THE INCA TRAIL
The Inca Trail Empire was the most sophisticated culture in the “New World”. By force of “divine right” and with a mastery of engineering, agriculture, economic, and most importantly, administrative skills, the Incas united warring tribes throughout the Andes under a common language and single religion, creating one of the most fabulous of ancient empires – the Tawantinsuyo.
At its height, the Inca Trail Empire had an extensive network of roads running the length and breadth of the Andes; more than 2,500 miles. These stone-paved trails connected the highland valleys with the coast. After the conquest, some of these paths were used as roads and continue with this function till this day; the modern Pan-American Highway and other routes leading eastward into the Andes are good examples. In the highlands, some of these trails are still in their original condition and are used by local farmers to reach their fields. Others have been forgotten and reclaimed by the jungle.
Hidden under the dense foliage of highland jungle and forgotten by the Incas themselves, Machu Picchu (meaning “old peak” in Quechua - native language of the Incas) escaped the conquistadors and eluded even treasure hunters until eventually Hiram Bingham brought the "Lost City of the Incas" to the world's attention in 1911.
Further exploration uncovered an ancient highway, a royal road that connected Machu Picchu to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire.
The Inca Trail is a magnificent, well preserved Inca Trail route which connects Machupicchu with what once were other regions of the Inca Empire, and today it is one of the world’s most popular treks. This four-day walk goes from the highlands of 4,200mts and down through the cloud forests to finally arrive at Machu Picchu - 2,380mts.
Packed with striking views of the high sierra and dense jungle, the trail varies in altitude constantly and offers endless breathtaking changes in panoramic views and sceneries. After crossing two high passes, towards the end of the trail, one arrives at Intipunku (“The Sun Gate”) for the first view of Machu Picchu spread below; a sight that will forever remain etched in the memory.
Come hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on an adventure tour with your friends and family, then climb to the top of Mount Wayna Picchu for an unparalled view of the Historical Sanctuary of machu Picchu itself, the neighboring town of Aguas Calientes and the Sacred Valley. The four day Inca Trail tour includes a one day visit to the unforgettable ruins of Machu Picchu. A truly unforgettable experience!
Inca Trail ITINERARY
DAY 01.- We pick you up from your hotel at 5.40am and take you to Cusco train station. We travel by train on a very picturesque route for 2 and a half hours until we reach kilometer 104 - the start of the trail for us. From here, we have a walk of approximately 4 hours up to the Inca site of Wiñay Wayna ('Forever Young') (2680m/8792ft). You will have joined the path in time to see the most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail!! (after Machupicchu).
We will then continue on to 'Inti Punku' (The Sun gate) from where you will have your first dramatic and unforgettable panoramic view of Machu Picchu. We will walk down the last part of the trail towards the ancient city itself. Without yet entering Machu Picchu, we will take a side path off the trail to go down to the town of Aguas Calientes, leaving the visit to Machu Picchu for the next day. We will have a delicious dinner and rest at a comfortable tourist hostel.
Inca Trail DAY 02
We have breakfast and then take the first bus (6am) up to Machu Picchu. A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your professional English speaking guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you have energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu (the famous peak in the background of most images of Machu Picchu) - 2720m/8890ft. (It takes about 45 minutes to reach the top.)
You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes (it can be reached by bus or on foot) for lunch and to be given your train tickets back to Cusco. The train usually leaves between 5.30pm and 9:30pm depending on Peru Rail allocations.
If desired, an extra night in Aguas Calientes can be arranged. This option is very popular as it allows more time to explore Machu Picchu and you can also go to the thermal springs in the town - a real treat after finishing the trail!!!