Visitors who make the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu must do ‘responsible tourism’. This includes protecting the flora and fauna of the place, respecting the cultural aspects of the trip, complying with the rules in Machupicchu and more. Learn about some recommendations to carry out an adventure with total responsibility.
Responsible tourism and the application of good practices consist of the development and application of instruments aimed at minimizing negative impacts and increasing benefits for the host population and the place where they visit. In this sense, it is the responsibility of the tourist to take care of nature, not damage Inca constructions, leave garbage in the authorized bins, not set fire against the walls because they are damaged and cracked. Likewise, you are requested not to collect wildlife, especially orchids, since the native flora of the place is preyed upon.
Caring for nature
- The Inca Trail is done within a diverse geography that includes high mountains to dense jungles where there is a flora and fauna of incalculable value .
- Taking care of nature within the Inca Trail implies enjoying the walk while respecting the environment as well as the diversity of flora and fauna.
- Do not leave trash anywhere other than the trash cans located in the authorized campgrounds. If you are not in a camp it is best to keep the garbage with you until you find a bin.
- Do not damage or uproot flowers and plants along the way. Especially in the case of orchids, a flower that has 300 varieties on the Inca Trail .
- Do not disturb or remove wildlife species that may be found along the way. Remember that the Inca Trail is home to species of great biological value such as the spectacled bear, the Andean deer, the river wolf, the cock-of-the-rocks, the torrent duck, the Andean frog, the giant hummingbird, the so called hundreds of types of butterflies.
- Take care of the place as if it were your home. The biggest problem you have is garbage. Some years ago the SAE (South American Explorers Club) organized a cleaning of the route and 400 kilos of non-combustible garbage were collected that were left by visitors. If possible, collect the garbage that other people left behind and put it in the appropriate garbage cans.
The cultural aspects of the trip
- The Inca Trail is part of the immense Inca road network known as the ‘qhapac ñan’ and which were declared ‘Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO .
- Along the Inca Trail there are Inca constructions of great historical value. It is mandatory that visitors do not damage these stone walls. Damaging said constructions can even be penalized by the Peruvian State.
- On the other hand, during the route the visitor will be able to become familiar with many cultural aspects of Peruvians such as: the language, religious beliefs, traditional clothing and more.
- Visitors must respect the cultural differences not only of the Peruvians with whom they will share the walk (tour guide, porters, cooks and local people), but also of the tourists themselves from different parts of the world.
- The Inca Trail is an excellent opportunity to learn the culture of different people. Peru has a very ancient culture that fascinates visitors.
Inca Trail Machu Picchu customs
Responsibilities in Machu Picchu
- On the Inca Trail, after 39 kilometers of Inca trails, visitors arrive at Machu Picchu. The ‘Inca City’ is the greatest prize for such a hard effort.
- Machu Picchu is a magnificent work of the Incas considered one of the ‘7 wonders of the modern world’. To preserve this citadel, the aim is to raise awareness among visitors .
- Tourists must complete an established circuit in Machu Picchu. This circuit begins at the Intipunku (Puerta del sol), from where you have the first scenic view of the place. Then you descend to the urban sector where you can see buildings such as: The Main Plaza, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Intihuatana, the Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor and more. The route lasts approximately 2 hours 30 minutes.
- Tourists must protect the buildings of Machu Picchu. It is forbidden to climb the walls or do graffiti. Waste should be thrown in the trash cans or kept in the backpack until one is found.
- In Machu Picchu it is forbidden to use walking sticks with a metal tip (only sticks with a rubber tip are allowed). It is also not allowed to wear shoes with heels that can damage the surface.
- The tour of Machu Picchu is with a professional tour guide on a mandatory basis.
Tips for responsible tourism
- If you have the possibility to tip the porters, cooks or tour guides who will accompany you on the Inca Trail, please do so . Most of them live in local communities. This will help their economy and increase the benefits they obtain from tourism, which is often the only livelihood for many families in these communities.
- Using poles during the route is a good option. However, keep in mind that only those with rubber tips are allowed. These poles do not damage the ground and thus help to protect the landscape and buildings along the route. Therefore, the most responsible option is to use canes with rubber tips or simply not to use them.
- Try as much as possible to avoid plastic water bottles. Water purification tablets and a refillable bottle are your best option. While you will have to wait 40 minutes while the tablets work, you can use your local stream water at any time while traveling.
- During the route, take the opportunity to quit smoking and breathe the fresh air. However, if you have a need to do so, bring a portable ashtray with you.
- You probably only visit the Inca Trail once so enjoy it.
By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 30-09-2021
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