Recap: 2018 Inca Trail Trek

I have spent the past week wrapping my brain around our Iconic Inca Trek -trying to put into words the experience. Thinking to myself, “How am I going to describe what transcended out on that trail to the Explorer Chicks?” Heck, to even just my friends and family who are dying to know how our Peru trips went.

Welp, I still can’t wrap my head around it. Our adventure on the Inca Trail was like 2 trips in one. The first few days were spent touring Cusco and learning the history and culture of the Incas. We toured cathedrals, visited the Inca museum, explored temples, danced with Quechua children, and shopped until we dropped. We intentionally took it slow letting our bodies get used to a city that rests over 11,000 feet in elevation.

Then, on Day 4 we arrived to KM 82 – the start of the 4 day trek to Mach Picchu along the Inca Trail. We pulled up to a lot alive with hustling porters and an atmosphere lit with a buzzing energy. An energy so raw, so strong that it was tangible. I felt it. There was a swirl of emotions inside all of us as we climbed off our bus (Thanks, Big Willy Style!) and saw for the very first time the team of 19 men who would support our endeavor on the Inca trail. These men would haul all of our gear – tents, sleeping bags, dining tent, toilet, food – over three mountain passes and to three camps for the next four days. In this instant, I think for all of us, it all became too real. This was big. This was special. This journey was going to be an experience. Not just another walk in the woods.

And, “experience” is the word that keeps coming to mind when I try to describe our trek on the Inca Trail. This isn’t an adventure that goes deep into the backwoods where you can lose yourself for days without another soul in sight. No. The Peruvian government permits 500 people which includes the hikers and porters to enter the trail each day. This is not a small number. You will see other people on the trail.

But here’s the thing – This is what makes the Inca Trail trek so special. It is an Experience. An experience shared with a community of hikers from around the globe. You wouldn’t skip a concert to see your favorite artist because it was sold out. Hell, no. You go for the experience. You go to see them play and sing along to your favorite songs. This is the devout hiker’s equivalent. You hike the Inca Trail for the experience. To be among the few who can say they followed in the footsteps of Inca Royalty to reach the citadel of Machu Picchu. To cross the Sun Gate – sometimes to a view of foggy nothingness – knowing that you just walked to Machu Picchu. To connect on a deeper level and appreciate the Inca culture and artistry. To open your tent door in the morning surrounded by the Andes mountains and with a waterfall in your backyard. To hike by ruins constructed by hand hundreds of years ago. To thank with a heart full of gratitude your team of porters and chefs on night three for taking care of you on the trail. To stare at your muddy boots in appreciation that you traveled where only your two feet can take you.

The Inca trail is an experience. It is a humbling, gratifying, life altering experience. It is too big for words. It just has to be felt – with every little step, breath, glimpse, and moment. And, so instead of trying to force words to “paper,” I leave this recap at that.

Thank you to the 10 Explorer Chicks who made this Inca Trail experience incredibly rewarding. Solpayki to the team of porters, cooks, our local guide, and our chef who selflessly cared for us during our journey. The gratitude runs deep. 🙏

Cheers to boundless adventures!

Nicki Bruckmann, Founder Explorer Chick

To see all of the pictures from our Adventure, check out the Facebook Album

To book your Inca Trail Trek, cruise on over to HERE.

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