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A Guide to Completing the Inca Trail

Located within the South American Andes mountain range is a renowned hiking path that can carry you through wonderful Peruvian landscapes and natural environments. Although challenging, it is rated by experts as being one of the finest hiking routes in the world. And, of course, the ultimate reward for completing the trail is being able to experience the modern wonder of the world, Machu Picchu.

Over the course of 26 miles, this path will see you pass through tunnels and former settlements, before climbing to an ascent of 4,200 metres above sea level. We take a closer look at what you can expect from our Inca Trail tours.

Day One – 7.1 miles

After setting off from Cuzco in the morning, you will arrive at the start of the trail in Piscacucho – otherwise known as Km82. This part of the journey is considered to be leisurely and will take you through cactus gardens and corn fields. You will be able to see the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica in the distance. Upon reaching the Inca ruins of Llactapata, you will continue up a side valley before reaching camp in the hamlet of Huayllabamba. 

Day Two – 4.8 miles

Although the distance for the second day may be less than the first day of trekking, it is actually the longest and most strenuous. After through an area of cloud forest, you will reach Llulluchapampa before passing Warmihuanusca (Dead Woman’s Pass). It is at this point that you reach the highest point of your journey, at 4,215 metres. However, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of the Pacamayo River upon your descent, which is where you will also rest for the night.

Day Three – 4.2 miles

After yesterday’s steep climb, today will seem a lot less difficult. Upon reaching the ruins of Runquracay (3,930 metres), the path becomes a lot more clearly defined with many flat boulders. This is not to say it will not continue to vary, as you pass through the ruins of Sayajmarca before entering a rainforest and going through an Inca tunnel. Upon reaching the ridge of Phuyupatamarca, you will be able to reflect on another fantastic day whilst watching the beautiful sunset.

Day Four – 5.5 miles

The fourth and final day will see you walk down the iconic Inca steps. Above, you will be able to see the peaks of the Vilcabamba range, whilst below you will be able to see a river that is thousands of metres away. After walking through the deep mist of a cloud forest, you will be greeted with your first views of Machu Picchu – a magnificent reward after almost four days of non-stop trekking.

Whilst this will take you to the magnificent ancient landmark of Machu Picchu, it is not the only way to reach the modern wonder. For those seeking a less strenuous path, there is the option to visit Machu Picchu by train, whilst experienced trekkers may find a good alternative in the highly strenuous Moonstone Trek. For more information, call us via the freephone number or complete the online form.

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