THE INCA TRAIL COVERS MUCH OF THE JUNGLE OF CUSCO

The impressive network of roads of the Incas had an initial length of 60,000 km and joined territories of the current nations of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. 39,000 kilometers survive to this day. Inca road to Machu Picchu is one of the best engineering works, made entirely by hand, without knowing of the existence of the wheel or the iron.

Introduction:

This trek has a total distance of approximately 43 kilometers and takes 4 days to complete. It includes a day trip in the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu.

The surrounding nature is wonderful, with breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. The walk through the jungle with its amazing archaeological remains is an unforgettable experience.

It is undoubtedly one of the most popular excursions for those who seek adventure when visiting Peru. Its spectacular landscapes of the chain of the Andes, shows a great mix of forest and mountains that you will enjoy from beginning to end. There is no other natural circuit anywhere that leads to a natural world with changing ecological floors constantly adorned with towering snows, rivers and great fauna and flora. To all these natural wonders are added Inca constructions that are worth visiting, the architectural art harmonizes perfectly with the natural environment. 

The Inca Trail in the Middle of the Jungle

The Inca Trail is located within the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. It has its own vegetation of the jungle, with a great diversity of species of flora and fauna, which are distributed from 1,800 m.s.n.m. up to 6,270 m.s. 

On Inca Trail, the flora is distributed from 2,800 m.s. up to 4,215 m.s. This variety of altitudinal floors influence not only the vegetation, but also the climates. There are considered nine life zones that have been designated as subtropical humid forest (2,000 m.s.), where there are many tall trees, shrubs and vines. 

  • Humid subtropical montane rain forest (2,400 – 3,000 m.s.) has a temperate and humid climate, characterized by being a very green forest with abundant trees.
  • Mountain forest (2,000 m.m. to 3,000 m.s.), in this forest is the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu with a temperate and very humid climate with abundant vegetation, shrubs and orchids.
  • Subtropical pluvial forest (3,000 m.s. to 3,800 m.s.), here is the Inca Trail, it has an evergreen forest, large trees, hillsides with climbing plants, shrubs, orchids, etc.
  • Very humid forest, is a valley with presence of slopes with vegetation, cold climate.
  • Subtropical wasteland (3,800 – 4,000 m.s.) cold climate the highest step of the Inca Trail, is considered within this ecological floor; the vegetation is pajonal type, small grass, is characterized by the presence of sloping lagoons and slopes.
  • Rainfall tundra, it occupies the high parts of the mountains until the snowy ones (4,000 – 4,900 ms.n.m.) the climate is cold, presence of high-Andean pastures. 

Good to know:

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, are characterized by having a diverse wild flora and species from high-Andean areas, such as jungle. Outstanding species with polylepis, ferns, shrubs, orchids and vascular flora. It is considered that there are 50 species of trees per hectare, almost 200 species of orchids have been registered, areas of moss and grass, babus, cultivation areas, bromeliads, wood species, such as cedar and laurel. There are also shrubs, such as the muña, the Pisonay Erythrina falcatas, a variety of begonias and puyas. There are a variety of food and medicinal plants. 

The Inca Trail is located in a sub-tropical zone, biogeographically speaking it is located in the eco-region of the Yunga – Quechua fluvial of Peru, because it is a warm valley. The climate is warm moderate, slightly humid, with seasonal rainfall of more than 400 mm. 

Basically, the temperature of rains, is from November to April. It gets cold, depending on the altitude, latitude and time of year and of course with presence of rains. The dry season is from May to October, however the rain can fall at any time of the year. 

The Inca Trail is Part of the Nature

It is stated that sustainability was the key to success so that the road lasts until today. Ramiro Matos is the chief curator of the exhibition, he is a native of the Quechua language and grew up transiting the network of Inca roads. 

The Incas were concerned about preserving the environment by making the way, part of nature. “This path is not only a physical path, it is a cosmological path and is considered alive.” Says Ramiro Matos. 

UNESCO declared the Inca road network as a World Heritage Site in 2014. Many of its stretches are still traveled by people of the many ethnic groups of the vast Andes region. 

Hike to Machu Picchu Through the Jungle

Inca Jungle to Machu Picchu is one of the best alternative routes of the Inca Trail. It will take you on a combined route, including mountain biking, hiking and a few stretches by car. It also includes optional adventures as; rafting, zip line or zip line, for 3 days to reach Machu Picchu, definitely an unforgettable experience. You can also appreciate the ecological diversity that Machu Picchu has. 

Start from the Malaga pass at 4,800 masl, with a descent by bicycle for approximately three hours until you reach Huamanmarca and then the town of Santa María. The second day continues this adventure with a walk along the banks of the Vilcanota River until you reach the town of Qellomayo and then enjoy a relaxing bath in the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. On the third day you can do adventure sports such as canoeing or zip line (zipline) and continue walking to the town of Aguas Calientes. The fourth day is the great climb to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. If you are an adventure lover, this is a tour to enjoy with friends and family that you will never forget and fully enjoy your vacation.