Welcome to the Inca Trail!
Your host country, Peru, is one of the most unique countries in the world. Aside from being home to 30 of the world’s 32 distinct climates, it boasts an extremely rich cultural heritage that has been passed down from communities and civilizations dating back long before the famous Inca Empire.
We take you on the Inca trail, Peru’s best-known hike visited by thousands of travelers every year. The classic 26.5 mile trek leading to the Sacred Inca City of Machu Picchu combines the visit of mysterious archeological sites, amazing mountain scenery, and lush cloud forest rich in Andean flora and fauna.
We’ll reach Machu Picchu--one of the Seven New Wonders of the world at sunrise on the fourth day of the trek.
Duration: 7 days & 6 nights
Start: Be ready to go at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) at 12:00 pm
The earlier you arrive on Day 1 the more time you will have to explore Cusco. If you arrive after 12:00 pm we will make arrangements to get you once we receive your flight information.
Finish: Trip ends at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) at 9:00 am
Departure time is flexible and multiple airport transfers will be arranged based on everyone's departure flight times.
Airfare booking details will be sent after registration-–please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.
Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from Peru.
If you're up for a challenging adventure that will take you out of your comfort zone through some of the most amazing mountains and valleys our planet has to offer, this experience is for you!
Our Inca Trail hike is designed for the outdoor and adventure lover who wants a once in a life time experience on one of the most famous pilgrimages on the planet.
Previous trekking or hiking experience is not necessary since our porters, cooks, and local guides will do all the cooking, planning, and setting up for you. However, an active lifestyle is highly recommended since this is a challenging trek through high altitudes over many hours.
-Age requirement: 21+
-Group size: 15 max, average 10
-Physical rating: High physical activity. This trip is for those who enjoy being physically challenged and reaping the rewards. It includes moderate to intense physical activities and participants should expect to be active 6-8 hours most days. Participants should have an active lifestyle.
Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.
Before your trip you'll have the opportunity to join a custom WhatsApp Group and connect with others members of your group. Many travelers meet in the airport, or for pre-trip drinks if they are from the same city. Others coordinate plans to stay in a country after their trip.
During your adventure, our Trip Leaders do their best to foster an open, supportive environment, where people feel safe to truly be themselves.
After your trip, you'll be an official U30X Alumni, and part of our larger online Travel Community where you'll have access to our network of thousands of past travelers. We are constantly hosting meetups that range from simple happy hours, to hikes, to outdoor movie nights.
More than 70% of our travelers come solo, but they all leave with friends.
Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.
While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Breakfasts and dinners will be enjoyed at your hotel, in local restaurants and on the trail.
Sample Breakfast Menu:
Sample Lunch Menu:
Sample Dinner Menu:
We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Many meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.
You will be traveling by private and public ground transportation throughout your trip.
You will be staying in shared boutique hotel rooms in shared two-person tents while hiking the Inca Trail.
Laundry is available at some hotels for an additional fee. Ask your Trip Leader for details.
Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.
Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.
Private room options are available upon request subject to hotel availability for an extra charge.
Travel insurance with at least $200,000 USD in medical coverage is required to participate on our trips. This must include coverage for repatriation.
Please note that travel insurance covers trip related issues such as trip interruption, lost luggage, theft, etc. Travel medical insurance covers things like repatriation, medicine, ambulance rides, and hospital visits/stays.
We strongly suggest that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all of the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance.
Here are a few options for travel insurance that meet our minimum medical coverage requirements: Wanderwell, SafetyWing, and World Nomads. Some plans do not cover certain “high-risk” activities. Please make sure to read your plans coverage and make a selection based on your planned trip.
Wanderwell donates at least one percent of your insurance purchase to Explore Austin, a sustainable youth outdoor education program, via 1% for the Planet, selected by Under30Experiences.
We receive a fee if you purchase products through links on this page, at no extra cost to you.
We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using our affiliate links. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
Give us at least 60 days notice and you can switch your trip, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.
For the Inca Trail trip, the $195 deposit is non-transferable.
If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 60 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses.
We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 60 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.
All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.
The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with! All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.
Packing Guide for Hiking the Inca Trail
Essential Guide to Packing Like a Pro
The Wellness Travelers Packing Guide
What to Pack for Peru: Machu Picchu
Do not forget: Bring a two prong 220 volt power adaptor to charge your electronics. Water bottle, sunscreen, warm layers, waterproof rain jacket, sunglasses and a hat!
Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.
Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders
Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the last date of your trip. Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.
Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.
Check out our Travel Alerts Page for up-to-date COVID requirements.
The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle to refill from filtered water stations and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep Peru beautiful.
Travelers are responsible for purchasing and transporting their own water throughout the day while in Peru.
The restaurants we take you to have safe food, but when you are on your own please be careful with salads and fruits. It’s impossible to know if they used water from the tap to wash it.
Altitude sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is common at altitudes morethan 8,000 ft (2,400m) above sea level. Cusco is 11,150 ft (3,400m) above sea level, and the highest we go on this trip is 13,800 ft (4,200m) at Dead Woman’s Pass. We recommend you to stay hydrated, and take time to acclimate, but if you’re concerned, consult your doctor about preventative medicine options.
Please consult with your doctor before traveling regarding physical activity and vaccinations.
No inoculations are required to enter Peru from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinating for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Required vaccines should go through CDC, recommended vaccines should be through your doctor.
Mosquito borne viruses exist in most of South America. Please cover exposed skin and use mosquito repellent.
Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. For legal reasons our Trip Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including over the counter pain relievers but can refer you to a local pharmacy.
We suggest bringing $300 USD in cash to be exchanged and used at establishments that do not accept credit cards.
This is not a total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your own spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.
The official currency in Peru is the Peruvian Sol (PEN).
We recommend exchanging from USD to PEN at your local bank before arriving in Peru to make sure you have some local currency in case you have issues with your card when you arrive.
Although many places will accept USD we recommend exchanging into Peruvian Soles (PEN) for a better exchange rate.
In Peru an 18% charge is added on to almost every meal.
Tipping is customary if you’re satisfied with your meal. 10% is the norm.
Tipping is also customary for the porters, chefs, and crew that accompany you on the Inca Trail. Please include an extra USD $50-$100 to leave as a tip for the crew.
Remember to call your bank and credit card company and let them know you'll be traveling overseas.
For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the XE Currency Exchange App.
Please be advised that US Dollar notes that are slightly torn, heavily marked, or faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100.
Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.
Keep your passport and any valuables locked in the safe at the hotel.
Don’t leave valuables unattended.
Leave flashy jewelry at home.
US Citizens please consider registering with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.
Uber works in Lima & Cusco and is the safest way to call a taxi without having to negotiate the price. If you have extra time in Peru before or after our trip, we recommend using Uber to get around.
Although Cusco is generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering around any town at night. We recommend staying in small groups when possible.
Make sure you have the address of your hotel in the event that you're separated from your Trip Leader.
The Inca Trail is only open during the dry season as trail conditions can beunsafe during the rainy season.
The end of the trail and Machu Picchu itself is located in the cloud forest. Don’t be surprised to encounter clouds and maybe even some rain toward the end of the journey.
Dry season months of April-September
Peruvians are some of the kindest people in South America. One kiss on the cheek or a good hug is a common greeting.
Peruvians love to eat ceviche, chicharron (deep-fried pork), chifa (Peruvian-Chinese food), anticuchos (Beef heart skewers), and cuy (guinea pig) is a delicacy for the Andean region.
Peruvians love to drink Inca Kola (Peruvian soft drink), beer, chicha, and pisco sours.
Altitude sickness is common for travelers coming to Peru, especially Cusco. Coca Tea, rehydration, and good acclimatization always helps. Symptoms can be similar to those of a bad hangover.
Coca leaves are legal in Peru and you can find coca crackers, toffees and sweets, but do not attempt to take them out of the country.
Peruvians love salsa, cumbia, & reggaeton. When listening to music as a family they opt for traditional music like Huaynos and Huaylas.
Due to American influence in South America, tipping is customary in several countries. It is not mandatory but people who are involved in the logistics of the trips will expect a tip.
Locals say here: “Feel free to tip someone if you feel that the service satisfies you.”
By the way, the word for “tip” in Spanish is propina, something that most foreign tourists will hear at some point during their trip to Peru.
Peru Tipping: Tours and Transport
Taxi Drivers – You never need to tip taxi drivers in Peru. The drivers don’t expect it, and they are probably overcharging you anyway. If a taxi driver is extremely friendly and points out various landmarks along the way then there’s no harm saying thanks with a small tip.
Tour Guides and Porters – As an average guideline we can suggest $5 to $10 (15 to 30 soles approximately) per day for tour guides and between $3 to $5 (9 to 15 soles) per day for porters, drivers, cooks and the like. Again, the quality of service determines the exact amount. If you are on a luxury tour, then the tip amount will generally be at the upper end of the scale (and vice versa). It’s sometimes a good idea to tip collectively as a tour group. Pooling your money will give you a better idea of the overall amount that each guide, porter etc will receive – and will help you avoid excessive tipping.
Private Hire Drivers – You can consider tipping a private driver $2 to $5 per day. A lot depends on the type of trip, the amount of driving required, and how much extra help you receive. You might end up buying your driver lunch, snacks and drinks throughout the day, but it’s still nice to tip for good service at the end of the trip.
Please note that for our Inca Trail trip, you'll have to stay longer or arrive earlier if you'd like to participate in these optional activities.
While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.
Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.
Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.
It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.
Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.
Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.
Trip Leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!
Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.
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There are not enough ways for me to describe how amazing this company is. After my first trip I always told people, it wasn't about the location, but the experience that u30x gave me. I have some of the best experiences of my life with u30x, and now a passion for travel. Also, their alumni community and groups are awesome too!
Traveling with U30X has been life changing for me. I've made lifelong friends with both travelers and staff. I can't come up with enough good things to say about the company, the people, and the experiences I've had!
Just returned from my second trip with Under30Experiences. My first trip was to the Costa Rica rainforest. My most recent trip was to Iceland. Both trips were such an amazing experience. I loved learning about Iceland and its origins. I enjoy the small groups and I made some great new friends! Recommend them for anyone wanting to travel alone or with a couple of friends.
I was so scared to travel abroad alone and then I came across their website and they made international travel so easy! And the people I’ve met on the trips are some amazing individuals! I’ve done 6 of their trips and plan on continuing to do even more!!
My Hike the Inca Trail trip was beyond amazing, and I couldn't have asked for anything more from a trip. Our leaders made us all feel instantly comfortable, and the group was fantastic. The trip was well planned and the hike was unforgettable. Memories to last a lifetime.