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Backpacker Magazine – March 2009

Hiking Peru's Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Hike to South America's acropolis.

by: Kelly Bastone

Machu Picchu means
Machu Picchu means "Old Mountain" in Quechua. (Tom Till)

PHOTO GALLERY
Hike the Peruvian backcountry to towering Andean peaks, secret waterfalls in the high country before taking a train through lush rainforest and the lost city of Machu Picchu.

The Perfect Circle: Hiking the Annapurna Circuit | Chile's Torres del Paine Circuit | Corsica's GR 20 | Peru's Inca Trail to Machu Picchu | Italy's Alta Via 1 | New Zealand's Milford Track | England's Pennine Way | Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro | Everest Base Camp, Tibet | Tour du Mont Blanc

Classic cred  Nestled into a remote mountainside, Machu Picchu floats like a castle in the sky. It's perched high above the Urubamba River chasm and surrounded by spiked peaks carpeted in orchids–more than 220 species have been identified in the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. A network of smaller ruins lines this 20-mile, four-day route: The trail hugs the frothing Urubamba before climbing through cloud forest to Warmiwanusqa (Dead Woman Pass) at a lung-straining 13,780 feet. Plunge past the ruins of Runkuracay and continue over Inca-era paving stones that wind through the ancient fortresses of Sayamarca and Winay Wayna, where the neighboring youth hostel spins Euro-pop into the night. Next morning, rise before dawn and join the glittering chain of headlamps bobbing toward Intipunktu–the Sun Gate, where hikers watch the day's first rays illuminate Machu Picchu's expertly crafted stone walls.

Beta  In 2001, Peru imposed trekking regulations requiring all hikers to travel with a licensed tour operator–which is saving the trail from the trashing it took in years past. Guides provide tents and food; you bring boots, backpack, and raingear. Avoid monsoon season (November through April), when low-lying clouds shroud the scenery and the trail's epic views. Go in May, when skies are clearer and crowds haven't yet peaked (high season is June through early September). Fly into Cusco from Lima and join your guide for a 37-mile bus ride to Ollantaytambo and the Inca Trailhead.

Local's tip  Peruvian kids often line the trail, offering to carry your pack at the precise moment that you're feeling most defeated. They'll want some money for their trouble, of course. Pack plenty of small bills and change. And save some for the hostel at Winay Wayna: It sells bottled beer but refuses notes larger than 20 nuevo soles (about $7).

Plan it  Book your guide four months in advance: Pachamama Explorers emphasizes cultural and ecological sustainability by supporting local projects, paying porters fairly, and packing out, instead of burying, all trekking trash (pmexplorers.com). All full? Check for last-minute openings with SAS Travel in Cusco (sastravelperu.com), one of the biggest local guide services, offering several departures per week.

Cost  Guided: $-$$




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READERS COMMENTS

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Everest base camp trekking Pakag
Feb 17, 2014

Everest base camp trekking Packages 2014

Everest trekking is the trekking in the beautiful Khumbu region of Nepal. Basically it is the trek in aiming the stunning view of the world's highest peak Mount Everest 8848 mt Renowned as one of the adventurous place to travel in the world
Highlights:
One of the famous Namche bazaars. 4,440 mt
Panorama view from Syangboche including Mt.Everest 8,848m
Sherpa people and culture
Closed view of Thamsherku, Amadablam & pumori
Sunrise view from kalapathar 5445 mt
Everest base camp 5362 mt
Khumbu glacier 5300 mt
Availability:
When do you want to go?
Activity Options
• 13 Days Everest Base Camp Trekking
Live guide: English speaking guides and Sherpa Porter s
Duration: 13 days, Private tour
Starts at meeting point, pick-up at hotel possible)
from $ 1170.00
(per person)
________________________________________
Renowned as one of the adventurous place to travel in the world, the region gets the worldwide attraction only after conquerement by the famous personnel Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in the year 1953.

Everest base camp trekking has always been one of the popular and the fascinating trekking route for all kind of travelers all around. After the flight to Lukla, the trekking route starts with the warm welcome by the Sherpa’s people in the famous stop named as Namche Bazaar. Here, you will have the first glance of the Everest at the background and stay continues here to acclimatization yourself for the further route ahead.

Thereafter, the epic journey continues following the beautiful monasteries, deep glaciers, georges and colorful villages. The beautiful Khumbu region is graced by the oldest and preserved Buddhist monasteries of Tengboche and Dingboche. The journey further leads you to the Khumbu glacier at 4910m. You can't stop yourself to stop at the places like Gorak Sep and Kalapatthar. Kallapathar at 5545m altitude is the highest point of this trekking. You will have the greatest relief with the view of the dazzling mountains like Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse around. Not only this, everyone is delighted by the beautiful Sherpa villages, fields, junipers and alpine forests of the protected region of Sagarmatha National park.

Everest base camp trekking gives you an opportunity to follow the classic trek made by the thousands of the trekkers from the past to the world's highest peak, lying on the amidst of the vast land of the mother earth. The opportunity to explore the hidden beauty of the nature and to capture the lifetime memories either within your heart or in the lens of the camera.

Outline itinerary: mt Everest base camp Itinerary day by days

Day 01: Pick up at Tribhuvan international airport & transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.Kathamndu

Day 02: 45 minute fly to lukla (2880m.) trek to phakding (2680m.)Approximately 3hr. overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 03: Trek up to Namche Bazar (3440m) approximately 7hr.overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 04: Hikking day for Acclimatization. Hike to Syangboche Everest view hotel(3800m)for panorama view including Mt Everest(8848m)& hike to khumjung valley (3730m)back to down Namche bazaar. Overnight stay at tea hose lodge.

Day 04: Trek up to Tengboche (3860m), approximately 5hr.overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 05: Trek up to Dingboche (4410m), approximately 6hr.overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 06: Trek up to Loubuche (4910m), approximately 5hr.overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 07: Trek up to Gorakshep (5140m), approximately 3hr.after lunch hike to Everest base camp back to Gorakchep. Overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 08: Climb to kalapathar early morning for sunrise view of Mt Everest & back to down Feriche (4240m), approximately 6hr. overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 09: Trek to down Tengboche (3860m), approximately 5hr.overnight stay at tea house lodge

Day 10: Trek to Namche bazaar (3440m), approximately 5hr. overnight stay at tea house lodge

Day 11: Trek to down phakding (2680m), approximately 7hr. overnight stay at tea house lodge

Day 12: Trek to lukla (2880m), approximately 3hr.overnight stay at tea house lodge.

Day 13: Morning take Breakfast and 45 minute fly to Kathmandu.
What's Included:
Pick up drop at international & domestic airport by private vehicle
2 night 3*level hotel in Kathmandu with B/B plan
KTM-Lukla-Ktm flight ticket.
An experienced English speaking guide trained licensed by government of Nepal, Tourism & civil aviation.
Highly experienced Sherpa porter (1 porter for 2 clients)
Guide flight ticket, food, drinks, accommodation, equipment, salary and insurance
Porter’s food, drinks, accommodation, equipment, salary and insurance.
Three times meals a days such as Breakfast, lunch & dinner during the trek.
Day 13 only breakfast
Tea or coffee during the trek.
Sagarmatha national park fee Trekking information management system (TIMS) card
Lodge accommodation during the trek.
Medical kit bag
Farewell dinner in kathmandu at traditional Nepali restaurant.
What's Not Included?
Nepal visa
International airfare
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
Extra night hotel in Kathmandu
Kathmandu valley sightseeing
Your travel insurance
Any emergency evacuation from mountain
Day 13 lunch and dinner
Good to Know:
Lukla flight always depends on whether condition. Bring 2 passport size pictures each for trekking permit and your travel insurance.

It is only allow bringing 15kg backpack for each person.
http://www.nepalguideinfo.com/Everest-Base-Camp.php
http://www.hikehimalayas.com/trekking-in-nepal/trekking-region/everest-region/everest-base-camp.htm
http://www.nepalguideinfo.com/
Email-:sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/sanjib.adhikari

Star
Treehanger134
Oct 27, 2013

I'm sorry, but it seems that the Reader Comments were mostly all written by the same person. Especially when you compare the grammar... Or am I the only one that sees it.....

Star Star Star Star Star
Nepal tour and trek guides
Jun 15, 2013

It was a nice 12 days trekking to Langtang valley with Our guide, Mr Sanjib he was very experienced and he took very good care of us during trekking in Everest all tour in Nepal. we have perfect weather and the views were amazing. during the mountain
Thank you Sanjib for organizing such an excellent trekking trip for us.
I hope we will get back soon in Nepal trek with you
Thnanks so much again your guide and Service !!
-John and Janet,Australia






We had a wonderful experience in trekking with an mountain trekking guide Mr. Sanjib Adhikari who was very knowledgeable, friendly and motivated us to keep during trekking! The accommodations he arranged for us were very comfortable and the food was relay great during the holidays . We will definitely recommend him to our friends and other travelers in Nepal
Thank you Sanjib!!

-Windy & Wandy,Newzealand






Trekking in Nepal was so wonderful. All those beautiful sights are just unforgetable.Thanks to Sanjib for making our 15 days trek safe,comfort and full of adventure.We would love to trek with you in near future and also recommend you to our frends and other travellers.Thanks for everything. Best of luck for your future.

-Mitchel & Thomas, Canada






I had great exeprience trekking to Ghorepani-poon hill. The exeprience was unbelievable great views with a great guide. The hotel and food exceeded my exepectation every thing was more than I expected. I will definitely reccomemned for Sanjib to other people coming to nepal.
-Sabina,Germany








We have had a fantastic two week trek to Everest base camp. Our Guide and porter. Sanjib and Pemba have been excellent and very attentive looking after us.Sanjib is a very good guide and taught us allot about Nepali culture. Pemba was a brilliant porter. We think he will make an excellent guide in future.The level of service from both Sanjib and Pemba was superb. They were available all the way to help us with anything we needed, and both were thoughtful about anything we might require, water, food showers, accommodation. Sanjib's knowledge of the area and the lodges meant that we were always happy with our accommodation. He took care to visit places which were comfortable and had home stay feel. Sanjib have the qualities to be excellent guide and porter and to give all his clients a wonderful trekking experience.We highly recommend him.
-Nedeen & Alisha,USA . http://www.nepalguideinfo.com/index.php?link=testomonial
www.nepalguideinfo.com
www.hikehimalayas.com
Email-sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com

Star Star Star Star Star
Trekking in Nepal
Apr 03, 2013

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Nepal mountain guides
Jan 28, 2013

http://www.nepalguideinfo.com/index.php?link=testomonial Testimonials

The trekking was very nice, the weather was beautiful, the days were long but we had seen lots of beautiful Himalayas. We liked the views from Gokyo and the Island peak. We thanked our Independent guide Mr Sanjib who organized the trip perfectly. We loved it!. We thanked Pemba who accompanied us as porter.
-Timu and Pimu,France







It was a nice 12 days trekking to Langtang valley. Our guide, Mr Sanjib was very experienced and he took very good care of us. Weather was perfect and the views were amazing.
Thank you Sanjib for organizing such an excellent trekking trip for us.
-John and Janet,Australia






We had a wonderful experience in trekking with an independent trekking guide Mr. Sanjib Adhikari who was very knowledgeable, friendly and motivated us to keep trekking! The accommodations he arranged for us were very comfortable and the food was great. We will definitely recommend him to our friends and other travelers.

-Windy & Wandy,Newzealand






Trekking in Nepal was so wonderful. All those beautiful sights are just unforgetable.Thanks to Sanjib for making our 15 days trek safe,comfort and full of adventure.We would love to trek with you in near future and also recommend you to our frends and other travellers.Thanks for everything. Best of luck for your future.

-Mitchel & Thomas, Canada






I had great exeprience trekking to Ghorepani-poon hill. The exeprience was unbelievable great views with a great guide. The hotel and food exceeded my exepectation every thing was more than I expected. I will definitely reccomemned for Sanjib to other people coming to nepal.
-Sabina,Germany








We have had a fantastic two week trek to Everest base camp. Our Guide and porter. Sanjib and Pemba have been excellent and very attentive looking after us.Sanjib is a very good guide and taught us allot about Nepali culture. Pemba was a brilliant porter. We think he will make an excellent guide in future.The level of service from both Sanjib and Pemba was superb. They were available all the way to help us with anything we needed, and both were thoughtful about anything we might require, water, food showers,accomodation. Sanjib's knowledge of the area and the lodges meant that we were always happy with our accommodation. He took care to visit places which were comfortable and had home stay feel. Sanjib have the qualities to be excellent guide and porter and to give all his clients a wonderful trekking experience.We highly recommend him.
-Nedeen & Alicha,USA . http://www.nepalguideinfo.com
www.hikehimalayas.com
email-sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com

Star Star Star Star Star
Joe Mackenzie
Dec 26, 2012

Local's tip Peruvian kids often line the trail, offering to carry your pack at the precise moment that you're feeling most defeated. They'll want some money for their trouble, of course. Pack plenty of small bills and change. And save some for the hostel at Winay Wayna: It sells bottled beer but refuses notes larger than 20 nuevo soles (about $7).
---
Hi there,
Just a note to update your info above.
No any more kids as porter waiting at the start of trek to help with your bags,book a shared porter when you book a tour with your operator, controllers are strict at the start.
Huiñaywayna lodge is not any more open, it is closed for more than a year, so no warm shower, you can share guide´s cold shower at this last camp, SAS organize to avoid this camp for our group and the tour ended great, we were so happy to avoid this unpleasent camp crowded and noisy, we stayed at their hostel and it was awesome.

Star Star Star Star Star
Nirmal
Dec 23, 2012

Hi Faride,

Firstly, thanks for the blog post. Its quite informative.

I am currently based in South Africa (on a project) and plan to travel to Machu Pichu in the first week of March. I understand it would be the wet season there. Owing to constraints on leave, March first week is when i can travel. Wanted to check with you if this is feasible? What additional arrangements would we require to negate any weather conditions?

Thanks,
Nirmal

Amanda Sass
Nov 15, 2012

Hiking the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Pichu was a great experience. I did it this past July with a group of Girl Scout Backpackers. It was one part of our 15 day Peru Trip. Plan early and get in shape. That will make your experience much more enjoyable. Acclimate well before you get on the trail. I am 52 and it was a great experience but the hike over Dead Women's Pass was a challenge.

Laurel
Nov 15, 2012

I visited a number of Incan ruins when I was in Peru. I was not able to book a hike into Machu Picchu (took the train), but instead hiked into and out of Choquequirao. This was a four day hike, descended into the second deepest valley into the world, and emerged at the "sister city" of Machu Picchu. Barely any other groups/tourists brave the rustic at best conditions and it was spectacular. On a side note, if you do go to Machu Picchu as well, hike up nearby Putucusi Mtn for a unique view of Machu Picchu!

Bill
Nov 15, 2012

My wife and I did the 7 day Lodge to Lodge hike to Machu Picchu for our honeymoon. Great mix of spectacular hiking and views with luxury accommodations and some of the best food you will have while in Peru. Check it out. http://www.mountainlodgesofperu.com/2010/index.html

coco
Oct 06, 2012


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Joshep
Aug 16, 2012

Just found this informative video about the inca trail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVRFxeDZNao

Simon Hatfield
Feb 19, 2012

Leading up to my trip to Peru last year, all I thought I wanted to do was hike the Inca Trail! Upon enquiring further I discovered "the Inca Trail" was already fully booked - quite the disappointment. So, I signed up for an Aspiring Adventures trip as their "backdoor to Machu Picchu" tour looked really enticing. Well - what a fantastic choice! I would whole-heartedly recommend this version of getting to Machu Picchu to anyone - I had such a great time! Check them out some time: www.AspiringAdventures.com. Also, going to Lake Titicaca is well worth the extra time.

Glenda
Feb 02, 2012

Yes, there are other trails aside from the Inca Trail. I did the 5-day Salkantay trek last August 2011 - with a group and guide. The variety and changing views were awesome - small villages, mountains, glacier and then finally Machu Picchu. Prices for the tour varies. Try to book locally - you will save a lot of $$$.

Katherine
Feb 01, 2012

Surely Machu Picchu is a must place to visit and the inca trail is not the only way to get to.
To do the inca trail you must book in advance many months in advance. There is another way to get to Machu Picchu enjoying the fantastic landscape, doing biking down hill, visiting local communities and without too many tourist. I am talking about THE INCA JUNGLE TRAIL which include biking and trekking , is the more original & fun way to Get to Machu Picchu.

There are few companies who offer quality service in this tour. Pie Peru a swiss peruvian company is safe option.

Katherine
Feb 01, 2012

Surely Machu Picchu is a must place to visit and the inca trail is not the only way to get to.
To do the inca trail you must book in advance many months in advance. There is another way to get to Machu Picchu enjoying the fantastic landscape, doing biking down hill, visiting local communities and without too many tourist. I am talking about THE INCA JUNGLE TRAIL which include biking and trekking , is the more original & fun way to Get to Machu Picchu.

There are few companies who offer quality service in this tour. Pie Peru a swiss peruvian company is safe option.

Roger
Jun 02, 2011

I'll echo Mike's Salkantay shout-out, no need for guides on this trek and gives solitude and mountain views that the Inca Trail does not. Downside is there's not as many Inca ruins, but chances are you'll be overwhelmed by ruins anyway if you tour around Cusco and maybe the Sacred Valley on the way out.

Or if you'd like to visit a trekkers paradise while in Peru, head north from Lima to Huaraz, you can hit the Cordillera Blanca, home to the world's tallest peak in the tropical zone: Huascaran.

Mike Curtis
Mar 25, 2011

For those looking for an alternative to the classic Inca Trail, I highly recommend the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Less crowded, breathtaking landscapes. From my personal experience, I highly recommend Latika Salkantay (www.latikasalkantay.com).

sonya@incatrailhiking.com
Apr 16, 2010

Did you know there is more than one Inca Trail? The Incans developed a vast network of trails, some of which lead to Machu Picchu. When people talk about the Inca Trail, they are generally referring to the Classic Inca Trail, as mentioned above; a four- to five-day hike that usually begins at milepost 82 or 88 and goes to Machu Picchu. However, there are other alternatives, including the "Original" Inca Trail (also called the Riverside Trail or Royal Inca Trail), which is the lower-altitude route that follows the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. It is a pleasant hike that avoids the steep mountain passes and is much easier and a couple days shorter than the Classic Trail. Although the Original Trail also requires an Inca Trail Pass, it is much less heavily traveled, if you are looking to get away from the hordes of other trekkers. The Classic Inca Trail is around 30 kilometers (depending on where you start) and the Original Inca Trail is roughly half that (again, depending where you start).

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Posted On: Aug 26, 2014
Submitted By: High_Sierra_Fan
The Political Arena
The audacity of coal mining companies. They want
Posted On: Aug 26, 2014
Submitted By: High_Sierra_Fan
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