Planning a trip abroad is usually a task that takes time, patience and effort. The Inca Trail is a special destination for those who love adventure. This is why you are planning carefully all the details of your trip. TOURinPERU wants you to fully enjoy of the best of Peru. This is why we have prepared this article with 10 things you need to know before going the Inca Trail.
01. Why should I book the Inca Trail?
Both, the Classic 4-Day Inca Trail and the Short 2-Day are attractions subject to availability. This means that there is a limit on how many people can visit them each day. Actually, this limit is 500 people of the Classic Inca Trail and 250 for the Short Inca Trail, including the travel guides and hike staff.
This is the main reason you should hurry up. As the Inca Trail is the most popular adventure and hiking destination in South America, thousands of people like you are planning to go Peru and hike this amazing path. Therefore, there is the chance that the permits that you are willing to book for you and your travel companion are already booked. In order to avoid this kind of hassle, it is recommendable to book with a travel company like TOURinPERU.
02. What is the best time to do the Inca Trail?
Both of the two routes of the Inca Trail are available all the year except in February. Considering the dry season and the best weather, we recommend you to book your trip from June to October. This period is full of sunny days and no rain.
03. Why the Inca Trail is closed during February?
There are two main reasons for the closure of the Inca Trail in February: weather and maintenance work.
February is part of the rain season. From December to March, the frequency of rainy days is high, being February the month with more precipitation. After so much water, stone steps are slippery and the terrain becomes quite muddy. Trekking becomes difficult and unsafe. This is why the Peruvian authorities, taking care of the visitors, forbid Inca Trail tours in February.
The other reason is maintenance works. Tourism ecological impact in the Inca Trail has worried local authorities, and they have established February as the month for restoring the Camino, the environment and other elements. They also perform a cleaning day, where travel agencies like TOURinPERU put their efforts and collaborate in the cleaning campaign.
04. What is the Short Inca Trail?
As an alternative for visitors with short schedules, there is a 2-day hiking tour called Short Inca Trail. This tour includes the last part of the 4-day tour and the guided tour by Machu Picchu. Some highlights of this tour are:
- You can see Machu Picchu twice. Once in the Inti Punku, or Sun Gate at the end of the first day and later, in the guided tour.
- Low difficulty. It is very suitable for beginners at hiking.
- No camping nights. You will spend the night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town next to Machu Picchu ruins.
05. How long and difficult is the Inca Trail?
The extension of the Classic Inca Trail is 42 kilometers or 26 miles. During the trek you will face different kinds of climates and terrains. There are very cold places like the Dead Woman’s Pass and humid ones like the fields near Machu Picchu. It is recommended to use hiking poles to take care of your steps and your knees.
In the other hand, the Short Inca Trail has an extension of 10 kilometers or 6.3 miles. This path is considerably easier than the classic one. You will visit three main ruins: Chachabamba, Winaywayna and Inti Punku. Of course you will have the Machu Picchu guided tour after a nice rest in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.
06. What is the maximum height in the Inca Trail?
Most touristic attractions are located in the heights. Cusco City itself is located at 11,150 ft. (3,399 m) so should be aware of this condition. The highest point in the Inca Trail is the Dead Woman’s Pass, at 13,776 ft. (4200 m). You will find yourself in this place at the second day of hiking.
About the Short Inca Trail, the highest you will be is in Inti Punku, in the very end of the trail. It is 8,860 ft. (2700 m) height. This means that the landscapes you will find are valleys, gardens, rivers and more.
There might be another doubt about the Inca Trail in your head. Stop wandering and send us a mail with your question and we will be glad of helping you out. TOURinPERU has leaded many groups in the Inca Trail and they want to share their video comment with you.