We left the hotel in Urubamba at 5 a.m. to catch the train to km 104, which is the starting point of the one-day Inca Trail hike. It started raining almost immediately after we crossed the foot bridge over the Urubamba River and continued to rain all day with a short 2 hour hiatus over our lunch break and start of the afternoon hike. Our ponchos were our most prized possession during the hike!
We stopped for lunch at Wiñay Wayna. This is one of the ruins that was about 60 percent of the way into our day. To get there, we had to climb just over 300 steps. This was pretty much the end of the tough upward climb though. After lunch, we hiked on what is referred to as “Inca-flat”, which is a steady up and down climb versus constantly upward.
After lunch we continued our hike and found ourselves at the Sun Gate about an hour and a half later, catch our first panoramic view of Machu Picchu. It was incredible.
We didn’t get to explore Machu Picchu this day as it was close to closing and we still needed to hike down to Aguas Calientes town, which turned out to be one of the hardest parts of the hike. Needless to say, we all slept very soundly that night.