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How To Hike The Inca Path to Machu Picchu

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 Traditional Inca Path 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 comply with cobbled pathways that the Incans constructed and used as a transportation system within the fifteenth 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 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 way in which are virtually 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 will help you plan the proper journey. 

When to Hike The Inca Path to Machu Picchu

To begin with, you can’t trek throughout the month of February because the path is closed to all guests for restoration and upkeep. 

There are two predominant 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 standard in reality that the federal government needed to restrict the variety of guests to 500 per day (together with guides and porters).

So, if in case you have the choice, the very best time to do the Machu Picchu hike within the shoulder season of April – Might and later in September, October and early November. 

And, be sure you e-book as far forward as you may 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 ideal expertise, as a result of it was the offseason, we did have some rain — however we additionally had a whole lot of sunshine. 

Throughout our trek in late March, though it was off-season, there have been plenty of individuals at Machu Picchu itself, however fortunately not on the path to get there.

We hiked to Machu Picchu with Explorandes and the way in which they construction their journeys makes it so that you’re staggered with the opposite tour teams — that means you’ve got the path and a pair 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 have to be achieved with a tour operator. 

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

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

Word: 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 comply with eco practices? 
  4. How lengthy have they been in enterprise? 
  5. Precisely what’s included within the charge (meals, tools, information, and so forth.).
  6. Do you have to 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 among the explanation why we extremely advocate 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 great. Whenever you e mail them to inquire about charges and bookings, you’ll obtain a bunch of knowledge upfront (at no cost) which is able to enable you determine whether or not or not Explorandes is the corporate for you. 

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

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

✓ Explorandes workout routines a 100% carry-in and carry-out coverage of strong 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. This can be a nice solution to get to know your group whereas getting your whole 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 mountain climbing with Explorandes. Two out of the three campsites on the trek had simply our group staying there. To us, it is a large bonus!

✓ The way in which the tour is structured, you arrive at Machu Picchu within the late afternoon to take some images. 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.

With 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 will 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 amenities, and kitchen and eating tools. 

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

✓ The Explorandes guides are knowledgable in regards to 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 fundamental, easy-to-cook meals. Not with Explorandes.

The cooks make some epic meals! Breakfast, lunch, pre-dinner, and dinner are all tasty (rooster 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.

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

Value of The Inca Path Hike

The prices fluctuate from round $500 to $1,000 per individual. Low prices can equal low high quality and poor remedy of porters as effectively. 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 snug with the corporate you select. 

To study extra about Explorandes and to view the varied trekking packages the corporate affords, click on right here. To contact the corporate and converse to a consultant, click on right here. Don’t overlook to inform them Goats On The Highway despatched you!

Inca Path to Machu Picchu 5-Day Itinerary 

The everyday “Traditional Inca Path Tour” is 4 days, nevertheless, among the firms 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 3 is the toughest, whereas with the 4-day tour, the toughest day can 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 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 in order for you, choose 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 superb hikes ever. 

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

At the moment 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 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. This can be a personal campsite so solely Explorandes friends are in a position to camp right here — there are sizzling water showers right here as effectively! Whenever 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

Today of the Inca Path could be very straightforward, and as our information stated throughout the orientation: “Should you battle on day 1 of this hike, then it is best to rethink trekking to Machu Picchu”.

If you end up having points this present day, chances are you’ll want to show round and select one other solution 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 private 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 at this time you’ll get to discover them and study in regards to 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 at this time’s hike, you’ll go 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 to maintain your eyes peeled for distinctive flowers and bugs alongside the way in which. 

Get pleasure from a sizzling lunch earlier than persevering with uphill — there are some stairs this present day. 

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 individuals tenting at this web site, effectively, us and plenty of 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 stress-free for a bit, take pleasure in 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

At the moment is the robust 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 Go (Useless Lady’s Go) at 4,200m (an elevation acquire of 360m). The go is given this title on account of how the mountain vary seems to be — like a girl laying down.

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

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

After the go, you’ll descend for 850m down rocky steps. On the backside, you’ll be greeted by the crew who could 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 go of the day, at 3,850m.

After you ascend and descend from that go, you’ll be greeted by your porters once more who could 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 superb campsite that you just’ll be sleeping at. 

For the final portion of this present day, you’ll see plenty of 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 comply with him up a hill…and though 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 carry their very own bathrooms, the opposite campers should stroll all the way down to the general public bathrooms! Fortunate for you, your rest room is simply steps away.

Get pleasure from 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 #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 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 must do the tour of Machu Picchu at this time. You’ll arrive on the Solar Gate, see the location in all its glory, and take some images. Then you definately’ll proceed to the city of Aguas Calientes. The next day, you’ll do a correct tour of the traditional web site.

At the moment is epic and is crammed with ruins! Go sluggish, and soak all of it in.

The traditional web site of Phuyupatamarca that you just camped subsequent to might be your first cease at this time. Get an up-close view of the ruins and find out about them out of your information (and take images!) earlier than persevering with on.

us viewp oint inca trail

Because you’re descending from a better (drier) altitude, you’ll discover the foliage change but once more at this time. 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 at this time very slowly. We wished to take pleasure in each second of it and are glad that Harry was an advocate for trekking at a sluggish tempo and totally having fun with the environment. 

The second set of ruins alongside the way in which 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. Though there are a whole lot 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 all the way down to Machu Picchu the place you may stroll round in sure parts of the location and take some images.

At round 4:30 pm, you’ll hop on a bus and make your solution to the city of Aguas Calientes. Verify into the pre-booked lodge and revel in free time this night to eat and drink the place you need. Our group acquired alongside effectively 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 Prepare and Bus
  • Time: 8 hours (longer together with lunch, ready for transport, and so forth.)

At the moment, 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 together with your mountain climbing group and take the 30-minute bus experience again as much as Machu Picchu.

At the moment 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 effectively behind everybody and strolling so slowly…

Should you do determine to go to the Inca Bridge, do not run, do not go 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 quick historical past lesson and studying about some necessary areas of the location, 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 lodge 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! 

(Word: after 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 experience 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 sensible 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 gentle as attainable.

Should 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 outlets in Cusco the place you may refill. Try Tattoo which has high quality clothes and kit (backpacks as effectively), the North Face store or any of the random small outlets promoting gear round the primary 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 carry when trekking to Machu Picchu.


When mountain climbing, the very best thought is to have two units of clothes — one for mountain climbing throughout 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.

Remember the fact that the porters might 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 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 at all times trek in Halle Pants by Prana — they’re stretchy, snug, water repellent, SPF 50 they usually roll up from the ankle and fasten with a button round knee degree. 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 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 at all times get sizzling when mountain climbing and discover that ponchos make us too heat (though they preserve you drier). We advocate 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 would possibly settle 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 up to now as effectively. Simply ensure that it’s light-weight however heat.
  •  Waterproof / Windproof Pants: You’ll be able to 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 evening after 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, carry quick-dry, light-weight underwear. Girls, pack snug, breathable cotton ones.
  • Bras: Girls, you’ll wish to put on a sports activities bra on the Inca Path trek to Machu Picchu.
  • Mountaineering Sneakers: The terrain on the path is uneven and filled with stones and stairs. You’ll undoubtedly desire a sturdy pair of mountain climbing boots for this trek. However, you’ll wish to be sure you have a pair of mountain climbing sneakers 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 Eager.
  • Second Pair of Sneakers: After an extended 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 sneakers to placed on for the late afternoons and evenings round camp. Slip-on Crocs are a good suggestion or a light-weight fundamental sneaker. 
  • Toque/Beanie: You may want a heat hat for these chilly nights. We did.
  • Hat: The solar at elevation is intense. Be sure you have a hat with a brim and for those who’re vulnerable to getting a burnt neck, put on the sort that covers the again of your neck as effectively.

walking the inca trail


Having tools that fits your wants is vital when mountain climbing the Inca Path. Should you don’t have your personal sleeping bag, you may lease it from Explorandes for $25 per individual. Listed here are among the gadgets we advocate packing.

  • Backpack: The porters will carry 7 kgs of your equipment, 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 had been excellent. 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 you 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 count on from the trek to Machu Picchu. Poles are given to you by Explorandes in order for you them, or you may carry your personal. Simply ensure that to inform them forward of time.
  • Sleeping Bag: As I stated above, you may lease a -17° Celcius bag from Explorandes, or carry your personal. 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 Help

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

  • Deodorant: Should you’re a pair, take into account sharing the identical one for five days because it’s one much less factor to hold, which implies much less weight. 
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Should you usually have an electrical toothbrush, swap this out for a fundamental one and a small tube of paste. 
  • Sunscreen: The solar at this elevation is intense. Be sure to use all through the day. 
  • Cleaning soap: On the first campsite, there may be truly a sizzling water bathe! Make use of it. Convey 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 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 advocate bringing a small pack of them. 
  • First Help: The workforce has fundamental first assist gadgets, however we at all times journey with capsules 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.


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

  • Camelbak / Hydration Pack / Bladder: Whenever you’re mountain climbing, reasonably 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 an extended 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. Study extra right 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 quick access to your telephone (for images), lip balm, sun shades, and so forth. 
  • Plastic Baggage: We’re not advocates for plastic and attempt to be accountable after we journey, however in relation to trekking and rain, you’ll wish to ensure that your clothes and necessary gear stays dry. Ziploc luggage are nice for cameras and telephones. We carry 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 your whole clothes in a single and your toiletries in one other, then once you’re in search of one thing, you may simply discover it. We use these ones.
  • Aluminum Water Bottle (with cowl): Though I like to recommend having a hydration pack, I additionally advocate carrying an empty aluminum water bottle with a tender, thick, zip-on cowl. Why? Earlier than mattress, ask the prepare dinner to fill it up with sizzling water, zip on the duvet, and put it into your sleeping bag. It’s an on the spot heater. (Word: we at all times do that when mountain climbing, however lately heard a narrative of somebody’s bottle leaking into their bag. Use with warning).
  • Small Lock: We felt protected with our trekking workforce and employees 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 could have your passport, digicam, cash, and telephone inside).

High Ideas For The Machu Picchu Hike

You recognize the itinerary, you recognize what to pack for the hike to Machu Picchu, you recognize 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 illness 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 might be, or your age. It will possibly 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 you spend no less than 2 days in Cusco at this altitude (3-4 days if in case you have the time).

cusco square

Should you 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 general, 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 straightforward the primary couple of days).
  • Eat lighter meals.
  • Eat some sugar (Snickers bars are good) or drink natural tea with sugar.
  • Maintain hydrated, which implies avoiding espresso and alcohol, and drink plenty of water.
  • Eat coca candies or coca leaves
  • Should you’re nonetheless feeling the results after 3 days, chances are you’ll have to go all the way down to a decrease altitude or see a physician to get some oxygen.

2. Go Sluggish on The Path

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

Our information was glorious as he recommended all of us trek at a slower, extra satisfying tempo. Our group had been all pretty younger and energetic and we had been mountain climbing fairly quick the primary day.

At lunch, he reminded us to perhaps decelerate and “odor the roses” sometimes. After that little speech, we did and had been in a position to discover so many small issues alongside the way in which. 

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

Machu Picchu is among the Seven Wonders Of The World. It’s develop into increasingly standard through the years and due to this fact, it’s crucial that you just get your allow forward of time. 

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

E book your journey to Machu Picchu as quickly as you may to keep away from disappointment!


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

Do I Have to Convey 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 have to present it throughout the 5-day journey (when coming into Machu Picchu, for the lodge check-in and for the prepare), and secondly, by no means go away your passport behind. It’s an important merchandise when travelling. 

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

Do I Have to Convey Cash for The Inca Path?


You received’t have to spend any cash whereas mountain climbing, 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 had been unbelievable and we wished to tip way more than was recommended.

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

Should you’re proud of the service, undoubtedly tip. Likewise, if you’re sad, you don’t want to go away any gratuities.

It’s recommended 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 are going to obtain a bigger tip.

  • Beneficial suggestions for Porters ought to be round 60-80 soles per porter ($18 – $25). Not per day, however in whole.
  • Beneficial suggestions for Cooks ought to be round 150-180 soles per chef ($45 – $55). Not per day, however in whole. 

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 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 might purchase water, however I don’t advocate buying plastic water bottles alongside the way in which. 

Do I Have to Convey Bathroom Paper? 

No. Bathroom paper is supplied within the transportable bathrooms. 

Is There Someplace to Cost My Cellphone?

No. However you may carry an influence financial institution with you. Be sure 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 most certainly on a visit to see different components of Peru, or extra South American international locations resembling Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina or Chile! This implies you’ll have a whole lot of gadgets to go away behind when you’re trekking. 

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

How Exhausting is The Inca Path to Machu Picchu?

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 situation finishing the trek.

There are a whole lot of steps and uneven surfaces, so if in case you have dangerous knees, you would possibly wish to take that into consideration.

We’ve trekked the O Path 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 easy, 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 Secure?

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

Concentrate on the way you’re feeling and don’t be afraid to specific any issues to your guides. The guides are skilled in wilderness first response and first assist, and there are satellite tv for pc telephones in case of any emergencies. Be sure you have correct journey insurance coverage that covers trekking at excessive altitudes. 

Get pleasure from 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 all the smaller historical websites alongside the way in which. 

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 occupied with, click on right here to study extra about Explorandes and reserve your allow! 

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

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