Day 1, Inka Trail

Day 1, Inka Trail, Perú (5/9/2012)

In early May of 2012 we spent two weeks in the incredibly beautiful country of Perú. One of the highlights was our four-day hike along 25 miles of the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, the most famous trek in all of South America. The hike, and especially Day 2, was some of the toughest hiking we have ever done. At elevations as high as 14,000 feet, we climbed and descended thousands of feet every day, the majority of the time on the original Inka stones and steps with heights anywhere from a few inches to nearly a foot. The scenery was breathtaking. Our trek was through Wayki Trek, with Franklin as our guide. There were two other hikers with our party, the wonderful Becky and Colin from the UK. We also had two cooks and three porters to lug the tents, food and cooking items. We hauled our clothes and toiletries.

You can see the elevation profile here. For a KMZ file of the trail, click here and if you have Google Earth installed, it should open automatically (zoom in as needed).

Day 1: After a 2.5 hour drive from Cusco to the trailhead at Piscacucho we were anxious to get started after sorting our gear in some señora's backyard. After checking in with our passports, and crossing over the Urubamba River, we began climbing immediately. The path on Day 1 was mostly sand with a smattering of steps, and paralleled the river (and railway across the river) for the first half. After veering away from the river we reached the archeological site of Patallacta far below. Next came lunch at Tarayoc, followed by more hiking before reaching our overnight campsite in Huayllabamba.

Total distance hiked today was nearly 8 miles in about 6 hours.

Continue to Day 2

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Sorting our stuff

Laura and a lamb

We're anxious to go!

Franklin and the corn beer "sign"

Road to the trail head

Photo-snapping at sign

We're at the trail head!


Descending to the checkpoint

Burro off the path


Prickly pear cactus

What scenery!

Footbridge over Urubamba River

It swayed!

Urubamba River

Perú Rail across river

Porter climbing towards me

View west

Laura and some porters

Breath-taking ...

... views

Laura and Becky


Franklin and Colin

Spanish Moss above Franklin and Col


Perú Rail below

First snack and beverage stop


Franklin being goofy


Veronica mountain

Ruins across river

View west

View east

Another rest stop

Col, Laura and Franklin

Some steps

Col climbing steps

Hikers behind us

Inka Trail in the valley

Two horses passing

Cows relaxing off trail

Patallacta below



Franklin above Patallacta

Col poking around


See the trail far ahead?

Becky descending


Franklin and Laura

Our lunch spot

Elevation profile

Tight squeeze with horse

Veronica Mountain looms over us


Bottled water, cat not included

Our campsite

Resting after Day 1

Veronica resting

View from inside tent

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