Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic landmarks in South America, and hiking the Inca Trail to get there is an unforgettable experience. The 3-day hike to Machu Picchu is a popular option for travelers who want to experience the trail but don’t have the time or physical stamina for the full 4-day hike. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at what to expect on the Machu Picchu 3-day hike.
Day 1: Cusco to Wayllabamba
The hike begins early in the morning with a bus ride from Cusco to the trailhead at Kilometer 82. From there, you’ll begin the trek, passing through several small villages and lush green valleys on your way to the first campsite at Wayllabamba. This first day of the hike is relatively easy, with a gentle incline and plenty of stops for rest and photos.
Day 2: Wayllabamba to Pacaymayo
The second day of the hike is the most challenging, with a steep climb to the highest point of the trail, Dead Woman’s Pass. At an altitude of 13,800 feet, this climb is a real test of endurance and willpower. However, the stunning views from the top make the effort worthwhile. After reaching the summit, you’ll descend to the second campsite at Pacaymayo.
Day 3: Pacaymayo to Machu Picchu
On the final day of the hike, you’ll rise early and set off before sunrise for the final push to Machu Picchu. This section of the trail passes through several Incan ruins, including the impressive Phuyupatamarca. As you descend towards Machu Picchu, the scenery changes from rugged mountain peaks to lush jungle. Finally, you’ll arrive at the Sun Gate, where you’ll get your first glimpse of the iconic Machu Picchu.
After a short rest and some time to take in the view, you’ll descend into the ruins themselves for a guided tour. Your guide will explain the history and significance of this incredible Incan city, giving you a deeper appreciation for the complex structures and advanced engineering techniques used by the Incas.
In conclusion, the Machu Picchu 3-day hike is a challenging but rewarding journey that offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the ancient culture of the Incas. With expert guides, comfortable campsites, and delicious meals, this hike is a fantastic option for travelers who want to experience the magic of Machu Picchu in a shorter amount of time.