One of the main routes to Machu Picchu is the Inka Trail, which is one of most famous hiking paths in the world, and is a favorite of adventures and tourists alike. The Inka Trail is 45 km (28m) long and begins at km 88 in the small village of Qoriwayrachina and finishes in the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail has been restared, is wellmarked, and is not dangerous. Along the way police, medical attention, and porter services are available.
The train from Cusco stops at the station of Qoriwayrachina (km 88) between 9.00 and 10.00 in the morning. Hikers cross to the other side of the Urubamba River to the farmhouse of Q'ente, where the Inka Trail begins. Only 3 km (1.8 mi) along the trail is the archaeological complex of Llactapata. After crossing the Husichaca creek and another 8 km (85 mi), hikers reach patawasi where food and other supplies can be purchased for the trip. From this point, the route is a steep climb up the Warmiwsñusqa mountain pass, which after hiking 10 km (6.2 mi) is the highest point of the trip with an altitude of 4,200 MAMSL (13,780 ft). Here, hikers usually rest, but there is no camping because of the cold and the altitude. From this mountain pass hikers descend to a short plain along a river called Pakaymayu and then hike back up 5 km (3.1 mi) to the archaeological ruins of runturaqay.
The next mountain pass is also named Runturaqay, which is 3,900 MAMSL (12,795 ft). From this point the trail descends 6 km (3.7 mi) along a typical inca stone trail to the archaeological complex of Sayakmarka.
The trail then continues and arrives at yet another set of archaeological ruins, Phuyupatamarka, and only 3 km (1.9 mi) beyond the Wiñay wayna complex. From this beautiful archaeological site hikers walk another 3 km (1.9 mi) and then up again for another 1 km (0.62 mi) along more inka stone steps, finally arriving to the Intipata pass. To the north and looking down hikers can see the Inka city of Machu Picchu, which is visible between several mountains and creeks-it is an unbelievable view. Ultimately, the hike continues for another 1 km (0.62 mi) moving downhill and ending at the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. After hiking the Inka Trail and visiting Machu Picchu, travelers can finish their unforgettable journey by toking a relaxing dip in the hot springs of aguas calientes,just 2 km (1.2 mi) from the train station below Machu Picchu.
There are strict regulations for hiking the Inka Trail that are intended to preserve the natural fauna and flora of the area. Please be considerate and conservationallyminded while traveling this unique trek.