Is a four days of trekking the Inca Trail to finally reach Machu Picchu. It is one of the most incredible and challenging experiences. Here’s a breakdown of each day on the Inca Trail leading up to your final destination Machu Picchu.
This famous trek is full of beautiful mountain landscapes, valleys and cloud forests. In its 45 km route, mountains that reach up to 4,200 masl are ascended. For this, it is advisable to wear good hiking shoes, walking sticks, and most importantly, a great desire to meet new challenges along the ancient routes of the Inca empire.
From the first day you will be able to understand the magic of this road that will take you to the sacred citadel of the Incas, the sanctuaries and royal residences of the Incas are still preserved, among the most famous ruins that you can find is the archaeological complex of Llaqtapa, Runkurakay, Phuyupatamarka, Intipata and Wiñaywayna.
4:30 am wake up call and all ready for your first day on the Inca Trail! This day you will buy your breakfast in Ollantaytambo, then the bus goes until Piscakucho or KM 82 where the inca trail starts. After to strapped on your packs, grabbed your walking sticks, you will crosse over the river, and begin the trek. The first stop is at the halfway point, Canabamba.
Yur tour guides will show you these local bugs that live in the cactus, or “tuna” in the native language Quechua. When you squish them, their “blood” produces a reddish pigment that is used for coloring fabrics and makeup. This day the walk will be very leisurely and full of explanations about the flora and fauna of the valley floor. You can also take one of the most beautiful photos of the Inca Trail in the ruins of Patallaqta, a complex of beautiful Inca buildings with agricultural terraces.
Mount Veronica is visible along the trail. It’s the only snow-capped mountain among the Andes you will see. You will walk 11 kilometers in total. The view from your tent will face the valley below with Mount Veronica in the distance.
The wake up is at 5:00 am with hot coca tea in your tent. Coca tea is made from coca leaves which are used for all kinds of things in Peru. Yes, they are from the same plant used to make cocaine. No, chewing or brewing the leaves does not get you high. Coca leaves, in their natural state, are a traditional part of everyday life for Peruvians.
The ascent begins after breakfast, today it will be divided into 4 segments, each of 1h half. The first is quite steep and surrounded by trees and bushes of the Andes. This road starts even in the cold of the morning so you will not feel much tired of the walk. But do not forget to wear a good light jacket, and also walking sticks, which will be very useful. Around 8:30 a.m. You will arrive at the first resting point called Ayapata which is also a camp that is used by travelers who make the Inca trail faster. The second section will be a combination of stairways and pebbles within the fabulous mountainous forest, which is surrounded by native trees such as queuña, chachacomo, kiswar, and wild flowers such as the ñuqchu sores. This part takes a walk near a stream that descends from the mountains. At 10:00 am, we will arrive at the second stop point, called Llulluchapampa from where you can already see the passage of the dead woman (4,200 m).
Then the third part begins, which in fact will be the hardest, since it should ascend to the highest point of the trek, the path is steep and there are steps on the sides. At 12:00 pm you will reach the top, where the air is very cold, but it will be worth it since you can observe from this point how the landscape changes from one side to another, on the east side is the snowy Wayanay and at bottom the valley from where the ascent was undertaken, and to the west you can see how the Inca trail is lost in the mountains of the cloud forest. To end the day you simply have to descend two more hours to the Pacaymayu camp, where you will have lunch, and spend the night.
The wake up is at 5:00 am. Today is the longest day trek, in total 10 miles, up and down the Andean mountains. After breakfast you will undertake a new challenge of ascending to the second highest point of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. This day will be one of the longest, but also unforgettable, for the beauty of the landscapes and Inca constructions. You will pass by Inca tunnels, waterfalls, and a descent of more than 2 hours full of stairs, to the Intipata sector, where you will enjoy a beautiful sunset with an imposing sight of the Vilcanota river.
This day the difficulty of walking is moderate, as it goes into the jungles of Machu Picchu. The camp where you spend the night is Wiñayhuayna, perhaps one of the most iconic photos of the Inca Trail, because it is a work of art that the Incas did with granite in this sector. Today there will be a very fabulous dinner as it will also be an occasion to say goodbye to the porters who during the three days are accompanying you on your excursion to Machu Picchu.
A very important issue to know is that of tips, the truth is that it is a very personal detail, they will not look bad if you do not want to tip, what we recommend is that you do it from the bottom of your heart as a thank you for your visit to Peru.
Today it will be one of the most important because it will reach the imposing citadel of Machu Picchu, which you can enjoy from the viewpoint of the sun gate, and contemplate the beautiful sunrise. During the morning you can discover the most important temples and places next to the guide, in the afternoon you get off by the local bus to the town of Aguas Calientes. In this place you can have lunch in any of the many restaurants there are. In the afternoon you will return by tourist train to the town of Ollantaytambo and from there by private transport to the city of Cusco.
The awake today will be very early normally at 3:30 to 4:00 am, and you will wonder why, the answer is because the porters must go down with all the trekking equipment to the train station that is located one hour walk. And the walkers will still have to wait at the last checkpoint until it is 5:30 am, and from there take a walk to the Sun Gate, this section is made up of ascents and descents of stairs. Between 6:30 am to 7:45 am it is the time of arrival at Inti Punku.
Then you will descend to the citadel of Machu Picchu where you will visit all the most important inca sites.