When we talk about the Inca Trail we are referring to the most famous pedestrian route in America. With its 45 kilometers of forests, fog and flames, it presents ancient stone steps. Likewise, it gives us views that are totally majestic and, at the end of it all, an incomparable setting: Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is one of the greatest symbols of what was the impressive architecture and engineering that existed within the Inca empire. It should be noted that the origin of this is still in these times under study. However, the value and significance that it represented in its time, as well as its imposing design, has served to make this place considered one of the “seven wonders of the modern world”.
Now, there is something that is equally impressive and that, just like Machu Picchu, many want to see, experience and appreciate. It is the Inca Trail, what is it? And why is it as sought after as Machu Picchu?
The most popular way to get to Machu Picchu
In fact, it should be noted that there are many paths that can lead us to Machu Picchu. But the Inca Trail is the most unique and we can say that it is special. It is a pedestrian route that begins in Cuzco with 43 kilometers of path, which at the end has a magnificent reward. Said reward is finding the famous Puerta del Sol and its impressive views of the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Do you want to know more about this route?
Well, it is a system of roads made by the Inca empire, traveling thousands of kilometers between different geographies. These are currently located in countries such as: Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador.
It should be noted that this immense network of roads is famous for the fact that it crosses the Andes Mountains. From the mountains of Argentina to the Colombian ones and passing through the city of Cusco, which is nothing more and nothing less than the capital of the Inca empire. This route was built using stone as construction material.
Likewise, it is worth noting and admiring the longitudinal route that covered hundreds of kilometers of the South American coast. Same as, it is a neighbor of the Pacific Ocean, these being some wider roads but that did not have the consistency of stone, but rather had the softness of sand.
The Inca roads of the mountains and the coast were linked by transversal sections. These, in turn, forked into other sections of roads, which went into regions of the jungle in order to travel long stretches. It is important to note that the Incas also built bridges, tunnels, roads, walls, stairways, as well as deposits (colcas) and shelters (tambos).
Functionality of the Inca Trail
The main function that it fulfilled at the time was related to the fact of being able to communicate the city of Cusco, which was the center of Inca power, with the rest of the empire’s provinces.
As these roads were made while the expansionist era was developing, they also fulfilled a function of political, administrative, cultural and social domination towards those recently conquered towns.
Important information before visiting and traveling the Inca Trail
The Classic or traditional Inca Trail is made up of 45 kilometers of distance. Said route, as we have indicated, will take you through the mountains, until you reach the imposing Machu Picchu in the Amazon jungle of Peru.
The Inca Trail is considered a challenging expedition. Not only because of the great distance that it has, but also because of the high altitude that we can find at some point along the way, it should be noted that the highest point can be located in the “Abra Warmihuañusca” which is located 4,224 meters 13,860 feet.
Access to this route is only restricted in the month of February as it is a season in which the rains are more frequent, as well as abundant, which makes it very difficult to travel the different trails that make up the Inca Trail. The rest of the year it normally receives those who want to venture on this tour, for this you must prepare very well and book in advance, processing the necessary permits, which we do for you, once you book with us.
Recommendations and what you need to wear to do this tour
Altitude sickness is a situation that can cause headaches in the person. As well as nausea and loss of appetite, as well as a decrease in energy.
A recommendation that is made to those who wish to cross the Inca Trail is to do an acclimatization period. Either in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
You can also choose to drink plenty of coca tea (a coca leaf-based infusion) or chew it, just as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.
Remember that the tour guide who accompanies them has a lot of experience in these cases. Therefore, you will undoubtedly know how to help in case of this problem.
Prepare your backpack with what you need along with what you should wear for your tour!
One of the recommendations in relation to the equipment to take for this route of the Inca trail is to take walking sticks, this implement can save many problems.
In the same way, having a small first aid kit should be essential, sunscreen, sandals or crocs for the camp, water bottle or hydration backpack and mosquito repellent.
Clothing to use in this tour the person needs to have
Keep in mind the difficulty of the route that you are going to travel, because since they are mountainous roads and the duration of the journey is somewhat long, your luggage should not exceed 5 kilograms.
Carrying a greater amount of luggage will only hinder the journey of the most difficult sections that will arise throughout the walk, also causing back pain. However, said luggage must be contained within a backpack that is suitable for the walk, must be waterproof, spacious and fits very well on the back.
Extra information regarding the Inca Trail if you have children
The route of the Inca trail is allowed for people of all ages, so children or adolescents can indeed do the walk as long as they are accompanied by their parents.
It is preferable that minors like to do this type of long walks and camping, otherwise it will be very difficult for both them and their parents to take the tour.
Tips for doing the Inca Trail with children
Another way to get to Machu Picchu
You can arrive through Salkantay and Inca Trail. Now, you already know what the Inca Trail is, now the Salkantay option is an alternative trek to the Inca Trail. For this, you must also reach Machu Picchu through snow-capped mountains, abundant vegetation, fauna, lagoons and a high-Andean landscape.
The Salkantay Inca Trail is the most popular alternative trail to Machu Picchu. This runs through the south of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range, does not include historical ruins before reaching the final destination, generates less expenses and is also a route with little influx of people. In addition, it offers spectacular panoramic views of the mountain range. Above all, from the Salkantay pass or Salkantay pass, you decide which one you want to get to Machu Picchu.