Hiking Amidst the Serenity & Beauty of Peru's Inca Trail

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inca trail

During my three-month backpacking trip through South America, hiking the Inca Trail was a top experience on my bucket list. The only reason I questioned whether I would do it or not is you need to book six months in advance — especially if you go between June and August (high season), as I did — because I hate planning activities in advance. After completing the trek, however,  I highly recommend even the most anti-planning travelers add the Inca Trail to their South America itinerary.

inca trail

While I’ve never been overly interested in history, actually walking the same paths of the Incas, exploring their hand-built stone structures and having guides provide historical anecdotes about such a fascinating culture brought Inca heritage to life in an interesting way. Not only that, but the views along the trail will stop you dead in your tracks with your jaw hanging wide open.

Inca Trail

For those who want to visit Machu Picchu but are debating whether to hike the Inca Trail or visit by bus, I highly recommend opting for the trek. Walking 26 miles/42 kilometers (4 days, 3 nights) to your destination — just as the Incas did — helps you appreciate the attraction and the Inca sites you’ll encounter along the way much more. If you really don’t want to plan in advance, you can do the Salkantay Trek, an 5 day/4 night trek that’s a bit more difficult but also immerses you in Inca culture and ends at Machu Picchu. This can be booked a few days in advance as opposed to a few months.

Inca Trail

To give you an idea of what you’ll see along the Inca Trail, check out the unedited photo essay below, taken with an Olympus Tough TG320 point-and-shoot camera (Note: Some photos were taken in the camera’s cold pop mode although none underwent any post production). For more information on the Inca Trail, check out my post on Going Back In Time On The Inca Trail In Peru.

Inca Trail inca10 inca11  inca13  inca16 inca19  inca24 inca25 inca32 inca33 inca34 inca36 Inca Trail Inca Trail

 

 

Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor's, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn't really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.
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