Km 82 is the beginning point of the second hiking option. After registering, we arrive at a bridge crossing the Vilcanota River (Urubamba River).
The town does organize into three levels or areas. This road quickly leads us to the Wayllabamba settlement.
Scattered houses comprise this town. Wayllabamba, or “place of the Walla Walla,” takes its name from a bird in the area. Many platforms harmoniously blend with the topography of the land. Together they form the Cusichaca River. This place was responsible for controlling the roads that led to the Salkantay and Machu Picchu mountains.
A forest of Unca trees (Myrciantes orophyla) with curious contortions gives the road an atmosphere of dimness and solitude.
After ascending for two or three hours, we arrive at the Llullucha Pampa. If we camp around here, we will experience a fascinating sky full of stars. The road toward the Abra of Warmiwañusca begins here.
This Abra presents a landscape dominated by the strong grass and vegetation of the high steppe or Puna. It is the territory of deer and the Andean bears.
There are designated spaces to install camps.
The enclosures of Runkuracay are in the middle of the ascent route toward the Abra of the same name. A unique main square gives entrance to a corridor that leads toward a central court. Around this, two rustic squares reconnect with two significant and small areas in semicircular form. A third part is a balcony looking toward the valley.
Sayacmarca is a small Inca town that means “place to stop and contemplate in the Quechua language.” From here, the Salkantay chain can indicate seen. In some parts of our hike, the remains of Inca platforms will appear.
The architecture of Sayacmarca shows buildings constructed in different formations, including many rectangular buildings, courts, streets, ceremonial areas, and platforms, which all form a kind of functional labyrinth.
Continuing our hike, we find a building and several platforms denominated by the Concha Marca Inca site. It clearly shows the originality and Inka design, which harmonizes with nature (Pachamama).
From afar, the mountains contemplate us as jealous guardians. This tunnel took thousands of hours of work to conquer a great abyss to make walking easier.
Dr. Paul Fejos discovered Phuyupatamarca. It has the silhouette of a truncated pyramid. The platforms have the double purpose of incorporating the architecture with the hill and creating agricultural areas.
Our Kondor Path teams are native guides among the best and most experienced guides anywhere.
A cook accompanies every group on the Inca Trail and alternative trails in Cusco. Almost invariably, hikers comment on the delicious Andean menu. Meals are a mix of local specialties and international favorites. We promote organic and healthy food.
We will supply you with boiled water for the remainder of the trek. We recommend that hikers bring their refillable bottles to limit plastic waste on the hike; it is available in the morning to fill your bottles and every meal.
Campsites are subject to change depending upon the crowds and the season. Our most popular campsite choices are Wayllabamba, Pacaymayo, Wiñaywayna, and Phuyupatamarca.
Porters will carry all of your other supplies, including camping equipment, clothes, sleeping bags, etc. We ask all travelers to limit their personal belongings to 7 km/15 lbs.
Guides carry a first aid kit for fundamental medical problems (hiker’s diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.). They receive Red Cross First Aid and emergency training every year. Guides and porters have pre-established evacuation strategies in place should this need occur.
We recommend drinking plenty of water and the traditional Coca tea and chewing coca leaves. Doing this will help immensely with the effects of the altitude.
How can I be sure that the porters are well-cared for?
Kondor Path Tours ensures proper staffing with weight limits for individual porters and fair wages for each. We have a long and successful relationship with their community.
The Peru government has created the Laws of the Porter:
Watch and see how our porters work!
Talk to your porters and learn about their traditions and families. Share coca leaves with them; even encourage them to sing some of their local songs.