Today is the day that everyone dreams about when hiking the Inca Trail. It’s the day when you finally get to see the magnificent ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
If you are lucky enough to have good weather, the views as you step out of your tent in the morning are quite simply breathtaking. The altitude could have something to do with that, but watching the sun rise over the snow-capped peaks of Salkantay and Veronica is something you will never forget, so resist the urge to have a lie in, and get up early to enjoy the views!
After a final mountainside breakfast, you will enjoy some quality time with your porters, where you will have the opportunity to give them their well-earned tips and thank them for the amazing service that they provide along the trail. After biding your final farewells, it’s time to pull on your boots and get cracking… Machu Picchu is waiting for you, but you are not quite there yet!
You will continue along the Inca Stairway to Wiñay Wayna, which is an incredible Inca site with a vast set of terraces. Shortly afterwards, you will break for lunch, before continuing along the relatively flat trail to your final challenge of the Inca Trail – the Gringo Killer!
Not nearly as bad as it sounds, the Gringo Killer is a very short, very steep Inca staircase that you must mount to reach Inti Punku – the gateway of the Sun. After taking a brief rest to catch your breath at the top of the stairwell, you will step through the ancient stone gateway to see Machu Picchu laid out before you.
There are no words to explain the feeling one has when seeing Machu Picchu for the first time… It’s every bit as beautiful and magical as you imagine it to be, and knowing that you reached it the authentic way, hiking several days long the Inca Trail, makes it all the more special.
Here’s what our Day-4 looked like on the Inca Trail…