Someone who has already hiked along the Inca Trail Perú knows: The beauty of nature, the majesty and immensity of the surrounding mountains that make one feel so small but at the same time and important part of the whole scenery, an incredible feeling. The Inca Trail is one of the most famous hikes in Perú, a hundreds of years old trail which was originally covered totally in stone once crossing Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Thousands of people each year decide to make this experience while their stay in Perú, for some it is the main reason to come to this beautiful country.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Nowadays, the most famous part of the Inca Trail Perú is the one that leads to Machu Picchu. Therefore, plenty of agencies offer the Inca Trail as well as a range of different options of how to hike it. The most popular routes are the Inca Trail 2 days (Short Inca Trail) and the Inca Trail 4 days (Classic Inca Trail). Whereas on the Classic Inca Trail the starting point is at KM 82 (train station on the way to Aguas Calientes), passing Wayllabamba, the Dead Woman Pass and Wiñayhuayna before you enter Machu Picchu Archeological Site through the Sun Gate the Short Inca Trail starts at KM 104, passing Wiñayhuayna and ends the same day at Machu Picchu which one fully enjoys the second day in the morning after spending a night in Aguas Calientes, the village next to Machu Picchu.
So if one has still not enjoyed this experience and with this amount of offers that exist now, how does one know which service to take?
Which service suits me?
The Inca Trail is generally offered in private and group service. If you are travelling alone and / or are interested in sharing your hiking experience with people from all over the world, the group service is the perfect fit for you. The groups are up to maximum 16 people that hike along this amazing trail. If you wish to be just with your family, friends or partner and want to avoid potential big groups you might want to consider a private inca trail tours. Be aware that the private service can be significantly more expensive. Some travel agencies offer a discount for both private and group option if more people join the group. Furthermore, a few travel agencies provide another choice of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: The 5 day Inca Trail. As mentioned above, it is only offered by a few agencies which means it is not that popular. It might be possible to go by group service, however, it is most likely to be operated in a private service. The difference between the Classic Inca Trail and the Inca Trail 5 days is that on the latter you get the chance to see Llactapata, an archeological site from where you can already spot Machu Picchu in the distance.
However, to make this unique experience even more unique, why not treat yourself and take advantage of the luxury version of the Inca Trail? Once you have arrived at the airport in Cusco just relax and enjoy, everything will be taken care of. The luxury Inca Trail trek, depending on the agency, includes everything from 4-5 start hotels, private guide, porters, chefs etc. and sometimes even massages and more. Especially after a challenging day a nice massage comes in quite handy.
What to keep in mind when booking the Inca Trail:
- To be able to enter the Inca Trail each person needs a special permit. These permits sell out extremely fast, especially during high season (April – September) and for the Classic Inca Trail (4 days). So make sure you book well in advance.
- Each group has a limited amount of porters and a limited amount of weight you can take with you. You need to check that with the agency.
- The Inca Trail is closed in February.
- Once the Inca Trail is booked and the permits bought it is not possible to change the date anymore. In case you need to move your trek to another date you’d need to pay new permits (if available).
- The passport number on the permit has to be the one of your current passport. That means in case you get your passport renewed the number on your permit needs to be updated with a copy of the new one, otherwise you cannot enter the trail. Please contact your agency.
So if you get the chance to come to Perú one day, do not miss out on the Inca Trail! Make sure to decide for which service you wish to go and check out travel agencies that can provide you with your expectations and the best service. It truly is a unique experience to hike the Inca Trail.