Inca Trek to Machu Picchu

Tuesday, January 24

Machu Picchu

Taking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was such a rewarding and difficult travel experience – the best thing my husband and I have done together! If you are looking for a trip or honeymoon with adventure, an opportunity to bond with your partner, and/or a journey to enjoy some peace and scenery, look no further. It may be a challenging trek, but every step forward is a milestone.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an ancient city built in the 15th century located in the Andes Mountains in Peru.  The following is an excerpt taken from Unesco on Machu Picchu:

“Embedded within a dramatic landscape at the meeting point between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements anywhere and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization. Recognized for outstanding cultural and natural values, the mixed World Heritage property covers 32,592 hectares of mountain slopes, peaks and valleys surrounding its heart, the spectacular archaeological monument of “La Ciudadela” (the Citadel) at more than 2,400 meters above sea level. Built in the fifteenth century Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. It was not until 1911 that the archaeological complex was made known to the outside world.”

Tips For A Successful Trek

I hope I have you intrigued. Seriously, this is one trek you need to put on your bucket list! The following are some tips to help you experience an enjoyable and successful trek to Machu Picchu.

Select the Right Tour Guide. After much research on the different tour companies, we pre-booked our 4 day trek with Llama Path. We wanted to select a company that would treat their Porters well, as we heard of some companies were underpaying and overworking their staff, and we didn’t want to be a contributor to that.  At that time I think it was Alex and Jose that were our tour guides, and they were fabulous. Llama Path provided an outstanding experience for everyone, and we would highly recommend them to anyone taking the trek.

Hire a Porter. I highly recommend hiring a Porter. My husband talked me out of it, and by the time noon arrived on our first day, he regretted it as I had him carrying my bag not long after we started the trek. It was simply too difficult to carry my backpack, while trekking uphill at that elevation.  Hiring a Porter frees you from hauling your backpack and sleeping pad. (…and yes the walking sticks helped!)

Tip Well. Porters work so hard, so tip them well! They take shortcuts along the way so they can get to camp before everyone else. By the time we arrived, all of our tents were set up with a meal served shortly after. The four-course meals and all the snacks the chef prepared were amazing! Seriously, we ate better during this trek than we did for most of our travel.

Bring Good Rain Apparel. Invest in a good rain jacket and pants. We didn’t and we were soaking wet! We did purchase a couple of rain poncho’s in Cuzco, but they didn’t keep us dry. So remember good rain apparel!

Pack Light. You should have a good compact sleeping bag and pillow, a few light weight change of clothes, toque and mitts for cold mornings, a day bag for you to carry (if a Porter is carrying your backpack), snacks, hydration pack and a good camera. You are best to make arrangements with your hotel or hostel to safely leave as many items behind as you can, taking with you only the items you need for this trek.

FYI – About The Bathrooms Facilities. If, like me, you are concerned about bathrooms, don’t worry, as there are bathroom stalls located at camp. (Although you still have to squat!)

The following are some highlights from the trip we took 10 years ago. I highly recommend going on this journey, as it truly is so awe-inspiring; photos just don’t do it justice.

Machu Picchu

Our group for the next 4 days.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Trek to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Tents were always set up for us by our awesome porters.

Machu Picchu

There was always coca leaf tea (to help with altitude sickness) outside our tent every morning.

Machu Picchu

Porters always cheered when we arrived and had a greeter with a ‘welcome to camp’ sign.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Even saw Llamas along the path.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

The path that felt to be never ending.

Machu Picchu

Group photo with the Llama Path crew.

Machu Picchu

They even had popcorn prepared for us at our break points.

Machu Picchu

Big accomplishment reaching 4215 meters.

Machu Picchu

I can’t imagine the life of a Porter. (…and doing the trek in sandals.)

Machu Picchu

Taking in the beauty that surrounded us.

 

Machu Picchu

The ‘Look Out’ point.

 

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu PIcchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

A typical four course meal by Llama Path.

Machu Picchu

Our chef and his portable kitchen.

Machu Picchu

Surrounded by constant beauty.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Our last meal prepared for us – morning breakfast cake.

Machu Picchu

We arrived at Machu Picchu…in the fog and rain!

Machu Picchu

The Lost City of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Even the tallest peak had ancient sites.

Machu Picchu

First Time Backpacker?

If backpacking is a new experience for you, don’t let that keep you from going. Check out blog –  “Planning Your First Backpacking Trip” to help you get started. Remember, you will never lay on your death bed wishing you had worked harder! Go on and explore!

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