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Where does the Inca Trail start?

  • Inca Trail Specialist
  • Updated: August 8, 2023

Where does the Inca Trail start?

The Inca Trail is a world-renowned trek that attracts adventurers from all over the globe. This four-day hike takes you through breathtaking scenery, passing ancient Incan ruins and panoramic mountain vistas. One of the most common questions that people ask when planning their Inca Trail adventure is where the trail starts. In this blog, we will explore the answer to this question and provide you with some useful information about the start of the trail.

Where does the Inca Trail start?

The Inca Trail officially starts at a place called Kilometer 82, located in the Sacred Valley near the town of Ollantaytambo. Kilometer 82 is the point where the trailhead begins, and it is where hikers start their journey to Machu Picchu. To reach Kilometer 82, most hikers travel by bus or private car from Cusco, the nearest major city to the trail.

What is Kilometer 82?

Kilometer 82 is not an actual town or village but a reference point on the train tracks that run alongside the Urubamba River. It is named Kilometer 82 because it is located 82 kilometers from Cusco. The trailhead is located on the opposite side of the tracks from where the road ends.

What can you expect at the start of the trail?

At the start of the trail, you’ll need to check-in with the officials at the checkpoint to show your permit and passport. This is where you’ll officially begin your Inca Trail adventure. After the checkpoint, you’ll cross a bridge over the Urubamba River, and the trail will lead you through a small village called Miskay.

As you make your way up the trail, you’ll pass through lush forests, past waterfalls, and ancient Incan ruins, including the impressive Llactapata. The first day of the trail is considered the easiest, with a gradual climb and relatively short distance to cover.

Tips for the start of the trail

If you’re planning to hike the Inca Trail, here are some tips for the start of the trail:

  • Arrive early at Kilometer 82 to ensure a smooth check-in process.
  • Bring