The Inca Trail is a hiking trail in Peru that continues for 4 days and 3 nights and leads travellers all the way to Machu Picchu exclusively through the Sun Gate. The trail is only 26 miles long but comprises of steep, narrow Andean mountain paths at high altitude.
The hike offers a spectacular sight at the end when you reach the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu at sunrise.
Most part of the trail is the original Inca constructed trail which is considered a true testament to Incan engineering. It passes through several Andean landscapes like lush cloud forest and alpine tundra.
The real reason behind the popularity of this trail is the experience that trekkers gain when passing through the Sun Gate for that first magical sighting of Machu Picchu which only Inca Trail hikers can access at sunrise.
The Inca Trail is limited to 500 people per day throughout the year. Therefore, it is necessary for everyone to obtain permits in advance for the hike. You can secure this permit from an approved tour provider.
The best time for the trail is between May to September when the weather is relatively dry. The months between June and August are busy and should be avoided. The trail is closed in the month of February for maintenance.
It is also recommended that you should plan your trip to coincide with the full moon as the region experiences best weather during the full moon and offers surreal experience to visitors.
The hike begins at 8,530 feet elevation and climbs to about 14,000 feet reaching the highest point known as the Dead Woman’s pass. People suffer problems of altitude sickness at such height.
The trail includes hiking days as long as 10 hours. Therefore, you need to train yourself and your body before going to the hike.
You should practice hiking before starting the final hike and then you can increase your intensity by carrying backpacks and add longer hikes to your weekly schedule. Training your body to handle strenuous activity will prepare you for the best hiking experience.
The classic Inca Trail trek is the best hike to experience the ancient civilization in the Andes Mountains. Adventure seekers and hikers love such challenge of a multi-day hike through sacred mountains at high altitude.