The view from Machu Picchu

On our Inca Trail Private Journey, hike the Inca Trail with your group’s own private guide, porters, and cooks and savor the hiking adventure of a lifetime, with an overnight at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right at the ruins.

Photo by Michael Powers

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Inca Trail Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4095  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Cusco, Peru
Depart: Cusco, Peru
Lodging: 4 nights beautiful hotels, 4 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures, Archaeology
Trip Level: 5-day trek on moderate to steep trails, 5-6 hours a day, altitudes between 8,000-13,650 feet


  • Hike in the footsteps of the Incas and enter the citadel of Machu Picchu on foot
  • Your own private guide and porters, delicious camp cuisine prepared by your personal cook
  • Enjoy the comforts of our legendary Inca Trail camping services—the best on the trail!
  • Discover Peru’s vibrant traditional culture and renowned archaeological treasures
  • Deluxe option includes an overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, with its extraordinary access to the ruins

Outstanding adventure in every possible way! This trip absolutely exceeded our expectations!Rachel R.—Contoocook, NH

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

This Private Journey is one of the great hikes of the world! Join your private guide for an amazing trek on the world-renowned Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, lost city of the Incas. On the trail, you just carry a daypack as you experience this unforgettable journey with our famous Wilderness Travel full-service camping support. Many other treats are in store on the Inca Trail: absolutely spectacular campsites, haunting Inca fortresses tucked among the rugged crags of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, the beauty of walking in a cloud forest of bamboo and orchids, and the mysterious dancing clouds that shroud, then reveal, these steep green mountains. We designed the trek for maximum altitude acclimatization and to get the most out of each trekking day on your incredible five-day hike. Along the way, enjoy the rich experience of hiking to three of the most fantastic Inca ruins on the trail: Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, and Phuyupatamarca (“Town in the Clouds”), then make your much-anticipated hike to Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, to enter the magical world of Machu Picchu.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Enjoy a walking tour of Cusco, with its fine churches, museums, and archaeological sites, then head to the Urubamba Valley for a warm-up hike to the mighty Inca fortress of Pisac, a wondrous ruin that is still an enigma to archaeologists.

Days 3-6
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The famed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu threads its way across mountain passes and through fascinating Inca ruins accessible only on foot. Intricate stonework, orchid-draped cloud forests, and breathtaking vistas fill your hiking days, while each evening you are welcomed to a spectacular campsite by our experienced staff. Enjoy a private guide, cook, camp staff, and porters, with wonderful meals served to you in your own dining tent. Sharing this amazing adventure with your Peruvian crew is always a highlight of the journey.

Days 7-9
The Lost City

Hike in the footsteps of the Incas through Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, and see the dramatic ruins of Machu Picchu before you—an unbelievable sight! The most spectacular of all Inca citadels, Machu Picchu is perched on a deeply terraced saddle between two sharp green peaks and set against a vast panorama of mist-shrouded mountains. Enjoy a comprehensive tour of the ruins with your private guide. Return to Cusco in the afternoon of Day 8 and depart on Day 9.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 5, Moderate to Strenuous. Most hiking is between 8,000 and 12,000 feet, the maximum elevation reached is 13,800 feet, and the total miles hiked is about 25. Trails can be rough, not the well-maintained switchbacks you may be accustomed to in the United States, and the altitudes are high. In addition, the Inca Trail has quite a few long portions of steep “staircases.” For the most part, you can hike at your own speed. The group will spread out along the trail to cover about 6 to 8 miles per day (6-7 hours of hiking each day). Trail conditions can be primitive, and there is a good bit of up-and-down (often 2,000 to 3,000 feet of elevation gain and subsequent loss per day). Everyone should be prepared for five days of hardy outdoor living. We expect each participant be in excellent health and physical condition. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in top physical condition for the trip.

You must make a concerted effort to get in top physical condition for the trip by engaging in regular exercise well beyond your normal routine. We recommend you do aerobic exercise that causes you to break a sweat for at least 30 minutes, at least three times a week, over the course of a couple of months prior to the trip.

To accelerate your conditioning, try walking faster than 1.5 miles per hour, walking on steeper inclines, and using your gym’s stair-climbing machines. As you progress, practice these walks with your loaded daypack (full water bottle, camera gear, jacket). Walks are also a great way to break in your hiking boots. The object is to improve your overall level of fitness and aerobic capacity and get your legs and lungs in shape for the Andes.

Hiking distances on trek are normally measured in hours, not miles, since maps aren’t really accurate enough to assess how far we walk up and down winding mountain trails. An average day’s walk is seven or eight hours. With rest stops and photo stops, few people walk faster than one mile an hour in a mountainous region. Some hiking days are shorter than others, and some days are more difficult than others due to altitude gain and loss.

On a typical trek day, wake-up is around 7 am, when a cup of hot tea or coffee and a basin of warm washing water are brought to your tent by one of the camp crew. After packing up our duffels and having breakfast (often pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, or something similar), we set off on the trail while the crew strikes camp and the porters shoulder their loads. The crew passes us by midmorning to get ahead and prepare our lunch.

Most groups tend to spread out over the trail, taking photos, stopping to rest, and enjoying the scenery. We ask you not to hike ahead of the leader because trails are often not well-marked. If you feel breathless during a long ascent or wobbly during a long descent, by all means stop until you feel restored.

You will typically hike for three or four hours in the morning, then stop for a leisurely lunch of an hour or more at a scenic spot on the trail. Lunch is a picnic, perhaps chicken salad, potato salad, guacamole salad, or macaroni salad, along with fruit, cheese, bread, and chocolate bars for extra energy. After lunch, you will hike for another three hours or so until you reach the next night’s camp. The porters and crew pass you in mid-afternoon and usually have camp set up by the time we arrive. At camp, there is late afternoon tea (or coffee or cocoa) and a snack such as popcorn, cookies, or crackers, which hit the spot after a long day on the trail. Before dinner, there’s free time to read or relax. Temperatures drop quickly as the sun drops behind the peaks, and it’s easy to get chilled after exerting yourself for several hours, so have a few extra layers of clothing ready. It gets dark fairly early (around 6:30 pm). Dinner, served in a dining tent with table and chairs, is delicious hot soup followed by a substantial main course and a dessert. After dinner, you can chat away the evening in the dining tent or read by flashlight until bedtime.

Explanation of Trip Levels


When to go

March to December

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016

First Class

$4095 per person, double occupancy (4 people)
$4395 per person, double occupancy (3 people)
$4995 per person, double occupancy (2 people)
Single supplement: $635
Internal airfare: $475 (subject to change)
Inca Trail Permit: $110


$4795 per person, double occupancy (4 people)
$5095 per person, double occupancy (3 people)
$5695 per person, double occupancy (2 people)
Single supplement: $1345
Internal airfare: $475 (subject to change)
Inca Trail Permit: $110

Note: Some of the hotels on this trip may apply Christmas/New Year holiday surcharges. Please call us for details.

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension
   from: $995
Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica
   from: $825
Sipan and Chan Chan Extension
   from: $980
Lake Titicaca Extension
   from: $995

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Accommodations in hotels, based on double occupancy, as described, and in top quality tents on trek
  • All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Land transportation as noted in the Full Trip Brochure
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Airport transfers
  • Private guided tours per itinerary

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, optional activities, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Hotels in Cusco

Day 1 (1 night),
Day 8 (1 night), Cusco, Peru

In Cusco, we stay at one of the following properties based on availability and choice of accommodation:

Hotel Pakaritampu

Hotel Pakaritampu (First Class and Deluxe Option)

Day 2 (1 night), Ollantaytambo, Peru

A cozy hotel with a countryside feeling, the Pakaritampu is just a few blocks from the main plaza in the traditional village of Ollantaytambo. The ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Inca Trail Trek Camps

Inca Trail Trek Camps

Days 3 to 6 (4 nights), Inca Trail, Peru

We make hiking and camping in the Andes as comfortable as it can get! On the trail, you are accompanied by our experienced team of trail guides, and ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Hotels at Machu Picchu Ruins

Day 7 (1 night), Machu Picchu Ruins, Peru

At the Machu Picchu Ruins, we stay at one of the following properties based on availability and choice of accommodation:

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Peter Boehm

Peter Boehm is German-born but says, “I have Latin blood running through my veins.” Pete has guided in Peru and across South America since 1984. He arrived as a traveler and became one of the first to trek many of Peru’s then unexplored Inca trails. With countless captivating ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Jhon Elguera

Jhon Elguera was born in 1980 near the ancient Inca stronghold of Machu Picchu in the Santa Teresa Valley. After graduating from high school in Cusco, he undertook computer studies, then later attended guide school, receiving a diploma in cultural tourism. Jhon has been guiding tours in Peru since ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Miguel Pacsi

Miguel Pacsi was born in the highlands southeast of Cusco, not far from snow-capped Ausangate, the most sacred mountain to the Inca people. Born into the WT family, with his father being one of our original camp managers, Miguel is a now a second-generation member of our Peru team! He has hiked ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica

Exploring Waterways and Nature Trails

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension

Colonial Splendor and Natural Wonders

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 2

Lake Titicaca Extension

Mystical Birthplace of the Incas

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2

Frieze at the Temple of the Moon, near Trujillo

Sipan and Chan Chan Extension

Ancient Wonders of Northern Peru

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

Outstanding adventure in every possible way! This trip absolutely exceeded our expectations! Rachel R., Contoocook, NH The trip was extraordinary and my hiking companion and I agreed, as we watched the other guides and groups, that we had clearly chosen the best in the field. Drew C., Albany, NY We had a great trip. It was clear that lots of knowledge, experience, and planning had gone into the itinerary. Jeff J., Denver, CO We loved the trip, especially the hiking. Our guide also gave us a great education in history and Inca culture. Lisa H., Newtown Square, PA First class service from our moment of arrival until departure. It was very apparent on the trail that Wilderness Travel was a higher level experience than any other agency. We were very pleased with all services. Randy F., Laguna Niguel, CA This was the trip of a lifetime - we had a blast! I have wanted to go to Machu Picchu for 25 years, and it did NOT disappoint. The surprise was that the HIKE was the best part of the trip! Beautiful and fabulous in every way! Deborah F., Laguna Niguel, CA
What a great time we had on the Inca Trail Private Journey!  We were very impressed with the quality of the staff and the planning that went into the itinerary. Tom H., Raleigh, N.C. The trail and food were wonderful—hiking in luxury! Rachel G., Fairport, NY I can’t give enough wonderful feedback! Our Trip Leader did a superlative job of helping to balance challenge with wonderment. The rest of the team on the trail were warm, professional, and kind. The food was terrific! Faithi B., Potomac. MD All our guides showed such a passion for their work, the country of Peru, the Peruvian people, and the Inca archaeological sites. Gayle G., Silverton, OR Could not have been better. I felt so taken care of by Wilderness Travel. Candace H., Miami, FL Awesome! The experience of a lifetime. Sid P., Atlantic Beach, FL Fun, exciting, and uplifting. Bruce N., Malibu CA