Inca Trail: Most popular hike in the World | Traveler by Unique

It walks along with the Andes mountain range, which is the home of the largest flying bird in the whole wide world; Andean Condor. The path puts up various challenges to the trekkers like crossing various biomes like cloud forest and alpine tundra. You might walk into some old Incan debris or tunnels before reaching your final destination at the Sun Gate on the mountain of Machu Picchu.

Inca Trail 1

Because of all the natural degradation of the native habitat the government of the country has placed various restrictions on the-

  • Total trekkers visiting in one group.
  • The trail to be kept shut in February for cleaning purposes.
  • Authorization for conducting treks is limited to only a few agencies.

Maximum 500 people are allowed per day among which only 200 are trekkers and rest are the guides and concierge. The only reason why the season books out quicker- as these 200 seat books out real fast; hence not all who wish to visit get a chance to perform the trek.

The trail comprises three trails that coincide at few points and are called: Mollepata, Classic and One Day. The 2 longer trails of these reach the height of 13,800ft and more above the sea level which is the main reason behind trekkers suffering from altitude sickness.

Inca Trail 2


The Trail

This trail takes almost 5 days to complete and starts at a location called Kilometer 82. Like the name signals, the point is located around 82kms away from the Peruvian city of Cuzco. It is divided into two parts; one is 88km and the other is 82km trail, with a height of 8,500ft to 9,200ft. Both these paths meet up at the ruins of the ancient Inca settlement called Patallaqta; which was alive back in the 5th century BC.

It then soars along with the river Kusichaka and meets the Mollepata trail in the grassland village, Wayllapampa at the 9,800ft height. This small village is home to around 400 indigenous people. The trek continued after this village does not permit the fellowship of hoofed companions ahead.

One of the most famous spots in the trail is Warmi Wañusqa or the Dead Women's pass. It is named so because the landscape has been observed to look like a lethargic woman figure. Located at the high 13,829ft; this pass is the peak spot of the whole trek. The path then descends 2.1kms to reach the Pakaymayu camping ground.

Inca Trail 3

Several Inca civilization ruins like tampu Runkuraqay, tampu Qunchamarka, Phuyupatamarka, etc. and various water sources like Lake Quchapata. After many mountainous rise and falls; the views of beautiful valleys, rivers, and the flora-fauna are mind-boggling. After passing through tunnels that come across, the trekkers reach the Machu Picchu comes into sight.

This is the starting point of "Camino Real de Los Inkas" or the One Day Inca Trail". A small natural pathway leads the tourist to the Wiñay Wayna, on the other hand, the main trail takes them to Intipata. From here the trail descends along the foot of the peak of Machu Picchu and from here there is a flight of stairs abruptly hiking upwards for 3kms. After which you reach the Sun Gate or as it is locally referred Inti Punku.

The further upward climb ends the summit of Machu Picchu, and look out at the world from the height of 7,292ft; with high mountainous terrain their natural beauty.