It’s always been a dream of mine to hike the famous Inca Trail leading into Machu Picchu. It’s the ultimate dream destination for hikers. The Classic Inca trail takes four days to complete. You hike through beautiful sceneries; which include various micro climates, mountains, valleys and cloud forests. These photos don’t do it justice. It’s worth seeing for yourself. The Peruvian government requires all hikers to have permits and you must go through licensed tour guide companies. They are limited so plan ahead! We went with a company called View Peru. And I’m so glad we did! They send you a detailed itinerary of what you will see, how long you will hike each day and what you need to bring to ensure you have a comfortable trip. We spent 2 days in Cusco to acclimate to the high altitude. This is recommended! The last thing you want is altitude sickness on the hike. Cusco is just a little over 11,000 feet above sea level. Luckily, I adjusted well to the altitude. The city of Cusco is rich with culture and history.
On Day 2 we took a tour on horse back through the Sacred Valley.
Met a little friend along the way.
The entire hike is over 26 miles. So each day you hike for about 5-8 hours depending on how fast you go. You’re climbing up and down mountains and through valleys. It’s really cool to see all the different micro climates. Day 2 was the most challenging. We climbed to about 13,900 feet above sea level. It was rough and I was short of breath but the view were so rewarding. It was the start of the rainy season so the trail wasn’t very busy. We did run into another couple with a different tour company but I couldn’t resist posting the photo above. You literally get to camp above the clouds. Our camp was just above theirs next to these cuties.
The day we hiked into Machu Picchu we woke up at the crack of dawn. The colors of the sunrise are dreamy AF. The goal was to reach the Sun Gate a couple of hours after sunset to see the perfect alignment of the sun. It just happened to be their Summer Solstice.
Once you pass through the Sun Gate you get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. The ruins were beautiful. After our tour we did another hour hike up a very steep Wanyapicchu. You need a separate permit to climb this mountain and they only give away 400 permits a day so plan ahead! You get the best vantage point once you climb this mountain!
After the party is the after party. And by after party I mean a hot shower, massage and delicious meal at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu.
In the early evening we took the Belmond Hiram Bingham train back to Cusco. It is the most beautiful train, I’ve ever been on. They have full dinner service, an open bar and live music. It gave you a glimpse into the past.
Best. Adventure. Ever. And I’m so grateful to have experienced this with my life partner. If you guys are seeking an adventure rich with culture I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu.
If you have been on this trip I’d love to hear your thoughts! And if you have recommendations/suggestions for our next adventure please comment below! xx JC