Inca Trail Frequently Asked Questions
Before making a trip many questions arise about the destination we are going to visit and even more if we want to have the great adventure of making the INCA TRAIL and know one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World, Machu Picchu. That is why we have for you a list with the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Inca Trail and the answers to each of them.
Adventure tour that we offer
1.- What is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
The Inca Trail is the name given to the road networks or roads that made up the road system of the Empire of the Incas, in this sense the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an Inca route by which you reach one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. On the way you will get to know and enjoy different archeological sites, beautiful landscapes, beautiful panoramic views and also enjoy living with a new group of people during the walk; the hours for food and overnight are made in tents in the middle of nature along the route.
2.- How long does it take to do the Inca Trail and the alternative tours?
The most famous is the Classic Inca Trail tour, which lasts 4 days and 3 nights and reaches a maximum altitude of 4200 meters above sea level; the second is the Short Inca Trail tour of 2 days and 1 night and reaches a maximum altitude of 2650 meters above sea level. We also have other adventure tours alternative to the Inca Trail: the so-called «Inca Jungle» which consists of cycling and walking to reach the Inca citadel and lasts 4 days and 3 nights, finally is the walking tour to Machu Picchu by the snowy Salkantay which lasts 5 days and 4 nights.
Don’t forget to check the number of spaces for the Classic Inca Trail 4 days. If there are no spaces you can check the availability of the 2-Days Inca Trail.
3.- Is the Inca Trail a very difficult or dangerous tour?
The walk is not very common and is slightly difficult because it takes place between mountains and not in flat places in which we are accustomed to walk, in the Inca Trail what is required so that it is not so difficult or heavy is a physical preparation before the trip, for example one of the difficulties is to have to climb and descend stone steps that are throughout the route. It is NOT a dangerous tour, but you must walk through the places assigned by the authorities and by the guide and should NOT be impertinent or want to go or go through places not due because you could suffer an accident, remember that this tour is part of our vacation, so it is better to be prevented and careful.
4.- Do I need to prepare physically for the Inca Trail?
Yes, it is very convenient and essential that you do physical activity before the Inca Trail Tour so that you can enjoy the tour, because if you come to make the walk in poor physical condition will not have much endurance and the adventure will NOT be pleasant. It is advisable to perform a routine of exercises even weeks before the trip, the main thing is to strengthen your legs as the walk is approximately 6 hours a day, you must make long walks in your city and also is recommended to have at least one day of acclimatization in Cusco before the start of your tour of the Inca Trail.
5.- Will I be affected by altitude sickness?
The altitude sickness does not affect all people, it is not possible to know if a traveler will get sick, generally on trips there are no problems, although rarely there are general symptoms such as headache, shortness of breath, but they are minimal problems, if more severe symptoms appear in a person has to descend or return to the nearest area of attention; However, to avoid major problems it is highly recommended to acclimatize in the city of Cusco at least 2 days before the trek, do not drink alcohol the days before the trek and drink plenty of liquid, additionally take coca tea and pills for altitude sickness that are recommended by your doctor or guide.
6.- What should I bring for the Inca Trail Trek?
You have to wear clothes for cold and heat because of temperature changes, the most important will be the shoes, these have to be for walking and preferably they have to be worn for comfort and prevent you from getting calluses on your feet. You also need a sleeping bag, a waterproof poncho, a towel, flashlight, hat, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste, rain cover for your backpack, toilet paper. The backpack should not be too heavy and it is good that the backrest is padded to be more comfortable. In addition you must carry a sleeping bag for the 3 nights of the tour.
7.- Where do you sleep on the Inca Trail?
Our agency has everything organized in this regard, we will raise tents in the areas assigned to camp and spend the nights in the middle of nature, for this the porters assigned by the company are in charge of carrying the tents, camping equipment and everything necessary for this super adventure, there is no need to worry about it, the traveler should only carry his backpack and sleeping bag (we suggest a compact sleeping bag of three seasons), if you want for convenience should carry a mattress or inflatable mattress.
8.- How are the toilets along the Inca Trail?
Although they are still basic, the bathrooms have been considerably improved in the last 3 years, so during the adventure you will find toilets with running water in each of the camps along the Inca Trail. Also, only in the Wiñaywayna camp (day 3) will you have the possibility to take a bath or shower with water at the time; this service has an additional cost which is paid on site.
9.- How is the food, should I bring food?
The travelers do not have to worry about the food, because the agency or tour operator is in charge of it, we have specialized cooks who elaborate the food based on typical dishes of the gastronomy of Peru, taking care that it is not very heavy and that it contains the proteins and vitamins necessary for the resistance of the walk. Pasta, rice, chicken, fresh vegetables, oats, eggs, creams, salads, tuna, vegetables and a variety of fruits such as apples, oranges, peaches, tangerines, avocados, bananas, etc. are generally eaten. In total we offer you 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners (it does not include breakfast on day 1 or lunch, or dinner on day 4 of the tour); in addition we offer vegetarian food, but you must request it in advance when making the reservation.
10.- Will I find purified water to drink on the Way?
It is possible to find bottled water in some places along the way and you can buy them without any inconvenience until day 2 of the tour. However, as a serious company that cares about the environment, archaeological sites and in order to avoid the amount of garbage in this destination, we recommend that you bring a rechargeable bottle of water; the staff will provide boiled water part of the second day, as well as the third day at breakfast, lunch and at night after dinner. You can also take water from some streams and use purifying tablets or boil the water, but it is not very recommended.
11.- Can I do the Inca Trail ONLY or on my own?
This is NOT possible, travelers who want to do this tour must necessarily hire the services of a Travel Agency and be accompanied by guides who are authorized by the Regional Direction of Culture of Cusco, our agency has the proper authorizations and we can make the tours of the Inca Trail without inconvenience.
The roads are made in group, there you can meet people of other nationalities and of different ages. A maximum of 40 people are allowed in a group, of which 16 must be Travellers, Tourists and/or hikers, at least 2 guides and the rest are support personnel such as porters, cooks, etc. who make this great adventure possible.
12.- Can anyone do the Inca Trail excursion?
The Ministry of Culture has well stipulated regulations for this excursion and can only do so by hiring the services of a Travel Agency or Tour Operator. There are no restrictions as to the age of the visitor but it is recommended to be at least 8 years old and you must hire the services of a porter or muleteer to help you when necessary. The traveller must also have a valid passport.
In order to make the tour you must obtain a permit for this route, you must provide personal information to your travel agency (full name, date of birth, passport number, expiration date of passport, nationality).
13.- When should I make my reservation for the Inca Trail?
We recommend that you make your reservations well in advance of the start of your tour, about 3 months in advance during the low season (November to March) and about 6 months in advance during the high season (April to October), because the INCA TRAIL COUPOS finish very quickly, and the regulations allow only 500 people per day including hikers (only 200 tourists maximum), tour guides, assistants, porters and support staff. Reservations must be made with authorized agencies to make the different adventure tours and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, our agency has the necessary permits and has more than 7 years of experience in the field of tourism.
If there are no spaces for the Classic Inca Trail, you can make the tour in another month or you can choose the Short Inca Trail of 2 days.
14.- How should I make my reservation for the Inca Trail?
Contact our travel experts, we are Inca Trail operators. To obtain a reservation for the Inca Trail you will have to send us your full details (name and surname, nationality, valid passport, the date you want to start the Inca Trail). In the case of students, they must send us their scanned international student passports and IDs (these documents must be valid and in force). If you have any questions, please contact our travel experts.
15.- What day do you arrive at Machu Picchu and how long do we stay?
In the case of the «Classic Inca Trail» tour that lasts 4 days and 3 nights, the fourth day arrives at approximately 6 a.m. at «Inti Punku» from where you already have an incredible view of the Inca citadel; On the other hand, in the short tour of 2 days and 1 night you arrive one day earlier in the night to the town of Aguas Calientes where you spend the night in a hotel and the next very early day you go up to the citadel and in both the guided by the Historical Sanctuary is all morning, until lunch time that you return to Aguas Calientes.
16.- What is forbidden during the Inca Trail?
The park rangers, as well as our agency and other authorities in charge of the administration of the various parks are responsible for taking care and protecting all the places through which we pass, in this case we must preserve the Inca Trail, we can not pollute the environment by throwing garbage and garbage or making bonfires everywhere. For your safety it is NOT possible to create alternate routes and you should always follow the paths indicated by your guide. It should also be noted that for the night, it is forbidden to camp inside the archaeological sites and it is also very important to know that you can no longer walk after 6:30 p.m.
17.- Is it possible to charge the battery of cell phones or other devices anywhere?
During the first two and a half days there is NO possibility of charging the battery of cameras or cell phones, already in the WiñayWayna camp (the afternoon of the 3rd day) there is the possibility of connecting their electrical devices, but NOT in the previous camps because there is no electricity. Therefore you must recharge them very well before starting the excursion to be able to take many photographs and even videos of all the incredible places you will be able to know.
18.- Which are the most important attractions that I will know in the Inca Trail?
To begin with the mountains, the imposing snow-capped mountains, the streams and the forests of the Andean landscapes are spectacular, these are appreciated more frequently during the first 2 days, then the landscape changes and is somewhat more tropical, full of vegetation and the whistling of birds. On the way we will also pass through archaeological sites and indigenous villages such as Patallacta, Huayllabamba, Abra de Warmiwañusca, Runkuraqay, Sayaqmarka, Phuyupatamarka, WiñayWayna, the town of Aguas Calientes to finally know one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, Machu Picchu.
19.- How is the fauna and flora in the Inca Trail?
Regarding the flora, during the journey, the guide will make known the varieties of orchids, begonias and puyas; after 2 days there is a lot of vegetation to be entering the area of jungle brow. The fauna is varied, there are varieties of birds, highlighting the cock of the rocks, a variety of hummingbirds, the falcon, the mountain turkey, various parrots and ducks. You can also see some llamas and other animals; additionally, although it is not very likely to see (it is a factor of luck), there are deer, spectacled bear, tarucas, wild cats, Andean foxes and otters; there are also a variety of reptiles such as frogs, lizards and vipers, in addition to the high presence of insects.
20.- How do we return to Cusco after visiting Machu Picchu?
After having walked so much and arrived at the Inca citadel, we will make the respective guide by the diverse attractions inside the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, then the travelers will have free time to continue enjoying the place, to walk and to take their best photos, then we will continue with a walk of descent to the town of Aguas Calientes (1 hour aprox), there you will have lunch in the restaurant of your choice, also you will be able to walk and to know the streets of the town, the square, the artisan market or to relax you can also visit the thermal baths. Around 6:30 you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo station where the tourist bus will be waiting for you to take you back to the city of Cusco; you will arrive in Cusco at approximately 10:30 at night and that is where our adventure ends.
21. Should we hire a porter for this tour?
In our services are included the porters who are responsible for carrying kitchen equipment, food, tents or camping, dining tents and other equipment necessary to make possible this adventure tour. Tourists are only responsible for carrying their respective personal backpacks (between 6 and 8 kg. weight) along with their sleeping bags, mattresses (mats), water bottle (canteen), camera and others. Hiring a porter could be useful because he will take care of all your belongings (12 kg maximum) during the hike (days 1, 2 and 3) and you would only be dedicated to enjoy this great adventure; the porter is hired at the time of booking the Inca Trail.
22.- Why should I trust your Travel Agency to carry out the Inca Trail?
We are travel agency with several years of experience offering tours in the different tourist destinations of Peru, we have the proper authorization assigned by the DIRCETUR (Regional Direction of Tourism) and the Ministry of Tourism to operate adventure tours such as the Inca Trail and the various tours to Machu Picchu via Train. We have a large team of professional guides specialized in the area, as well as our support staff as porters and cooks who accompany our groups perform an optimal job.
In addition, during the route we teach to protect the environment, our work is based on professional ethics and all this can be verified in the testimonials of our customers travelers from around the world, we can continue to speak very well of us, but the recommendation of them is our best letter of introduction.
These are most of the frequently asked questions that we receive daily; therefore we have decided to answer them and make them public through this medium; we hope that in the answers to these Frequently Asked Questions about the Inca Trail (FAQs) you will find the answers to your questions and that finally they will help you to choose one of the Best Adventures in the World that will also lead you to know one of the Best Wonders of the Modern World.