Hiking the Inca Trail: An Experts’ Guide

If you’re up for a real adventure, then you should consider hiking the Inca Trail. The length of this hike is 42 km and takes about four days to complete. A fun fast fact about the Inca Trail that might interest you is that the record time for hiking this trail was three hours…. but, don’t expect to do that when you go on this hike.

Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail

Follow the tips below to help you get a good start on your adventure and enjoy the experience:

  • There are a limit of 500 permits issued per day and only 200 of those are issued to hikers, so it is imperative that you book your trip well in advance, possibly six months ahead.
  • Altitude sickness can be a problem. You may experience headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea. Take your time to breathe, stay hydrated and chew on coca leaves to help with the sickness. Plan to arrive in Cusco a few days before the hike to acclimate to the higher altitudes.
  • A porter is money well spent, though you don’t necessarily have to spend it, since we at Alpaca Expeditions include a personal porter for free on all our treks (including the Inca Trail). They will carry your duffel along the way so that the only thing you will need to carry is your daypack. A porter can literally make the difference in you being able to complete the hike or not.
  • Walking poles will make the hike much easier. They will take the stress off of your knees, ankles and legs, especially when you’re traveling downhill over loose rocks.
  • The weather can be temperamental. You may see some rain, or it could be sunny and warm. The nights are pretty chilly, so bring thermal underwear and a warm sleeping bag.
  • Keep essentials in your daypack. You might need easy access to a water bottle, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, sunscreen and a hat.
  • Don’t rush through the hike. Take your time and go at a pace that is comfortable for you. Your group might even break up into different speed groups because some people like to move at a quick pace while others want to hike more slowly.
  • Enjoy this adventure. Step back and take in the beauty surrounding you and realize you’ve come a long way. Savor every moment of this trip so that you can remember the experience for years to come.

To plan your Peru adventure, get in touch with Alpaca Expeditions. Alpaca Expeditions is a Peruvian travel operator with a main office in located in Cusco, Peru, and we are the top-rated tour operators of the Inca Trail.

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