Friday, March 5, 2010

Inca Trail to Machu Pichhu

Machu Picchu

In 2005 my husband and I traveled to Peru to hike the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We found a company called Peru Treks & Adventure to guide us on the Inca Trail 4 day Trek. The Trek itinerary can be found on their website, along with a map of the route and other useful information. We were very pleased with our porters and guides, they were friendly, funny and informative. They aslo showed extreme respect for the landscape, environment, and their people, supporting local orphanages and making sure to tread lightly along this sacred path.

Day 1

We flew from Ottawa to Lima (stayed at Hostal El Patio, a cute little hostal downtown Lima). Then we flew from Lima to Cuzco where we stayed at Hostal Amaru (another cute place). We were in Cuzco for a couple days where explored the local ruins, went horseback riding and visited the market in Pisac. Finally a few days later in the morning after eating srambled eggs with cheese and bread, we were picked up at our hostal by a coach bus and brought to the start of the trail head at km 82.

Sign at the start of Inca Trail Trek

Start of Trek (km 82)

The first day we hiked 12km from Cusco to Wayllabamba, enjoying the historical sites of the Inca ruins along the way along with views of the Cordillera Urubamba mountain range. You can see the snow capped peak of Mt. Veronica in the distance which stands 5860m high. The first day was rather easy allowing the group to find their hiking legs and get into a groove.

The sun was beating down on us by noon.

Day 2

On the second day, which is the hardest of all the four days, we trekked another 12km from Wayllabamba to Pacamayo. The hardest part of this day is making it up and over the highest pass of the trail which is called Abra de Huarmihuanusca or Dead Woman’s Pass at 4200m.

Being an avid and in shape hiker neither of us had trouble with this part of the trek, however there were others that were equally in shape that had a more difficult time as they were feeling the affects of the altitude. We then descended to 3600m where the porters had our tents set up and dinner started where we'd dine in a large dinner tent. These dinners were always elaborate with 3-4 course meals.

In the morning the porters would knock on your tent and bring you coffee or tea... a fantastic way to wake up.

Sleepy me drinking coffee at 5am in the tent.

Hiking up to Dead Woman's Pass

Amazing view from Dead Woman's Pass (4200m)

Day 3

The third day we trekked 15km from Pacamayo to Winay Wayna. We trekked over 2 passes this day one at an elevation of 4000m (Abra de Runkuracay) and the other 3700m. From these passes the views of the Urabamba river and the snow chapped peaks is remarkable. Additionally we came across many more Inca ruin which our guide provided us with folklore stories of the ancient world.

Can see the winding urabumba in the background.

Loved this view of the jagged peaks.

Ruin down below where the group is trekking towards.

Guide (Washington) telling a dramatic historic tale. (Marc is in blue t-shirt, hat and arms crossed).

Best toilet on the trek!

Day 4

The fourth and final day is incredibly short, only 5km from Winay Wayna to Machu Picchu. We woke up super early (4:30am) to be the first group on the trail and to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. After seeing the sunrise over Machu Picchu and taking photos of the ruins, we were free to spend the day at Machu Picchu learning about the ruins and the culture of the Incas. We then walked down to the little town of Aguas Caliente, where the group met for pizza and beer.

Machu Picchu at sunrise.

The group

Enjoying Pizza and Beer at a local pizza parlor in Aguas Caliente.

There are local hot springs near by, but the day was hot enough that we preferred to cool off with beer and chat with the group about our trek.

1 comment:

  1. love the pics! i'm getting ready for a similar trek (lares trek, not inca trail :( all permits sold out for the month I can go). it was so helpful to see your pics :)