6 Ultimate Inca Trail Highlights -

6 Ultimate Inca Trail Highlights

Credit: incatrail.info

  • Nov 30 2017 02:40About: 11 days ago
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One of the most popular hikes in South America, the Inca Trail is definitely the experience of a lifetime. A centuries-old trail, it begins in the ancient Incan capital of Cusco and winds some 88 kilometers to some of the world’s most iconic ruins: Machu Picchu. Of course, the entirety of Inca Trail is absolutely stunning, from stunning snowcapped Andean peaks to centuries-old ruins situated in bucolic river valleys. However, these 5 highlights are truly bound to make your jaw drop.

Wayllabamba. The endpoint of the first day’s trek along the Inca Trail, Wayllabamba, which means “grassy plain” in Quechua, is the perfect spot to watch the sunset behind the dramatic Andean peaks. This grassy plain overlooks a stunning spot of Andean scenery, with centuries-old Incan terraces winding through the surrounding mountainsides. There is even a village nearby where travelers can mingle with local villagers.

Wayllabamba

Image courtesy of flatfootedadventurer.com

The Valley of Llulluchapampa. Trekkers will start off the first portion of day two of the journey hiking through the picturesque Valley of Llulluchapampa. As you gradually ascend in altitude, you will even be afforded perfect views of stunning snowcapped cliffs.

Valley of Llulluchapampa

Image courtesy of Panoramio.com

Runkuracay: This unique oval structure, sometimes colloquially know as the “Egg Hut,” is believed to have been a kind of rest stop for Incan travelers, called a tambo, providing them with a place to spend the night and rest their animals. It is the perfect place to enjoy a mid-hike break and marvel at the beauty of Incan architecture.

Runkuracay

Image courtesy of lenstherapy.wordpress.com

Sayacmarca: First discovered by the famous Hiram Bingham when he wandered along a road extending from Machu Picchu, the dramatic Sayacmarca is situated at a fork in an old Incan road in a dense subtropical forest full of butterflies and hummingbirds. Quechua for “Dominant Town,” these unique ruins have an almost mystical air about them and are arguably the most impressive along the Inca Trail (except for Machu Picchu itself, of course!). It is believed that Sayacmarca was actually built by the Colla, a major enemy of the Incas, and that the Incas took over the site following their conquest of the group.

Sayacmarca

Image courtesy of 4feet2mouths.com

Phuyupatamarca: Dubbed “La Ciudad entre la Niebla” (“The City above the Clouds”), this major archeological site is situated a staggering 3,200 meters above sea level. Apropos to the nickname, Phuyupatamarca is very often surrounded by dense, white clouds. The ruins, dramatically constructed into a steep cliffside, contain five stone baths that fill up with freshwater during the rainy season. It is believed that these baths were used for religious ceremonies. Visitors can also check out the site’s elaborate hydraulic system, a true testament to impressive capabilities of Incan engineering. Of all of the Incan ruins in the region, Phuyupatamarca is arguably the most intact and therefore a truly spectacular site for trekkers passing through.

"Phuyupatamarca (cloud-level town)" by D. Gordon E. Robertson - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

"Phuyupatamarca (cloud-level town)" by D. Gordon E. Robertson - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Huiñay Huayna (Wiñay Wayna): Huiñay Huayna (traditionally spelled Wiñay Wayna in Quechua, the language of the Incas) was constructed into a steep hillside overlooking the Urubamba River. In addition to the site’s ancient houses and temples, it also boasts an incredibly complex system of Incan terraces, formerly used for agriculture. The name of the site roughly translates to “Forever Young,” and many trekkers report that these ruins are the most beautiful found along the trail.

Winay Wayna Peru

Image courtesy of http://blog.teara.govt.nz

These are just some of what you will see along the Inca Trail: Learn more about popular Inca Trail itineraries here

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most popular hikes South America Inca Trail definitely experience lifetime. centuries-old trail begins ancient Incan capital Cusco winds some kilometers world’s iconic ruins: Machu Picchu. course entirety absolutely stunning from snowcapped Andean peaks ruins situated bucolic river valleys. However these highlights truly bound make your drop. Wayllabamba. endpoint first day’s trek along Trail Wayllabamba which means “grassy plain” Quechua perfect spot watch sunset behind dramatic peaks. This grassy plain overlooks scenery with terraces winding through surrounding mountainsides. There even village nearby where travelers mingle local villagers. Image courtesy flatfootedadventurer.com The Valley Llulluchapampa. Trekkers will start portion journey hiking picturesque gradually ascend altitude afforded views cliffs. Image Panoramio.com Runkuracay: unique oval structure sometimes colloquially know “Egg Hut” believed have been kind rest stop travelers called tambo providing them place spend night their animals. enjoy mid-hike break marvel beauty architecture. Image lenstherapy.wordpress.com Sayacmarca: First discovered famous Hiram Bingham when wandered road extending Picchu Sayacmarca fork dense subtropical forest full butterflies hummingbirds. “Dominant Town” almost mystical about arguably impressive (except itself course!). that actually built Colla major enemy Incas took over site following conquest group. Image 4feet2mouths.com Phuyupatamarca: Dubbed “La Ciudad entre Niebla” (“The City above Clouds”) this archeological staggering 3200 meters level. Apropos nickname Phuyupatamarca very often surrounded dense white clouds. ruins dramatically constructed into steep cliffside contain five stone baths fill freshwater during rainy season. were used religious ceremonies. Visitors also check site’s elaborate hydraulic system true testament capabilities engineering. region intact therefore spectacular trekkers passing through. Phuyupatamarca (cloud-level town) Gordon Robertson work. Licensed under BY-SA Wikimedia Commons. Huiñay Huayna (Wiñay Wayna): Huiñay (traditionally spelled Wiñay Wayna Quechua language Incas) hillside overlooking Urubamba River. addition houses temples boasts incredibly complex terraces formerly agriculture. name roughly translates “Forever Young” many report beautiful found trail. Image http://blog.teara.govt.nz These just what Trail: Learn more itineraries here

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