Along the way, the four-day trek takes in three Andean mountain passes, Inca ruins and stupendous views of the snowcapped Andes.
Over the four days the treks take you from km82 (82 kilometers along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes) to Huayllabamba on day one, to Pacamayo on day two, to Huinay Huayna on day three, and to Machu Picchu on day four.
The highlight of the trek, after having woken at 3am to catch it, is seeing the sun rise over the mountains at Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate.
May to September is the driest and best time to walk the trail, but it’s also the busiest.
To walk the trail, you need to join a group of fellow hikers led by a licensed guide. Trail permits are limited, with only 500 hikers permitted on the trail, so you need to book ahead.
The easiest way to book and make arrangements is by hiring a guide or joining a tour, which will also hire out sleeping bags and other equipment. Group numbers are limited to 16 hikers.