Machu Picchu 4 Day Hike
Machu Picchu, located in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is one of the most awe-inspiring destinations in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The ancient Incan city is perched on a mountain ridge at an elevation of 7,972 feet, and the only way to reach it is by foot or train. While there are several ways to get to Machu Picchu, the 4-day hike on the Inca Trail is the most popular and the most rewarding.
The Inca Trail is a 26-mile trek that takes you through the Andes Mountains, past ancient Incan ruins, and over high mountain passes. The trail culminates at the Sun Gate, where you’ll get your first glimpse of the magnificent Machu Picchu. The trek is challenging, with steep inclines and uneven terrain, but the breathtaking views and the sense of accomplishment make it all worth it.
Booking your hike to Machu Picchu
Get a quote from our suggested Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek
Day 1: Cusco to Wayllabamba
The 4-day hike begins in the town of Ollantaytambo, where you’ll catch a bus to the starting point of the trail. The first day of the hike is relatively easy, with a gradual climb through the Urubamba Valley. You’ll pass through small villages and farms and cross a few streams before arriving at the first campsite at Wayllabamba.
Day 2: Wayllabamba to Pacaymayo
Day 2 is the most challenging day of the hike, with a steep climb up to the highest point of the trail, Dead Woman’s Pass, which is at an elevation of 13,780 feet. The climb can be grueling, but the views from the top are spectacular. After a brief rest, you’ll begin the descent to the second campsite at Pacaymayo.
Day 3: Pacaymayo to Wiñay Wayna
Day 3 is a long but rewarding day, with visits to several ancient Incan ruins along the way. You’ll pass through the cloud forest and climb up to the second highest point on the trail, the Runkuracay Pass. After passing through the Incan ruins of Sayacmarca, you’ll climb up to the Phuyupatamarca Pass, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The day ends at the Wiñay Wayna campsite, where you’ll have your last dinner on the trail.
Day 4: Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu
The final day of the hike begins early in the morning with a short hike to Intipunku, the Sun Gate. From there, you’ll get your first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu. After taking in the views, you’ll descend to the ancient Incan city and spend the rest of the day exploring the ruins. You can hire a guide to take you on a tour, or explore on your own. The hike ends with a bus ride back to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you can relax in the hot springs before taking the train back to Cusco.
Tips for the Machu Picchu 4 Day Hike:
- Make sure to acclimate to the altitude before starting the hike. Spend a few days in Cusco before the hike to adjust to the high elevation.
- Hire a reputable guide or tour company. They will provide you with all the necessary equipment and ensure your safety on the trail.
- Pack light. You’ll be carrying your own gear, so pack only the essentials.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks. The altitude can be de