Why is the Inca Trail so popular?
The Inca Trail has consistently been recognized as one of the premier trails in the world by acclaimed publications like National Geographic and Lonely Planet. Given its reputation as a world-renowned hiking destination, the Inca Trail in Peru has much to live up to. A few of the many reasons why the trail has gained such popularity include:
The trail leads you directly to the Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu
The remarkable four-day journey along the Inca Trail culminates at the entrance to this awe-inspiring structure, which can be accessed through the lookout point. Inti Punku, referred to as the Sun Gate in the Quechuan language, is believed to have served as a security screening point for the ancient city. The Inca Trail remains one of the few paths that allows access to the upper entrance of the site.
There are limited permits allowed on the trail, with only 200 tourists a day
As per the regulations governing the Inca Trail, there is a maximum limit of 500 individuals, including porters, guides, and cooks who are permitted to commence the trail each day. Consequently, the trail has the potential to be fully reserved several months ahead of time. It is highly recommended to secure your trip a minimum of 6 months prior to your intended departure. For visits scheduled during the peak season of June and July, it is advisable to make reservations even earlier, ensuring ample time for preparations.
You get to see other ruins, unique to the Inca Trail
When exploring the Inca Trail, individuals will be presented with an extraordinary opportunity to discover and experience the timeless splendor of the Incan empire. In addition to the world-renowned Machu Picchu, there are other notable and significant cultural sites for visitors to consider. For instance, the Quechua-named Llactapata, originates back to the 16th century and is nicknamed the “high city.” The semicircular structure of Runkurakay and the ruins of the village of Sayacmarca are also both of cultural and historical importance. Each site has its own fascinating significance to the Inca empire. By embarking on the Inca Trail, individuals are exposed to the remarkable historical and cultural legacy of this ancient civilization, engrossing them in an unforgettable expedition that transports them through time.
It takes you to one of the New Wonders of the World
Machu Picchu is a site that has garnered international recognition for its unparalleled splendor. In 1983, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage-listed site, and in 2007, it was included as one of the seven New Wonders of the World. In 2017, Machu Picchu was the proud recipient of the World Travel Awards ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’. Its enduring popularity and cultural significance attest to its value as a testament to the rich history of the Incan civilization.
You will hike on an original paved trail that was built by the Incas.
The Inca Trail was a comprehensive system of roads constructed by the erstwhile Incas more than 500 years ago, and it was an indispensable constituent of their empire. The Classic Inca Trail Trek entails tracing a portion of this historical route, providing an opportunity for tourists to imbibe the culture and legacy of the Incas. It is noteworthy that nearly the entire arduous journey toward Machu Picchu comprises a segment of the Inca Trail, a privilege unparalleled by any other trek.
Challenge and adventure
The Classic Inca Trail Trek offers a challenging yet highly-rewarding experience that demands high levels of physical fitness and endurance. With steep ascents and descents, high-altitude hiking, and camping in remote locations, this trail presents a test of determination, resilience, and perseverance. Indeed, for many hikers, completing this trek symbolizes a significant achievement and a rare opportunity to embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the awe-inspiring landscape of the Inca Empire. As such, we encourage all trekkers to plan and prepare thoroughly, ensuring adequate training, equipment, and safety measures to maximize the opportunity and minimize any potential risks.
Variety of landscapes, climates, and ecosystems.
Journeying through an array of diverse landscapes, the topography of the Inca Trail is awe-inspiring and unequivocally one of its defining facets. Enthusiasts embarking on this trek will witness towering and majestic Andean mountain ranges, cloud forests, and puna highlands while traversing through lofty passes. Moreover, the expansive diversity of wildlife, avian species, and botanical specimens which thrive in these distinct climatic conditions, further enriches the experience. The fusion of these distinct terrains also affords stunning, panoramic vistas, with the Andes seamlessly tapering down into the rich Amazonian rainforest.