In the INCA TRAIL the hike begins at km 88, a barely noticeable stop announced almost clandestinly by the train guard. Have your gear ready to throw off the steps, since the train guard. Have to fight your way past sack of grain, flapping chickens, Indian men wearing woollen hast and ponchos, and women in voluminous skirts with babies wrapped tightly to their backs in multi-coloured shawls.
From the station a footbridge leads across the Urubamba to a path beyond the cusichaca archaelogical project - a british scheme which is expected to finish in 1985. Following the cusichaca river it's a good 3-hour climb to HUAYLLABAMBA, the only inhabited village on route. This sections of the valley is rich in Inca terracing among which rises an accasional ancient stone building witch typical trapezoidal Windows ad niches
The next 6 hours or so to the firts pass (4,200 m) is the hardest part of the walk - leave this for the second day if you want to take it fairly easy. From here the trail continues thorough magnificent scenery on the slopes of snow - capped Mount Salkantay (6,264m) until, about an hour after the second pass (you'll probably be Keeping) to yours a won timetable by now, a flight of stone steps leads up tothe inca ruins os SAYAC MARCA . This and impressive sport to camp, near the remains of a stone aqueduc which supplied water to the ancient settlement.
Continuing, you make your way down into increasingly dense cloud forest where delicate orchids and other exotic flora begin to appear flagstone path where atone point an astonishing tunnel, carved thorough solid rock by the incas, take you beyond an otherwise impossible climb The trail Wind down to the ruins of Puyo Patamarca - 'Town Above the Clouds' where are five small stone bath and in the wet season constant fresh running water.
The nest inca site a citadel almost as impressice as Machu Picchu in WINAY WAYNA Forever Young Another place with fresh water taking a right fork after spending the night at this obvious spot, it's about furter to INTI PUNKU, for your firts sight of Machu Picchu; a mind blowing moment however whacked you might be, aim to arrive at Machu Picchu well before the 10:30 am arrival of the tourits train if posible making it to the "hitching post" of the sun before dawn.