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Walk amongst the clouds and trek the Inca Trail in Peru. Starting in Cusco, once the capital of the Inca empire, you cross some intense but beautiful trails in the Andes mountains until you get to the breath taking Machu Picchu. Prepare to be inspired! To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek read our guide to trekking the Inca Trail. Trek includes 7kg personal porter allowance.
Peru is a magical country with the mix of indigenous and western present in everything from cuisine to clothing to music. Cusco, the ancient Incan capital, is a beautiful town nestled right in the mountains. You will see the legacies of the Spanish conquistadors with the main plaza and cathedral, but what lies beneath is the importance of Cusco to the indigenous Incas. The site of Machu Picchu was only discovered by the wider world in 1911 but it had been an important site since the mid 1400s. Archaeologists are still trying to agree on exactly what Machu Picchu was used for and since you get a full guided tour of the site once you arrive, maybe you'll come up with your own theory!
Your four day trek will be against a backdrop of stunning mountain views, lush sub-tropical vegetation and archaeological ruins, which you will have chance to explore en-route. As you walk along the walking routes that have been used for centuries, it will be impossible not to feel connected to the history and people of this ancient empire. Some days the hiking will be intense, like on the notorious day two when you will reach Warmiwañusca, otherwise known as Dead Woman's Pass, which sits at an altitude of 4,200 meters (13,780 feet). But after you conquer the trail you will be rewarded with the most beautiful view of the majestic Andes you could ever hope for. On your final day, you’ll reach Machu Picchu in time to see the sun rise over the ancient site and will then have a two hour guided tour which will give you more of a sense of how important Machu Picchu was. Then it’s time to sit back, congratulate yourself on your achievement and muse on the cultural and historical significance of your location.
If you want to participate on a trek where you will push yourself physically, but at the same time gain an insight into an ancient people and culture, then this will be right up your street. If you need to be surgically separated from your hair straighteners, then please stop reading, there is not a plug socket in sight on the Inca trail!!
Let’s not beat about the bush here, this trek is about hiking so you do need to be in good shape to participate. It is recommended that you do some regular exercise in the month before you depart. That said, you don’t have to be a fitness freak; children as young as 7 and adults of 68 have completed the trail. You will be hiking at altitude, so it is recommended that you acclimatise for a couple of days before embarking on the trip.
It has become very popular to trek the Inca trail in Peru and to that end, the government has now limited places on the trail by issuing an allocation of 500 permits per day. This includes all porters, guides and cooks, so it fills up quickly. The high season on the trail is from May – September so you will need to book quite a way in advance – we recommend at least 5 to 6 months in advance. If you want to trek in quieter times, you may want to consider dates outside of the high season.
The maximum group size is 16 people. The guide to walkers ration is 1 : 9. Don’t worry about being rushed along too fast, there will be plenty of time for comfort breaks and chances to admire the views along the way. The guide will always walk at the back with the last person in the group, so you really don’t need to be concerned about taking too long. This is a cultural journey, not a running race!
This trek is organized by a professional and licensed tour operator who has been operating in the region for the past 12 years. They know what they’re doing and treat their porters well, ensuring that they are well equipped and fairly paid. To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek read our guide to the Inca Trail.
My sister, her boyfriend and I had a fantastic time.
Both guides were excellent, spoke good English and were very knowledgable.
The food was also excellent - some of the best I had during my 4 months in South America!
The taxi arrangements were good and on time to get us started on the first day and overall we had a really great time and would definitely recommend the trip to anyone!
flange reviewing Trek the Inca Trail in Peru
From beginning to end the service from both Tourdust and the local operator was fantastic. Despite being the rainy season we had a fair bit of good weather, and even when we didn't it couldn't take away from the great experience and amazing sites. Our guide Odon really made it for us. There was a smallish group of 8 of us. He understood everyones needs and tailored our days to make sure everyone got the most out of it. Whenever he could he made sure that we were ahead of other groups and got time at the most interesting sites on our own. He also hads fantastic knowledge and always had really interesting things to tell us which made the trip even better. Our team of porters were also fantastic. The food was amazing and you wouldn't believe they were cooking it in a camp tent. Thank you to the whole team for making this such a great trip. I would highly recommend Pachamama if you are thinking of doing the trail. Becks and Will - Jan 2011
beak101 reviewing Trek the Inca Trail in Peru