The Only Guide You Need For The Inca Trail
Machu Picchu is, without doubt, one of the most breathtaking and alluring landmarks on earth, a mysterious ancient citadel, steeped in myth and legend, poised at the pinnacle of one of the world's most beautiful, and iconic treks.
What is the Inca Trail? (Where is the Inca trail? Where does the Inca Trail start and end?)
One of the most spectacular, and iconic hiking routes on the planet, the Inca Trail begins near the historic city of Cusco in Southeastern Peru, crossing through breathtaking Andean landscapes before ending at the Lost City of the Inca, the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu!
How long is the Inca Trail? (How high is the Inca trail?)
The Inca Trail actually consists of three overlapping trails, which all vary slightly in length. Most people tend to opt for the 'Classic Route', which is around 40 KM (25 Miles) long, and usually takes around 4 days to complete.
Most tours begin in Cusco, which at 3,400 meters is some 1000 meters higher than Machu Pichu itself. However, during your trek, you'll also make a number of ascents, most notably, to Warmiwañusca (better known as 'Dead Woman’s Pass') the trail's highest point, which stands at a whopping 4,198m!
When is the best time of year to do the Inca Trail?
Apart from February when it is closed for maintenance, the Inca Trail is open year-round. However, May to September is the best time to do the Inca Trail, as it's Peru's winter and dry season, when the clear, mild conditions are perfect for hiking
However, please note that this is also the busiest time of year on the trail, so you should expect crowds, particularly during the months of July and August.
How difficult is the Inca Trail?
As mentioned previously, though overall, the trail descends, along the way you'll also make a number of ascents. What's more, the high altitude can also be challenging, zapping your energy, and at times, even making you a little dizzy!
However, you don't need to be a professional climber or undertake an intense training programme to complete the trek. Thousands do it every year, and anyone with a good level of fitness who is comfortable with long hikes (and some ascents) should be fine.
In addition, we recommend spending a few days in Cusco prior to the trip, which will help you acclimatise to the altitude.
What do I need bring to bring with me?
Though normally your tour operator will take care of you're food and accommodation, the rest is down to you. It's important to pack as light as possible as you don't want to be lugging heavy bags along with you, but there are some items which you will definitely need!
Even if you're trekking during the dry season you should still prepare for rain, so a good waterproof jacket is a must. The temperature can vary significantly between the night and day, so you'll need comfortable shorts and trousers, short and long sleeve t-shirts, and sweatshirts/jumpers/fleeces for layering up when it is cold. A lightweight down jacket is also a great addition, and you'll also need a sun hat and a knitted/wool hat and gloves.
Comfortable and waterproof hiking boots are a must (plus thick socks to prevent blisters). It's important to ensure you wear them on plenty of practice hikes prior to your trip to ensure they are properly 'broken in'.
- A waterproof, backpack.
- Hiking poles (you can buy or rent these)
- Bug spray
- Portable charger
- Coca leaves/gum (Chewing these will help if you're having trouble with the altitude)
- Snacks (dried fruit, nuts, energy bars)
- Earplugs (the trail can be extremely busy during the peak season and so camps may be noisy at night)
What are you waiting for?
If the Inca Trail is on your Bookitlist, then what are you waiting for?
Join us, and fellow like-minded adventurers on our 5-day tour and we'll take care of every detail, so you can enjoy this once in a lifetime experience to its fullest, and create some truly incredible memories that you will never, ever forget!
Secure your place today for just £50!