There are two ways to reach Machu Picchu, sweating or without sweating, there are not more options. You can live it as a reward or as an excursion. In this article we give you 10 tips to enjoy the experience sweating the shirt to the maximum.
The Classic Inca Trail is a trail with more than 5 centuries of history. It is an ancestral trail that the Incas used to communicate through all its empire. It’s really long and it is not retained entirely but nowadays it is possible to cover 42 km of this legendary road before getting to the citadel of Machu Picchu.
It is a demanding trek that lasts 4 days, but can be done whenever excesses are not committed such as perform it without being acclimatized or being hangover. It is a road that leaves its mark. Machu Picchu is a unique place and for this reason is one of the wonders of the modern world but reaching it with effort makes the experience greater. When you arrive after 4 days of trekking you feel absurdly superior to all the people who arrives clean and smelling well. You get the feeling that they don’t deserve it and that also makes you feel a little adventurous. Know that you’re going to enjoy that 1000 more times than the rest.
The access to the Inca Trail is limited and once the quotas set by the Government are covered, it is not possible to access to it in any other way. That’s the reason why planning the trip with anticipation is important (especially if you go on the high season).
The access to Huayna Picchu is even more restricted than the one for the Inca Trail. If you want to go there (we recommend you to go there) do not leave it for the last minute because you will stay with the desire. Reaching Machu Picchu and then wanting to go to Wayna Picchu and not being able to because of the time is a big problem.
You will be walking for 4 days and those are long and demanding days, each gram sum. Don’t bring anything more than what is strictly necessary. Footwear for trekking and a pair of crocks to relax you feet are more than sufficient (in what footwear refers). Also bring clothes for 4 days and a raincoat if you go on the rainy season. Bringing a good backpack is fundamental because the grams seems like kilos as the miles advance and having a comfortable and ergonomic backpack will make things much easier.
You’re in the middle of nowhere so if your sneakers break, you’re going to be in big trouble. Obviously, it’s not advisable to wear brand new shoes since you will get a great amount of ampoules. You don’t need mountain boots, with a semi-skid or trekking shoe is more than enough.
The trek goes at 4200 meters of altitude and it’s likely to have a bad time if your body is not used to the height. It’s a fact that each body is different and each one has a different way to react but arriving to Cusco and starting the trek on the next day it’s a big risk.
In the moment the humidity reaches the sleeping bag or the spare clothes you are lost. If there is something worse than being exhausted, is the humidity. Spending several days in wet clothes is the worst feeling ever and once inside the road there is no way to dry them. Take the clothes in plastic bags inside your backpack and carry spare ponchos. This advice only works if you go on the rainy season.
The trek is long so don’t try to be first. You must be aware of where our limits are. We also think it’s more enjoyable to stop and rest frequently to admire the sights.
Some people like the walking stick and some people don’t. Although they’re not really important, the walking stick can give you a great advantage during the practice of this activity. It can help with balance when going downhill and to rest when walking uphill.
The risk of suffering an injury is always present on the practice of any sport activity and trekking is no exception. During the trek we are exposed to chafing against stones and branches, burns caused by the sun, bite of insects, allergies to those bites or to any plant, suffering sprain of ankle due to the irregularities the terrain among other risks. That’s the reason why we recommend bringing a first aid kit to the trek so you can enjoy a safe activity.
Last but not least you: enjoy. Enjoy the landscape, the journey, the moment. Don’t consider the Inca Trail as a process before getting to enjoy Machu Picchu, the essence is in the path itself. Don’t miss the best moments for trying to take a thousand photos, take half a dozen and then sit down and enjoy.