I’m from Peru and used to work as a tour leader there and have done The Inca Trail many times. Now I’m based in the UK and I’m a travel consultant for Rainbow Tours. I spend my time helping people to have the very best holidays in Latin America. It’s a wonderful region full of quite breathtaking experiences, but my heart still lies in Peru and for me the classic trek to Machu Picchu is hard to beat.
Spectacular Andean scenery…world-class historical ruins…the satisfaction of real physical achievement…The first time I tackled the four-day Inca Trail was the most amazing and fulfilling experience I’ve ever had.
The second day is the toughest, with an ascent to the 4,215-metre high Dead Woman’s Pass – also known as The Gringo Killer! But all the hard work is worthwhile when you feast your eyes on the breathtaking landscape set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
The scenery on the trail is incredibly varied. On the third day, you descend into rainforest, before setting up camp near the Winay Wayna ruins.
At night on the trek, you sleep in a tent on a comfy mattress. The tents are erected by porters, who also carry your bags, prepare meals and wake you with a hot cup of coca tea on chilly mornings.
On the last day, you wake at 4am, and make your way to the Sun Gate to watch the sun rise slowly over Machu Picchu. Even though I’ve been lucky enough to have witnessed this 45 times, the view still blows me away. You then have time to explore the site, before descending the easy way – by bus and train to Cusco.
The Inca Trail is challenging, but achievable by anyone who is reasonably fit and acclimatised – as part of your trip planning, we always incorporate two or three days of pre-trek acclimatisation in Cusco. It’s worth it. Doing the trek is unforgettable, whether the first or the 45th time.
The Peruvian authorities recently placed a daily limit on the number of visitors to Machu Picchu. By booking in advance through Rainbow Tours, your entrance to this iconic site will be guaranteed.