The Inca Trail (also called "Inka Trail") is one of the most important walking routes in South America. This is influenced by its original Inca architecture, the archaeological remains along the route and the natural mix of forest and cloud forest of the route. It is also the most spectacular way to reach the Inca Sanctuary of Machupicchu. Discover the most amazing remains that can be seen only by the Inca Trail. Today learn everything of the classical 4 day trek to Machu Picchu: Inca Trail.
How long is the Inca Trail?
- First Day; The total distance of the road is approximately 39.6 km and begins at Km. 82 in the place called Pisqacucho. To start the road you should cross a bridge, then go to the left side through a eucalyptus orchard and start the day calmly. Almost immediately you will find the archaeological complexes of Q'ente, Pulpituyoc, Kusichaca and Patallaca. From this last point you will continue the path along the left bank of the Kusichaca River in the area with the same name where you will not only see the bridge but also find tombs, aqueducts, terraces, roads and a canyon. You will continue until you reach the small town of Wayllabamba and Inca aqueducts. It takes around 4 hours to reach 9 km from this point. One will camp there the first night.
- Second day; this day is the most difficult, because the walker will have to climb up to 4,200 meters, crossing the Warmiwañusqa pass, the first and the highest. If you suffer from "soroche" (altitude sickness) it is best not to stop or descend quickly to the valley of the Pakaymayu river, where you can camp. This place is 7 km away and it is approximately 8 hours away.
- Third day; is the longest but the most interesting. You will be ready to visit the most impressive complexes like Runkuraqay, the second step at 3,800 meters above sea level, its complex mocked with niches that perhaps were a small place to rest, guard posts and places destined for worship after crossing the Second step you descend to Yanacocha (The Black Lagoon) to then climb a path with stone steps until you reach another group of buildings which attract the attention of visitors. This point is called Sayaqmarka a pre-Hispanic complex with narrow streets, buildings erected on different levels; sanctuaries, patios, canals and an exterior protection wall. At the top of the buttresses one can observe many constructions which lead to suppose that once it was a temple and an astronomical observatory, which had a permanent supply of water and excellent food stores. Sayaqmarka is a place full of mystery and charm the approximate distance to Runkuraqay is 5 km. Which takes 2 hours. This complex extends to 3,600 meters above sea level. There is an excellent path and a tunnel through this complex. We recommend camping near the ruins of Phuyupatamarca or 3 km further on in the visitor center of Wiñay Wayna, where one can buy food and drinks or use hygienic services. The ruins of Phuyupatamarca are better preserved than we have seen before now.
- Fourth day; which starts around 5:00 A.M., the walker arrives at Machupicchu around 7:00 A.M. After 8 km of hiking through the jungle. Follow the designated route and drink some water at the Wiñay Wayna Visitor Center. The trail is clearly marked but try to avoid getting too close to the edge of the cliff.
It is forbidden to camp in Inti punku. You will leave your equipment at the control gate and enjoy the most important monument of this part of the continent. You will have time to visit Machupicchu until noon. Check the train schedule to return to Cusco. If you plan to stay in the town of Machu Picchu (also called "Aguas Calientes") The distance from the station to the bridge ruins to Machupicchu is 2 km .. This takes about 20 minutes down a narrow path, which goes parallel to the line iron
The Inca Trail Climate:
The climate is relatively mild all year round, with heavy rains from November to March, and dry and hot weather from April to October, these months being the most recommendable to visit. The minimum annual temperature ranges between 8 ° to 11.2 ° C. In the months of June, July and August the temperature can fall below 0°. The maximum annual temperature varies from 20.4 ° to 26.6 ° C. The terrain is quite irregular, with ravines and holes fed by glaciers that finally pour their waters into the Urubamba River, which crosses this area forming a deep valley that extends through the granite base of Vilcabamba for more than 40 km. crossing through a variety of ecosystems.
Book now and hike Inca Trail.
- If you plan to come in high season (June, July, August), take into account that for these months, visitors usually book four or five months in advance, so ideally, book the Inca Trail, about six months of anticipation.
- The months surrounding the peak season are also usually sold out ahead of time. If you want to travel the Inca Trail in the months of April, May, September, October or November, try to book at least three or four months in advance.
- In some of the quieter months, normally December, January and early March, it might be fine to book four or five weeks in advance (although this also depends on the availability of income for sale at the beginning of the year).
- If you wonder what happened to February, it is the month in which the Inca Trail closes for maintenance. However, the Inca City of Machu Picchu remains open.
Rules applicable to the visit of tourist:
Anyone who enters the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and makes use of the authorized routes for hiking must pay attention and follow the rules provided by the government authorities:
- Give the required information to the authorities and official entities.
- Pay the entrance to the Inca Trail or others.
- No littering !!!
- Use public facilities without damaging or deteriorating them.
- No fires.
- It is strictly forbidden to extract, depredate or buy any variety of flora from the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
- The capture, hunting or purchase of any wild animal of the Sanctuary is strictly prohibited
- Camping only in the indicated places. Camping is prohibited within archaeological constructions or restricted areas
- Behave in an orderly manner so as not to disturb other hikers.
- Any violation of any of these rules will result in the intervention of the police or the park guards to apply the respective sanction. Respect the rules and avoid unpleasant incidents.
If you forget to book your Inca Trail permit and don't find available spots, don't worry there are some alternative treks to Machu Picchuthat will amaze you and will be one of these dream trip :