In Cusco the most famous attractions are the Inca trail and Machu Picchu. There are different routes that you can take to go to the impressive Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, one of them is the Classic Inca Trail, a trek that takes from 4 to 5 days walk and this is the most famous. Throughout the trek you will be part of the landscapes, you will see mountains, snowcapped mountains, cloud forests, impressive archaeological groups, wooden bridges, stone paths. Another alternative is Lares trek, it starts in Sacred Valley, and during the trek you will have the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes and also Quechua speaking villagers, Andean communities and also will be able to enjoy the hot springs. And the Salkantay trek, the largest of the three, it takes around 5 or 7 seven days. This trek end in Aguas Calientes, once there you have to take the bus to Machu Picchu, about 25 minutes, or if you prefer you can walk until there, it will takes you 2 hours walk.

Inca trail

The famous Inca Trail that connects the city of Cuzco to Machu Picchu is only a small part of the huge network of Inca roads. Throughout the year, thousands of travelers from all over the world embark on the path of the Inca Trail from Cusco to access the Jungle Mountains of Peru, and the mysteries that still contain the citadel of Machu Picchu.

Along the way there you will find several different ruins which are in relative good condition. The journey takes three to four days of hiking arrive at Machu Picchu. The trek spans an impressive altitudinal gradient, with climates and ecosystems as varied as the high Andean plateau and cloud forests, two steps must be overcome at high altitude, the largest of them, Huarmihuañusca, of 4200 meters, also known as Dead Woman’s Pass and ends with the entrance to Machu Picchu through the Inti Puncu or Puerta del Sol.

On the route the traveler will find a network of settlements of carved granite found along the way, Huiñay Huayna, Puyupatamarca, immersed in natural settings. Visitors also will find a lush nature, unique landscapes, hundreds of species of orchids and colorful birds

The climate in the area of the trail is generally mild throughout the year. The best time for trekking is during the dry season (April to October). June is the coldest month and August offers a more temperate and stable climate. From November to March, the rains are frequent and the road can be a dangerous and slippery mud. During the walk, is dry in the first two days and humid in the third and fourth. And at night the first two camps are usually cold, but the third camp is temperate.

The Peruvian government has strictly limited the number of people allowed on the Inca Trail during 2010. Now access is allowed for 500 people (200 passengers and 300 porters), in order to preserve the flora and fauna. Reservations are recommended books several months in advance.

First day

Piscacucho (Km.82)–Huayllabamba

Accommodation: Camping
Maximum altitude: 3000 M
Minimum Altitude: 2650 M
Distance Traveled: 12 km
Approximate time of walk: 5 to 6 hours

Second Day:

Huayllabamba – Pacaymayu

Accommodation: Camping
Maximum altitude: 4200 M
Minimum Altitude: 3000 M
Distance traveled: 13 km
Approximate time of walk: 6 to 7 hours

Third Day:

Pacaymayu – Wiñaywayna

Accommodation: Camping
Maximum Altitude: 3900 M
Minimum Altitude: 2700 M
Distance Traveled: 16 km
Approximate hiking time: 7 to 8 hours

Fourth Day:

Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu

Maximum altitude: 2700 M
Minimum Altitude: 2400 M
Distance: 6 km
Approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours

Recommendations

* Original passport
* Original International Student Identity Card, in case you have applied for a student discount
* A backpack with necessary change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
* Rain poncho: plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco
* Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping
* Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
* Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
* Insect repellent, sun block
* Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
* Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into the Inca Trail. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended
* Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
* Swimsuit if you want to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
* Cash in soles and/or US$ (No ATM machines in Aguas Calientes

Machu Picchu

It is the nearest major city is Cuzco, located 130 miles away. The ruins are within intangible territory that extends over an area of 32,592 hectares (80,535 acres or 325.92 km ) basin Vilcanota-Urubamba River. Historic Sanctuary protects a number of biological endangered species and several Incas establishments.

The archaeological site itself is only accessible either from the Inca roads that reach it or by train until Aguas Calientes town (3 hours from Cusco). The absence of a direct road to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu is intentional and allows controlling the flow of visitors to the area, which, given its national reserve, is particularly sensitive to the crowds.

The weather is hot and humid during the day and cool at night. The temperature ranges between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius. The area is generally rainy (about 1955 mm per year), especially between November and March. The rains, which are heavy, rapidly alternate with moments of intense sunshine.

The built-up area in Machu Picchu is 530 meters long by 200 meters wide and includes at least 172 campuses. The complex is clearly divided into two main areas: the agricultural zone, formed by sets of agricultural terraces, which lies south and the urban area, which is, of course, the one where the occupants lived and where some of the main civil and religious activities were developed. Both zones are separated by a wall, a moat and a staircase.

 

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