The Classic Inca Trail
Peru, South America
(January 7 – 10, 2016)
The Inca Trail is not what you think it is. Or rather, it was not what I thought it would be. I had no expectations. In fact I was slightly apprehensive about doing it, even up to two days before the start. The reason being that I was concerned that it would be too crowded or commercialised. In recent years the Classic Inca Trail has become one of the most famous and popular treks in the world.
The trail can only be done by joining a group and solo-trekking is not allowed. Mountain hiking is a type of meditative process for me and I was not sure whether such a busy trail would be ideal for that kind of experience. However, this route was highly recommended by everyone and would be the most appropriate for viewing ancient sites and ruins along the way.
I decided to just go with the flow and enjoy the scenery. I did not make any special preparations, except for having all the necessary gear. As for fitness, I had done the Colca Canyon trail a few days earlier, which was quite tough due to the heat, but mainly because I was not very fit, (although) I hoped it would be a good “warming-up exercise” for the Inca Trail. Otherwise I would adapt to the pace during the first day or so.
To my pleasant surprise the group I joined was an extended family from Cusco, doing the Inca Trail as a highlight of their annual holidays. Some of them had done the trail before. The advantage was that we were a small group and I could do my own thing most of the time and also be social at times.
In a nutshell: The Inca Trail is a very personal experience for each individual hiker – more about that in Part 2. In the meantime, without any further ado, here are some visual highlights of the first 3 days – enjoy the views.
The Classic Inca Trail – January 2016
Photography by Jean-Jacques
Copyright © 2016 – All Rights Reserved – Gypsy Café