What is the best time to do the classic Inca trail?

The best time to go hiking is from April to October, the driest season; it is cold during the night, most normal bringing cold clothes without problems.

What is different from the classic 4-day trail and the 2-day short?

The journey of the classic Inca trail is 4 days and 3 nights, starting at kilometer 88, where the bus leaves from Cusco, after a 2-hour trip. Now the 2-day and 1-night Inca Trail starts at km 104, called by archaeologists, as the beautiful Wiñaywayna, whose name means (always young) This route is 15 km long and passes through Inca ruins surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. Another difference between the classic trail and the short trail is that in addition to the distance covered and the level of difficulty the main difference is that on the short trail you do not see, do not go through the archaeological sites of Puyupatamarca, Sayacmarka and Runkurakay that are visible on the classic Inca trail 4 days. Furthermore, on the short Inca trail there are no camps, because you spend the night in a hotel in the village of MachupicchuPueblo (Aguas Calientes). So you don’t need to sleep in camping tents, ideal for those who don’t like camping.

Below is the itinerary of the archaeological sites seen during the Inca trail : 4 days and 2 days:

1 day: Cusco – Piscaycucho (Km 82) – Wayllabamba:

The trail starts at 82KM, altitude of 2,500, at the height of the ruins of Qoriwayrachina, entrance, checkpoint, delivers the entrance tickets.

After the entrance, there will be 9 km to be traveled until the village of Wayllabamba (3000 above sea level), where the groups spend the night camping, in the ruins of Qoriwayrachina

2nd day: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo:

I consider it the most tiring day, because of the climbs and descents, then we will climb to the top of the Warmiwañusca mountain, and then we will descend 700 meters to the Pacaymayu River valley (3500 meters), where the groups spend the night camping in Warmiwañusca place.

3rd day: Pacaymayo – Runcuracay – Sayacmarca – Puyupatamarka – Wiñaywayna.

On the third day, we will walk 17km to Wiñaywayna, but that day is less tiring than the previous one and on this very day 4 very important archaeological sites are known, in Wiñaywayna we will camp.

Archaeological site of Runkuraqay:

(Runkuraqay – which means pile of ruins) is at 3,500m, it is believed that the building was a tambo, a type of post for travelers who followed the trail to Machupicchu. It had dormitory areas for travelers and stable facilities for their domesticated animals.

Sayacmarka archaeological site:

This at 3580m was explored by the second Bingham expedition in 1915, and in 1941 an expedition led by Paul Fejos explored the place again and renamed it Sayaqmarka, due to its geographical location that visually dominates the entire valley of the Urubamba River. Inside the citadel there are several buildings, shaped like a mountain, including a stone aqueduct that once brought water to the site. The walls are solid and the shape of the fortress can be seen easily from a distance.

Archaeological site of Puyupatamarka:

This a3685m and his name means in Quechua (place over the clouds), and was also discovered by Bingham in 1915, but like other, it was Paul Fejos who in 1941 renamed it Puyupatamarka, for this place, almost always this with fog and clouds that form in the surrounding valleys. In this set, a platform with an almost oval shape and a series of rectangular structures aligned along one side with channels through which water still flows from the highest level stands out. For some archaeologists they believe that these structures were of baths with some ritual function.

Archaeological site of Wynaywayña:

This at 2645m was revealed by Paul Fejos in 1941 and then in 1942, the Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello renamed the place with the name of Wiñaywayna (young forever) which is also the Quechua name of a species of orchid, very common in area, region. There are several well-crafted buildings, among which one stands out at the top known as a “tower” built partially with worked stones; a succession of 11 ritual sources on the right and also the agricultural sector with a large number of artificial terraces. Other buildings on the edge of the cliff, with pirka-style walls, from there, have a wonderful view of the bottom of the mountains, and towards the northwest, you reach the (Intipata-place of the sun) which are artificial terraces for agricultural use .

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4th day: Wiñaywayna – Intipunku – Machupicchu:

Wiñayway on a path, a trail that is carved with mastery on the mountain, and on the side is a deep precipice, following the wide trail inside the very fresh forest. Arriving where there are some steps that take you to Intipunku (door of the sun) it is made of steps, it was a control gate for people, it was dedicated to the cult of Inti, the sun god, and from there you have the incredible, vision of citadel of Machupicchu, Montaña, Huayna Picchu.

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Peru of the Incas: 5 things to know before leaving

Alternative itinerary along the Inca Trail and exploring the Sacred Valley: the South American country for those who love adventure and natural wonders

There has always been talk of the wonders of the Peruvian land, be it its millennial history, the civilization of the Incas, customs or wonderful nature. It is not only an ideal destination for those who want to take a dip in history and tradition, but also those with more adventurous inspirations find in Peru a magical world to be discovered

WHY GO There is a truly unique experience to live in Peru, and it is that of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: it is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world, designed over 500 years ago, which starts in the Sacred Valley and ends in the rainforest of the Lost City of the Incas. Adventurers and hikers from all latitudes come here, as the path is part of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Read also: Short Inca trail to machupicchu 2 days

NOT TO BE MISSED The excursion of the Inca Trail is expected to be in good physical condition: the trek is in fact 43 kilometers long, generally passable in four days. It is an ancient and tortuous Inca path that leads to admire breathtaking scenery, crossing peaks of 4220 meters, rain forests, high cliffs and encountering various archaeological sites. Admission is limited to 500 people per day and it is necessary to book the excursion in advance. It starts from the Sacred Valley to arrive at the Machu Picchu site. The Sacred Valley is located about fifteen kilometers north of Cusco, and was the main center for the extraction of natural wealth of the Inca Empire: it is characterized by agricultural terraces, platforms composed of many small plots of land arranged in steps on the hills. It is here that there are many ruins such as Ollantaytambo , a city built over the original foundations of the Inca period which represents the best example of urban planning of the time; Pisaq , one of the most important Inca ruins, where there are buildings for military, religious and agricultural use and Moray , whose ruins are mostly composed of circular terraced depressions, the largest of which is 30 meters deep.

WHO TO GO With Peru Etico , a member of the Peru Responsible Tourism Association, you travel with solidarity in mind. The 4-day trek on the Inca Trail, starting from € 570, starts from Cusco-Waullabamba touching Miskay, Llactapata, Wayllabamba, Pacamayo, Winay Wayna up to Machu Picchu. You sleep in a tent and, besides walking, you travel by train and bus.

WHAT TO BRING To face the trekking on the Inca quarry trek to machupicchu 4 days you need to bring a backpack, a waterproof jacket, trekking shoes, heavy clothes, sleeping bag, torch with batteries, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, toilet paper, snacks, towel, swimsuit if you want to immerse yourself in the spa.

CURIOSITIES Everyone knows the lama, one of the symbolic animals of Peru, which generically includes all four species in which the South American camleids are distinguished. In addition to the llama, alpaca and guanaco there is the vicuña, which produces the best wool for weaving and is available in 22 natural colors. In fact, the clothing made from its wool, considered the most luxurious fabric in the world, costs several thousand dollars.

Machu Picchu excursion: everything you need to know to be perfectly prepared

Machu Picchu hike along Peru’s Inca Trail attracts millions of travelers every year. It is one of the most iconic treks on our planet.

Machu Picchu excursion

Tips for hiking on the Inca Trail

Ancient ruins, deep rainforest and perfectly carved stone continue to amaze and delight visitors from around the world.

Machu Picchu excursion

All you need to know before you go

For me, my excursion to Machu Picchu was the highlight of my trip to South America.

Yes, it is busy, and yes, it looks like a tourist trap, but there is still no way to escape the magic one feels when standing among the ancient stones.

This feeling is only enhanced by trekking along the original pilgrimage route to reach the site.

The path we now call the Inca Trail.

To help you prepare for your perfect Inca Trail experience, I’ve written my top 8 tips to help you on your Machu Picchu Hike .

1. Best time to hike to Machu Picchu

Mark and his wife after their excursion to Machu Picchu, admiring the Citadel

In the Peruvian Andes, you generally get two seasons.

  • April to October is considered the dry season.
  • November to March is considered the rainy season (albeit warmer).
  • May to September is considered the best time to go trekking due to the dry days. But I disagree.

April to October: Tourists literally flock to Machu Picchu during the dry season and this can be a bit daunting.

November – March: Yes, the rainy season is wet, but if you manage to get through it, you will have a much quieter experience hiking Machu Picchu than you would during the peak season.

The best time: My favorite time is the end of March, when the days are drying up and the place isn’t bustling with tourists.

Unless you enjoy getting wet, avoid trekking in December and January.

The Inca Trail is closed in February.

2. Book your excursion to Machu Picchu in advance

Book in advance. I can’t really stress this enough.

While Machu Picchu allows thousands of them in one day, the Inca Trail does not.

Only a limited number of tourists are allowed on the path to Machu Picchu each day.

Book 6 months in advance

To make sure you get your ticket, we recommend that you book 6 months in advance if you plan to go trekking during peak season.

Even if you plan to go during the rainy season you will need to book at least 3 months in advance.

The last time I walked the trail I saw a Dutch couple showering with tears because they hadn’t booked in advance.

Alternative excursions to Machu Picchu

If the worst gets worse, you can always take another route to Machu Picchu like the Inca Jungle Trek or the Lares trek & short Inca trail 5 days.

Only Inca Trail requires booking in advance.

3. Train before your trek

Mark and his wife with their Inca Trail support crew

The classic Machu Picchu trek lasts only 3 days. H.

But you will be hiking for almost 7 hours a day, which will take you off.

Additionally, you need to walk through Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,215m (13,828ft).

I’m a pretty fit guy, but that step made me breathe so hard that I had to stop several times.

No, you don’t have to be a superman to complete the trek, but having a decent level of fitness will increase your enjoyment even more.

I would recommend you take as many day hikes as you can in the months leading up to your trek to increase your cardio level.

4. Acclimatize properly to the height

Mark looks through a window into the ruins of Machu Picchu after his 3 day hike

Landing in Cusco I felt absolutely nothing. I took a taxi to my hostel, had a good dinner and went to sleep.

But the next morning there was another story.

Altitude sickness

I woke up with a severe headache and stayed in bed most of the day.

The nice lady who ran the hostel made me a nice tea with coconut leaves, which apparently wards off altitude sickness.

Even though it didn’t heal me, I felt a little better.

Tips for acclimating the altitude ton

If I were to go back, I would have taken a bus to the Sacred Valley, stayed in the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo and acclimatized for a few days before tackling the Short Inca trail with camping 2 days.

5. Get the right gear

The temperature actually stays quite low throughout the year, hovering around the 20 degree mark during the day and 4/5 degrees at night.

If you’re hiking in the dry season I’d still bring a lightweight, waterproof breathable jacket, and if you’re hiking in the rainy season then it’s a must.

Also, you need to avoid cotton clothing and bring hiking clothes made from a highly breathable material.

I remember constantly feeling damp in the sweltering atmosphere and was very relieved not to wear jeans or cotton shirts.

Make sure you bring good fleece, a warm jacket, and base layer for cold nights and mornings.

6. Door insect repellent

I made the big mistake of not bringing insect repellant on my trip to Machu Picchu.

The flies on the trek are big, nasty and annoying.

The bites I got on the trip became itchy and quite painful and didn’t go away for a few months!

Make sure you get a repellent brand that has a high Deet content – the ideal is over 90%.

7. Get comfortable at night

Come prepared for your trek to Machu Picchu

A good night’s sleep on the Inca Trail is a must.

Walking 7 hours a day takes all your strength and you seriously don’t want a sleepless or uncomfortable night along the way.

What to pack:

  • Light and warm sleeping bag
  • Thermarest
  • Fleece jacket or light down jacket
  • a breathable waterproof outer shell
  • This socks – for sleeping
  • Base layer in merino wool
  • Good hiking boots which are cut off early

I chose to bring my warm sleeping bag, inflatable pillow and Thermarest mat.

Having my own sleeping bag was a great feeling and the others in my group looked forward to my Thermarest mat, which held me great on hard ground.

I can’t stress how important it is to choose the right sleeping gear to make you comfortable.

Whether it’s an inflatable pillow or a foam mattress, choose one that’s small and light enough not to be a heavy burden on the course.

Warning: you may get jealous spectators.

8. Enjoy the Machu Picchu trail

Machu Picchu excursion: everything you need to know to be perfectly prepared: excursion

Mark at the observation point of Huayna Picchu

It may seem obvious, but I have seen so many people snorting and snorting and generally looking at their feet as they walked.

Remember where you are, remember to stop and take in the views, and remember to enjoy the Machu Picchu hike.

Yes, you may get tired, yes you may get wet and uncomfortable, but you will probably only have this amazing experience once, so make the most of it.

If you can’t hike Machu Pichu, check out Get Your Guide Day Trips from Cusco

Read also: What Are the Benefits of Having a Proper Tour Operator When On an Adventure Vacation?

Trip to Machu Picchu: discover 7 incredible experiences

In addition to the most well-known tourist and spiritual experiences, the trip to Machu Picchu, in Peru, reserves scenarios and possibilities still little explored by most tourists.

They are trails with stunning landscapes, challenges that turn into personal victories – all aligned with the well-being provided by the practice of physical activity outdoors and with routes that provide alternative ways to reach the lost city of the Incas.

With the objective of introducing you to this universe, we have selected in this post 7 un miss able tips that enable incredible experiences that will forever mark the trip and your life, in addition to two tips on care to be taken at the altitude of this Peruvian region. Interested? So get on that one!

1. Salkantay Trail

For trekking enthusiasts, there is no better route than the Salkantay trail, located at 6,271 meters above sea level. The crossing has stretches of intermediate to strong efforts.

And it takes five days and four nights to complete the route, considered by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine as one of the 25 best trails in the world. In other words, it is an unforgettable experience, with scenarios that are worth the effort.

Get ready and also take suitable clothes, since the temperature varies from -5Cº to 26Cº. Walking distances from 15km to 25km salkantay lodges 5 1 300×200 – Trip to Machu Picchu: discover 7 incredible experiences per day, the route has paths filled with the richness of the mountains, with all the diversity of flora and fauna in the region – not to mention the friendliness and cultural wealth of the villages along the route.

There are two ways to do this trail. Camping with all the logistical support of equipment for this, porters, guide and the like and the other is enjoying the comfort of the structure and tasting the refined gastronomy of the Mountains Lodges Peru .

2. Homes – Sacred Valley of the Incas

The tour requires acclimatization to the altitude of at least one day in Cusco.

Then, it is to hit the road once and for all on a walk that will reserve moments back to the past when visiting archaeological sites, such as Ollantaytambo, Písac and Machu Picchu.

But the greatest expectation is regarding the arrival in Lares trek 4 days, with a remarkable Andean landscape and still little explored by travelers on duty.

The feeling is to arrive at a destination that has remained intact over the centuries, with a serenity perceived both in the locals and in the scenarios that present themselves.

Observing the loom in the skillful hands of women or dealing with subsistence agriculture, as well as dealing with cattle, llamas and alpacas refers to a world that is more human and fully integrated with nature.

There are different levels of trails and you can choose the one that most attracts you, being able to walk from 2 hours to 7 hours a day, according to your physical conditioning.

Best of all, there are comfortable accommodations along the route, with incredible experiences for your trip , such as outdoor hot tubs. Check out the Homes package and if you can go in the coming months, opt for the promotional outings .

3. Classic Inca trail 4 days

The “Classic  Inca” is the classic route for those who want to reach Machu Picchu on foot. Therefore, it is also the most popular. It is advisable to book this trail at least 6 months in advance.

In this itinerary, hikers arrive at Machu Picchu through Porta do Sol – or Inti Punku, in Quechua language. Arriving at Porta do Sol very early and waiting for the dawn is to witness a spectacle. The first rays of light enter the portal, filling the sacred city with color.

Leaving Cusco by bus, hikers are taken to kilometer 82, where the journey begins on foot. The overnight stays are made in well-structured campsites, set up by guides who go ahead to set up the tents and prepare meals.

Along this route, between 6 and 8 hours of walking per day are planned between jungle and altitude landscapes.

The Classic Inca Trail is the best known and most sought after route by tourists, it is about 43km long in 4 days and 3 nights. If you’re out of breath just reading, stay tuned for the next travel tip, which brings a shorter route option.

4. Short Inca Trail

For those who do not have much time, or want a slightly lighter walk, the best option is the Inca Trail, which can be done in a single day to Machu Picchu, but an overnight stay in Águas Calientes is recommended to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu more calmly the next day.

The first part of the route is made by train, leaving from Ollantaytambo station until kilometer 104. From there, it is about 16km to Machu Picchu, passing through Wiñayhuayna and Inti Punku.

After the night in Aguas Calientes, the second day is dedicated to a guided tour of Machu Picchu.

5. Aguas Calientes

A base city for those who want to visit Machu Picchu, Águas Calientes deserves an overnight stay. Do you know why? That’s what we’re going to explain now!

The stay will assure you more tranquility on the tour, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a sunset at the ruins of the Incas, one of the most anticipated moments by travelers and will dispense with the need for all the rush and worry to catch the train back to Cusco. .

In addition, the next day, as you spend the night very close to the archaeological site, you will arrive at the citadel of Machu Picchu before tourists coming from Cusco or even the Sacred Valley and will be able to enjoy the place with less people around you. When you return to Cusco at the end of this day, your body will be more rested.

6. Sol y Luna

In the Sacred Valley, a stay or even a visit at the Sol y Luna hotel , in the Urubamba district, is for a very special reason: the social work carried out in the community, through the Sol y Luna Association .

The couple of owners created an association in 1996 with the aim of valuing history, culture and the environment, giving opportunities to local residents.

Incredible experiences in this way, today it has more than 100 employees who help with service work, offering a dignified life to members, with classes that cover art, education and culture. This is a good tip for your trip !

7. The “Young Mountain” and the “Old Mountain”

The sacred city of Machu Picchu is at the foot of two mountains: Huayna Picchu, “Young Mountain”, and Machu Picchu, “Old Mountain” or simply Mountain. Do you want to experience even more excitement on your trip to Machu Picchu? Climb one of the two!

To travel the old Inca trails towards the top of these mountains, it is necessary to buy tickets in advance, mainly for Huayna Picchu, which has two daily shifts with a maximum of 200 people for each one.

These trails are of moderate difficulty. Good physical preparation is necessary to complete them. At times, the narrow steps of steps carved into the stone make the ascent slower. The view throughout the route and from the summits is stunning and rewarding in both cases.

Important precautions for your trip to Machu Picchu

Hire a guide

The presence of a guide is not mandatory when visiting Machu Picchu, but it is essential if you want to know the stories about the construction and operation of the citadel. The guide will help you explore each corner, telling you the possible functions of each space, places of devotion and ceremonies.

On the other hand, just as a good guide saves a trip, a “suitcase” guide can ruin yours! The ideal is to hire a package with an included guide, as specialized companies know who should hire, but if you have not hired a travel package, you will find guides licensed by the Ministry of Culture at the entrance to Machu Picchu. You can hire them right there. It is common for payment to be made before starting the guided tour, which lasts, on average, two and a half hours. The price will vary according to the number of people in the group.

Avoid the effects of altitude

Altitude sickness, is a common difficulty when traveling to places far above sea level. The ideal is to try to reach Cusco before the scheduled date to go to Machu Picchu. So you give your body a little time to adapt.

Tiredness and nausea can be avoided by drinking a lot of “mate coca”, the coca tea offered almost everywhere in this region. You can also chew coca leaves to get around the malaise.

Related Post: INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU: HOW MUCH IT COSTS, WHAT TO TAKE AND MORE!

Best Way of Trekking To the Colorful Rainbow Mountain

Day 1 – Stay in Cusco

Meeting for trekking, overnight

Before trekking to Rainbow Mountain, spend at least one night in Cusco. Therefore, we have already included this night for you in the block. You will spend the night in a colonial-style hotel in the San Blas district, just above the tourist center. All rooms are comfortably furnished and have heating and of course a private bathroom. The area is full of restaurants and small boutiques. Within a few minutes you can walk to the central square.

An employee of our local agency will meet you today and give you valuable information and tips for tomorrow’s trekking. So if necessary, you still have enough time to buy the last things for the next day. Go to bed early today, as you will be picked up at the hotel very early the next morning.

Day 2 – Trekking to Rainbow Mountain

Transfer, Trekking, Overnight stay, Meals: Breakfast (F) & Lunch (M)

Hiker at Rainbow Mountain

Starting point of the trek to Rainbow Mountain

After a short night, you will be picked up at about four in the morning and drive in about two hours to the small town of Cusipata. Here you can fortify yourself with breakfast and then continue to the starting point of your hike.

The hike to the lookout point on the Rainbow Mountain takes about two hours on the way, the way back downhill is a bit faster. You walk at almost 5,000 meters altitude, a literally “breathtaking” hike, during which you certainly have to stop more often on the way and have to catch your breath. A physical challenge in which every step is difficult. But the effort is rewarded with impressive prospects and encounters. For example, on the way you can see the 6,300 meter high, always snowy Ausangate trek to Rainbow mountain, blue lakes and green valleys. Occasionally alpacas, llamas and local, mostly colorful dressed villagers come to meet you.

The hike ends at a lookout point on Rainbow Mountain, also called Vinicunca in the Inca language Quechua, which means “mountain of seven colors”. The colors are caused by various minerals such as copper or iron, which are in the earth. How intense the colors appear depends on the weather. The sunnier, the more colorful. Therefore, we offer this trekking only in the Peruvian winter (from May to October), since then the chance of sunshine is greatest.

Then head back to the starting point of the trek and have time to enjoy a simple lunch either served at a local restaurant or a packed lunch with your guide. Afterwards, head back to Cusco, where you will be dropped off at the hotel. The evening you can end comfortably in one of the many restaurants in the city.

Day 3 – onward journey

Catering: F

Travelers climbing the Rainbow Mountain with mountain panorama

Many nice souvenir photos – the trekking was worth it!

After breakfast, this module ends. For many travelers Cusco is the starting point for a visit to the world wonder Machu Picchu. If you still have enough energy, you can choose one of the different treks (short or long). But we also offer blocks where you can travel by train to Aguas Calientes, the starting point for Machu Picchu. Choose your favorite Machu Picchu device yourself.

Important information from our Peru travel specialists:

The trekking takes place at high altitude and can be canceled on site in bad weather conditions at short notice by our local partner. In case of extreme snowfall or heavy rain, the local partner decides at short notice whether the hike can take place or whether the accident risk is too great.

Trekking is not easy, and for those with good physical condition, climbing in combination with altitude is a challenge. If you are not sure whether the tour is suitable for you or not, then get in contact with us and we will talk about it personally.

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