The Inca Trail is 43 kilometers of road between forests and dense fogs, ancient stone steps and majestic views. You get the reward at the end: the famous Sun Gate and its breathtaking views of the ruins of Machu Picchu. To make this journey is a unique you will never forget we give you some tips for your journey to the Inca Trail.
- It is important to choose the best time. There are groups throughout the year (except in February, when it rains cats and dogs and the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance), but the best (cold and dry) months are June, July and August.
- The problem: This is the most popular trek. The best way to avoid crowding the best is to go before or after the rainy season (from March to May) or from September to November.
- Always recommend stay in Cusco at least 2 days prior to the trek. On one hand these 2 days serve to get acclimatized to the altitude. If you feel bad when you reach Cusco, take a day to recover and go to the road in a better State.
- For those who live at a great height and want to go to Cusco to make the Inca Trail we still recommend to stay in Cusco for 2 days. It is also good to be aware if there is any strikes.
- The date for your Inca Trail cannot be changed and there is no devolution so take the precautions to arrive to Cusco in time. These are the conditions of the reserve of the Inca Trail: there are only 500 spaces available per day and they sold out just in hours. If you want to travel in the months of April to October, you need to book with 4 or 5 months in advance. Once the entrance to the Inca Trail is booked you cannot cancel or change the date or the name of the person who will make it since the organization that regulates it does not allow any changes or return the money for the tickets. Because of these reasons the tickets for Inca Trail has no return.
- We recommend to take out medical insurance with a clause of cancellation that allows to cancel in case of not being able to travel for a medical issue.
- Carry the least amount of things possible because you are going to 8 hours a day.
- Clothes and climate: The temperature range in height is important, once the sun lows or hides behind a cloud the temperature drops. Therefore it is important that you remember to take shelter for the night because it is quite cold. It is very practical to carry a "wind breaker" jacket since it is lightweight and protects you from the wind and the water. You can buy a rain poncho in Ollantaytambo, they are very inexpensive and useful when the rain drops.
- Footwear: If you trekking shoes, take them to the Inca Trail. In the event that they do not have it is not necessary to purchase them. The key of the footwear is to be sufficiently comfortable to hold 8-hour daily walk... If you have an old shoe and it is comfortable for you is fine too. When you buy new ones it is very important to use them before the road since it is common that new shoes causes blisters. If you want to you can waterproof your footwear with a spray product to prevent your feet to get wet.
- Trekking canes: these help a lot in the road. You can also buy them at Ollantaytambo the day of beginning of your trek.
- Water: do not take water from the springs along the road. It is recommended) to take mineral water at all times (up to brushing your teeth) in your whole trip (Cusco, la Selva) and avoid drinks with ice. Along the way there are people who sold mineral water and with that you will be able to stock up on water along the way. It is possible to boil water and add water purification tablets, however this is not as secure as drinking mineral water.
- Other recommended items: Insect repellent, flashlight (one to go to the bathroom at night), sunscreen, and batteries (for digital cameras).
- Food: You should not bring any food since the meal of the trip is very abundant and varied. Maintain cleanliness: Trekking fans camp each night at the Inca Trail, in some sites that are next to the ancient Inca ruins with spectacular views of the mountains. Do not expect the facilities of bathroom however - you get a bowl of hot water every day, but be sure to pack wet wipes and toilet paper.
- View to eye of bird: Save the strength to climb Huayna Picchu, the mountain that forms the backdrop to the photos most iconic Machu Picchu. The peak contains more Inca ruins and the route offers some aerial views of Machu Picchu. The hikers must register for this additional tranche in the first day of the Inca Trail because those who make the Inca Trail cannot access the entrance to the Huayna Picchu, it is necessary to buy a new entrance to Machu Picchu together with entry to the Huayna Picchu. You can book it through the web page of the Government www.machupicchu.gob.pe. There are 2 schedules one at 7 am and another at 10 am. In case of wanting to trek the fourth day of the Inca Trail you have to reserve for the 10 am turn, if you prefer to stay overnight in Aguas Calientes and return the fifth day you can choose any of the 2 schedules.
We hope that these recommendations help you with your Inca Trail trek, enjoy!