Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu Adventure

Hiking, Sightseeing, Camping
12 Explorer Chicks
9 Days


Read HERE for info on 2023 Dates.


Hike the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru with a small group of bold women! Your trip is fully-supported with deluxe camping, porters, and chefs. Prior to your hike, spend 3 days acclimatizing and exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Then, hike 4 days and 3 nights on the classic route to reach Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate with a bonus extra day at Machu Picchu. Fully showered and well rested we might add!

The highlight of your Inca trek will be that moment when you walk through the Sun Gate after four days on the trail into Machu Picchu at the Golden Hour when the sun starts to set!

Cusco and the Sacred Valley

During the first part of your adventure you’ll explore the ancient ruins, landmarks, and museums of Cusco and the Sacred Valley with Explorer Chick on private tours. Sites to see include Cusco Cathedral, the Inca Museum, and Sacsayhuaman. Our private guide will walk us through each site giving us a personal tour and revealing the stories of the Incan Culture. Along the way, we’ll have a few surprises and special moments that will leave you moved by the spirituality and kindness of the Quechua culture. You’ll visit the famous Maras Salt Pans and Moray Inca site learning about the experimental agricultural techniques. Be sure to bring some extra cash so you can stock up on the pink salt buying directly from the harvesters.

Quechua Village

Then it’s on to a living Quechua village high in the mountains. The children will melt your heart as they race our bus up to their homes. As you step off our private bus, you’ll be adorned in traditional clothing quickly feeling the warmth of the alpaca wool. Consider it quite the honor as the families show your their homes, serve up a traditional lunch cooked in the ground, and demonstrate their weaving techniques. The women of the village will have their hand-made goods available for purchase including intricate tapestries, hats, scarves, and more. Yes, this means you are supporting local, women-owned businesses with a direct injection into the local economy. (Yeah, we feel pretty good about that! 💛).

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Hike

Then on Day 4 we will arrive to KM 82 to kick off our four-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Hike. Emotions will be high as you watch our team of porters pack and prepare for a truly epic journey following in the footsteps of the Inca and their holy pilgrimage to Machu Picchu. Our very first night on the Inca Trail is spent at a private campground surrounded by Incan structures that will not be occupied by any other Inca Trail Trekkers. From this point on, we will then be staggered from the other groups. This means, we will be less likely to encounter crowds of hikers on the trail. We will be hiking behind the masses who are departing on the same days as us.

Over the course of 4 days and 3 nights you will hike up and over three mountain passes with the highest being the ominous Dead Woman’s Pass standing at 13,828 ft. Oh, and you bet you’ll get real familiar with those famous Incan steps. But all your efforts and screaming quads will be worth the views of breath taking valleys, soaring Andean mountain peaks, and stunning scenery. Throughout the 4 day trek, our private guide will also be walking us through and educating us on several of the ancient ruins that remain and can only be accessed by foot.

Machu Picchu and the Sun Gate

On Day 7 your step will quicken as you sense the Sun Gate approaches. Yes, walking through the Sun Gate is an honor that few get to enjoy. You just walked to Machu Picchu! And, close to sunset! Yes, the coveted Golden Hour! And now you get to revel in your accomplishments making your way down to the Citadel proper.

Then upon exiting, we’ll be staying the night in Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes), where you can shower and sleep in a real bed at our hotel. (And if you’re feeling really frisky, grab a beer to celebrate!)

The next morning, you’ll wake up fresh as daisies for Round 2 at Machu Picchu. Your private tour continues as our local guide takes us through Machu Picchu pointing out areas of significance. Oh, and you bet we be stopping at the BEST spots to snag those Glamour Shots! 📸 Afterward, we’ll make our way back to Cusco!

Deluxe Camping with Porters and Chefs

Throughout your Machu Picchu hike, you’ll enjoy:

  • deluxe camping in four-person tents (that will sleep only two people)
  • eating in dining tents
  • private toilets and showers

Along the way we’ll have a team of porters and who will aid our group along the trail by:

  • carrying our overnight gear
  • setting up our tent city
  • cooking up scrumptious meals

You only need to carry a day pack on the Inca Trail. Yes, our team quickly becomes our heroes! All you are left to do is exhale, free your mind, and take in the challenging, sacred journey.

Rainbow Mountain (Optional Extension)

Check another Peruvian natural wonder off your bucket list! Embark on this challenging trek to see the vibrant colors of Rainbow Mountain with our optional excursion.

Peru strictly limits the number of travelers on the Inca Trail per departure day. PERMITS WILL SELL OUT for your date.

Book your spot ASAP.

You must have your Passport to book. If you do not have your passport, please send us an email ( We can temporarily secure your permit with your license.

Explorer Chick will secure your Inca Trail Permits as soon as our Trip Minimum is met.

After the minimum is met, we secure permits as soon as we receive a new booking and deposit. We will do this until the permits are sold out.

Permits cannot be transferred to a different date or person.

Do not book travel arrangements until you have received confirmation from Explorer Chick.

We require a minimum of 5 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm your trip is guaranteed before booking your airfare.

Day 1 – Arrivals to Cusco, Peru

You will be greeted at the Cusco Airport for your private transfer to our boutique style hotel. In the afternoon, you will meet your local guides and Explorer Chick Leader who will be guiding you throughout your adventure. Then you’ll enjoy a walking tour of the Plaza de Armas leading to your guided tour of the Inca Museum. This will be a perfect introduction to the Inca and Pre-Inca cultures. Afterwards, you’ll walk to the San Blas district for a Welcome Reception including dinner, drinks, and a stunning view overlooking the the city of Cusco.

Accommodation: Boutique Style Hotel, Cusco (Shared)

Meals: Welcome Dinner with Peruvian Drinks

Day 2 – Explore Cusco and Sacsayhuaman

You’ll continue acclimatizing with light walking and tours today. You’ll start your morning with a city tour of Cusco including stops at the Saint Christopher Church, the Cusco Cathedral, and shopping in San Blas. We then drive to the highlands to tour Quenko, The Temple of Fertility followed by a picnic lunch with specialty drinks. Following lunch you’ll follow an ancient Incan trail to the Sacsayhuaman archaeological site. It’s hilltop location has deemed it a fortress and also offers spectacular views of Cusco below. Following our tour of the Unesco World Heritage site, we will return to our hotel for an evening to enjoy on your own.

Accommodation: Boutique Style Hotel, Cusco (Shared)

Meals: Buffet breakfast and chef-prepared picnic lunch and snacks

Day 3 – Discover the Sacred Valley: Moray Inca Site, Maras Salt Pans, Willoc Community and Weaving, Ollantaytambo

It’s your final day of acclimatization before hitting the Inca Trail. The day will be spent touring the Sacred Valley. The first stop will be to the Inca site of Moray. This fascinating complex was built in a shape of an amphitheater at the top of a plateau standing 3,500m high. This is an incredible experimentation in microclimates for tropical production in the highlands with enormous terraced, circular depressions and an incredible irrigation system. Next you’ll visit the main salt mine in Peru and one of the most productive in the world, Maras Salt Pans.

Afterwards, we drive to Willoc community for an immersive experience with the only community that preserves their traditions as Incan people did in ancient times. They will welcome us with a lovely buffet lunch. You will join families in their homes getting in close touch with the Peruvian culture. You’ll feel their lives, learn about the ancient weaving techniques, and appreciate their reciprocity. This is the ideal place to purchase beautiful tapestries and scarves.

Your final stop is the village of Ollantaytambo where you will explore the best example of an intact Inca village. It will charm you with it’s waterways running through the quaint streets of the town while your guide shares it’s historically significance in battles against the conquistadors. Finally, we travel to our hotel in Urubamba for a fine dinner and relaxation.

Accommodation: Hotel, Urubamba (Shared – 2 per Room)

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic lunch, Dinner, and Snacks

Day 4 – Embark on the Classic Inca Trail to Our Private Campsite

Hiking Hours: 5-6 hours

Distance: 11km/6.8 miles

Elevation Gain/Loss: 2,336’/2,644′

Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Camp Altitude: 2590m/8,497 feet

High Altitude: 2682m/8,800 feet

Today is the day you embark on the historic Classic Inca Trail. You’ll enjoy an early breakfast before we drive to the trailhead: Km 82. You’ll meet your porters and chefs as they prepare our gear for the next 4 days of trekking. You’ll trek roughly 5-6 hours your first day on the trail to reach our private campground surrounded by views of the Patallaqta ruins. Camping at our private campsite sets us behind the crowds of trekkers who set off on the same day creating space for you to enjoy the completion of the Inca Trail with fewer crowds.

Accommodation: Deluxe Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Snacks

Day 5 – High Alpine Trekking en route to Dead Woman’s Pass and Spectacular Sunsets

Hiking Hours: 6 hours

Distance: 11.7km/7.3 miles

Elevation Gain/Loss: 5,003’/1,132′

Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Camp Altitude: 3840m/12,598 feet

High Altitude: 3840m/12,598 feet

Today is will be a challenging day, but first Peruvian coffee! After our yummy and hearty breakfast, we begin our trek to Warmiwañusqa Pass – the infamous Dead Woman’s Pass. Today is all about just enjoying the views and hiking your hike as we trek most of the way to the summit. That’s right, today you only climb up Incan stairs, and then up some more. You’ll get your first real taste of the trekking in high elevation, but we intentionally dedicate a full day to the climb.

Our team of porters and tent city will be set up and waiting for us below the summit. This evening grab a cup of tea and Peruvian popcorn to rest your legs while enjoying a stunning alpine sunset high in the Andes.

Accommodation: Deluxe Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Snacks

Day 6 – Dead Woman’s Pass and Stunning Mountain Views 

Hiking Hours: 7-8 hours

Distance: 12km/7.5 miles

Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,937’/4,209′

Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Camp Altitude: 3,650m/11,975 feet

High Altitude: 4224m/13.858 feet

It’s another big day as you tick off all three mountain passes on the Inca Trail, yet considered the most beautiful. First, is the Dead Woman’s Pass. At 13,829′ it is the highest point along the Inca Trail. Don’t worry. It wasn’t named after an actual event on this section of the trail, but for the profile that looks like a woman looking up to the sky. You’ll then descend to the Pacasmayo Valley.

You’ll begin your 2 hour trek up the second mountain pass of the day, Runkurakay pass. Along the way, we’ll stop at the ruins for which the ruins are named and one of the best view points of the valley. You’ll then descend the mountain pass to Sayacmarca for an incredible view over the snow-capped Pumasillo Mountain.

You’ll hike through the most unique section of the trail, a cloud forest or high jungle. As you continue your trek, your view will be of the second highest snow capped mountain in the region, Salkantay Mountain.

Finally, you’ll have one last push to the third mountain pass where you will camp, Phuyupatamarka, with spectacular views of the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu, the mountains of the Urubamba range, and the archeological site of Puyupatamarca. Don’t worry! You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the views because we call it home this evening.

Accommodation: Deluxe Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Snacks

Day 7 – Cross the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu at the Golden Hour

Hiking Hours: 7 hours

Distance: 11.2km/7 miles

Elevation Gain/Loss: 564’/4,603′

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

High Altitude: 3,650m/11,975 feet

Today is our final day on the Inca Trail as we descend down to the Sun Gate. With a majority of trekkers camped ahead with a pre-dawn wake-up call, we’ll enjoy our the tranquility of the mountains on our final full day.

Along the way our local guide will share the stories of the Incan sites we pass and explore including Wiñawayna and Intipata. After a long day of the hiking, you’ll find your step quicken as the Sun Gate draws near. The excitement of reaching Machu Picchu after 4 hard earned days on the trail will fire up that hiker booty to Super Woman strength!

And just as the sun is starting to set, you will cross into Machu Picchu with the expanse of the Citadel laid before you at the coveted Golden Hour. Yes, you did it!

After the mandatory Glamour Shots, we make our way out of the Citadel to board buses down to Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes). Tonight you are spoiled with hotel rooms, real beds, and hot showers! If you’re really feeling frisky, maybe you have a few celebratory beers!

Accommodation: Hotel, Aguas Calientes (Shared)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks

Day 8 – Machu Picchu and Return to Cusco

This morning we go for Round 2 of Machu Picchu. We’ll get an early start to board the buses back up to the Citadel. This time, our local guide will lead us on a private tour through the most important points in the city. The time after the tour is your’s to enjoy.

After our time in Machu Picchu, we’ll board the bus to Aguas Calientes. We enjoy an incredible celebratory lunch at a local eatery in the village. Then you’ll board the train back to Ollantaytambo and then a private transfer back to Cusco city arriving roughly at 8pm. Your evening is free to enjoy how you see fit!

Day 9 – Farewell Peru

Our saddest day of the adventure. Hugs and farewells. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before boarding your private transfer to Cusco airport. You are welcome to book your flight from Cusco at anytime from Cusco.

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, availability, or other unforeseen incidents.


Day 9 – Trek to Rainbow Mountain

Hiking Hours: 4 hours ascent/3 hours descent

Distance: 6.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,700 feet

Level of Difficulty: Strenuous due to the high altitude conditions

High Altitude: 16,666 feet

It’s an early start to an epic and challenging day of hiking to Rainbow Mountain. You’ll go deep into the spectacular painted hills, also known as Vinicunca. Rainbow Mountain is an unexplored land filled with snow-covered glaciated peaks, wildly desert landscapes, herds of alpaca, and immaculate beauty.

The day starts with a 6am departure and 3 hours of driving through traditional villages with a panorama of the Andes before arriving at the trail head at 15,000 ft. You’ll slowly make your way through the valley and gradually up to the summit. As soon as you arrive at the peak of the mountain, you will see a variety of wildlife including llamas and alpacas. This is the only place in Peru where wild Vicuñas and Andean camel can be seen. You will have plenty of time to take in the panorama of the valley, the tallest peak in the region – Ausangate Glacier (21,000′), and snap infinite pictures of the vibrant minerals that form the painted hills.

During your descent you’ll have the chance to meet the local Quecha people, who still follow the old customs of the Incas and weave the typical garments that are available in various shops throughout Peru. Afterwards, we will return to our hotel for an evening to enjoy on your own.

Accommodation: Boutique Style Hotel, Cusco (Shared)

Meals: Breakfast, Packed Trail Lunch and snacks

Day 10 – Farewell Peru

Our saddest day of the adventure. Hugs and farewells. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before boarding your private transfer to Cusco airport. You are welcome to book your flight from Cusco at anytime from Cusco.

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

  • 4 Days/3 Nights Deluxe Camping on the Inca Trail
    • 4 Person tents Shared by 2 Explorer Chicks
    • Sleeping Bag, Pillow, Deluxe Air Foam Mattress
    • Professional Chef and Personal Porters
    • Private Dining Tent and Chairs
    • Private Toilet and Hot Shower
    • Trekking Poles
  • Privately guided group tour of Machu Picchu with plenty of time to enjoy the sacred site on your own
  • Exclusive Cusco City tour including a chef prepared picnic lunch
  • Private tour of Inca Museum in Cusco
  • Private Sacred Valley guided tour with a traditional lunch buffet
  • 3 Nights in a Boutique Hoetl in Cusco (Shared)
  • 1 Night Hotel Stay, Urumbamba (Shared)
  • 1 Night Hotel Stay, Aguas Calientes (Shared)
  • Meals as outlined in Itinerary: B-8, L-7, D-6
  • 4 day Inca Trail Permits, 21 entrance tickets for all the Inca sites and tourist locations, Peru Rail Expedition train tickets, departure bus tickets from Machu Picchu
  • Private Explorer Chick land-transportation throughout itinerary including airport transfers
  • A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt.
  • All tips for included meals and local guides.
  • A detailed Travel Guide upon booking with everything you need to know for your trip.
  • The freedom to enjoy your vacation and mindlessly wander!
  • One local English/Spanish speaking guide(s) throughout the full itinerary
  • One experienced Explorer Chick Leader ensuring your trip is seamless and unforgettable!
  • Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 12 women

*Packages do NOT include your airfare to Cusco, alcoholic beverages, Explorer Chick Leader Tips, meals not included in the itinerary, or costs for additional activities.

*Does NOT include your Explorer Chick Guide’s Tips – Tipping your Explorer Chick Guide is optional, but customary. If you wish to recognize your Explorer Chick Guide for exceptional service, we recommend you tip them 10-25% of your trip costs.

*A passport that is valid for at least 6 months past your arrival date is required.

Your trip begins and ends in Cusco, Peru.

Arrival: Plan to arrive on Day 1 in Cusco, Peru prior to 12pm. (CUZ)

Departure: Plan to depart Cusco, Peru anytime on Day 9. (CUZ)

Optional Rainbow Trek: Plan to depart Cusco anytime on Day 10 (CUZ)

Your arrival and departure airport transfers in Cusco are included with your package.

Our Explorer Chicks who wish to arrive early or stay beyond their departure day in Cusco have the option to add Pre and Post Hotel stays conveniently located at our Rendezvous Hotels. Rooms are $150/night and can be added during booking. The advantage of booking a Pre-Tour Hotel stay is to allow for any luggage or travel delays plus it will give you an extra day to acclimate to the high altitude.

You will receive a travel guide attached to your booking confirmation with all the information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip!

You MUST train prior to your retreat. The itinerary is packed full of hiking in alpine conditions with elevations ranging from 11,000 feet in Cusco up to 13,828′ at the highest point on the Inca Trail. Explorer Chick has built in a 3 day period of acclimatization to reduce possible effects on the trail. You should be comfortable with hiking up to 12 miles in a day. This is an incredible adventure whose intensity should not be discounted due to the popularity of the destination.

You should be training on rough and rugged terrain – not perfectly paved sidewalks. Train how you play! Also, find steps, a hill, or the Stairmaster and get to climbing! Your quads, booty, and calves will thank you. Train in all the weather – This even means rain! Please consider the physical demands carefully as it is for the safety and enjoyment of the group.

Train your tootsies! Do not show up with brand new hiking boots or trail shoes. You should be spending hours upon hours in your boots leading up to your adventure to break them in. Better to suffer blisters at home than to miss out on a hike due to painful hot spots on your feet. This is our number one injury. Do not let it happen to you!

Altitude: At all times your trip will be above 8,000 feet, the elevation where anyone is at risk of altitude sickness. All people are susceptible to altitude sickness regardless of your age, gender and fitness.

Before your trip:

Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. There are also prescription drugs that aid with altitude sickness. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

Please consider your ability to meet the physical demands very seriously. It is for the safety of both you and our group. All Explorer Chicks will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Physical Demands as part of their waiver upon booking.

Related Reads

Everything You Need to Know About the Inca Trail Hike

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Trip Price:


Save $300 with Early Bird Pricing!

See our Discount page for Codes and Expirations!

Non-Refundable Deposit: $550 due at booking to secure your spot.

Rainbow Mountain – Post Tour Optional Excursion: $450

Pre and Post Tour Hotel Stays – $155/night

Single Hotel and Tent Upgrade: $400 – Limited Availability of 2 due to porter weight restrictions

Single Hotel Upgrade: $310

Payment Plans Available: Email after booking to set up your monthly payment plan.

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