Take part in the annual Inca Trail Marathon event, while exploring some of the highlights of Peru.

The Event

The iconic Inca Trail trekking route to Machu Picchu is almost a perfect marathon distance. The trek is typically done over four days, but once a year every July, a few hardy souls attempt the same feat just in one day – dare to join this select club!

With a thorough acclimatisation programme prior to the event itself, you will have time to adjust to the heady heights of the route, including passes of 4,200m. The route itself is accurately measured, with fuel and first aid post along the way.

The event allows for people to complete the course in either one or two days (competitors are often split 50/50 between finishing in one and two days), with a celebration meal at Machu Picchu at the end of the second day.

There is also the flexibility for spectators to join this trip, who can travel to Machu Picchu by train to cheer the runners across the finish line.

The Adventure

Your acclimatisation period is the perfect chance to explore some of the other highlights of Peru, including the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca. Also, for those of you with a little more time on your hand, there is the option to extend the trip and join us for an Amazon adventure – the perfect way to end a unique adventure.

Book this Adventure »

Time Location Activities
Day 1 Lima, Peru Arrival in Lima
Day 2 Arequipa Morning flight to Peru's second city. After a short orientation tour you are free to explore the city at your leisure. Optional evening training run.
Day 3 Colca Canyon Drive from Arequipa to Chivay in the heart of the Colca Canyon. Afternoon exploring the local area and enjoying the nearby thermal springs.
Day 4 Cruz del Condor and Lake Titicaca Early start to see the condors at the deepest section of the canyon. After a late breakfast back at the hotel, we make our way overland to the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Day 5 Lake Titicaca Boat out to the island of Tequile. Afternoon exploring the island (training run for those who want to). Sleep on the island.
Day 6 Lake Titicaca After breakfast, make your way down to the port for a 2-3 hour kayak adventure back to the mainland. Arriving at the rural community of Llachon, we have the afternoon to relax or take the locals on at volleyball! Sleep in Llachon
Day 7 Titicaca-Cuzco Private transfer from Llachon to Juliaca, where we meet a public coach for the drive to Cuzco. Arrive in Cuzco mid-afternoon and settle in.
Day 8 Cuzco and the Sacred Valley Tour of the indigenous market town of Pisac, as well as a chance to visit the ruins of the same name. Returning to Cuzco, we stop at the Inca site of Sacsayhuaman.
Day 9 Cuzco RACE BRIEFING DAY. Brief is in the morning, with the afternoon free to explore Cuzco.
Day 10 Ollantaytambo Departing Cuzco after breakfast, we visit another part of the Sacred Valley, at the ruins of Ollantaytambo.
In the afternoon the runners will be transferred to the start of the Inca Trail, where we have a gentle trek to our camp.
Spectators will take the train to Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu.
Day 11 Inca Trail RACE DAY!
An early breakfast, in advance of the 5am race start. Those which do not complete the race in one day will camp at Winay Wayna at mile 23. Finishers will sleep in Aguas Calientes by Machu Picchu.
Spectators have a day exploring the nearby cloud forest, before heading up to Machu Picchu to receive the finishers.
Day 12 Machu Picchu One day finishers and spectators will take an early bus up to Machu Picchu to enjoy sunrise at the ruins before a full day tour of the site. Two day finishers will continue the route after breakfast, arriving in Machu PIcchu in time for a tour of the ruins.
Evening spent all together in Aguas Calientes, with prize giving and medals.
Day 13 Cuzco Morning train back to Cuzco, with the afternoon free to buy any last minute souvenirs and presents. Sleep in Cuzco
Day 14 (END) Cuzco-Lima For those flying back home at this stage, you will be transferred to Cuzco airport for your flight back to Lima, connecting with your flight home later that day.
Day 14 Puerto Maldonado For those doing the Amazon extension, we will take a 45 min flight to the town of Puerto Maldonado, where we will transfer onto a motorised dugout canoe for a 2-3 hour journey up the Tambopata river. Afternoon trek through the jungle and sleep in your jungle accommodation.
Day 15 Tambopata Jungle Reserve A morning trek through the jungle to an oxbow lake, spotting various wildlife along the way. Lunch back at the lodge with afternoon free to relax. Night trek on foot or canoe.
Day 16 Tambopata Jungle Reserve A further day in the Amazon, exploring another section of the forest. Return to the lodge.
Day 17 Puerto Maldonado-Lima Return by canoe to Puerto Maldonado and transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima, connecting with your flight home.
Dates and Costs


Team Name Start date End Date Quest Overseas Payment Quest4Change Contribution
Inca Trail Marathon 2019 (no Amazon) Coming in 2022 £2,375 N/A
Inca Trail Marathon 2019 (inc. Amazon) Coming in 2022 £2,825 N/A


Who is this trip for?

This adventure is both for runners and spectators. While the Inca Trail marathon is one of the main focuses of this trip, it is also a varied exploration of Peru, taking in many of the country's highlights.

RUNNERS: Anyone considering this event is likely to be aware of the demands of a marathon. While you do not need to be an elite athlete to take part, you obviously need to be in good physical condition. To give you an idea of the pace of other participants, last year's finishing times varied from 7 hours to 16 hours (with the clock stopped overnight for those doing the event in two days).

SPECTATORS: The trip itself is an active one, but as long as you in good shape you will be fine to join this trip. The experience of visiting Machu Picchu is a special one for anyone, but even moreso if you are there to cheer on a loved one on this event.

More Information

This marathon is designed by experienced racers for racers. It is professionally measured and supported with at least 4 aid stations. We have first-aid available at various course points and measures in place to keep you safe. In addition, we offer you a well marked course, a goodie bag and finisher medals for all participants, as well cash prizes for top male and female winners. Join our team of runners and race this one of a kind course to Machu Picchu!

Race times:
The 2015 races are set for 7/09/2015 at 5:00 AM. This start time maximizes the time you have to complete the race while minimizing the amount of time you must run before it is light out to better enjoy the amazing scenery.

To complete the race at Machu Picchu in one day and get down to town before bus services end, you must finish by 5:15 p.m.

Cutoff: To insure you finish at Machu Picchu by 5:15 p.m, there will be a mandatory cutoff at Winay Wayna (23 mi/37km): our last aid station and mandatory control checkpoint. Runners will not be able to continue onto Machu Picchu if they arrive at Winay Wayna after 3:30 p.m. **This is a regulation imposed by the government entity that administers and controls the Inca Trail and is subject to change. Machu Picchu does not allow entry past 5:15 p.m, nor are there anymore buses down to Aguas Calientes after 5:30 pm.

Will you finish at Machu Picchu in one day? We think so! Our staff will be out there to support, but it depends on you.

Things that will help you:
If you are a good endurance athlete, a strong and/or experienced runner, avid marathoner, someone with good trail running knowledge, experience running ultras, other long course (ie Iron distance tri) background, a strong mountain hiking background. Having some of these traits will be helpful. If you train hard, safe and smart for this event, considering some of our training suggestions, then we feel you will accomplish this feat! The willingness to try it is the first step to the finish.

If you don’t make cutoff:
We believe one of the main highlights of the Inca Trail Marathon is to finish right at Machu Picchu for that once in a lifetime spectacular photo finish, so if you arrive to Winay Wayna after 3:30 pm, you will spend the evening comfortably at our specially staffed campground. The next day you will finish the remainder of the course ending at Machu Picchu and be welcomed by our spectators and other runners who will be celebrating your accomplishment! Afterwards, everyone will be together for our guided group tours of Machu Picchu.

Do not despair for even a moment, because if the official 26.2 mile course was easy, we would not need a cutoff and everyone would be doing it! You have stepped up to try something very challenging and you will finish your race successfully right at Machu Picchu the next morning!

During your stay, you will have access to some of your personal items (pre-packed by you in a provided drop bag and brought to the checkpoint by our staff- see below for suggested gear). You will have tented accommodation with a sleeping bag, and meals.

Any 2-day finishers score an official finish and receive all the same recognition (finisher medals, celebration awards dinner, etc) our 1-day finishers do.

Inca Trail conditions:
While Inca trail conditions are generally good, it is a hard trail. Many steep trail sections require very careful footing. The trail is mostly Inca paved stone (irregular stones of all shapes, sizes, textures laid out in a 4-6 foot wide path). There are also some dirt sections and places where the trail surface is uneven and rocky. You will encounter steep stone steps and narrow passes with steep drop-offs to one side. The Inca trail is generally at least 4 feet wide. Conditions become slippery with rain and moisture, especially on the descents in the cloud forest, so please use caution.

The Inca Trail cannot be closed to other hikers, so you will encounter other hikers (and porters) while running on the Inca trail. It is easy to get around other runners and hikers, as there is ample width on the trail. Please be courteous and clearly announce that you are passing them, allowing them enough time to clear the path. You are unlikely to encounter any hikers on the first and last legs of the race due to the time of day.

Although you should be prepared for a variety of weather conditions (i.e. wind, rain, heat, cold, fog, snow, hail, possible rapid changing conditions in the mountains), the typical weather conditions for July on the Inca Trail range from 80°F for the high and 32°F degrees for the low. Average rainfall is only about 3 days/month. Temperatures vary substantially with elevation changes. For example, at Dead Woman’s Pass, you can expect approx. 40°F temperatures, while at Winay Wayna; you can expect daytime temperatures to reach approx. 75-80°F. Please plan accordingly and be properly prepared for any type of weather!

Aid stations:
A total of at least 4 aid stations will be available for the race. Purified water, and some snack foods such as dried fruit, mixed nuts, pretzels, small avocado and chicken sandwiches, cookies, chocolates, coca, etc will be provided at these checkpoints. You must pack your own nutrition and carry it with you the whole time if you want anything different than these types of items.

*Please note: Due to the distance (in some cases a couple of hours depending on your pace) between aid stations, you will be required to carry your own fluids and nutrition, and some emergency gear (i.e. in a day-pack) for your personal safety. You will have the opportunity to refill water/fluids at aid stations as needed.

*Aid station locations can be moved at the race director's discretion depending on race/trail conditions.

First aid will be available at all aid stations. English and Spanish speaking staff will be available with long range radio communication and satellite phones for emergencies.

Upon arrival at the aid stations, your bib number and in some cases your arrival/departure time will be recorded. We will provide you race splits from key points on the course.

Winay Wayna will serve as the campsite for those that do not make the cutoff of 3:30 p.m. A personal drop bag will be available for the overnight stay.

Other Inca Trail Running and Race Information:

It is not possible to participate in the races without camping out the night before near to the start line

Start line: Participants will seed themselves according to projected finish times.

Official times will be recorded to gun time

Your bib number will recorded upon your arrival at the aid stations. Splits provided!

All Inca Trail runners will be required to wear a numbered bib at all times.

Packet pickup/goodie bag and a mandatory pre-race meeting will take place 2 days before the race.

You will be given a drop bag to pack

One of the most scenic South American Marathons! Any photos we get of you during the race will be available to all free of charge.

Race gear:
We will be having a mandatory gear check before the race with some required gear to be carried with you for your safety. More details to be provided prior to travel.

(The following items are some of the gear you will want/be required to have- this list is not all-inclusive)

Due to the varied elevations and temperature changes you will experience, while running on the Inca Trail, we suggest planning your running wardrobe accordingly. Drop bags will be made available at Winay Wayna if you do not make the cutoff.

Your Original Passport/Daypack on trail with hydration bladder
Long sleeve/Windbreaker/Change of shirt/Rain poncho
Personal First Aid/ LED headlamp for emergency/running-walking at night
Personal Energy foods/fluids/Money for food or drink vendors and restrooms at Machu Picchu

Winay Wayna drop bag (you pre-pack this and it is placed by us at the cut-off point):
Change of Clothes/Shoes (overnight temperatures average 45-50°F)
Personal Toiletries (rest rooms on-site)
Clothing for next day hike into Machu Picchu