Following the Inca Trail
The mystery and romance of the New World grabs the interest of budding explorers everywhere. Our expert Travel Managers are often asked to arrange the ultimate South American adventure, and when it comes to Latin America's pre-colonial past, nothing can rival the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
An Andes Adventure
The Inca Trail is a trek that leads from several starting points and climaxes with an exploration of the world-famous Machu Picchu site. The site was built in the 15th century by the Inca and lies in modern-day Peru.
The Peruvian government has limited the numbers allowed on the trail to preserve it, and it now only allows 500 people per day, so booking early is essential. If this sounds like an adventure you can't afford to miss, simply call our Travel Managers to ensure you can get on the trail at the nearest opportunity.
There is a serene beauty to the mountains here. But the high altitude means that it is essential to give your body time to gradually acclimatise to the thinner air.
Acclimatize in Style
While waiting for you red cell account to increase, we highly recommend that you spend a few days in the luxury of Cuzco's Palacio Del Inka. This 5 Star hotel combines top-end, elegant luxury with the naturally friendly, caring service of the Peruvian people.
Perfect for you Inca adventure, the hotel recognises their importance as a base for your Machu Picchu pilgrimage. If you want your taste of ancient American civilisation to start earlier than the trail, the hotel's special concierge is a local expert in the sights and sites that can be found in the Inca's Sacred Valley upon which Cuzco lies.
In the hotel you will found a 500m2 spa with both ancient and modern practices to help you relax and prepare for the spiritual journey ahead. If you have any questions about how long you need to acclimatise or about the dangers of altitude sickness, our experience Travel Managers can explain everything before you set off.
Mastering the Trail
The trail is great for people who love to be active and outdoors. But we all know that life is much more fun when you don't have to worry about luggage.
From the trail's starting point in Mollepata you will be accompanied by porters helping with your trek – just ask our London Travel Managers to arrange it.
Although it can be tempting to charge along until you reach the breath taking conclusion, there are many amazing sights and experience along the way that it would be a terrible shame to overlook.
The terraced agricultural plots at Intipata ascend into the clouds and are an incredible display of the Inca's mastery of their mountain surroundings. There are several tunnels and staircases carved out of the granite mountains, along which every footstep should be savoured – you'll never see anything like this again!
For a site that is all about the atmosphere and aesthetic, it is a bonus that Machu Picchu isn't full of explanatory signs and information points. These would only detract. The site can simply be lived and taken in without accompanying lecture notes.
For those that love to read up on their history, there is a great museum at the bottom of the trail's final zigzagging ascent, the Carretira Hiram Bingham. Here you can find information in English and Spanish on the history, archaeology and preservation of this wonder of the world.
It is a surprise to many that at the very Machu Picchu site itself, there is a luxury hotel. Far from being a blot on the landscape, the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge has a humble, fitting exterior and is extremely conscious of the environmental and aesthetic impact it has on this beloved world heritage site.
Aside from being the only hotel in Machu Picchu, the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is known for its high level or service, accommodating staff and, of course, stunning views. Although what counts as luxury is somewhat mitigated when so high up in the mountains, a stay here is one you will never forget. The views from the rooms, the level of the service and the sense of occasion upon finally reaching Machu Picchu all make a stay here an incredible experience.