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How To Hike The Inca Path to Machu Picchu

In this guide to trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you’ll learn exactly what to expect, what to pack for the Inca Trail, which tour operator to choose and more. Nick and I hiked the Classic Inca Trail Trek for 5 days and had a very positive experience. You will too — if you’re […]

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On this information to trekking the Inca Path to Machu Picchu, you'll study 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 — when you'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 fifteenth century.

Throughout the hike, you'll be blown away by the unbelievable ingenuity of the Incans. How they have been capable of construct such a stable street system, within the jungle, at a excessive altitude, is mind-boggling!

Whereas Machu Picchu is likely to be the star of the Inca Path hike, the beautiful nature, towering mountains and quite a few ruins alongside the best way are nearly nearly as good because the finale itself.

start of inca trail

Right here's my full information to the Inca Path to Machu Picchu hike that can assist you plan the right journey. 

When to Hike The Inca Path to Machu Picchu

Initially, you can not trek throughout the month of February because the path is closed to all guests for restoration and upkeep. 

There are two fundamental 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 in all probability encounter rain throughout the dry season, and non-rainy days throughout the moist season. Evenings are chilly whatever the time of 12 months you determine to hike. 

There's no denying that Machu Picchu is a well-liked web site, so common in truth that the federal government needed to restrict the variety of guests to 500 per day (together with guides and porters).

So, when you have the choice, the most effective time to do the Machu Picchu hike within the shoulder season of April – Could and later in September, October and early November. 

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

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

Throughout our trek in late March, though it was off-season, there have been numerous individuals 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 — that means you've gotten the path and a couple of campsites all to your self! Extra on this firm under. 

How To Select the Greatest Inca Path Tour Firm 

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

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

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

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

When trying to find 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 neighborhood? 
  3. Does the operator observe eco practices? 
  4. How lengthy have they been in enterprise? 
  5. Precisely what's included within the fee (meals, gear, information, and so forth.).
  6. Do you might want to carry your individual gear? How a lot weight will you carry vs. the porters? 

Explorandes checked all of these packing containers and extra.

Listed here are a number of 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 e-mail them to inquire about charges and bookings, you'll obtain a bunch of knowledge upfront (totally free) which is able to assist you determine whether or not or not Explorandes is the corporate for you. 

✓ The Basic Inca Path tour is accomplished in 5 days, quite than 4. This additional day on the journey means you don't need to stand up at ridiculously early hours, you can be staggered from different teams, and you'll get pleasure from visiting Machu Picchu two instances, quite than one. Click here to learn extra about the benefits of doing the Inca Path in 5 days quite than 4.

✓ They're an eco-friendly, sustainable firm, they usually put a concentrate on hygiene throughout the trek. It is 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 stable waste. 

✓ A portion of your journey price 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. It is a nice method to get to know your group whereas getting your entire questions and issues answered. 

✓ Teams are small.

✓ Whereas most firms cross the river on the KM82 marker, Explorandes crosses at KM88, which places some house between your group and the opposite trekkers.

We had the path all to ourselves when mountaineering with Explorandes. Two out of the three campsites on the trek had simply our group staying there. To us, it is a huge bonus!

✓ The best way the tour is structured, you arrive at Machu Picchu within the late afternoon to take some photographs. You then spend the evening within the city of Aguas Calientes (which is round half-hour from Machu Picchu), and you come to the location once more the next morning for a correct tour of it.

Having the ability to go to Machu Picchu two instances as an alternative of 1 is a large perk of this tour — very often Machu Picchu might be shrouded in fog and clouds. 

✓ There are moveable bathrooms which might 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 — wonderful 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 gear. 

✓ Our information Harry was accountable, skilled, safety-conscious, had a superb 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. Usually, when doing multiday hikes, you'll be compelled to eat actually primary, easy-to-cook 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 will provide you with a basin of heat water for laundry off your face, and convey you a sizzling drink — espresso, tea or sizzling chocolate.

✓ Every little thing runs like clockwork. From the beginning of the trek to the tip once you're dropped off at your lodging.

Price of The Inca Path Hike

The prices differ from round $500 to $1,000 per particular person. Low prices can equal low high quality and poor remedy of porters as properly. Do your analysis and ensure to ask questions earlier than reserving.  

There are quite a few different firms operating Inca Path excursions to Machu Picchu. Your tour operator could make or break this once-in-a-lifetime expertise, so it's necessary to ask as many questions as you may and be comfy with the corporate you select. 

To study extra about Explorandes and to view the assorted trekking packages the corporate affords, click here. To contact the corporate and communicate to a consultant, click here. Don't neglect to inform them Goats On The Highway despatched you!

Inca Path to Machu Picchu 5-Day Itinerary 

The everyday “Basic Inca Path Tour” is 4 days, nevertheless, a number of the firms run 5-day excursions, which is what we did with Explorandes.

The 5-day tour permits you to begin later within the day on the primary day (after the hordes of different trekkers have already began). Plus, you'll be capable of acclimatize significantly better than when you have been on the 4-day tour.

With the 5 day journey, day quantity 3 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 can 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 lodge 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 need, decide up any last-minute gadgets and naturally, admire the wonderful 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 wonderful hikes ever. 

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

In the present day you'll cease for a snack break, earlier than persevering with on to get pleasure from your first sizzling lunch of the trek. A eating tent is about up with stools so that you can sit on. 

Keep it up and cross the river at Q'ente earlier than arriving on the campsite of Chamana. It is a personal campsite so solely Explorandes friends are capable of camp right here — there are sizzling water showers right here as properly! If you arrive, your tent will already be arrange, along 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 simple, and as our information stated throughout the orientation: “If you happen to battle on day 1 of this hike, then you need to rethink trekking to Machu Picchu”.

If you end up having points today, it's possible 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 (7.3 miles)
  • Time: Roughly 7-8 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 beautiful Llaqtapata ruins, and right now you'll get to discover them and study 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 right now's hike, you'll cross by small creeks, waterfalls and plenty of towering timber. This a part of the Inca Path is lush and the air is moist and humid. Be 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 have been the one individuals tenting at this web site, properly, us and plenty of llamas! 

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

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

llamas inca trail trek

Day #3 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 8 hours

In the present day 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 achieve of 360m). The cross is given this identify attributable to how the mountain vary appears — like a lady laying down.

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

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

After the cross, you'll descend for 850m down rocky steps. On the backside, you'll be greeted by the crew who may 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 remaining cross of the day, at 3,850m.

After you ascend and descend from that cross, you'll be greeted by your porters once more who may have sizzling drinks and a meal prepared for you. This isn't your campsite, nevertheless, and also you'll have to hike just a bit bit farther earlier than reaching the wonderful campsite that you simply'll be sleeping at. 

For the final portion of today, you'll see numerous caves, moss-covered rocks, and distinctive flowers.

rocky cave inca trail trek

Arrive on the third and remaining campsite of the trek, Phuyupatamarca, at 3,650m. The ruins right here and the view of the mountain ranges are spectacular. Our information, Harry, instructed us to observe him up a hill…and though our toes have 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, in contrast to Explorandes who carry their very own bathrooms, the opposite campers must 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, mountaineering as much as see the mountain vary, and a tasty dinner to spherical off the day.

rainbow machu picchu

Day #4 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 (6.8 m)
  • Time: 7.5 hours

With the itinerary deliberate by Explorandes, you gained'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 simply gained't need to do the tour of Machu Picchu right now. You'll arrive on the Solar Gate, see the location in all its glory, and take some photographs. You then'll proceed to the city of Aguas Calientes. The next day, you'll do a correct tour of the traditional web site.

In the present day is epic and is full of ruins! Go gradual, and soak all of it in.

The traditional web site of Phuyupatamarca that you simply camped subsequent to can be your first cease right now. Get an up-close view of the ruins and find out about them out of your information (and take photographs!) 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 right now. Benefit from the bamboo forest, distinctive flowers, moss-covered timber, and butterflies.

Because it was our final day of the Inca Path hike, we took right now very slowly. We wished to get pleasure from 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 mountaineering.

Following that, you'll get pleasure from your final meal of the trek (saving the most effective 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. Regardless that there are loads 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 individuals 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 may stroll round in sure parts of the location and take some photographs.

At round 4:30 pm, you'll hop on a bus and make your method to the city of Aguas Calientes. Examine into the pre-booked lodge and revel in free time this night to eat and drink the place you need. Our group obtained 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: 8 hours (longer together with lunch, ready for transport, and so forth.)

In the present day, you'll get up, pack your bag and retailer it in a locker on the lodge. From there, you'll meet on the bus station along with your mountaineering group and take the 30-minute bus journey again as much as Machu Picchu.

In the present day 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 slender, 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…

If you happen to do determine to go to the Inca Bridge, do not run, do not cross different travellers, and do not take any selfies near the sting. You wouldn't imagine what we noticed some travellers doing.

hiking to inca bridge

Machu Pichu is excellent and after getting a short historical past lesson and studying about some necessary areas of the location, you'll be capable of wander round by yourself — assembly again along with your group at a set time.

You'll get pleasure from lunch collectively in Aguas Calientes earlier than heading again to the lodge to seize your backpacks and alter your garments. From there, you'll hop on a practice to Ollantaytambo, and change to a bus to Cusco. 

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

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

What to Pack for the Machu Picchu Hike 

To totally 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 necessary to pack for the weather whereas protecting your pack as mild as doable.

If you happen to don't have the right gear, or when you're on an extended journey and may't carry heat clothes with you, there are some outlets in Cusco the place you may top off. 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 outlets promoting gear round the principle plaza.

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

You'll need some gear, correct clothes, and a few random issues. Right here's what to carry when trekking to Machu Picchu.


When mountaineering, the most effective concept is to have two units of clothes — one for mountaineering throughout the day, and one that you simply maintain 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.

Remember that the porters can be taking nearly all of your gadgets, so just be sure you have all the garments you may want throughout the day in your private backpack. You gained't have entry to your gadgets that the porters are carrying till you attain the campsite.

  • Climbing Pants: It doesn't matter what season you're trekking the Inca Path, you'll need pants. Ideally, mountaineering 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 fasten with a button round knee degree. Nick wears mountaineering pants by Columbia.
  • 2 x Lengthy-Sleeved Shirt / T-Shirt: Search for a shirt that's light-weight and quick-dry when you're mountaineering within the sizzling months, and a long-sleeve shirt that's hotter for mountaineering 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 can 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 evening. Principally, they're lengthy underwear and we wore ours to sleep every evening. We each have Underarmour thermal pants. 
  • Rain Jacket: When it's cloudy, chilly and spitting rain (sprinkling) on the Inca Path trek, you'll desire a windproof, waterproof jacket. When it's torrential raining, you may want a poncho. Nonetheless, Nick and I all the time get sizzling when mountaineering and discover that ponchos make us too heat (though they maintain you drier). We suggest Helly Hansen windproof, waterproof rain jackets.
  • Down Jacket: Having a down jacket is a should. Throughout the day you almost certainly gained't want it, however after you cease mountaineering and take a break for lunch, you would possibly calm down and need it. Within the evenings, you'll wish to put on your down jacket. Get one that's skinny, however gives 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 counsel packing a light-weight fleece. We have now Columbia fleece tops, however have worn North Face previously as properly. Simply ensure it's light-weight however heat.
  •  Waterproof / Windproof Pants: You may select to put on these when mountaineering (if it's a torrential downpour, or when you're chilly), or maintain them dry and put on them round camp within the night. We wore our thermal pants beneath these at evening once we'd change out of our trekking garments.
  • Socks: Deliver sufficient socks for each trekking day, and maintain a thicker, hotter pair dry for evenings. Deliver a bonus pair or two.
  • Underwear: For males, carry quick-dry, light-weight underwear. Girls, pack comfy, breathable cotton ones.
  • Bras: Girls, you'll wish to put on a sports activities bra on the Inca Path trek to Machu Picchu.
  • Climbing Sneakers: The terrain on the path is uneven and stuffed with stones and stairs. You'll positively desire a sturdy pair of mountaineering boots for this trek. However, you'll wish to be sure to have a pair of mountaineering footwear which might be correctly damaged in, and are waterproof/waterproof. There's nothing worse than blisters when mountaineering or having moist toes. I put on Merrell and Nick wears Keen.
  • Second Pair of Sneakers: After a protracted day of mountaineering, the very last thing you'll wish to do is put your soggy mountaineering 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. Ensure you have a hat with a brim and when you're vulnerable to getting a burnt neck, put on the type that covers the again of your neck as properly.

walking the inca trail


Having gear that fits your wants is vital when mountaineering the Inca Path. If you happen to don't have your individual sleeping bag, you may hire it from Explorandes for $25 per particular person. Listed here are a number of the gadgets we suggest packing.

  • Backpack: The porters will carry 7 kgs of your package, together with your tent, sleeping bag, clothes, sleeping mat, and so forth. 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 have been good. They've house for a hydration pack, which is vital. (see extra under).
  • Rainproof Cowl: You'll encounter rain on the hike and once you do, you'll wish to be sure to have a rainproof cowl in your backpack. 
  • Trekking Poles: Some individuals love them, others hate them. I wish to trek with poles with the terrain is uneven, and there are many downhill components — which is strictly what you may anticipate from the trek to Machu Picchu. Poles are given to you by Explorandes if you need them, or you may carry your individual. Simply ensure to inform them forward of time.
  • Sleeping Bag: As I stated above, you may hire a -17° Celcius bag from Explorandes, or carry your individual. You'll desire 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 evening, 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: If you happen to're a pair, think about sharing the identical one for five days because it's one much less factor to hold, which implies much less weight. 
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: If you happen to sometimes 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. Be sure that to use all through the day. 
  • Cleaning soap: On the first campsite, there may be really a sizzling water bathe! Make use of it. Deliver one small cleaning soap (like those you get in resorts) and revel in a clear and recent evening. 
  • Moist Wipes: These are packing necessities once you're mountaineering 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 workforce has primary first help gadgets, however we all the time journey with drugs and provides that we all know work for us. Contemplate 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 it's possible you'll wish to think about packing.

  • Camelbak / Hydration Pack / Bladder: If you're mountaineering, quite 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 simply 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, it's possible you'll wish to have one for the trek. This ensures quick access to your cellphone (for photographs), lip balm, sun shades, and so forth. 
  • Plastic Baggage: 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 ensure your clothes and necessary gear stays dry. Ziploc baggage are nice for cameras and telephones. We carry bigger rubbish baggage 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 certain that your gadgets are organized, compact, and simply accessible. Put your entire clothes in a single and your toiletries in one other, then once you're on the lookout for one thing, you may simply discover it. We use these ones.
  • Aluminum Water Bottle (with cowl): Regardless 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 prompt heater. (Be aware: we all the time do that when mountaineering, however lately heard a narrative of somebody's bottle leaking into their bag. Use with warning).
  • Small Lock: We felt secure with our trekking workforce and workers your complete time, however once you meet up with different firms 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 may have your passport, digital camera, cash, and cellphone inside).

High Suggestions For The Machu Picchu Hike

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

1. You'll Have to Acclimate

At an altitude of three,400 meters (11,200 toes), altitude sickness is frequent. Nonetheless, 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 might probably have an effect on anybody at any time. 

Many individuals arrive in Cusco from sea degree, or near sea degree (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 least 2 days in Cusco at this altitude (3-4 days when you have the time).

cusco square

If you happen to don't give your self time in Cusco, your physique may not be prepared for trekking the Inca Path. You may really feel nauseous (and will even vomit), you may not have vitality, have a pounding headache, and total, you'll most certainly really feel depressing. 

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

  • Don't pressure your self (go simple the primary couple of days).
  • Eat lighter meals.
  • Eat some sugar (Snickers bars are good) or drink natural tea with sugar.
  • Hold hydrated, which implies avoiding espresso and alcohol, and drink numerous water.
  • Eat coca candies or coca leaves
  • If you happen to're nonetheless feeling the results after 3 days, it's possible you'll have to go right down to a decrease altitude or see a health care provider to get some oxygen.

2. Go Gradual on The Path

Climbing the path to Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. The historical past, historical 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 wonderful as he steered all of us trek at a slower, extra gratifying tempo. Our group have been all pretty younger and lively and we have been mountaineering fairly quick the primary day.

At lunch, he reminded us to perhaps decelerate and “odor the roses” now and again. After that little speech, we did and have been capable of discover so many small issues alongside the best way. 

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

Machu Picchu is without doubt one of the Seven Wonders Of The World. It's develop into an increasing number of common through the years and subsequently, it's crucial that you simply 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 may to keep away from disappointment!


We did loads of analysis and skim loads of blogs and evaluation websites when planning our hike to Machu Picchu, however we nonetheless had questions! Listed here are a number of the stuff you're in all probability questioning about (be at liberty to ask any questions within the feedback under, or ship us an e-mail). 

Do I Have to Deliver My Passport on the Inca Path Trek?

Sure. I repeat, sure!

Don't go away your passport in your baggage stowed away at your lodge. Firstly, you might want to present it throughout the 5-day journey (when getting into Machu Picchu, for the lodge check-in and for the practice), 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 Have to Deliver Cash for The Inca Path?


You gained't have to spend any cash whereas mountaineering, however once you attain Aguas Calientes, you'll have to pay in your personal dinner and drinks that evening. Plus, you would possibly wish to buy some souvenirs and snacks.

Additionally, you will have 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 in fact, suggestions are a lot appreciated. All the workforce at Explorandes have been unbelievable and we wished to tip rather more than was steered.

These individuals carry your entire heavy gear, put together your entire tasty meals, arrange your tent and sleeping gear, and provide you with data and inform tales concerning the Inca Path and Peru. All whereas smiling and serving to you when wanted

If you happen to're pleased with the service, positively tip. Likewise, if you're sad, you do not want to depart any gratuities.

It's steered 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 suggestions for Porters ought to be round 60-80 soles per porter ($18 – $25). Not per day, however in complete.
  • Really useful suggestions for Cooks ought 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 Ingesting Water on the Machu Picchu Hike? 

Ingesting water is provided by Explorandes all through the day. Water is boiled, handled and ­filtered by prepare dinner workers and guides. Deliver a reusable water bottle, or a hydration pack (as I like to recommend above), and fill it up within the morning. You'll be capable of refill your bottle on the lunch break, and once more once you attain the campsite.

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

Do I Have to Deliver Rest room Paper? 

No. Rest room paper is supplied within the moveable bathrooms. 

Is There Someplace to Cost My Cellphone?

No. However you may carry an influence financial institution with you. Be sure that to maintain your cellphone 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 most certainly on a visit to see different components of Peru, or extra South American international locations akin to Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina or Chile! This implies you'll have loads of gadgets to depart behind whilst you're trekking. 

The entire resorts and Airbnbs in Cusco are used to this they usually have holding rooms the place you may go away your baggage. 

Nonetheless, since we have 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 depart our backpacks on the Explorandes workplace. Converse to the corporate they usually can prepare it for you when you want.

How Laborious is The Inca Path to Machu Picchu?

It's a multi-day trek, at a reasonably excessive altitude, so it's not “simple”, however when you're a hiker and are in reasonably good bodily form, you'll haven't any difficulty finishing the trek.

There are loads of steps and uneven surfaces, so when you have unhealthy knees, you would possibly 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 have 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 without doubt one of the hottest hikes, and when you select a accountable, knowledgable and correctly educated workforce to hike with, it's additionally a secure trek. 

Pay attention to the way you're feeling and don't be afraid to precise any issues 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. Ensure you 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 fifteenth century is an unforgettable expertise, and whereas the ruins of Machu Picchu are spectacular, we additionally appreciated the entire smaller historical 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 appears like one thing you'd be taken with, click here to study extra about Explorandes and reserve your allow! 

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

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