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How long is the Inca trail

This blog aims to help answer some of the most common doubts of our reader and travelers who are interested in the Inca Trail. One of these most frequent questions is related to the duration of the Inca road to Machu Picchu:  «How long is the Inca trail?»

The first thing we need to know before answering this question is that there are several options to make the route depending on:  number of days availables, physical conditions, be in good shape or the route that we want to carry out. Among the available alternatives there are 3 main ones that we can summary in:

1. The first one, classic Inca trail is the most popular of all. The traveler begins the route on the kilometer point 82.  This option has a length of 45 kilometers to cover in 4 days.

We highly recommended in order to its duration, its difficulty and its route. On this way of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu,  travelers will cross the Urubamba River, beginning its ascent through the archaeological site of Llactapata, towards the highest point of the road at 4,200m, Warmi Wañusqa better known as «The Dead Woman». Going through later Phuyupatamarca, «The City in the Clouds» and the settlement of Intipata until reaching the entrance of Machu Picchu through the «Sun Gate».

2. The second alternative Short Inca Trail is a 2 day trail that starts at kilometer 104 and has a length of 13 km.

We recommended this option for travelers who do not have much time, or traveling with family accompanied by young children. It is the least hard part of the road, perfect to perform independently of the physical conditions of each one. It begins in Chachabamba, a religious settlement continuing to Winay Wayna, where it joins to the classic Inca Trail until reaching Machu Picchu through the «Sun Gate».

3. The third alternative is the Salkantay Trek with 65 km in length to travel in 7 days itinerary.

This is a route with great difficulty destined to the travelers who have more time and better physical conditions. It begins in Mollepata, crossing the Andes Mountains, while walking through different environmental landscapes – snowy mountains, cloud forests – until joining to the Classic Inca Trail in Wayllabamba.

It is convenient to remember that due to a regulation by the government to limit the number of daily visits (500 visitors per day) it is necessary to reserve – and due to the demand – preferably with several months in advance to obtain both the necessary permits to carry out the Way as the possibility of hiring a guide.

The traveler must take into account, that due to reasons of maintenance and cleaning, the Inca road remains closed during the whole month of February.

If you need help or have any specific doubts about some aspect of the way, write us through the form. We will be happy to help.

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