Inca Trail Express

7 Days | Discover the ancient civilisations of Peru on the Inca Trail

4.9 out of 5 based on 425 reviews submitted.
Walking & trekking
From
USD $1,302
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Travel to Peru to retrace the steps of the Incas – Peru's fascinating ancient civilisation. Travel from Cusco, through the fertile heartland of the Sacred Valley and to the magnificent Ollantaytambo ruins before the ultimate destination – Machu Picchu, one of the famed Seven Wonders of the World. This week-long trip is a choose-your-own-adventure type of deal – you can hike the Inca Trail, the Quarry Trail, or take it easy in Cusco and take the train to Machu Picchu. Allowing travellers of all abilities the opportunity to see this wonder first-hand, this trip is a perfect way to see Peru’s highlights when you don’t have more than a week.

Trip overview

Map of Inca Trail Express including Peru
Start
Cusco, Peru
Finish
Cusco, Peru
Theme
Walking & trekking
Destinations
Peru
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
GGTA
This trip generates 12 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • This trip allows both trekkers and non-trekkers to visit Machu Picchu – one of the magnificent Seven Wonders of the World, perched high in the Andes mountains – with scenic hiking trails and train options.
  • Travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, known for the steep and soaring scenery, mystical significance and the Indigenous cultures that still reside here.
  • Visit a locally-run restaurant and café in Urubamba in the Sacred Valley that hires single mothers to support their children and the local community – and sit down to enjoy an organic, homemade beet cake and coffee.
  • Explore Cusco, South America's oldest continuously inhabited city. The city has ancient foundations, an interesting blend of Incan and Spanish influences and seemingly endless things to do and see.
  • Whether you trek the Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, you'll be travelling responsibly with a company that cares about balancing profit and purpose. Intrepid is the largest B Corp certified operator on the Inca Trail and we’re committed to operating our treks for the benefit of all. 
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Awamaki. Donations help them empower indigenous women artisans in Peru with skills training and job opportunities that provide financial independence.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the Medical and health information section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.
  • This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you trek the Inca Trail or Quarry Trail, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a good level of fitness. Please bring comfortable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘Packing’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.
  • For those who trek the Inca Trail or Quarry Trail, you'll be camping with basic facilities. It's definitely the journey as well as the final destination (Machu Picchu) that makes this way of exploring Peru worthwhile.
  • According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only, and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted. Please refer to the Itinerary for details.
  • Travellers who choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), will not follow the same routes within Machu Picchu. This means that you may not be able to have photos together, overlooking Machu Picchu. This applies to travellers on the same booking or separate bookings.
  • Can't decide which trek is for you? Read up on them here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/inca-trail-vs-quarry-trail/

Itinerary

Map of Inca Trail Express including Peru

Inclusions

Meals

6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Bus, Taxi, Train

Accommodation

Route 1 - Inca Trail: Camping with basic facilities (3 nights), Hotel (3 nights). Route 2 - Quarry Trail: Camping with basic facilities (2 nights), Hotel (4 nights). Route 3 - Train option: Hotel (6 nights)

Activities
  • Cusco - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch
  • Sacred Valley - Coffee & cake
  • 3 Night/4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night/3 Day Inca Quarry Trail) guided hike(s) with porters' support. Or guided Cusco stay (Machu Picchu by train)
  • Machu Picchu - Guided tour
Add on activities
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN135
  • Cusco - Half Boleto Turistico Pass (access to selected archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN75
  • Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN40
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple (entrance fee) - PEN15
  • Cusco - Pisco Making Urban Adventure (Based on 2 participants) - USD57
  • Cusco - Pre-Colombian Museum - PEN20
  • Cusco - Inca Museum (entrance fee) - PEN10
  • Cusco - Cusco Eat Street (Price based on 4 participants) - USD50
  • Cusco - Cusco Cooking Class - USD70
  • Cusco - 4 Ruins + Qorikancha (Price based on 4 participants) - USD40
  • Ollantaytambo - Archaeological site - PEN70
  • Cusco - Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD105
  • Cusco - Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 paticipants) - USD100
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking (Price Based on 2 Participants) - USD170
  • Cusco - Humantay Lake Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD130
  • Cusco - Full Day Via Ferrata & Zipline - USD95
  • Cusco - Full Day Stand Up Paddle Boarding (Based on 4 participants) - USD85

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. Full passport details are required at the time of booking. The passport you travel with must match the booking details provided to us. This will be used to apply for your Inca permit and if any info doesn’t match your passport, the Inca authorities will refuse your entry. Delays in providing this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. This trip starts at 2pm on Day 1. We recommend that travellers intending to depart Cusco on the final day of the trip book flights out of Cusco no earlier than 12pm to allow for possible delays on the final section of the trail.
4. At the time of booking, please advise whether you would like to hike the classic Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or take the train. When available, the Inca Trail will be booked as the default option. Fees may apply to changes made after the time of booking, and availability on other options cannot be guaranteed.
5. Inca Trail permits are sold on a request basis only. Once a deposit is paid and passport details are provided, Intrepid will endeavour to secure a permit for you. If Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Quarry Trail instead https://www.intrepidtravel.com/machu-picchu-peru/quarry-trail or travel to Machu Picchu by train.
6.The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February, you will be automatically booked to hike the Quarry Trail.
7. As you can choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), you may be joined by other Intrepid and/or non-Intrepid travellers. There is also a small chance you may be the only traveller from your group on your selected option.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 425 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Moira · Traveled June 2024
Incredible trip to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail. The hike was challenging, but definitely worth it for the spectacular views and the experience. Our guide Raul G. was exceptionally knowledgeable and organized and took great care of our group. The tents and mattresses were surprisingly comfortable, and the food was delicious, varied, and beautifully presented - hard to believe the chefs were able to prepare such excellent meals on the trail. Really happy we booked with Intrepid. Highly recommended!
Review submitted 06 Jul 2024

Selina · Traveled June 2024
Well organised and fun trip, bucket list experience. Carmen was an excellent group leader. Encouraging and engaging with excellent knowledge of Incan history. The porters and chefs are also all incredible, bring enough cash to tip generously because they deserve it! (We each paid 200 soles to split between them) Be aware that if you rent a sleeping bag this is 2kg and is included in the 5kg weight limit for the porters. I recommend packing your day pack as light as possible as this will hinder you with the higher ascents during the trek. One roll of toilet paper should be enough. TP is provided at camp and you only really need it during the toilet stops during the hike (I had two rolls and this was too many, took up too much space in my bag). Expect to be off grid for most of the hike (even providers that said they covered the whole trail didn’t). Be prepared for a tough hike, especially days 2 and 3. Prep with a stair master and work on your general fitness before arrival. Also recommend bringing Diamox as you don’t want any altitude sickness to affect your trip.
Review submitted 27 Jun 2024

Meg · Traveled June 2024
This trip can be summed up in one word, phenomenal. Intrepid not only gave me the normal tourist activities I was looking for, but also made sure that I didn't leave without being immersed in some portion of the culture. It was a unique experience that you can't get as a normal tourist and I will truly treasure it. I can't wait for my next adventure with Intrepid.
Review submitted 01 Jul 2024

John · Traveled June 2024
The Inca trail is fantastic, the food and experience gives it an even better feeling. The mountains and history and ruins are so rich!
Review submitted 21 Jun 2024

Yumara · Traveled June 2024
If you are looking to go to Peru, intrepid is the way to go! I enjoyed my time in Peru and the memories will forever be cherished. From bonding with people who love traveling as much as I do from all around the world to our hiking adventure, it was an awesome trip! Peru will always have my heart thanks to the help of intrepid!
Review submitted 22 Jun 2024
Inca Trail Express
From
USD $1,302