Day 3, Inka Trail

Day 3, Inka Trail, Perú (5/11/2012)

[For an introduction to this four-day hike, see Day 1.]

Day 3: This was the longest day of the hike with the most distance covered and the most varied terrain. It started out like a miniature version of Day 2, climbing steeply, only instead of climbing 4,000 feet, we climbed just over 1,000 feet at which point we descended (just like yesterday) all the way back down to the earlier elevation on Inka steps. There were plenty of ups and downs after that, with the last leg being another long descent putting us back at the altitude of the very start on Day 1. Much of the trail today passed through a wonderful cloud forest with plants I have never seen anywhere before. There were also visits to several archeological sites along the way.

Total distance hiked today was about 9.5 miles in about 10 hours.

Continue to Day 4

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

Pacaymayo campsite

Another gorgeous day

Becky snapping Col

Trail below to the left

Moon over the Andes again

Climbing to the moon

Laura climbing steadily


Inside Runkurakay

Runkurakay from slightly above

Ascending from Runkurakay

Climbing Inka steps

Franklin and Laura


Franklin & Laura at left above lake

Ascending from lake


Runkurakay Pass: High point of day

Gorgeous wildflowers

Cairn at Runkurakay Pass

Taking a rest

Small tunnel

Now descending


Descending towards a swamp

Amazing views ...

... all along the way

Sayacmarca ruins at lower left

On Inka stones


Next we climb to Sayacmarca

View from Sayacmarca

View of Conchamarca below

Nice view of Inka trail

Franklin with our packs in Sayacmarca


Laura in Sayacmarca

Rock flowers

Lady bug

See the rock handle?

Laura on Inka steps

Descending back down

Wild deer

View to the valley

Trail through the cloud forest

Llama traffic after lunch

Awesome vegetation

Steep drop from path here

Inka steps

In the cloud forest

Laura gradually descending

Taking it slowly here

Huge rock formation

Another tunnel

Cloud forest colors

It started to rain

Stormy Andes peaks

An ethereal ...

... Phuyupata Pass

Descending to Phuyupatamarca


Steep descent here

Approaching Phuyupatamarca


Wandering ...

... around ...

... Phuyupatamarca

Worn Inka steps

Views ...

... from ...

... the ...

... cloud forest

Zoom to Aguas Calientes

Machu Picchu is near

Steep descent


Tight squeeze

Extremely rare handrails

It looks like the US west

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
Web design by Dan Balogh