The route of the marvelous, centuries-old Inca Trail, in the stretch best-known today, takes us back to the era of the mysterious and enigmatic Inca civilization, and will enable the hiker to relive the fascinating adventure of walking for four days down the superb, spectacular and veritable Inca road. The trail is paved throughout the route and runs down stairways and through tunnels in the heights of the Urubamba Valley.
Most of the trail winds through mountainous rainforest, redolent with the fragrance of damp earth. The area is inhabited by vizcacha rodents, foxes and condors and other bird species.
The expeditions are usually organized according to the number of tourists, with two porters for each hiker: one carries the food for the four-day hike and the other carries tents, sleeping bags and various changes of clothing needed for the various climates that visitors will come across on the trail.
The porters, called huayruros, charge a small fee for acting as bearers, and usually come from the peasant communities of Willoq and Patankancha in the upper reaches of Ollantaytambo, a community that still preserves many of the Incas’ customs. These men usually wear native dress, something which attracts most tourists..
An alternative to the use of porters is to rent out llamas which can carry up to 30 kg of cargo, as in few parts of the world do men still carry cargo. The custom, however, are still used on African hunting safaris as well as the Oceanic continent.