Did you know? The Inca Trail is considered the best walk in South America!!!. It is a 43 kilometer route through ancient Inca trails to Machu Picchu. The duration of the tour is 4 days and 3 nights. Tourists have the opportunity to appreciate the scenic beauty with Inca archaeological sites including the Wonder of the World. But know that entrance tickets are sold out very fast? Yes!! this is a real popular trek and one of the most amazings, that is why many tour operators recommend to book it in advance. Today you will know everithing about this incredible route and how to book your Inca Trail 2020 Trip without problems. Ready?
What is the Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail (also called “Qhapac Ñam” or “Inka Trail”) is one of the most important walking routes in South America. This is influenced by its original Inca architecture, the archaeological remains along the route and the natural mix of forest and cloud forest of the route. It is also the most spectacular way to reach the Inca Sanctuary of Machupicchu.
The Inca Trail was revealed to the world in 1915 when it was being excavated in the Inca City. Three decades later, the route was traced by the Viking expedition in 1942. Today, thousands of visitors decide to travel the 43 kilometers to the ‘Sun Gate’ in the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
However, Machu Picchu is not the only archaeological site you will see on the Inca Trail. On the way you will also appreciate the ruins of Llactapata, the archaeological site of Runkurakay, Saycamarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna.
Versions of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:
Not all people have the necessary days to travel the Inca Trail (4 days and 3 nights). That is why there are 2 versions depending on the time that is counted:
- Classic Inca Trail: 4 days and 3 nights (43 kilometers of hiking).
- Short Inca Trail: 2 days and 1 night (12 kilometers of walk).
How is the tour of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
The Inca Trail shows rugged geographies with ascents and descents on the side of precipices. The mountains reach great heights with uneven stretches. In the jungle areas you will see the variety of tones of green tropical forests.
Day 1: Cusco – Wayllabamba (13 kilometers)
The Inca Trail begins at kilometer 82 of the railway that leads to Machu Picchu (2 hours and 30 minutes by bus from the city of Cusco). Then the ascent to the valley of Cusichaca will begin. The visitor will visit the ruins of Llactapata (2,840 masl) until reaching the town of Huayllabamba (3,057 masl).
Day 2: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo (11 kilometers)
The second day is the most difficult due to the physical demand. The tourist will ascend towards the Warmiwañuska (‘Passage of the dead woman’). This is the highest point of the route (4,215 m.s.). From this point it is possible to see the archaeological site of Runkurakay (3,760 m.s.).
Day 3: Pacaymayo – Wiñay Huayna (16 kilometers)
The third day the descent will be vertiginous until the valley of the Pacaymayo river. The section goes down a stepped slope of almost 1, 600 meters to the site of Sayaqmarca (3,625 m.s.). Here the view is extraordinary.
Day 4: Wiñay Huayna – Machu Picchu (3 kilometers)
The last day hides some of the best Inca exhibitions: Phuyupatamarka, Wiñaywayna. When leaving these ruins, a gradual descent will be undertaken that will become more complicated in the end. Finally, you will arrive at the Intipunku or Sun Gate. From there you will walk for another 30 minutes to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Tickets to enter the Inca Trail 2020:
Due to the high demand for tickets, you must get entrance tickets to the Inca Trail a long time in advance (6 months). The purchase is made only through the Internet through the website of an authorized tourism agency.
In total 500 people enter the trails of the Inca Trail every day. Of them, only 200 are tourists. The rest is support staff such as cooks, porters, guides. The ticket to enter the Inca Trail includes the support staff.
Did not find availability to do the Inca Trail? The only way to enter the Wonder of the World is by train through the Sacred Valley of the Incas Trail or through the alternative route from Santa María to Machu Picchu. Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu must also be reserved in advance. But remember always there are many alternative treks tht could captive your attention:
What to bring during your Inca Trail 2020 trip to Machu Picchu:
- You must bring your original passport (international student card (ISIC) if applicable)
- Boots / walking shoes
- Waterproof jacket / rain jacket
- Jacket, hat and warm gloves
- Comfortable pants
- Sun hat
- Sunscreen cream (factor 35 recommended)
- Reusable plastic or metal water container or camel bags
- Water for the first day, on the way it is possible to buy bottles of water from local families.
- Insect repellent
- Personal medication
Recommendations on the Inca Trail 2020 to Machu Picchu:
- The Inca Trail runs through high Andean landscapes where the ‘altitude sickness’ or ‘soroche’ is manifested. It is recommended to spend 1 or 2 days in the city of Cusco to acclimatize.
- During the 4 days of the Inca Trail there is no electricity or telephone network. If the visitor needs to be ‘connected’, he must take precautions.
- The hygienic services are camps conditioned for that purpose.
- The classic Inca Trail consists of groups comprising a maximum of 16 people. If the visitor wishes to take a tour with a private group, they must request it online in advance. This service has an additional cost.
- The Inca Trail is considered a moderate difficulty. It is advised to be in an acceptable physical condition. A previous week of exercises will be enough.
- If you do not get availability for the Inca Trail, you can choose to get to Machu Picchu through the Salkantay route.