Tag-Archive for ◊ Inca trail ◊

Views 17 Ene What the Heck is Huayna Picchu Anyways?

In Quechua, the local language of the Andean people, this name means Young Peak. The peak of Huayna Picchu, or Wayna Picchu, rises approximately 360 meters higher than that of Machu Picchu (Cusco, Peru), known as the lost city of the Incas, and takes approximately an hour to climb.

During the time of the Incas, there was a trail leading to the peak where there were temples and terraces. This is where the high priest and the virgins lived. This high priest would climb down Huayna Picchu every morning before sunrise in order to reach Machu Picchu in time to welcome the new day.

What the Heck is Huayna Picchu Anyways?

You can really feel the magic of the ancient Inca civilization that fills this space when you finally reach the top of Huayna Picchu and gaze down over the Machu Picchu ruins.

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Views 16 Ene What to Pack for Your Inca Trail: Our Eleven Essential Items
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If you have booked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, chances are you have been preparing somehow for your trip to Peru.  Travel takes some preparation and we want you to be perfectly prepared for your Inca Trail trek!

Here are our eleven essential items to pack for the Inca Trail:

  1. Backpack: This might seem obvious, but it is so important to have a good backpack for this trek. You want something that is small, but big enough to fit everything you need. It should also be comfortable and fit your body correctly. If you do not have a backpack already there are plenty of shops selling them and other trekking gear right here in Cusco!
  2. Passport: You will need this to get into the ruins when you finally reach Machu Picchu. You also need to bring your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) if you have one for the student discount. Make sure to bring the originals of these documents because copies are not accepted and you DO NOT want to miss out on Machu Picchu after trekking all that way.
  3. Hiking Shoes and Clothes: You definitely want to pack some sturdy hiking shoes. We recommend boots. You also want a variety of clothes, but especially warm ones because it can get very cold camping in the mountains at night. We recommend packing a sweater, fleece, and jacket and extra socks are a must!  Always dress in layers because the weather is constantly changing.
  4. What to Pack for Your Inca Trail: Our Eleven Essential Items
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Views 20 Jun Choquequirao… Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister (part II)
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The Choquequirao Trek is one of the most exciting alternatives to the Inca Trail. Getting well off the beaten track, trekkers journey toward the mystical allure of the ruins of Choquequirao.
Here follows the second instalment of our latest account of the unique adventure that is the Choquequirao Trek…

Day Three
Another early start and we headed off to the mysterious ruins of Choquequirao. After an hour and a half of walking we arrived at the “Cradle of Gold”.

Choquequirao - Cusco Peru
Although the early Spaniards were aware of its existence, Choquequirao was protected by its remoteness. Some speculate that the Incan Emperor Topa had it built as a personal spiritual retreat to rival his father Pachacuti’s magnificent estate at Machu Picchu.

Whoever built this place, it was undoubtedly an elite settlement, built for ceremonial purposes and occupied by Inca nobility.
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Views 15 Jun Choquequirao… Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister (part I)
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The Choquequirao Trek in the Cusco area in Peru is one of the most exciting alternatives to the famous Inca Trail to the old Inca town Machu Picchu. Getting well off the beaten track, trekkers journey toward the mystical allure of the ruins of Choquequirao.

Experiencing Incan history in all its authenticity, this spectacular yet challenging hike crosses the Canyon of the Apurimac River and takes you to Choquequirao´s incredibly located ruins – perched high on a ledge above one of the deepest canyons in the world.

Choquequirao - Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister

If the opportunity to partake in this trek presents itself to you it would be a crime not to take it. A truly unforgettable experience.

Day One
After a very early awakening I left Cusco to travel to Cachora, the village from which we would begin our Choquequirao adventure. The bus journey was an experience in itself, careering around sharp curves at a pace that did not do my stomach any favours… an entertaining escapade

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Views 21 Feb The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu (day 3 and 4)
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Day 3: Jungle – Playa – Santa Teresa

Today is the third day of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. This trek is known as the more alternative trek, another option for the famous Inca Trail. It is actually a very good alternative for people that want to do something different, or, for those who cannot get a spot on the Inca Trail. You will cross one of the most astonishing Andean landscapes and see the most beautiful panoramic views of mountain chains. Furthermore, you will pass through a big variety of habitats and environments, you will see snow peaked mountains and will be in the vicinity of the tropical rainforest.

On this third day, we walk along the river to a little village called La Playa. We visit the waterfalls of Pacche – there are 11 different waterfalls, each with a height of approximately 50 meters! We see lots of butterflies, banana trees, coffee plants, avocado trees, and so much more. We even spotted an eagle. It’s warm and as we descend it gets even hotter! The climate is warm in this area and a difference with other warm areas is that in this place the typical agricultural production consists of pomegranate trees.

The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu  (day 3 and 4)
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Views 17 Feb The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu (Peru)
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The Salkantay trek is a great alternative to the classic Inca Trail, perfect for people looking to get off the beaten track and do something a bit different.  It is more challenging than the Inca Trail and also climbs higher, reaching 4,600m above sea level.  The trek that passes beneath the sacred snow-capped mountain of Salkantay. This mountain God (or Apu) was worshipped by the Incas and is still honoured by the local Quechua people.This is a unique opportunity to discover the wildlife and traditional way of life of the Andean peoples in more remote areas. The starting point is the old Inca town Cusco, at 3400 above sea level, in the Peruvian Andes. From here we go by bus to the warm citrus valley near Mollabamba where the trek starts.

Day 1: Mollepata – Soraypampa

We left Cusco at 6am; a Dos Manos representative welcomes us when picking us up at our hostel.  In Mollepata we stop for breakfast and meet the rest of our team.  We are 5 trekkers, plus the guide, the cook and the porters.  We begin the trek and there are some steep climbs but I don’t find it too hard.  we enjoy the lovely views of Nevado de Umantay and a part of Nevado de Salkantay.

The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu (Peru)
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Views 18 Jun Inca Trail to Machu Piccu Peru : Day 4
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The Inca Trail so far has been an incredible and wonderful experience (see other blog posts below).  On day 4, we woke up very early this morning!! After a quick breakfast and a quick stop at the washrooms, we were off on our last leg of the trek to Machu Picchu! During the hike up to the Intipunku archaeological site (also known as the Gateway of the Sun – Inti means “sun” in Quechua, the original Inca language) we were able to take a break and watch the sun rise over the mountains. The pinks, oranges and yellows were like nothing I’d seen before. Once we reached Intipunku, the weather was perfect to get tons of great photos of Machu Picchu from above. But our journey didn’t stop here: once we were done taking photos we began the last 30 minutes of the hike to Machu Picchu. The group decided we would like to see the Inca Bridge since we had opted out of climbing Huayna Picchu. The bridge was about a 10 minute walk through jungle-like landscapes on the very edge of the mountain. The bridge was built by the Incas and then later, one section destroyed to deter the conquistadors from following them. 

Inca Trail To Machu Piccu Peru  Day 4
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Views 14 Jun Inca Trail Peru Day 3
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Today – the third day of the 4 day Inca Trail to the lost ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru – was supposed to be an easier day than yesterday. We started out early again this morning. Today we got to see a few more Inca archaeological sites than the last two days. In the morning we saw the Runkurakay site which is just below the Runkurakay pass. It is thought that this site was used as a resting point for the Inca messengers. Puma explained to us how the Inca messengers, called chasquis, would run through the Andes Mountains, forming a type of relay to send messages from one community to another. The chasquis would chew coca leaves to help give them the energy to run up the huge peaks. Puma taught us how to properly chew coca leaves too but most of us couldn’t keep them in our mouths more than a few minutes. As we continued our hike, we were able to pass through a couple Inca tunnels which were really neat to see! After climbing the pass we came to the second main archaeological site, Phuyupatamarca which has a series of intricate ceremonial baths.

Inca Trail Peru Day 3
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Views 09 Jun Inca Trail Peru-Day 2
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Day 2 of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu started out with an early morning breakfast. Again, the food was delicious – fresh fruit, omelettes, toast, hot chocolate and porridge! After breakfast our guide introduced us to all the porters and we introduced ourselves to all of them and then got a great group photo. The porters are the men who carry all our food, tents and other provisions. As you hike the trail, you see them whiz past you to set up the next camp before your arrival. On the second day you have the option to hire an extra porter to carry your backpack since it is the toughest day. I definitely took advantage of this option!

Inca Trail Peru-Day 2
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Views 04 Jun Inca Trail to Machu Picchu-Day 1
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On the  first morning we left Cusco around 5am to start our 4 day trek through the Inca  trail to Machu Picchu with Dos Manos travel agency. After driving a few hours  through the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley we arrived at the entrance  of the Inca trail in Ollantaytambo. The Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu  is one of the world’s most famous treks. The 45km hike can be done in 3 or 4  days with a shorter 2 day option available for those looking for an easier  trek. Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu and the Inca trail between 1911  and 1915. Unlike other Inca roads used to transport goods and communicate  between cities, the Inca trail to Machu Picchu was more of a religious  pilgrimage that honoured Pachamama (mother earth) and the mountains. Over the  first 3 days we passed through 84 different eco-systems and saw some of the  most remarkable views! On day 4 we arrived at Machu Picchu and spend the day  walking around the ancient city with our guide.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu- Day 1
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