The Classic inca trail to Machu Picchu: When the inka civilisation started their expansion to the north part of QosQo ( Cusco ) in 1300, they started exploring the Sacred Valley of the inkas and Machu Picchu área and the tropical jungle to farm the most important Bush: the coca leafs. The top of Machu Picchu mountain was a great place to build a village for farming and for safety and they set up what is Machu Picchu today, the inkas biggest and most importand sacred cities. But then they had to study on how to arrive from Cusco in the most spiritual way which is how they built this now famous trail that started from Cusco main square, passed though Chincheros , Yucay, Ollantaytambo and then from Km 82 took the left valley and rise to Dead Womens Pass, Sayacmarca, Puhuyu Patamarka then to Wiñaywayna and finally to teh Sungate and Machu Picchu. No one knows how long it would take the inkas to arrive from Cusco to Machupicchu, especially since they would have to visit each site. But why did they have to go on this specific trail – it was the Best way to get connected with the sacred mountain and the nature which they called Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and beacuse they also were interested in astronomical studies from the top of these amazing mountains.
Classic Inka Trail to Machu Picchu today:
Today we start from Km 82 along the railway from Cusco train station to Machu Picchu. It requires a 2 hour drive by van from Cusco to get to this point. Km 82 is at 2700 meters and the highest point of the Inka Trail is called Dead Women’s Pass located at 4215 meters. This peak received her name from the profile of the mountain which looks like a lying women. This trail is amazing in that it passes through different microlimates, starting at almost teh bottom of the valley, then rising to the top of the mountains and through the cloud forest and finally to the tropical forest area of Machu Picchu. The total distance of this trek is 45 kilometers / 26 miles. Along the way there are many inka sites to visit. Some people even believe these smaller sites are nicer than Machu Picchu itself.
Today people can do this trek in either 4 days or 5 days
Both trails follow the same path, but the 5 day trek does it at a slower pace, walking shorter distances a day and spending more time at the inka sites. We definitely recommend this longer trek for familys with childrens, or some of our older friends who want to take their time or photographers.
The 4 day inca trail trekking
is the most popular since you will have the perfect distance a day and still plenty of time to enjoy the inka sites and the views of the amazing inka trail expedition to Machu Picchu
Characteristics of the inka trail: This is the only man made trail that is still intact for the whole 45000 kilometers. This is the only trail that takes you directly to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. It was built by inkas around 1420 to make a special pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.
Day 1 KM 82 - AYAPATA
Begins at km 82 (2700m) ends in Ayapata (3300m)
The total walking distance is 14km
The temperatura will be hot and will cool down as you continue. You will see ranges from about 22 degress to 15. Because it will be so warm, during the rainy season ponchos are better for this area – otherwise you will be uncomfortably warm.
The trail is slightly dusty and Sandy and and does have a lot of mosquitos – please be prepared. Since it is dusty, it might be slippery when going down so we suggest trekking poles for everyone to use. Today’s hike is not that difficult, however some people might find it exhausting since it will be so warm and sunny hopefully and since its your first day trekking in the Andes. Most of the day you will trek gradually uphill until the last 1.5 hours which will be a bit steeper uphill but nothing imposible. You will have amazing views of the snow capped peaks. And you will quickly learn that you never go hungry on an Explore Adventures trek. The food will be amazing. The only negative part of today will be having to share the trail wtih the local people who use animals such as horses, donkeys and mules as transportation, sometimes leaving some lovely scented gifts for you as you walk. This will only be until Huayllabamba village which is at km 12 of the first day after that animals are no longer permited. You will hear us tell you to constantly stay mountainside, which means to get away from the edge and let others pass.
Day 2 AYAPATA - CHAQUICOCHA
this day is considered the dificult and longest day, but one that you will remember forever. Today will offer amazing views as you survive the two biggest mountains of the trek. The first pass is WARMIWANUSCA PASS 4215m and the second one is at 4000 meters. The total elevation gained today is 1315 meters and the total decent is 1000 meters. Your campsite will be at 3600 meters. The total walking distance is 16km and the inka trail is paved with the stones the entire time with endless steps up and down. The trail is about 1.5 meters wide and the stones are uneven in most of the sections. Some have small slippery rocks that requires lots of concentration, especially for going downhill. We definitely suggest to take your trekking poles.
Day 3 CHAQUICOCHA - WINAYWAYNA
Today is considered the easiest and most beautful day. It offers great views of Machu Picchu mountain from the lunch place, Salkantay mountain and Pumasillo ( puma clow ). The first 2 hours of the trail will be uphill and again the trail is paved with stones and with amazing water channels . Today you have to be prepared for at least 3000 stone steps downhill. It is only a half day of trekking and then you will have time to enjoy the ruins of Winaywayna which are really special.
Day 4th WINAYHUAYNA - MACHU PICCHU
this morning make sure you have packed a headlight becouse you will need waking up at 3.30 am and we moving around in the dark after breakfast you will line up at the final check point until 5.30 am which means that you will be at the line about 1 hour.this is due to the government rules since daylight begings around 5,50 am , you will begin the last section to SUN GATE and them MACHU PICCHU.this is narrow section of the trail, so the porters dont use this section they went to the train station with all explore adventures equipment for will take the train for return cusco. that area is easy for walking to sun gate that is 1.30 min them is 40 min walking to Machu Picchu where your explore the citadel with you guide.once done ,you will take train to aguas calientes tow for head back to cusco by train.
- 1. Because of the strict regulations of the Machupicchu Park, once you have made your reservation, you cannot cancel the space that you have reserved. You also may not alter the name or date of the reservation. If you are unable to come on the date you have reserved, we cannot reimburse you.
- 2. The $200 deposit is non-refundable. We cannot reimburse the entrance fee to the Inca Trail because the permits are non-refundable and EXPLORE ADVENTURES PERU purchases the tickets from Machupicchu Park when you reserve your spot.
- 3. If you cancel between 30 and 10 days before your trek, you must pay 50% of the total cost.
- 4. If you cancel between 10 and 3 days before your trek, you must pay 80% of the total cost.
- 5. If you cancel one or two days before your trek, you must pay 100% of the total cost.
- 6. In the exceptional case that you decide to head back once you have started the trail, you must pay extra expenses such as food and transportation. You may join the group in Machupicchu for the walking tour and use all of the services onward.