The Inca Trail is not an overly physically demanding trek as the trek is done over several days, but the altitude can make it gruelling. Choosing good hiking gear will ensure that you’re enjoying your surroundings and not complaining about your twisted ankle or cold sleeping bag.
The most famous trek in the Americas – perhaps the world – the Inca Trail tour offers a unique and unrivalled combination of history and spectacular scenery. Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is awe-inspiring and over the four days you will not only see some of the more remote Inca ruins of Peru, but you will also learn about the Inca way of life. The trek has some of the most spectacular scenery in Peru as you walk along rivers, through cloud forests, local villages and in the shadows of 6,000 metre peaks. All of which leads to the emerald peaks and terraced ruins of the mystical ancient city of Machu Picchu.
Here are our tips:
- The best time to visit is May through September. Sure, it’s the busy season (especially June to August), but it’s also the dry season. And trust us, you don’t want to visit during rainy season! Note that the Inca Trail is closed February.
- Make your Inca Trail reservations several months in advance – up to a year if you’re going during peak season. You can only visit with a licensed agency, and spots book up quickly.
- No matter what time of year, the trail gets cold at night. Bring a warm sleeping bag and layer your clothes, though we can provide sleeping bags if you don’t want to carry yours for your whole holiday!
- Listen for shouts of “PORTERO” – If you hear shouts of “PORTERO”, be ready to let a stout Peruvian travelling at speed past. These porters show incredible stamina and resilience and deserve your respect. They are the descendants of the civilisation responsible for constructing the paved trail that weaves it way through the mountain passes, the amazing irrigated terraces and of course the magnificent Machu Picchu.
- If you can’t get an Inca Trail reservation, don’t despair. There’s always the Salkantay Trek, which now has lodges to sleep in instead of tents with the Mountain lodes of Peru.
- Altitude sickness is serious and can ruin your trip. The biggest mistake you can make is to fly directly to Cuzco (3326m/10,910ft) and expect to hike the next day. Give yourself at least three nights in Cuzco few days to adjust to the altitude first, or alternatively visit other areas such as Arequipa or the sacred Valley to help acclimatise as they are slightly lower than Cuzco.
To find out more about a trip to Peru and Machu Picchu call us on:
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