Inca Trail Adventure Holidays
|Adventure Holidays in Peru with the experts Exodus The Inca Trail||View list of Inca Trail trips|
Unforgiving and unforgettable; the Inca Trail, leading to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, is a heart pounding, head spinning trek into the Andes and is ubdoubtedly the star of all holidays to Peru. Few other trekking holidays can compete with the beauty of walking through the snow-capped peaks, tangled cloud forest, wild orchid, hummingbirds and Inca ruins that rise from the mist as you hike along the Inca Trail.
Exodus' Inca Trail Tours take you through the ancient road network of the Incas, giving you a taste of the history of this ancient land. And no other adventure holiday rewards you with the glory of the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu at the end. If you are fit enough, the Inca Trail is one adventure holiday you must make a priority in your lifetime.
Click here for our Google Earth Video of the route.
Why Exodus offers the best Inca Trail experience:
- Our local partner has been organising walking and trekking trips along the Inca Trail for more than 25 years, and has just won the Best Regional Operator award from the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism for the 6th successive year!
- About 500 people start the Inca Trail trek everyday during peak season, we have the experience and the know-how to avoid the crowds and queues (call us if you want to hear some of our secrets!).
- We have great gear and choose the best campsites - 25 years of relationship building, organising walking trips and knowledge pays off!
- We take chemical loos on the trek so each group has private facilities and doesn't need to share the less than pleasant "public toilets".
- We have permanent staff in Cuzco whose sole job is to ensure all tents are in tip top condition for each trek. All tents are set up and ready for when you arrive in camp in the afternoon so you can truly relax as soon as you finish your walking.
- While many operators on the Inca Trail provide their clients with just a thin foam mattress, we use proper thermarests to ensure you get a good nights sleep!
- Our excellent cooks prepare delicious, filling and fresh meals including 3 course dinners and hearty lunches, to keep you going on those long days of hiking.
- We know the little extras that make a great trek an incredible trek: morning tea is delivered to your tent to get you going for the day, along with a bowl of hot water to wash in, and if it's a chilly night, hot water bottles are passed round after dinner to warm up your sleeping bag.
Highlights of walking holidays on The Inca Trail:
Dead Woman’s Pass
The ascent to Dead Woman’s Pass, the first pass on the Inca Trail, is notoriously the toughest and most demanding part of the whole trek. Trekking to 4200 metres is slow going, relentless and requires every ounce of your stamina, especially if you’re still acclimatising to the altitude. Once you reach the top, usually on the second day of the trek, expect to be exhausted to the depths of your soul but totally uplifted by views of snow capped mountains, endorphins and a powerful sense of accomplishment.
It’s impossible, as you walk the Inca Trail, not to feel enormous respect for the Inca workers who carved the stairways into the mountainside and laid over 14,000 miles of these Inca roads stone by stone. You’ll also be in awe of your fighting fit porters, the rightful descendants of Inca Chaqui messengers, who bound past you up the mountainsides of the Inca Trail carrying bags, food and camping equipment without seeming to break a sweat.
After an exhausting trek over the second pass and descent through exotic cloud forests you’ll notice the ancient Inca forts, store houses, tunnels and settlements you walk past become more frequent, a welcome hint that you’re nearing the end of the Inca Trail.
Phuyupatamarca, the ‘town above the clouds’ is a real landmark on the Inca Trail. Complete with a fresh running water system devised by the Incas and beautiful ceremonial baths, it marks a welcome stop before one last test of endurance; the last leg of the hike is a bone-shaking descent down 2,600 worn Inca steps to Wayna Picchu.
Almost as beautiful as Machu Picchu itself, Wayna Picchu – “Forever Young” or “To Plant the Earth Young” – lies atop the Inca Trail, and is set amongst verdant green Inca terraces made up of spring-fed stone baths and a waterfall tumbling from the peaks above. Stop here to offer thanks to the Inca Earth Goddess Pachamama for helping you walk this far, because nearby is the campsite you’ll call home before your final trek along the Inca Trail to Intipunku and hopefully your first, unforgettable sighting of Machu Picchu.
Intipunku and Machu Picchu
Most groups strike out for the entry point of the legendary Sun Gate of Intipunku in the dark, in order to catch their first glimpse of Machu Picchu gloriously lit by the rising sun - a suiting end to your walk along the Inca Trail.
No matter how fatigued you are, no matter how badly your muscles ache, the moment you see the majestic, sacred citadel of Machu Picchu laid out before you - birds singing in your ears and blood pumping through your veins – makes every step of your trek along the Inca Trail worthwhile.
NB: LIMITED INCA TRAIL PERMITS
There is a daily cap on the number of trekking permits available for the Inca Trail, and they sell out very quickly, especially for peak season treks. For this reason, we recommend booking your trek at least 4 months in advance, or 6 months for the peak trekking months of July, August and September. If permits do sell out, we do also offer an alternative route - The Moonstone Trek - which does not require permits and can be substituted for the Inca Trail on most trips.
See the trips below for a selection which visit the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
Walking & Trekking Newsletter - Louisa Richardson, Exodus Marketing Executive, writes about Peru – a Trekker Mecca! (26 March 2009).