Inca Trail Tours

Of all the popular treks in South America, the three to five day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best known. The adventure from Cuzco begins with a four-hour overcrowded train ride along the Urubamba River, known by the Incas as the Sacred Valley. At km 88 the train pauses briefly, allowing hikers to disembark. It is no longer possible to walk the Inca Trail independently; you must pre-arrange the trip either at home or in Cuzco.

The first 12km meander through easy terrain of dusty scrub rushes, low-lying hills and a few hut dwellings. Then comes the Warmiwanusqa Pass, beyond which lies a wealth of Inca ruins. Struggling to the top of this 4000 meter pass is no small challenge. The hiker soon identifies with its name, which translates as “Dead Woman’s Pass.”

From there Inca history begins to unfold. The small guard post of Runkuraqay, often shrouded in mist, is the first reward of the Inca Trail. Further along the more elaborately constructed ruins of Sayajmarka (“dominant town”) perch on top of a narrow cliff. The fine stonework for which the Incas are famous is apparent.

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