About Inca Trails
The Incas developed a network of more than 30,000 km (20,000 miles) of trails to connect the most remote corners of their vast empire. These constitute the most important pre-Hispanic communication route in America and the spinal column of the then all-powerful Inca Empire. The “main” Inca Trail consists of over 3,000 km (2,000 miles) connecting Quito and La Paz, in today’s Ecuador and Bolivia respectively.
The Inca Trails are considered an engineering masterpiece. They were built for the passage of people and goods, as well as for the transmission of news, through the ‘chaskis’ or Inca messengers, who are known to have run along these paths between the coast and the highlands non-stop. These trails are designed to be hiked, with stones covering their surface and sides, ensuring a firm footing and stability in such varied areas as high plateaus, grasslands and cloud-forests rich in vegetation, while fully integrating and respecting the nature and environment they cross.
About this Trek
The Classic Inca Trail to Machupicchu is Peru’s most iconic trek leading to the Sacred Inca City of Machupicchu. The classical 43-km (26.8-mile) trek follows a cobblestone path that departs from the fertile grounds near the Sacred Valley of the Incas, at 2,800 masl (9,128 ft), and ascends to the infamous Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,200 masl (13,776 ft), above the vegetation line. It then follows to other valleys and mountain passes, threading past fascinating archaeological sites built in unbelievable locations with impeccable techniques, slowly winding down into a lush cloud forest rich in Andean flora and fauna. The combination of the gorgeous mountain scenery, the mysterious ruins and the very special energy of the area makes this trek an experience of a lifetime.
Enigma’s experienced staff of trekking guides enrich the days with their knowledge and sharing, covering diverse topics such as Inca history, archaeology, architecture, social structure, economy, politics, astronomy, and fascinating traditions and beliefs. Lodging is within designated and authorized campsites along the route, and Machupicchu is reached at sunrise on the fourth day.
We can’t help but love this route. No matter how many times we walk it, it continues to fascinate us. An absolute must. Don’t listen to those saying it is too crowded: Enigma avoids the masses as much as possible, often by being ahead of them. A maximum of 500 people are allowed per day, of which about 40% are porters, which leaves about 300 visitors per day, entering through two points and occupying different campsites, the biggest of which we avoid. Compared to the crowds at the world’s famous monuments, the trail seems nearly empty! And by tuning in to the beauty of this route, the other trekkers fade away and you become immersed in having the experience of a lifetime.