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The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: One of the most spectacular experiences in the world

A spectacular experience that combines the natural beauty of the Andes with the majesty of the ancient Inca city.

Portada » Useful information for travel to Peru » Data for traveler » The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: One of the most spectacular experiences in the world

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu begins at kilometer 82 of the railway that connects the town of Ollantaytambo with the town of Aguas Calientes. During the journey you will cross Inca ruins and archaeological remains more than 500 years old. You will cross through the high Andean mountains, walk through the cold plains at more than 3,000 m.a.s.l. and finally enter the hot sub-tropical jungle and enter the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu through the so-called Sun Gate.

The Inca Trail is one of the best, if not the best, hike in the world and offers us the possibility to explore a route created by the Inca civilization more than five centuries ago. An experience that transforms the lives of those who participate in it.

One of the most outstanding characteristics of Inca architecture is its incredible connection with the surrounding environment. It is remarkable how the Inca engineers built their observatories, towers, houses, roads, stairs, bridges, and other structures respecting the slopes, shapes and natural contours of the hills and rivers, creating masterpieces that remain almost intact to this day.

WHEN TO BOOK THE INCA TRAIL TOUR

Being one of the most famous treks in the world, the reservation of tickets to enter the Inca Trail should be made six or seven months in advance.  Keep in mind that in the month of June the festivities of the city of Cusco are celebrated while in July are the national holidays of Peru, so if you want to find a ticket available during these months you should do it at least twelve months in advance.

What is the best time of the year to go to the Inca Trail?

The southern part of the Peruvian territory, within which the Inca Trail is located, has two clearly marked stations: 

  • The dry season, which goes from May to September or October normally, is a time when there is almost no rainfall, which allows us to enjoy sunny days, ideal for hiking and appreciating the magnificent surroundings of the Inca Trail.
  • The rainy season goes from November to March or April and is characterized by abundant rainfall, cloudy or foggy days that cover most of the landscape. During the month of February each year, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance work. The positive side of the rainy season is seen in the abundant amount of vegetation, flowers, fruits and the green color of the mountains and valleys.

What is altitude sickness

Altitude sickness is characterized by a severe headache accompanied by a feeling of physical discomfort or fatigue that overwhelms the sufferer. This is due to the lack of oxygen in the muscles and blood and is usually overcome by resting, breathing deeply or drinking mate de coca.

The highest point during the Inca Trail is the pass of the dead woman or Warmihuañuska (4,125 m.a.s.l.) and it is here where travelers suffer from altitude sickness. Our travel team has foreseen this type of situation, carrying with them pills, oxygen and all the necessary equipment for this type of circumstances.

Is there a short version of the Inca Trail?

In fact, there is a short version of the Inca Trail that lasts two days. This type of tour does not cover the most difficult and highest altitude parts of the trek, starting at kilometer 104 of the railway and not at kilometer 82 as is normally the custom.

If you have already decided on this incredible trek, do not hesitate to contact our team of tourism professionals, who will take care of all your needs from the moment you arrive in Peru. 

Recommendations

  • Shoes are an element with which special care should be taken. The type of boot to be used should be chosen carefully, avoiding new or too hard boots, since the constant rubbing of the edges of the ankle and heel with the edges of the shoe can cause possible injuries and above all a lot of discomfort when walking.
  • Having a good jacket and warm clothing for the Inca Trail is almost mandatory, as there are stretches where the cold and wind of the high Andean mountains create adverse weather conditions for the traveler.
  • The Incas were very careful when choosing where to build their towns and villages, for example the area surrounding the Inca Trail and leading to Machu Picchu has more than thirteen different climatic floors, each with a different type of flora and fauna. Bring a camera with enough memory to capture this incredible biodiversity. 

The Inca Trail is just one part of the immense network of roads built by the Incas, which at one time covered more than 60,000 kilometers and were built, according to many scholars, following the course of the earth's magnetic field. Take the time to feel th

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