An Expert’s Guide to The Inca Trail

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On this information to trekking the Inca Path to Machu Picchu, you’ll be taught precisely what to anticipate, what to pack for the Inca Path, which tour operator to decide on and extra.

Nick and I hiked the Classic Inca Trail Trek for five days and had a really constructive expertise.

You’ll too — for those who’re correctly ready. 

The Machu Picchu hike begins at KM 82 within the Sacred Valley close to the Urubamba River, and ends on the ruins of Machu Picchu. You’ll observe cobbled pathways that the Incans constructed and used as a transportation system within the 15th century.

In the course of the hike, you’ll be blown away by the unbelievable ingenuity of the Incans. How they had been in a position to construct such a strong highway system, within the jungle, at excessive altitude, is mind-boggling!

Whereas Machu Picchu may be the star of the Inca Path hike, the gorgeous nature, towering mountains and quite a few ruins alongside the best way are virtually pretty much as good because the finale itself.

start of inca trail

Right here’s my information to the Inca Path to Machu Picchu hike that can assist you plan the proper journey. 

When to Hike The Inca Path to Machu Picchu

To begin with, you can not trek in the course of the month of February because the path is closed to all guests for restoration and upkeep. 

There are two major seasons right here: dry and cooler, or moist and hotter. 

The dry season runs from across the finish of April till the start of October, whereas the moist season is from early November to the start of April.

With climate being so unpredictable within the Andes, you’ll most likely encounter rain in the course of the dry season, and non-rainy days in the course of the moist season. Evenings are chilly whatever the time of yr you determine to hike. 

There’s no denying that Machu Picchu is a well-liked web site, so well-liked in truth that the federal government needed to restrict the variety of guests to 500 per day (together with guides and porters). So, you probably have the choice, I like to recommend doing the Machu Picchu hike within the shoulder season of April – Might and later in September, October and early November. 

And, be sure to e-book as far forward as you possibly can to make sure you get a allow earlier than they promote out.

We hiked the basic Inca Path route in March and whereas we had an excellent expertise, as a result of it was the offseason, we did have some rain — however we additionally had a number of sunshine. 

Throughout our trek in late March, regardless that it was off-season, there have been a number of folks at Machu Picchu itself, however fortunately not on the path to get there.

We hiked to Machu Picchu with Explorandes and the best way they construction their journeys makes it so that you’re staggered with the opposite tour teams — which means you may have the path and a couple of campsites all to your self! Extra on this firm beneath. 

How To Select the Finest Inca Path Tour Firm 

You can not trek the Inca Path independently. The Machu Picchu hike should be executed with a tour operator. 

After we had been researching Inca Path excursions, the knowledge was overwhelming. We’d discover a web site that really useful a tour operator, then cross-reference it with TripAdvisor opinions and verify to see if it was listed in our Lonely Planet Peru information.

Not one of the tour corporations had good opinions and none of them stood out for us — till I got here throughout Explorandes

Notice: we aren’t sponsored by Explorandes and paid full value for our Inca Path to Machu Picchu trek. 

When looking for a tour operator to hike the Inca Path, there are some details to remember:

  1. Are the porters, cooks, and guides handled pretty and paid a correct wage?
  2. Does the corporate give again to the group? 
  3. Does the operator observe eco practices? 
  4. How lengthy have they been in enterprise? 
  5. Precisely what’s included within the charge (meals, tools, information, and many others.).
  6. Do you must carry your personal tools? How a lot weight will you carry vs. the porters? 

Explorandes checked all of these containers and extra.

Listed here are a few of the the explanation why we extremely suggest Explorandes for the Machu Picchu hike. 

✓ Explorandes is the primary firm to run official excursions to Machu Picchu and have been doing so since 1975.

✓ Communication is superb. If you electronic mail them to inquire about charges and bookings, you’ll obtain a bunch of knowledge upfront (totally free) which can enable you to determine whether or not or not Explorandes is the corporate for you. 

✓ The Traditional Inca Path tour is accomplished in 5 days, somewhat than 4. This further day on the journey means you don’t need to rise up at ridiculously early hours, you may be staggered from different teams, and you’ll take pleasure in visiting Machu Picchu two instances, somewhat than one. Click here to learn extra about some great benefits of doing the Inca Path in 5 days somewhat than 4.

✓ They’re an eco-friendly, sustainable firm, they usually put a deal with hygiene in the course of the trek. This can be a good factor as there could be nothing worse than getting sick whereas on the path.

✓ Explorandes workouts a 100% carry-in and carry-out coverage of strong waste. 

✓ A portion of your journey charge is used as a carbon offset, as the corporate buys carbon credit within the Peruvian Rainforest.

✓ There’s an orientation within the city of Cusco two days earlier than you set off on the Inca Path. This can be a nice method to get to know your group whereas getting all your questions and considerations answered. 

✓ Teams are small.

✓ Whereas most corporations cross the river on the KM82 marker, Explorandes crosses at KM88, which places some area between your group and the opposite trekkers. We had the path all to ourselves when mountain climbing with Explorandes. Two out of the three campsites on the trek had simply our group staying there. To us, this can be a huge bonus!

✓ The best way the tour is structured, you arrive at Machu Picchu within the late afternoon to take some pictures. You then spend the night time within the city of Aguas Calientes (which is round 30 minutes from Machu Picchu), and you come to the positioning once more the next morning for a correct tour of it. Having the ability to go to Machu Picchu two instances as a substitute of 1 is a large perk of this tour — very often Machu Picchu could be shrouded in fog and clouds. 

✓ There are transportable bathrooms which can be carried up by the crew. That is nice because it means there’s a bathroom close to the camp, and never a far stroll away — glorious for nighttime rest room breaks. 

✓ We solely needed to carry our private gadgets. The porters carried all meals, tents and sleeping gear, rest room services, and kitchen and eating tools. 

✓ Our information Harry was accountable, skilled, safety-conscious, had a very good sense of humour and was enjoyable to be round.

✓ The Explorandes guides are knowledgable concerning the historical past of Peru, and the Incan instances.  

✓ The meals is definitely scrumptious. Sometimes, when doing multiday hikes, you’ll be compelled to eat actually primary, straightforward to prepare dinner meals. Not with Explorandes. The cooks make some epic meals! Breakfast, lunch, pre-dinner, and dinner are all tasty (hen stew with potatoes, guacamole and chips, cheese and crackers, beef stew and rice, soups…). 

food on the machu picchu hike

✓ Every morning, you’re woken up early by a pleasant porter who offers you a basin of heat water for laundry off your face, and produce you a sizzling drink — espresso, tea or sizzling chocolate.

✓ All the pieces runs like clockwork. From the beginning of the trek to the tip once you’re dropped off at your lodging.

There are quite a few different corporations operating Inca Path excursions to Machu Picchu. Your tour operator could make or break this as soon as in a lifetime expertise, so it’s essential to ask as many questions as you possibly can and be comfy with the corporate you select. 

To be taught extra about Explorandes and to view the varied trekking packages the corporate affords, click here. To contact the corporate and communicate to a consultant, click here. Don’t overlook to inform them Goats On The Street despatched you!

Itinerary For The Machu Picchu Hike

The everyday “Traditional Inca Path Tour” is Four days, nevertheless, a few of the corporations run 5-day excursions, which is what we did with Explorandes.

The 5-day tour means that you can begin later within the day on the primary day (after the hordes of different trekkers have already began). Plus, you’ll have the ability to acclimatize significantly better than for those who had been on the 4-day tour.

With the 5 day journey, day quantity Three is the toughest, whereas with the 4-day tour, the toughest day could be day quantity 2. Lastly, you get to see Machu Picchu two instances with a 5-day tour, which is nice as you by no means know what the climate might be doing. 

Right here is the Inca path itinerary for the 5-day journey that we accomplished with Explorandes.

Day #1 of the Inca Path

  • Cusco (3,350m / 10,990ft) to KM.82 (2,668m) to Chamana Camp (2,668m / 8,753ft) 
  • Distance: 10 kilometers
  • Time: Roughly 4.5 hours

You’re picked up in a van out of your resort or lodging in Cusco and are transferred to the Sacred Valley. Right here you’ll have a while to wander across the village of Ollantaytambo, have some meals if you would like, decide up any last-minute gadgets and naturally, admire the superb Inca ruins right here. 

sacred valley peru

From Ollantaytambo, you’ll drive to the beginning of the hike. Right here you’ll obtain a paper bag with some snacks for the day, get your gear arrange and take off on one of the crucial superb hikes ever. 

Admire the Qanabamba ruins, the towering mountains, and the dashing Urubamba River. Make sure that to show round and look behind you throughout this trek, because the surroundings is spectacular.

At present you’ll cease for a snack break, earlier than persevering with on to take pleasure in your first sizzling lunch of the trek. A eating tent is ready up with stools so that you can sit on. 

Keep on and cross the river at Q’ente earlier than arriving on the campsite of Chamana. This can be a personal campsite so solely Explorandes company are in a position to camp right here — there are sizzling water showers right here as properly! If you arrive, your tent will already be arrange, together with your sleeping mat and sleeping bag inside. 

Get freshened up earlier than having fun with a snack, adopted by a tasty dinner, after which sleep.

first campsite inca trail

At the present time of the Inca Path could be very straightforward, and as our information mentioned in the course of the orientation: “In the event you battle on day 1 of this hike, then it is best to rethink trekking to Machu Picchu”.

If you end up having points today, chances are you’ll want to show round and select one other method to see Machu Picchu. 

Day #2 of the Inca Path

  • Chamana Camp (2,668m / 8,753ft) to Llulluchapampa Camp (3,840m / 12,598ft)
  • Distance: 11.7 kilometers (7.Three miles)
  • Time: Roughly 7-Eight hours

Get up round 6:30 am, pack up your bag of non-public gadgets, have breakfast and set off. The porters and crew will take down your tent and tarp and carry it for you.

You camped throughout from the gorgeous Llaqtapata ruins, and as we speak you’ll get to discover them and be taught concerning the historical past right here. You’ll be given the choice to climb up a small’ish mountain — do it! The view up the valley and throughout the ruins is spectacular. We sat there for some time simply gazing in awe and the character round us.

machu picchu view inca trail

Throughout as we speak’s hike, you’ll move by small creeks, waterfalls and many towering bushes. This a part of the Inca Path is lush and the air is moist and humid. Make sure that to maintain your eyes peeled for distinctive flowers and bugs alongside the best way. 

Take pleasure in a sizzling lunch earlier than persevering with uphill — there are some stairs today. 

The second campsite on the path was my private favorite. That is the Llulluchapampa Camp and when the clouds clear, Mt. Huayanay is uncovered — it’s an unbelievable sight. Once more, we had been the one folks tenting at this web site, properly, us and many llamas! 

Not solely had been the llamas close by, however whereas we had been sitting in our tent, a llama walked proper as much as it! Fairly superb.

After enjoyable for a bit, take pleasure in a tasty sizzling meal earlier than going to mattress.

llamas inca trail trek

Day #Three of The Inca Path

  • Llulluchapampa Camp (3,840m / 12,598ft) to Phuyupatamarca Camp (3,650m / 11,975 ft)
  • Distance: 12 kilometers / 7.5 miles
  • Time: Roughly Eight hours

At present is the powerful day, with two passes to overcome. 

Get up early round 6:00 am. Have breakfast, pack up and hit the path by 7:00 am. 

You’ll instantly begin ascending to the Warmiwanuska Move (Lifeless Lady’s Move) at 4,200m (an elevation acquire of 360m). The move is given this identify resulting from how the mountain vary seems — like a lady laying down.

That is the best level of your complete Machu Picchu hike — in truth, the ruins of Machu Picchu are literally 1,800m decrease than this move. 

On the prime, benefit from the fabulous view behind you (sadly, our view was simply fog!).

After the move, you’ll descend for 850m down rocky steps. On the backside, you’ll be greeted by the crew who can have arrange the eating desk with stools and have snacks ready for you.

Relaxation up, as you’ll be climbing again up once more over your second and closing move of the day, at 3,850m.

After you ascend and descend from that move, you’ll be greeted by your porters once more who can have sizzling drinks and a meal prepared for you. This isn’t your campsite, nevertheless, and also you’ll must hike just a bit bit farther earlier than reaching the superb campsite that you just’ll be sleeping at. 

For the final portion of today, you’ll see a number of caves, moss-covered rocks, and distinctive flowers.

rocky cave inca trail trek

Arrive on the third and closing campsite of the trek, Phuyupatamarca, at 3,650m. The ruins right here and the view of the mountain ranges are spectacular. Our information, Harry, informed us to observe him up a hill…and regardless that our toes had been yelling “No!”, we went with him and the view was unbelievable.

At this campsite, there are a few different teams staying right here. However, not like Explorandes who convey their very own bathrooms, the opposite campers should stroll right down to the general public bathrooms! Fortunate for you, your rest room is simply steps away.

Take pleasure in a pre-dinner snack, mountain climbing as much as see the mountain vary, and a tasty dinner to spherical off the day.

rainbow machu picchu

Day #Four of the Inca Path

  • Phuyupatamarca Camp (3,650m / 11,975ft) to Machu Picchu (2,430m/7,970ft) to Aquas Calientes City
  • Distance: 10.9 km (6.Eight m)
  • Time: 7.5 hours

With the itinerary deliberate by Explorandes, you received’t be waking up at 3:30 am like your fellow hikers. As an alternative, you’ll be up at 7:00 am. 

The explanation for that is that you just received’t need to do the tour of Machu Picchu as we speak. You’ll arrive on the Solar Gate, see the positioning in all its glory, and take some pictures. Then you definitely’ll proceed to the city of Aguas Calientes. The next day, you’ll do a correct tour of the traditional web site.

At present is epic and is crammed with ruins! Go gradual, and soak all of it in.

The traditional web site of Phuyupatamarca that you just camped subsequent to might be your first cease as we speak. Get an up-close view of the ruins and study them out of your information (and take pictures!) earlier than persevering with on.

us viewp oint inca trail

Because you’re descending from the next (drier) altitude, you’ll discover the foliage change but once more as we speak. Benefit from the bamboo forest, distinctive flowers, moss-covered bushes, and butterflies.

Because it was our final day of the Inca Path hike, we took as we speak very slowly. We wished to take pleasure in each second of it and are glad that Harry was an advocate for trekking at a gradual tempo and totally having fun with the environment. 

The second set of ruins alongside the best way is Intipata — which is the place you’ll take a break from mountain climbing.

Following that, you’ll take pleasure in your final meal of the trek (saving the very best for final!), earlier than persevering with on to the Winaywayna ruins at 2,666m. This unbelievable web site is in immaculate situation and was our second favorite of the Inca Path trek to Machu Picchu. Despite the fact that there are a number of steps, it’s price going into the ruins and checking them out.

Lastly, hike up some stone steps earlier than arriving on the Solar Gate (Intipunku). This was as soon as the principal entrance to Machu Picchu and was closely guarded — solely letting choose folks and the elite to enter.

Congratulate your self, you’ve made it!

us at machu picchu

From right here, it’s about an hour descent right down to Machu Picchu the place you possibly can stroll round in sure parts of the positioning and take some pictures.

At round 4:30 pm, you’ll hop on a bus and make your method to the city of Aguas Calientes. Test into the pre-booked resort and revel in free time this night to eat and drink the place you need. Our group bought alongside properly and all of us determined to hangout collectively and have a celebratory beer. I like to recommend Mapacho for pub meals and craft beer!

Don’t keep out too late although as you’ll be up early to check-out and hop on the bus again as much as Machu Picchu. 

Day #5 of The Inca Path

  • Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes. 
  • Aguas Calientes to Cusco by Practice and Bus
  • Time: Eight hours (longer together with lunch, ready for transport, and many others.)

At present, you’ll get up, pack your bag and retailer it in a locker on the resort. From there, you’ll meet on the bus station together with your mountain climbing group and take the 30-minute bus journey again as much as Machu Picchu.

At present is once you’ll obtain a tour of your complete web site out of your information. Harry (our information), even took us offtrack to take a look at the traditional Inca Bridge. The route is fast slim, with sheer dropoffs (and no railings), so it’s not for the faint of coronary heart. I used to be properly behind everybody and strolling so slowly…

In the event you do determine to go to the Inca Bridge, do not run, do not move different travellers, and do not take any selfies near the sting. You wouldn’t consider what we noticed some travellers doing.

hiking to inca bridge

Machu Pichu is excellent and after getting a quick historical past lesson and studying about some essential areas of the positioning, you’ll have the ability to wander round by yourself — assembly again together with your group at a set time.

You’ll take pleasure in lunch collectively in Aguas Calientes earlier than heading again to the resort to seize your backpacks and alter your garments. From there, you’ll hop on a prepare to Ollantaytambo, and swap to a bus to Cusco. 

That’s it. Your Inca Path trek to Machu Pichu is full! 

(Notice: once we hiked, a portion of the prepare was closed which is why we needed to take a bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. Usually, it’s a prepare journey from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.)

What to Pack for the Machu Picchu Hike 

To completely benefit from the expertise, you’ll wish to be a wise packer. You’ll be sweaty. You’ll get rained on. You’ll be sizzling. You’ll be chilly. It’s essential to pack for the weather whereas protecting your pack as mild as attainable.

In the event you don’t have the correct gear, or for those who’re on an extended journey and might’t carry heat clothes with you, there are some retailers in Cusco the place you possibly can refill. Take a look at Tattoo which has high quality clothes and kit (backpacks as properly), the North Face store or any of the random small retailers promoting gear round the principle plaza.

Right here’s what to pack for the Inca Path:

You’ll need some tools, correct clothes, and a few random issues. Right here’s what to convey when trekking to Machu Picchu.


When mountain climbing, the very best thought is to have two units of clothes — one for mountain climbing in the course of the day, and one that you just preserve clear and dry for the evenings. That’s it. You don’t want 5 shirts and a number of pairs of pants. Simply two units of garments.

Understand that the porters might be taking the vast majority of your gadgets, so just be sure you have all the garments you may want in the course of the day in your private backpack. You received’t have entry to your gadgets that the porters are carrying till you attain the campsite.

  • Mountaineering Pants: It doesn’t matter what season you’re trekking the Inca Path, you’ll need pants. Ideally, mountain climbing pants that may zip off when (if) you get sizzling, or ones that may roll up from the ankle. I all the time trek in Halle Pants by Prana — they’re stretchy, comfy, water repellent, SPF 50 they usually roll up from the ankle and fix with a button round knee stage. Nick wears mountain climbing pants by Columbia.
  • 2 x Lengthy-Sleeved Shirt / T-Shirt: Search for a shirt that’s light-weight and quick-dry for those who’re mountain climbing within the sizzling months, and a long-sleeve shirt that’s hotter for mountain climbing within the cool season. I had two long-sleeved, cotton shirts by Reebok and Nick wore a long-sleeve quick-dry shirt that he purchased at Tattoo in Cusco. Nick additionally had a fast dry t-shirt with him.
  • Thermal High: Even when the daytime temps aren’t chilly, the night might be. Have a thermal baselayer prime to maintain you heat — we slept in ours. We have now thermal baselayer tops by Underarmour.
  • Thermal Pants: You’ll need thermal pants to put on at night time. Mainly, they’re lengthy underwear and we wore ours to sleep every night time. We each have Underarmour thermal pants. 
  • Rain Jacket: When it’s cloudy, chilly and spitting rain (sprinkling) on the Inca Path trek, you’ll need a windproof, waterproof jacket. When it’s torrential raining, you may want a poncho. Nevertheless, Nick and I all the time get sizzling when mountain climbing and discover that ponchos make us too heat (though they preserve you drier). We suggest Helly Hansen windproof, waterproof rain jackets.
  • Down Jacket: Having a down jacket is a should. In the course of the day you probably received’t want it, however after you cease mountain climbing and take a break for lunch, you may calm down and wish it. Within the evenings, you’ll wish to put on your down jacket. Get one that’s skinny, however offers heat.
  • Fleece: Having a thermal base layer, a down jacket and a rain jacket is nice, however you want one other layer of heat in there for these chilly nights. I recommend packing a light-weight fleece. We have now Columbia fleece tops, however have worn North Face previously as properly. Simply be sure it’s light-weight however heat.
  •  Waterproof / Windproof Pants: You possibly can select to put on these when mountain climbing (if it’s a torrential downpour, or for those who’re chilly), or preserve them dry and put on them round camp within the night. We wore our thermal pants beneath these at night time once we’d change out of our trekking garments.
  • Socks: Convey sufficient socks for each trekking day, and preserve a thicker, hotter pair dry for evenings. Convey a bonus pair or two.
  • Underwear: For males, convey quick-dry, light-weight underwear. Women, pack comfy, breathable cotton ones.
  • Bras: Women, you’ll wish to put on a sports activities bra on the Inca Path trek to Machu Picchu.
  • Mountaineering Footwear: The terrain on the path is uneven and filled with stones and stairs. You’ll positively need a sturdy pair of mountain climbing boots for this trek. However, you’ll wish to be sure to have a pair of mountain climbing footwear which can be correctly damaged in, and are waterproof/water resistant. There’s nothing worse than blisters when mountain climbing or having moist toes. I put on Merrell and Nick wears Keen.
  • Second Pair of Footwear: After a protracted day of mountain climbing, the very last thing you’ll wish to do is put your soggy mountain climbing boots again on after cleansing and altering your garments! Have a second pair of footwear to placed on for the late afternoons and evenings round camp. Slip-on Crocs are a good suggestion or a light-weight primary sneaker. 
  • Toque/Beanie: You may want a heat hat for these chilly nights. We did.
  • Hat: The solar at elevation is intense. Be sure to have a hat with a brim and for those who’re susceptible to getting a burnt neck, put on the type that covers the again of your neck as properly.

walking the inca trail


Having tools that fits your wants is vital when mountain climbing the Inca Path. In the event you don’t have your personal sleeping bag, you possibly can lease it from Explorandes for $25 per particular person. Listed here are a few of the gadgets we suggest packing.

  • Backpack: The porters will carry 7 kgs of your equipment, together with your tent, sleeping bag, clothes, sleeping mat, and many others. You have to to hold your different private gadgets. Select a backpack that has a waistbelt, thick shoulder straps, and correct airflow off your again. We did the Machu Picchu hike with our Osprey Stratos 34 backpacks, they usually had been good. They’ve area for a hydration pack, which is vital. (see extra beneath).
  • Rainproof Cowl: You’ll encounter rain on the hike and once you do, you’ll wish to be sure to have a rainproof cowl on your backpack. 
  • Trekking Poles: Some folks love them, others hate them. I prefer to trek with poles with the terrain is uneven, and there are many downhill components — which is precisely what you possibly can anticipate from the trek to Machu Picchu. Poles are given to you by Explorandes if you would like them, or you possibly can convey your personal. Simply be sure to inform them forward of time.
  • Sleeping Bag: As I mentioned above, you possibly can lease a -17° Celcius bag from Explorandes, or convey your personal. You’ll need a light-weight bag that’s round -10 ° Celcius to – 20 ° Celcius.
  • Headlamp: Whereas there are photo voltaic lights used at camp, for these late-night rest room breaks, or for seeing what you’re doing in your tent at night time, you’ll wish to have a headlamp

inca trail trek

Toiletries/First Assist

You’ll want some primary toiletries for this hike to Machu Picchu. Listed here are some gadgets we’re glad we introduced with us.

  • Deodorant: In the event you’re a pair, take into account sharing the identical one for five days because it’s one much less factor to hold, which suggests much less weight. 
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: In the event you usually have an electrical toothbrush, swap this out for a primary one and a small tube of paste. 
  • Sunscreen: The solar at this elevation is intense. Make sure that to use all through the day. 
  • Cleaning soap: On the first campsite, there’s really a sizzling water bathe! Make use of it. Convey one small cleaning soap (like those you get in accommodations) and revel in a clear and recent night time. 
  • Moist Wipes: These are packing necessities once you’re mountain climbing with out showers. On the finish of every day, change out of your sweaty, smelly trekking garments and clear your self off with moist wipes. It’s the closest factor you’ll get to a bathe for a number of days and I extremely suggest bringing a small pack of them. 
  • First Assist: The crew has primary first help gadgets, however we all the time journey with drugs and provides that we all know work for us. Take into account some ibuprofen (Advil), one thing for upset stomachs (Pepto Bismol), and one thing for colds. We additionally pack some Band-Aids, tweezers and nail clippers.


Other than garments and kit, there are a number of different issues chances are you’ll wish to take into account packing.

  • Camelbak / Hydration Pack / Bladder: If you’re mountain climbing, somewhat than having to cease, swing your backpack round to the entrance and pull your water bottle out of your bag – or having to ask a fellow trekker to seize it for you – get your self a hydration pack (bladder). These packs that you just replenish with water slip into the within a part of your backpack and have a protracted tube hooked up to them. The tube comes out the highest of your pack, over your shoulder and clips onto your shoulder strap. You merely sip the water from the tube with ease. Learn more here.
  • Waist Pouch / Fanny Pack / Hip Pack: No matter you name it, chances are you’ll wish to have one for the trek. This ensures easy accessibility to your telephone (for pictures), lip balm, sun shades, and many others. 
  • Plastic Luggage: We’re not advocates for plastic and attempt to be responsible when we travel, however in relation to trekking and rain, you’ll wish to be sure your clothes and essential gear stays dry. Ziploc luggage are nice for cameras and telephones. We convey bigger rubbish luggage and put our clothes inside one, and sleeping bag inside the opposite. There’s nothing worse than being chilly and solely having moist garments to placed on.
  • Packing Cubes: These cubes be sure that your gadgets are organized, compact, and simply accessible. Put all your clothes in a single and your toiletries in one other, then once you’re on the lookout for one thing, you possibly can simply discover it. We use these ones.
  • Aluminum Water Bottle (with cowl): Despite the fact that I like to recommend having a hydration pack, I additionally suggest carrying an empty aluminum water bottle with a smooth, thick, zip-on cowl. Why? Earlier than mattress, ask the prepare dinner to fill it up with sizzling water, zip on the quilt, and put it into your sleeping bag. It’s an immediate heater. (Notice: we all the time do that when mountain climbing, however just lately heard a narrative of somebody’s bottle leaking into their bag. Use with warning).
  • Small Lock: We felt secure with our trekking crew and employees your complete time, however once you meet up with different corporations on the campsites, you by no means know who’s lingering round. I like to recommend bringing a small mixture lock and locking your backpack (which can have your passport, digital camera, cash, and telephone inside).

High Ideas For The Machu Picchu Hike

You realize the itinerary, you understand what to pack for the hike to Machu Picchu, you understand which tour operator to decide on, however I nonetheless have some ideas for you! Listed here are some issues to know earlier than embarking on the Inca Path to Machu Picchu in Peru.

1. You’ll Must Acclimate

At an altitude of three,400 meters (11,200 toes), altitude sickness is frequent. Nevertheless, it may be prevented (or helped), by correctly acclimatizing your self. Not everybody feels the results of altitude illness, and it doesn’t matter how match you’re, or your age. It will probably have an effect on anybody at any time. 

Many individuals arrive in Cusco from sea stage, or near sea stage (we flew in from Quito, Ecuador). If that is you, earlier than you’re taking off on the Inca Path, be sure to spend at the very least 2 days in Cusco at this altitude (3-Four days you probably have the time).

cusco square

In the event you don’t give your self time in Cusco, your physique may not be prepared for trekking the Inca Path. You can really feel nauseous (and should even vomit), you may not have power, have a pounding headache, and general, you’ll probably really feel depressing. 

Methods to assist and keep away from feeling the results of altitude are as follows:

  • Don’t pressure your self (go straightforward the primary couple of days).
  • Eat lighter meals.
  • Eat some sugar (Snickers bars are good) or drink natural tea with sugar.
  • Hold hydrated, which suggests avoiding espresso and alcohol, and drink a number of water.
  • Eat coca candies or coca leaves
  • In the event you’re nonetheless feeling the results after Three days, chances are you’ll must go right down to a decrease altitude or see a health care provider to get some oxygen.

2. Go Sluggish on The Path

Mountaineering the path to Machu Picchu is a as soon as in a lifetime expertise. The historical past, historic ruins, and surroundings are completely unbelievable. Reasonably than rush by way of the hike, go slowly and revel in each second of it.

Our information was glorious as he instructed all of us trek at a slower, extra pleasurable tempo. Our group had been all pretty younger and lively and we had been mountain climbing fairly quick the primary day. At lunch, he reminded us to perhaps decelerate and “scent the roses” infrequently. After that little speech, we did and had been in a position to discover so many small issues alongside the best way. 

3. E-book in Advance to Guarantee You Get a Allow

Machu Picchu is among the Seven Wonders Of The World. It’s turn out to be increasingly more well-liked through the years and due to this fact, it’s crucial that you just get your allow forward of time. 

500 permits are offered every day, with round 200 allotted for vacationers, and 300 for workers (cooks, porters and guides).

Book your trip to Machu Picchu as quickly as you possibly can to keep away from disappointment!


We did a number of analysis and skim a number of blogs and overview websites when planning our hike to Machu Picchu, however we nonetheless had questions! Listed here are a few of the stuff you’re most likely questioning about (be at liberty to ask any questions within the feedback beneath, or ship us an electronic mail). 

Do I Must Convey My Passport?

Sure. I repeat, sure!

Don’t go away your passport in your baggage stowed away at your resort. Firstly, you must present it in the course of the 5-day journey (when coming into Machu Picchu, for the resort check-in and for the prepare), and secondly, by no means go away your passport behind. It’s crucial merchandise when travelling. 

I like to recommend placing it in a Ziploc bag to maintain it protected and protecting it secure in your pack (in your particular person), not with the sleeping bag and different gadgets that the porters carry.

Do I Must Convey Cash for The Inca Path?


You received’t must spend any cash whereas mountain climbing, however once you attain Aguas Calientes, you’ll must pay on your personal dinner and drinks that night time. Plus, you may wish to buy some souvenirs and snacks.

Additionally, you will want to tip the porters, cooks, and guides with money. 

How A lot Do I Tip The Information, Cooks, and Porters?

You aren’t compelled to tip, however after all, ideas are a lot appreciated. The whole crew at Explorandes had been unbelievable and we wished to tip far more than was instructed.

These folks carry all your heavy gear, put together all your tasty meals, arrange your tent and sleeping gear, and offer you info and inform tales concerning the Inca Path and Peru. All whereas smiling and serving to you when wanted

In the event you’re pleased with the service, positively tip. Likewise, if you’re sad, you do not want to go away any gratuities.

It’s instructed that the trekkers put cash right into a pot that’s then distributed between the cooks and porters. For the information and assistant information, they’ll obtain a bigger tip.

  • Really useful ideas for Porters needs to be round 60-80 soles per porter ($18 – $25). Not per day, however in complete.
  • Really useful ideas for Cooks needs to be round 150-180 soles per chef ($45 – $55). Not per day, however in complete. 

trekking group inca trail trek to machu picchu

How Do I Get Consuming Water? 

Consuming water is equipped by Explorandes all through the day. Water is boiled, handled and ­filtered by prepare dinner employees and guides. Convey a reusable water bottle, or a hydration pack (as I like to recommend above), and fill it up within the morning. You’ll have the ability to refill your bottle on the lunch break, and once more once you attain the campsite.

There are a few locations the place you could possibly purchase water, however I don’t suggest buying plastic water bottles alongside the best way. 

Do I Must Convey Bathroom Paper? 

No. Bathroom paper is offered within the transportable bathrooms. 

Is There Someplace to Cost My Telephone?

No. However you possibly can convey an influence financial institution with you. Make sure that to maintain your telephone on “Airplane Mode” to assist with the battery life. 

What Do I Do With the Remainder of My Baggage?

For the Machu Picchu trek, you’ll solely be bringing what you completely want. However, you’re probably on a visit to see different components of Peru, or extra South American nations corresponding to Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina or Chile! This implies you’ll have a number of gadgets to go away behind when you’re trekking. 

All the accommodations and Airbnbs in Cusco are used to this they usually have holding rooms the place you possibly can go away your baggage. 

Nevertheless, since we had been staying at one Airbnb earlier than our Inca Path hike, after which switching to a different once we returned to Cusco, we opted to go away our backpacks on the Explorandes workplace. Converse to the corporate they usually can organize it for you for those who want.

Is The Inca Path Exhausting?

It’s a multi-day trek, at a reasonably excessive altitude, so it’s not “straightforward”, however for those who’re a hiker and are in reasonably good bodily form, you’ll haven’t any challenge finishing the trek.

There are a number of steps and uneven surfaces, so you probably have unhealthy knees, you may wish to take that into consideration.

We’ve trekked the O Trail in Torres del Paine, Chile, the Ciudad Perdida in Colombia, the Quilotoa Loop in Ecuador, quite a few multi-day hikes in Kyrgyzstan, the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and a week-long hike in Mongolia.

We discovered the Inca Path to be fairly simple, and we’re not in nice form! This was primarily as a result of there have been porters carrying our gear, and our tent and meals had been all arrange and ready for us.

Plus, we’re used to carrying all of our personal trekking and tenting gear on our backs. The Inca Path was luxurious! 

second campsite on inca trail

Is The Inca Path Protected?

The Inca Path is among the hottest hikes, and for those who select a accountable, knowledgable and correctly educated crew to hike with, it’s additionally a secure trek. 

Pay attention to the way you’re feeling and don’t be afraid to specific any considerations to your guides. The guides are educated in wilderness first response and first help, and there are satellite tv for pc telephones in case of any emergencies. Be sure to have proper travel insurance that covers trekking at excessive altitudes. 

Take pleasure in The Inca Path

Strolling on the identical roadway that was constructed by the Incan Empire within the 15th century is an unforgettable expertise, and whereas the ruins of Machu Picchu are spectacular, we additionally appreciated all the smaller historic websites alongside the best way. 

The hike isn’t a race and is supposed to be loved, so take your time and soak all of it in. If the Inca Path hike feels like one thing you’d be taken with, click here to be taught extra about Explorandes and reserve your allow! 

The lead picture on this article is courtesy of All different pictures are by Goats On The Street.

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