We made it to camp after a really long day of hiking. Our guide asked if wanted to be in awe a bit more that day. We obviously wanted to! We trekked through the camp and a little out of the way to arrive at the amazing Winay Wayna. It ended up being one of my favorite sites on the trip. Over looking the river and lush mountains. You feel at peace in the silence at Winay Wayna. Away from the world.
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Trek Into The Clouds
High up in the Andes Mountains, along the Inca Trail. This is the start of day 3 on the trail. It is almost 8 hours of hiking, but every step along the way is worth it.
The first stop (which is near the top left of this photo) is Runkurakay, a structure that is more like an outpost. It has a commanding view of the valley below. After passing a ridge and forging ahead over stones laid by the Incas themselves, you come upon another fortress called Sayacmarca, which again looks over the valley below it. A well needed stop for lunch marks the middle of the day, but it is far from over.
After lunch, the first stop is Phuyupatamarca, or, "Cloud Level Town," and it doesn't take long to realize where the name came from. The clouds gently rool over and through the stone structure. And the last stop of the day is impressive indeed. Winay Wayna is a terraced town at a lower elevation, and has the final campsite nearby. Next stop, Machu Picchu in the morning.
We hiked with Peru Treks, who were amazing. The guides were knowledgeable, the food was amazing, and the experiences unforgettable!
The last stop on the Inca Trail before Machu Picchu
We had a memorable 4 days of hiking on the Camino Inca through the Andes mountains, traipsing through mud, mist and rain, over rickety rope bridges across the white water rapids of the Rio Urubamba, and in the footsteps of the ancient Inca people on 500 year old trails and steep rocky steps. Around every turn in the trail, we found yet another precisely built and incredibly engineered abandoned Inca ruin, surrounded by rain forests or perched on terraced mountainsides: a temple, a tambo, a farm, or a spectacular city.
The perpetual fog added to the mysticism as we caught glimpses of ruins through the low clouds as we walked at 8000+ feet along the trail. At our campsite on the last night, we peered out of our tent pitched high on the side of the mountain, and saw the tops of those clouds beneath us in the valley below. On the final day, we arrived at the Sun Gate at sunrise, and the clouds slowly cleared away as we descended towards our final destination of Machu Picchu, and we could see the historic city from above.
This photo is the lower entrance to the beautiful agricultural terraces and homes of Wiñay Wayna, the last settlement before the final trail to Machu Picchu.