Inca Trail Trek, Tips & Packing List
The Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is by far the most popular trek in South America and one of the most famous around the world. This trail will take you through several locations and sceneries in the Andes, encountering many archaeological remains from Inca culture along the way before reaching the end at the Sun Gate at the imposing Machu Picchu site.
The Peruvian government has taken serious measures in order to avoid erosion of the trail and has limited the number of people who are allowed to hike it. 500 permits are given per day, from which only 200 are for trekkers. This is the main reason why booking needs to be done at least 6-8 months in advance, especially if you are looking to trek during the busiest season which runs from March to June, right after rainy season ends.
If you have been meaning to enroll in this challenging but greatly rewarding adventure, but have been wandering around looking for information and haven’t quite found a helpful guide to the Inca Trail, don’t panic! Peru Best Tours has gathered the most outstanding points of this highly requested trek:
Difficulty Level: The Inca trail is rated as moderate. Prepare to hike for about 8 hours daily at an elevation of 2600 – 3000 m.a.s.l. You don’t need to be extremely fit to do this trek, it is suitable for people who is used to walk and hike during many hours and are comfortable sleeping on a tent. Since the altitude makes this trek even more challenging, we recommend spending at least 2 days in Cuzco city in order to help acclimatize your body.
Food: Most people refer to the meals given in the Inca trail as hearty, fulfilling and delicious. An experienced and well-trained cook will accompany the trek group and will be in charge of making your stomach always feel satisfied! If you have special dietary needs such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or any food allergies, these can be easily accommodated if notified in advance.
Equipment: Sleeping, dinning and toilet tents, tables, cooking and other camping equipment is already included and will be transported by our porters.
Gear: We recommend mummy style sleeping bags that are waterproof, light and meant to keep you warm below zero degrees. Comfortable sleeping bags are available for renting throughout the whole trek for an extra fee. Walking sticks are recommended specially for beginners and people who struggle to keep balance during descents, you can also rent a pair of these for an extra fee.
Rain Gear: During the months of rainy season, it’s recommended to wear hiking boots, waterproof pants and plastic ponchos for you and your backpack. Extra pairs of socks are also highly advisable.
Porters: Peru Best Tours makes sure to work only with operators who genuinely concerns about their porters well-being by paying fair wages and providing health insurance as well as extra benefits for their families. Porters are the stars of the Inca trail, they carry all the camping equipment, set up the tents and make you feel truly taken care of.You can also hire their services to carry up to 7kg of your personal belongings for an extra fee.
When to go: You will need to have in mind the weather seasons in order to choose when to do this trek. During the months of April to October, you can expect to find good weather during the mornings and mid-afternoons with colder nights (average higher temperature 19-20ºC and average lower temperature 1-0.5ºC). Rainy season starts around mid-November and continues towards the end of March.During February, the Inca trail is closed for maintenance and cleaning.
When to book: We highly recommend booking at least 8 months in advance, if planning to go during the busiest months (April-July) and 6 months in advance if visiting during the rest of the year.
Why book the Inca Trail ?: We guarantee that doing the Inca Trail will be a life-changing experience. You willwalkalong Inca steps, passing through giant mountains and green valleys, feeling the energy surrounding you. You will appreciate nature and the things we consider simple in life, such as the air, the sun and the rain. You will discover facetsof yourself that you didn’t even imagine they existed. This trek is challenging beyond the physical aspect, it will push you to the limit and bring all the strength from within yourself.
If you are ready to book your next adventure, or even just want to receive more information, contact now one of our expert Travel Advisors who will assist you in the planning of your upcoming trip, advising what suits best to each traveler!