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Trekking


 

Inca Trail activities, Trekking

 

The Inca Trail is rated one of the ten best trekking routes on Earth due to its striking beauty, ancient Inca ruins and diverse ecological zones. The trail includes very different terrain from high desert plateau to tropical Andean rainforest.

This classic trek follows Inca paths through stunning Andean scenery and forests wrapped in cloud to the mysterious Machu Picchu.

Thousands of people make the Inca Trail trek each year. They typically complete the 43km mountainous trail in 4 days. For many the experience is an trip of a lifetime and the fulfilment of a personal ambition.

The satisfaction of having completed the Inca Trail trekking to the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu hard to beat.

Walking the ancient Inca Trail gives you the opportunity to visit overgrown Inca buildings undiscovered by the Spanish Empire, giving you the feeling that you are the first to come across them. Walking this Andean highway is a truly fascinating and unforgettable experience. The Trail is paved with blocks of stone, It has stone stairways, tunnels and wooden bridges. It crosses rivers, streams, temperate valleys, warm cloud forests and cold highlands.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is actually three routes, which all meet up near Intipunku, the 'Sun Gate' and entrance to Machu Picchu. The three trails are known as the Mollepata, Classic and One Day trails, with Mollepata being the longest of the three. Passing through the Andes mountain range and sections of the Amazon rainforest, the Trail passes several well-preserved Inca ruins and settlements before ending at the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The two longer routes require an ascent to beyond 4,200 m above sea level, which can result in Acute Mountain sickness, also known as altitude sickness. Due to erosion wearing down the ancient stone trail, numbers of trekkers are set to be cut back significantly in the near future.

Regulations

Four years ago the Peruvian Government proposed many changes to the administration of the Inca Trail in a bid to protect its fragile eco-structure from over-use. Most of these proposals have been aimed at reducing the number of trekkers on the trail, improving the quality of the tour operators and offering a reservation system whereby trekkers will be forced to make their reservations many weeks (even months) in advance. Some of the proposals were introduced slowly throughout 2003 and 2004 but the Government started to enforce the majority of the regulations more strictly in 2005. Further regulations have been introduced at the beginning of 2006 with the main aim improving porter welfare. All trekking companies that operate the Inca Trail must have an operating license which is issued every year in March.

Climate

May to September is the dry season but October, November and April can be good times, particularly for trekking. The majority of the bad weather is from the east and can make night-time temperatures very cold.

 

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