The Inca Trail Tips: 10 Tips to Make Your Trek to Machu Picchu a Success

The Inca Trail is undoubtedly one of the most amazing and sought-after hiking destinations in the world. Spanning more than 45 kilometers, it rewards its adventurers with majestic views of towering mountains and dense forests that are only accessible by foot. Every year, thousands of travelers from around the globe make their way to Peru to take on this incredible journey, and the tips below are designed to help you make the most of your trek.

If you’re planning on trekking the inca trail, you’ll want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible. In this blog post, we will give you 10 tips to help make your trek a success! From packing the right gear to avoiding altitude sickness, we have got you covered. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

Best time to hike Machu Picchu

One of the most important inca trail tips is to know when the best time to hike Machu Picchu is. Generally speaking, the dry season – which runs from April, May, June, July, September, August and October – is considered the best time to trek due to its pleasant weather conditions and clear skies. However, keep in mind that June through August are the busiest months, so be sure to book your hike well in advance if you want to avoid the crowds.

The Peruvian Andes have two seasons

The Peruvian Andes have two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season typically runs from April to October, while the rainy season begins in November and ends in March. During the dry season, temperatures are warmer, more consistent, and there is less chance of rain or inclement weather. This makes it ideal for hikers looking to conquer the inca trail. However, during the rainy season, temperatures are colder and there is more precipitation – making some areas of the inca trail impassable and inclement weather conditions a possibility. Be sure to check all local weather reports before you embark on your trip.

inca trail tips
Panoramic view of Machu Picchu

Book Your Inca Trail Hike Early

Another inca trail tip is to book your trek as early as possible. With the popularity of hiking Machu Picchu on the rise, permits for the inca trail can sell out months in advance – particularly during peak season. To ensure that you have a spot, it’s recommended that you book your inca trail hike at least 6-8 months in advance. This will also give you ample time to plan and prepare for your trip, as well as find the right gear and equipment that you’ll need along the way.

Booking your Inca Trail hike 6 Months in Advance: A Guide to Planning an Epic Trip

The Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is not to be missed. Spanning over 45 kilometers, intrepid adventurers will traverse majestic mountains, lush forests, and some of the most breathtaking sites in all of Peru. But to ensure that you have a spot along this popular trail, it is important to book your inca trail hike 6 months in advance, even if you plan on going during the wet season you’ll need to book at least 3 months in advance. Here’s what you need to know about planning and preparing for an unforgettable adventure! 

Traing Before Your Trek To Machu Picchu

Training before your trek to Machu Picchu is essential if you want to make sure that you are adequately prepared for the journey ahead. Whether you are a first-time trekker or a seasoned adventurer, it’s important to ensure that you have the right level of fitness in order to make the most out of your inca trail experience. This means doing exercises that target your core, legs, and cardiovascular system – such as running and walking for at least 30 minutes a day in the weeks leading up to your hike. Additionally, make sure that you are accustomed to hiking uphill with a heavy backpack on steep terrain – this will help you prepare for the more challenging.

inca trail tips
View from Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu

Properly acclimatize to the elevation of the Peruvian Andes

Acclimatized to the high altitude of the Peruvian Andes by gradually increasing physical activity in preparation for the inca trail hike and drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Altitude Sickness on the Inca Trail hike

Altitude sickness is a very real and potentially dangerous issue when hiking the inca trail, as the Peruvian Andes are home to some of the highest elevations in all of South America. Altitude sickness can affect anyone, and it is important to be aware of its symptoms and how to prevent it.

The first symptom is headache, as well as shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue. To avoid altitude sickness it is important to take your time while hiking the inca trail – avoid excessive physical activity and do not overexert yourself. Additionally, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and taking regular breaks to rest.

Tips to acclimate to altitude

One of the most important inca trail tips when it comes to hiking Machu Picchu is to properly acclimate to the high altitude of the Peruvian Andes. The inca trail takes trekkers through altitudes as high as 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) – so proper acclimatization is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable hike. To ensure that you are properly acclimatized, it’s important to take your time as you ascend the inca trail and gradually increase physical activity over the course of several days. Additionally, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated and avoid altitude sickness.

You will also have to spend 2 or 3 day in Cusco or Sacred Valley to adapt to the altitude before beginning the inca trail hike. This will give you time to explore the cities and try some of the local delicacies, as well as allow your body to adjust to the elevation.

inca trail tips
The passage of the dead woman (Warmi Wañusqa) 4215 m.s.n.m.

Get The Right Gear For The Inca Trail hike

When embarking on a hike along the Inca Trail, having the right gear is essential for a comfortable, safe and enjoyable trip. It is recommended to bring waterproof clothing to keep yourself warm and dry during rain showers, which are common in the Andes mountains, as well as lightweight layers of clothing that will help keep you cool during periods of high temperatures. Additionally, make sure to bring good hiking boots with plenty of support and cushioning for your feet – this will help protect from blisters and increase comfort during the inca trail hike.

It is also important to have a good backpack that is well-fitted and comfortable, as you will be carrying it throughout the inca trail hike. Make sure that your backpack is lightweight and has a few pockets for easy access to certain items, such as snacks and water bottles. Finally, make sure to bring a good pair of hiking poles – these will help support you on uneven terrain and reduce the strain on your knees.

tips for hiking the inca trail to machu picchu
Machu picchu hiking tour

Pack Insect Repellent

Insect repellent is an essential item to bring when hiking the inca trail, as there are a number of mosquitos, flies and other insects in the Peruvian rainforest. Insect bites can be incredibly itchy and irritating, so it’s important to pack insect repellent in order to protect yourself from these pesky bugs.

It is also important to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in order to cover up exposed skin – this will help reduce the amount of bites you may receive while hiking the inca trail. Additionally, make sure to apply insect repellent before you head out on your inca trail hike and reapply it throughout the day in order to keep the bugs away.

By following these inca trail tips, you can ensure that your inca trail hike is safe and enjoyable. Altitude sickness can be a potentially dangerous issue when hiking the inca trail, so it’s important to take your time and properly acclimate to the high altitudes.

Get Comfy At Night on the Inca Trail hike

Having proper gear and equipment to rest well at night is a must when hiking the inca trail. Make sure to bring a lightweight sleeping bag, which will keep you warm and comfortable throughout the inca trail hike. Additionally, it is important to have a small camping mattress or foam pad in order to provide extra cushioning while you’re resting at night on the inca trail.

tips for hiking the inca trail to machu picchu
Wiñay wayna point - Inca Trail 4 days

What To Pack For Hiking The Inca Trail

In addition to the inca trail tips outlined above, it is important to make sure you have all of the essentials for your inca trail hike. Make sure to bring plenty of snacks and water – protein bars, nuts and fruits are great sources of energy while hiking. Additionally, make sure to bring a first aid kit in case of any minor injuries or illnesses, as well as a good navigation device such as a GPS or compass to help you find your way.

It is also important to have the necessary documents for inca trail entry and camping permits – these can be obtained from travel agencies or directly from the inca trail authorities in Peru. Furthermore, make sure to bring a map of the inca trail hike in order to stay on track and know what landmarks to expect throughout the inca trail hike.

Lastly, make sure to bring a camera or phone with you in order to document your inca trail adventure and share it with friends and family back home!

Packing List

Essentials

  • Passport
  • Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged – but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)

For you Duffel

Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.

  • 2-3 wicking t-shirts
  • 2-3 hiking pants
  • 4 sets of undergarments.
  • 4 sets of hiking socks
  • 1 Fleece
  • 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
  • 1 Rain jacket and pants
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 wool hat
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean – might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
  • Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
  • Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
  • Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least

Toiletres

  • Sunscreen
  • Face moisturizer
  • Bug spray
  • Handsanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Toiletpaper
  • Personal medication
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin

Inside your daypacks

  • Water: we supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water only as we won’t have time to filter water until your first lunch.
  • Sunhat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Camera
  • Music (IPhone)
  • Handsanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Earplugs
The 10 Best Peru Tours & Trips for Adventure Seekers
Beginning of the Inca Trail Km 82 - Inca Trail 4 days

Enjoy The Machu Picchu Trail

The inca trail to Machu Picchu is an incredible experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. This ancient trail, which was carefully built by incans centuries ago, not only takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in South America, but also allows you to explore incan ruins and mysterious temples from high in the Andes Mountains. With the right inca trail tips, you can ensure that your inca trail hike is an unforgettable adventure! So make sure to pack everything you need and follow these inca trail tips to make your inca trail experience one of a lifetime!

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