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Machu Picchu view
Taking a moment at Dead Woman's Pass
Cloud forest at Dead Woman's Pass

Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

Peru Trek
TrekCampingTerrainRED 1
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About the Challenge

Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic sights in South America, and the culmination of our magnificent Inca Trail trek through the Peruvian Andes. Join us as we trek this breathtakingly beautiful route through valleys and high passes, scattered with fascinating Inca ruins.

Trekking on Inca-paved paths and steps, our route takes us up through lush cloudforest to the demanding Dead Woman’s Pass (4200m). Continually climbing up or dropping down, our way is steep at times, and the altitude adds to the challenge. We finally come to the Sun Gate, which overlooks Machu Picchu, where your first magical glimpse provides an unforgettable reward for your efforts.

Find out about some of the lesser known, yet amazing parts of the Inca Trail on our blog

Each year, the Peruvian Government release a limited number of trekking permits for the upcoming 12 months. Permits for April - October departures (peak trekking season) sell out extremely quickly and demand for these permits increases year on year.

Permits will be released in October for the following year's departures. To avoid disappointment and in order for Discover Adventure to secure your permit, you will need to book your place early for this challenge. 

Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

  • Morning arrival in Cuzco (3400m); transfer to our downtown hotel. After a trip briefing, the afternoon is free to explore the sites of this historic city, or simply adjust to the altitude by watching the world go by in one of the numerous cafés on the Plaza de Armas. Night hotel.

  • Our first day’s trek takes us from Tambo Machay, an ancient ruin high in the hills above Cuzco. We pass some of the amazing Inca sites in the surrounding country-side as we walk downhill to Sacsayhuaman, the huge and impressive Inca ruin on the outskirts of Cuzco. As well as beautiful scenery and fascinating ruins, today’s trekking offers excellent acclimatisation to the altitude. Night hotel.

    Trek approx 5 hours

  • After a second night at altitude we should all be feeling ready for action! We leave Cuzco behind us, heading out along the Sacred Valley via Ollantaytambo to the Trail’s starting-point at Km82. The first half-day walk is fairly easy and on an undulating path which follows the Urubamba River for much of the way. After lunch a gentle climb takes us to our camp at Wayllabamba. There are a couple of steep drops and climbs into gullies along the way, with great views of Mt Veronica standing at 5000m. We pass a couple of small places to buy cokes. The path is dusty but firm and there are no steps. Night camp (3000m).

    Drive approx 3 hours; trek approx 5-6 hours

  • Today we have the big climb – rising from camp all the way to Dead Woman’s Pass at 4200m. This is a relentless and steep climb on narrow trails, first through grassland, then cloud forest (where some people start to feel the altitude), where the path is steeper and can be muddy. Eventually it opens out onto pasture where we will have lunch with snow-capped mountains behind us and a distant view up to the top of the pass, still several hours ahead. The final stretch to the top of the pass is well maintained with steps but the pace is slow because of the altitude. From the top we descend on steps to our evening's campsite at Pacamayo, below the ruins of Runkurakay. Night camp (3500m).

    Trek approx 8-12 hours

  • Now on the Inca Trail proper, the path is mostly steps which are steep in places and there are ruins every mile or so along the way. We have our second high pass at 4000m, again with steps leading up to the top and down the other side. The descent takes around an hour to Sayacmarca ruin (3600m), which is perched above more steps. From here the trail is very pretty, wide and easy-going with interesting fragments of cloud forest en route. The third pass is reached easily after passing through an Inca tunnel in the rock and a gentle climb. We continue on to the ruins of Puyupatamarca and then descend steep steps to our campsite at Winay Wayna. Night camp (2640m).

    Trek approx 8-10 hours

  • We start early and have a three hour walk to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, along a beautiful stretch of trail, scattered with ruins and some steep flights of steps, with a few large drops down the side to the Urubamba River. We should arrive at Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive from Cuzco. We enjoy a guided tour around this extraordinary site, before meeting up in Aguas Calientes. In the afternoon we take the train back to Ollantaytambo and return to Cuzco by bus. Night hotel.

    Trek approx 3 hours; train/bus travel approx 3 hours

  • After a good night’s sleep and a relaxing lie-in we have the remainder of the day free to explore Cuzco or do any last-minute shopping. Those looking for an adrenaline fix may wish to pre-book on to a White Water Rafting Activity (see extensions  for details). Later this evening we all meet up again for dinner to celebrate our achievements. Night hotel.

    (Lunch not included)


  • We board the morning flight to Lima and, depending on our flight schedule, we may be able to hire a bus (optional) to take us into Lima or the relaxed coastal suburb of Miraflores for a few hours, before returning to the airport in time for our onward flight back to London.  (Lunch not included)

Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £199 Fundraising target £3,995 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure


    • All transport from London to Cuzco return
    • Internal flight departure taxes
    • All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides, porters and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Sleeping mat
    • Entrance to Machu Picchu and other sites visited as part of the itinerary


    • Any meals specifed 'not included' in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for the local guides and support crew
    • International airport departure tax
    • Sleeping bag
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details


Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick on scheduled airlines and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

    Your journey may involve a transit en route, details of route and flight times will be confirmed several months before departure.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier and flight times, please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels or camp. Occasionally we may use hostel-style accommodation. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

  • We camp in two-man tents; these are usually expedition-style (ie sleeping room only). Camps are usually simple, in remote locations with great views! We have communal dining areas (usually with tables and chairs/stools) and toilet tents, and the local crew look after us very well. We stay in hotels (of a 2-3* standard or equivalent) at the start and end of the trip; standards may vary between different hotels, but they are generally clean and comfortable with good facilities.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check
  • Your booking is part of a group challenge, and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 20-30 participants; however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run. Occasionally it may be possible to still run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

  • In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to cancel your booking, we would ask that you notify us in writing either by post or email.  Your cancellation will be considered effective from the date the notice is received. Registration fees, amendment fees and insurance premiums are non refundable and, depending on your payment option and how close it is to your challenge departure date, you may be liable for a cancellation charge.

    Full details of all cancellation charges may be found in the Terms and Conditions of booking.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on our challenges; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed. Should you need to cancel on medical grounds, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date). 

    You should also ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation.
    You can obtain a quote with Insure to Travel from our website at:, or you may choose to take out your own travel insurance, just remember to let us know the policy number and emergency phone number!

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!


Amazon Rainforest Extension

The Amazon rainforest is legendary throughout the world as an ecosystem rich in vegetation, wildlife and indigenous culture, and one which is currently under constant threat from mankind.

The River Amazon’s source is in Peru, and the river carries around 20% of the world’s fresh water. The rainforest covers almost half of Peru and extends into 9 other South American countries. It contains approximately 50,000 species of higher plants – a staggering twenty percent of the world’s total. The tree canopy is so dense that almost no sunlight penetrates to the forest floor and there is very little undergrowth. Animal and bird life is incredibly rich, including colourful macaws and toucans, several species of monkey and the rare tapir, jaguar and Andean spectacled bear. Giant otters, caimans, capybara and piranha live in the many waterways.

This is your chance to experience the amazing diversity of flora and fauna set in part of the most famous and awe-inspiring rainforest in the world! We travel by plane and then river boat to our lodge on the banks of the Tambopata River, and explore the trails and waterways on foot and by boat. This isn’t a luxury experience, but it’s an unforgettable adventure in a unique and threatened world.


Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon Extension

Following on from Lake Titicaca (see below), we then move on to the magnificent Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world, where we immerse ourselves in jaw-dropping scenery and fascinating small towns. We also have time to stop at Cruz del Condor, the famous observation point, to marvel at condors flying breathtakingly close – likely to be one of your top highlights from Peru!

Those with less time can fly to Lima after their time on Lake Titicaca (please refer to the below option).

Min 3 pax - £50 supplement for 2 pax


Lake Titicaca Extension

Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, lying on the high altiplano at 3856m above sea level, straddling the Peru-Bolivian border. It is home to the legendary Uros Islands – floating reed islands where the Uros people have lived for centuries. We visit Amantani Island, with its mountaintop temples to Pachamama and Pachatata (earth mother and father), and stay overnight with local families. We then move on to Taquile, famous for its intricate, brightly-coloured weaving. The lake views are fabulous, but the highlight of the trip is the glimpse into the everyday lives of the local people, from cultures pre-dating the Incas by a thousand years.

Those with less time or not wishing to continue to the Colca Canyon will transfer from Puno to the airport at Juliaca (approx. 45 mins) for the flight to Lima; connect with international flight to UK (arriving Day 5). Please refer to the above itinerary for more details on this extension to include the Colca Canyon.


White Water Rafting Optional Activity

Anyone looking for a fun day of alternative adventure should try this great white-water rafting trip, which takes you down a beautiful section of the Urubamba. Rafting is a fun sport, suitable for all ages – no experience necessary!

The Urubamba River rises in the Andes and flows through the heartland of the former Inca Empire. The section we run is usually the Class III-IV Chuquicahuana section located above Cuzco, where a gentle start allows us to practise our technique before the river takes us through a beautiful canyon with views of the surrounding peaks and fun, adrenaline-pumping rapids. Rafting is a participatory team event, so your paddle is not just for decoration! Beware: you will get wet!

This day-trip takes place on Day 8 of your main trekking itinerary (in place of the free day in Cuzco); you will get back to the hotel mid-to-late afternoon.

Requires a minimum of 4 people to run. Please contact us for more details.


Jim - October 2018

I was looking for a new experience that I could combine with fundraising for Samaritans. The Kilimanjaro trek was absolutely breathtaking - in both senses! Organisation and support, before and during the trip, enabled the entire group to reach the rim of Kilimanjaro.
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I'd never climbed a mountain of any sort before booking the trip, so there was an almighty sense of achievement.
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Josh - October 2018

Discover Adventure is the best company to use when you want to explore the world easily and without worrying about anything!

Bill - October 2018

This trip exceeded my expectations and DA go out of their way to make everything both smooth and spectacular!

Charlotte - October 2018

Just want to say a very big thank you to the tour guide, Alan, and the doctor, Sandra, who were on the Machu Picchu trek in September. They had such wonderful personalities and made the experience so much more. The experience was stunning and I would recommend for
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anyone to do such a fantastic challenge. 
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Julie & Pete - December 2017

Amazing Peruvian experience. Fantastic leadership and organisation!

Fliss - December 2017

I'm an old hand at charity treks and keep returning to DA as you can trust them for making it an enjoyable challenge and encouraging those who feel the strain.

Susan - December 2017

Awesome experience. All the DA team were incredibly professional and supportive; I cannot speak highly enough of Steve as team leader, Dr Dave and all the Peak crew.  They left nothing to chance. I would definitely recommend DA to friends and family looking for an
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Susan - December 2017

The whole experience from start to finish was amazing. I cannot speak highly enough of Steve as team leader, Dr Dave and all the Peak crew.  They were all incredibly supportive and left nothing to chance. 

Michael - October 2017

Second Trek with DA. Can’t wait to book another!

Dee - October 2017

The DA team leader and the Doctor were the best! I would not hesitate to trek with them again. I know I am a wee bit slower, but it was not a problem for these guys, who helped me get there with silly competitions and loads of laughter throughout. In fact I had a
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fantastic time! And I thought I may shed a few pounds, but how can you when you are served such fabulous food? And the chef’s even dressed in their whites! Very impressed!
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Clare - October 2017

An amazing experience that exceeded our expectations! The tour guides, porters and doctor were incredibly informative and professional. Cannot praise the team enough, superb!!

Jenny - October 2017

This was my first time trekking at high altitude and it is my best challenge so far! It was tough at times but provided amazing scenery and the group and DA leader (Steve) were fantastic! We were a real family! Steve, was excellent: approachable, friendly and
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reassuring. The challenge Dr, Ellen, was also excellent. Camping facilities and the local guides were fantastic, very passionate.
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Haylie - October 2017

I would 100% recommend the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The trek itself was amazing; stunning views, varied terrains to walk and very supportive and motivated Team Leaders. Steve was amazing! He was so supportive of me when my mum had to be taken down, and his support
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for a fellow trekker on the hardest stretch was amazing. Could not fault him at all. He looked after the entire team, he was efficient, supportive and a real team player. An asset to DA. Definitely the best experience of my life yet!!
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Michael - September 2017

This is the second trip I’ve done with this tour operator, and absolutely no issues. Discover Adventure may not be the biggest tour operator in the UK, but in my opinion they may be the best! A once in a life time trip and looking forward to booking with them again!

Lucy - June 2017

Rated: 5* The Inca Trail was my first trekking challenge and it was such an incredible experience. I encountered the whole spectrum of emotions - nerves, excitement, exhaustion, euphoria and hysteria - but there were definitely more highs than lows. Our tour leader Jo
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was inspirational and always knew the right thing to say when we were down (or up on Dead Woman's Pass). The doc Andy was always there for when things got too much. I heard so many amazing stories and I am proud to be a part of this chapter in all of them.
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Chris - June 2017

Rated: 5* I would thoroughly recomment Discover Adventure to anyone who wants to undertake a real challenge and receive the support and encouragement to see it through.

Gareth - February 2017

A brilliant challenge - well organised and superbly delivered.

Gill - February 2017

A spiritual experience with extremely knowledgeable local support, who really cared that your experience was good. The whole experience from stunning scenery to quality care is something I shall never forget. Thank you DA for being there to make these life changing
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opporunities possible.
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I would just like to thank you, and all the team at Discover Adventure, for all the hard work you did in organising my recent Trip to Peru! I had a wonderful time ,(and I am sure the other people did too!). Thanks also go to Phil and Dr Nikki, and the team from SAS ,
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our guide Eric was superb!
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Trek Training Weekend


£170 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.



Trips are graded Yellow, Orange or Red, in increasing level of challenge. This trip lies within the RED range.

Red colour

The grade is determined by factors such as terrain, distance, climate, altitude, etc. Each colour grade has a spectrum which reflects the difficulty of these factors; trip duration, accommodation and living conditions (see icon) are also taken into account. 

Trip grading explained

Challenges 2019-2020

Get our latest Brochure

Our 2019 / 2020 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download