Adventure of a Lifetime
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (also known as Camino Inca or Camino Inka) is a hiking trail in Peru that terminates at Machu Picchu. It consists of three overlapping trails: Mollepata, Classic, and One Day. Mollepata is the longest of the three routes with the highest mountain pass and intersects with the Classic route before crossing Warmiwañusqa ("dead woman"). Located in the Andes mountain range, the trail passes through several types of Andean environments including cloud forest and alpine tundra. Settlements, tunnels, and many Incan ruins are located along the trail before ending the terminus at the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The two longer routes require an ascent to beyond 4,200 metres (13,800 ft) above sea level, which can result in altitude sickness.
The ancient Incas created a vast network of roads and trails that they called Capaq Ñan. Today you can still hike on parts of this Incan road system that are paved with the original stones that were placed there by the Incas. The most popular of these Inca trails for hiking is the Camino Inca to Machu Picchu. This ancient Incan trail starts near the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and ends at Machu Picchu, the most famous ancient ruins in South America. Some say that this Inca trail is more incredible than Machu Picchu itself, in that there are numerous amazing ruins along the trail proper. Thousands of hikers from around the world make the trek each year with the assistance of Peruvian porters and guides. Camino Inca is Spanish for Inca Trail and there are actually three different routes to the Machu Picchu Inca ruins: The Classic Inca Trail (or Four-day Trek), the Sacred Inca Trail (or Two-Day Trek), and the Salkantay Alternate Trek. The Classic Inca Trail and Two-Day Treks both meet up at the Wiñay Wayna ruins and then proceed to the Inti Punku, the 'Sun Gate' where trekkers get their first glimpse of Machu Picchu in the distance. The Salkantay Alternate Trek is the longest of the three and generally ends up below Machu Picchu in the Village of Aguas Calientes rather than at Machu Picchu proper. Transecting the Andes mountain range and the upper Amazon Rainforest, the Classic Trail passes many important Inca ruins and outposts before ending at Machu Picchu mountain. The two longer routes (Classic Trail and Salkantay) require an ascent to over 13800 ft (4,215 m) above sea level, which can sometimes cause altitude sickness. Original Camino Inca Paved Stones This 30 mile (48 Km) Classic Inca Trail attracts many backpackers from all over the world who want to hike this ancient, scenic path to the ancient site of Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail wanders over high passes, offering incredible vistas of mountains with glaciers and the bright green valleys of tropical rain forest. Along the Inca Trail, you will encounter prehistoric Incan stonework and abandoned settlements and sentinels until you arrive at the end of the trail at Machu Picchu. Just before you arrive at the sacred site of Machu Picchu, you will pass through the Sun Gate, just as the ancient Incas did over 500 years ago. This trek involves substantial climbing (some passes are 14,000 feet in elevation), especially during the second day of the hike, and takes about 4 days.
You can't call it an adventure unless it's tinged with danger. The greatest danger in life, though, is not taking the adventure at all. To have the objective of a life of ease is death. I think we've all got to go after our own Everest.
“Few romances can ever surpass that of the granite citadel on top of the beetling precipices of Machu Picchu, the crown of Inca Land.”
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