Some Misunderstanding About Inca Trail
Machu Picchu is considered as one of the most mysterious, fantastic sites on Earth. Arriving to these Incan ruins by foot, means to crossing towering Andes, it is a hard work but you earn such reward at the end. While many travelers hold an idea in their head about what hiking the Inca Trail is like, there are many misconceptions that should be addressed so that hikers arrive to the trail prepared and realistic about what the adventure will be like.
✘ It’s all at incredibly high altitude
Machu Picchu is at 7,972 ft, whereas Cusco at 11,150 ft , the main town where most travelers arrive to begin any Sacred Valley trip. There are specific parts of the Inca Trail that do cross higher passes, such as Warmihuañusca Pass (“Dead Woman’s Pass”) at 13,776 ft, but the entire trip is not at high altitude. To acclimate the body to the altitude, it is best to plan at least a few relaxed days in Cusco before trekking, and while on the trail, make sure to stay completely hydrated at all times.
✘ It’s crowded
Maybe, but helpful tip to avoid the crowds is to choose Inca Trail 5 days trek as opposed to the more common 4 days trek. It follows the same route as the 4 days trip but stops at different camping places. Trekkers arrive to Machu Picchu in the afternoon as opposed to the morning, spend the night resting up in a hotel, then spend the entire following day exploring the Citadel of Machu Picchu.
✘ You need to be young and incredibly fit to hike the Inca Trail
No, however Inca trail is a lot of uphill trekking with some steep descents, so a good level of fitness is definitely recommended. The average distance covered is about 6 miles per day. For people in moderate physical condition this translates to around 6 -7 hours of hiking per day. Any amount of preparation hiking before travel, especially done in hiking boots while carrying a pack, will help travelers be more prepared for the adventure. As with any moderate-to-difficult hike at relative altitude, acclimate beforehand, stay hydrated, and don’t feel the need to race along the trail – slow, steady hiking is the best way to ensure an enjoyable, safe trek.
✘ The trail is open year-round
Every February, the trail is actually closed for maintenance and no trekkers are allowed. Machu Picchu itself can still be visited in February by bus or train, but not by Inca trail. If you want to visit Machu Picchu by foot. There are alternative treks to Machu Picchu like Salkantay trek, Inca Jungle or Cachicata trek.
✘ You can plan your hike last minute
Definitely you have to plan ahead if the Inca Trail, because you need to buy a ticket. It ticket lets you to do the trail, and these are given out in limited amounts (with more than half reserved for guides and porters). These trail passes can often sell out more than 6 months in advance.
✘ The camps are all incredibly rustic
Some operators offer gourmet meals at the end of the day, and even jacuzzi tubs at the lodge site to soak your weary muscles in. There is no need to suffer when hiking the Inca Trail; it can be done in relative comfort and style while still respecting the remoteness and wildness of the place.
Do you like this hike? You can book this like Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 Days /3 Nights or Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days / 4 Nights.