Following months of planning and also a year of dreaming about it, My spouse and i finally got over a tour bus from Arequipa to attend Cusco to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. My friend Milana from Los Angeles, who My spouse and i used to hike and mtn. bike with, and Karen, her longtime good friend, were meeting me in Cusco. We were said to be there a couple of days early so they could acclimatize but Milana’s flight from Lima was cancelled so she came about noon the afternoon before our tour started. My spouse and i had already met Karen the day before and we got to know the other person a lttle bit even as would some sightseeing and backpacking together near Cusco. inca jungle trek
The moment Milana arrived, we gone to eat at a restaurant just off the plaza and she acquired ceviche to eat, it is raw fish marinated in lime juice (or if you have to lemon juice). Either the ceviche and also the lack of time to acclimatize to the 11, 000 ft . altitude in Cusco, or both, got her off to a bad start. She woke up unwell the next morning for the start of our four day trek. We all had subscribed to a group tour, expecting up to 12 people, so we were delighted when the mini bus picked all of us up in that early morning to find only two other folks on the head to! A private tour for the group price. This didn’t seem to be like such a tiny group by the time we added a cook and eight protégers to our guide, Carlos, making a total of 15 people. However almost all of time we were walking it was just the six of us, the porters were either taking up camp behind all of us or rushing on forward to get ready for us. The service was great but personally the morning tea in our tents when they woke us, the dining covering for all those three meals (although it felt really good at supper due to the cold) and the fancy menu, etc. was something I would have abandoned for a less costly price. They definitely may subscribe to the extra light hiking idea with a cast iron wood stove and 20 lb. VINYLSKIVA vehicle’s gas tank!
One particular of the things that surprised me on the first day was to see people actually living over the trail, and riding bicycles back and forth. On the second morning there were women and children with burros going up the path to set up sticks to serve breakfast, sell candy, snacks, bottled drinking water and even Gatorade! Simply by the afternoon, that was all behind us even as we headed up to Departed Woman’s Pass at 13, 770 feet, the top point on the trek. The scenery had improved from lush rain woods in the morning to sparse vegetation and rubble by the pass, plus its much cooler. The moment we stopped early in the afternoon at our campsite for the night time, I couldn’t just sit down and wait for evening meal, I went on forward to another pass, checking out side trails along the way. Solid clouds past the summit ruined my hopes for an amazing sunset but it was an enjoyable time in any case.
On day three we got into the high jungle, thousands of more steps, and also into some of the historical ruins. Also a relatively endless variety of orchids and other flowers. One particular thing we didn’t see was any wild pets or animals, simply a few birds. That also seemed like the farther we went, the more tourists there were. The first day we hardly saw anyone more, so I’m not sure where they all originated in. By that evening i was back in world, with the choice of a restaurant, hot bathtub and cold beer, which many were enjoying.
The last morning we were up early to be the first ones on the trail, hoping to get pictures of Machu Picchu before there were any people there. They actually opened the checkpoint a few minutes early and were started off in the dark, on the previous couple of hours of the trail, arriving at Machu Picchu just after sunrise. To me, one of the highlights of the trip was hiking up Huayna Picchu, the high peak behind the damages in all the standard Machu Picchu pictures. There were a wonderful trail, large and rugged, up to the peak, where views were fabulous! I could see a less used trail going down the backside and followed that a ways but finally had to turn around to meet the others and catch the coach into Aquas Calientes. Simply when I got to the checkpoint at the start of the path did I find away that it was a loop trail and My spouse and i would have continued on around the mountain. There was clearly no time to bathe in the hot suspension springs, as we have got to Aquas Calientes a lttle bit late and then found out we had to leave early on to walk to the train that would take us returning to Cusco, due to landslide that had protected the tracks on the edge of town. A final surprise was that evening when the coach stopped a couple of hours before Cusco and the conductor said that was your end of the ride. We never did find out why but ended up the need to take a taxi the rest of the way to Cusco, thankfully being released on the with no problems.
The trip was great, Machu Picchu was unbelievable and something that pictures won’t be able to do justice to. Under no circumstances the less, I performed take about 400 photographs, trying to capture the grander to relive later. I am looking forwards to returning to the spot to hike from Cusco to Choquequirao, sometimes called the sister city to Machu Picchu, and then on to Machu Picchu. This hike is much less common and allows for exploring all on your own.
Vic Hanson is the owner of Adventure Cotahuasi Excursions, which offers pre-planned and custom adventure travel trips in Cotahuasi Canyon and other locations of Peru.