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Inca Trail Highlights

Besides being pleasantly surprised by the overall state of the trail, I was even more pleased to learn there were literally dozens of other highlights along the four-day hike. I had figured that walking into Machu Picchu by way of the Sun Gate would be a great moment, but I did not realize there would be so many other great moments along the way…
  • Terraced ruins of agricultural sites like Winay Wayna, which provided food for the royal families living at Machu Picchu
  • Ruins of smaller guard stations along the way, which kept these “royal roads” open to only the most important of travelers
  • Stone structures that seem to disappear into the clouds
  • Llamas waiting at the top of Phuyupatamarca (“cloud level town”) to show you views of snow-capped peaks such as Salcantay
  • Ever-changing vegetation from borderline desert to full-on cloudforest
  • Some of the best road-building in the ancient world (Whereas the Romans had horses and therefore built flat roads at all cost, the Incas had llamas and built roads to suit their unique ability to climb. So for example, spiral rock staircases beat out long flat switchbacks.)
Inca Trail
Inca Trail (Kevin Moore)

Ruins along Inca Trail
Ruins along Inca Trail (Kevin Moore)

Ruins in the clouds, Inca Trail
Ruins in the clouds, Inca Trail (Kevin Moore)

Phuyupatamarca, Inca Trail
Phuyupatamarca, Inca Trail (Kevin Moore)

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