The Inca trail Tips. The classic inca trail leads to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu; Cusco is one of the most popular and well-known trekking tours in Peru. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu starts at Km 82, which currently groups a series of Inca archaeological remains that are incredibly preserved. Along the route the natural landscape is stunning, with incredible views of snow covered mountains and the cloud forest accompanied by a beautiful flora and fauna.
Travelers from all over the world come to Peru, not only to see Machu Picchu, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, but also to make the Inca Trail. Permits for the Inca Trail are highly demanded, due to the limited number of entries per day. Many times these permits are difficult to obtain since availability is decreasing as the high season (June-August) approaches, which is not surprising since this route is one of the best of its kind.
The Inca Trail starts from the Sacred Valley, called “Km 82“. the passage is directed towards the left side of a forest. This trip is not suitable for people with heart as it gets to pass above 4600msnm. The road winds up, down and around the mountains on the old carved stone stairs, and then follows three steps of high Andean mountains, one of them with a disturbing name, “Passage of the Dead Woman.” Once at the top, when you can catch your breath, you will surely be amazed again by the truly spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains of the Vilcanota Mountain Range. Along the way, visitors will be able to experience a series of microclimates and observe the flora and fauna changes, typical of the high Andes and cloud forest as well as the enormous biological diversity of the Amazon.
In our 4-day Inca trail option, later, hikers will arrive at the magnificent city of Machu Picchu, discovered more than 107 years ago by an American professor named Hiram Bingham. Getting to Machu Picchu in the morning and seeing the sunrise is a worthy spectacle to be appreciated and completing the Inca Trail is one of the best sensations in the world! Once in Machu Picchu you will climb to the top of Huayna Picchu for an incomparable view of the Inca Historical Sanctuary, the neighboring town of Aguas Calientes and the Urubamba Valley.
The trip begins in the village known as Pisqacucho, at kilometer 82 of the Cusco – Quillabamba railway line and takes 3 to 4 days of intense trekking. This exciting route includes an impressive range of altitudes, climates and ecosystems ranging from the cold (punas) to the cloud forests (accompanied by flora and fauna). Travelers will cross two high passages of altitude (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.
The climate is relatively warm or warm throughout the year, with heavy rains from November to March, it has a hot and dry climate from April to October, which is a recommended time to visit.
The minimum annual temperature ranges from 8 ° to 11.2 ° C. In the months of June, July and August the temperature 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 of Vilcabamba for more than 40 km through a variety of ecosystems Ecological and well preserved by the Peruvian State.
The atmosphere is impressive in harmony between nature and Inca architecture is amazing.
The amazing mountains of Vilcabamba have wide and high peaks that reach up to 6,000 meters as well as Salkantay and Humantay among others.
The combination of majestic mountains, jungles and valleys creates a fantastic world where dawn and sunset are shrouded in mystery.
The fauna is abundant and varied. Here live many endangered species such as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos omatus), the well-known Gallito de las Rocas Andino (Rupicola peruviana), the dwarf deer (Pudu mephistopheles), was one of the reasons for the Peruvian government to decide Declare it a Conservation Unit.
The ecological park includes species such as the puma, the Andean fox, the river otter, Taruka (Huemul deer), wildcat, ferret, etc. There are birds in Machupicchu such as the Caracara of the mountain, hummingbirds, duck of torrents, parrots, wild turkey and several small birds of colorful plumages.
The long ecological areas with abundant variety of species in the forest, which vary according to the habitat. The vegetation of the forest is represented 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. Abundant vegetation decorate the famous one to the sanctuary. Experts have identified more than 90 species of orchids and various species of begonias and puya cactus. The majority of the area is covered by grasses, shrubs, and trees. The variety of conditions have created an ideal environment for the growth of various plants ranging from thick forest like forest clouds to the highest parts of the mountains.
The Inca Trail connects the city of Cuzco to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. The beginning of the trek can be from the outskirts of the city (Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days) or, for the more hurried or the less athletic, from an intermediate point (Short Inca Trail 2 days). You should know that the Inca Trail is one-way, meaning that you can not return from Machu Picchu to Cusco by the Inca Trail; The return is always done by Train and Bus until arriving at the city of Cusco.
Peru is a very large country and with different climates, for that reason it would be very difficult to define a good time to visit different places. However, we consider that the best season is from June to September.
To make the Inca Trail, the warmest season is from November to March but it is also the rainy season. That is why we think it is more pleasant to do a sunny but cold excursion than a warm but rainy excursion. For this reason, we advise you to choose between May and October. It should be noted that the Inca Trail is open every day of the year except in February, maintenance month. For more details, we advise you to visit the weather page.
Once in a lifetime experience
David acted as our guide during our 4 day Inca Trail adventure in April. David went above and beyond for everyone and really made the trip a “once in a lifetime” experience.
No question was a stupid question and we learnt so much during the hike itself and when we eventually reached Machu Picchu. When we struggled up those Incan steps David was there offering support and never made anyone feel they were lagging behind or causing an inconvenience. I can’t recommend David or the Inca Trail enough and I will definitely be back!!
Machu Picchu would not have been the same without doing the 5-day comfort tour of the Inca Trail first, and entering through the Sun Gate. David and his crew did a phenomenal job taking care of us, with patient hiking tips, amazing meals and exceptional service every step of the way. My husband and I are both in our 50’s, and we went with our 24 year old son. The altitude was definitely noticeable the first two days, and when they say the hike is challenging – they mean it! However, the physical exertion is well worth the effort for the breathtaking views! David timed our day so that we had plenty of time to comfortably hike, and still enjoy all of the scenery. He chose the best camping spots so we could relax in the evenings with a cup of coca tea and watch the sunsets! This was definitely a once-in-a-life-time experience! Put this on your bucket list!
Once in a lifetime” Experience
When i did the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in June a dream came true and i had the trip of my lifetime.
I coud not wish for a better guide than David. He is a fantastic guide and made this trip to something special.
Although the hike was very hard at some points, David was very supportive and helped every member of my group keep ging. He was very funny and we had always a good laugh together. Besides he had an awesome cultural and historical knowledge and told us a lot of interesting things about the trail itself and every ruin we visited, especially about Machu Picchu.
David made our four day hike to an amazing and unforgettable experience and i highly recommend him as a tour guide to everyone i know.
If i ever come back to Peru, i will definitely join one of Davids tours again!
Lovely greetings from Germany
Thank you David!
Thank you for an incredible outdoore experience. 4 days Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu july31- aug4 was amazing. With our guide David and his stuff we had excellent food, breathtaking views, knowledgement of local culture and history and support of all kind when needed.
I can higly recommend David and his stuff!
I was fortunate enough to have David as a guide whilst doing the inca trail trek. David was knowledgeable, kind, engaging, fun and respectful. He took time to get to know each member of our group and allowed us to go at our own pace. I would highly recommend David as a guide for future travellers. 🙂