The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (in Spanish known as Camino Inca or Camino Inka) is located in the Andes mountain range. It passes through cloud forests, alpine tundras and other types of Andean environments. Along the way you’ll come across Incan ruins, settlements and tunnels. The trail ends at the famous sun gate on Machu Picchu mountain.
There are three (overlapping) trails that lead to Machu Picchu: the Mollepata trail, the Classic trail and the One Day trail.
The Mollepata trail is the longest and toughest trail and takes 6 days to complete. It starts in the town of Mollepata and includes a pass at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,400 feet). This trail is only recommended for those who are in good shape!
The Classic trail takes four or five days to complete. A one or two day trek is also possible, starting at Km 104 (the One Day trail). One of the highlights of the trail is the Warmiwañusca, or “Dead Woman’s Pass”, a mountain pass located at 4,215 meters (13,800 feet) above sea level.
The Inca Trails have become quite popular in recent years. The Peruvian government became concerned about overuse of the trail and has put limitations on the number of people hiking the trail. A maximum of 500 are allowed to start each day, including porters and guides. As a consequence, it books out quickly, especially in the high season. Every February the trail is closed for maintenance and cleaning.22 February 2013