There are many ways travellers can visit Machu Picchu, but only the Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu takes you along the route ancient Inca royalty used to approach the city. When you’re on the Inca Trail, you are following in the footsteps of their sacred pilgrimage, all the while being inundated with incredible views of the surrounding Andes Mountains.
The Inca Trail trek provides the chance to explore the ancient Inca capital city of Cusco, then see several other archaeological sites that were left behind by the Inca people. Reaching the climax of the trip, you will take in your first views of Machu Picchu while enjoying an incredible sunset over the surrounding landscape, before exploring the mysterious city on a guided tour and on your own. This incredible Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu truly has it all, and is a must-do if you are thinking of visiting Peru!
Inca Trail Hike
The Inca Trail Hike through the beautiful Andes mountains takes you through incredibly diverse cloud forests and up mountain passes to stunning overlooks that will take your breath away. Along the trail, you will witness the unique plant and animal life that calls this region home, as well as the rich culture of the region Amazing landscapes, wonderful wildlife, and the fascinating history of the Incan people all come together to make this a tour that you won’t want to miss.
The journey along the Inca Trail was a sacred and life-changing journey for the Incas, and you might find it to be the same for you. The classic trek itself will take 4 days and 3 nights to complete; however, the entire tour will cover a period of 7 days, allowing you to spend some extra time in Cusco to acclimatize and soak up as much culture as possible. It is from here that you will set out with your porters and guides on the journey of a lifetime.
After taking the time to prepare for your adventure, you will begin making through dense forests and the beautifully scenic terrain of the Andes Mountains to traverse the breathtaking heights of Dead Woman’s Pass, before finally arriving at the world-famous site of Machu Picchu. After exploring the mountaintop citadel of the Inca people, you will wrap up your time on the Inca Trail Trek and head back to Cusco. This spectacular blend of culture, adventure, and history is an experience unlike anything else in the world.
Machu Picchu Citadel
While the site is shrouded in mystery, the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is now believed to have been constructed some time around 1450 CE as an estate for the emperor Pachacuti and other royal elites. It is estimated that around 750 people lived at Machu Picchu, most of them serving in religious or staff positions to accommodate the influx of royal visitors that were likely to have visited for extended periods of time.
Although the site was constructed in a painstaking fashion by the Inca people in order to combat the seismic activity in the region, it was unable to survive the arrival of Europeans and was abandoned quickly after the beginning of the Spanish conquest. Known only to locals in the following centuries, Machu Picchu was ‘discovered’ by American historian Hiram Bingham III in 1911.
Today, much of the site has been excavated and restored, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to look through a window into the past to discover the sacred temples, terrace farms, and intricate architecture of a civilization that for so long was lost in time.
Do you Need a Tour Guide for the Inca Trail?
Many people often ask the question: do you need a tour guide for the Inca Trail, and the answer is simple. Since 2001, all trekkers looking to make their way along the Inca Trail need to hire a guide to do so. In order to maintain the integrity of the route, use of the Inca Trail must only be undertaken by licensed or organized parties (such as tour operators, travel agencies, or licensed guides), meaning that independent trekkers can not utilize the Inca Trail without a guide.
Can a Beginner do the Inca Trail?
Looking to do some long distance hiking in Peru and wondering: can a beginner do the Inca Trail? While the Inca Trail is certainly a strenuous trekking adventure, there is little in the way of technical terrain, meaning even beginners can complete the world-famous route. If you are planning on trekking the inca Trail, be sure to train as much as possible beforehand in order to have the best experience and highest chance of completing the journey!
Learn More About Trekking to Machu Picchu
Planning a trek to Machu Picchu is a fun experience that will no doubt fill you with plenty of inspiration and excitement, but it can also leave you with a number of important questions that will need to be answered prior to visiting the ancient historical site. Whether you are looking for answers to some of the most frequently asked Machu Picchu questions, trying to figure out what gear to pack for your Machu Picchu trek, or are simply not sure which season is the best to visit Machu Picchu, you can rest assured knowing that countless others have made the trek before you and have worked out all of the kinks so that you can focus on getting out and exploring the famous world wonder. For even more information, read our concise guide to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.