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Hike Time: ~ 4 to 6 hrs Hike Distance: 7.5 mi (12 km) Minimum Altitude: 8,230 ft (2,600 m) Maximum Altitude: 9,840 ft (3,000 m) Gradient: Moderate Overnight: Camping
Hike Time: ~ 7 to 8 hrs Hike Distance: 10 mi (16 km) Minimum Altitude: 9,840 ft (3,000 m) Maximum Altitude: 13,828 ft (4,215 m) Gradient: Challenging Overnight: Camping
Hike Time: ~ 8 to 10 hrs Hike Distance: 10 mi (16 km) Minimum Altitude: 8,700 ft (2,650 m) Maximum Altitude: 12,500 feet (3,900 m) Gradient: Moderate Overnight: Camping
Hike Time: ~ 3 to 4 hrs Hike Distance: 3.7 mi (6 km) Gradient: Moderate Overnight: Hotel
Tour of Machu Picchu.
Altitude is the greatest challenge on the Inca Trail Trek. The trail reaches 13,828 ft (4,215 m) on Day 2 and 12,500 feet (3,900 m) on Day 3. Before starting the trek, spending some time in Cusco (11,150 ft/3,400 m) will help your body adjust. We recommend 2 nights or more if possible.
Besides dealing with altitude, your general fitness and previous trekking experience will also factor into your level of enjoyment. Be sure to exercise in the weeks leading up to your trip. You should be able to walk for at least 2-3 hours at a time on varied terrain. You will also benefit from training your legs to walk/hike on stairways or steep slopes.
During the trek, days are planned so that you have plenty of time to get from one point to the next. On challenging sections, you can set your own pace and take as many or as few breaks as you need.
To protect this historic trail, only 500 people are permitted to hike on it each day. This total includes hikers on the 2-day, 4-day, 5-day, and 6-day routes as well as trekking guides, porters and cooks. Permits for the Inca Trail sell out quickly, sometimes 5 months in advance for dates during the dry season (May-September). Booking far in advance is a must.
Permits to hike the Inca Trail are available March through January. The trail is closed in February for annual maintenance, conservation and clean-up.
Access to the Inca Trail is strictly controlled. Your trek must be organized through a licensed tour operator. It is not possible to hike the trail independently.
Pack animals, including mules, horses, and llamas are banned from the trail. Porters are instead responsible for carrying the tents, cooking supplies, food and additional camping equipment along the trail. Many trekkers also choose to hire a porter to carry personal belongings.
Private porters can be hired to carry either 18 lbs (8 kg) or 33 lbs (15 kg) of your personal belongings. When packing your bag, keep in mind that a sleeping bag and sleeping pad account for 2.5 kg of the total weight.
Inca Trail permits are sold out for your dates? Or maybe you would rather take a longer or shorter trek or a path less beaten?
If this is the case, you have plenty of options:
Camping equipment, daily meals and boiled drinking water are provided by your trekking team. You can either bring your own sleeping bag or rent one for an additional fee. Please consult your travel advisor with specific questions regarding trekking equipment and rental options during your Inca Trail trekking experience.
Essential packing list for the Inca Trail:
Travel is full of variables and there is always a risk, however small, that something might go wrong before or during your trip. Something as minor as a flight delay can have a significant financial impact, as can illness, bad weather or baggage delay.
Ask your travel advisor about including travel insurance in your customized travel package.