"Inca Fun and Madness" Inca Trail Tip by intiqori
Inca Trail, Machu Picchu: 52 reviews and 115 photos
I hiked the classic Inca Trail in June of 2007 over 5 days, starting at the classic Km 82 and ending at the Sun Gate and the spectacular ruins of Macchu Picchu. June is not the high season, so our group of 12 didn’t encounter too many other hikers along the well-worn, popular trail. About 15 porters joined us on the trek, carrying our camping gear, food, sleeping bags, and clothing, so we only had to carry a daypack filled with hiking essentials. It was the end of the rainy season so we encountered rain only on a few evenings.
We started at Km 82, the classic start to the trail with its own check-in facility where tourists present their passports and hiking permits. A large sign at the trailhead provides a classic photo opportunity, and the first segment of the hike parallels railway tracks and the Urubamba River. The trail was once part of a spectacular “highway” that linked the cities of the Inca empire to its capital, Cusco, and was traversed by horses, people, and other livestock during the empire’s heyday hundreds of years before the Spanish conquest. Some portions of the trail are still covered by the original stone steps, at some parts so steep that the stones appear to be stacked one above the other in a vertical wall. Other parts have been repaved with new stones and some areas consist of regular dirt paths.
The trail starts at 2700 or so meters above sea level, rising to the most difficult part of the trek -- the Dead Woman’s Pass -- at 4200 meters above sea level before gradually dropping to 2400 meters above sea level at the ruins of Macchu Picchu. Because of the elevation change, the trail traverses through all manner of flora and fauna, ranging from open plains to tropical cloud forests to alpine meadows. Visiting ruins along the trail, crossing paths with native llamas and other animals, and encountering beautiful orchids, giant bamboo groves, and other flora while traversing a path crossed by millions of people over the span of centuries made the hike a memorable and worthwhile trek.
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