The Inca Trail is a trekking route built by the Inca Empire more than 500 years ago that ends at the famous citadel of Machu Picchu.
The Camino Inca is a trekking route built by the Inca Empire over 500 years ago that ends at the famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Along the route, you can find countless Inca archaeological remains, such as towers, water sources, terraces, observatories, temples, dwellings, and the actual Inca Trail, whose pathways are built with stone.
It is considered one of the best short hikes or treks in the world.
The total length of the Camino Inca is approximately 43 kilometers. This route has sections with extensive staircases to climb and steep hills to descend, so the route is not linear or straight in almost any part.
The walking time during the Camino Inca depends on the distance between the camping points assigned by the INC (National Institute of Culture of Peru, the organization in charge of preserving this route) and the physical condition of the traveler. Normally, you have between five to eight hours of walking on the first three days and two to three hours of walking on the fourth day.
The porters carry the shared equipment of the trekking group, such as tents, blankets, food, cooking utensils, and other items that will likely be used during the journey by all participants.
Each traveler must carry their own backpack containing personal items, water, sunscreen, hats, walking sticks, rain ponchos or capes, etc., up to a maximum of five kilograms. This will be checked at the start of the journey (backpacks will be weighed to verify they do not exceed five kg).
Most of the route is done on the path built by the Incas, which is a 1.5 to 15-meter-wide road, so there are no major dangers if caution is exercised. However, it is important not to deviate from the route because there are also deep and likely deadly abysses.
If you have heart problems or conditions that may require immediate medical assistance, you should consult your doctor because one of the main characteristics of the route is its inaccessibility.
Bathrooms have been installed along the route, and many of them have water facilities. However, most of them are of the "silo" type, which is basically a hole in the ground with a small room built over it for the bathroom.
The INC (National Institute of Culture of Peru) has designated specific areas where tourism agencies and operators, through their official guides, set up their campsites for overnight stays. Travelers only need to worry about their belongings.
The Camino Inca does not require any special skills, such as climbing or rappelling. Any traveler with good boots and proper equipment can do it. However, on the first day of the journey, you will walk from 2,000 meters above sea level to 4,000 meters above sea level, so the physical challenge is considered moderate to intense, and a regular to good physical condition is required.
After four days of trekking through impressive and beautiful mountains, valleys, and plains, the Camino Inca ends at the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the perfect culmination to an unforgettable experience.
The final section of the Camino Inca ends at the archaeological site known as 'Inti Punku' or Sun Gate in Quechua, which is also part of the Machu Picchu Archaeological Park.
The maximum number of tourists or travelers allowed per group is sixteen people, while the minimum group size allowed is four people.
When tickets or spots for the Camino Inca are not available, there are several alternatives to choose from, including:
The INC does not require the hiring of insurance to be able to undertake the journey; however, it would be a highly recommended option if you want to reduce risks.
Since 2001, it is not possible to do the Camino Inca without the company of an official tour guide.
It is mandatory to do the Camino Inca in the company of a group of travelers led by an official tour guide, who is in turn supervised by the tourism agency or operator.
There are no restrictions regarding the minimum age to do the Camino Inca; if the child is accustomed to walking, they can undertake this trekking route. However, it would be prudent to communicate and coordinate their participation with the tour agency.
It is generally recommended that hikers set their own pace. There will usually be groups that complete the journey ahead of others, as well as groups that pass others and then fall behind. Therefore, there is no reason to get extremely anxious.
Official tour guides are trained to handle all kinds of situations, from discomfort due to altitude sickness and fatigue to falls, bumps, and sprains. They will do everything possible to ensure that you can complete your journey smoothly, but if necessary, they will be responsible for coordinating your return.
It is recommended to carry at least 2 liters of water per person per day. The tour agencies or operators are responsible for providing travelers with this essential liquid. However, it is also necessary to bring water purification tablets to refill water bottles from the multiple water sources along the route.
Most hotels and hostels in Cusco have designated places where travelers can leave their luggage while they are on the tour.
You can carry up to five kilograms of luggage and a small backpack to carry your camera and other personal items.
Yes, you can climb to the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain at the end of the Camino Inca. However, it's important to note that tickets for entry to this mountain must be reserved three to four months in advance.
All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), as well as the transportation of pots, ingredients, and other necessary items for their preparation, are provided by the tour operator or agency.
Yes, it is possible to request a vegetarian option during the journey.
To embark on your journey on the Camino Inca, here are the essential items you should consider:
You need to be prepared for this incredible trekking adventure and have the appropriate clothing for temperature variations throughout the day and night.
Here is a list of clothing items you should wear for the Camino Inca trek:
These clothing items will ensure you are prepared for the varying temperatures and weather conditions during the Camino Inca trek.
The Camino Inca is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world, and tickets for entry are sold out many months in advance. Additionally, only 200 tickets are available per day. It is recommended to make your reservation as far in advance as possible, typically more than six months.
To secure your reservation for the Camino Inca, it is necessary to make a 60% deposit of the total cost.
The entrance tickets to the Camino Inca are managed by the INC (National Institute of Culture), and there is no possibility of a refund once the deposit has been made.
No, the Camino Inca is closed in February due to maintenance and prevention works, in addition to being the rainy season.
During the first two days of the trek, you will cross plains and ascend to very high peaks, so altitude sickness can be experienced. It is advisable to carry medication to counteract its effects.
From April to November is the summer or dry season, during which there are no significant rainfall. From December to March is the rainy season, accompanied by landslides, road closures, and many other unforeseen events.
From May to August.
You should bring clothing suitable for both cold and hot weather, as we have mentioned before, the first part of the route is in cold climates and at high altitudes, while at the end of the trek, you will find yourself in the middle of a hot sub-tropical jungle, filled with vegetation, humidity, and high temperatures.
You should bring a sleeping bag, also known as a sleeping bag, a tent, a raincoat, a towel, a flashlight, a hat, toilet paper, among other items. Most of the logistics for the trip are taken care of by the travel agency or tour operator.
It is recommended to wear used hiking shoes or boots. The downside of choosing new or recently purchased footwear is that it often leads to blisters or calluses on your feet after one or two days of hiking.
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