The Inca trail really needs no introduction… but I will do one anyway…
The iconic Peruvian trek through the Andes has featured in the pages of nearly every travel magazine and is on many people’s Bucket List. If you’re reading this post it is quite likely on yours!
Yes, there are now tonnes of interesting and unique ways to get to Machu Picchu. Many people will do one of the alternative treks through the mountains, some will arrive by train and others by road.
But, if you have dreamed about seeing Machu Picchu, then in our opinion, there’s no better way to get to there than to do the ‘classic Inca Trail’. The classic trail is 4 days (though some do it in 5) and takes you through stunning Andean terrain, over dead woman’s pass and past many spectacular ruins.
The ruins of Patallaqta and Runkuraqay are just two of the many sites that will impress, even before you even reach your famous destination. We would often arrive at ruins along the trail and be the only ones there, totally on our own. To explore Incan ruins by yourself, in the mist and silence, is one of the most incredible experiences. It is something we reminisce about all the time and gives your mind the opportunity to imagine what it may have been like all those centuries ago. In fact we think these moments make the other ruins better than the busier, but very impressive, Machu Picchu.
Important note- We recommended that you book the Inca Trail at least 4 months in advance to ensure permits can be arranged. Only 200 permits are issued each day to trekkers so permits sell out very fast. The Inca Trail is closed for the month of February for maintenance/cleaning and conservation work.
The company we booked our trek through ‘Llama Path’ are a local company based in Cusco. We booked the 4 day trek and as we were on a private tour it was just the 2 of us along with our guide, porters and a chef, who prepared all our meals. The porters and chef looked after us so well and we were amazed at how quickly they climb(especially with the amount of kit they have to carry). Our guide was Roger, who did his best to give us as much history and information as he could. One of the reasons we chose Llama Path was because they are a local company and really take care of their porters. The porters were equipped with proper clothing and footwear which was very important to us (not all companies do this).
So if you’re ready get a taste of the trek we’ll kick off with day one and a few photos from the trail.
Day 1: Cusco – Ayapata
The first day of the Inca Trail covered approximately 14km of the trail. We climbed up the Cusichaca Valley, where we passed the Inca site of Llactapata and enjoyed amazing views of the snow-capped peak Veronica. We were able to see a variety of native plant life and birds throughout the day.
The campsite for night one is at Ayapata (3300m / 10829ft) which is a little further along the trail than most groups go; as we camped further up the trail the next day’s trek up to the pass would be a little easier for us and with fewer tourists at the campsite we could enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful place.