5-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Day 3

Day 3 of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the most challenging day by far, but it is also the most exhilarating.

After breakfast, your day will start with a long upwards hike to Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of the Inca Trail at 4,212m above sea-level.  The trail is well prepared, and in most areas, the stone steps are perfectly positioned so that you can walk at a normal pace, but it is rather steep in some parts, and if you are sensitive to high altitude, this is where you could start to feel the effects.

While demanding, the hike to Dead Woman’s Pass is not nearly as challenging as we had expected, and the view from the top is spectacular. From here, the trail drops into Pacasmayo Valley below, before ascending again, past Runkuracay Inca Control Post, to the next pass of the day at 3,998m. The second pass offers the most magnificent scenery, and on a clear day, you can expect great views of Pumahuanca Mountain.

You day ends at Phuyupatamarca campsite, which is arguably the most beautiful campsite on the Inca Trail. The name means, ‘The place above the clouds’, and it is exactly that! Here’s what Day 3 looked like…



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