Trekking through the Inca Trail is the only way to get to Machu Picchu on foot. The trail spreads over a beautiful stretch of mountains connecting Inca sites like Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu, along the way. It is quite an easy but challenging climb, ideal for professional hikers and first-timers alike. Here is all you need to know about the Inca Trails and how to get to Machu Pichu.
All about Inca Trails
Inca trails stretch all across South America, but the one that we are interested in is the Machu Pichu route that begins at the KM 82 along the train station from Cusco and covers over 43kms. The route includes high passes, narrow passages and stone steps and ancient Inca ruins along the way. The trails have no permanent settlements, although there are houses nearby where you can rest a while. Travel agencies offer tourists various Inca trail trek tours to pick from depending on the distance you want to cover.
Is Inca Trail Difficult?
The Inca trail trek tours is not dangerous, but it is challenging. Trekkers need to be physically fit, have a high tolerance for high altitudes and no previous medical concerns to be eligible for the trip. Pick the Inca trail trek tours only if you are healthy enough to walk 10 miles or more at a stretch. Trekkers should be above 16 years, younger kids can trek under the supervision of adults along a different route. Also, there is no upper limit to the age barrier.
Inca Trails are very cheap when compared to other popular trekking routes around the world. Although, the services offered by the management can take a hit because of poor funding. The transport options are limited. Also, as there are no animals allowed on the trek so your luggage is handled by human porters.
Getting Permission from the Government
Note that trekkers cannot go on the Inca trail independently. You need to procure a government permit for the same. Also the government allows only 500 people permits every day, so register as soon as possible. To apply for the permit you need to show an ID and your traveler’s passport. Also the permit cannot be exchanged with other travelers or returned for a refund.
Permits to Inca trails are always in great demand. People sometimes have to apply for months in advance to get permission. The Inca Trail is closed every year for the month of February.
How Can You Get a Permit?
Only select companies and service providers are allowed to issue and sell permits to the Inca trails. Also, you would need a licensed travel agent and a licensed guide for the trip. Keep in accordance with the regulations while trekking up the Inca Trails.
Do not litter the passage with food packages or other waste. It is important that you follow the proper waste disposal system laid down by the government to preserve the sanctity of the place.