The Inca Trail… A Photo Essay

All the Inca Trail Photos below were shot by travel photographer Brendan van Son while hiking the Inca Trail in 2009.  Please respect the rights that the photographer holds to these images and do not copy or re-publish the photos without the consent of the photographer.

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The Trail to Machu Picchu: Inca Trail Photos

If we spend our travels focusing on the location, we forget about how important the journey is, on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru it is impossible to not think about the journey.  The Journey presses us every day to climb the countless number of stairs.  The journey opens our eyes to the sites of ancient ruins, snow capped mountains, and thick vegetation.  Unlike anywhere else in the world, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a journey and destination all in one, and a walk down its stone paths will sure to be something you’ll never forget.

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The Classic Group picture at the start of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, mind the hooligans at the back  The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu really does start back in Cusco, but most start in Ollantaytambo.

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Can you see the blue snake climbing up the hill?  That’s our porters, there is 1 and a half porters for each hiker.

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Many don’t realize, but there are actually dozens of sites along the Inca trail.  This is the first one of any size.

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This kid took my pudding… I wasn’t getting it back, that much was for sure.  Easily one of my favourite Inca Trail photos.

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First bit of climbing… it will get worse.

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Key to enjoying the trek, is to stop focusing on getting it over with and stop to take some pictures of the incredible scenery.  If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to catch your breath.

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The Inca trail to Machu Picchu is the most well maintained and restored section of the former Royal Inca Highway

 

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Group at the top of Dead woman’s Pass… You’re not allowed to make fun of my bandana

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A misty afternoon

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The rainy season provides some great opportunities for photos

 

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If you can’t see a face in that then I need to stop taking my meds

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Classic camping on the trail… waking up to the fresh mountain air

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Porters chefs and guides… boy are we spoiled

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Proof I CAN actually take a good photograph every now and then.  This is my favourite of the Inca Trail photos for sure, and it is actually of the trail itself.

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The Mecca… If you can’t see an old man laying on his back in this shot than I need to stop taking my meds

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Promoting the Habs over the Mecca

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People jostling for position at the watch tower

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The ruins of Machu Picchu

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More proof I can take a good picture… the watchtower and the Vilcabamba Range

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I don’t think I need to say anything here… this is the classic… Machu Pichu in the foreground, with the beautiful Wayna Pichu mountain standing guard.

Photographed by Brendan van Son of “The World is my Jungle Gym


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: Brendan van Son is a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. He has visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than he has the desire to count. Check out his profile on . for a little bit more about him.

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14 Comments

  1. I can’t wait to participate in the hike! Great photos!

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  2. Really nice work. Inspiring place. It must have been an awesome experience!

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  3. What a great post! Makes me really, really, really want to do it myself.

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  4. Hey Brendan I’ll be there in October and wondered how much it costs to do this.

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  5. Wow! Looks like an AMAZING experience! There are some fabulous pictures in the article too. Might need to add this to my list of travel musts now.

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  6. hey..thanks for the pics..brings back lovely memories of this amazing
    trail..wish i could go back!

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  7. Sometimes tourist destinations are over rated. One look at these pics and it is obvious that Machu Pichu is not one of those places. Thanks for the inspiration to visit.

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  8. Nice, awesome photos, Brendan. What an awesome experience, huh?

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  9. Beyond beyond beyond amazing!!! I wish that I could have had the time to hike it instead of take the train up. Yours pics are superb!

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  10. LOVE! You took some great shots. I did the hike in 2007 and what an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing as it brings back some great memories.

    BTW – you are promoting the wrong team in that one picture. The Habs? No way. Shouldn’t you be showing the Toronto Maple Leafs? ;)

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    • Hahaha… how are those Leafs doing this year Cheryl?!?! Go Habs!!! That photo was actually featured on Canada AM last week… pretty fun!

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  11. Macchu Picchu has been on my bucket list for years. Thanks for reminding me in such a visually stunning way!

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