Inca Trail campsites

The Classic Inca Trail campsites

The Classic Inca Trail is a 4-day hike that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Peru, from the Andes Mountains to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is also a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some quiet time in nature.

Inca Trail Campsite 1
Inca Trail Camping

One of the best things about the Inca Trail is that it is only camping. This means you can immerse yourself in the experience and enjoy all that nature offers. There are no hotels or restaurants along the route; our porters must carry all the food and camping gear.

Inca Trail campsites

There are several Inca Trail campsites available for hikers to choose from. The first to book is to choose the best campsite distributions depending on the itinerary and the days you choose to complete the trek. Only the early bookings can choose the campsite; if you book last minute, we must book only whatever campsite is left or assigned by the government.

  • Inca Trail Campsites on day 1

On the first day, groups of the Inca could stay in several places depending on the campsite they chose or the assigned campsite;

The Groups can choose between; Ayapata (3300 m – 6h) and Wayllabamaba Campsite (300 meters – 5h). However, for some reason, the groups are running late, or you have a 5-day schedule; the groups can camp earlier in places like Mescay (2h), Patallacta (2.5h), Taray(3h), or Hatunchaca(4.5h).

There is another campsite located 8 hours from km 82, Lulluchapampa (3800 m); this campsite can be used in case the group wants to finish in 3 days or as a second-day campsite during the Ultimate IncaTrail tour 5 days.

On the first day of the Inca trail, impossible to camp next to the local villages, and some locals have shops, except Ayapata, which is located 1 hour from the closest village.

  • Inca Trail Campsites on day 2

There are 2 campsites to be used as a second Campsite during the Classic Inca Trail. Each campsite is separated by the second mountain, Runkuraqay, with 4000 meters. The distance is 4 hours between the 2 campsites.

Pacaymayo, the most popular day 2 campsite, is located in the Pacayamayo Alto valley at 3600 meters. Beautiful mountains surround the campsite, and a small stream runs along the valleys with a beautiful waterfall in the upper part.

Chaquicocha; is located at 3600 meters after Runkuraqay pass. The campsite is located over a plateau, and the views of the Vilcabamaba mountain range and cloud forest are amazing.

  • Inca Trail Campsites on day 3

Phuyupatamarca (the city in the clouds). As its name suggests, this spot is often shrouded in mist, providing a cool respite from the day’s heat. This campsite is at 3800 meters and offers the best view of the Inca Trail. Be sure to explore the nearby ruins, which include an Inca bathhouse and an aqueduct.

Winaywayna is one of the Inca Trail’s largest and most crowded campsites. It is located at 2600 meters and just 2 hours behind Machu Picchu.

  • Inca Trail Campsites on day 4

Puente Ruinas: This campsite is located just outside the town of Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. The campsite is next to the Urubamba River and right below Machu Picchu Mountain. The site is used only in 5-day Itineraries or the Short Inca Trail with Camping.

The Different Types of Camping/Service

There are many Inca Trail camping styles to choose from, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here is a brief overview of the most popular options:

  • Backpacking Service

Many tour operators will offer low prices, and there will be porters but only to carry food and equipment.  This type of tour is based on providing a low price, and they do not care about service. You carry your mattress, sleeping bags, and hiking equipment.

From an expert view, we recommend avoiding this type of service. You will not enjoy the trail with a heavy backpack, regardless of your expertise in backpacking. Also, these companies might be underpaying or not providing good working conditions.

Prices in this type of service could go from 480$ up to 680$. Watch out for the inclusions and tour operator reviews!

  • Personalized Small group tours

These tours mostly include a personal porter for 7 kilos, which means our porters will carry your staff, and you’ll hike only with a small backpack; this is the best, and most recommended tour. Standard tours organized by responsible tour operators will offer this package, and the prices will vary from 700$ to 900$.

TreXperience provides premium tours at 740$ with Panoramic Trains and a personal porter included.

This option is becoming increasingly popular as it offers a more comfortable way to experience the Inca Trail. You will have a private walk-in tent, Camping cots, blankets, massages, shaman ceremonies, hot showers, exclusive meals, drinks, and one 1 personal porter per guest to carry your belongings. This means you can relax and enjoy the amazing Inca Trail. However, this luxury comes at a price – expect to pay significantly more than the classic Inca Trail option.

Inca Trail Campsites FAQs

What are the Inca Trail campsites like?

The Inca Trail campsites are located along the trail and offer basic facilities for hikers. There is usually a water source and toilet facilities at each campsite. Some campsites also have showers, but these are usually cold water only.

How do I know which Inca Trail campsite to choose?

There are a few things to consider when choosing an Inca Trail campsite. Firstly, you must ensure that the campsite is located along your route. Secondly, you need to consider each campsite’s facilities and decide whether they suit your needs. Lastly, you need to check what the weather conditions are likely to be like at the time of year that you will be hiking, as some of the campsites can be quite cold in winter.

What should I bring to camp?

When packing for an Inca Trail hike, it is important to remember that you need to take everything with you. You need to pack light and only bring essential items. You will need a sleeping bag, clothes, toiletries, and a basic first aid kit.

What to Expect at the campsites?

When you arrive at the campsite, your tents will be ready; you only need to find your duffle bags and prepare your bed. The trekking team will provide warm water to wash and a small towel.

There are public toilets at each campsite. However, some of them might not be as clean as you respect. We provide portable private toilets.

There are showers; however, they are cold mountain water and not recommended. TreXperience has a portable solar shower; request more info on this.

There will be kitchen tents and dining tents with chairs and tables. This is a premium camping trip.

How to choose the right campsite?

You can choose the Itinerary; however, the final campsite distribution will ultimately depend on how early you are booking Private tours, and groups tour will depend on group availability. The itinerary you see on the packages is for reference only; this might change on the final campsite assignment.

Do not stress too much about the campsite; you will have a great time despite the campsite assignment.

Is it possible to do glamping on the Inca Trail?

Yes, it is possible to do glamping on the Inca Trail. A few companies offer this service, and it is becoming more popular. This option is great for those who want to experience the Inca Trail with luxury and glamour.

Some amenities you can expect with glamping on the Inca Trail include private bathrooms, comfortable beds, massage, drinks, hot showers, and even Andean Shaman.

What kind of tents are provided on the Inca Trail?

In a standard Inca Trail tour, we provide 4-person Eureka tents for every 2 travelers and 2-person Eureka tents for solo travelers. The tents are 4-season tents, especially for the Inca Trail.

How are the sleeping accomodations?

The campsites are dirt terraces on the hillside; nearby, there are always bathrooms. Our team will set up the tents on the ground with proper floors and plastic to avoid water. We will also provide sleeping pads and pillows; you need to bring or rent your sleeping bag.

What kind of food is provided?

Our expert trekking chefs prepare fresh food; they will use fresh local products to prepare the best of Peruvian food.

Who carries the food?

A team of dedicated porters carries the food for the Inca Trail.

What kind of drinks are provided?

We provide a variety of drinks at our Inca Trail campsites, including:

  • Water: We have drinkable water available every day during breakfast and lunch.
  • Tea and coffee: We will have a selection of hot beverages available each morning and evening.
  • Soft drinks: Only in luxury tours
  • Alcoholic beverages: Only in luxury tours