Machu Picchu easily makes it on the bucket lists of many travel junkies, photographers and spiritual explorers. This Lost City of the Incas was built in the 15th century and never discovered by the Spaniards during their conquests. Although the locals knew about its existence, Machu Picchu was brought to international attention in 1911 by American historian, Hiram Bingham.
To visit this historic site, you could either take a bus from Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu town) or you can be a little more adventurous and do the historic Inca Trail. Often described as the most memorable and exciting hike in the whole world, the typical Inca Trail is a four-day trek that follows the footsteps of the Incas and finishes at Machu Picchu. If you don’t have the time or the physical ability to complete a four-day trek, you can do the one-day Inca Trail from Kilometre 104, which is what we did.
Travellers doing this hike need wake up before sunrise in the town of Ollantaytambo and walk to the train station to catch an early train headed to Kilometre 104 or Chachabamba. Chachabamba is not a train station. It’s a sign in the middle of dense green mountainous terrain that marks the start of the one-day Inca Trail. It is also a check-point that verifies information for all travellers about to embark on the Inca Trail.
Okay… before we continue this journey, time for some FYIs:
- Make sure you have your passport with you because going on the Inca Trail is equivalent to crossing country borders.
- Make sure you bring at least 1.5 litres of water with you; carry all the water that you physically can.
- Even if the morning is chilly, know that you’ll be boiling by noon so dress according; tear-aways are recommended and so is layering.
- Walking stick will be helpful even if you are super-fit; they sell walking sticks for really cheap at the start of the trail or in any of the near-by towns. Continue reading