Fortunatly we were only a small group (5 tourists, one guide and 4 porters) for the Inca Trail. Some other groups were as big as 15 tourists. Therefore we were more or less like a private group and had a very flexible tour. All in all 500 people are allowed to start the Inca trail every day, this already includes guides and porters however.
This is more or less where our trail started the first day:
After lunch we saw the first major Inca sight; the ruin of Llactapata, which used to be an administrative and cultural center of the region there. We didn’t enter this sight but saw it very nicely from another Inca village just above, called Wilkarakay.
After 12 km of walking that day we arrived at our campsight, called Wayllabamba. In the picture below the little house on the right was our room for dinner and breakfast and right behind it the tents were already set up.
In general it was very impressive how fast the porters were. These guys were carrying massive backpacks and still managed to pack everything up after we left, then overtake us on the trail and then set up the tents again, prepare some drinks and sometimes even the meals before we arrived at the next stop.
The second day we didn’t visit any special sights but we had a lot of hicking to do; only 12km of distance but 1500 meters up and then 600 meters down again.
This is the view we were rewarded with on top of the first and highest pass of the Inca Trail (Warmihuañusca at 4200m). On the very end at the bottom you can see the valley we came out of that morning and on the right some people still trying their best to get up…
Then, we went back down on the other side until we reached the second camp at 3600m where we also had lunch and dinner and spent the afternoon. This was also the only camp with showers available but the water was so cold, it gave you a big brain freeze when you washed your head; Gab and me seemed to be the only ones who took a shower there.
Inca Trail into the clowds!
The third day started of with the ruins of Runkurakay (a checkpoint for travellers and messangers in the Inca times), which was very close to where we had spent the night.
Shortly after we reached the second pass on the Inca trail (at 3900m).
An hour or so and some very steep steps later we arrived at the ruins of Sataqmarka which used to be the second administrative center for the Inca on our way.
Just before lunch this little guy sat there on the side of the trail and seemed to just be waiting for us:
After lunch we had another 4km (all together we walked 8km, so a very relaxed day and we had much time) before reaching the third and last pass where also our last camp was. On the way crossed through one tunnel built into the rock by the Inca:
The last ruins for that day lay just below our camp and offered a view onto the MachuPicchu Mountain (the kind of small one in the middle of the background) where more or less our goal for the next day lay.
While we visited the ruins and rested, the porters, instead of taking a rest too from walking with like 40kg on their backs, just decided to have a little game of soccer on their small plattform at 3500m….