The Inca Trail is a journey and a destination rolled into one, waymarked with natural and cultural rewards. The Andean scenery – from high, windswept tundra to humid cloud forest – is one well-earned prize for those who follow these ancient paths. Another is the hidden ruins, inaccessible by other means, which build up to the final destination of Machu Picchu. For others, the reward is the chance to spend days immersed in this lost world, of traditional Quechua villages and the sensation of being a true explorer.
What is the spell that the Inca Trail
casts over its hikers - and what lures so many modern pilgrims to this ancient pathway above the clouds?
Of course, Machu Picchu is one of the most spectacular wonders of the world – but there are easier ways to get there. The trail is a high-altitude battle against slippery rocks and erratic weather – yet its mystical Andean appeal draws thousands to hike it every year, and virtually every one of them would describe it as the highlight of their South American adventure. Whatever the reason, this pilgrimage continues to captivate as it did five centuries ago, and there is, undoubtedly, a little sparkle of magic in every strenuous step.