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HIKING THE
INCA TRAIL
THIRD DAY

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PERU

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INCA TRAIL

INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
THIRD DAY


PACAYMAYU - WIĐAYHUAYNA

Inca Trail PicturesIt is considered the longest part of the trail. Although the differences in height are not big, it is a long hike. A second pass must be overcome where one can find the impressive archaeological remains of Runkuracay, situated at 3800 m.a.s.l. ( Approximately 12467 ft.)

Runkurakay takes it name from its half circle shape with a single entrance way with seven door-holes leading off into seven different rooms. The semicircular shape allows for shelter from the strong winds in the area.

Inca Trail PicturesThen we descend towards the Yanacocha lake (the Black Lake) arriving in Sayaqmarca, "the Dominant village", an interesting Inca ruin on the top of steep mountain, with a panoramic view over the Acobamba valley and the snow clad Pumasillo peak. It is in the shape of a maze of very narrow streets, some which lead off to other places, others that are dead ends.

The only way to access these buildings is through a steep but solid staircase of stone on the cliff side. The chasm on one side is filled with exotic plants such as orchids and lichens. It is like being inside a real living picture postcard. A memory to cherish forever.

During the walk you will pass by Conchamarka, a recently discovered small archaeological site and the Chakicocha camp, a spacious open area with public toilet facilities and water. After this, we continue uphill and we will come to the first tunnel along the trail. It is about 20 metres (approximately 60 ft) long, downwards sloping with steps hewn out of the living rock.

Inca Trail PicturesAfter, we continue uphill until we reach the third and last pass along the trail with the citadel of Phuyupatamarca, "Village above the clouds", which is undoubtedly one of the most original citadels along the Inca Trail. It is surrounded by the Cloud Forest. It is located on the edge of a gulch that overlooks the Urubamba. Here you will find many cultivation terraces and ceremonial fountains with fresh water.

Inca Trail Pictures In the upper part there is a small square, where on sunny days one can appreciate the beauty ofthe Urubamba and the nearby snow-clad peaks. In the lower part there are circular constructions that look like they were following the gradient of the terrain. Close to the Phuyupatamarca pass the road starts winding downwards on circling snail shell like massive stone gradients until it reaches a second tunnel. After that the road goes along relatively plane cornices that follow the Urubamba River, until we reach Wi˝ayhuayna.

Inca Trail PicturesWi˝ayhuayna, "for ever young", is found at an altitude of de 2644 m.a.s.l. (Approximately 8675 ft) and the name is derived from the typical orchids that can be found all year round with their red, yellow and violet flowers. This is possibly the most attractive of all the citadels along the Inca Trail, and the last urban centre before reaching Machu Picchu.

It was built on the steep mountain slopes on the left bank of the Urubamba. It is divided into four principal parts: the living quarters, in the lower part with more than 20 buildings, the area holding the Ritual fountains, the area with cultivation terraces and the Tower area. This last holds the best architecture of the whole complex, thus being assumed to have served religious purposes or belonged to the Inca Royalty.

The traveller camps out in Wi˝ayhuayna.

Time on the Trail: Seven hours until reaching the last camp at Wi˝ayhuayna.

3rd day:  Pacaymayu - Wi˝ayhuayna
2nd day:  Huayllabamba - Pacaymayu
1st day:  Cusco - Km 82 - Huayllabamba
Inca Trail - Step by step
4th day:  Wi˝ayhuayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco





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