'A Quieter Inca Trail'

What makes this trip special?

Incan sites along the trail

Incan sites along the trail

Llaqtapata, Runkurakay, Sayamarca and Phuyupatamarca

The Classic View of Machu Picchu

The Classic View of Machu Picchu

Intipunku - the Sun Gate

All is revealed when you reach the Sun Gate on your trek on the Inca Trail. The mountains part and the hidden ruins of Machu Picchu appear below you, perched on their platform of rock and ringed by the high peaks of the Vilcabamba. In a moment you are taken back 500 years to the time of the last Incas.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Absolutely unmissable. One of the most world's evocative sites, an Incan sanctuary beautifully set among seemingly impenetrable mountains, lost for centuries. Approach it by the Inca Trail, or by rail. Truly wonderful.

The Machu Picchu train

The Machu Picchu train

Cusco - Ollyantaytambo - Machu Picchu

The almost mythical railway that follows the narrow course of the Urubamba river as it leaves the Sacred Valley and winds beneath the mountains of the Vilcabama that preserved Machu Picchu's isolation for centuries.

Itinerary map for Peru 'A Quieter Inca Trail' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Llaqtapata
  • 2 Llulluchapampa
  • 3 Phuyupatamarca
  • 4 Machu Picchu
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Designer's notes

If you can spare an extra day this clever way to avoid the 'crowds' is very well worth considering. You are much more likely to find you have the trail more or less to yourself for much of the time, and you stay at smaller campsites where you have a better chance of soaking up the peace of the mountains.

You arrive at the Sun Gate above Machu Picchu in the afternoon, when the view is more likely to be clear than at dawn (though less spectacular than when the dawn does manage to be clear).

The citadel of Machu Picchu is usually much quieter in the afternoon, and this is our favourite time to see the ruins.

You sleep that night at a hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo (instead of zipping back to Cusco), so you can return to the citadel in the morning for the regular guided tour.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'A Quieter Inca Trail'


Km82 to Llaqtapata

You are picked up from your hotel and taken by bus to Km 82, the start of the Inca Trail. After a quick briefing and time to meet your support team of porters, you start walking along the banks of the Urubamba river. In the late afternoon you arrive at your camp at Llaqtapata (2788m) beside Incan ruins. Your guide will show you the ruins before dinner and an early night.


Llaqtapata to Llulluchapampa

This morning you hike up the Cusichaca valley to Huallyabamba, the last inhabited hamlet on the trail. The trek then continues upwards following a mountain stream, with hummingbirds, stunted cloud forest and the occasional llama along the way. You camp at Llulluchapampa (3680m), a grassy spot with beautiful views over the valley.


Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca

An early morning start to tackle what is arguably the hardest and longest day of the Inca Trail. This morning you reach the highest point in the trek, Warmiwanusca (or Dead Woman’s Pass), at 4200m. After some time at the top of the pass you descend into the Pacasmayu valley, before heading up again, this time past the Inca ruins of Rucuracay. This second high pass reaches 3998m with spectacular views on a clear day over the Vilcabamba mountains. Continuing down to the Sayacmarca ruins, you can stop to see the ruins, and take a breather. Then you walk along the ridge, passing through tunnels before you reach a slight ascent which brings you to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (‘the town above the clouds’ at 3650m) and your camp for the night.


Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu

Start this morning at Phuyupatamarca to see the sun rise over the surrounding snow-capped mountains. After breakfast and a farewell to your team of porters (with traditional song and dance), you trek down through the cloud forest on an Incan stairway to reach the ruins of Winay Wayna, often surrounded by swallows and orchids. After lunch and some free time at the ruins you continue down to the Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, with its gorgeous view of Machu Picchu. Walking into the Machu Picchu citadel, you have some free time to explore, before catching a bus down to Machu Picchu Pueblo and celebrating your return to civilisation.


Machu Picchu

You return to the Machu Picchu citadel in the morning for a full tour and then catch the train back to Cusco.

Guide prices for 'A Quieter Inca Trail'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Shared, fixed date departure (Tue) 2 people sharing £1,855
Shared, fixed date departure (Tue) 3 people sharing £1,855
Shared, fixed date departure (Tue) 4 people sharing £1,855
Private 2 people sharing £2,680
Private 3 people sharing £2,270
Private 4 people sharing £2,070
Prices are per person and include:
  • all transport ex Cusco
  • all cooking and camping equipment (inc thermarest)
  • English speaking Inca Trail registerd guide as trek leader
  • Camp porters who cook and carry all equipment
  • emergency first-aid kit and oxygen
  • guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • all entrance fees and permits to Inca Trail and ruins at Machu Picchu
  • all accommodation: 3 nights in two-person tents, 1 night at a hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo
  • meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Prices do not include:
  • sleeping bag (can be rented at USD10 per day of trek)
  • international flights
  • domestic flights
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc

Customer reviews for 'A Quieter Inca Trail'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'A Quieter Inca Trail'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Llaqtapata 19°C rainfall 164mm
2 Llulluchapampa 15°C rainfall 155mm
3 Phuyupatamarca 21°C rainfall 181mm
4 Machu Picchu 22°C rainfall 187mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'A Quieter Inca Trail'

Days 1 - 3

Camping in Tent

Camping in Tent