Although a couple of us over at The Luxury Holiday Blog have explored some biggish chunks of South America and seen Machu Picchu in Luxury from the comfort of the incredible Inkaterra hotel we’ve never gone for the authentic (and obviously less luxurious) ‘Inca trek’ so we’ve decided to put together an ‘inspiration’ article to hopefully sell ourselves (and others) on making this incredible journey.
Stretching across the mountainous and mysterious Peru the Inca pathways (or ‘trek-ways’ in this case!) were one the largest and furthest reaching pre-conquistador transport networks in South America, covering about 15,000 miles starting in Quito in Ecuador and ending in Santiago, Chile – of course the most tread sections of this network is the Inca Trail through Machu Picchu (which incidentally is only a 25 mile stretch of the pathways).
The pathway to Machu Picchu passes through some of the most stunning ‘see-it-to-believe-it’ scenery in the world – Stunning mountains on either side, vast jungles and of course at the end of it the incredible Machu Picchu world heritage site and what’s more the trek is often cited as one of the best treks to take in the entire world, up there with climbing mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or trekking to Annapurna base camp in the Himalayas, Nepal.
With treks ranging from 2 days for those less keen on seeing the full 25 mile route to full treks of 4 days for the more adventurous the route has something to offer both the trekking novice and hardened trek enthusiasts – the largest challenge when facing the trek is usually acclimatising to the altitude with the trek reaching a maximum altitude of 4.2 Kilometres above sea level at ‘dead womans pass’.
For those up for an extra challenge after taking on the Inca trek, you can go on to conquer the snow topped mountain ‘Salkantay’ over an additional 4 days. Salkantay is the 38th highest peak within the Peruvian Andes and offers a challenge for those more inclined to brave the cold and higher altitudes!
High season for the Inca trek is between the months of June and August with the weather being at its finest between June and September. For those not willing to endure the entire trek with their own luggage you can also hire porters to take your back packs up and down the trail.