Many people are fans of hiking because it represents a challenge and challenges those who dare to walk these routes looking for that feeling of gratification that can only come from completing them. It is because it is significantly physically demanding. The hike can take you to some of the most incredible and breathtaking destinations in the world, places that not everyone can access that are full of wonders and treasures that only by choosing to traverse these trails can you experience. And they can also involve risks. These reasons explain why the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is so attractive to so many people. But there is risk and there is real danger. And the latter is not for everyone, nor should it be. So is the hike to Machu Picchu dangerous? In this article we will try to give you a new perspective on it.
What you need to know about the hike to Machu Picchu
Key facts about Machu Picchu
Located in the Andes Mountains, more than 2,000 meters above sea level, Macchu Picchu is one of the most emblematic icons of the Inca Empire. Built around 1450 A.D., it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. And in 2007 Machu Picchu was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, definitely a destination you should visit sometime in your life.
Is the hike to Machu Picchu dangerous?
The hike to Machu Picchu, following the Salkantay route, can be tough and largely demanding for most hikers. It covers a distance of approximately 74 km (45.98 miles). Much of it at considerable altitude, where the lack of oxygen is noticeable. This means you can tire very quickly, and altitude sickness is a risk for those who are not acclimatized. Good physical condition can be beneficial if you are going to undertake this trip, as experience in endurance exercise is also recommended. If you hike regularly, this will not be a major problem. However, very few people would describe the Machu Picchu route as dangerous or high risk.
How long does it take to walk to Machu Picchu Picchu?
You have several options to take a hike to Machu Picchu. First of all, the most well known and recommended for being a section of the ancient routes that linked the Inca empire, the Inca Trail, which is part of the Qhapaq Ñan or also called the great road. This used to unite the different important cities that made up the Tahuantinsuyo empire. This route is challenging, yes, but we would not consider it dangerous, of course, if you follow the recommendations provided by your guide and do not go off the trail.
If you decide to opt for a more challenging alternative than the previous one and therefore much more dangerous. You can walk to the citadel of Machu Picchu through the Salkantay route, although as mentioned before you must be a person better acclimatized to the altitude of the place, which will significantly hinder your journey, but omitting this setback the hike is an experience to be carried out, visiting amazing landscapes of the Peruvian Andes and through different climates and ecosystems as this hike despite its difficulty is a diamond in the rough.
Inka Jungle Trek
If you opt more for a mixed route full of adventure and adrenaline, there is also an option for you. The Inka Jungle Trek combines several outdoor activities with hiking through the Andean Rainforest of Cusco, through these landscapes you will not suffer with the discomfort generated by the altitude and you can enjoy your journey complementing it with activities such as cycling, rafting or zip lining through two mountains.
Machu Picchu is truly a destination without equal. Shaped by points like an astronomical observatory, where its sacred stone Intihuatana is exactly aligned with the sun during the two equinoxes of the year. This historic citadel was built without adhesives among the thousands of stones that make it up, built by some of the best stone workers in the world. The land surrounding the archaeological complex is home to some spectacular, albeit endangered, species. The trek to Machu Picchu can be physically demanding. And, like any hike, it is not without its risks. But is the hike really dangerous? We would say no, make the decision today and visit Machu Picchu through one of the recommended options.