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How Long Is The Inca Trail? An In-Depth Guide On The Famous 4-Day Route

Alison Macallister

Is it your dream to walk an age-old route and marvel at the remains of an ancient empire?

The Inca trail is the only multi-day hike on earth that provides this unique experience.

Before taking on this hike, the first thing you may want to know is this: ‘How long is the Inca Trail?

This article will answer all your questions about the Inca Trail length, including distances and time estimates for hiking the Inca Trail.

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How Long Is The Inca Trail?

The best way to answer the question 'how long is the Inca Trail?' is to break down the length of the trek into measurable distances.

I'll start with some general FAQs before going more in-depth on the length of the Inca Trail. 

Inca Trail Length: FAQs

Let's start by asking and answering the most straightforward questions about the Inca Trail's length. 

How long is the Inca Trail in miles?

The Inca Trail is 26 miles long.

How long is the Inca Trail in kilometers?

The Inca Trail is 40km long.

How many days is the Inca Trail?

The classic Inca Trail is 4 days. You can also hike a one-day version of the Inca Trail and 7-day Inca-Salkantay route.

Are there different length routes for the Inca Trail?

There is only one Inca Trail Route. Some tours follow only part of this trail.

Where to stay? Here are 5 of my favourite accommodation options in Cusco: 

See more Cusco accommodation options.

Inca Trail Length - A Detailed Guide

The full, 4-day Inca Trail is 26miles / 43km in total. Spread out over each day, you get an average of around 6 miles / 10km each day. This is a totally manageable distance for most, so long as you are healthy and active (see how to train for the Inca trail and Inca trail difficulty).

As for daily distance on the Inca Trail, not every hiker walks the same distance per day. There is only one route for the Inca Trail. However, the distance you hike each day depends on the campsites that your tour group has been allocated.

How many hours you spend walking each day on the Inca Trail depends on your personal fitness. All hikers need to stick with the guide. Keep in mind that you will be going at the speed of the slowest member of your group. With so many picture opportunities and views to soak in, there’s no need to rush ahead.

Some sections are more challenging and will take longer to walk. The most time-consuming parts of the trail are the mountain passes. The altitudes on these ascents make it difficult to find your breath.

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How Many Miles Is The Inca Trail - Daily Hiking Distances

Below, I'll take you through the distances you and your tour are likely to cover on each day of the Inca Trail.

Inca Trail Day 1 Distance

On the first day, all hikers start at the same point - kilometer 82. From this point you will embark on your adventure to one of the Day 1 campsites.

The table below shows distances and estimated walking times from kilometer 82 to the main campsites on day 1 of the Inca Trail.

Destination Camp

Walking Distance

Estimated Walking Time (hours)


7.8 miles/ 12.5km



8.7 miles/ 14km



7.5 miles / 12km


Inca Trail Day 2 Distance

The second day of the Inca Trail includes the infamous ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’. This is the most challenging day on the itinerary.

The longest part of your day will be climbing up the stairs of the pass. After the ascent, it is an easy walk to your camp.

Start-Destination Camp

Walking Distance

Estimated Walking Time (hours)


5.1 miles/ 8.3 km


Ayapata- Chaquicocha

10miles/ 16km



9 miles/ 15km


Inca Trail Day 3 Distance

The third day is usually short and fairly easy. You may take an additional walk from Winay Wayna camp to the Winay Wayna Ruins. This decision is up to your tour leader and depends on how late you reach the campsite.

Start-Destination Camp

Walking Distance

Estimated Walking Time (hours)


Winay Wayna

6.23miles/ 10.26km



Winay Wayna

10 miles/ 16km



4.5 miles/ 7.3km


Inca Trail Day 4 Distance

On your final day, you will be mostly going downhill. Most hikers will be staying at Winay Wayna campsite. In this case, the final walk to the Sun gate at Machu Picchu will take you less than 2hrs.

If you camped at Phutamarca, your last day of hiking will be much longer. You will likely arrive at Machu Picchu around midday.

Destination Camp

Walking Distance

Estimated Walking Time (hours)

Phuyupatamarca- Machu Picchu

4.5 miles/ 17.3km


Winay Wayna- Machu Picchu

3.25 miles/5.07km


Shorter Options For Hiking The Inca Trail

If you have limited time, you can do the short version of the Inca Trail. This is essentially a 1-day Inca Trail with a visit to Machu Picchu.

Some people visit the Machu Picchu ruins the following day; in this case, you could consider it a 2-day Inca Trail.

If you do this hike, you will start at the 104km mark at Chachabamba. From Chachabamba, you will follow the trail to the Sun Gate, the same endpoint as the classic Inca Trail.

The total length of the short Inca Trail is 5.81 miles or 9.35km. This is a moderate difficulty hike (see: how difficult/hard is short Inca trail). Most people who do this trail start walking at around 8 am and reach Machu Picchu at 2 pm in the afternoon. This is an average of 4/5hrs walking time.

It is approximately another hour to the Machu Picchu site with about 2miles / 3.2km of more walking.


The view from Dead Woman's Pass, 4,200m, on the Inca Trail


And that's a wrap on my 'How Long is the Inca Trail?' article! I hope it answered questions you had and questions you didn't know you wanted to ask about the length of this famous hiking trail in Peru. 

Alison Macallister

With a degree in Nature Conservation and experience working with wildlife including the Big 5, Alison works as a guide for a 5-star reserve. She enjoys sharing her passion for all things nature-related. She enjoys hiking, horseriding, 4x4 driving and kayaking.

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