About Inca Trail
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The Inca trail in South America is consistently ranked among the top 5 treks in the world. This is not only because of the natural elements of the trail which consist of everything from high mountains to subtropical jungles, but also because of its cultural elements including ruins and pavings of the ancient Inca civilization in the highlands of Peru. The trail finally leads to one of the most spectacular sites in the world: Machu Picchu, also known as the “Lost city of the Incas”, a gem of the Inca Empire and one of the new 7 wonders of the world as of 2007.
You could follow the Inca trail for thousands of kilometres spanning almost the entire area of Peru. However, the main parts of the trail can be covered in a 43 kilometre stretch with 4 days of trekking. During the trek, you’ll be walking among beautiful snow-clad mountains and lush forests while feasting your eyes on archaeological wonders such as Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu.
You begin your trek at Cusco, from where several trails weave into the mountains. A short bus ride passing through some magnificent villages takes you to a place called km82, named so because it is at a distance of 82 kilometres along the road from Cusco. From here, you start walking along the trail, crossing the Vilcanota River, before finally reaching the small village of Wayllabamba (3,000 m) that offers some good views of the Inca ruins you’ll visit the next day.
This is also where you’ll spend the night.
The next day features a beautiful stream and a forest with a waterfall nestled inside. Having passed those, you get to the most difficult part of the trail: the “Dead Woman’s Pass” at 4200 metres. On the third day, you get to see beautiful remnants of the long gone Inca civilization. You pass the ruins of Runkuracay, overlooking the Pacaymayo valley. Then, you walk along ancient paving stones, crossing high-altitude passes along the way. After the second pass, you reach Sayacmarca, the “Inaccessible Town”, called so because of its position among three sheer cliffs. The next Inca ruin along the trail is Phuyupatamarca, which literally means “Town in the clouds”, and is one of the most impressive ruins in the area. Finally, you reach the camping site of Wiñay Wayna, where you get a nice shower and a cold beer before calling it a day.