Inca Trail Description
Description of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu rout
Based on a 4 days / 3 nights tour.
The total distance of the trail is
approximately 39.6 Km. and begins at Km. 88 at a place
called Q'oriwayrachina. To begin the trail, you must
cross the Kusichaca bridge, (an important Inca bridge
which using Inca techniques, has been built with steel
cables which allow visitors to cross the Urubamba
River). Then you head over to the left bank through a
Eucalyptus grove and start the day calmly.
Almost immediately, you will come across
the archaeological complexes of Q'ente, Pulpituyoc,
Kusichaca and Patallaca. From this last spot, follow the
trail along the left side of the Kusichaca River in the
area with the same name where you will not only see the
bridge but also you will find tombs, aqueducts,
terraces. roads and a canyon. Continue until you reach
the small peasant village of Wayllabamba and Inca
aqueducts. It takes around four hours to cover the 9 Km
up to this spot. One can camp here for the first night,
but for comfort we recommend staying in Llullucha 1.6 Km
The second day is more difficult as the
hiker will have to climb up to 4,200 meters, crossing
the Warmiwañusqa pass, the first and the highest. If you
suffer from "soroche"
(altitude sickness) it is best not to stop and descend
quickly to the valley of the Pakaymayu River, where you
can camp. This spot is 7 Km away and an approximate
eight-hour walk. Inca trail
The third day is the longest but most
interesting. You will be able to visit impressive
archaeological complexes such as Runkuraqay, the second
pass, at 3,800 meters above sea level. This is a walled
complex with interior niches that perhaps was a small
place for rest, guard post and worship place. After
crossing the second pass, descend to Yanacocha (the
black lagoon), to then climb up a path with stone steps
until you reach another cluster of buildings which
attracts the attention of visitors. This spot is called
Sayaqmarka a pre Hispanic complex with narrow streets,
buildings erected on different levels; shrines, patios,
canals and a protecting outer wall. At the top of the
buttress one can see many constructions which lead one
to suppose they once were a temple and an astronomic
observatory which had a permanent supply of water and
excellent food storehouses.
Sayaqmarka is a place filled with mystery
and enchantment. The approximate distance to Runkuraqay
is 5 Km, which takes 2 hours. This complex lies at 3,600
meters above sea level. There are excellent paths and a
tunnel through this complex. We recommend you camp near
the Phuyupatamarca ruins or 3 Km further on at the Wiñay
Wayna Visitors Center, where one can buy food and drinks
or use the bathrooms. The Phuyupatamarca ruins are
better preserved than those seen before now.
It has a solid base built down to several
meters in some cases. The Wiñay Wayna ruins were given
the name possibly because of the abundance of a
beautiful type of orchid which flowers nearly year-round
in the whole area. The Peruvian government and the
Viking Fund signed an agreement in 1940 to investigate
the area, and sent the Wenner Gren expedition led by
Professor Paul Fejos. But despite the expedition, there
is no precise information about the specific function of
six groups of dwellings near Machu Picchu. They are
divided up into four well-defined sectors which are: the
agricultural sector with many terraces, the religious
sector, the fountain sector and the residential sector
where the houses are located.
On the fourth day, which starts around 8
A.M., the walker arrives at Machu Picchu at around 11
A.M. after 8 Km of hiking through the jungle. Follow the
signaled route and drink some water at the Wiñay Wayna
Visitors Center. The path is clearly marked but try to
avoid getting too close to the cliff edge.
It is forbidden to camp in Inti Punko.
Leave your equipment at the control gate and enjoy
getting to know the most important monument in this part
of ; the continent.
You have time to walk around Machu
Picchu until mid-after-noon. Check train timetables to
return to Cuzco.
If you plan to stay in the town of Machu
Picchu (Last called "Aguas Calientes"), the distance
from the station of Puente Ruinas to Machu Picchu is 2
Km. It takes around 20 minutes to walk down a narrow
path which runs parallel to the train line.
We recommend you check for trains before
walking the path.
Inca Trail Peru / Inka Trail Peru: Sunset