We always recommend staying in Cusco at least 2 days before the trip. These 2 days serve to acclimatize to the altitude or if it gets bad when you arrive in Cusco, have a day to recover and make the road in better conditions.
The date of the Inca Trail can not be changed and the economic advances have no refund so you have to take precautions to be in Cusco the start date.
As for the conditions of the reservation for the Inca Trail: there are only 500 spaces available per day, which are sold out months in advance, in the months of April to October they usually run out 4 or 5 months in advance. Once you have reserved the entrance to the Inca Trail, you can not cancel, change the date or the name of the person who will do it, since the organism that regulates it does not allow any change and does not reimburse the money spent on the ticket.
We recommend hiring a medical insurance with a cancellation clause that allows you to recover the money paid for the reservations in case you can not travel for medical reasons.
Suitable clothes for the Climate: the thermal difference in the height is a matter to consider, since once the sun sets or hides behind a cloud the temperature drops abruptly. That is why it is important to remember to wear a coat for the night, since it is quite cold.
It is very practical to wear a «windproof» jacket because it is light and protects them from wind and water. In Ollantaytambo you can buy some ponchos for the rain, they are very cheap and useful.
Footwear: Wearing a recommended shoe for trips is very useful. If you do not have them, you do not need to buy them. The key to footwear is that it is comfortable enough to support 8 hours a day of walking … If you have an old shoe and you feel comfortable, it’s fine. If you are going to buy new ones, it is very important that they be used long before the walk, as it is common for new shoes to cause blisters. If you wish, you can waterproof your footwear with an aerosol product to prevent your feet from getting wet if it rains.
Canes: This helps a lot along the way of the Camino. You can also buy in Ollantaytambo the day of the beginning of the Camino.
Water: Do not drink water from the springs of the road and it is recommended throughout your trip (Cusco, the jungle) to drink mineral water at all times (even to brush your teeth) and avoid drinks with ice. On the way there are people who sell mineral water, so they can get water on the road. It is possible to boil the water and add purification tablets, however this is not as safe as taking mineral water.
Other recommended items: Do not hesitate to bring insect repellent, flashlight, sunscreen, batteries or batteries for your digital camera.
Food: you should not bring anything since the food on the tour is very abundant and varied.
Wayna Picchu: Those who make the Inca Trail can not access the Wayna Picchu entrance, it is necessary to buy a new entrance to Machu Picchu along with the entrance to Wayna Picchu, they can reserve it through the government website www.machupicchu.gob .pe. There are 2 shifts, one at 7 in the morning and the other at 10 in the morning. In case you want to climb the fourth day of the Inca Trail you have to reserve the 10am shift, if you prefer to stay in Aguas Calientes and return on the fifth day you can choose any of the two shifts.