A virtual tour and travel guide of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail in Peru. Travel resources for the traveler.
Inca Trail Tours
Inca Trail tours are an unparalleled way to see the ruins of the lost city. If your idea of the perfect Machu Picchu vacation includes arriving on foot, just as archaeologists and historians did when the site was discovered in 1911, then you will want to look into tours that take you to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail. These tours offer a variety of opportunities to create your own trek to the Lost City of the Incas and to immerse yourself in a gorgeous landscape at the same time. Whether you want to embark on the full hike between Cusco and Machu Picchu, including camping in between, or spend just a day making the final approach, there are tour companies and experience guides that can bring your Machu Picchu dream trip to life.
First, a little history on the Inca Trail: Located in the Andes Mountain range, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu passes through incredible alpine tundra and cloud forest on its way from Cusco to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, located nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. The trail is open every month of the year except February, though it is subject to closures as a result of weather and flooding. An important part of Inca Trail tours is taking the time to acclimate to the altitude. By spending a few days in Cusco before embarking on the hike, you will be able to avoid altitude sickness and adjust to your new surroundings.
One last stop on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the town of Aguas
Calientes. This is the closest town to the site,
located just under four miles away. It offers hotels
and restaurants to travelers who want to stay overnight
in the area. If you're looking for a luxurious hotel
for the end of your hiking trip, the Machu
Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is located in the shadow
of the lost city and, in addition to beautiful rooms,
offers the incredible opportunity to see the sun rise
over one of the most breathtaking archaeological sites
in the world. This hotel also offers guides for a
more formal tour of the site.
There are several Inca Trail tours to choose among. Depending on your level of fitness and commitment to hiking you will be able to narrow down your options. One of the best brings visitors to a point on the trail about six hours away from Machu Picchu to begin their trek. This way, you get all the drama of the approach to the sacred site without the days and days of hiking. This type of tour often includes an overnight stay in a hotel and allows you to return to Machu Picchu early in the morning for the sunrise experience. For all tours it is essential to have the right equipment, such as comfortable hiking boots, bottled water, and sunscreen.
Adventure travelers might be drawn to other tours of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is possible to begin your trek in Cusco and hike the entire 50 miles between the two places. These tours are often more rustic and include some camping. Most tours provide all of your equipment in the package price, including tents and meals, though backpacks and other personal equipment may not be provided. If you like the idea of waking early for a day of hiking followed by nights around a campfire, these tours are for you. Knowledgeable guides are usually bilingual and will provide lots of information about culture and history during your tour. However you decide to hike the Inca Trail, every step will immerse you in local history.