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The Inca Trail, the Path of the Gods

As the year heads into its home stretch, we’ve set our sights — as always — on the future, and the delicious prospect of planning future travels. And, 2023 is looking bright. To help whet your appetite, we’ve been looking at the trends that we’re seeing for next year’s travel.

The Inca Trail is undoubtedly the most scenic of all treks in the Cusco region, and you end up in one of the wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. Read on to discover just what we’re seeing — and for inspiration on just some of the destinations that dovetail particularly well with these trends.

There are many things that make a walk attractive and enriching. The first goes with the landscape beauty and the other with the history that a place keeps. The Inca Trail that leads you directly to Machu Picchu, has a flora and fauna that further decorates your adventure in the Andes.

WHERE DOES IT START

The adventure begins in the cozy Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo. Drive from Cusco approximately 2 hours, and after a consistent breakfast, begin to write your story through your experience. As soon as you start hiking, history takes over the adventure and the typical flora of the Andes makes the walk even more enchanting.

Patallaqta Archaeological Site

The interesting thing about this trek is, the entire route is full of cultural legacy, what our ancestors used to inhabit and their respective ceremonies in each of them. No one knows with such certainty what specific name each city or place where they made their offerings had, or how they used it. But we do know, and with many studies involved, that they were great architects and farmers.

The vegetation changes suddenly, as soon as you ascend to the highest point on the route, the Dead Woman pass. Trees have twisted branches and lots of moss and lichen on them, but orchids stand out among many of the plants, with their attractive flowers. Up in the pass, the only plant that survives the intense cold is ichu, a grass native to the Andes.

The view from the highest point

How is the trail

The beginning of the trail is flat and dusty in winter time, however the beauty of the landscapes is awesome; mountains and valleys full of native flora and fauna. The second day is when the real adventure really begins. You start to ascend the long and step path from 3,000 meters above sea level, and you reach 4,200 meters at the highest point, Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass.

The road is completely cobbled or paved with stones that were collected from the area and some brought from far away. It is incredible how the Andeans of that time were able to design and open a path through the mountains. The vegetation is quite dense and surely they had a hard job that was not impossible.

Hiking through the winding beautiful path

As you get closer to Machu Picchu, the trail becomes more and more intriguing. Follow the winding road through the native vegetation of the cloud forest, until you reach the final destination, Machu Picchu.

The Inca architecture is very amazing. Cities, farming terraces, places to worship their gods and many other things that they made over the years and specifically near the Andes. Wiñay Huayna and Phuyupatamarca are perhaps the most decorated sites on the Inca Trail. They have terraces that were used for crops and also some beautiful buildings to worship the water, earth and sun, etc.

Phuyupatamarca (city above the clouds)

Wiñay Huayna (forever young)

The last day you must get up early if you want to see Machu Picchu without many people in it. You start the hike at 5:30 am and it takes you approximately 1 hour to reach the Intipunku (sungate). From here you can already see Machu Picchu, although it has another angle and beauty.

Arrive Machu Picchu as the Andean ancestors did hundreds of years ago, and explore the mystery that still persists in it. Discovered in 1902 by the farmer Agustín Lizárraga, Machu Picchu still remains wrapped in its own history. Hiram Bingham began with the studies in 1912, but until now there is no real information about the importance and function that this city has had. The History is a mystery.

Arriving Machu Picchu

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