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Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail

9 days
4.8 / 5 from 159 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
Min age:

Follow in the footsteps of the Peruvian Incas as you trek the classic Inca Trail

Offering an unrivalled combination of history and dramatic scenery, the ancient Inca Trail winds its way from the powerful Urubamba River, across mountain passes and through cloud forests, passing several crumbling fortresses before reaching the lost city of Machu Picchu. This itinerary is specifically designed to maximise the time spent at Machu Picchu with an early morning tour of the ruins, quieter at that hour before day trippers and other trekkers arrive. 

Inca Trail Permits: An Inca Trail permit is required to walk the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6-8 months in advance to avoid disappointment. On dates where Inca Trail permits have sold out we can offer the spectacular remote Moonstone Trek in its place – please enquire for details.

 The duration of this holiday has changed from 13 June 2020 - for the itinerary for departures from 13 June 2020, please click here


  • Trek the classic Inca Trail to the Sun Gate for the iconic view of Machu Picchu
  • Climb Inca steps to the top of Dead Woman's Pass (4215m)
  • Have a guided tour of Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive
  • Discover Cuzco with its distinct Inca-Colonial fusion architecture
  • Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out

Key information

  • 5 nights hotels in en suite rooms, 3 nights full-service camping with dining and toilet tents
  • 4 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 4215m, average 3050m
  • 7kg personal weight limit on Inca Trail
  • Travel by private bus and by train
  • Countries visited: Peru

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • 5 nights en suite hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Inflatable sleeping mat while camping

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$20)
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Walking & Trekking

Approximately 6-8 hours walking per day


High altitude; good paths, lots of steps

Day by day breakdown
Day 311.0km/6.8miles
Day 410.0km/6.2miles
Day 512.0km/7.5miles
Day 69.0km/5.6miles

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the nights in hotels and full-service campsites that are locally staffed and uses local produce wherever possible ensuring that we are directly benefitting the communities we visit. We operate a zero-impact policy on the Inca Trail, removing all waste from campsites and seperating it so that it can be easily recycled or composted. Our camp staff are paid a fair wage and receive all accommodation, transport and food during the trek. They are also trained and encouraged to put environmental protection practices to use in their own communities. Trekking trips have little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents and our entry fees to the trail and historic sites contribute directly towards their maintenance and upkeep.

The free day in Cuzco is a good chance to visit Café Manos Unidas, the first vocational training site for young adults with disabilities in Cusco, creating employment opportunities for youth in their own community. In 2018, Exodus funded £5,000 where during the first three months of operation has directly benefitted 15 youths as well as 52 other community members indirectly. Having a meal there is a great way to interact with the locals while also supporting a cause that gives those who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here


  • Day 1

    Start Cuzco (3400m); free time to explore the Inca capital.

    Set amidst hills in the altiplano, the Imperial City of the Incas, Cuzco (3,400) was the geographic, cultural and political centre of a vast empire which, at its peak, stretched from present-day Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile. After the Spanish conquistadores invaded the city they started building on top of the Incan structures, resulting in unique architecture, a fusion of the Incan and Spanish colonial styles.

    The group flight usually arrives around midday, giving time for a short orientation tour around the city or free time to wander the cobbled streets admiring the old houses, visiting its interesting museums, churches and pre-Columbian buildings, or to sit in a café and sample a coca-tea.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3,400m).

    There will be a welcome briefing in the hotel lobby this afternoon/evening.

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Free day; optional Sacred Valley excursion.

    Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America's most beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people-watching, and Qorikancha – the Sun Temple, located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery, are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. Cuzco is also the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and should you wish to visit the sites, your leader can help organise an excursion, including Pisac Market (optional).

    If you fancy something more active then there are an array of other optional activities available from Cuzco, although you may wish to leave these until your return to the city after the Inca Trail trek, by which time you will be fully acclimatised. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

    In the evening you will need to pack and weigh your duffel bag ready for the Inca Trail tomorrow – remember to keep your passport somewhere accessible for the Inca Trail checkpoint.

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur / Emperador (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Route 1: The Classic Inca Trail: Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

    The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.

    We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo, our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

    Walk Profile: approx. 11km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Huayllabamba Camp

    Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Trek past ruins and hamlets to the village of Chillipawa.

    An early start as it's a very busy first day! We take a private minibus to the trailhead, stopping first to explore the nearby ruins from which the trek takes its name. This is a large site with several distinct Inca remnants, clearly of religious importance. As with the rest of the trek, we are most likely to have the site completely to ourselves. The Moonstone itself is a large carving on an enormous boulder, and its significance is not yet understood.

    The trailhead is in a quiet, dusty valley and we soon climb high enough from the floor to enjoy some great views. At around lunchtime we stop to explore the imposing pre‐Inca fortress of Wata that straddles the trail. The ruin has not yet been accurately dated and pottery can often still be found lying on the ground. The path then traverses along a green side valley as we make our way above a few tiny villages before entering the village of Chillipawa, where we camp.

    Walk Profile: approx. 10.5km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Route 1: The Classic Inca Trail: Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4215m), then descend to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) Pass – at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

    Walk Profile: approx. 10km / 6‐7hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Pacamayo Camp

    Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Up the Accoccosa Pass and onto the high pampas.

    A long, steady climb with plenty of rest stops to aid acclimatisation takes us above the villages and into the high pampas ‐ rugged meadows of long grass. We normally stop for lunch shortly before the crest of the Accoccosa Pass (and the very rare Andean Flicker is sometimes seen (although often heard!). The last leg of the pass is on loose red scree, but the view from the top makes it all worthwhile: a broad, hidden valley surrounded by snowy peaks ‐ the Huayanay Range on the left, the Urubamba Range straight ahead and beautiful, triangular Mt Veronica (5,800m) to the right. We have time to explore this plateau and experience walking in the high altiplano before returning to our camp for a well‐deserved hot dinner. The camp's isolation, well away from any settlements, results in spectacular night skies when clear.

    Walk Profile: approx. 8.8km / 4‐5hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Route 1: The Classic Inca Trail: Over Runquracay Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

    We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. As we leave behind the ruins of Sayajmarca, we suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We spend the night at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

    Walk Profile: approx. 12km / 5-6hrs walking

    Full-service Camping - Phuyupatamarca Camp

    Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Continue along a narrow canyon and Incan aqueduct before crossing over to the Inca quarry of Canchiqata.

    We start after breakfast by following the stream from down this hidden valley into a narrow canyon. Rare polylepis trees grow here and we pass through a small grove as we leave the canyon. Our path then turns North and traverses very high above a deep and steep valley separating us from the Huayanay Mountains. This is probably the most spectacular section of the trek and we roughly follow a (now defunct) Inca aqueduct spectacularly carved out of the cliffs to take water from the hidden valley of our campsite to the Sacred Valley several miles away. At the end of the traverse we have a short but steep climb up to our lunch spot, a flat, ridge‐top meadow facing straight across the Sacred Valley to the snowy Urubamba Range.

    After lunch we walk down to Huayrapunku. Meaning "Gate of the Wind", this is a ridge‐top Inca shrine oriented to Mt Veronica, of which it has a simply incredible view. Finally a short walk brings us to our final campsite in amongst the granite stones of the Canchiqata Quarry. It was here that huge blocks were cut from the rose‐coloured granite before being dragged down the mountainside and across the river to the Sun Temple at Ollantaytambo.

    Walk Profile: approx. 11.8km / 5‐6hrs walking

    Full‐service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Route 1: The Classic Inca Trail: Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

    From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.

    Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow.

    There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Moonstone Trek at the hotel this afternoon.

    Walk Profile: approx. 9km / 6-7hrs walking

    Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Route 2: Moonstone Trek: Descend to Ollantaytambo where the trek ends; catch the train to Aguas Calientes and re-join the rest of the group.

    Photographers are advised to wake up before dawn this morning, to watch the sun rise over the Sacred Valley from our campsite high above it. The sun's first rays catching the glaciers of Mt Veronica certainly makes the effort more than worthwhile. This is our last day on the trek and we descend from the pampas down into the lush valley floor along the enormous stone ramps on which the Incas dragged the stones. We cross the river and explore the huge Sun Temple complex to see where the stones ended and what use they were put to. Our trek ends as we board the train to Aguas Calientes, where we join the rest of the group at the hotel.

    Walk Profile: approx. 8km / 2‐3hrs walking

    Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Guided tour of Machu Picchu; free time to explore further; return to Cuzco by train and road.

    In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance, and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. 

    Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. 

    New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, we will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; we select the most comprehensive route. 

    We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day in Cuzco; optional activities available.

    Today has been left free to relax after the trek or explore Cuzco further. Again, your leader can help to arrange optional excursions and activities for you.

    Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Cuzco.

    For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport to catch the overnight flight back to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (from Cuzco)

Code: XPC

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Price from: £449 (compulsory supplement of £80 for single travellers)

Post-trip Extensions

Lake Titicaca extension

Code: XPT

Journey across the spectacular high altiplano to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable freshwater lake (3,800m). Explore its waters by boat and visit the descendants of the Uros Indians who live on floating reed islands, and are also known for producing fine textiles. Back on the mainland, we visit the pre‐ Incan site of Sillustani, comprised of burial towers with fantastic views over the region. The Titicaca Extension is only available after your main tour as we do not recommend arriving straight into Puno due to the altitude. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details. 

Price from: £209 (compulsory supplement of £48 for single travellers)

Essential Info



Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the tour. 

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Drinking water is included throughout the holiday as the tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from. 

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all locations – if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food.

Where lunch and dinner are not included in Cuzco/Aguas Calientes we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants.

During the Inca Trail (or Moonstone Trek) hearty breakfasts are served and good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also provided. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.



Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate between different regions.

Cuzco and the Andes have a temperate climate. December to March is the rainy season in Cuzco/the Andes and April to November is the dry season; characterised by clear skies and strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. Daytime temperatures are usually pleasant (approx. 20 degrees C on average) but night times only 5-10 degrees C, except for May, June, July and August when days are cooler and nights are often close to, or a few degrees below, freezing. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud, rain or even snow, with rapid and unexpected changes! 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged. Cold fronts sometimes occur from July-August.

Peru is affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon whereby warming of Pacific Ocean surface water off South America drives a shift in the atmospheric circulation, resulting in abnormally high levels of rainfall over parts of South America. These events occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and last nine months to two years. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2014-16. 

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Is this trip for you?

This is a Moderate grade trek (level 3) – please refer to our activity level guidelines. There are four days point-to-point walking with full porterage, reaching a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman's Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner's trek to anyone with no previous walking experience. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation beforehand. The trek is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek. The use of trekking poles will help to reduce strain on the knees.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend two days in Cuzco (3400m) acclimatising before starting the trek.

Protest action/strikes are not uncommon in Peru, and whilst these are generally peaceful, they can involve roadblocks and cause disruption to travel. Occasionally your leader may have to adapt your itinerary in response to this. 

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Inca Trail Regulations

There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible. 
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased on your behalf. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure. 
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities. 
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking and keep it somewhere safe.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options. 

Alternative Moonstone Trek

Once Inca Trail permits have sold out for a given date, we can no longer accept bookings for the classic Inca Trail trek. However, we can offer an equally spectacular alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place. The remote high altitude Moonstone Trek takes in a number of recently discovered Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites and there are practically no other tourists along the route.

If selected, the Moonstone Trek will replace days 3 to 6 of the standard land only itinerary. The maximum altitude on the Moonstone Trek is 4625m (higher than that of the classic Inca Trail) and the route is slightly more strenuous. Therefore we class it as a Moderate/Challenging trek (level 4).

Depending on the split of the group between the Inca Trail and Moonstone Trek, you may find small group sizes on the Moonstone Trek. It is even possible that the Moonstone trek will be provided for solo travellers. Please ask your Sales Consultant if you would like to know how many people are booked on each, and/or have any specific questions or concerns.

Whilst the Moonstone Trek can also be booked preferentially while Inca Trail permits are still available, a small group supplement may apply. 

List of Regulations for visiting Machu Picchu:

The main points impacting your visit are the following:

  1. The tickets are valid only for one entry which means that you cannot leave the site and re-enter.
  2. Once you have done the chosen circuit with your guide, you cannot walk back to view anything already visited and once you finish the circuit, you will have to leave the site. You can no longer explore the site further after the guided tour.
  3. The two visit times for visiting the site, either 6am-12pm or 12-16.30pm.
  4. The local authorities have restricted the temples which can visited at Machu Picchu depending on the time of the visit to the site.

These regulations will affect how long you are able to spend at Machu Picchu and which temples you can visit.  In the past, after the guided tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site, this is not possible anymore. The alternative that we are implementing on our visits to allow you further time, is to explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun Gate and Inca Bridge) before starting the guided tour.  The guided tour will be about 2 hrs in duration, and unfortunately at the end of it, you will need to exit the site. You will be able to visit the Condor’s Temple, but not the Sun Dial Temple or the Sun Temple on this itinerary.

 Schedule of visit to Machu Picchu on this itinerary:

  • Early bus to Machu Picchu and explore upper part with the tour leader
  • Between 9-10am start the guided tour
  • Between 11.30am-12.30pm passengers leave Machu Picchu

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels & Camping

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary, however, accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date.

In Cuzco we will stay at small, locally run hotels where possible, all located in the historical centre of Cuzco, within walking distance of the beautiful Plaza de Armas and close to restaurants and shops.  The hotels each feature cozy rooms, buffet breakfasts and free WiFi.  Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at the reception.

In Aguas Calientes, we stay in a centrally located hotel with comfortable rooms, buffet breakfasts and free WiFi.  Unfortunately, there is a railway line that runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels, however, most hotels provide plug-in heaters and spare blankets which should keep you warm. While all of the hotels we use do have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

The Inca Trail (and Moonstone trek) is on a full-service camping basis with full porterage, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your daypack.  The tents used are 4 season Eureka tents purchased in 2019 and there is a separate dining tent for meal times, as well as a toilet tent for use both in camp and during lunch stops. On the Inca Trail we stay in organised campsites which are administered by the Regional Cultural Directorate, whilst on the Moonstone Trek we use wild campsites.

Should you wish to extend your stay, we can book extra nights accommodation in Cuzco for you. While we endeavour to book your pre/post tour accommodation in the same hotel that you will start/end the trip, it may not always be possible. If your extra accommodation is in a different hotel to where the group will start/end the trip it is your responsibility to make arrangements to get to/from that start/end hotel.

We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post-tour accommodation. Single accommodation (including tents) can be arranged, subject to availability. Please request this at the time of booking.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


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Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed August 2019
    Michelle Carter

    Moonstone Trek

    I chose to do the Moonstone Trek - a remote and quiet Inca trail reaching the dizzying heights of just under 4700 m. I was the only person doing the trek and had my own guide, chef and 2 horsemen. I thoroughly enjoyed the trek, beautiful scenery, remote small communities and Inca sites en route. My guide was very knowledgable and i learnt about about the history of the area en route. I was looked after extremely well: fantastic food and hot tea and water in the morning. I highly recommend this trek and Exodus, it is a once in a lifetime experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing Accoccasa and reaching the top to experience the view - it was breathtaking (aside from the effects of altitude i mean!) and i felt a real sense of achievement. Having a few minutes at the top gave me time to reflect and offered me a refreshed perspective. Sorry a bit deep!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Smithy was very amenable and knowledgable. He was on hand to sort out every little issue and make sure we were aware of the options for activities (outside the trek) and then organise it for us. Having someone local made a real difference to our experience as we were able to eat at amazing restaurants and experience the best of what Peru can offer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It says in the trip notes that poles are optional - my view is that they should be deemed essential. I do not normally use poles when hiking in the UK but i took them with me and i am so glad i did. There can be difficult terrain to navigate and i experienced snow on the 3rd day which made the trail very slippery. They really helped going up hill when you are struggling to breath and your legs are like lead weights! The temperature ranges from zero to mid 20's. So bring lots of layers. Yes you need a sunhat & sunblock AND a winter coat and thermals!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst Smithy took the rest of the group on the Inca Trail, my guide for the Moonstone Trek was Vannya. She was incredibly knowledgable and i learnt a lot from her and was an excellent guide - she made sure i was OK at all times, advising me along the way. So i felt well prepared and reassured at all times. Valentin was a fantastic chef and cooked some amazing food - the best of Peruvian cuisine and all on a small kerosene burner. The horsemen, Carlos and Enrique did a great job of getting my things to the next camp and setting up the lunch tent and the evening camp. The hot tea in the morning and hot water to wash in was very welcome. I am truly humbled to have been taken care off so amazingly well by such kind hearted, talented people.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Angie Cutmore

    Inca Trail

    Brilliant from start to finish. This trip excelled my expections as I have never done an Exodus trip before. I am a keen fell walker but have never seen a such diverse beautiful countryside. From river valleys to rugged mountain tops. The second day was quite steep up dead womans path but well worth it. We always got plenty of encouragement from our guides Edwind and Anthony. They were very knowledgeable about all the history and flora and fauna. But the highlight is the Sun gate and your first veiw og Macchu Pichu.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking down from the Sun gate.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edwind was able to help and advise us of all the trip entailed. He was a really nice guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip to the Sacred Valley is worth a visit too whilst you are acclimatising.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Diane Ingrey

    It was Amazing

    Peru My Peru holiday with Exodus was just amazingly fantastic. I have seen beautiful mountains before in the Alps but had not previously experienced the amazing sunsets you get on the Inca Trail or the stunning night sky. You could see the stars and milky way with absolute clarity. Nor have I descended down through Amazon cloud forest with its amazing flora and fauna. To do all that whilst walking such historic trails was mind-blowing. You feel really close to mother earth and nature. The descent through the Sun Gate to view Machu Picchu cannot be overstated as a beautiful moving experience. It is the best view of the site but what is undersold is that on this trip we arrived at the Sun Gate as Machu Picchu was closing and we had the site to ourselves. You descend through the site. I climbed the wooden steps to view the Gatekeepers Hut and it was occupied by just 3 Llamas! The next day on the formal visit there were swathes of visitors. The porters on the trek were amazing, I have a new definition of fitness now after watching porters run past me with a 25kg backpack almost a big as themselves. After their trek they erect your tent put your stuff in it and have a bowl of hot water waiting for you and prepare your meal. Meals were all freshly made, healthy and very tasty. They really do carry fresh vegetables up the trail. The joy of a shower and a flushing toilet after the trek is still with me! Cusco is an amazing place to explore and just to sit and watch. Its pace can be manic, it felt like being in a Rio carnival at times. Traffic is crazy and controlled by women police officers who are fearsome and fearless. They need to be, horns toot endlessly and everybody just shoves as far as they can. Its noisy and very vibrant. The Cathedral is beautiful and the huge picture of the Last Supper where they enjoy guinea pig is interesting. I did eat guinea pig and Llama, the Llama is good, cross between steak and lamb but not keen on guinea pig. We visited Inca sites in Cusco and if you are a history buff you would be overjoyed as their is so many sites. This holiday has completely changed my view of holidays, no more standard European Alps walking holidays. I crave history and culture experiences. I am still in a state of wonder a week after getting back. Only downside of the holiday is the free roaming dogs, some of which have homes but are not allowed in, but some are just hungry and scavenging out of rubbish heaps. Not so much in Cusco centre but just outside. 3rd world regarding animals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leaders were outstanding, so helpful and so patient. They helped a member of the group who was very ill prepared for the trek to complete it (despite no appreciation from the member).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take the altitude sickness medicine, it made those who took it ill. They were better when they stopped taking it. Make sure you are fit enough, not a lot of oxygen for muscles up there so you need strong legs. Its not an easy trek, I am a regular high fell walker and my legs were very, very tired. You need to be fit to enjoy it not "reasonably fit" as stated. If you are not fit and suffer at altitude it will be hard as one of our group found...but she still made it!! Porters and walk leaders are angels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for the best most wonderful holiday of my life.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Richard Spink

    The Inca Trail

    This was my second trip with Exodus and the organisation could not have been better. I was pcked up from Cusco Airport, transferred to my hotel and introduced to the other memebers of the group. We had a day to acclimatise in Cusco and then started the Inca Trail. It was absolutely briliant. The walking was quite steady but some very steep sections. The scenery was spectacular and the night sky was equally as spectacular. We could clearly see the Southern Cross. The food at each camp was superb (How the chef managed to cook such good meals, including 1 vegetarian, on a 2 ring portable stove, beats me!.) The tour guide, Edwind, was very knowledgeable and each Inca settlement we passed, he gave us a "history lesson". The timing of the walk to go through the Sun Gate, was exemplary, as we did so late afternoon and viewed Machu Picchu when there were hardly any tourists in the site. The views of Machu Picchu were breathtaking and it is no wonder it is one of the 7 natural wonders of the World. I would highly recmmend this walk but remember there are some steep sections, particularly the second day, so be prepared!! In short, an excellent trip well organised by Exodus and a great toour leader. Excellent value for money.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the Sun Gate and looking down on Machu Picchu for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edwind, our group leader could not have been better. Very supportive of everybody, very knowledgeable about all of the Inca site we passed, very friendly, helpful and professional. His assistant, Anthony, was also superb and equally as knowledgeable. A great team to be in charge of our group. They also spoke excellent English!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Practice walking up some hills before you go!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Inca Trail is a really enjoyable, pleasant walk, with stunning views around every corner. If you plan to do it, just take it steady, as nobody rushes you, and enjoy the fantastic views.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Liliana Zlate

    Amazing trip

    I wanted to do something like this for a while but didn't get the chance. Going on this trip was amazing and now I am grateful I was able to do it. Everyone was very nice, the porters were amazing(the chef even made a birthday cake for me), Beto and Mel really good and even though I struggled a bit on the second day the trip was just perfect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being just a few meters away from reaching the Dead Woman pass and having my group cheering up for me. I was the slowest one in the group and reached the pass about an hour after the first person there. I later found out that Beto(our guide) asked them if they want to wait for me and they all said yes. Having an amazing group makes the trip a lot more memorable

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Beto was amazing. He looked after us very well, took us to (mostly) nice restaurants, had a lot of knowledge about what we are doing and knew all our names from the first day. He helped me so much and I was able to finish my trek. Mel our back guide was such a warm and kind person, she knew exactly what we needed and helped us with all the little things and thanks to her most of us now have llama selfies 😊

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Like most people say, everyone can finish the Inca trail but... Do yourself a favour and do some excercise before you start. Altitude sickness is real but so is lack of fitness. Just so you get an idea: I'm 35, work in a hospital and I'm over 90kg and finished but I did struggle going up, down was way easier for me.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please Exodus do something about the hotel. The first 2 nights we were given ground floor rooms, looking up to a corridor, very loud and no privacy.the last 2 nights after we complained we got roos on upper floors with better views and decor. There are many hotels in Cusco and I'm sure we could have had a nicer view than cleaning trolleys. That was the let down of the holiday.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Chinthika Piyasena

    Exceeded expectations

    Well organised, brilliant guide and unbelievable porterage team.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The work of the porters was humbling and I liked the effort made by the guides for us to get to know them better.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly. Very knowledgeable. Diligent. Caring - went out of his way to help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walk is more strenuous than the rating on the website of 3/10.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like the website to highlight better the options to extend the trip. It is tucked away in the middle of the trip notes and missed when making booking and planning the trip.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Don West

    Hiking the Inca Trail

    Very challenging four day hike to Machu Picchu. The hike itself was absolutely beautiful, with incredible views all along the way. Our guides, Julio Santos (lead) and Josval were excellent. Julio was full of interesting facts at every site we were to stop at along the way, and Jos was more than willing to help may our experience a memorable one. The porters, the head chef and his assistant were outstanding. Their professionalism, and extreme efforts were appreciated by all. The food was incredible! A great experience I would recommend doing the hike to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The entire hike. Day three campsite above the clouds, with a beautifully preserved ruin below. Touring Machu Picchu.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio Santos was a fantastic lead guide. To lead fourteen individuals on a four day hike through the mountains is no easy task. There are so many different logistics that he has to address from start to finish. He did an outstanding job with it all, and was never too busy to answer any questions I had along the way. He did it all with a smile, and positive attitude. Thanks!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get in climbing shape, acclimate with a day or two of walking in Cusco (Diamox also helped me- I live 22 feet above sea level), and travel light.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my second trip with Exodus (Cycling In Greece last May being my first). Both were wonderful experiences. Exodus made my planning very easy, and stress free for both trips. I did book my own flights coming from the U.S.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Stephen Wall


    Challenging but an experience of treking in remote, dramatic landscape aay from the 21st century!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Descending into a steep sided valley with views of Mount Veronica

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Helpful and informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a rough trek at high altitude

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The support of the porters and chef was superb
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Tim Marshall

    Try the Moonstone trek!

    Booked trip late, so the Inca Trail itself was sold out. This didn't bother me, as the Moonstone trek sounded great - and it was. Loved the fantastic scenery, the pre-Inca and Inca structures, the glimpses of Andean village life, the excellent food, and the peace and quiet of the trek. Rest of trip was great, too - good itinerary, excellent organisation. Cuzco is a wonderful city to explore. Really enjoyed optional Sacred Valley day trip. Machu Picchu did not disappoint, either (and I have found the odd big-name sight disappointing in the past). Overall, hard to fault this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the trek from start to finish. Beautiful on third day of trek to see glaciers high up, then regular mountains, then the Sacred Valley down below, all at same time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike (main tour leader) was great - very knowledgeable, and proactive in responding to people's needs and requests. Henry (Moonstone trek leader) was a quieter character, but had the necessary skills to lead us competently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get as fit as you can to enjoy the walking more. Altitude can affect anyone, even if it has not affected you previously, so be prepared to feel out of sorts or have a headache. At the same time, don't worry overly about it - the guides are good at monitoring people's wellbeing, and know what to do.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On the Moonstone trek, you miss out on the classic view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate high above, where 'The Inca Trail' ends. But the Moonstone trek is a far less visited Inca trail, and you still get a full tour of Machu Picchu. If doing the Moonstone trek, you might want to check how many are in the group, as the groups are apparently smaller for this than the classic Inca Trail. We had four trekkers, which was fine, but a smaller group than that might feel a little odd.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Sarah Fordham

    An amazing experience

    This was one of the toughest challenges I have put my body through but was so worth it. I had an amazing time and the trip was so well organised. I am in love with Peru now and already thinking about when I can go back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was incredible to make it to the top of dead woman's pass. It was a tough day but it was an amazing sense of achievement when we were at the top looking down. And of course the first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate is breath taking and made it all worth while.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ollie was so knowledgeable and really made the trip special. I think the whole group learnt a lot and he bought the culture and history to life for us. He was able to answer all of our questions and he is clearly passionate about what he does. He was also patient when we were physically struggling and needed to rest a lot, and was full of good advice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you acclimatise as much as possible in Cusco and also make sure that you have decent equipment as you will be relying on it for the days you are hiking. Learn a few Spanish phrases so you can at least introduce yourself to the porters, I had to rely on others in the group and the group leader.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The porters were amazing! They were all very kind, despite the language barrier, and looked after us all very well. The food was some of the best that I had while I was away.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Inca Trail Permits: An Inca Trail permit is required to walk the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6-8 months in advance to avoid disappointment. 2019 Inca Trail permits are now on sale so don’t delay! On dates where Inca Trail permits have sold out we can offer the spectacular remote Moonstone Trek in its place – please enquire for details.


Inca Trail Permit Status: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. Inca Trail permits are strictly limited and are only released one year at a time. We cannot reserve or pre-purchase them. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options.

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