Route and Acclimatization

Avoid the Crowds!

Can you have the Inca Trail largely to yourself? Yes, when you go with Wilderness Travel. We have perfected the timing of our daily hiking schedule so that the majority of other hikers will be either far ahead or far behind you each day. This delivers a much better experience of this World Heritage Site, and our trip members often comment on the magic of “having the Inca Trail to themselves!”

I don’t know how our Trip Leader did it, but while we were hiking the Inca Trail, he somehow timed everything so that it seemed we were the only ones there! He avoided all the crowds, making the trip all the more amazing.
Kim M., Phoenix, AZ

Five Days on the Trail

Our journey has five hiking days (most companies push it with just four days on the trail—and some even three). The WT way allows you to acclimatize gradually to the altitude, have reasonable wakeup times (no hiking in the dark, as with other companies), and enjoy well-paced hiking days that give you time to explore the extraordinary archaeological sites along the route. We want you to experience the wonder of the Inca Trail, not race through it.

Here is how we plan your Inca Trail hiking experience:

First Hiking Day: 2 hours, 3 miles, maximum altitude: 8,900 feet, campsite altitude: 8,900 feet. Ascent/descent of 200 feet.

Second Hiking Day: 5-6 hours, 7.47 miles, maximum altitude: 9,840 feet, campsite altitude: 9,840 feet. Ascent of 1,040 feet.

Third Hiking Day: 6-7 hours, 6.84 miles, maximum altitude: 13,776 feet, campsite altitude: 11,480 feet. Ascent of 3,996 feet, descent of 2,396 feet.

Fourth Hiking Day: 6 hours, 6.12 miles, maximum altitude: 12,960 feet, campsite altitude: 12,033 feet. Ascent of 1,480 feet, descent of 900 feet.

Fifth Hiking Day: 5 hours, 6.84 miles, maximum altitude: 12,033 feet, Machu Picchu altitude: 7,972 feet. Descent of 4,133 feet.

Inca Trail Elevation Map
I was extremely glad we had chosen this particular itinerary—more days on the trail and fewer miles per day.
Pat L., Ottsville, PA

The Perfect Pace for Proper Acclimatization

Our itinerary is specifically designed to give you three full days at altitude before you start any strenuous hiking. We give you an overnight in Cusco (11,200'), then an overnight in Ollantaytambo (9,160') in the Sacred Valley, and on the third day, you’ll have a short, relatively level hike to our private camp at 8,900 feet—all in all, a perfect way to acclimatize. This, together with the design of the trek itinerary itself, are the reasons why we have an unmatched 100% success rate, with no guests ever coming off the trail due to altitude issues.

The cultural days in and around Cusco are a wonderful way to become acquainted with the Inca Culture and to acclimatize. The unique way WT structures the Inca Trail makes the experience feel less crowded and more personal.
Bruce F., Berkeley, CA

Contact our Latin America Specialists

Our Latin America Specialists know every detail about our Peru itineraries, and will be happy to answer any questions about our trips and help you choose the journey that’s right for you!

View Inca Trail Itinerary

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2018 itinerary

Download our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu itinerary to learn more about our day-to-day itinerary, prices and dates, lodging, and leaders.