When in Peru, there are several things to see and places to go that are as unique as Peru itself. Because there are so many things to see and do, you may want to narrow down your final destination before you go so you won’t waste any time once you arrive. Most travellers opt to hike the Inca Trail to visit Machu Picchu. But is it worth doing at all?
Inca Trail is one of the popular trails in South America. It has been considered as one of the top five treks to experience in the world. The trail tops the bucket list of most. It takes you on the same exact path that the Inca’s once walked from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
Along the trail, you will also see where the villages once stood and how they were put together as well as viewing the villages that still stand today.
The best time of the year to hike the trail is between May and October. The trail is actually opened in March, but it remains uncertain if it would rain.
In the months of June, July, and August is the driest time and the warmest times to go but the scenery may not be at its best during those months.
In order to maintain the trail, authorities have imposed permits. It allows just 500 people a day. This includes guides, porters and muleteers. So eventually it leaves barely a place for 200 trekkers.
You will need to obtain a permit to hike the Inca Trail. These permits are limited and can sell out quickly.
The Inca Trail is about twenty-seven miles and is a pathway that goes by several different Inca Ruins that are considered to be popular and famous. The views that you will see on this trail will be ones that you can’t even imagine.
The highest altitude on this trail is the dead woman’s pass at 13,779 feet. You will see breathtaking views that you can see as long as you are willing to walk up the steep hillside to see it.
Along the route, you will be able to see forests that are lined with clouds, valleys that are overgrown with beautiful wavy grass, and mountain peaks that are visible from many different angles.
The view of Machu Picchu at sunrise from Inti Punku or the Sun Gate is exclusive to those on Inca Trail.
It is a must to sign up for the experience with a local tour company. The authorities don’t allow any self guided tours. There are many travel companies offering this experience but a handful have the permit to operate.
The four days trek experience is the classic one. However, if you are short on time or could not get a permit, consider the one day, two days or three days Inca Trail.
The trail involves some high altitude passes. Consider spending at least 2-3 days in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.
Check out our tips on overcoming altitude sickness
While in Cusco, try visiting the Sacred Valley of Incas before the trail as it gives a good introduction to Inca civilization.
Consider carrying some coca leaves as chewing some helps to recover from altitude sickness.
Some travellers do not believe that the Inca Trail is worth the time or the effort. Primarily because it is more expensive than Salkantay Trek or Lares Trek.
While it is a personal preference as to whether or not the Inca Trail is worth the time, it is important to remember why the trail exists in the first place. The history of the formation of the Inca Trail is by far so overwhelming.