5 facts about the Inca Trail, one of the best trekking routes in America

Way of the Incas

The Qhapac Ñan was the ancient road network that interconnected the Peruvian Andes. Also known as the Inca Trail, this key trail route to Machu Picchu retains this importance to this day, after becoming a tourist attraction for trekking lovers: adventure and nature go hand in hand in this fabulous journey, suitable for adults and children alike.

If you are interested in taking this route, discover 5 facts about the Inca Trail, so that your trip through the lands of Cusco is profitable and unique.

planning ahead

The first essential action to take on the Inca Trail is to separate your entrance tickets in advance. The high demand for these routes is such that you have to book your tickets at least five to six months in advance, approximately.

As additional information, admission fees range from 2400 to 2550 soles for adults and 2330 to 2400 soles for children (3 to 17 years old). You can make an advance payment of 500 soles and the rest before taking the trip. These prices do not include accommodation. Children under 3 years old enter free of charge when accompanied by an adult

Choose between two options

The Inca Trail has two routes. The classic, 4 days and 3 nights, covers 43 kilometers of trekking, where you will hike from Cusco - Wayllabamba (13 kilometers), Wayllabamba - Pacaymayo (11 kilometers), Pacaymayo - Wiñay Huayna (16 kilometers) and Wiñay Huayna – Machu Picchu (3 kilometers).

The short trail, 2 days and 1 night, goes from kilometer 104 of the Ollantaytambo railway to Aguas Calientes (11 kilometers), to visit the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu the next day. The first of the routes is geared towards people with trekking experience. The second, a little softer, can be bearable even if you have no experience in this type of walk.

When to go and what to bring

The best time to hike the Inca Trail is from May to September, as this is the dry season in Cusco. From November to March it is summer in Cusco, so it rains constantly and it is not advisable to make the trip, as the slippery floor makes walking difficult. During the month of February, maintenance works are carried out.

What items are essential for your visit? Carry a lightweight pocket - to carry a sleeping bag -, bottled water, a raincoat, sunglasses, toiletries and first aid. To make the walk more relaxed, a cane is very useful.

recognized worldwide

The Inca Trail is considered by experts to be the best hiking route in South America. Its landscapes, access and organization make it one of the 5 best trekking routes in the world. That's right: the Inca Trail shares this important distinction with the well-known Himalayan trails (India), GR20 (France), Dogón Country (Mali) and Everest Base Camp (Nepal).

stunning archeology

The Inca Trail is not just about fresh air, sport and nature. It is also knowledge. The objective is the Gate of the Sun of Machu Picchu. However, as you head towards the trail's final point, you will discover other archaeological sites and sanctuaries. Enclosures such as Runkurakay, Saycamarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna and the ruins of Llactapata will amaze you to such an extent that you will feel exactly what the Incas perceived centuries ago.


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