The real way now called “Inca Trail” is the one that carried pilgrims and authorized officers of the empire to the Lost City of the Incas, to “Machu Picchu”.
This trek is an unforgettable experience; it consists of a set of paths, all strategically located and with an ergonomically designed beauty and excellent structure. These roads are surrounded by a magnificent landscape with a varied vegetation and endless climatic zones. The trail is paved with stone blocks, and there are stairs as well as tunnels and wooden bridges which cross the rivers. You will pass through temperate valleys, cloud forests and the cold Andean Highlands. The whole set puts the visitor in an intellectual and spiritual grandeur of the Andean people, whose greatest achievement was the Inca civilization. If you are excited about the cliffhanger and you want to walk one of the world’s most famous trails, get ready and start the adventure! .
We will pick you up from your hotel betwen 5.30am and 6.00am by bus and we will go straight to Piscacucho (2.700m), a small community located at km 82 of road from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Here we meet the entire team of professionals, who will enable that our trip will be a full success. We start the legandary hike! The Inca Trail begins with crossing the traditional bridge at km 82, before hiking along the left bank of the Urubamba River, flowing northeast of the Sacred Valley. After passing through several flat terraces, we ascend to Miskay (2800 m) and finally we will see the Inca city of Patallacta or Llactapata (2750 m). From here our way fallows along the valley created by the river Kusichaca, until we reach our first campsite Wayllabamba (3000 m), were we will have our dinner and spend a restful night. During the hike on the Inca Trail, you can enjoy a magnificant panorama: the river of Vilcanota, the mountain range of Urubamba, with the top of Verónica Mountain (5750 m), covered with snow. Throughout the whole trek you will be accompanied by a wide variety of flora and fauna.
On this day, after our breakfast at around 7am, we will start our hike. This day is said to be the hardest one! The walk consists of a narrow precipitous rise of 9 km. During this climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna, a dry and high area with little vegetation. At this point we reach the first and highest mountain pass at 4.215m, known as Abra de Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman Pass). Here we can see lamas and domestic alpacas, grasing on ‘ichu’, one of the few plants which grow in that altitude. We also cross an area with forests, where several kinds of animals like the sparrows and the Andean Bear or the spectacled bear are inhabited. It is advisable to carry some candies, chocolate bars and coca leaves to maintain a high level of sugar in the body and counteract the altitude sicknes at the same time. After overpowering the pass, we descend into the valley of Pacaymayu (3600 m), where we will camp after 7 hours of hiking.
This day is the longest, but at the same time also the most interesting and impressive one. We visit countless archaeological sites, always guided and explained by our guide. In Pacaymayu we climb to the second pass, the Abra de Runkurakay (3970 m). We visit the achaeological complex with the same name at an altitude of 3800 m, where we will find significant traces of the Inca Culture. After letting the pass behind us, we descend to Yanacona (Black Lagoon) and finally we reach Sayacmarca (3624 m) where we will have a guided tour for approx. 20 minutes. Afterwards we hike to “Chaquicocha”, where we will have our lunch. Continuing our trek, we will observe the changing geography. The landscape converts from dry and hilly to a green semi-tropical jungle. We keep on going up an easy climb, until we reach the third pass of Abra de Phuyu Patamarca (3580 m). Our way will lead us to an Inca Tunnel, where we will climb above. Here we can admire one of the most complete and best preserved archaeological founds on a peak of a mountain. Phuyu Patamarca which means “The Cloud Over the City” is a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations and breathtaking views over the Urubamba River. Along the Urubamba River we will continue descending on our trail until Wiñayhuayna (2650 m) meaning “Forever Young”, where we get a guided tour through this spectacular archaeological complex. We get dinner at the campsite where we also spend the night.
In Wiñaywayna we will get up early, around 4am, and head in the direction of the ‘Sungate’ or “Inti Punku”, from where you can enjoy a panoramic view over Machu Picchu and from where we can observe the sunrise, after hiking on flats stones to the cliff of the mountains. From “Inti Punku” we descend to Machu Picchu, where we will arrive after 40 minutes. Then we head down to the Inca City of Machu Picchu for enjoying a guided tour of approximately two hours. Afterwards you have free time to stroll around the Citadel and to glory in the spectacular view over valleys and mountains or to visit the Temple of the Moon and the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon we descend down to Aguas Calientes, where we can visit the hot springs. Finally we have to board the train back to the city of Cusco.
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