The Inca Trail is part of a 30.000 kilometer highway system, that integrated the vast Inca Empire of Tawantinsuyo (The Four Ways), running from southern Colombia to central Chile passing through the cities of Quito in Ecuador; Cajamarca, Huanuco, Jauja, Huamanga and Cusco in Peru; La Paz and Cochabamba in Bolivia; and finishing in Salta and Tucuman in Argentina. These highways run mainly by the coast, through the Highlands and in some cases reached the tropical mountains near the Amazon forest. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a fine example of this last type of highway.
Walking this Andean highway is a truly fascinating and unforgettable experience. The Trail is paved with blocks of stone, It has stone stairways, tunnels and wooden bridges. It crosses rivers, streams, temperate valleys, warm cloud forests and cold highlands. Essentially the Inca Trail is a mountainous jungle hike leading to the sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu. The 43km (26.7 millas) trek is usually covered in 4 days, arriving at Machu Picchu.
Furthermore Hiking the Inca Trail is a highly rewarding holiday choice! It is the best of its kind in the world, due to its exquisite natural beauty and unforgettable views offering a wide variety of ecological areas, from deserts to tropical Andean cloud forest; home to exotic plants and animal life. On the Inca Trail, there are over 250 known species of orchids, and in the different ecosystems, numerous rare birds, animals, and reptiles including several species considered to be in danger of extinction.