The Inca Trail Altitudes begins on a zone called “Quechua”: This zone is between 2300 – 3500 m (7,500-11,500 ft) and its weather is temperate and dry with temperatures that range from 0 -21C (32 -70F). The rainy season is from December to March. The rest of the year is dry or even parched from May through September. This region is widely cultivated and essentially, there are no natural plants left.
Above Wayllabamba, there’s the zone called “Suni” or “Jalca”: This is the zone between 3500 – 4000 m (11,500 – 13,000 ft). There is still some agriculture possible at this altitude. Above that lies the “Puna” which is a zone from 4000 – 4800 m (13,000 – 15,750 ft). Its weather is very cold with frequent frost. It is mostly grassland with a type of grass called “Ichu” and the area is used for grazing camelids like Llamas and Alpacas.
Going down from the “Puna” through the “Suni” is the “Yunga Fluvial”: which are inter-Andean valleys on the east of the Andes between 1000 – 2300 m (7,500 – 3,300 ft). These valleys have a moderate, moist climate and abundant vegetation.
Cusco City: 3,360 m.a.s.l.
Machu Picchu: 2,400 m.a.s.l.
Urubamba Valley: 2,850 m.a.s.l.
Inca Trail highest point: 4,200 m.a.s.l.
Maximum altitude: 3000 M
Minimum Altitude: 2650 M
Distance traveled: 12 km
Approximate time of walk: 5 to 6 hours
HUAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYU
Maximum altitude: 4200 M
Minimum Altitude: 3000 M
Distance traveled: 13 km
Approximate time of walk: 6 – 7 hours
PACAYMAYU – WIÑAYWAYNA
Máximum Altitude: 3900 M
Minimum Altitude: 2700 M
Distance traveled: 16 km
Approximate hiking time: 7 to 8 hours.
WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHUPICCHU
Maximum altitude: 2700 M
Minimum Altitude: 2400 M
Distance: 6 km
Approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours.
If you plan to do the Inca Trail we recommend you spend at least two days prior at the city of Cusco or somewhere similar altitude to acclimatize your body and not have problems like lack of oxygen or at the time of making the hike.
Not everyone reacts the same way to altitude. It is generally recommended quietly walking the first few days to acclimate gradually. The highest altitude you reach the Inca Trail is 4,200 feet high and 2,600 lower.
Be prepared for different altitudes. You will find strong winds and very cold temperatures and rain. That is why you must bring a jacket and waterproof jacket in case of rain, also a hat, sunblock, insect repellent. At night the temperature can drop to 0 degrees and during the day you may be very hot.
|Inca Trail Hike||Alternative Inca Trail|