Inca trail to Machu Picchu is the most well-known part of path of the Inca empire’s main road network that runs between Cusco, the capital of the empire, and the sacred city of Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail belongs to the most extensive and important system of roads and transports in pre-Columbian South America. Built in the fifteenth century with the aim of uniting Cusco,the capital with the main cities of the empire distributed by Colombia, western Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and northern Argentina.
The etymological origin of the Inca Trail comes from the word «Qhapaq Ñan» which in Quechua means the Mighty Road or Great Road, a network of roads that according to different historians had between 23,000 km and 40,000 km from length, built over several of the most rugged territories and places around the world.
The road was structured between the North-South axis of the Andes mountain range; which main objetive was unite the main cities of the eastern part of the empire with the Pacific coast to finish in the city of Cusco. In spite of being built on some of the terrain and narrower places, crossing through different environmental environments – coast, mountain and jungle – the Inca constructors managed to fit in perfect harmony, the pavements of the road with the topography of the surroundings.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best known part of this Inca trail system. Considered by many to be the best trekking path in the world, thanks to the combination of different and outstanding landscapes, imposing snow-capped mountains of the Andes, mystical cloud forests, the lush vegetation of the rainforest, integrated in perfect Harmony with a large number of sites, ruins and tunnels built by the Incas.
Finishing in one of the most magical, surprising and unforgettable places a visitor can make throughout the planet, the mysterious «Lost City of the Incas«, better known as Machu Picchu.
How many days does it take to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
There are several ways to make the journey depending on the needs, time and physical conditions of travelers:
- Classic Inca trail. 42 km of road, starting at kilometer point 82 to finish it between 4 – 5 days with a medium difficulty range.
- Inca trail in two days – The traveler joins the road at kilometer 102, to walk a path of approximately 10 kilometers with low difficulty level.
- Salkantay, 60 kilometers of route starting in the valley of Mollepata. 7 days tour with a high difficulty for the most adventurous travelers.
Currently, due to conservation reasons, daily visits are limited, so it is mandatory that visitors who want to carry out the Inca Trail reserve in advance, taking into account the alternatives described and that for cleaning reasons during the month of February the road is closed.