To hike the Inca Trail is one of the great iconic travel experiences anyone can have today. Each year, thousands of hikers undertake the four-day journey that ends at the celebrated Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, which sit at a height of 7,972 feet above sea level. It’s a trip that challenges the spirits of those who undertake it, yet also rewards them generously out of sheer accomplishment.
Over nearly four days of hiking, the views and attractions along the way are exciting and varied. Archaeological ruins, sweeping views, and lush forests are all joined together by their common stone path, first laid down by the Incas themselves and worn smooth over hundreds of years of ambitious steps. Of all the notable features along the way, the most talked about is Dead Woman’s Pass (“Warmiwañusca” in the Quechua language). This naturally occurring feature is so named because, when seen from the valley below, its crests resemble the form of a woman’s supine body.