian Andes. Our groups provide a great opportunity to meet new people and bond with them in an exciting environment. You never know who you will meet!

Community

We are really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs, buy all our food from local farmers and markets, and serve the freshest ingredients.

100% Guaranteed Departures

At Inka Trail Backpacker, we like to think we do trekking a little differently than our competitors. We stand by our customers and guarantee that we meet 100% of our departure dates on our treks even if you are a solo traveler.

Office Location

Our office is located at 392 Calle Triunfo (the street is also called Sunturwasi), inside the Centro Artesenal Arte Inka Building, which is on the corner across the street from the Museo Arzobispal and the Twelve-Angled Stone, by a small fountain. We are on the second floor, in Suite 209.

Travel Info

Pre-Trek Briefing

At Inka Trail Backpacker, providing a personal experience and ensuring you are thoroughly prepared for your trek is very important to us. Before you depart on the Inca Trail trek, you will receive a briefing in our office. At the briefing, you will get to meet our staff, receive maps and a detailed description of each day of your tour, be given duffel bags if you have hired a porter, and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Do the tour guides speak English?

Our team of guides are all local to the Cusco area and speak both Spanish and English fluently. Many of them also speak Quechua (the native language of Peru). With degrees in tourism and with two years minimum of experience under their belts, they are full of energy, information about the native flora and fauna, and the Inca sites, with a vast knowledge of Andean stories and legends.

How many people are there per group?

The size of your group depends on the day’s activity. The maximum size of our group service is fourteen people, and the minimum is two to three people. For groups of over eight people, we also employ an assistant guide to help out (the assistant guide is a fully qualified guide but may lack some of the experience of the main guide or still need to improve his/her English skills.)

Is the Inca Jungle Trek difficult? Do I need to be fit?

Yes, you must be moderately fit and exercise regularly to do this trek! Your first day will be spent bike-riding downhill on the road; the second day will involve several kilometers of walking over “Andean flat” terrain.In preparation, try walking ten kms per day or go to a fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least three or four days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.

Renewal or change passport number?

If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you must send us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to make the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and train.)

If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or train. If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!

What about toilets?

All of the hostels have clean, private bathrooms. However, bathrooms along the trail are limited, and you may have to pay (usually 1 sol) to use them. If you do need to use the toilet between sites, please defecate away from the trail and water supplies; you can dig a hole, or cover your feces with a rock, and take the paper with you in a bag to deposit in one of the several bins along the way.

Tips for the Staff

Tips for guides are always welcome. The group will pool money for the tip, this is not an individual amount.

Refunds

If Inka Trail Backpacker fails to confirm the reservation, your payment will be refunded in full.

Health and Safety

A participant must declare if he/she has any sickness or medical disorder and must bring his/her own medication. We recommend that you meet with a doctor before you book the trek if you have questionable health.

Food on the Inca Jungle Trail

During this trek, you will eat all of your included meals in local restaurants with your tour group.

Can I have vegetarian, vegan, or special meals?

We offer standard meals as well as a vegetarian meal option. Just let us know if you want vegetarian meals when you book your trek.

Vegetarian meals have no red meat, chicken or fish. We will assume that eggs and dairy are OK. We are unable to cater specifically for vegans as it is too complicated for our cooks (remember they are cooking in a tent). Most of our main meals in the evening are served as a buffet service so you can always leave out what you don’t like. If there is a particular food that you don’t like (i.e. tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, etc) we will ask the cook to do his best to leave them out of the dish, but we cannot guarantee this. We can also cater to lactose-intolerant and gluten free diets (mild reactions only, no life threatening allergies accepted- see below). We reserve the right not to accept a trek booking based upon dietary requirements, this may be because we already have several people booked requiring special meals and don’t want to further inconvenience our cook. Thanks for your understanding.

Meal options:

Standard (no dietary requirements, will eat everything)
Vegetarian
No red meat (chicken & fish ok)
No fish (red meat and chicken ok)
Lactose-free (mild reactions only)
Gluten free (mild reactions only)

Unfortunately, we don’t offer a combination of the above i.e we don’t accept vegetarian AND gluten-free.

Storage during your trek

You can leave any of your belongings that you do not want to bring on the trek at your hotel or hostel you were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to securely store your belongings for you.

Faqs

Faqs to the 3 Day Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu:

Are river-rafting and ziplining included in this tour?

Yes, they are included in the tour price

When do I need to pay the balance for my tour?

We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the trek, although three nights is even better. You must pay your trek balance at least two days before the trek departure. For example, if your trek departs on a Monday you must come to our office before 7:00 p.m. on Saturday to pay the trek balance. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the high altitude before starting the trek.

How many days will I need to acclimate to the altitude before the Inca Jungle Trek?

It is very important to be well acclimated before exerting yourself on a trek. This is why we require everyone to be in Cusco for a minimum of two days prior to regular treks like the Inca Trail and Inca Jungle. However, if you are doing the Salkantay Trek, you will need at least four days to acclimate because this trek occurs at much higher altitudes than Cusco. You can use this time spent acclimatizing to visit the city of Cusco, nearby Inca ruins, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Can I wear sneakers on my trek? Why do I need hiking boots?

Both sneakers (trainers or running shoes) and hiking boots are suitable for this hike. However, whichever you choose, be sure that they are broken in and will be comfortable over long distances. Lightweight, waterproof hiking boots are especially recommended.

How many people will be sharing a room in the hostels?

In the hostels, there are three types of room available: matrimonial (one double or queen size bed), double (two beds), or triple (three beds). If you are traveling alone, you will share a room only with other members of the same sex. A private room can be made available for an additional cost. Each room has a private bathroom.

Do we have to carry our backpacks while we ride bikes?

No, you can put your daypacks in the support vehicle, which will follow behind us as we ride down the road. However, you will not be able to access the packs during the ride. Therefore, if you have an extremely small or light backpack which will not interfere with your riding ability, you may want to carry it to hold sunscreen, water, or other essentials. (There are water bottle holders attached to the bikes).

How long will we be riding bikes?

The bike ride portion of the first day will last approximately three hours.

What about altitude sickness on the Inca Jungle Trek?

To avoid altitude sickness on the trek, we recommend that you spend time in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley beforehand. If you have never been in high altitude, we recommend that you first spend a day in the Sacred Valley, because it is at a lower altitude than Cusco city.

Is the Inca Jungle Trek difficult?

Yes, you must be moderately fit and exercise regularly to do this trek! Your first day will be spent bike-riding downhill on the road; the second and third days will each involve several kilometers of walking over “Andean flat” terrain.In preparation, try walking ten kms per day or go to a fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least three or four days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.

Do I need to make an Inca Jungle Trek reservation?

As of July 1st, 2017, tourists will be able to access Machu Picchu from either 06:00 to 12:00 or from 12:30 to 17:30. Given this limit, we highly recommend that you book your tour far in advance, especially if you are interested in going during the peak tourist season (May to September). Machu Picchu entrance tickets and train tickets are often sold out weeks in advance.

Is there an oxygen bottle available during the trek, just in case?

Yes, all our tour guides take an oxygen bottle with them along the trail and will provide oxygen as needed.

Where do I have to be on the morning of the trek and where will I be dropped off at the end of the trek?

On the morning of the trek departure, we will pick you up from inside your hotel in Cusco (don’t wait outside in the street) and drop you off either in the Plaza de Regocijos ( next to the main square) or Plaza San Francisco (two blocks from the main square) upon your return to Cusco. You won’t be dropped off directly at your hotel/hostels.

It helps us if you try to stay in a hotel/hostal that is within a few blocks of the Plaza de Armas (Main Square). If your hotel/hostal is far away from the main square we will ask you to come to our offices with the exact location and name of your accommodation. If you are not staying in the city center, we cannot pick you up from your hotel. You must take a taxi to the center.

The guide will come into your hotel and ask for you at reception. Because the centre of Cusco is full of small cobblestone streets, our larger bus/van is not permitted to enter certain zones in the city centre, so you will then have to walk a short distance to where the bus/van will be waiting for you. Traffic regulations prohibit large buses/van from entering the main square but usually after 10pm we don’t have a problem and will be able to drop you off in the main square upon your return. You can then take a taxi back to your hotel (between US$2 to US$4 for a taxi).

If we have to drop you off in Plaza San Francisco, you may be a bit disoriented (some people may need to be woken up!!) but we recommend that you ask for directions to the Plaza de Armas and our guide or driver will be happy to help. It’s only two blocks away, but usually it’ll be quite late at night so it is best to walk together as a group back to the Plaza before taking a taxi or walking back to your hotel.

Do we go to Machu Picchu for sunrise?

Your entrance time to Machu Picchu will depend on when you book your trek. As of July 1, 2017, there are two possible entry times to the site: 6:00 am to 12:00 pm, or 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Your ticket will grant you entry for either the morning or the afternoon—not both. The morning entry is significantly more popular and quickly sells out—unless you book your trek two to three months in advance, we cannot guarantee a morning entry.

If you book far enough in advance to secure a morning entry, you will start to hike up to Machu Picchu at 4:30am, arriving at the site by about 6:00 am—just in time for the sunrise!

Is Machu Picchu entrance ticket included in the price ?

Yes, the Machu Picchu entrance is included in the tour package.

Are there any hidden costs in the trek?

No, as a company, we do not have any hidden costs which is why we list everything that is not included in our tour on our own website. However, we highly recommend that you take some extra money with you on the trek (about 300 soles, at least). Small bills in soles are recommended.

Are breakfast, lunch and dinner included in the price every day?

Yes, all meals are included except the first breakfast on the first day, and lunch/dinner on the last day.

Is drinking water included in the price?

At meal times we will give you tea, coffee, etc to drink. During the trek, you may have to buy water directly from the local people, which is possible approximately every two hours. Remember that the price of the water will be more expensive than in the city.

How much stuff can we take? Do we carry it ourselves?

We recommend bringing no more than a 35 or 40L backpack to carry your things, as you will carry it yourself on the second day.

Is there a minimum group size and what happens if Inka Trail Backpacker does not meet that minimum size?

We require a minimum group size of just two people. During the last few years, Inka Trail Backpacker has always managed to meet the minimum group size for ALL of our departure dates and has never had to cancel any group departures due to group size.

In the unlikely event that we do not reach the minimum required number of persons, we reserve the right to combine our clients with another trekking company of similar cost.

Is transportation to and from the Cusco airport included?

No, transportation to and from the airport is not included in your tour. Please plan accordingly.

Is there a direct train to Cusco from Machu Picchu?

The train travels between the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes, a small town located fifteen minutes below the Machu Picchu complex. The journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is an hour and forty minutes. (The return journey will be about three and a half hours, because the drive from Ollantaytambo station to Cusco is about an hour and forty minutes.) From Aguas Calientes, it is either a fifteen minute bus ride or hour hike up to Machu Picchu. There is no direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Although there is an additional station located at Poroy, about 25 minutes from Cusco, it is not always open. Train service from Ollantaytambo, meanwhile, is constant and reliable. Furthermore, taking the train from the Poroy station extends the total length of your journey between Cusco and Aguas Calientes to more than four hours, instead of three and a half.

What type of hostel does Inka Trail Backpacker use for this trek?

We always book through the Continental, El Tambo or Machu Picchu hostels in Aguas Calientes, which offer private double rooms. These hostels offer comfortable beds, hot showers, WiFi, and breakfast.

However, we can only guarantee these hostels will be reserved for you if you book your trek 2 months in advance. Otherwise, we may be forced to offer you an alternative hostel to stay in.

Can I upgrade the hostels to hotels?

Every traveller has their own expectations for accommodation and that is why we offer you the option to book your own hostel independently. The three hostels that Inka Trail Backpacker books are considered basic and if you wish to upgrade to a hotel you need to either do this yourself or ask us to book the new hotel for you.
If you wish to book a hostel independently, a US $10 discount is given per person off the tour price. You can use this money to pay for an alternative hostel.

What vaccines do I need for my trip? Will I need malaria pills?

Before traveling to Peru, you should consult your doctor. Routine vaccines, Hepatitis A, and typhoid vaccines are recommended for most travelers by the CDC. Some travelers may also need vaccines for Hepatitis B, rabies, and yellow fever. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should also be advised that the Zika virus is present in Peru.

Malaria pills are not necessary for these treks.

Do you recommend a rain poncho, or is a rain jacket okay?

The rainy season in Cusco is generally from November to April, when there are near-daily showers and the ground—especially in trekking areas—is wet and muddy. However, there are occasional showers throughout the rest of the year; you should always pack a rain jacket, regardless of when you plan to visit. For treks, a rain poncho is highly recommended—since you will be walking through rain for potentially several hours without shelter, a poncho will be much more effective at keeping all of your belongings and your base layers warm and dry. Waterproof shoes are also strongly recommended.

What if I get sick on the trail during my tour?

In the event of illness or injury, we will offer all of the support and care we are able; however, you should carry any medications you expect to need with you (ask your doctor for specific recommendations or prescriptions for altitude sickness, traveler´s diarrhea , colds and sore throats, and pain or inflammation). If you are not capable of completing the trek, we will transport you back to Cusco, where you can seek medical treatment. However, the cost of this transportation is not included in your tour and you will be expected to pay the additional expense—for this reason, we highly recommend travel insurance for your trek.

Will I have a private bathroom in the hostel?

Yes, in all of the hostels that we book for you, you will have a private room and bathroom.

Do I need walking poles?

Although not required, walking poles are recommended for any trekkers worried about joint stress or balance. They also are quite helpful in providing stability and leverage on especially steep climbs and descents. If you do not have poles or are unsure how to use them, we are able to rent them to you and provide instruction.

What documents do I need to bring to Machu Picchu?

As of July 1, 2017, you must have your original passport to enter Machu Picchu. You also need to have your entrance ticket, which your guide will give to you at the appropriate time. The passport that you bring to Machu Picchu must be the same one that you used to book your tour and entrance; if you change or renew your passport between booking and your trip, please be sure to bring the originals of both.

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This trip comes in different shapes and sizes. For more options, check out these itineraries

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