Trekking Adventure – The Great Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Trekking is a great outdoor sport for many people. In most people it arouses a heightened appreciation of nature. A Trekking adventure is the perfect weekend or even day time activity to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life. It has proven over time to be a great way for families and friends to participate in activities together.
There is one thing most trekkers will admit. Its that after years on the trail is they were never really ready on their first trek. It seems that most people on their first treks are ill-equipped. They were also improperly attired to tackle trails and mountains. Trekking is one of those outdoor hobbies that does not require an exquisite set of skills. But it does require good balance, endurance, and gait. Not only those things, but there are things, pointers that can make your trekking experience a lot more enjoyable. That’s whether it be your first trek or hike or not.
Basic Requirements for Trekking or Hiking
First of all is location. You do have to know where you are going. However, if you are going for an easy stroll with other experienced trekkers, you won’t have to worry too much about this. Your leaders will probably know the area well and will have sufficient skills to get you there and back. On the other hand, if you are going on a trek without a guide for the first time in a foreign area that is not advised. If that’s the case you will need orienteering skills and a good map. Obviously, it would be better if you tried places you know better first. That’s far better rather than tackle hard and unknown areas early on.
You should build your hiking skills, with easier manageable treks you are familiar with at first. Guides can help you tackle harder and less hospitable trails. When you are confident in your skill level, then you can try moving on to the harder trails.
Some Basic Trekking Gear you’ll need
- Clothing – depending on conditions of the trek. But as a rule wear light, weather resistant, rugged wear.
- Hiking Boots – hiking boots with aggressive treads patterns to make hiking on difficult surfaces a lot easier.
- Weather Gear – Depending on the weather, you may need to take along extra gear. I.E. Raincoat or poncho, sunblock, sunglasses, etc.
- Backpack or Daypack Necessities – Water bottles, food
- First Aid Kits – they should include ointment against allergic rashes.
You may need other things, depending on your situation, but these are basic necessities for your backpack.
The Ancient City Ruins of Machu Picchu
One of the most spectacular attractions in the Peru is the ancient city ruins of Machu Picchu. The ruins are Perched high above the Urubamba River, on Andes mountain range. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an incredible legacy left by the great Incan Empire. This lost city is believed to have been built around 1430 AD but was abandoned after about 100 years. The city complex is made up of dry-stone walls, which is a recognizable mark of Inca architecture. There are three main buildings in the city. They include the Room of the Three Windows, the Intihuatana and the Temple of the Sun.
Millions of people come to Peru to see these amazing ruins. They are considered one of the important ancient cultural sites in the world. One of the best ways to truly experience not only the greatness of Machu Picchu but also the beauty of the Andes landscape is to hike the famous Inca Trail. Manchu Picchu is the final destination of the Inca Trail. That quickly made the trek become one of the most famous in the world. The Inca Trail is not only the hiking path leading up to the Manchu Picchu. However, it certainly boasts the most dramatic scenery. It is considered the most sacred path based on Incan traditions.
Historians believe the Incan road is longer than the actual trail today. Nevertheless, the modern Inca Trail still requires you to do a grueling multiple-day trek. It goes through cloud forests, jungles, and mountain paths all the way from the Sacred Valley floor. On the trail you will walk across the 125 square mile national park called Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. Along the way, you will encounter other Inca ruins, wildlife, and beautiful thick vegetation. The final portion of the trail is called Sun Gate. This is where you will get your very first views of the lost city.
The Great Inca Trail is Not for Everyone
The Inca Trail might sound seductively exciting, but it is not for everyone. It is a challenging trip. To tackle this challenging trek, you need to be physically fit. You will continuously walk for days and sleep in uncomfortable tents at night. If you are a Solo traveler you are not allowed to follow the Inca Trail on your own. That is per government regulations. You are expected to do the hike guided by a certified tour agent.
There are more than 100 agencies that are government approved to offer Inca Trail packages. Some of the reputable agencies include Llama Path, Tierras Vivas and Cusi Travel. There is a limit to the number of people that can hike the trail. The government only allows 500 people to hike Inca Trail per day. Therefore it is crucial you book a tour way in advance. That way you can secure a hiking spot on the day you are intend to go.
There are two ways to walk to the Inca Trail. The first is the traditional but grueling 4-day path filled with challenging mountain passes. The second path is the easier 2-day trek, which only covers the latter part of the trail. If you are not a seasoned trekker, the second option is more ideal. Tour companies give trekkers the option to pay for porters to carry their bags during the trek. But you have the choice to do it the hard way. It’s a lot harder and you’ll burn more calories in the process.
6 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Hiking The Inca Trail
by Lindsey Hikes and Travels
Published on Youtube on May 23, 2017
Thinking about hiking the Inca Trail? Here are the 6 things I wish I had known before I hiked it back in 2009. Happy hiking!
Trekking Machu Picchu and other Trek Routes
Undoubtedly the Inca Trail is Peru’s most popular trekking route. It is recommended only for the physical fit. The trail runs for more than 40km and reaches 4,200 meters above sea level at its highest point which is the Warmiwañuska or Dead Woman’s Pass. The stone-paved trail was discovered in 1960. The Incas built more than 23,000 km of roads across South America. It crosses a remarkable range of natural landscapes and eco-systems. It crosses thick tropical jungles to the bare, unwelcoming rocks of the Andean mountains. It’s probably the most beautiful walk in all of South America.
The Inca Trail takes three to four days of tough hiking. You can start it at Chillca (Kilometre 76 of the Cusco-Machu Picchu railway) or, more frequently, at Qorihuayrachina, Kilometre 88 of the railway. The first day is relatively easy. It includes along the route the Inca ruins of Cusichaca, Q’ente, Pulpituyoc. Also Llaqtapata, a site used for crop production that has remained well preserved. The second day is the hardest of all, mainly because the ascent becomes increasingly steep. The trail follows original Inca stonework that climbs uphill. It ends just short of the actual Warmiwañuska or Dead Woman’s pass, at that high altitude of 4,200 meters.
After camping in the Pacaymayo valley the crossing of the pass opens up day three. From here on, it’s downhill. The Trail descends into the valley. It heads to the restored site of Runkuraqay, a small Inca watch post. Then to Sayaqmarka, perched atop a sheer cliff. From there one can see the start of the massive Amazon rainforest, stretching all the way to Brazil. The final day is another easy day. It is mostly descending and passing through lush jungles and cloud forests before reaching Machu Picchu. That’s Peru’s most important tourist site. You’re going through the Inti Punku or Gateway of the Sun getting there.
The Royal or Sacred Path
This is an alternative route to the Inca Trail. Just before arriving to Aguas Calientes, at km. 104 of the train rails, this path goes the direction to Phuyupatamarca. You’re climbing up terraces and stone stairs. After about 2 hours of hiking you arrive at the recently discovered and beautiful Wiñay Wayna ruins.
It’s located on a steep mountain slope and over looking the Urubamba river. Wiñay Wayna is a nice example of Inca terrace architecture. The name means “forever young” in Quechua. But experts still disagree upon the meaning. Some consider it refers to the colorful orchids that populate the surroundings. While others say the name alludes to the Inca rites and ceremonies celebrated in the complex.
The path then converges into the Inca Trail, arriving at Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate, Inti Punko. This route takes about 6 hours. It can be done as an alternative to the Inca Trail if the latter is deemed to harsh. You will need a permit for this route.
Also part of the Inca Trail system, this route was recently discovered by archaeologists. The trail starts at km. 107 of the railway track (3km upstream from Aguas Calientes), near the hydroelectric exit pipe.
After crossing the suspended bridge, the trail goes to the Choquesuisui gully. Then ascends until it meets the Inca Trail near Wiñay Wayna. The name, Purification Trail, alludes to the descending pools formed by the stream that runs alongside the path.
This is a dangerous and demanding 3-hour hike round trip. It involves a great reward, however: a spectacular view of the Machu Picchu landscape. Putucusi (“happy mountain” in Quechua) is a round-shaped mountain. It reaches 2,600 meters at its peak, and is located across the valley from the Inca citadel.
This is a demanding hike and it is only possible during the dry season, March to November. The hike involves steep ladder climbs and slippery scrambling. Some ladders, stacked into the wall, even go up for 20 meters in almost a 90 degree inclination. This hike is recommended only for people with a good level of physical fitness.
Our Full Epic 4 Day Inca Trail Journey to Machu Picchu
by unowho travel channel
Published on Youtube on Nov 22, 2018
Here is our full four day Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu video, with unseen footage and a photo montage at the end with some of our favourite pics! Hope you enjoy…