It is within hiking trails, most important and spectacular in the world. This road was revealed to the Western world the year 1915 by the discoverer of Machu Picchu, Hiram Bingham. While he is conducting further work to discovery the formidable City (1911). The route was traced and studied in detail Viking expedition by almost three decades later, in 1942.
Its over than 45 km make that tens of thousands of visitors adventurous, seek go this route, for get a special contact with history and nature. Touring an ancient road, where transit the Inca, at the same time that enjoy a natural scenery of incomparable beauty.
Probably nowhere in the world combined so harmoniously the natural beauty of its location (between the Andes and the Amazon forest) with the most important vestiges of a great empire.
Walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The Inca Trail in ancient times, connected Cusco with Machu Picchu. Today, it is the most famous trekking route across the continent and one of the largest in the world. At present there are trains and buses that can take you directly to the Inca City of Machu Picchu; however, the best way to live the experience of visiting Machu Picchu, it is arriving as did the Incas for centuries. By a three-day trek with steep ascents and descents, through fabulous scenery, accompanied by a mild weather, camping at night with minimal resources. Does this sound hard?, as it is; but the entry for the Puerta del Sol (Intipunku) you will realize that every step was worth it. After touring the Inca Trail, you can never forget.
In most cases excursions have as starting point the kilometer 88 of the railroad tracks (town Qoriwayrachina), in that place to 2000 meters high, it begins the path of more than 40 kilometers. In his journey reached maximum heights of 4,200 m.a.s.l, to finish the tour in the Sacred City of Machu Picchu to 2,430 m.a.s.l., the morning of the fourth day of this adventure. The main reason for the difficulty of this hike lies in the scarcity of oxygen at those altitudes, so it will cost you more if you are not properly acclimatized or coming from nearby sea level places.
The tour presents rugged geography, undulating and several slopes, with ascents, descents and steep staircases, narrow paths beside huge gullies. In areas of forest stands the variety of shades of green of the jungle forests, which are covered in clouds most of the time. The vegetation is very dense, and largely due to rains almost all year; it is rare to make the entire walk without at least a rain. Along every road you will find several archaeological sites with various well-preserved fortifications.
In the place called Qoriwayrachina (km 88) starts the Inca Trail when crossing the hanging bridge over the Urubamba River. With beautiful hills on the right side, you see a group of buildings. It is Q’ente archaeological site (Quechua ‘hummingbird’). It will amount to the valley of Cusichaca between platforms and crops of native plants; will tour the ruins of Llactapata (2,840 m.a.s.l.) and after crossing the river Cusichaca twice, head south to reach Huayllabamba (3,057 m.a.s.l.), the last village on the Inca Trail, and finally where to find food.
From this village, his only companion will be nature, will amount northwestward through the valley of Llullucha, towards the Abra Warmiwañuska (where the woman died), the highest point of the trail (4,215 m.a.s.l.). This section was used as a means of trade and smuggling by traders in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. From this point it is possible to see the archaeological site of Runkurakay (3,760 m.a.s.l.).
Once over the Pass, cold and windy, the descent will be rapid to the river valley Pacaymayo, valley with lush vegetation. During the ascent you can appreciate the magnificent Inca Engineering a perfect paving slabs of white granite, following a zigzag trail cliffs and slopes, reaching the second step Runkurakay, and finally down by a stepped slope of almost 1600m until the enclosure of Sayaqmarka (3,625 m.a.s.l.). On sunny days you can enjoy the breathtaking view of snowy Pumasillo (6,246 meters) of Chakicocha and a tunnel of 20 m. carved in rock, to the third and last abra. Here you will be rewarded with extraordinary views of the Urubamba Valley and the ruins of Phuyupatamarka (3,670 m.a.s.l.). From here you can see a bunch of snow-capped peaks of great beauty: the Palcay (5,600 m.a.s.l.), the Pumasillo, the Veronica (5,750 m.s.l.m.) and the great Salkantay (6,180 meters).
Here, the vegetation partially hides one of the best examples of Inca architecture: Phuyupatamarka, Wiñaywayna (3 h below) and its magnificent system of agricultural terraces. Drums and observation platforms from dozens of orchids growing between the rocks polished. From Wiñaywayna (2,670 m.a.s.l.) continue along a path downhill towards the river Urubamba and the archaeological site Choquesuysuy.
The main road to Machu Picchu leaves the ruins of Wiñaywayna (Forever Young), from here will undertake a gradual ascent that will become more complicated in the end, until you reach a small indoor open tropical vegetation. This is the Intipunku or Sun Gate. From there the descent will take about 30 min. and will lead you, but not before going to pass by a small tambo rock, to the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Seasons and Climate
From May to September (dry season) is the most ideal time to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, from April to October, neutral months, they tend to be generally good for the trek. In the months of November to March the summer comes, this time is usually very rainy, making it difficult to walk and access. The guidelines recommend the days before the lunar motion in this climate is generally more stable and low rainfall.
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last Update, 05-10-2015