Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail travel guide

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Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail

There is a tremendous feeling of awe on first witnessing this incredible sight. The ancient citadel of
Machu Picchu, 42 km from Ollantaytambo by rail, straddles the saddle of a high mountain with
steep terraced slopes falling away to the fast-flowing Río Urubamba snaking its hairpin course far
below in the valley floor. Towering overhead is Huayna Picchu, and green jungle peaks provide the
backdrop for the whole majestic scene.

If you take the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, following in the footsteps of its creators, you are
making a true pilgrimage and the sweat and struggle is all worth it when you set your eyes on this
mystical site at sunrise from the Inca sun gate above the ruins. Thatway you seeMachuPicchu in its
proper context. Afterwards you can recover inAguas Calientes and soothe those aching limbs in the
hot springs. The introduction of new regulations for walking the Inca Trail in 2001 opened up
additional options for trekking to Machu Picchu, some shorter, somelonger than the old route. So if
you fancy widening the perspective of how the Incas walked to their sacred city, ask your chosen
tour operator to show you the alternatives.

Visitor information:

Tickets for Machu Picchu must be purchased in advance from the
Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INC)iAv Pachacútec cuadra 1, Aguas Calientes, 0500-2200,
or in Cuzco (see page 138), The agency officially responsible for the
site is Unidad Gestión de Machu Picchu IC Garcilaso 223, Cuzco, T084-242103. It is an
excellent source of information on Machu Picchu and this is the place to which any
complaints or observations should be directed. iperú iin the INC office, as above, of 4,
T084-211104,, open 0900-1300, 1400-2000 daily, can
provide general information.

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  • Machu Picchu

    41 votes

    in Peru

    Machu Picchu (English: or , Spanish: [ˈmatʃu ˈpi(k)tʃu]; Quechua: Machu Pikchu [ˈmatʃʊ ˈpɪktʃʊ])...

Latest Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail reviews (2)

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  • CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHUPICCHU 4D/3N Inca Trail Description: Overview Visitors come from all parts of the world to Peru, not only to see Machu Picchu but to walk the Inca Trail, the most famous hike in South America. They come to see the ruins and the scenery which makes this trail so famous. The total distance of the Inca trail is approximately 43 kilometres, departing from the place known as Kilometre 88. To begin the trip, one crosses the narrow bridge at Kusicancha, and afterwards heads towards the left hand side of a forest of Eucalyptus trees. Camping on this night is either in Wayllabamba or Llullucha. The second day is more difficult, as you have to climb to 4200 metres at the Pass of Warmiwañusqa (Dead Woman’s pass). The third day is the longest, but also the most interesting for many people as you can visit impressive ruins like Runkuracay and Sayaqmarca. Camping is either in Phuyupatamarca or Wiñayhuayna. On the final day many groups leave early to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu from the Inti Punku (sun gate). The remainder of the day is spent exploring this fabulous ancient city. First day – Kilometre 82 to Wayllabamba Campsite This day begins early as passengers are collected from their hotels between 6.30am and 7am. We travel for about 3 hours in the bus with a one hour stop in Urubamba to buy provisions, continuing onto Kilometre 88, which is past the village of Ollantaytambo. Here the passengers must register at the check point in order to begin their hike. From there, there are just 42 kilometres of mountains, Andean valleys, rivers and tropical forests that separate you from Machu Picchu. The first section, heading to the campsite of Miskay, where we can lunch, takes just one hour and is mostly flat with light climbs. After lunch, we cross a canyon. Once out of the canyon, we can see the ruins of the small city of Llactapata. The trail descends to enter the valley of the Kusichaca river, and from there the trail has a light climb to the campsite of Wayllabamba, where we arrive after 2 or 3 hours after the lunch break. The campsite is at 3,000 metres and one can feel the cold at night. After dinner, and before going to bed, it’s great to observe the stars. On nights without stars, it is possible to see the Milky Way. Second day - Wayllabamba Campsite to Pacaymayo Campsite The Porters wake up the passengers at 6am so that they can pack their things and have breakfast. The second day is considered by many the most difficult because one must climb 1200 metres to the highest point on the trail, the Warmiwañusca Pass (or Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4200 metres. This climb will take about four or five hours. When you arrive at the pass, you may feel like a rest. It can get quite cold at such an altitude so it is necessary to have lots of warm clothes. If you have contracted a porter to carry your things, don’t forget to have a thick jacket and long pants on hand for the pass. Once we have conquered the pass, we continue with a descent to the campsite. The descent takes about two hours, however, some groups like to stop and prepare lunch in the middle of the descent, in order to rest a little. Other groups like to have lunch in the campsite for the night - at Pacaymayo. In this form, you can rest for the whole afternoon. There are cold showers available at this campsite. Advice: It is possible to contract the services of porters to carry your backpacks for the whole journey. Alternatively, you might like to contract them to carry them to the Pass or to the campsite of Pacaymayo. This is recommended if you don’t feel prepared for the altitude and the long hike, it is more important to enjoy the walk than suffer under your backpack. You can coordinate this with your guide and pay your porter directly. Third Day: Pacaymayo Campsite to Wiñaywayna campsite The third day is considered the most interesting, but it is also the longest. We begin with an ascent of an hour and a half to the Pass of Runkurakay, at an altitude of 3950 metres. On the trail we visit an ancient control post of the Incas, as well as a lagoon where it is possible to occasionally see deer drinking. Once we have climbed the pass, the rest of the trail is mostly downhill. While on the trail we visit four more ruins, the first being Sayacmarca which in the Inca period was a control point for the trails that headed toward Machu Picchu. After visiting these ruins, we will continue to Phuyupatamarca where groups often lunch. From here, the descent is inclined and tiring because it is mostly stairs. Finally, we arrive at the ruins of Intipata, a complex of terraces and andenes constructed in the middle of the slope of a heavily vegetated mountain. The trail winds finally to the campsite of Wiñaywayna where one can camp, buy a well deserved beer, or take a cold shower. You should also visit the ruins of Wiñaywayna which are similar in type to those of Intipata, but more impressive. Fourth day Wiñaywayna campsite to Machu Picchu This day begins earlier than normal, at 5.30am, as the groups begin their walk towards Machu Picchu. It is important to carry a torch because it is dark at this time and the path is narrow. We arrive after an hour and a half of hiking at Inti Punku – or the sun gate, where it is it possible to see for the first time the majestic Inca city of Machu Picchu. From here it is only a half hour more to arrive at the ruins where you will have plenty of time to explore. It is recommended, if you have the energy, to climb the peak of Huayna Picchu from where you can have a spectacular view of the lost city. Our Services include: Pick up all participants from different hotels, then transfer by bus to 82Km. (start of the trail). Entrance Fee, Inca Trail and Machupicchu city. Large tents, each for 2 persons occupancy. Mattresses, one per person. Kitchen tent. Dining tent. Tables and chairs. Toilet tent (This is used in case the campsite does not have toilets). English speaking professional tour guide (over 8 members, 2 guides). Expert cook. Porters (only to carry tents, food supplies and kitchen equipment) Train Ticket (Backpacker train from Aguas Calientes village to Cusco). Full meals during the trek. Daily snack bag. Daily afternoon tea service. Daily wake up call tea, and warm water for washing. Daily morning boiled and cold water to refill water bottles. Emergency oxygen bottle and first aid kit. Transfer train station / hotel
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • There is no better way to arrive at Machu Picchu: After days of hiking, at 6 AM in the morning, when the mist rises and the ruins appear out of the fog. Great!
    last decade report abuse



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