The Inca Trail
Many people consider the Inca Trail, a four-day journey that ends in Machu Picchu, to be the highlight of their trip to Peru. This beautiful trail is often more difficult than many people imagine, but it is also more rewarding.
The Inca Trail has several starting sites, but the typical four-day journey begins at kilometre 82 of the Cusco-Aguas Calientes rail line. From here, the walk continues through stunning countryside and passes through more than 30 Inca ruins. The most difficult part of the trip is the second day, which includes a 1,200-meter elevation rise and two high passes.
The hike must be organised through a company, and bookings should be made well in advance, especially during the peak season of June to August.
Some organisations offer a shortened version of the hike that includes either the last two days or simply the final day. There are campgrounds at regular intervals along the trek, as well as one at Machu Picchu’s base.
Hikers can either carry their own backpack or have it transported for them, depending on the sort of tour. The number of hikers and porters allowed on the trek each day is closely regulated.