Located at the top of the Andes in Southern Peru, Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. As a UNESCO World Heritage site and a highly regulated Peruvian Historical Sanctuary, it’s also an exciting spot for history enthusiasts.
Visiting Machu Picchu isn’t like a regular weekend trip. It demands a lot of proactive planning. When you book your travel package, you’ll find there are several routes leading to the city. However, we think that there are plenty of great reasons to Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
To start, Machu Picchu was intended to be accessed by foot! The Incas created thousands of miles of stone paths and staircases, forming a link to their impressive mountaintop cities. Only a fraction of these trails have been rediscovered and cleared of flora and fauna. Whichever Inca trail trek you take to get to Machu Picchu (there are a few to choose from), you’ll love being able to get a glimpse of what traveling an Inca would have experienced more than 500 years ago.
This guide emphasizes some top reasons to hike the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu route:
1) Archeological Ruins
If you’re an archeology enthusiast, the Classic Inca Trail route presents an excellent adventure for you. During the tour, you’ll repeatedly come across archeological sites that are 600-year old. Through the end of the trek, you ascend the Sun Gate and are rewarded with the legendary Machu Picchu site. Of course, you’ll be led by a licensed guide who will give you an in-depth look into the ancient Inca civilization.
Also known as Camino Del Inca, the Inca Trail is among the most amazing features of South America’s past. There exist very few trails around the world that will take you through history, like Inca Trail. The Inca Empire extended in parts of what are now Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina, stretching around 25,000 miles across these states. It also used to be a major transportation route in the 15th and 16th centuries. To dig deeper into Inca Trail history, take a look at The Complete Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2021.
3) Extraordinary Nature
The natural beauty of the Machu Picchu, as well as the trail, is simply unmatched. Though Machu Picchu itself is incredibly gorgeous, the hike to get there is unbeatable as well. To get there, you’ll manage three mountain passes, cross rivers, and go through tunnels. During the journey, you get to experience the incredibly gorgeous landscape and discover four different climates and ecosystems. You notice thousands of orchids, three-ft thick moss, flocks of parakeets, burrows, and cacti, and spiders with trumpet-shaped webs.
The hike takes you through four separate climates and ecosystems that range from vistas to subtropical forests. Those who choose to simply take the train and not the hike will miss the scenery, tunnels, rivers, and more.
One of the most compelling reasons to hike the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu route is the challenge it presents. With countless routes to choose from, figuring out how to get there is fun in itself, let alone actually pursuing the adventure. As exciting as it gets, you’ll be trekking through the Andes Mountains at around 14,000 feet and set up camps under the night sky for three nights before finally entering Machu Picchu.
5) Machu Picchu
The final reason to pursue the trip is the destination itself. Situated in a region called ‘cloud forest,’ Machu Picchu is nestled in the jungles of the Sacred Valley. You’ll be in greener surroundings at a lower altitude and enjoy the views of astonishing highlands. Traditionally, the place wasn’t open to the public. You had to be a member of the upper echelon of Inca royalty to be able to enter the city. Consider how lucky you are now to be able to make it to an area so special.
Now that you have the key reasons to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, it’s time to start planning and preparing for your trip! If you’re wondering how difficult it is to hike the Inca Trail, the more you prepare, the easier it will be. Sign up with a reputable guide service that has the experience and knowledge to make this the trip of a lifetime.