It’s easy to get confused when talking about the Inca Trail. The Incas built a highly advanced network of nearly 40,000 thousand kilometers of trails to connect the distant corners of their vast empire that stretched from Quito in Ecuador down to Santiago in Chile and east to Mendoza in Argentina. Cusco was at the heart of this great empire. Almost all of the principal trails in the mountains surrounding Cusco were built or improved upon by the Incas. However, a particularly beautiful 43km section of mountain trail connecting the important Inca archaeological sites of Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu has become popular with hikers in the last 30 years and has become known as the “Inca Trail to Machu Picchu”. Access to this section of Inca Trail is strictly controlled and only authorized trekking companies are allowed to sell this trek. All guides on the Inca Trail must be licensed and only a limited number of trekking permits are issued and must be purchased several months in advance.
INKA TRAIL PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Pre-departure briefing.
- Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer to the starting point of the trail.
- Inca Trail and Machu Picchu entrance fee.
- Sleeping bags.
- Dining tent with tables and chairs.
- Kitchen tent.
- English speaking professional and official tourist guide.
- Chef and cooking equipment.
- Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment).
- Accommodation for all our staff.
- Meals (04B, 03L, 03D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost.
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead.
- First-aid kit.
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes.
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to either the Sacred Valley or Cusco.
- Transfer train station-hotel in either the Sacred Valley or Cusco.
INKA TRAIL PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes.
- Porters to carry personal gear.
WHAT TO BRING / WHAT TO PACK RECOMMENDATIONS:
- A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
- Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping
- Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
- Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
- Sun block
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported
- Handkerchiefs / Tissue Paper / Toilet paper / Wet Wipes
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection
- Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into the Inca Trail. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended
- Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Small towel
- Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
- Cash in soles and/or US$
- Original passport
- Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount)
- Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the Inca Trail)
- Dry Season April through October
- Wet Season November through March
- Best Time to visit April and May or November and October
- The Inca Trail does not operate on February
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE INCA TRAIL?
Walking the Inca Trail is one of the most magical experiences in Peru. Going through this spectacular cobbled path of more than 500 years with so much history that surrounds it is, without a doubt, a memory that you will keep for the rest of your life. However, to really enjoy it, you have to be prepared.
And with prepared, we don’t refer only to carry the right luggage, the most comfortable boots and a good attitude. It is also important a previous physical training that allows you to resist the hours of walking – between six and eight daily -, the steps that you will find in the whole route and cope in the best way with the changes of height that you will face on the way.
There are two vital aspects to train, endurance and strength. How to achieve it? We give you some recommendations:
- Get used to the exercise. If you don’t like physical activity but want to do the trek, go slowly. Exercising one hour every two days is taking the first step to a better physical condition and the best way to avoid injuries.
- Elevate your pulse. Cardiovascular training will allow you to walk without problems long distances because your lungs will have the ability to face both the bustle and the height. Find an activity that you enjoy like swimming, riding a bicycle or running, which will keep your heart rate elevated for a long time.
- Find your balance. The cobbled path and the rugged trail can be complicated on the route. That is why it is important to work out to maintain balance, and that is achieved by strengthening the middle area of the body. You can combine exercises such as plank or crunches, doing intervals of 20 seconds of work and 10 of rest for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Do not forget the strength. The muscles of the legs are those that will end up more exhausted after eight hours of walking. It is best to start exercising with a routine of movements focused on those muscles such as air squats, front squats, back squats and lunges.
- Take care of your diet. Without a good diet, your effort to get fit for the Inca Trail will have no results. Decrease the amount of sugar, carbs and processed food you eat and give priority to proteins that will help you recover after training and gain muscle mass.
- Start walking. Once a week, it is ideal to make short treks outside the city. Start with simple routes and go increasing the intensity choosing paths with uneven and rocky terrains. It is ideal that you wear the same boots that you will take to the Inca Trail and that you get used to carrying the weight of the day-pack in advance.
Since the information provided above has been collected from several sources and even though we attempt to keep it updated, it tends to change, and we cannot guarantee its accuracy.