9 December, 2020 | Reccy Guide
The Inca were masters at building roads, as a result there are a number of ancient trails leading to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Of all the routes, the Classic Inca Trail, a 4 day, 3 night hike which takes hikers from a point close to the town of Ollantaytambo (~62km from Cusco, ~1.5 hour by road) to the ruins of Machu Picchu is the most established and popular.
While there are many different ways (train, bus and multiple trek routes) to reach Machu Picchu, the Classic Inca Trail is the only route where the hikers get to enter through the famous Sun Gate just after sunrise and enjoy the descend to the magnificent Machu Picchu before the site starts getting crowded. You can spend a good 4 to 5 hours at the site before heading out to Aguas Calientes, the local town for lunch before taking the train or bus back to Cusco.
Demand for this trek is very high during the dry season (May – Oct) when there is very little rain. Average temperature during the day is ~20C, however there is a significant drop in temperature at night, sometimes even falling below freezing. Demand for tour packages is very high during the dry season and trails are more crowded.
Demand is relatively less during the wet season (Mid Oct to mid Apr) when there is more rain, trails are more slippery and muddy. However, mountains and forests are more lush and green during this time.
The Classic Inca trail is of shorter length (~40km) compared with some of the other trails leading to Machu Picchu. However, most of the trail is uphill and hence requires good physical preparation. Having said that, age is not a bar as hikers and tourists of all shape, size and age do this trail. Most operators have a minimum age requirement of 12 for this trek, however, many experts advise that below 14 year olds should not join this trek.
Almost all the Classic Inca Trail treks start from Cusco, a popular tourist destination in Southeast Peru. Cusco is the erstwhile capital of the Inca Empire, known for its history and of course as a gateway to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Located at an elevation of 11,150 ft (3,330 m), Cusco is the perfect place for acclimatization; in fact it is recommended that you spend at least two nights in Cusco before commencing the trek. It is also the hub where you can take stock of your inventory and rent or buy any missing item from the packing list.
Most of the tour companies who organize these treks have a team of support staff who carry everything required at the campsites. They also carry a duffel bag for each hiker, each weighing not more than 5 to 6 kg. Here you can pack your sleeping bag, sleeping mat, some spare clothes and toiletries. In your day pack you can carry some snacks, camera, water, sunscreen, and any medication you may need. Due to the wide variation in weather, you should pack for extreme temperatures and dress in layers.
The Inca Jungle Trail to the Lost Citadel is one of the most adrenaline filled routes through the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. This trail leads a…...
4 May, 2021 | Reccy Guide
The Inca trail is one of the most frequented routes taken to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu that lay in the lush Peruvian hills. This trek i…...
7 April, 2021 | Reccy Guide
Chele La Pass trek is one of the shorter treks in Bhutan. If you’re planning to be in Bhutan for a few days and want to explore the regional Himalaya, it’s good to know that it is quite unique compared with Ladakh or Nepalese Himalaya…...
8 March, 2021 | Reccy Guide
While the challenging Snowman Trek is probably the most well-known trek in Bhutan, the Druk Path trek is also famous among the worldwide adventure community. Importan…...
5 March, 2021 | Reccy Guide
Trekking alongside the Markha river will take you through a magnificent Valley with incredible views over the surrounding mountain ranges, all the while meeting and sharing experiences with locals and fellow trekkers. The 4 March, 2021 | Reccy Guide