Frequently Asked Questions about the Inca Trail
We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions about what to expect when trekking the Inca Trail. If any of your questions are not answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Do I really need to book the Inca Trail in advance?
Access to the Inca Trail is governed by permits and in the peak months (May - September) these can sell out months in advance. To guarantee availability, we recommend you book around 5 months in advance.
When is the best time of year to trek the Inca Trail?
Peak season on the Inca Trail is May to September, coinciding with the western hemisphere's summer holidays. These months offer probably the best trekking conditions with fairly dry and sunny weather. However you will need to book earley, as June, July and August tend to book out 3,4 or 5 months in advance. October, November and December are also great months on the Inca Trail with fewer trekkers albeit with a fairly strong chance of rain on at least one day of the trek. Availability is also better, with spaces often available one month or less before departure. The rainy season runs from January to March - so expect it to be fairly wet at times, however it is still perfectly feasible if you have good quality waterproof gear. Again Inca Trail permits are a lot easier to get hold of at this time of year. The Inca Trial is closed during the month of February each year for conservation projects - although Machu Picchu and alternative routes are open during February.
Can children trek the Inca trail?
Children who are used to doing lots of walking can trek the Inca Trail, although for their own enjoyment, we recommend an age limit of around 12 (although younger children have been known to complete the trek). If you want to trek as a family, please contact us so that we can discuss your children's fitness in more detail.
How fit do I need to be to trek the Inca Trail?
We do recommend that you have a good fitness level. You do not have to be an exercise fanatic, but it is a good idea to start doing some regular exercise 2-3 months ahead of the trek.
One of the biggest challenges about trekking in Peru is the altitude. To help you acclimatise, we recommend the following:
- Avoid alcohol & smoking
- Drink lots of fluids
- Avoid excessive or strenuous exercise when you first arrive in Cusco
- Avoid sleeping pills
- Spend 2 - 3 days at altitude before starting your trek
- Drink coca tea (ancient remedy)
I am worried I will be too slow for my group
What if I get ill and need to turn back?
What do we do about water on the trek?
How are the porters treated on treks I book through Tourdust?
Once I have booked, can I change my departure date?
No, unfortunately not. Once your reservation is officially confirmed we cannot change your trekking date, or refund your permit.
Where do I store my bags whilst I am out trekking?
All hostels and hotels in Cusco will allow you to leave your bags whilst you are out trekking. Please remember to take your valuables with you.
Are there many toilets on the Inca Trail?
There are several toilets along the way, some are flush but the majority of them are of the squatting variety. They can be a bit grotty, but please try to use them rather than nature. Please bring toilet paper with you. When in your campsite, you will have a bathroom tent which will be just for your group.