The Inca Trail lasts 4 days and after 39 kilometers of walking it ends in Machu Picchu. Carrying out this walk is not an easy task as it requires maximum organization. The first, and perhaps most important, is to purchase the tour 6 or 7 months in advance. Learn about the most important recommendations for this hiking route, the best in Peru.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a 39-kilometer hiking route. It has an intermediate difficulty. The only way to do this walk is by hiring a tour through a Cusco tourism agency. The tours include everything: permission for the Inca Trail, transportation, tour guide, porters equipment, cook equipment, camping utensils, entrance to Machu Picchu and return by train to Cusco. Therefore, the most important recommendation is to simply enjoy this wonderful hike.
How to buy the tour?
The Inca Trail is a route protected by the Peruvian State, so no one without authorization can do this walk.
Tourism agencies sell permits within an all-inclusive tour: transportation, tour guide, porters, cooks, camping equipment, entrance to Machu Picchu and return to Cusco by train.
To purchase the tour you must perform the following steps:
- enter the website of a Cusco tourism agency.
- Check the availability calendar.
- Enter the tourist information.
- Make the purchase with credit cards Visa, MasterCard, etc.
Because many tourists around the world want to do this trek, availability is low. Therefore, the purchase of the tour must be made 6 or 7 months in advance before the date you want to do the route.
What to bring
Once the purchase of the Inca Trail tour has been made, you must organize the necessary utensils for the trip:
- Passport or identity document. If you are a university student, bring your updated university card with you.
- Backpack suitable for hiking days with a rain cover .
- Personal sleeping bag.
- Walking poles that must have a rubber tip.
- Suitable walking shoes with ample ankle support.
- Light clothing for the walk: hat, shorts, polo shirts or light shirts.
- Warm clothes for cold nights: long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jacket, hat and gloves.
- Repellent for insects.
- Personal hygiene kit: small towel, toilet paper, etc.
- Poncho for rain .
- Photographic camera and / or video camera.
- Extra batteries.
- Personal care items (bandages, muscle ointments, medications, etc.).
Recommendations for a safe walk
The Inca Trail is a safe route, however, it is advisable to take certain recommendations for an adventure without vicissitudes:
- To reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness, try to spend at least two days in the city of Cusco before doing the Inca Trail. This way you can better acclimatize to the mountainous geography of the Andes Mountains.
- Take with you only what is necessary for the walk (a backpack with a maximum of 15 kilos). The more the weight of your backpack, the more physical wear and tear on the road.
- Do not hike with headphones. It is always advisable to have all the senses on the route .
- Follow the signs and advice of the tour guide who accompanies you. The Inca Trail follows the trails built by the Incas to reach Machu Picchu. Taking a detour down an illegal path can be risky.
- Accelerate the pace in the sections near cliffs. Falling rocks can be dangerous, especially in the rainy season like January or March (in February the Inca Trail is closed to the public).
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages, much less take drugs on camping nights. A hangover could cause you a lot of physical problems on the demanding walk.
- Don’t risk your life taking pictures in dangerous places like cliffs.
- The Inca Trail is a walk with many stairs, long steps, streams, paths through the vegetation where there are loose branches, stones, etc. And despite the road being in good maintenance, one can always have a mishap. Although all agencies include a first aid kit, it is good to carry disinfectants, bandages, cotton, gauze, etc.
- At the time of buying the Inca Trail tour you have to be 100% sure that you will do the trek. Remember that once the purchase is made, no tourism agency will allow you to cancel or make changes to your tour.
- During the walk, with a bit of luck, you can observe wild animals in their natural habitat such as: the spectacled bear. If so, keep a safe distance and take the best pictures you can.
- The Inca Trail is recommended for young people who like hiking trails. However, the walk is also an option for older adults or even children. Older adults should be in good physical condition and children should enjoy walks.
- Finally remember that the Inca Trail is considered one of the best hiking trails on the planet. The first panoramic view of Machu Picchu is incredible. Don’t forget to enjoy the walk.
By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 25-06-2021
Planning your trip to the Inca Trail is one of the essential steps to be able to enjoy an unforgettable experience.