Inca Trail Useful Information and facts

IMPORTANT: Due to the great demand that this trek has, the Peruvian government regulations in its eagerness to protect the Inca road network has LIMITED the access to the Inca trail from 4 days to 500 people per day being approximate 180 tourists, and the rest of personal of Help (guides, cooks, and porters).

In that sense, If you want to do the excursion from October to January, we recommend making your reservation more than three months in advance and with 6 to more months of anticipation for March to September because of the quotas for this season. The tickets run out very fast.

We recommend reserving your reservation to the Classic Inca Trail or 2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu well in advance to avoid last-minute disappointments.

Below we provide information on the Inca trail.

One of the seven wonders of the world

Part of the 23,000 kilometers (approximately 14,000 miles) of roads built by the Incas in South America. It is the most famous road for hiking in Peru and possibly the most spectacular American continent. Each year, more than 25,000 walkers worldwide walk along the 43 kilometers of this cobbled road built by the Incas that leads to the fantastic citadel of Machupicchu located deep in the jungle of Cusco. The trip begins in the village of Pisqacucho, at kilometer 82 of the Cusco – Quillabamba railway line, and takes 3 to 4 days of intense trekking. The route includes an impressive range of altitudes, climates, and ecosystems ranging from the first to the cloud forest. Travelers will cross two high passes of height (the highest being in Warmiwañuska at 4,200 m.s.n.m.) to culminate the walk with a magical entrance to Machupicchu through the Inti Punku or “Puerta del Sol.”

premium short inca trail machupicchu

Inca Trail to Machupicchu

One of the main attractions along the route is the ancient network of settlements built on granite rock by the Incas, such as Wiñay Wayna and Phuyupatamarca, immersed in an overwhelming natural scenery. Hundreds of orchids, multicolored birds, and dreamlike landscapes provide the ideal backdrop for a route that the walker should walk at least once.

Description of the route Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Based on the traditional four days. The total distance of the road is approximately 39.6 km and starts at Km. 82 at the place called Pisqacucho. To start the road, you should cross a bridge, go left to the left through a eucalyptus garden and start the day calmly.

Piskacucho - KM 82

Piskacucho – KM 82

Almost immediately, you will encounter the archaeological complexes of Q’ente, Pulpituyoc, Kusichaca, and Patallaqta. From this last point, continue the road along the left bank of the river Kusichaca in the area with the same name where you see the bridge and find tombs, aqueducts, terraces, pahs, and a canyon. You will continue until you reach the small village of Wayllabamba and the Inca aqueducts. It takes about 4 hours to get the 9 km from this point. One will camp there the first night.

The second day is more difficult because the walker will have to climb to 4,200 meters, crossing Warmiwañusqa, the first and the highest. If you suffer from “soroche” (altitude sickness), it is best not to stop or descend quickly into the Valle of the Pakaymayu River, where you can camp. This place is 7 km and is approximately 8 hours walk.

The third day is the longest but the most interesting. You will be ready to visit the most impressive resorts like Runkurakay, the second pass at 3,800 meters. It is complex with niches that were perhaps tiny places to rest, guard posts, and places for worship; after crossing the second pass, you descend to Yanacocha (La Laguna Negra). Then climb a path with stone steps to reach another group of buildings that attract visitors’ attention. This point is called Sayaqmarka, a pre-Hispanic complex with narrow streets, buildings erected on different levels; Sanctuaries, courtyards, canals, and an outer protective wall. At the top of the buttresses, one can observe many constructions, which lead one to suppose that once it was a temple and an astronomical observatory, which had a permanent supply of water and excellent food stores.

Sayaqmarka is a place full of mystery and charm; the approximate distance to Runkuraqay is 5 Km, which takes 2 hours. This complex extends to 3,600 meters above sea level. There are an excellent trail and a tunnel through this complex. We recommend camping near the ruins of Phuyupatamarca or 3 km further in the visitor center of Wiñay Wayna, where one can buy food and drinks or use hygienic services. The ruins of Phuyupatamarca are better preserved than we have seen before.

Phuyupatamarca

Phuyupatamarca

On the fourth day, which starts around 5:00 A.M., the walker arrives in Machupicchu around 7:00 A.M. after 8 km of trekking through the jungle. Follow the route marked and drink some water in the Visitors Center of Wiñay Wayna. The trail is marked, but avoid getting too close to the cliff’s edge.

It does forbid to camp in “Inti punku.” You will leave your equipment at the control gate and enjoy the most important monument in this part of the continent. You will have time to visit Machupicchu until noon. Check the train schedule to return to Cusco.

If you plan to stay in the town of Machupicchu (also called “Aguas Calientes”), The distance from the station to the ruins bridge Machupicchu is 2 Km. To Puente, Ruinas takes about 20 minutes down a narrow path parallel to the Railway.

Climate and Environment

The climate is relatively mild throughout the year, with heavy rains from November to March and hot and dry from April to October, a recommended time to visit.

Machu Picchu Rain

Machu Picchu Rain

The minimum annual temperature ranges from 8 ° to 11.2 ° C. In June, July, and August, the weather can often drop below freezing.

The annual maximum temperature varies from 20.4 ° to 26.6 °. The terrain is quite irregular, with several ravines and streams fed by the glaciers that eventually empty into the Urubamba River, which crosses the area forming a deep valley that crosses the granite base Vilcabamba for more than 40 km through a variety of ecosystems.

Inca Trail Landscapes

  • The surroundings are impressive, and the balance achieved between nature and Inca architecture is outstanding.
  • Vilcabamba mountains have comprehensive and high peaks that reach up to 6,000 meters and Salkantay and Humantay.
  • The mixture of mountains, jungles, and valleys creates a fantasy world where the sunrise and the sunset are shrouded in mystery.

Salkantay Mountain

Fauna

Fauna is abundant and varied. The existence of endangered species such as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the Andean Rock-Cock (Rupicola peruviana), and the dwarf deer (Pudu Mephistopheles) was one of the reasons for the Peruvian government’s decision to declare it A Conservation Unit.

The park includes the puma, the Andean fox, the river otter, Taruka (Huemul deer), wildcat, ferret, etc. There are birds in Machupicchu like the Caracara of the mountain, hummingbirds, ducks of the torrents, parrots, wild turkey, and several small birds of colorful plumages.

There are also reptiles such as the paler and snake Micrurus coral (lethal for its venom), lizards, toads, and numerous wildlife of the jungle and Andes that inhabit the sanctuary. This abundant wildlife makes the sanctuary of Machupicchu ideal for tourists and researchers wishing to watch or study animals.

Inca Trail Flora

The extended natural areas fill with various forest species, which vary according to habitat. The forest vegetation does represent by trees such as cedar, romerillo or intimpa, laurel, etc. There are also species such as Ocotea, Pedocarpus, Guarea, Weinmania, Clusia, Cedropia, Cinchena, Eritrina or Pisonay, and oak, among others. The decorative plants have made the sanctuary famous. Experts have identified more than 90 orchids and various begonias species, and Puya Cactus Grasses, shrubs, and trees cover most areas. The variety of conditions has created an ideal environment for multiple plants ranging from the thick jungle-like forest clouds to the highest parts of the mountains.

Inca Trail Flora

Inca Trail Flora

Inca Trail Archeology

Apart from all that has happened mentioned, there is also the cultural heritage of the Incas. The Inca Trail, which was well built, crosses the dense forests and deep canyons. There are 18 archaeological complexes along the way, which can do seen in all their splendor.

These are dwellings, irrigation canals, agricultural terraces, walls, sanctuaries, and irrefutable proof of critical human settlements.

Facilities for the tourist- Inca Trail to Machupicchu

Accommodation in Machupicchu- Hotels in Machu Picchu

There are many accommodation alternatives, from $ 20 a night to over $ 2000 a night.

Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Town

It does locate at a distance of 800 m. To the east of the city of Machu Picchu, there are underground sulfur hot springs that flow from the rock at different temperatures. The specially built pools are suitable for use in hot mineral baths. The average water temperature ranges from 38 ° C to 46 ° C. There are also changing rooms, baths, and small cafes.

Train to Machu Picchu

To get to kilometer 82, one can go from Cusco or Ollantaytambo by train. Another alternative to get to kilometer 82 is by car transport to Km. 82.

Road Transportation

The only way to return from Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes to Cusco is by train.

Tourist Transportation to Machupicchu A fleet of minibusses connects the station of Puente Ruinas via a winding and narrow road to the highest hill of the Complex of Machu Picchu. The driver takes about 20 minutes to get there and another 30 minutes to return.

The service goes on every day. However, the frequency depends on the number of tourists.

There is a path between the Puente Ruinas and the Machu Picchu complex. The walker takes about 1 hour.

Signage

There are signs located in different parts of the way using a series of international words and symbolTheseese symbols give the necessary information about specific areas, their climate distances, and serve in most places.

These signs do classify into information, prevention and restrictions.

GUIDELINES FOR THE VISIT OF TOURISTS

Each person who enters the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu will use the authorized routes of the trek and must pay attention to the following rules provided by the government authorities.

Information requested by authorities and official entities

  • Pay the entrance ticket to the Inca Trail or another road.
  • Do not litter.
  • Do not make fires.
  • Use public facilities without causing deterioration or destruction.
  • It is strictly forbidden to extract, depredate or buy any variety of flora in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
  • Only camp in designated locations. It does forbid the campsite within archaeological constructions or restricted areas.
  • Behave in an orderly manner so as not to disturb other hikers

Any violation of these rules will result in the police or park ranger intervening to enforce the respective sanction. Respect the rules and avoid unpleasant incidents.

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