Take the Machu Picchu Trek!

For anyone who enjoys backpacking, taking a hike on the ancient Inca Trail to the stunning Machu Picchu site in Peru is a must-do adventure. It is possible to go there the easy way, by taking a train and then a bus, but the experience of hiking along this awesome trail is incomparable.

You do need to be an experienced hiker and in reasonably good shape, but if you are, by all means don’t miss out on this world-class hike. Most hikers will get exhausted at times, but any pain you suffer will be immensely outweighed by the pleasure you will get from what you will see on your journey.

Starting From Cuzco

You will need to go in a group with guides, which can easily be found in the city of Cuzco, high in the Andes at the center of the Inca civilization. There are many Inca ruins to be seen here as well as many other attractions, so you should plan on staying at least several days in Cuzco before you start your trek.

As you explore the Cuzco area and arrange for your hike, you will also get used to the high altitude, which is important.

On the hike, try to travel as light as you can. Your guides will carry the tents and most of the food, so you will mostly be carrying clothing, photo gear, etc, and a lot of water. The Machu Picchu trek will take several days, and the most challenging part is when you go over the 13,000 ft. pass.

For a very small fee, have Peruvian natives carry your backpack for you if you get too tired, a common practice when approaching the pass.

Of the many ruins you will see, the Winay Wayna site near the end of the hike is the most dramatic, and in some ways better than Machu Picchu itself.

After your hike, spend some time relaxing at the nearby town of Aguas Calientes, with its invigorating hot springs. It’s the perfect way to bring this adventure to a close.

See Travel Tips, Gear and More for additional information.

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