'The Royal Inca Trail'

What makes this trip special?

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 'The Royal Inca Trail' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Machu Picchu
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Designer's notes

A lovely day's walk in the Vilcabamba, joining the route of the 'Classic' Inca Trail before it reaches the Sun Gate and its spectacular view of Machu Pichu.

Tour the ruins in the afternoon when things are likely to be quieter, descend to the village for a night in a hotel, then return the following day for a full guided tour. Return to Cusco in the late afternoon. Hugely memorable. Very efficient.

Do bear in mind that although this is much shorter than the classic Inca Trail trek you will still be hiking 12km on rough terrain with some steep uphills, so reasonable fitness is needed.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'The Royal Inca Trail'

B L Sn

Early this morning you are transferred to the train station in Ollantaytambo, where you catch an early train to the halt at Km104 for the start of the ‘Royal’ Inca Trail. You only need to carry a day pack on the hike, as your main luggage goes directly to your hotel. The first part of your trek is uphill to the Incan ruins of Winay Wayna, full of orchids and swallows. The path leads you through cloud forest to Inti Puncu, the ‘Sun Gate’, and your first stunning view of the Machu Picchu citadel in its dramatic mountain setting. You descend an easy stone path to reach the ruins, arriving in the peace of the late afternoon with time to walk among them. You hop on a bus down to Machu Picchu Pueblo, to stay the night at a local hotel.


Machu Picchu

First thing this morning, or at a time you decide with your guide, you head up by bus to the ruins of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. You explore key parts of the ruins with a guide, then there is time to explore, to walk to the Inca Bridge or the Watchman’s Hut, or just soak up the atmosphere. (The short rather strenuous hike up Huaya Picchu behind the citadel requires a permit issued in advance: ask us as early as possible to apply for this for you.) In the late afternoon you board the train back to Cusco.

Guide prices for 'The Royal Inca Trail'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Shared trek, travelling each way from Cusco on the 'Expedition' train 2 people sharing £645
Shared trek, travelling each way from Cusco on the 'Vistadome' train 2 people sharing £885
Prices are per person and include:
  • one night's hotel accommodation in Machu Picchu Pueblo
  • English-speaking guide
  • porter support
  • meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • bus and train tickets
  • entrance fees
  • Inca Trail permit from km104
Prices do not include:
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc

Customer reviews for 'The Royal 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 'The Royal Inca Trail'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 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 'The Royal Inca Trail'

Day 1

El Mapi

Machu Picchu Pueblo

Average rating 4.8 (9 ratings)

El Mapi is Inkaterra's new, 48-room, functional,  contemporary style hotel located in the centre of Machu Picchu Pueblo - the village at the base of Machu Picchu's mountain. Bedrooms are small but well appointed each with blackout curtains, 100% cotton sheets, down duvets, hypoallergenic pillows, cotton bath robes, natural herbal amenities, 32" flat screen TVs and tight-focus reading lights. There is a cafeteria offering organic salads, fresh sandwiches, homemade soups and pastries which is open until 11pm and a bar with free Wi-Fi. Oxygen is available upon request.

El Mapi
Superior room