Explore the most popular forest trails in Peru with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I did the 4 day trek the beginning of January 2018. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. The trek (especially Dead Women’s Pass) was better than Machu Picchu. I can’t imagine just taking the train up to Machu Picchu, as it completely bypasses the experience of the pilgrimage.

Definitely do your research about how difficult the trail and altitude are. Be sure to acclimate for a few days prior. It is extremely difficult, but this is part of the reason it is so rewarding. It is a very spiritual and magical place.

A pretty epic trail with variety of terrain and scenery. Make sure you’re acclimatized first so you can really enjoy it.

Beautiful, Historical trail. Some areas are very dangerous because some parts the side of the mountain is like hiking along a cliff.

camping
11 days ago

be one with the pachamama up in the clouds and be forever changed.

hiking
13 days ago

Challenging hike but very rewarding. Many many steep steps especially on day 2,3 and 4. Climbed 2 mountains on day 2. Intense and non-stop nature with fantastic views!

17 days ago

Completed in 4 days, with the 5th day at Machu Picchu. Had trek guides “Tour Leaders Peru” and they were energetic, had excellent equipment, and generally fantastic — local guys who spoke great English and were very passionate about the money from the trip going directly back into the Peruvian economy.

It’s of course simpler to have a trek guide and also porters for your stuff, as we did. I am a moderate hiker at best and the trail was tough for me. I trained weekly beforehand on similar inclines for a few hours at a time with a weighted backpack and my hiking boots (15 lbs as I didn’t need to carry food/tent). Acclimated for 2.5 days beforehand in Cusco, which is necessary. Took Diamox just in case, and the altitude was still tricky going up Salkantay. Was passed by tons of people going up on horses.

If your knees are bad, like some of the people in my group, the hours of downhills on slippery rocks is going to be tough. Poles were absolutely necessary — heading both up and down. Pack in layers as you’ll go through many different climates, the first night in tents it was so cold some members of our party couldn’t sleep.

Would recommend just buying a train ticket into Aguas Calientes instead of hiking the last set of miles bc it’s not a comfortable hike, although flat, due to the loose rock, and you’ll also be exhausted at this point. We hiked it and it was miserable.

I heard that this trail may be permitted (like the Inca) in about a year or two.

Hardest physical thing I’ve ever done but also most rewarding. Every day I saw magical landscapes that made me inadvertently gasp. I may never do another hike this demanding again in my life, but am proud to have done this one. Made the grandeur of Machu Picchu even more amazing when you realized how people traveled to the ancient city.

Just finished this trek in a 5 day trip towards Machu Picchu. I live below sealevel, so had to get used to the altitude. Went from Lima (msl) to Arequipa (2500m) to Cuzco (3300) and started the trek at Soraypampa (3800m). Which was fine altitude wise but if your not a trained hiker/runner and your daypack is too heavy (like mine ... 8kg) because you want to take your big-ass camera ... Do yourself a big favour BUY DECENT POLES!

They helped me a lot. Furthermore there are a number of opportunities to buy water and snacks so do not load up your backpack. Take the camera, a water bottle, a snack or two, a raincoat/poncho, gloves/beanie/buff and layer up (clothes) so you can layer down as well.
Leave enough room in your daypack to be able to stow the clothes you take off,

You will climb from moderate pampa, to a cold snowy mountain pass and descend to warm pre-jungle.

It’s super!

Leave some energy for the Machu Picchu (1670 steps) climb or even consider taking the bus up if you have to walk back (2hrs) to HydroElectrico afterwards.

Have fun

In my opinion, this is the way to enter Machu Picchu. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to enter through the Sun Gate. If you don’t have the whole four days to do the full trail, this one day trek is wonderful. Took us about 4 hours to get from KM 104 to the Sun Gate. You get to experience beautiful views of the Andes and two other Inca ruins along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Do it! It’s challenging in few parts for sure, but manageable if you’re in decent shape. I recommend following others’ advice by spending a day or two in Cusco before the hike to acclimate to the altitude. Since the city is a few thousand feet higher than the trail, it will be easier to breath on the hike. Be prepared for a lot of stairs (yes, actual stone steps) - it’s much different on the knees than hiking up/down a slopped incline. You’ll never forget the moment when you finally arrive at the Sungate and look down at Machu Picchu in all it’s glory.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail! Challenging at parts (especially day two). Make sure your wearing hiking shoes that are broken in. Lots of steps so it’s hard on your knees (up and down).
I did the classic 4 day trek into Machu Picchu with Alpaca Expeditions (have to hire a guide) and it was the best experience hiking ever!

No words to describe this experience. I did the classic 4 day trek and it was absolutely incredible. Truly is an experience of a lifetime!

hiking
1 month ago

We did this in July of 2017. The hike hike down the canyon from Cabanaconde was easy. We camped a couple nights in the small "oasis" of Sangalle. I'm not sure if this map represents that exact path. Anyway, incredible place to camp! Id never seen so many stars! Also, we didn't pay to camp the first couple nights because we got in late and set up camp down hill from the main camping area(whatever, we were broke backpackers). The hike back up suuucked. Pack light but bring lots of water. They'll gouge you if you try to buy it in the canyon.

hiking
1 month ago

An absolutely beautiful and fun but challenging hike. Did the 4 day classic Inca Trail. First day was nice and easy with rolling hills and not to much climbing. The second day was the real test as we ascended the highest point on the trail at dead woman’s pass, roughly 13,800 feet. Then a pretty steep downhill on stairs that really worked the knees. Beautiful camp site on night number 2. At altitude it’s a bit more chilly. Day 3 we trekked to the second highest peak at roughly 13,100 feet. Then lots of up and down hills and more stairs. The knees were very sore after. Camp on night 3 was not very glamorous since it was close to the check point to hike to the sun gate. 4th day hike to sun gate was pretty easy and ended at Machu Picchu. Weather was great during the day and cool at night with few clouds and no rain. Trail was dry.

just finished this in 3 days with 2 friends. we did it on our own without a guide. went up to humantay lake first then on to the salkantay. make sure you acclimate before starting. it is a tough hike but very rewarding. camp in one of the coffee plantations just after the town of la playa. there is a lot of water on the trail so bring a filter and dont bother carrying much water. the final several miles to aguas calientes is miserable as it follows the train track and you are walking on loose rocks the entire way.

Challenging hike, beautiful scenery culminating in Machu Picchu. Unforgetable experience!

backpacking
2 months ago

I did this trek solo with all my own gear and food /water starting on Mollepata. See my profile for a day-by-day breakdown. The All Trails map is outdated in spots, as I found, and it starts from Soraypampa vs Mollepata. It was 5 days, 4 nights and incredible. Email me if you have any questions - bobbyboombeck at gmail dot com.

We did this as part of a guided tour through Mountain Lodges of Peru (highly recommend) in June 2016. I struggle with altitude but spent two days in Cusco beforehand and took Diamox and was able to manage it fine. The last little bit was tough, above 14,000 feet, but definitely worth it. I did not take hiking poles and was fine except at the very highest part because altitude makes me dizzy. If I did it again I would probably take poles. Pack lots of layers and water.

on Inca Trail Trek

2 months ago

Experience of a life time

We did this as a 3 day hike, beginning in Sorayampa. Don’t underestimate the effects of the altitude near the pass- it’s extremely hard to breathe- we ended up taking a horse for about a mile or so until the top of the pass. After that, the trail gradually descends and the scenery is beautiful. The campsites were nice- our guide took good care of us! We ended in Agua Caliente, and bussed to Machu Picchu.
We chose this trail instead of the original Inca Trail, as there are less people.

This is actually 26 miles long and on the second day after Dead Woman’s Pass you will want to quit but you summon the strength and energy to keep going somehow! This trek is a 100% positive life change. I broke down and sobbed when I made it to the Sun Gate because I was so proud of myself. You will be stopped in your tracks multiple times to have your breath taken away (literally and figuratively.) the end goal is obviously Machu Picchu, but once you’re there you’re going to already miss the trek and those beautiful Andes Mountains and will long for them. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend training for it and getting prescription altitude sickness meds. We did the trek in September which is the best month to do it from all the research we did and experiencing it. DO YOUR RESEARCH ON WHAT TO PACK!

One of the best experiences you can have. Beautiful hike, beautiful country, and awesome history to learn. Did the trail in early March, which is the tail end of the rainy season, rain every morning but would clear up soon after the sun came up. Weather is good this time of year for hiking but because of the season there is often clouds/fog obscuring some views. The accent up to the 1st mountain pass and decent on the back side is tough but that is the only real challanging part. I would recommend sticks to lighten the load on your knees, even if you don't have bad knees taking care of them is the best way to keep the hobby going for many years. I can not recommend this trail enough. Extreme Turbulancia was a great tour group and our guide Roberth was awesome.

We went independently backpacking. Amazing nature & landscapes. You pass through 3 different ecozones. The directions are easy to followed as we we downloaded the offline map from all trails. The hike is hard; altitude plays a huge role in its difficultly. Better to acclimatize for 3 days before hitting the trail. You need to carry meals at least for 3 days as in some camping areas you might not find food. At first two nights it gets really cold. It’s worth all the tiredness.

hiking
3 months ago

Most amazing life experience! I did the trail in March 2018. It was the most rewarding and humbling experience.

The views were out of this world! Brace yourself for this challenge, but remember YOU CAN DO IT! If you worry about your knees, you may want a knee brace and hiking poles for this one.

on Inca Trail Trek

hiking
3 months ago

A must-do hike. I did this hike about 10 years ago. I was unable to complete it after one day of hiking due to the altitude. If you are like I was (coming from sea level), I would strongly recommend spending some time in Cusco to acclimate. Do some hikes in the surrounding area (also beautiful). I saw people who really looked bad being carried out on the backs of Peruvian porters. At least I was able to walk back down and take a train to Agua Calente. Disappointed but there's always another day. Also be sure you communicate with your outfitter. I could tell I was struggling with the altitude even in Cusco but my outfitter just brushed it off.

We chose Valencia Travel and they were excellent. The hike itself was my first major hike and it was something I will never forget!

hiking
5 months ago

Perfect hike to Machu Picchu if you don't have a ton of time in order to do the 4 day Inca Trail.

hiking
6 months ago

The trek from km 82 to Machu Picchu is longer than what’s listed in the description here. The actual distance is 26 miles. We booked a four-day Trek with Alpaca Expeditions and were very happy with our choice. They offered amazing service for a reasonable price.

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