There are two ways to get to Machu Picchu, sweating or not; there are no more options. You can experience it as a reward or as an excursion. In these lines, I will try to convey ten tips to enjoy the experience of arriving sweating the shirt to the fullest.
The Inca Trail (or Inka Trail) is a path with more than 05 centuries of history. It is an ancient path that the Incas used to communicate throughout their empire. The Inca Trail is pervasive and did not fully preserve, but today it is possible to travel 42 km of this legendary path before reaching the citadel of Machu Picchu.
It is a demanding excursion that lasts 04 days, but what can do it as long as there are no excesses, such as doing it without acclimatizing or a hangover? It is a path that leaves a mark. Machu Picchu is a unique place; therefore, it is one of the wonders of the modern world, but reaching it with effort makes the experience round. What’s more, when you arrive after 04 days of walking, you feel absurdly superior to all the people who come clean and smell good; you have the feeling that they do not deserve it. Still, it also makes you feel a little adventurous and knows that you will enjoy that more than the rest.
If you want to know the complete chronicle of the trip: the Inca Trail
Access to the Inca Trail is limited, and once the quotas set by the government are covered, it is impossible to access it in any way. For this reason, planning the trip (especially in high season) to reserve places well in advance is essential. Many agencies organize trekking, we did them with www.camino-inca.com, and the truth is that we can only speak well of them in all the previous steps from here and in the trek itself. If you like to arrive in the country and look for options, it may not be suitable for you, but in this case, you may be left without the possibility of entering the Inca Trail.
Access to Wayna Picchu does even more restricted than the Inca Trail. So if you intend to go up, which I recommend, do not leave it for the last moment as you will be left with the honey on your lips. Getting to Machu Picchu, wanting to go up to Wayna Picchu, and not being able to because of not being proactive is an excellent tasks.
This advice seems like a truism, but it is always the most step you miss. You will spend 04 days walking, which is long and demanding; each gram adds up. Do not bring anything more than is strictly necessary.
A pair of hiking shoes and crocs to relax your feet will be more than enough for footwear. Change for 04 days and a raincoat if you go in the rainy season.
Carrying a good backpack is essential since the grams seem like kilos as the kilometers advance, and having a comfortable and ergonomic bag will make things much more manageable. Use the chest and waist straps; they will relieve the weight of the shoulders by distributing them more evenly throughout the trunk.
Another thing of a truism, but I lived like a colleague’s two soles came off in the middle of trekking, and he had to finish them off, tied with ropes. On the Inca Trail, there is nothing, so if your shoes break, you will be in a good hurry. It is not advisable to wear brand-new footwear since you will only get gift vials.
Hiking boots are unnecessary; a semi-boot or trekking shoe is enough.
The Inca Trail passes through 4200 meters of height, and it is likely that if your body has not gotten used to the altitude, you will have a hard time. Each organism is a world and reacts differently; you may not even notice it.
But arriving in Cusco and the next day starting the trekking, I sincerely believe that it is playing Russian roulette. We planned the trip by passing through the Colca canyon first to trekking there which would serve as first contact, and then we spent a couple of days in Cusco before starting the trek.
They are the most logical measures but can make us have a wrong time without them.
This advice is just if you go in the rainy season, but if so, it seems obvious once again that it is one of the tips that can most help you reach a good port. In our case, we did the way under the almost constant rain, there were 04 drops, but the sensation of humidity was overwhelming, especially at night.
The moment the moisture reaches the insulation, the sleeping bag, or the spare clothes, you are lost. If something that saps morale more than fatigue, it is humidity. Spending several days with wet clothes is one of the worst sensations, and once on the road, there is no way to dry anything.
Take your clothes in plastic bags inside your backpack and bring spare ponchos; you will appreciate them, do not hesitate.
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The road is long, don’t try to be the first. Hike in a group; getting on top and trying to be the first or the first is easy. You must be aware of your limits and not put all the meat on the grill in the first 10 km.
It is usual for the entire group to reach the end of the stages with hours of difference; nothing happens; everyone must take their own pace and be aware that there will be more the next day.
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The stick is an excellent ally for walks. You can take it or buy it there directly as you prefer. If you carry metal clubs, you will have to purchase plastic protectors for the metal tips so that they will let you use them.
The pole is a common element in people who frequent the mountains. It is excellent to support the ascents to help you with the momentum and a great ally on the descents to avoid or at least control slips and loss of balance.
The Inca Trail is made with a more or less numerous group to share experiences with people from other countries, the organization’s people, and the porters.
You can consider trekking in a more individualistic way. Still, I honestly believe that it is a mistake. In addition to being practically impossible, you create a small family, even for lunch and dinner, which makes this experience so wonderful.
As a final tip and not least, enjoy. Enjoy the group, the landscape, and the moment. Please do not consider the Inca Trail a process before you want Machu Picchu; the essence is in the path itself.
Machu Picchu is one more stone, the last but only one more. Try to capture the sunrise from Inti Punku in your memory, do not miss the best moments by trying to take a thousand photos; take half a dozen, sit down, and enjoy.