If you’re looking for an alternative to the 4-day trek to Machu Picchu that still offers a fantastic adventure in the Andean Mountains, then the Inca Trail Express 2D/1N by Bamba Travel might be your perfect choice. Join me on this exhilarating journey as we hike along the original stone staircases of the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Cuzco to Aguas Calientes
My adventure began with an early pick-up at 3:45 am in Cuzco, filled with anticipation for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. We were swiftly transported to the Ollantaytambo train station, where our exciting journey officially commenced.
The train ride to KM 104, the starting point of our trek, was a mesmerizing journey through the stunning Peruvian landscape. As the train approached our destination, the excitement among our group was palpable.
Upon arrival, we were ready for a four-hour uphill hike through the heart of the Andes. The scenery was nothing short of breathtaking, with panoramic views of lush valleys and towering peaks that seemed to touch the sky. Nature’s grandeur invigorated my spirit and made me appreciate all the positive travel reviews that I read about this place.
Our first major stop was the archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna, situated at 2,700 meters above sea level. Our knowledgeable guide shared stories of Inca culture and history, immersing us in the rich heritage of this incredible place.
After our cultural exploration, a well-deserved lunch was served, re-energizing us for the adventures ahead. Following our meal, we embarked on a short, but picturesque, 10-minute hike through the Andean wilderness.
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly reaching the Inti Punku, also known as the Sun Gate. As I ascended the stone steps and gazed upon Machu Picchu in the distance, I was overwhelmed by a sense of awe and reverence. The sight of the ancient citadel surrounded by lush greenery and cradled by the majestic Andes was truly a sight to behold.
As the sun began to dip below the horizon, casting a warm golden glow over Machu Picchu, I knew that I had just witnessed one of the most magical moments of my life. Our group was filled with a sense of accomplishment as we took in the breathtaking views.
To conclude our day of adventure, a tourist-class bus transported us to Aguas Calientes, the charming town located at the base of Machu Picchu. There, our local travel expert helped us check into our hotel for a restful night, preparing ourselves for the grand finale on the following day.
Day 2: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
The second day of our Inca Trail Express adventure promised to be equally exhilarating. The day began early, as we boarded a tourist-class bus to ascend once more to the marvelous UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a professional bilingual guide who led us on an enlightening tour of this world-famous archaeological wonder. The guide’s in-depth knowledge of the site added layers of meaning to our visit. With every step, we delved deeper into the history and culture of Machu Picchu, enhancing our appreciation for this remarkable place.
After the guided tour, we had the freedom to explore Machu Picchu at our own pace. I ventured to capture the perfect shot, savoring every angle and corner of this ancient city. The tranquility of the morning visit allowed us to connect with the energy and mystique that surrounds Machu Picchu.
For those with a thirst for adventure, the option to hike Huayna Picchu was available. This steep peak, located within the Machu Picchu site, offered unparalleled views of the citadel from a unique perspective. Although the trek was challenging, the reward was immeasurable, and it was a test of true adventurers. Planning ahead is essential for this hike, as limited travel passes are available.
After our explorations, we returned to Aguas Calientes by bus. The town offered a perfect blend of relaxation and vibrant culture, with internet cafes, games, and a bustling local marketplace for last-minute souvenirs.
As the day drew to a close, we boarded the train to Ollantaytambo, the gateway back to Cuzco. The sun was setting, casting a warm glow over the majestic landscapes of the Andes. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as I reflected on the incredible journey that had brought me to Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail Express 2D/1N by Bamba Travel offers a whirlwind adventure that packs the beauty and mystique of Machu Picchu into a shorter timeframe. Hiking through the Andean mountains, exploring ancient ruins, and taking in the grandeur of Machu Picchu is an experience that will leave any adventurer, be they novice or experienced, forever changed.
The memories of those two action-packed days will remain etched in my mind. From the moment I set foot on the Inca Trail to the awe-inspiring views from the Sun Gate, and the captivating history of Machu Picchu, this journey was a testament to the enduring legacy of the Inca civilization.
If you’re looking for an adventure that will awaken your spirit and challenge your limits, the Inca Trail Express is an excellent choice. It’s a testament to the boundless beauty and historical significance of Machu Picchu, a destination that continues to draw travelers from all corners of the globe. So, fellow adventurers, make this your next quest and embrace the magic of Machu Picchu.
Check out the Inca Express Trek from Bamba Travel.
Guest post written by Harry Trupal
Harry Trupal is a rugged and adventurous photographer with a passion for exploration.