The best tips to prepare for the Inca Trail

Reading : 3 min May 30 2018

The Inca Trail is one of the most exciting treks in the world. For this reason, it receives around 25,000 people per year. History and nature accompany you through unique trails in the middle of the Andes. Do you want to join the adventure? Here we tell you a step by step how to prepare for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Choose the date of your trip

The rains in the Peruvian highlands are quite abundant, so in February the road is closed to avoid accidents and for maintenance. During the rest of the year, the road remains open, with months where the tourist demand is the highest (June, July, and August) and others where you can enjoy the trail with fewer people.

Choose the number of days you want to travel

The Inca Trail tours offer different options to do the trek in more or fewer days. The most common are those of 2 and 4 days. In the first one, the route starts at kilometer 104 and in the second one does it in the 82, so you will have to choose depending on the time you have and your physical condition, to walk more or fewer kilometers.

Choose a travel agency

Undoubtedly, the Inca Trail is the most famous walking route of all those that lead to Machu Picchu. That’s why in Cusco there are countless travel agencies that offer this service. Before choosing one, we recommend you to consult several of them and make sure they are official agencies. Also, you will have to compare the services offered by each of them: meals, drinks, type of tents, number of guides, number of people per tour, transport for your luggage…

When you find the perfect agency to make your trek, book your place with time (around three months in advance), especially if you plan to travel during the high season. You can do this through the website of the agency you choose.

Prepare your body

Once you pick your travel dates and the agency with which you are going to travel, it is time to get fit. The Inca Trail covers a total of 43 kilometers in which the lowest point is 2430 meters above sea level (Machu Picchu) and the highest reaches of 4200. Therefore, it is important that you have a good physical condition and be mentally conscientiously to travel all these kilometers with the best attitude.

Make your backpack

When you do the Inca Trail with a tour, you do not have to worry so much about the weight of your backpacks (they will be carried by a mule). In any case,  we recommend you to pack only the necessary; for your comfort and to avoid loading for not to load the animals with more weight than you really need.

To help you with this, here is a list of the essentials for your backpack:

Hiking shoes
Sleeping bag (if your tour does not include it)
Long pants (thick and thin)
Thick jacket
Gloves and hat
Trekking poles (if you have it)
Wet wipes (you will not find showers)
First aid kit (if your tour does not include it)
Local money in cash
Leaves or coca tea


There is no route of the Inca Trail for the way back, you must take a train. Once you reach the goal, Machu Picchu, it’s time to relax and enjoy. After visiting the Inca citadel, you will have to go down to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo by bus.

From this point, the Inca Rail trains depart to the stations of Ollantaytambo or Poroy. To guarantee a seat on one of our trains, you will have to book early and there is a simple and easy way to do it: in our website, right here.

Remember that in Inca Rail we have different types of trains, you just have to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Other recommendations

In addition to everything we have told you previously, when you prepare your trip you must take into account the following points:
– The majority of flights that arrive in Peru from abroad do it to the city of Lima, the capital of the country, so you will have to look for a bus or a flight that takes you to Cusco.
– As the Inca Trail passes through points that exceed 4000 meters above sea level, it is recommended that you arrive in Cusco at least one day before the trek. Thus, you can adapt little by little to the height and rest, since the tourist agency will pick you up from your hotel very early in the morning.
– The arrival in Cusco after the Inca Trail is usually in the afternoon or evening, so we recommend to do not schedule any other activity for the same day.

The Inca Trail is an unforgettable adventure, where you will live the history of this civilization in your own skin surrounded by an impressive landscape. Put on your hiking shoes, grab your backpack and go on an adventure!


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