FAQs Machu Picchu Inca Trail

In case you are wondering about the Inca Trail, we have put together this list of frequently asked questions about the Inca trail.  If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us. Also see our Inca Trail Availability chart to see if there are available entrance tickets for the day you want to start the trail.

How long is the trail and how long will we walk per day?

Length of the trail is 42 kilometers (26 miles). Campsites are given by the government,therefore we can not be sure about the exact places we will be camping every night.   Normally you will walk at least 6 hours a day, and up to 9 hours, but it can vary.

Inca Trail Map

Inca Trail Map

Is the Inca Trail difficult?

The trail is considered moderately difficult.  Our office in Cuzco rents walking sticks, which can help you to keep your balance.

Do hikers experience altitude sickness?

It is not possible to know if an individual will be affected by altitude sickness until they arrive.  Most people do not experience problems.  A day of rest in Cuzco and drinking water will be enough for most people.

How to avoid altitude sickness?

What time do we see Machu Picchu?

Groups often start the last day’s hike at 4:30 a.m. and get to the Sun Gate at 6:00 a.m.  It depends on the campsite that we are assigned to on the last night.

Will we carry our luggage while on the Inca Trail?

Porters will carry all tents, camping equipment, and food for the trek.

Try not to bring any more than you need.  You will carry your own backpack. Try to make it light, and leave anything that is not needed for the trail in Cuzco. You can also refer to the “What you will need to bring for  the Inca Trail” article.

As an alternative, you can hire a extra porter. Extra porters will carry up to 12 kg. (26.45 lb) of your belongings during day 1, 2 and 3 of the trek.

Will it get cold on the Inca Trail?

We recommend buying warm clothes in local markets

We recommend buying warm clothes in local markets

It can get quite cold because of the altitude, in the winter (May – September) the temperature can drop below zero degrees (Celsius) at night. You can buy locally made gloves and hats for the cold in Cuzco. Learn a bit more about the rainy season by clicking here.

Where will we sleep on the Inca Trail?

Tents are set up at the campsites at night. Trekkers are provided with a bowl of hot water (and a hot drink) every morning in their tent.

And sleeping bags?

You can rent one in Cuzco. A compact three-season sleeping bag is recommended.  Foam mats are provided however some travellers also bring their own self-inflating mat.  Sleeping bags are not included.

Is there purified water to drink on the trail?

recycle and refill machupicchu peru

Recycle and help Machu Picchu and Peru

We recommend that you bring a refillable water bottle. You can get bottled water on the trail but it increases the amount of garbage.  Boiled water will be provided in the morning at breakfast, at lunch and every evening after dinner.

What kind food is there?

Our cooks will prepare meals on the trail. There is usually pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of oatmeals, eggs and other breakfast foods. Vegetarian meals are available, but you must request it while making reservations for the trail.

Should I tip the guides and porters?

Tipping is certainly appreciated, but is at your discretion.  Generally 5-8 dollars a day is appropriate.

Can anyone go on the Inca Trail?

you need to bring your documentation to make your reservation for the Inca trail

You need to bring your documentation to make your reservation for the Inca Trail

Bookings must be made as far in advance as possible. To go on the trail it is required that you be at least 12 years of age and have a valid passport.

You must provide this information to get an Inca Trail Permit.

  1. Full name (exactly as it appears on the passport)
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Nationality
  4. Passport Number
  5. Date of Passport Expiry – Must be valid for the date of travel
  6. Any attempts at modifications result in a loss of the permit and any money paid.

When do most people hike the trail?

It is possible to hike the trail at any time of the year, however April to October is considered the ‘high’ season. This means that permits can be sold out many months in advance, so it is especially imperative to plan ahead during these months you can also hike de inca trail in the  wet season from November to March; click on the link to see more details..

How far in advance should I make reservations?

As early as possible since tickets are often sold out. We recommend reserving tickets 3 months in advance for the low season (between November and March) and at least 6 months in advance in high season (April to October).

Even then, we cannot guarantee that tickets will be available, but it will greatly increase the chances of finding tickets.

Are there different kinds of Inca Trails?

There are alternative paths for the trail. We offer different Inca Trail Tours with different paths. You can choose between the Classic 4 day Inca Trail, the Short 2 day Inca Trail, the Sacred Snow Mountain Salkantay Trek, the Cycling and Hiking Inca Jungle Tour, or the Beautiful Nature Lares Trek.