Inca Trail 5 Days
Inca Trail 5 Days is Peru’s number one trek and one of the most well-known and popular treks in the world. The 5 Day version of the Classic Inca Trail really gives you the opportunity to take in all the sights and experiences of the Inca Trail at your leisure.
Staying at campsites that few people use you get to enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains and see the sunsets and sunrises in peace and tranquility. Trekking the Inca Trail is one of those things that everyone should do once in their life and the 5 day version allows you to enjoy it to the full.
Day 1: Cusco – Km 82 – Llactapata
Today has a relatively relaxed start for the Inca Trail and the walking is easy going to help you settle in to the trek. Beginning at Km 82 we slowly make our way along the banks of the Urubamba River with great views of the snow-capped peak Veronica (5900 m / 19000 ft) and with a variety of native plant and bird life around us. We’ll have a visit to a small Inca fortress called Vilca Raccay that is off a side spur of the main Inca Trail before heading to our main destination, the extensive Inca site of Llactapata (Patallacta) which is also where we will camp.
Llactapata (2650 m / 8692 ft) is mostly passed by as it is not on the main Inca Trail. As we are taking the Inca Trail at a relaxed pace further along the trail than most groups go; as we’re camping further up the trail the next day’s trek up to the pass is a little easier for us and with fewer tourists at the campsite we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place
Day 2: Llactapata – Paucarcancha – Llulluchapampa
Today is another relatively easy day. Most groups would be powering ahead along the Inca Trail today and would be heading over Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point on the trek and one of the hardest and longest climbs on the Inca Trail. We’re going to take things at a more leisurely pace and our goal for today is a campsite just before the pass, Llulluchapampa, this breaks the hardest stretch over two days making the climb significantly easier.
On the way to Llulluchapampa we’ll once again go off the beaten track to visit the least visited of all the sites on the Inca Trail, the Inca fort of Paucarcancha. As we climb up to Llulluchapampa we’ll pass through various biozones including the low sierra, cloud forest and the high puna. There are many opportunities to see a variety of plant and bird life and if we are lucky we may also spot White Tailed Deer. Our campsite for the night is at 3800 m / 12460 ft. and just like before it is tranquil and quiet with most trekkers either camping in the valley below or on the other side of the pass.
Day 3: Llulluchapampa – Phuyupatamarca
Today is our longest day and crosses two high passes; luckily for us we’re nearly at the first pass and once we’ve passed the second the walking is easy with very little ups and downs to contend with. Today sees some of the best views and scenery of the whole Inca Trail and includes visits to two Inca sites (Runcuraccay and Sayacmarca); with fantastic views of the high snow-capped peaks for most of the day and the cloud forest all around us today is by far the most visually stunning.
Our campsite for tonight is at Phuyupatamarca (3680 m / 12073 ft) from where we’ll get our first views of Machu Picchu Mountain far in the distance (the site itself is hidden from view). The views of the sunset from here are fantastic and once again the campsite is quiet with the majority of trekkers camping closer to Machu Picchu.
Day 4: Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu
Today is all about the Incas; we visit 3 major sites (Phuyupatamarca, Intipata and Wiñay Wayna) before we finally arrive to Machu Picchu itself late in the day. With only a short distance left to cover you’ll really have the opportunity to see these sites in detail and learn more about the Inca culture and Machu Picchu in preparation for your visit tomorrow? The area around these Inca sites is also rich in wildlife and with only a handful of people around on this stretch of trail at this time of day it is the perfect opportunity to try and spot some of the more elusive species.
The final stretch of the Inca Trail is completely deserted this time of day so our arrival to Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) is perfect. With good light and very few tourists about we can get some great photos to the citadel from a distance before carrying on down. After we arrive to Machu Picchu, we’ll head down to Puente Ruinas (the campsite near Aguas Calientes) to be greeted by our porters for our last night camping together. We’ve made it!
Day 5: Machu Picchu
Waking up early we’ll take the first bus back up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. We’ll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you’ll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you’ll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.