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eirekay Cusco - A travel report by Eire
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Cusco,  Peru - flag Peru -  Cusco
3027 readers

eirekay's travel reports

Inka Trail in all its Wonder

  29 votes
Page: 1 2
The Inka Trail is more than a Gateway to Machu Picchu. It contains its own ruins along with way, along with a cloud forest of orchids. Although, at 44, I had my concerns about hiking the Inka Trail, I found it challenging but very do-able.


Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Hiking up the Inka Trail had been a dream of mine for years. The reality exceeded my expectations! After aclimatizing in Cusco for 3 days, we started our hike at Kilometer 77, caming that first night on a terrace, just above a small ruin. Day 2 we began the steeper hike up to the 3 passes, traveling through small villages were families live by raising and trading their own food. We camped at 13,000 ft, right below Dead Woman's Pass. Day 3 we start the hike through the three pass, rising and dropping, first to 14,000, then to 13,000 and making camp on the three pass at 12,000, above the ruin of Phuyupatamarca w/its many baths. We travel through more ruins (Sayacmara) and wild orchids and begonia litter the trailside. Day 4 we head off to the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. The view as you pass through the Sun Gate is unbelievable, as Machu Piccu spreads out before you, still a mile off below. We spend the afternoon exploring the ruins, especially after 3pm when most visitors leave for the train back. We enjoy our first hot shower in days in Aqua Caliente. Day 5 we wake at 5am to reach the ruins as the sun rises. Fog rolls over like a mystic covering. We hike Huayna Picchu, the mountain overlooking Machu Picchu, gaining a greater respect for the vastness of this site. Finally we catch the train back to Cusco, winding through the mountains like a snake and settle in for a good meal.

Favourite spots:
Sayca Marca, along the Inka Trail
Sayca Marca, along the Inka Trail
WiƱay Wayna, a ruin viewed on the 4th day. Cloud forests at 12,000 feet which were filled with orchids, begonias, bamboo and many species of birds. Sitting above Phuyupatamarca as the sunset. The many vistas of the Urubamba River surging below.

What's really great:
Camp at Llactapata on 1st Night
Camp at Llactapata on 1st Night
Watching the sunrise over the ruins and then the enshroudment as the fog rolled in, giving a more ancient feel to an already ancient site.

Sights:
Ollentaytambo
Ollentaytambo
During the days in Cusco, we did a wonderful tour of the Sacred Valley, taking in Pisac, Ollentaytambo and Chinchero. These included open air handicraft markets and some amazing Inka cities where whole complex were building into sheer walls of stone.

Accommodations:
DEad Woman's Pass at 14,000 feet
DEad Woman's Pass at 14,000 feet
Picagoa Hotel, only two blocks off the central Plaza. It included a marvelous buffet breakfast in a rooftop restaurant.

Restaurants:
Chez Maggie had WONDERFUL Pizza!

Published on Thursday June 30th, 2005


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Thu, Oct 15 2009 - 02:40 AM rating by moehre

We walked the trail in 1999 (gosh, that's really ten years ago). It was such an intense experience. I remember that as we went along the trail became more important then the destination. At the end we spend almost half a day on the last gate from where you can overlook Machu Picchu because we somehow hesitated to mix with masses again. Thank you for reviving those memories.

Mon, Jul 21 2008 - 05:48 PM rating by kaistorgaard

Good report and great pictures, this makes one want to go there.
Kai

Wed, Feb 14 2007 - 11:23 PM rating by travler

I thought this was an interesing review and the pictures were spectacular.

Fri, Nov 03 2006 - 12:34 AM rating by ronellevan

Great report on the inca trail. We're planning on doing it, hopefully, next year and it's nice to know that it is do-able.

Tue, Sep 12 2006 - 09:57 PM rating by mrscanada

Did you see the rock piles that were along side the road. They were built to show travelers the way. In British Columbia along the coast we have them as well. Great review.

Sun, Oct 30 2005 - 03:42 PM rating by jesusferro

I too adore the report

Sat, Oct 29 2005 - 08:36 PM rating by toribio

I LIKE A LOT VERY MUCH. PEOPLE GIVE ONLY 2, BAD. PEOPLE GIVE 5 , VERY GOOD

Sat, Oct 29 2005 - 07:25 PM rating by miguelmarchi

So beautiful report! Thank you very much dear Eire. Have you come to Uruguay?

Fri, Jul 01 2005 - 12:21 PM rating by mistybleu

Eire,

This is a lovely report, I also liked the pictures. I never actually completed the trail but the area is fantastic. Thanks for sharing. - Misty -

Thu, Jun 30 2005 - 11:41 PM rating by rangutan

Amazing adventure to Mach Picchu the hiking route. When I read this, I wish I had done it your way.

Thu, Jun 30 2005 - 05:35 PM rating by bear495

Thank you for the contributions to Globosapiens. This is a wonderful place to share travel experiences. I really hope that you will continue informing us about your trips. One suggestion, be sure to include photos in your reports, as this enhances the experience for those who have never traveled to places such as Cusco. You mention hiking up the Inca Trail, and there are so many wonderful views from locations along the way. Then, Macchu Picchu... wow! Read some of the reports by Davidx and by Mistybleu and by GloriaJames. They are wonderful templates for the style of reports that most here write.

Russ

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