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:

  1. Avoid alcohol & smoking
  2. Drink lots of fluids
  3. Avoid excessive or strenuous exercise when you first arrive in Cusco
  4. Avoid sleeping pills
  5. Spend 2 - 3 days at altitude before starting your trek
  6. Drink coca tea (ancient remedy)

I am worried I will be too slow for my group

If you want to enjoy your trek, then don't see it as a race. Take your time to enjoy the views, take photos and catch your breath. Even slow trekkers reach campsites before nightfall! The guide will always walk with the slowest person in the group and will leave instructions for the faster walkers so they know where the meeting points are along the trail. 

What if I get ill and need to turn back?

This doesn't happen very often. The guides are very experienced and will do their best to help each trekker complete their trek.  In addition, a first aid kit and oxygen are carried for emergencies.   If you fall ill and need to return to Cusco, you will be looked after and arrangements will be made for you.

What do we do about water on the trek?

Boiled water is provided from the 2nd day of the trek. You will need to bring water bottles with you, as the water is sterilised by the cook each morning and evening.  On the first day, you will need to bring water with you. On this day, you will be able to buy water along the way.

How are the porters treated on treks I book through Tourdust?

Porters are provided with a full uniform, orthopaedic backpacks, trekking sandals and ponchos. They eat the same food as the trekkers (although they eat separately)  Their weight limit is 18kg and this is enforced along the trail.  

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.


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