INCA TRAIL ALTITUDE | Inka Trail Expeditions Peru

Inca Trail Altitude and Difficulty

Inca Trail Altitude
Inca Trail Altitude

Standing at 2,400 metres, Machu Picchu is one of the lowest altitude points on the Inca Trail. The highest point on the Inca Trail is Abra Warmihuañusca or ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ which stands at 4,200 metres.

Generally, to be affected by altitude sickness, you need to be above 2,500 metres. Therefore, whilst Machu Picchu is below this point, Dead Woman’s Pass is easily high enough to bring on symptoms of altitude sickness.

Most Inca Trail treks begin at Cusco, which, at 3,400 metres, is already considerably higher than Machu Picchu. By staying there prior to your trek, you will give your body time to acclimatize to the Inca Trail altitude.

The Inca Trail altitude varies greatly throughout the trek and your body will notice the differences, especially at the higher points.

The trail begins at a place called Km 82 at 2,600 metres and descends slowly downwards during the morning before ascending in the afternoon to Yuncachimpa at 3,300 metres. Although this is a high enough altitude to bring on altitude sickness, if you have spent several days in Cusco beforehand you should be fine at this point.

The second day is the toughest on the Inca Trail as it is spent ascending up and over Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,200 metres. Your body will almost certainly feel the effects of the altitude here as the air is providing less oxygen than your body is used to. You do not spend long at this altitude and the rest of the day is spent descending down to 3,600 metres where you camp at Chaquiccocha.

From Chaquiccocha it is generally easy going as you descend to the Sun Gate and then Machu Picchu where the Inca Trail comes to an end.

Cusco - KM-82 - Wayllabamba

Level difficulty: Fácil
Maximum altitude: 3000m
Minimum altitude: 2600m
Distance covered: 9 km
Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours

Wayllabamba - Warmiwañusca Pass – Paccaymayu

Level difficulty: Difícil
Maximum altitude: 4600m
Minimum altitude: 3000m
Distance covered: 12KM
Approximate walking time: 6-7 hours

Paccaymayu - Runkuraqhay Pass – Phuyupatamarka – Wiñayhuayna

Level difficulty: moderado
Maximum altitude: 4000m
Minimum altitude: 2650m
Distance covered: 16 km
Approximate walking time: 8 hours

Wiñayhuayna - Inti Punku (Sun gate) - Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo - Cusco

Level difficulty: Fácil
Maximum altitude: 2650m
Minimum altitude: 2100m
Distance covered: 6 km
Approximate walking time: 2 hours

More Information

  • How difficult is the hike?

    The entire hike is approximately 72 kilometers...

    This is an important information
  • When is the best time to hike?

    Weather conditions during the rainy season makes...

    This is an important information
  • Inca Trail Packing List

    1 day pack, and 1 large backpack to hold...

    This is an Alternative Trek

Availability 2017 & 2018


Special offers

  • Montaña de Arco Iris - Dia completo
    Rainbow Mountain Full day

    Enjoy the natural colours of the rarely visited Rainbow Mountain, hiking through some isolated communities....

    $45.00 -10% $50.00

Our Office

Viewed products

Fatal error: Call to undefined function encabezado() in /home/inkatrai/public_html/information/inca-trail-altitude-dificulty.php on line 103