Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(118)
Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru

Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu is a 20.5 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from May until September.

Distance: 20.5 miles Elevation Gain: 9,438 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

hiking

forest

river

views

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

historic site

no dogs

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

I apologize for such a long review, but just wanted to give my opinion on more than just the trail since so much planning goes into booking a hike like this. Hiked this trail 10/30/2019-11/02/2019. This was closer to the start of the rainy season, but we had great weather throughout the hike. We had maybe 2 instances with drizzle and short periods of rain, but it lasted no longer than 15 minutes both times. The trail was well maintained. We booked through and hiked with SAS Travel Adventures. It was a very smooth process working with them to get the hike set up. Any questions we had about the hike, lodging before the hike, equipment rentals, etc etc were answered thoroughly with detail, not with just vague responses. This is a multi day hike and their knowledge gave us a lot of confidence that we were in good hands. Recommendations: -Arrive in Cusco 2-3 FULL days before your hike, especially if you’ve never been at altitude. Do not underestimate acclimating. I live in an area where 9ft above sea level is the highest point in my city. I snow board and hike when I can so I’ve been at altitude, but none of those situations were the same as being in Cusco/Macchu Picchu. My friend got altitude sickness, but we arrived 4 days before the hike so he had time to recover. It’s also worth it to come a few days early, Cusco has a lot of other day trips/activities you can do and the food is mouthwatering. -Train on the stair-master. Unless you live at altitude there’s just no way for you to train your body/lungs to hike at 13,000ft for 6-8 hours. Day 2 is hour after hour after hour of tall/short/big/small/uneven/sharp stone steps. Doesn’t sound too difficult until you have to do it while every breath you take feels like you’re taking in a fraction of the air. Do not invest in altitude training makes. Sure it gives you a simulated experience, but unless you live with it on your face, it won’t help. You don’t live at 13,000ft so your lungs won’t adjust just because you wear a mask for 2 hours a day while you work out then go back to breathing at sea level for the other 22 hours in the day. -You’ll see the recommendations of things you should bring with you on websites that you book through. For the most part I’d agree with bringing what is recommended. Definitely bring strong bug spray and sun block. I didn’t have any issues with bugs or sun burn, but had friends and trek mates have those issues. Trekking poles were an option for us to rent, I’d definitely get them, your knees will thank you later. It won’t feel like a big difference, but go through that hike without them and you’ll feel all of it. NOW the actual hike was absolutely amazing filled with constant once-in-a-lifetime views wherever you looked. This is a tough hike and an even more tough for the casual trekker. We did have porters which I personally didn’t use, but if I did it again, I would in a heart beat. We walked through so many ecosystems. You’d be walking and not even realize the thick forest gave way to tropical trees, it’s amazing. Our guides along with the porters were so knowledgeable and nice. It was like we already knew them. They were encouraging, but not degrading to the hikers in the back of the pack. Everyone hiked at their own pace, whether you were first to a check point or arrived 30 minutes after everyone else. For the most part unless you’re stopping to catch your breath every 5 minutes you’ll arrive at all checkpoints/camps on schedule. For example on day 2, I’d go at pace for 50 steps take 10 seconds to breath and repeat and I was able to reach Dead Woman’s Pass with some friends 45 minutes ahead of the back of the pack. That also shows how many steps there are if I did that every 50 steps and still took me hours to reach the summit. The guides and porters always provided snacks and juice/water at the beginning of each day to provide extra calories to burn. The food they cooked was absolutely delicious. At the end of each day regardless of how tough it was or how tired I was, it still was one of those experiences you were thankful you can have. As some motivation that you can do it if you really put your mind to it: Day one we officially started hiking around 10am. At about 4pm I was about 30min away from camp. I badly strained a quad in my right leg. Most likely due to compensation I ended up badly straining a quad in my left leg. I prayed it was just cramping but it was definitely not cramps. I hobbled around the camp enjoying the evening, while worrying about the dreaded day 2. I would let everyone pass me on the trail after each break and slowly make my way along until they loosened up and would push through to each checkpoint. Halfway on day 2 my foot slipped (my fault) and I sprained my ankle. A minor sprain, but when you’re hiking up then down thousands of uneven stone steps it just sucks haha. Just like with the quads once it loosened I just kept pushing. I was still able to reach camps and checkpoints among...

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

This is one of the great hikes of the world. It is at altitude so make sure you aclimatize in Cuzco before hand. A lot of rain/hail on the high pass so make sure you take really good rain gear. Some people had to be carried off the mountain and some got horses back, so be prepared. Make sure you are reasonably fit before taking it on, as altitude affects people differently. The guides and porters are great. We did it in a group of 10 in July. Cold but not terrible. The tour company was great Quechua Expeditions. A lot of slippery stones on the edge of sheer cliffs so be careful. Plenty of mosquitos so have really good bug repellant. Really recommend it.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful walking in the Andean Mountains. Second day hard on your knees due to all the downhills. Altitude is also a concern.

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

One of the greatest experiences I have done, that I would never do again.

hiking
11 months ago

I was part of a tour group with the amazing guide Edwin Huaman. The second day with 4,000 feet elevation gain, high elevation and all those stairs was the toughest, but I can’t say it’s the toughest hike I’ve ever done. I actually preferred exploring the smaller, empty ruins we passed along the trail more than I did Machu Picchu; the quiet and camaraderie of the trail spoiled me for the insane hordes overrunning Machu Picchu. It was an incredible experience!

hiking
bugs
rocky
Sun May 26 2019

This leg of my hike started at Wayllabamba, ended at Pacaymayu. Bring bug spray, hiking poles for the way down and lots of coca Candy. You will not see as many ruins but you will ascend 5,000 ft and then come down a rocky, steep slope for a mile. There are people selling things (including rum) at the last campsite, Llullucha Pampa, before you ascend to the highest point on the trail Warmiwanuscca.

hiking
bugs
Sat May 25 2019

1st Day If 4-Day Inca Trail Hike, camping in Wayllabamba. Great acclimating day to get users to the altitude. Passed ruins at Pulpituyuq and Llaqtapata. Beautiful day, 20% humidity in May, ideal time to hike. Bathroom opportunities for 1 sole and water along the way (price increases as you go). The hike follows the Urubamba River for the first few miles before you start to head uphill, lots of straightaways but there are a number of decently steep ascents that can be tough when you are carrying a 30# pack or above, which I did and made many stops to take photos and breaks with a group.

Mon May 20 2019

for average hikers This is above hard. kicked my but. very awesome views and experiance. just be ready is all i say. girls need to take a gogirl and have wet wipes and altitude pills and Imodium pills. bring better bug spray then off.

hiking
blowdown
bridge out
closed
muddy
off trail
over grown
private property
scramble
snow
washed out
Wed May 15 2019

rocky
Tue Apr 30 2019

amazing experience. one of the longest I've done, the altitude definitely played more into this then I thought it would. great porters, and amazing views makes this a must

hiking
Thu Apr 18 2019

For sure, one of the most amazing hikes worldwide. Will to go on is a key skill. Be properly hydrated and with a adequate level of sugar at least a week before the hike. Ideally take 3 days in Cusco City to get use to the high altitude.

Day 3 offers best views and ruins

hiking
Sun Apr 14 2019

My friend and I did this 4 day hike with Alpaca Expeditions and it did not disappoint. The weather was perfect and guides and porters made us feel comfortable as possible in those conditions. The hike itself is very hard especially day two when we did Dead Woman’s pass and another 13,000 ft peak. The trails have many vertical steep steps up and down with few switchbacks. There are places where the trail is precariously cut along side cliffs but you just need to work through them. Our guide wanted to be at the Sun Gate at first light and warned us of the “Gringo Killer” just before. You’ll have to go to find out! The crowds at Machu Picchu were as advertised but it is an amazing display of the Incan culture. A must do trip

Mon Mar 18 2019

Epic trail that requires a permit, porters, and several nights of overnight camping. But arriving at dawn at Machu Picchu was worth it.

hiking
Tue Feb 12 2019

Fun great time. Guides and porters were great.

hiking
Fri Feb 08 2019

This is an amazing trip. The scenery, the history and culture were life changing. I was on a 10-day portered trip with four days spent on the trail and 1 full day at Machu Picchu; however, I started my trip with a nausea issue that prevented me from being able to eat the entire trip. Imagine in four days I burned 35000 calories during the hike and was only able to ingest about 3000 calories of soup. We couldn’t identify the issue until 8 months later when my appendix ruptured. Turns out I had an infection from my appendix for probably over a year (I was having nausea issues in my hikes all that summer) without having elevated white blood cell count. Anyway, as miserable as I was it still didn’t overshadow the majesty of the Inca trail and Machu Picchu. This trip should be on every adventures bucket list.

Sun Jan 13 2019

I loved hiking this trail. I did it with a group over four days. It could be less but we were working with some altitude difficulties. Go if you can!

backpacking
Wed Nov 28 2018

I cannot say enough about this hike/camping experience! The hike itself was not too difficult if you are already a hiker and all the history, story telling, and unbelievable food made it even more comfortable and exciting. The steps get a little daunting at times but nothing you cannot do with a little training. I live at a high elevation (5,300 ft) and have hiked up to 13,000 ft so the altitude was not really felt which made it easier. Machu Picchu itself is very crowded but many of the other sites along the way were essentially empty. The flora/fauna is incredible. You see everything from rain forest to desert! I recommend good shoes, rain gear, walking poles for uphill, and a water reservoir in your pack. I found I drink more water and don't have to stop every time I get thirsty. This is a life changing hike and one I highly recommend!

Showing results 1 - 18 of 118