Machu Picchu Inca Trail: What to Expect
The Machu Picchu Inca Trail is an adventure of a lifetime. Not only is the trail limited to 500 visitors per day (including porters, guides and other trekking staff, which limits, even more, the number of visitors that can access it), but it is also a demanding journey.
In this post, we’re going to talk about the highlights of each day, during the Machu Picchu Inca Trail 4-day Tour.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail: Day 1
Day 1: Cusco – Wayllabamba
On the first day, we’ll hike about 5 miles. The first section of the trail runs along the Sacred Valley river on a flat terrain. The second hiking section of the day is an uphill section until we reach Miskay. From this point, we’ll be able to see the Llactapata Inca City Ruins. Finally, we’ll head to our first camping site at Wayllabamba.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail: Day 2
Day 2: Wayllabamba – Picaymayo
The second day is the most demanding hike of the entire Machu Picchu Inca Trail with a total hiking distance of 7.4 miles. We’ll climb uphill until we get to “Dead Woman’s Pass” (Abra Warmihuañusca) at 13,800 feet above sea level. During this section, we’ll be able to see llamas and alpacas roaming the landscape.
After catching our breath and enjoying the scenery, we continue our journey downhill. We’ll go past a cloud forest, where flora and fauna flourish until we reach the Pacaymayo Valley Campsite at 11,800 feet above sea level.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail: Day 3
Day 3: Picaymayo – Wiñaywayna
The total hiking distance for this day is about 10 miles long. Our third hiking day isn’t as demanding as the second, but we still need to hike uphill to the Runkurakay Pass. Runkurakay is also an archeological Inca Site and its a sign that we’re arriving at the end of the Machu Picchu Inca Trail. We’ll spend as much time as we need visiting this site.
After our visit, we’ll continue downhill towards the second archeological site of the day: the Sayacmarca Site. These Inca Ruins are located at 11,900 feet above sea level. Finally, we’ll continue our hike through an Inca Tunnel before arriving at the Phuyupatamarca “City on the Clouds” Archeological Site.
The last day section of this days hike will take us downhill through Inca Stone Steps to the emblematic Wiñaywayna Inca Site. This site is known for being an agricultural center dedicated to growing crops for the Inca people of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail: Day 4
Day 4: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu
The last day of the Machu Picchu Inca Trail will take us to our destination through the iconic Sun Gate (Inti Punku) to see the sunrise. This is a truly memorable moment and we’ll be able to amaze with the first glimpse of sun iluminating the Machu Picchu City.
As you can see, the Machu Picchu Inca Trail is a journey full of Inca sites, changing landscapes, flora and fauna, and personal efforts to conquer the Inca path. Don’t forget to book this Tour in advance because the 500 permits available each day are booked really quickly, especially for the months of June and July.
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