Virtual Tour: Experience the Inca TrailBarbara Zanotelli Rodrigues - Former Travel Expert
Our Real Latin America Expert
Barbara Zanotelli Rodrigues - Former Travel Expert
With Brazilian parents, Barbara has a passion for all things Latin American.
If you’re keen to explore Peru’s Inca Trail, allow us to take you on a virtual tour of this world-famous trek, walking in the steps of the ancient Incas.
The four day/three night Classic Inca Trail is a challenging, but rewarding journey to the impressive citadel of of Machu Picchu You’ll make your way through the ancient stone path skirting jagged mountains, subtropical cloud-forest and ancient archaeological sites, stopping at various viewpoints to admire the stunning scenery.
The virtual tour is very easy to follow and by using the arrows and menu, you’ll be able to click through various famous landmarks and viewpoints of the Inca Trail.
This is a fantastic way to ‘experience’ the Inca Trail and to see the type of scenery, topography and conditions you’ll be hiking in. We recommend using a desktop for the best possible experience, but the tours can also be enjoyed on your mobile or tablet, and also through a VR headset.
Ask Our Experts, chat to us online or call our specialists today; we would love to start planning your trip. What’s better than ‘virtually’ hiking the Inca Trail? Hiking it for real.
What you need to know before hiking the Inca Trail
The Inca Trail is one of the world’s most famous treks, and rightfully so. This tough four-day journey to the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu starts on the river bank of the Urubamba and climbs up to mountain passes nearly 5,000 metres above sea level. Passing a number of lesser-known Inca sites along the route, you'll be treading in the footsteps of the Incas themselves on an original ancient stone path skirting jagged mountains and dipping to subtropical cloud-forest.
In order to walk the classic Inca Trail you need to buy a permit. If you want to walk the trail in July and August, then you should book well in advance as these are the busiest months, and permits sell out quickly. The trail is actually closed in February and you might want to think twice about walking the trail from December to March as these can be really wet months in the Andes. Having said that, the first time some of our team trekked the Inca Trail was in January and the weather was great - and they had it almost to themselves!
The highlight for many is arriving at dawn on the fourth day to walk through the Sun Gate and see Machu Picchu laid out before you, resplendent in the remote Andean setting that kept this 'lost city' hidden for centuries.
3 nights are spent under canvas. However, this is a fully assisted trek with a knowledgeable guide to lead the way and a fantastic team of porters who carry all equipment and have the camp set up by the time you arrive. There are 3 hot meals a day, providing you with the fuel to face what is undoubtedly a demanding, yet enormously rewarding experience. Return to Cusco via a spectacular train ride through the narrow Urubamba gorge.
As this is a challenging trail, we advise that you consult your GP before your trip. You should also consider the effect altitude sickness could have on your time during the trail. To minimise the effects of high altitude, we recommend staying for a couple of days at altitudes of 3,000m or above (the city of Cusco is the perfect place for this). During this time you should drink plenty of water and gradually increase your physical activity and restrict your alcohol intake.
Your Inca Trail itinerary
Day 1: Cusco / Ollantaytambo/ Piscacucho/ Llactapata
An early morning drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas is followed by a trip to Ollantaytambo village. It’s the only surviving example of Inca urban planning. Admire the views of Mount Veronica at Piscacucho and the ruins at Llactapata.
Day 2: Llactapata / Llullchapampa
A two-hour hike through the Huayllabamba Valley is followed by a trail climb through the Andean forest to Llullchapampa (the campsite base) to see the Huayanay mountain range.
Day 3: Llullchapampa / Pacaymayo / Phuyupatamarca
After a two-hour walk to Warmiwañuska Pass (Dead Woman’s Pass) you’re on to Pacaymayo River. Afterwards the climb continues to Runkuracay. End the day with a visit to the ruins of Runkuracay, Sayaqmarca and Phuyuptamarca (where the camp is based).
Day 4: Phuyupatamarca / Machu Pichu
Start the day with a trip to the 20 structured ruins of Wiñay Wayna and the impressive temple. Experience your first view of the iconic Machu Picchu from the Urubamba River. Relax in the evening at a local hotel in Aguas Calientes (not included in the price).
What to pack:
• Passport (along with additional photocopies of it)
• Good-quality footwear
• Lightweight trousers with removable zip legs for warmer weather
• Short-sleeved t-shirts
• Long-sleeved cotton shirts
• Thick/trekking socks
• Comfortable evening shoes
• Rain/windproof jacket
• Warm fleece or sweater for layering
• Down or synthetic fill jacket
• Warm hat
• Sun hat/cap
• Sun cream, sunglasses as well as a hat and rain protection
• Camera and spare batteries
• Rubber-tipped walking poles
• Insect repellent
• Personal first aid kit
If you’d like to explore more of the region, why not see what else Peru has to offer? We have escorted group tours and tailor-made itineraries that take in all Peru has to offer. Our Peru specialists are on hand to help plan your next holiday with Journey Latin America.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.