Machu Picchu from Km104 is a 7.7 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until December.

Length7.7 miElevation gain3,612 ftRoute typePoint to point
HikingNature tripsBird watchingForestRiverViewsWaterfallwild-flowersWildlifeHistoric siteNo dogs
Description
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It is optional to contact a tour agency in Peru months in advance if you visit this place, they will obtain the permits, tickets and everything you need for the journey, but it is also possible to do this trek without an agency. You will go from Cusco to Ollantaytambo by bus or van; there you will take the train headed to Aguas Calientes. The train will stop at the km 104 where the trailhead is located, they name this point Chachabamba, you cross the Urubamba River by a bridge, pass an inspection point and then you start walking up. The trail follows the direction of the river and the train tracks by almost half of the journey; you can see them from the mountains. At about 3 miles and a half, you arrive to Wiñaywayna, an old Inca site which is at about 8700 ft. above the sea level. After this site you will arrive to a rest area and the second inspection point. You continue walking up for about 2 and a half miles and you arrive to Inti Punku - the Sun Gate, this old Inca site is about 8850 ft. above the sea level and it is the highest point of the trail, from here you can see Machu Picchu and the mountains around this Inca city. Then you start walking down for about a mile and a half until you arrive just near the entrance to Machu Picchu. At this point you decide if you take the bus to Aguas Calientes or walk down by the pedestrian path, which is mostly made of stone stairs, this is the steepest part of the trail. Once you get to the bottom of the mountain, you cross again the Urubamba River and in about a mile you will arrive to Aguas Calientes.

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Reviews (66)
Photos (633)
Recordings (62)
Completed (303)
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Gabriella L
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely sensational and one of the best days of my life. Does not disappoint. I did this in September and the conditions were perfect. Hiking boots are not necessary and it can be completed in running shoes. Ensure you acclimatise in Cuzco prior to attempting.

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Kristin Taliaferro
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Hiking

One of the best days of my life! You must, must, must acclimate in Peru before embarking on this hike and incredible journey! We stayed 3 days in Cusco at 12,000 feet before heading to the start of KM104 where you’re at about 7,000-8,000 feet. The first day in Peru was tough. Drink lots of water, stay away from alcohol, and just take it easy until you’ve acclimated.

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Todd Bayuk
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Hiking

Incredible trail. The views of nature as you hike towards Machu Picchu are beautiful. There are some steeper sections as you get near Winay Wayna and then a steep stair climb near the Sun Gate, but if you are in decent shape it’s really not that hard. Around every turn is another exciting and unique view. Thus is by far the best hike I’ve ever taken.

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Jay Mendenhall
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Hiking

This is the best way to get to Macchu Picchu if you don’t have time to do the entire Inca Trail. You get to come in thru the Sun Gate, see a beautiful waterfall, and Wiñaywayna took my breath away. The views from the trail the entire way were as good as it gets. Not too tiring if you’re in shape, but you will get a good workout on a couple portions of steps.

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Jenny Lee
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HikingRocky
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Ruth Thomas
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Most challenging day ever for me. We had been in Cuzco for three days to acclimate to the altitude, however, I still really struggled with breathing. Spectacular and amazing as you get the first view of MP from Sun Gate. Very well worth the hike.

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Véronic Vachon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 29, 2019
Hiking

Super rando. La vue est incroyable. Et la récompense : la vue sur le machu picchu. Tout simplement magique.

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Reshma Hegde
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Hiking

Loved this hike. It is challenging on a hot day and there is no shortage of steps to climb. Views are spectacular

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HOWARD NEWMAN
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 28, 2019
Hiking

Best and hardest hike I have ever done. Lots of up and down on the trail. About 4.5 hours. Unreal views. Only issue is getting used to the altitude. Make sure you get acclimated before you hike it. Coming through the Sun Gate and seeing Machu Picchu for the fist time is overwhelming. But make sure you are healthy and in ok shape before you go. Not for the faint of heart. Also bring a decent rain poncho. We had about 10 minutes of heavy rain, then cloudy for a bit. The clouds roll in and out very fast.

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Paul Eckert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 16, 2018
Hiking

My wife and I did this hike in Oct 2012. It is something I still count among the most amazing things I have ever done. Beautiful hike through jungle, cloud forest, and other Incan ruins. That final climb to the Sun Gate and seeing Macchu Picchu for the first time was an amazing feeling. If you only do one hike in your life, do this one.

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Andrew Campbell
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The hike was may favorite part (more than the destination). It was so amazing, in fact, that we're heading back to Cusco to do it again tomorrow!

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hanginwithnoelsy ...
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2018
Hiking

One life experience definitely recommended on everyone's list .. the trek from KM104 after a nice train ride from Cusco was amazing .. fun hike that can be done by most I feel as long as you have some basic fitness .. slow climb that can be done at a leisurely pace .. the first view of Machu Picchu is astounding .. something you will never forget.

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

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Jamie R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2018

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.

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Elizabeth Ross
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Hiking

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

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michael anfang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2017
Hiking

This is the "right" way of doing Macchu Picchu - is that pretentions? Was a little unsure of exactly how to get there, since the vast majority seem to take the bus. Just hike right on down the road the buses go down and try to not get hit. After crossing the bridge, the trail is off to the right up a road. Then the stairs begin...enjoy!

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Jorge Carrillo
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Hiking
First to Review

I contacted a tour agency in Peru 3 months in advance and they obtained everything I needed to do this beautiful trail, mainly permits and tickets. They took me to Ollantaytambo to take the train headed to Aguas Calientes, I was in a group with 2 people and the guide. The train stopped at the Km104, then we started our journey first crossing the Urubamba River. The trail is in excellent conditions, the views of the mountains, the plants, the flowers, the river, were amazing! Although it was still a rainy season, the day was beautiful, just very light rain and just for a few minutes. The highest point on the trail is at Puerta del Sol, an Inca site from were we first enjoyed the beauty of Machupicchu and the mountains, something i'll never forget. Once we arrived near the entrance to Machupicchu, I decided to walked down by the pedestrian trail, too steep and not easy to walk, but I arrived to Aguas Calientes on time for a delicious Peruvian dinner. This was an unforgettable experience!

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Kirk Stewart
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Ashley Dwan
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Hiking
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Luke Fournier
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Greg Rounds
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SHINil paulose
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Raul Jose Madrid Zepeda
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Yarik Zambrano
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Glenn Walmsley
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Hiking
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Francisco Enverga
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Hiking
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Hiten/Priya Mistry
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Craig Davis
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Soline Loirand
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Monte Roberts
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