Inca Trail Photos
Guide to the Inca Trail
Although there are several different ways of getting to Machu Picchu, our favourite is still the classic four-day trek known as the Inca Trail. Following the ancient Inca road between Cusco and Machu Picchu, this trek is the highlight of many a holiday in Peru, and guaranteed to be something you remember forever.
The classic Inca Trail trek starts just past the village of Piskacucho in the Sacred Valley at a point known as Km 82. This marks the end of the road from Cusco, and is 82km along the railway between Cusco and Machu Picchu. You then cross over to the southern side of the River Urubamba and begin climbing up into the mountains. The trail then continues for four days, crossing several high mountain passes until on the morning of Day Four you arrive at the Inti Punku Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu.
Along the way, you pass some fascinating Inca ruins before you even get to Machu Picchu, especially the village of Wiñaywayna on the final day. Perched among the steep slopes of the valley, this is generally held to be one of the most atmospheric of all Peru's Inca ruins.
At the end of each day, you will arrive into camp, which will already have been assembled for you by your team of porters, so all you have to do is relax and wait for dinner, which will be prepared for you by our expert chef. Then, after a good night's sleep, you will get up, eat breakfast and then trek out of camp while the porters take all the tents down and then catch you up!
The campsites are located at as low an altitude as possible but you are going to be sleeping at over 3000m for the first two nights, and only just under on the third.
Inca Trail Porter Welfare
Another point to consider is the welfare of porters on your Inca Trail holidays. Good companies will make sure that porters are properly clothed and equipped, as well as properly fed and properly paid. However, unfortunately this isn't the case across the board so please make sure that any company you deal with treats their porters correctly. Our Inca Trail partners work with one particular village with whom they have a long-standing relationship, and as well as making sure that the porters' needs are met while working, they also are involved with social and educational programmes for the village.
On on your Inca Trail holidays, please do try and get involved with the porters. Many of them speak Quechua rather than Spanish, so it can be a little difficult to communicate, but the international language of pointing and pulling silly faces is alive and well in the Andes, and an offer to share your coca leaves needs little translation...