"CUSCO: TREK THE INCAS' TRAIL" Peru Things to Do Tip by swesn

Peru Things to Do: 659 reviews and 852 photos

  A picture of the porters for my trek
by swesn

This is the most famous 'tough' way to go to Machu Picchu. Actually, there are several routes, some take up to 7 days, but the classic route takes 4 days.

When I was there in 1999, it was still possible to rent some equipment and head off trekking on your own. But since then, the whole trekking business has become more organised and no independent trekkers are allowed now.

From what I understand, most people have to make a reservation with a tour agency for the hike through the Inca's Trail a few months in advance and more, if you are going there during the peak period like Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) on June 24, Peru's winter solstice.

During off-peak period, perhaps you can get a tour in a few weeks'. But gone are the days that you can just arrive and go.

The Inca's Trail is doable if you are relatively healthy, because most of the gears will be carried by the Peruvian porters, so you are not weighed down by much. These porters would carry your tents, the dinner tents with table and chairs, toilet tent, gas stoves, food and your backpacks and race against one another along the trail wearing only sandals (stuffed with grass for friction).

I remember the breakfasts and lunches as great and dinners were usually fantastic 3-course meals, sometimes served with wine! You can never find such type of pampered trek in any other places in the whole wide world. Take some coca leaves along and chew when necessary.

Do keep the trail clean and tip your guide and porters well. Yes, give them employment, treat them with respect and give thanks to your enjoyable experience!

The 'easy' way to Machu Picchu would be to take the train to Aguas Calientes and then, a bus up the ribbony road. Heading back to Cuzco is only via the bus-and-train way.

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  • Updated Dec 20, 2007
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