What makes the Inca Trail so unique?

One day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Aracari’s Weekly Insight

The Question:

What makes the Inca Trail so unique?

The Answer:

Next week on CNN en Español, viewers from across the world will have the chance to see how Aracari operates the Inca Trail, one of the most popular trekking routes in the world.

Here are just a few reasons why this trekking experience is held in such high esteem:

1)    Variety of landscapes, climates and ecosystems.

Traversing through a variety of different landscapes, the scenery on the Inca Trail is breathtaking, and is surely one of the reasons that makes it so special. Partakers in the trek will see high Andes Mountains, cloud forests, puna grasslands and cross high passes along the way, and the huge variety of wildlife, birdlife and flora that populate these climates. The blend between these different types of terrain also offers some quite spectacular views, with the Andes dwindling down into the high Amazon rainforest.

2)    Inca ruins only accessible by foot

Another reason that the trail is one of a kind is that it visits three major sets of Inca ruins along the way, all of which are only accessible by foot.

On the first day trekkers visit the ruins of Llactapata, an impressive site with terracing and buildings forming what looks like a small, fortressed village on the hillside.

On the third day, hikers visit Sayacmarca and nearby Phuyupatamarca, both extensive complexes with remains of terracing and buildings. After camping nearby to Phuyupatamarca, one of the highlights of the trek is considered to be waking up to the sun rise over the ruin just before making the final trek to Machu Picchu.

Perhaps the most remarkable ruin on the route, however, is Wiñay Wayna. This beautiful site, of particular spiritual importance for the Incas, consists of arcing Inca terracing following the contour of the hillside and includes a complex of buildings embedded into the ruins.

3)    Arrival at a wonder of the world

Surely the most unique thing about the trail is that it leads to one of the wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. On the fourth day trekkers arrive at the ruins through the sun gate, giving a unique first vista of the site, just as the Incas would have arrived. This is a marvelous experience, and hugely rewarding after days of difficult trekking. And of course it is also rewarding spending time exploring this world famous site.

To find out why the Aracari Inca Trail is so unique, watch us on CNN en Español next week! Follow the CNN iReport Aventurero team hike along the Trail with Aracari guide Ruben and our team of porters. The episodes are on Tuesday the 6th and Thursday 8th of December at 5.45pm ET in the USA. You can also see the pictures from the trek on the CNN iReport Aventurero facebook page

Also be sure to check out information on all of our Peru luxury trekking options.

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