If you are one of those people who needs answers “here and now” about the Inka trail Hikes, please read further. We are happy to provide you a list of answers with frequently asked questions or FAQs. We hope you will find answers to any of your doubts. In case you won’t, feel free to contact us for any further information.
What kind of Inca Trail exist?
There are two main Inca Trail tours. First, the Classic Inca Trail which takes 4 days and 3 nights to complete the hike and the shorter 2 days Inca Trail, the easier and faster way to reach Machu Picchu, but you still experience the last part of famous Inca Trail (you basically will be avoiding second day hike).
Additionally, in case of no available permits, there is a number of alternative tours to get to Machu Picchu such as the tours of Machu Picchu by train or the tour which combines biking, hiking and Machu Picchu tour in 4 days and 3 nights.
How long will I hike per day?
This is a frequently asked question. The whole Inca Trail takes 42 kilometers (26 miles) to hike. During the hike you will see all the variety of Andean landscapes including snowcapped mountains, rivers, high mountains, beautiful plains and a very sunny sky.
Because all campsites are determined by the authorities we cannot tell exactly how many kilometers per day you going to hike, or which of the campsite is assigned to the group, but be ready to hike at least 6 hours per day up to 8 hours. However don’t worry! This is a chance to take amazing pictures of the surrounding landscape and make these memories last forever.
How early should I make the reservation for the Inca Trail?
As early as possible as many chances you have to get your reservation complete before tickets maybe be sold out quickly. We would recommend you to reserve your tickets for Inca Trail 3 months in advance for the low season (between November to March) and at least 6 months before you planning visit Peru in high season (April to October). Note that we cannot guarantee the availability so it’s on you how early you going to book and make sure there are still tickets left (check the official Inca Trail Availability).
How hard is to complete the Inca Trail?
From 1 to 5 it’s 3, moderately difficult. The Inca stairways to walk up and down in different temperatures and high altitude all that makes this level of difficulty. You can rent walking poles before you start your hike. Those will help you in many ways, we would recommend you get ones if you have some issues with knees or ankles, poles would absorb some pressure from those parts and also help to keep your balance! We recommend you to have a look how to prepare yourself for the Inca Trail.
At what altitude the Inca Trail is located? Will I suffer the altitude sickness?
As one of the most frequently asked questions, the highest point of the Inca Trail is at 4,200 meters above the sea level, you will spend the night at the campsite at 3.600 meters. It is difficult to say if you really going to suffer from altitude sickness, people are different and are prepared physically different. Most hikers don’t have any issues, but two days rest in Cusco to acclimatize is very advisable, drinking water and chewing cocoa leaves will definitely prepare you for the Inca Trail.
What time and when we will get to Machu Picchu?
Most of the groups reach the Sun Gate at approximately 6.00 am. On the 4th last day of Inca trail. You will start hiking towards gates at 4.30 am and will enter the site 45 min. later. The time may vary a little that depends on the placement of campsite, which we will assigned on the last night.
Will we carry our own luggage while on Inca Trail?
You don’t need to carry all your belongings on your own during the hike, we have a full team of porters who will carry all tents, camping equipment, food and water.
You will be carrying your own backpack with most necessary stuff for the day on the trek. Porters will carry all camping gear but you have to take the sleeping bag and the mattress by yourself. Remember that the sleeping bag and the mattress are not included in this tour so you can rent them.
In case you want to hike with as little luggage as possible, you can hire an extra porter. Extra porters can take up to 12 kg of your personal belongings, which are not needed during the hike. Extra porters will carry your luggage until the last camping site on the fourth day and they will return the sleeping bag and the mattress if rented. Then you will have to carry your backpack from the last camping site to the entrance of Machu Picchu. There is a storage where you can leave the things you will not need during the guided tour for a very cheap price.
We advise leaving the things you won’t use during the Inca Trail in a hotel in Cusco.
How cold can get on the Inca Trail?
Because of high altitude temperatures can change quickly and radical. It can get pretty cold during the nights. In winter (May-September) temperature may drop below 0°C/32°F. So be prepared for cold too, its highly advisable get locally made gloves and a hat for the cold nights.
Where we will sleep during the Inca Trail?
We will provide tents which will be set up for you every night at the campsite by our porters.
Also every trekker is provided with a bowl of hot water and a hot beverage every morning.
What about sleeping bags?
A compact three-season sleeping bag is recommended. It’s also possible to rent a sleeping bag in Cuzco. They are clean, warm and cost approximately USD$15 (for the three nights). You may also bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. Foam mats are provided however some travelers also bring their own self-inflating mat. Sleeping bags are not included.
Will water be provided?
You can get to buy extra water for yourself on the trail. We provide boiled water every morning, at lunch and in the evening after dinner. We recommend to bring a refillable water battle to reduce the amount of garbage.
What type of food is provided on the Inca Trail?
Our cooks will prepare meals for you during the trek. You can expect pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables, for breakfast a variety of oat meals eggs and bread. Vegetarian option is available, please request it on your reservation.
Should I tip guides and porters?
It’s absolutely at your discretion but tipping is certainly appreciated. Generally 5-8$ a day is appropriate and appreciated.
When is the most common time to hike the Inca Trail?
It is possible to hike the trail any time of the year, except February, however from April to October is considered as high season. This means that permits for Inca Trail can be sold out months in advance, so it is important to plan ahead and book your ticket as soon as possible.
Can anyone go on the Inca Trail?
Everyone who are older than 12 years old, having at least moderate level of fitness and health and valid passport can attend the Inca Trail.
You must provide this information to get an Inca Trail Permit.
- Full name (exactly as it appears on the passport)
- Date of Birth
- Passport Number
- Date of Passport Expiry – Must be valid for the dates of your travel experience!
Any attempts at modifications will result in a loss of the permit and any money paid.