The Inca’s Empire was connected by an immense road system. The most popular trail in Peru is the portion of the trail named as the Inca Trail. The reason is its final destination, Machu Picchu. There are different starting points, but the most used by travel agencies is the Classic Inca Trail which consists of a hike of 4 Days and 3 Nights.
The Classic Inca Trail is located in Cusco, Peru. In order to hike the Inca Trail it is necessary to get a permit because there are only 500 permits for sale per day. A tour operator is the only one who is able to get a permit. All tour operators offer packages including the permit and different services. When you book the Inca Trail, please make sure that you book your Inca Trail with a company that is going to provide you the service that you are paying for.
The Classic Inca Trail starts at Piskacucho, also known as the Kilometer 82. Piskacucho is located about 8,500 feet above sea level. From Piskacucho to your first campsite you will observe beautiful views of nevadoes, the Urubamba River, and the ruins of Huillcaraccay, Patallacta, and Pulpituyoc. Your first campsite is named Wayllabamba and is located about 10,160 feet above sea level.
On the second day of the Inca Trail, you will hike at a constant incline until you reach the first pass named Warmiwañuska or Dead Women’s Pass located about 13,770 feet above sea level. Once there, you will have a feeling of accomplishment having climbed up to the highest point of the Inca Trail. The view here is also breathtaking. Your second campsite will be located at a magical spot named Pacaymayo located about 11,800 feet above sea level. At this campsite you will enjoy of the mystical view provided by a sky full of stars. This is the most difficult day.
On the third day of the Inca will take you through a magical path to your next campsite named Wiñaywayna. The morning will take you to the ruins of Runkurakay and then to the second pass named Runkurakay located 12,330 feet above sea level. On the way to the camp you will visit the ruins of Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca. Once at the camp, you might visit the ruins named Wiñaywayna and will be able to take a hot shower.
On the fourth day, you will start your hike at about 5:00a.m. in order to arrive at dawn to the Intipunku located 8,920 feet above sea level. At the Intipunku, if it is not cloudy, you will have an incredible view of Machu Picchu. Once at Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour and then you will take a bus to Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you will take a train to Ollantaytambo in order to take a transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
Hiking the Inca Trail will be one of those experiences that you will never forget in your life. Please make sure that you acclimatize to the altitude before starting the trek as well as get in shape to really enjoy the trek. If you are not used to hike, please hire a personal porter to carry your personal belongings.
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