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What to expect from travel agencies
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Camino Inca to Machu Picchu

There are many people who wish to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. However, they end up having some disappointments by trusting bad agencies or acquiring half-baked services. Although the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, tries to regulate that an adequate attention is given to the interested tourists, unfortunately sometimes the new agencies or some malicious ones, offer lousy services. It is for this reason that we decided to make a brief guide of everything that a safe travel agency should offer to its clients. In case it does not do so, it should inform the client about the capacity of its services. Let’s see.

The best route to reach Machu Picchu – The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best hiking route that can be done in Peru and for many in South America. It is that among the route you can find different attractions and also follows one of the best vestiges of Inca urbanism. We refer to the Qhapac Ñam, that is, during this route to Machu Picchu you can follow these trails that are really amazing for the composition that has in some sections. Thanks to these, you can find and explain the knowledge they had about the erosions and geography of the place.

Likewise, during the hike you will cross Inca constructions of great value for archaeology. These places are small glimpses of the Andean paradigm. Reaching these places also offers a certain degree of understanding of the whole urban distribution to make such constructions on top of the mountains.

On the other hand, the experience of this route is unparalleled. The trails through the beautiful landscapes of the Andes and then enter the high jungle are truly unique. By following these trails it is also possible to appreciate part of the great biodiversity that can be found throughout this geographical space. Undoubtedly, doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best experiences that a human being can feel, especially if he/she is interested in all the mysticism that the cultures of ancient Peru still keep.

DAY 1Cusco – Train station – Piscacucho – Huayllabamba.
DAY 2Huallabamba – Abra Warmiwañuska – Pacaymayo.
DAY 3Pacaymayo – Runcurakay – Sayaqmarca – Wiñayhuayna.
DAY 4Wiñayhuayna – Inti Punku – Machu Picchu – Cusco.
Archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna
Guided Inca Trail – Archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna

Travel agencies should offer

Travel agencies are authorized to sell entrance tickets to the Inca Trail. But not all of them offer the rest of the necessary services for a comfortable and safe trip. Normally the travel agencies with authorization for this service, many times are only in charge of offering the entrance tickets, validating the corresponding data before the Ministry of Culture and the corresponding entities. But, leaving the tourists helpless.

In this sense you can get the entrance ticket and make the journey along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, without any problem. But, by offering the services of selling entrance tickets, you also have the task of informing the conditions of the hike in advance. Also show a commitment to the care of the route and the constructions that can be seen along the route.

It is also important that the travel agency guarantees the reservation of adequate space to set up the tents. This means that there will be days in which we will probably have a shorter or longer trip. To better understand all this, it is important to know that the campsites are often occupied or reach the limit of their capacity. But for this, nearby or nearest campsites are set up.

In this sense, you can walk for a few minutes to get to the new camp or even rest much earlier. Most of these campsites have recreational areas, bathrooms, showers and more. It is the sole responsibility of the travel agency to make sure that each of these areas are used properly.

In general, we can mention that no one will be left without a space to spend the night since all this is foreseen at the time of making the reservation and the agency pays the requested. So also doing the Inca Trail, is one of the safest trekking routes to get to Machu Picchu. Now let’s know in detail everything you need to offer a travel agency so you can have a pleasant experience with few surprises.

  • Entrance to the Inca Trail

    As we mentioned, you will only be able to validate your entrance through the Inca Trail at the moment of starting the trek. That is to say, you will register your entrance through Piscacucho. This is one of the communities along the route at kilometer 104 of the train network. At that point is the first checkpoint, where the entrance ticket will be validated and everyone gets ready to start the hike.

  • Transportation

    The travel agency has to offer and can offer different transportation services. Practically for any of the activities before or after the trek. The most essential transportation is usually the train service Cusco – Machu Picchu round trip. Even if the outbound trip is only a short trip, it is important to make that stretch by train to arrive in time with the start of the trek. Some extra transportation services may cover pick-up transportation from your hotel or transfer to your hotel once you arrive in Cusco. An agency committed to your well being will offer you a wide variety of transportation services, essential to enjoy the experience.

  • Professional guide

    Something essential for the hike, enjoy and learn more about the route, is to have the presence of a guide. They usually have all the information and details to take into account of the route and the archaeological sites that are crossed on the route to Machu Picchu. Similarly, when you arrive at Machu Picchu, it will be important to have the presence of the guide so that he can help you understand the grandeur of the buildings and the importance of the sectors and the understanding that you have of the wonder of the world.

  • Porters

    These are people who are in charge of carrying the food, the tents or camping tents and sometimes assisting the cook with the preparation of the food. They are also in charge of preparing the tents so that the group can rest and even have a relatively comfortable lunch outdoors in the mountains. The porters are people from the communities near the routes, who used to work in agriculture, but see this service as a way to generate extra and secure income.

  • Food

    Food during the 4 or 5 days of the trek (depending on the choice). This will require the presence of a cook. They usually have the experience to prepare food for the whole group in a nutritious and delicious way. The travel agency should cover breakfast, lunch and dinner. Especially after starting the trek. Some agencies also prioritize the issue of water, drinks and also deliver some fruits.

  • Camping tents

    As mentioned above, the porters are in charge of this service. They will set up the tents in the corresponding camping areas. It is important to know that, although campsites are mentioned along the route, they are only camping areas. However, these campsites have well-equipped bathrooms and showers. They are ideal to have a perfect cleanliness during the route. Drinking water will also be available.

  • Advice before and during the trek

    It is important that the agencies provide as much information as possible about the route. The care you should take, the luggage allowed for the route, the appropriate weight of the backpack and how to calculate it. It is recommended that you only carry an average weight of 5 kilos. On the other hand, the weather conditions should be informed, if you will need a rain poncho, depending on the season and other details that will make you feel safer.

Porter on the Inca Trail route
Porter on the Inca Trail route

Additional services and frequently asked questions

  • Is it only possible to purchase guidance services in English?

    Of course not, travel agencies are able to provide you with a guide in the language of your choice. Besides English, Portuguese is one of the main options for guiding. Likewise, in case the client wishes to be guided in German or another language not so widely spoken, this service is available, as long as the client requests the service with the necessary anticipation.

  • Is it true that the Inca Trail closes for a whole month?

    Yes, it is normal that the Inca Trail, in any of its variations, closes during the month of February. This is because there is usually much more rainfall and it can put tourists at risk. On the other hand, during this apparent closure, the infrastructure of the campsites, the route and other conditions are maintained.

  • Do I need to be physically prepared to do this route?

    This is something we recommend. In some of our visits along the route, we found some people who rather than enjoying the experience, suffered during the hike. This is only because the body does not respond satisfactorily to the physical load. In this sense, we dare to recommend that people interested in the route do a previous training.

  • Which month is more advisable to do it?

    The most recommended month to do so is during the months of May and June. In these months, it is unlikely to find rain. In fact, if it rains one day during these months, it would be too much of a concern. If you want to do the Inca Trail with the best weather conditions, we recommend these two months. Remember to carry only what you need in your backpack.


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 04-05-2024

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