The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Location
As one of the most iconic hiking trails in the world, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has been used for centuries as a spiritual journey for those seeking adventure and exploration. Located in Peru, this 4-day hike is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can take you back to the days of ancient Inca civilization. From breathtaking mountain passes to lush rainforests and mysterious ruins, you’ll never be bored on this incredible journey.
The Inca Trail is divided into 3 routes; the Classic Inca Trail route, The Short Inca Trail, and the Salkantay Inca Trail expeditions. The starting point is different. However, all 3 of them arrive through the Sun Gate.
Classic Inca Trail Location
The Classic Inca Trail is one of the most popular trekking tours to Machu Picchu. This 4-day journey starts in Km 82, Piscacucho, Ollantaytambo District, Urubamba Province, in the Cusco region. The trailhead begins at the end of the Sacred Valley and will traverse several mountains until Machu Picchu, located in the Cloud forest.
Short Inca Trail Location
The Short Inca Trail is a 2-day trek that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the world. The trail starts at Km 104 – Chachabamba on the Cusco-Machu Picchu train line. Km 104 is located in the Machu Picchu district, Urubamba Province, in the Cusco region.
Salkantay Inca Trail Location
The Salkantay Inca Trail combines Peru’s 2 most popular trekking: the Classic Inca Trail + The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. The trailhead is located in Soraypampa Village, Mollepata District, Province of Anta, in the Cusco region. This trek will join the classic Inca Trail at the Wayllabamba control point, the first campsite of the 4-day trek.
There are several campsites on the Classic Inca Trail; the most popular ones are:
- Wayllabamba: Located in the village of the same name at 3,000 meters and located 5 hours from km 82.
- Ayapata: Located 1 hour from Wayllabamba at 3300 meters.
- Lulluchapampa: Located 2.5 hours from Ayapata at 3800 meters.
- Pacaymayo: Located on day 2 of the Inca trail at 3,600 meters. This campsite is 2 hours down from the dead women’s pass.
- Chaquicocha: Located 2 hours down formthe second mountain, Rukuraqay. The Campsite is at 3600 meters and belongs to the second day.
- Phuyupatamarca: Located at 3600 meters, this campsite offers one of the best views on day 3 of the Inca Trail.
- Wiñaywayna: This is the last campsite inside the Inca Trail at 2600 meters. Located just 2 hours behind Machu Picchu
- Puente Ruinas: This campsite is barely used, located near the town of Aguas Calientes at 2000 meters.
Control Points in the Inca Trail
There are several control points on the Inca Trail. The tour guide must ensure they check in at all control and get stamps from every control point. The stamps are verified at the last checkpoint; the rangers can verify that the group has stayed in the designated campsites.
- Km 82-Piscacuho is the first and main control point of the Classic Inca Trail; all travelers must check in to enter the trail.
- Km 88- Coriwayrachina is another entrance to the Inca Trail; fewer groups will use this route, especially the ones hiking a 5-day version.
- Wayllabamba is the second-day control point where tour guides and travelers must check in. From this point, a Passport is not required anymore.
- Pacyamayo is the 3rd-day control point, together with Chaquicocha. The tour guides must check in with the list of all travelers.
- Phuyupatamarca: This control point belongs to the 4th day, located in the same mountain range as Machu Picchu mountain.
- Wiñaywayna: Located in the cloud forest, this is the last checkpoint in the Inca Trail for Porters, travelers, and tour guides. The Checkpoint for travelers and tour guides is closed until 5.30 am when the gate opens, and everybody will hike for 1 hour to the Sun Gate.
Medical centers on the Inca Trail
There are few places where one can get medical assistance on the Inca Trail. Worry not; the Inca Trail tour guides and staff have proper training in first aid and mountain rescue.
The first medical center is at Km 82; there is a Local Posta, and the second is Wayllabamba Village, where we can find another Posta Medica but with smaller and basic services. After This one, there are no more medical centers; however, in each control point, there is an emergency kit, including a stretcher, and the team, together with porters, are highly trained in emergency evacuation in case of any accidents.
There is a medical center right outside Machu Picchu. However, this belongs to a private clinic. Down in Aguas Calientes is another Posta Medica; in case of a serious emergency, there must be an evacuation to Cusco, and the train companies must cooperate.
Facilities in the Inca Trail
There are public toilets along the Inca Trail; make sure you ask the tour guide where the next facilities are so you don’t miss them. The toilet is located in strategic locations every 3-4 hours. You must always use the facilities and not in nature.
Machu Picchu Location
Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) northwest of Cusco. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba River valley in Peru. The site is generally recognized as one of the world’s most significant and best-preserved archaeological remains.