INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: 10 things you must know to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. If you choose to enter the Wonder of the World for this impressive trekking route, there are a few things you need to know.
1.- WHEN TO BOOK THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
Please note the following before reserving the ticket for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:
• The income for the Inca trail ran out 6 months before. Remember that only 500 people can do this route every day.
• Only 200 people enter Machu Picchu through this route, the rest belong to the support team, cooks, porters and guides.
• The entrance to the Inca trail only includes the Inca city of Machu Picchu. If you want to visit the Machu Picchu mountain or the Huayna Picchu; request it at the tourism agency.
• The purchase of the income for the Inca trail is through our website. We are an authorized tourism agency.
2.- HOW LONG DOES THE INCA TRAIL TOUR TO MACHU PICCHU LAST?
The classic or traditional Inca trail is 40 kilometers away and 4 days of walking (approximately 18 to 24 hours). The route will take you through the mountains, until you reach Machu Picchu in the Amazon jungle of Peru.
Some information about the tour of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:
• The route passes through archaeological sites such as Llactapata, Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna.
• The end of the road is the entrance to Machu Picchu through the Intipunku (Puerta del sol). That was the main gate in the time of the Incas. The scenery is amazing.
• Most of the cases, after traveling the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, they will return to Cusco by train.
• Some people decide to stay and relax in the hot springs of Aguas Calientes to return to Cusco the next day.
3.- WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
The Inca Trail is considered a difficult expedition not only because of the distance but also because of the high altitude at some point along the way. The highest point of the trail is at “Abra Warmihuañuska”, at 4,224 meters (13,860 feet).
Recommendations on altitude problems on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu:
• Altitude sickness or soroche is a typical discomfort in high altitude places. It can cause headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, and lack of energy.
• The best way to combat soroche is to spend a few days of acclimatization in Cusco or the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
• One of the most effective ways is to drink coca tea (infusion made from coca leaves) or chew it, just as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.
• In any case, the tour guide has a lot of experience in these annoyances and will know how to help the visitor during the Inca Trail.
4.- CAN I DO THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU BY MY OWN ACCOUNT?
More information about the Inca trail permits:
• The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is only allowed with the company of a tour guide. The purchase of the proceeds is made at an authorized travel agency.
• The agency is responsible for reserving the entrance ticket for you and everything necessary to carry out the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
• Tickets must be reserved 6 months in advance. Permits are limited to 500 people per day.
• Among the 500 people who make the Inca trail, chefs, porters and guides and guides are included. So there are only 200 tourists who can enter Machu Picchu by the Inca Trail.
5.- IS THE INCA TRAIL OPEN ALL YEAR?
The Inca Trail is closed in February. During that month, the rains are heavier and can make it very difficult to walk the trails of the Inca trail. The guards take advantage of those days to carry out the maintenance of the road and the Inca structures. The rest of the year, this hiking trail is open to the public.
Alternatives to get to Machu Picchu with hiking routes:
• The Salkantay Trek is one of the alternative routes to Machu Picchu. It lasts 5 days and 4 nights and crosses the famous Salkantay snow-capped mountain, as well as the jungle landscapes.
• The trekking route that connects Choquequirao and Machu Picchu is an 8 or 9 day trek that connects Cusco with the 2 most beautiful Inca archaeological sites in Cusco.
• The Lares trek is a 4 day and 3 night trek through high altitude landscapes until reaching Machu Picchu. There are several variants of this hiking trail.
6.- WHAT IS THE BEST SEASON TO DO THE INCA TRAIL?
Cusco and the entire southern region of Peru are marked by two different climatic seasons: the rainy season (from November to March) and the dry season (from April to October). The best time to do the Inca Trail is the dry season. The climate in those months is warm and with little frequency of rains.
What to wear to combat the weather on the Inca Trail?
• If you plan to visit the Inca Trail during the dry season, it is advisable to bring a hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sunglasses, light clothing during the day and heat at night.
• If you plan to visit the Inca Trail during the rainy season, it is recommended to bring a rain poncho, windbreaker, non-slip shoes and a cane.
7.- DO YOU HAVE TO WALK 4 DAYS?
There is a short version of the Inca Trail that lasts 2 days. This option is ideal for travelers who do not have enough time to do the 4-day route. It often includes a night in a comfortable setting rather than camp.
More information about the alternative Inca trail:
• There are many alternative treks to Machu Picchu, such as the Salkantay Trek or Lares Trek. However, the Inca Trail is the only one that will take you directly to the Inca city through the Inti punku (door of the sun).
• The availability of income for the alternative Inca Trail is not as much in demand as the classic version. It can be booked 2 or 3 weeks in advance.
8.- IS THE INCA TRAIL DANGEROUS?
What dangers can there be on the Inca trail?
• The trails of the Inca trail are wide and well signposted. For no reason, the tourist must risk his life looking for roads on his own.
• The maximum height is in the “Abra Warmihuañusca” (4,200 m.s.n.). This altitude can cause physical difficulties.
• Older adults may feel a more intense physical exhaustion during the Inca trail. They should consult with their doctor before doing the trek.
9.- CAN I DO THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU WITH CHILDREN?
Tips to mark the Inca trail with children:
• It is not advisable to do the Inca trail to Machu Picchu with children under 8 years of age, unless they have already successfully completed similar treks.
• If you have already decided to do the Inca Trail with children, it is advisable to prepare them psychologically for the trip.
10.- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DO THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
The prices of the Inca route vary according to each tourism agency. On average, the 4-day tour is estimated to cost $ 600 per person.
How to get the best price for the Inca trail?
• Most travel agencies offer a discount of $ 20 or $ 30 for university students with an ISIC card.
• Children under 18 years of age also have an additional discount when presenting a passport certifying their age.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE INCA TRAIL
• After visiting Machu Picchu with the Inca Trail, the return is to travel by hot water train to Ollantaytambo. From there, a minivan transports you to the city of Cusco.
• Train services are established by each tourism agency. If the visitor wants this service, they must request it and add the cost.
• Each group that does the Inca trail has a maximum of 16 tourists. Some agencies also available “Private Services”.