Embarking on a journey to hike the Inca Trail is more than just a trek; it’s a deep dive into the rich tapestry of history, culture, and nature. The Inca Trail, which winds its way to the iconic Machu Picchu, offers adventurers a unique blend of ancient civilization and breathtaking landscapes.
As you prepare to hike the Inca Trail, you’re not just setting out on a physical journey, but also a spiritual and historical one, retracing the steps of the ancient Incas and immersing yourself in their world. Let’s explore the top five reasons why this trail should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
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1. You take the original trail used by the Incas to reach Machu Picchu
Walking along the stone pathways and staircases created by the Incas gives you a deep sense of appreciation for their architecture and the scale of their empire. Throughout the hike your guide will teach you all about the Incan empire, their belief system and their history as you follow the traditional path to the sacred city of Machu Picchu. By trekking instead of taking the train, you’ll get the full experience!
2. You can enjoy exploring and learning about several archeological sites
While reaching the famed lost city of Machu Picchu is the goal of this trip, the entire trek offers hikers the opportunity to enter the world of the Inca. You’ll stop at several different archeological sites along the way, learn about the Incan culture and how the sites were used during the height of the Incan empire.
3. You will be entranced by the magic of the night sky
Poke your head out from your tent and gaze upon millions of stars twinkling above the mountains. On a clear night, you may even see the milky way galaxy! Astronomy was an extremely important part of the Incan belief system. On the second night while you’re high up in the mountains, become entranced with the magic of the night sky just as the Incas did!
4. You get to see the beauty of the Andes Mountains and the beginning of the Amazon Rainforest
Peru is home to 90 different microclimates as a result of the varied altitude and terrain in the country. During the Inca Trail trek, you’ll pass through several of them, from high mountain passes in the Andes to the beginning of the Amazon rainforest. Experience the immense biodiversity of flora and fauna and stunning landscapes as you make your way to Machu Picchu!
5. You can witness the sunrise over Machu Picchu from the sun gate
On the final day of the trek you’ll start your hike early in the morning in order to capture the sunrise at Inti Punku, more commonly known as the Sun Gate. Stop here to take a breather and watch the sun come up over the mountains revealing the lost city of Machu Picchu. After three full days of trekking there’s no better reward! Bask in the beauty of the city from afar before making your way into Machu Picchu with your guide to complete the Inca Trail.
5 Reasons to Hike the Inca Trail Conclusion
To hike the Inca Trail is to experience a profound connection with the past, nature, and oneself. As you traverse the ancient pathways, you’re not only witnessing the marvels of Incan engineering but also the timeless beauty of the Andes and the mysteries of the cosmos.
The culmination of this journey, with the sunrise over Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate, is a moment of pure magic, a testament to the grandeur of the Incan civilization and the wonders of our world. If you ever needed a reason to hike the Inca Trail, let these five compelling points be your guide and inspiration.
Mitch Bowmile is director and cinematographer as well as a returning Karikuy Customer. You can view his hike the Inca Trail Video on our social networks premiering on October 5, 2023.