The Camino Inca

The Camino Inca is the actually a network of trails that once formed the Inca roads to Machu Picchu. Now there are established routes that the tour companies take hikers use up and over the mountains. Some of the trips take seven days and some days take four. Either way, hiking the four or seven days takes you through a series of climate zones that range from arid to rain forest and up and over two mountain passes  that are 4,198m and 3,950 meters respectively (that is 13772 feet and 12,959 feet for those not on the metric system). Both of the passes you climb on day two of the four day hike and needless to say at the end of the four days journey you are exhausted, but you are also standing at the sun gate waiting for your first view of Machu Picchu. Somehow through the sun and the rain and the cold and snow the prospect of this the eggs you on.  To read about the Camino Inca, check out my blog Here.

Small homestead along the Camino Inca. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson.

The climb begins. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson.

House along the trail, Camino Inca. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

The porters on the Inca Trail carry huge weights from camp to camp. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

An orchid along the trail. This particular orchid is found all around Machu Picchu.(2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

At the highest pass in the trail. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson.

Tree in a cloud forest, Camino Inca. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson

The Andes through rain forest. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson.

Huinay Huayna in the evening. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson.

Huinay Huayna, Forever Young, guards the road towards Machu Picchu. Here translucent butterflies float on the breezes. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson.

Sunrise over the Camino Inca on the third day of the hike. (2011) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson.