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Inca Trail Travel Tips

Free Travel Tips to Inca Trail Tour

Luggage storage and load limits

During the Inca Trail Trek your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffle bag at your Inca Trail briefing (which will be held the evening before you start the trek) to pack clothes and sleeping bag for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group. You should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water and sun screen etc. By Peruvian law the duffle bag must not weigh more than 5 kilograms (10lbs) which is to include your sleeping bag - this limit is set to protect the health of porters and animals. All bags will be weighed before being accepted. If you require more than 5 kilograms, it will then be your responsibility to carry the extra amount together with your day pack.

Packing List for the Inca Trail Trek

  • Passport – You MUST take your passport and a photocopy is not sufficient. (Keep it in a plastic bag in case of rain).
  • Sleeping bag - You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the Inca Trail trek. Where possible we recommend you bring your own sleeping bag, however adequate ones can be hired locally (for approx US$10) but we can take no responsibility for the standard. If you are planning to hire a bag it is a good idea to bring a silk sleeping bag liner to use inside for added warmth and comfort. A four season (or -10) bag is recommended for the winter months. At other times you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -4/-5) bag although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given as a guideline only. Roll mats are provided on the Inca Trail however for greater comfort and warmth, Thermorest style mattresses can also be hired in Cuzco for US$10. If you are travelling in winter and you do not wish to invest in a 4 season bag you may want to consider purchasing a 3 season bag plus a sleeping bag liner and bringing additional clothing.
  • Silk sleeping bag liner – Especially recommended if you plan to hire a sleeping bag but can also give your own bag added warmth
  • Waterproof, well worn-in walking boots - Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well worn in pair!
  • Waterproof clothing - A plastic poncho is recommended and can be purchased locally  for approximately US$1. Some trekkers also like to bring waterproof trousers, however a poncho will usually be sufficient if it covers your bag, body and most of your legs.
  • Small lightweight umbrella – Light umbrellas which pack away to almost nothing can be useful to keep away drizzle.
  • Plastic bags - to keep your belongings and clothes dry (wrap everything in plastic bags).
  • Toilet paper - Most important! Also small plastic bags for rubbish which can then be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters.
  • Small towel and basic personal toiletries - there is an opportunity for a shower at the campsite on the third night so bring travel size shampoo and shower gel if you would like to use it, plus wetwipes for the rest of the trek.
  • Water bottle – bring one large (1.5 litre) or two or three small water bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied when possible.
  • Warm clothing for night time - Fleece, long pants, woollen hat, gloves
  • Thermal underwear – If trekking in winter or you feel the cold
  • Walking clothing in layers – e.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts
  • Personal medication and basic first aid kit - Bandaids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration sachets
  • Camera and spare batteries, memory cards or film - Please note: there are no electrical outlets on the Inca Trail so make sure you fully charge or/and have spare batteries!
  • Snacks - Chocolates, chips, biscuits, energy bars. Snacks are provided during the trek but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case.
  • Torch (flash-light) - (Very Important) and spare batteries.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
  • Tropical strength insect repellant
  • Antiseptic hand gel
  • Swimwear for Aguas Calientes hot pools - Towels can be hired there for 3 soles.
  • Flipflops / thongs / jandals – If you wish to have a shower on the third night.

What kind of trek you looking for?

Short Inca Trail (Inca Trail to Machu Picchu)

If your time is limited or physical force, but you still want to feel what it is to walk to Machu Picchu, this is a good option. You can take the train at 6.30 am in the Cusco and continue until km 104. From there, the tour at Wiñaywayna, about 3 hours. This walk presioso, although the climb is quite steep at times. Do not forget to drink plenty of water, especially in sunny climates. 2 hours the second you walk up to Machu Picchu and then take a bus down to Aguas Calientes where you can relax.

In previous years (Some groups of tourists spent the night here, either in tents or in a dorm style hostel based in any case the rules have changed). Then wake up early in the morning to catch a bus that took him to Machu Picchu, some prefer to walk 45 minutes to climb on foot. This tour has the advantage of seeing Machu Picchu twice, and at least sleep in the bed of a hotel, and not have to get up at 4 am to make it to Machu Picchu.

Inca Trail 4 days (Inca Trail to Machu Picchu)

This tour lasts 4 days, including a step of 4200 meters, so you need to be a little used to the altitude. the first three days is walk around 6 0 7 hours depending on the number of people who have in their group, it is suggested that the group is smaller because it helps to better coordinate the bustle of the walk. The last day, walking just 02 hours and is fully prepared to visit the mystical Machu Picchu.

7 days Inca Trail (Salkantay, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu)

This tour combines a trip in the mountains with snow (Salkantay) with the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Of the 4 days you walk into a beautiful landscape, almost no other tourists. On day 5, joins the classic Inca Trail. Highly recommended.

We personally recommend the visit to Machu Picchu walk right through the Inca Trail. The most important thing when visiting Machu Picchu is that you avoid the crowds from the direct train. Flood the ruins of the 10 until 3 pm. So if you are there at 6 am, the place is really beautiful and you also have the best light for taking photos.

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