The “Inca Trail” is considered among the best hiking trails in the world. It is one of the most requested routes by tourists visiting Cusco. The beautiful landscapes and history that surround this route was used by the Incas to reach Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world. So, if you plan to make this hike, take note of all our tips to fully enjoy it.
First, you should know that the traditional Inca Trail lasts 04 days and 03 nights; and is 43 kilometers/26 miles long. To access this route, make sure to purchase a tour package with an authorized travel agency. Keep in mind that tickets are not transferable. In addition, the capacity is limited, exclusive for 500 people (including guides, chefs and porters), which leaves room for approximately 200 tourists who can access the route every day. It is important that you book your ticket in advance, since during the high season (between May and August) they usually sell out very fast. During the month of February, the route closes for maintenance and due to the rainy season. If you are unable to find tickets during your stay, you can book the short Inca Trail route of 02 days / 01 night or the alternative route of Salkantay, of 05 days / 04 nights.
During the Inca Trail, you will be able to see different landscapes and climates, from cold to warm or rainy, which makes the road much more interesting. To enjoy this experience, we recommend to arrive to Cusco at least 2 days before to get used to the altitude and prepare physically and mentally for this challenging adventure.
What should I take for the Inca Trail?
Remember that this route is long, so you should wear trekking shoes, preferably worn before. Don’t forget your sunglasses, caps or hats, coat, windbreaker and a comfortable hiking backpack. Also, bring your sunscreen, since you will be exposed to the sun for several hours. Tour operators also provide camping services, such as rental of sleeping bags, hiking poles, etc.
Now, we tell you a bit about this route. On the first day you will go from your hotel in Cusco or Sacred Valley towards kilometer 82, where the entrance to the Inca Trail is located. The hike per day is approximately of 12 kilometers, before arriving at the different established camps. The maximum altitude you will reach will be 3974 meters above sea level.
On the last day of the trail you will arrive at the iconic Sun Gate or Inti Punku, where you will be able to see the wonderful citadel of Machu Picchu. Here, you will have a guided tour and you´ll have time to appreciate its landscapes. And, if you have some energy left, you can continue hiking to the Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu mountain; keep in mind that these tickets also have to be booked in advance.
And to finish this amazing adventure, you will go to Aguas Calientes and return to Tierra Viva Machu Picchu, where you can take a refreshing shower and enjoy the comfort of our facilities.