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The Inca Trail in seven steps

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43 kilometers of forest and fog. Old stone steps and majestic views. In the end, an incomparable reward: Machu Picchu

There are many roads leading to Machu Picchu, but none like the Inca Trail.


The most popular among travelers and the most famous across America. From Cusco, 43 kilometers of track between forests and dense fog, ancient stone steps and majestic views. At the end is the reward: the famous Puerta del Sol and its stunning views of the ruins of Machu Picchu.


The Inca Trail is a rite of passage for travelers and a unique adventure, but you have to plan well before leaving.


1. Choose the best time

It is important to choose the best. The groups are organized throughout the year (except in February, when spilled and the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance), but the best months (colder and drier) are June, July and August. The problem: they are also the most popular. To avoid the crowds you better go before or after the rainy season (March to May) or September to November.


2. Get fit

There is much talk of travelers physical preparation necessary for this route, but there is actually a preparation requires more than similar in scope and technical difficulty. Naturally, it should be in good shape, and prepare weeks before air travel and other travel long walks. Of course, the boots have to be used and tested Already that make blisters. At a reasonable pace and a small backpack, many problems are avoided.


3. Make a prior reservation - INCA TRAIL - SALKANTAY TREK

As in many other hiking trails with great demand around the world, we must make advance booking of the road with much forethought: six months in advance if we cross it on dates outside of peak season, and six months to a if we do year in May to early September. The two-day route also usually equal to or months complete and booking in advance is more than necessary. Only authorized operators to obtain permits, but you can check the general availability of places in Salkantay Trek.


It is better to agree on a five-day trip that will allow us to walk calmly and enjoy the scenery, plus find places camp is less crowded. It is also important to hire a travel insurance covering outdoor activities.


4. Study the rules and prices

This tour can not be done for free: it is mandatory to book through a licensed operator since only newspaper access to Route 500 people (including guides and porters) and operators who receive the permits in order of request authorized . You need to give the passport number and teach in the checkpoints along the way.

Permits can not be transferred: no name changes are allowed.


5. Choose the most convenient operator

There are many agencies that offer the Inca Trail, but must study well the different options, not just price, but also including the quality of equipment and guides and porters. Paying more is not always a guarantee of higher quality and is the best way to contact several agencies to check the quality of their services. It is good to ask for a list of what is included in the price, inform us about the group size and type of transportation included. Make sure that the circuit includes at least shop, food, cook, day ticket to the ruins and the return journey by train.

porters team always included, though each carries their personal baggage, including a sleeping bag, unless a separate carrier (about 35 euros for 10 kilos) is paid. There are also more exclusive services for private trips. Cusco authorities and the Ministry of Labour of Peru are very strict working conditions and many operators carriers have been sanctioned for not complying with minimum social requirements. Among operators to ensure: Tierras Vivas, Salkantay Trek Machu, Inca Trail Machu


6. Make a backpack

It is advisable to carry canes, which can save a lot of problems, a small first aid kit, sunscreen, sandals or crocs field, feather jacket, raincoat, hat and gloves, sun hat, travel towel, boots domesticated mountain, thick socks, thermal underwear, fleece, water bottle or hydration pack, mosquito repellent, long pants and sunglasses.


7. Select the route - INCA TRAIL - SALCANTAY TREK

The Inca Trail is not the only route to Machu Picchu. There are more versions of both the Inca Trail as other roads. These are the most popular:


a. Two-day Inca Trail

A guided tour with a stop at the highlights of the road. It consists of a sharp increase three to four hours from kilometer 104 to Wiñaywayna and then two hours or less flat terrain to Machu Picchu. He spends the night in Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu the next day.


b. Lares Valley the Excurssion

A cultural visit, which is best done with a guide. Not really a path itself, but a tour of some of the different routes that lead to Ollantaytambo by the spectacular valley of Lares. The route starts in a hot spring and passes through the agricultural Andean towns, little known Inca archaeological sites, lagoons and lush river gorges. Ends Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes by train. Although the cultural component is the main thing of this tour, the mountain scenery is breathtaking.


c. Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

It is a long and colorful, though exhausting route, access to Machu Picchu for a little more difficult than the Inca Trail route. It can be done in five days and take you from the jungle to alpine terrain. You can do it alone or with a guide. The highest point is a step to more than 4,700 meters above sea level near the magnificent peak covered by glaciers of Salkantay (6271 meters). From there it descends into the vertiginous subtropical valleys.


d. Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu

It is designed for providers and guides route from Cusco to Machu Picchu via Santa Teresa and offers options for two to five days to make the journey by bicycle, on foot or raft. It starts with a long drive four to five hours from Cuzco to Abra Malaga, the highest pass (4350 meters) between Ollantaytambo and the Amazon basin. At one point on the side of the mountain bike Amazon is chosen to make the long trip to Santa Maria. It begins on a paved road becomes a track 20 kilometers and a decrease amazing and picturesque glaciers in the tropical zone, 71 kilometers in total.



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Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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