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10 Amazing Tips To Have an Awesome Experience At The Inca Trail

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10 Amazing Tips To Have an Awesome Experience At The Inca Trail

Many people from all over the world wish to have adventure and adrenaline in their lives. This is why here, in Peru you can find the marvelous experience you are looking for. Peru has lots of tourist places that welcome you with “open arms”. This is the case of the Inca Trail. Taking advice from friends in Peru is always the best policy when talking about the Inca Trail and how to have this wonderful experience. If this is your case this is the article you have been waiting for. Here you can find 10 amazing tips before your awesome experience.


1. Book in advance

Peru and especially Machu Picchu are visited every year by many tourists from around the world, so if you want to have a great time here you must look for a serious and committed tour operator. You must learn all the important facts regarding the Inca Trail and here at Inca Trail Machu, we are glad to help you.



2. Take the Time to Acclimatize 

Altitude sickness is no joke. We all like to think we are strong, fit and healthy and that it won’t affect us – but the reality is we have no idea if and how it will until we are in altitude. When was the last time you hung out 4,000 meters above sea level? Our biggest advice is to take it very seriously and our recommendation is to arrive to Cusco 3 or 4 days prior your Inca Trail adventure to acclimatize.


Here are some tips to avoid “Soroche” (High altitude sickness).

  • Drink plenty of coca tea (tea made with coca leaves, and sometimes “muña” (natural mint).
  • Suck on and chew coca lollies and caramels.
  • Rest.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Take a local medication called Soroche.

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3. Pack Light

You’ll experience lots of different weather on the trail so bring an outfit for each one of them. You should also be aware that there’s no place to charge your camera or cellphone batteries on the trail. If you don’t want to risk reaching Machu Picchu with empty batteries bring extra ones. Remember to pack light only with the most important personal items and clothes. Here is a list of really important things to take with you to the Inca Trail.



  • Passport.
  • Money (for tips, water and snacks).
  • Insurance card.
  • Diary & pen (optional).


  • Passport
  • Knee braces
  • Compression stockings
  • Medicine
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bandage and plasters (plenty!)
  • Sunscreen (factor 30.)
  • Lip balm
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Rain poncho
  • Fleece
  • Socks
  • Two leggings
  • Baselayers
  • T-shirts
  • A Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • a hat


  • Flip flops (for the afternoon)
  • Trekking boots

Personal Hygiene Items

  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Make up
  • Cleaning tissues
  • Hair elastics
  • Small plastic bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Neck pillow

4. Rent or buy Hiking Poles

When you arrive to Cusco Peru you must rent or buy hiking poles or walking sticks, there are lots of stairs and you will need these to keep you balanced and safe. Training beforehand is recommendable because it would help you get ready for this amazing adventure. You must strech after trekking at least 5 minutes to prevent soreness.


5. Pace yourself 

There is no need to race or rush through the Inca Trail, at the end you will miss the view and end up at camp with hours to kill on your own. You must be patient and relaxed while trekking. Trekking at altitude leaves you out of breath, very quickly. Sometimes you would only take 10 steps before needing to stop and catch your breath. The oxygen is thinner, your body is using 40% of it’s energy just to breathe. Give it regular breaks!


6. Concentrate on the journey, not the destination (Machu Picchu)

Along the trail there are plenty of breathtaking Pre-Inca ruins to enjoy and explore. You will hear stories of the journeys the Incas took to reach the cities, sometimes it was about the rituals that took place there. You will learn about the different terraces, and the format and ingenuity in which the small cities were built. So, it is important to focus on the journey and of course you will learn more about Incan History, if you do that you will get more than expected on this journey. 


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Read MoreInca Trail Alternative Treks


7. Pick the right travel buddy

Picking a travel buddy is super important for this hike. Not everybody was made to experience what you are about to. Pay attention to the following details so you can have the greatest travel buddy of all.

Getting ready on time

It is very important to look for a person that can get ready on time. There are no toilets, showers etc… at the Inca Trail so your travel buddy must know this in advance and picture the idea that he or she must live under these conditions during the hike. 

Good banter

There is a lot of time walking and talking time when you are on the trail and to pass the time you will want a good person to chat with. Look for a buddy that is not quiet all the time and have good conversation topics.

Similar fitness level

Being the same fitness level is important if you want to stay together on the trail. Some couples on the trip were at opposite ends of fitness and so one would spend hours dragging his/ her feet while his/ her partner caught up.

8. Get to know the crew

Most of the porters on the trail are local farmers and other local residents. They can be a great source of info your guide won't be sharing with you. Talk with them and you will learn lots of stories even tour guides tend to forget. They are good Peruvians carrying the bulk of your gear and all of your shelter and food. If you want to learn more about our history they are the ones who will tell you urban legends and other stories.


Read More: Inca Trail Volunteer


9. Get up early

You can wake up early when on the road, well before sunrise if you can so you can find a spot just outside of camp, all alone, to watch the sun rise peacefully. You will be tired from the trekking for sure, but try to wake up early just one day and greet the morning. You will have memories to last a lifetime.


10. Be positive

You must have a positive attitude to do the Inca Trail. Just keep on going! The list of people older than you, more out of shape than you, heavier than you that have completed the Inca Trail and arrived at Machu Picchu is long and storied. They all have one thing in common: mental toughness. The trek is a game and you need a positive "I Can Do It!" attitude more than you need the latest hiking gear. Enjoy the journey. At Inca Trail Machu every member of our tour operator will be proud of your accomplishment and will help you to make this journey a wonderful one. The only thing you need to do is putting one foot in front of the other.


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Treks in Cusco:

If you don´t want to hike to the Inca Trail, we recommend you take the Machu Picchu tours, train, or bus or you can get the Machu Picchu tickets online with us.




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The Responsible People foundation is registered under the Peruvian Non-Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Inca Trail Machu, we support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs.
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