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“Arduous but worth it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Inca Trail

Inca Trail
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5-Day Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco
Ranked #3 of 167 things to do in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Arduous but worth it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013

It was a peak experience for me (no pun intended) and while I was miserable and exhausted at times, I am so glad I experienced the Inca Trail. There are alternate hikes but none of them have you arrive in Macchu Picchu by foot. There is nothing that compares to that first sight of Macchu Picchu from the Sun Gate. Also, there is such a felling of camaraderie amongst the hikers.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank feiners01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Inca Trail - Packing For The Trek”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

My wife & I have just returned from a four week tour of Sth America (Chile, Peru, Brazil & Argentina) and the highlight of our trip by far was the 4 day Inca Trail trek, culminating in witnessing the magnificent Machu Picchu. We are pretty fit, so we had no concerns about our stamina during the journey, for us our biggest dilemma was how to pack and what to take for four days of potentially any weather condition– without taking a ton of stuff!!!
Our trek was in May ’13 and at that time the official weight a Porter could carry of your personal belongings was 5kg (including your sleeping bag!!) Most sleeping bags we discovered weigh around 1.5kg, which leaves you about 3.5kg of things you’re able to give to your porter to carry (without paying for a private porter).
We aimed to keep our own backpacks at 5kg, as every kilo you have extra really takes its toll on you when you’re trekking – especially on the leg up and over Dead Woman’s pass (named because of the shape of the pass and surrounding peaks, not because a woman died there!!). The most obvious things to carry in your personal pack are clothes for layering – it’s cold when you start off first thing in the morning at 0 degrees C, but gets hot when you’re climbing steep sections during the afternoon when the temperature has climbed into the teens. We found zip off hiking pants / shorts, breathable t-shirt, light weight fleece top & light jacket (not a ski jacket!) worked well for our layering. Water is another consideration, with every 1 litre weighing 1 kilo – but you MUST HAVE IT!

So after many, many packs & repacks over several weeks this is what we came up with which worked really well for us;

5 kg personal pack that we carried ourselves;

Sun Hat, Toilet Paper (a must), Head Lamp, Peru Beanie, Woolen Gloves, Camera, Plastic Rain Poncho, Fleece Top, light weight Jacket, Sunglasses, Passports & documents, snacks (chocolate, nuts), 1 litre stainless steel water bottle, singlet top, basic personal medications (we were using Diamox), water purification tablets just in case (our porters boiled enough water each morning before breakfast).
This weighed 4.8 kg (3.8kg without the water).

5 kg porter pack (this was gear we didn't need to access during the day)

Sleeping bag, socks (3 pair, plus the 4th pair to wear), thermal pants, long sleeve t-shirt, track suit pants, underwear (3 pair, plus 4th to wear), small travel towel, inflatable pillow, minimal toiletries, spare t-shirt, spare shorts/pants.
This weighed 5kg (3.5kg not including sleeping bags).

The porters carry your self inflating mattress as well as their portion of all the camping requirements for the group (tents, food, etc). It was also recommended that anything we gave the porters to carry be wrapped in plastic bags, as their sweat could potentially make your gear wet – not ideal for your bedding & night wear to be wet in 0 degrees overnight!!
We ended up using 95% of the things we packed during the trek, thankfully it didn’t rain heavily, so we didn’t need to use our spare dry clothing.
With some thoughtful pre organisation you should have a fantastic trouble free trekking experience. ENJOY!!!

Visited May 2013
7 Thank Chaps09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A fantastic experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

Although crowded and tough to book, the Inca Trail is a fantastic experience. Though we researched other treks in the region of Machu Picchu, I followed the advice of the author of the great travel adventure book "Turn Left at Machu Picchu". Though there are other less crowded treks, to hike over thousands of steps cut and laid during the Inca empire five to six hundred years ago, to explore incredible ruins along the way, sharing experiences with other trekkers on the way, enjoying the natural beauty, entering the Sun Gate at sunrise on the last day, is a wonderful experience. We added the challenging Salkantay trek to our adventure at the beginning of the trek, which gave us several days of solitude except for the Quechua speaking villagers we passed along the way. I would suggest doing this if you can. And go with a company like ours: Apus Peru, that really knows the country, gives back to the people, and employs amazing guides, like one we had.

Visited July 2013
Thank Daveygmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daytona Beach
Level Contributor
90 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Bucket List Adventure!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

We traveled with Pachamama Explorers of Cusco, for the four day hike of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, including the optional climb of Wayna Picchu. The trail is very challenging, including climbs to nearly 14,000' and 28 miles of hiking, almost none of it level. We carried our own gear, and the outfitter's porters carried our tents, food, cooking gear, and other essentials. Each afternoon when we arrived at camp, the tents were set up, snacks and tea prepared, and later dinner was served just after dark. I'm 64, and the aerobic demands of the climbing with a pack were at my upper limit, but it was a very rewarding experience.

Visited July 2013
Thank PaulDaytona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime experience!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2013

I'm 10 years old and I had the time of my life! I felt very close to nature and was shocked with how well kept it was! :)

Visited June 2013
1 Thank FassettFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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