The Inca Trail

When to go

Jan-March

Ideal length

4 nights

Transfer time

1 hour flight from Patagonia

The trip to Machu Picchu can be done several different ways. One of the most popular and spectacular is the Inca Trail. You traverse the Andes, passing archaeological ruins, rivers, terraced valleys, snow-capped peaks, cloud forest, and a wide array of flora (including numerous varieties of orchid) and bird life. Not only is this a good walk, but it also allows you to get a better understanding of the Inca world en-route to Machu Picchu.

THINGS TO SEE ON THE INCA TRAIL

CLOUD FOREST

The trail winds slowly uphill through cloud forest – a narrow hanging valley which harbours the Queñua tree, a rare species only found in the Andes.  After a short visit you continue up the Cusichaca Valley passing adobe houses of settlers to finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba

Q'ENTE

The Inca ruins of Patallacta and Q’ente, where you will camp. You will have the chance to visit the surrounding archaeological remains of Q’ente and Machu Q’ente – located amidst Inca Terracing. These short walks and visits will allow you to slowly become accustomed to the altitude

PHUYUPATAMARCA

Phuyupatamarca (translated from Quechua means ‘the town at the edge of the clouds’) where you camp, from here the holy snow capped mountain of Salcantay (6,271 m) lies in front

LLULLUCHAPAMPA

The trail ascends steeply to a large pampa below the first pass, where you camp and from here you have a breath taking view of Mt. Huayanay (5778 m).  Overnight at Llulluchapampa

THE SUNGATE

After a two-hour walk through a cloud forest-covered Inca Trail, you arrive at Intipunku, the door of the sun and Machu Picchu will appear.  This was the same way the Incas used to come across this magnificent citadel

MACHU PICCHU

The reason for walking the Inca Trail is to be rewarded with the greatest Inca ruins of them all – Machu Picchu. You will spend a day and half here exploring all of its hidden corners as well as having a guided tour of the site.

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