The Inca Trail, also known as the “Inca Trail,” is an ancient path used by the Incas in Peru to reach the citadel of Machu Picchu. Today, it is one of the most famous and popular routes among tourists who want to reach Machu Picchu on foot. This trail is considered sacred and offers visitors the opportunity to experience beautiful natural landscapes, stunning views of snow-capped mountains, and the mystery of the cloud forest while passing by various archaeological sites.
The Inca Trail typically begins at “Kilometer 82” in the Sacred Valley, where hikers cross a bridge at Kusicancha and walk through a eucalyptus forest. During the trek, you ascend to altitudes exceeding 4,600 meters above sea level and traverse ancient stone-carved stairs and three high mountain passes, one of which is called the “Dead Woman’s Pass.” Along the way, visitors experience different microclimates and can observe changes in flora and fauna, from the high Andean region to the cloud forest and, finally, the rich biodiversity of the Amazon.
The Inca Trail lasts approximately four days and culminates at the majestic city of Machu Picchu. This city was rediscovered by American professor Hiram Bingham over 100 years ago. Arriving at Machu Picchu at sunrise and witnessing the sun’s rise over this ancient wonder is an unforgettable experience. Additionally, hikers can choose to ascend Huayna Picchu for stunning views of the Historic Sanctuary (Machu Picchu), the town of Aguas Calientes, and the Urubamba Valley.
Due to high demand and site conservation, access to the Inca Trail is regulated, with a limit of 500 people per day. Of these 500, only around 200 are hikers, and the rest is reserved for guides, cooks, and porters. It is recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during the high season, which is typically from June to August. Trekking companies operating on the Inca Trail must have a specific license and offices in Peru.