Why Trek the Inca Trail?
Why trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
The Inca Trail is undeniably one of the world's classic treks. Starting in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the trail crosses high passes of the Andes, taking in ancient Inca ruins, before entering the cloud forest and arriving at magnificent Machu Picchu.
The route now known as the Inca Trail was discovered by the American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1915. He had "found" Machu Picchu during an earlier trip to Peru in 1911 and was returning to uncover the ruins. There are thousands of Inca trails in the Peruvian Andes, but there is only one Inca Trail!
The trail itself is just 42kms long and the walk usually takes 4 days. The highest point at Warmiwanusca (Dead Woman's Pass) is 4200m above sea level, and the trek involves some steep ascents and descents crossing the deep Andean valleys. Despite being well-established on the traveller's map, Machu Picchu does not disappoint, and there is nothing like your first sight of this amazing ancient city perched on the ridge above the dramatic gorge of the Urubamba River.
So why go?
Declared a natural and cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the lost city of Machu Picchu is at the top of many travel bucket lists. We can think of no better way to get there than on foot, and it is hugely rewarding to arrive at the Sun Gate, called Inti Punku by the Incas, for your first glimpse of Machu Picchu having walked there under your own steam. The Inca Trail is a beautiful walk - very few short treks in the world offer such a variety of scenery. Snowy peaks, deep river gorges, Inca ruins, humming-birds, cloudforest and jungle are all part of the experience. Feedback from our clients tackling the trail is overwhelming positive.
INCA TRAIL PERMITS ARE LIMITED - BOOK EARLY!
Such is the popularity of the Inca Trail the Peruvian government limits the number of trekkers to 500 each day. Of these permits, approximately 200 are allocated to tourists and 300 to porters, cooks and guides. Permits go on sale in January each year and are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. For this reason we advise booking as early as possible to guarantee your place on your chosen departure. To be certain you will get a permit, we strongly recommend booking a year in advance. For example in 2015 most permits for Inca Trail treks through the summer months had sold out by early February.