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Embracing the Magic: My Journey Along the Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu

Greetings fellow adventurers and nature enthusiasts! Today, I am absolutely thrilled to recount my recent escapade along the legendary Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu. 

Strap on your hiking boots and prepare for a tale filled with wonder, laughter, and awe-inspiring scenery. Trust me, this journey is not just about reaching a destination; it’s about immersing oneself in the ancient history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes of Peru’s Andean Mountains.

Why I Chose the Inca Trail Express

alpaca - peru inca trail - bamba travel

Now, you might wonder why I opted for the Inca Trail Express instead of the traditional four-day trek. Well, my dear readers, let me tell you—it’s all about striking the perfect balance between adventure and comfort! If you’re like me, craving the thrill of the trail but also keen on savoring every moment without exhausting yourself, then this trip is tailor-made for you.

The promise of hiking through the original stone staircases of the Inca Trail, culminating in a triumphant arrival at Inti Punku (Sun Gate) overlooking Machu Picchu, was simply too enticing to resist. And let’s not forget the allure of witnessing the magic of Machu Picchu bathed in the ethereal glow of the early morning light. Ah, who could resist such an enchanting adventure?

Preparation for the Inca Trail

meditation to prepare self for the inca trek

As the departure date drew near, excitement bubbled within me like a pot of boiling quinoa. With meticulous care, I packed my essentials—sturdy hiking boots, a trusty backpack, sunscreen (because even adventurers need protection from the sun), and of course, a boundless sense of curiosity.

A heartfelt shoutout to my local travel expert who orchestrated every detail of this journey with precision and care. Without their expertise, I might have been lost in a sea of logistics. Thank you for turning my dream into a reality!

Armed with a map of the trail and a heart full of anticipation, I embarked on this unforgettable expedition, ready to embrace whatever the Andean wilderness had in store for me.

Read This: Preparing For A Machu Picchu Adventure

Day 1: The Journey Begins

inca trail clouds

The crack of dawn saw me at the designated meeting point, eyes shining with excitement and caffeine coursing through my veins. Accompanied by fellow adventurers, we boarded our chariot—a comfortable vehicle bound for the Ollantaytambo train station, our gateway to the mystical realms of the Inca Trail.

As the train chugged along, winding through verdant valleys and towering peaks, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer majesty of nature. Every bend in the track revealed a new panorama, each more breathtaking than the last.

Upon reaching KM 104, our starting point, we wasted no time in lacing up our boots and setting foot on the storied path. The next four hours unfolded like a symphony of sweat and determination, punctuated by moments of sheer wonder as we ascended towards Wiñayhuayna, an ancient Incan archaeological site perched at 2,700 meters above sea level.

Under the guidance of our knowledgeable leader, we delved into the rich tapestry of history woven into the stone walls and terraces of Wiñayhuayna. With each step, I felt a profound connection to the land and its storied past—a sensation that would only deepen in the days to come.

But what’s adventure without a hearty meal to fuel the spirit? A well-deserved lunch awaited us after a brief hike, replenishing our energy for the final stretch towards Inti Punku—the fabled Sun Gate. And oh, what a sight it was! As the veil of mist parted, revealing the iconic silhouette of Machu Picchu in the distance, I stood transfixed, humbled by the grandeur of it all.

Day 2: Machu Picchu Beckons

machu picchu walls - incan empire - bamba travel

With the first rays of dawn painting the sky in hues of gold and rose, we embarked on the final leg of our journey—a guided tour of Machu Picchu itself. Led by a bilingual expert, we wandered through ancient plazas and labyrinthine corridors, each step unraveling the mysteries of this enigmatic citadel.

As our guide regaled us with tales of Incan ingenuity and spiritual significance, I couldn’t help but be swept away by the palpable sense of history that permeated the air. From the awe-inspiring Temple of the Sun to the iconic Intihuatana Stone, every corner of Machu Picchu seemed to whisper secrets of a bygone era.

And then, as if by magic, we were granted precious moments of solitude to explore at our own pace, camera in hand, capturing memories to last a lifetime. Whether gazing out over the precipice of Huayna Picchu or simply sitting in quiet contemplation amidst the ruins, I felt a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunity to tread in the footsteps of ancient civilizations.

Final Word

As I reflect on my whirlwind adventure along the Inca Trail Express, I am reminded of the transformative power of nature and the indomitable spirit of exploration that resides within us all. From the rugged beauty of the Andean landscape to the timeless allure of Machu Picchu, this journey has left an indelible mark on my soul.

So, to all my fellow wanderers and dreamers out there, I urge you to seize the opportunity to embark on your own Inca Trail adventure. Whether you opt for the express route or the classic four-day trek, rest assured that the rewards are beyond measure. And remember, as you traverse the ancient pathways of the Andes, take a moment to pause, breathe, and marvel at the wonders that surround you.

Until next time, keep exploring, keep dreaming, and above all, keep embracing the magic of the great outdoors. Adventure awaits!

Mariah Fenley headshot

Guest post written by Mariah Fenley

With a stethoscope draped around her neck and a passport in hand, Mariah embarks on adventures around the globe, seamlessly blending her love for medicine with her wanderlust spirit.