Is the Inca Trail difficult?

Great question! The Inca Trail is considered a moderate hike; however, there are a lot of staircases to climb, and the altitude can also affect the body. We recommend renting a wooden walking stick as it helps with your balance and reduces stress on the knees. If you have mobility issues, please let your CEO know during booking

How many hours will I hike a day?

Make sure you pack your comfortable hiking boots, because it is estimated you’ll be walking six to nine hours for each of the first three days and about two hours on the last day.

What are the requirements to hike the Inca Trail?

To trek the Inca Trail with G Adventures you must be over the age of 12, with a moderate level of fitness, and hold a passport that is valid for up to six months.

How high is the trail?

The trek begins at 2,800m (9,186 ft). The highest point you’ll reach on the trek is approximately 4,200m (13,780ft). You’ll also sleep at 3,600m (11,811 ft) for at least one night.

How cold does it get?

It can get chilly due to the altitude. During the Andean winter (May – September) the temperature can drop below zero at night. It can be cool during the summer months too, so we suggest bringing thermal underwear and a warm sleeping bag.

Is altitude sickness common?

It’s impossible to predict who will be affected by the altitude as your ability to adapt can vary from person to person. (We do recommend you undertake the trek in a good state of physically fitness.) Most of our travellers have no problem, as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. This might include spending a full day in Cuzco (3,249m [10,659 ft] above sea level) and drinking plenty of water.

When is the high season on the Inca Trail?

Hiking the Inca Trail is popular all year round, however May to September is considered the high season. This means that permits can be sold out months in advanced. However, if permits are not available, there is an option to walk the Lares Trek, which still takes you to Machu Picchu.

How far in advance should I book my tour?

To reserve a spot on the Inca Trail, we recommend you book your tour at least six months in advance during high season (May to October) and three months in advanced during low season (November to April).

Do I need a permit to hike the Inca Trail?

Yes. We require the following information for the purchase of an Inca Trail permit:

  • Full name (as it appears on your passport)
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Passport number
  • Date of passport expiry (*Must be valid for the date of travel)
Please note that any attempts to modify your personal information will result in the loss of the permit. A refund will not be possible so make sure you double-check your information. As well, there’s a limited amount of permits in effort to preserve the trail.

When do we reach Machu Picchu and how much time will we spend at the ruins?

Reaching Machu Picchu depends on the campsite assigned to your group on the third night. However, many groups will reach the Sun Gate at around 6:00am. You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the ruins thanks to a two-hour guided tour and some free time to explore afterwards.

How do we get back to Cuzco?

After you’ve taken in all the beauty of Machu Picchu, your group will travel by bus to Aguas Calientes and then catch a train back to Ollantaytambo, where you meet you’ll take a bus back to Cuzco.

Is it possible to skip the Inca Trail even if the tour includes it?

Yes! Let us know that you don’t want to hike the Inca Trail when you book. We’ll arrange for you to spend two nights in Cuzco and then take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. You will rejoin your group at Machu Picchu.

What type of accommodation can I expect on the Inca Trail?

We use three-man tents to accommodate two same-sex travellers. There are a few places on the trail where permanent (but very rustic) toilet facilities exist, and when they’re not available, your crew will set up portable toilet tents.

Do porters carry our luggage on the Inca Trail?

Yes! We’ll provide you with a large stuff sac where you can place 6kg of your personal items (including your tent and sleeping bag). Our skilled porters will carry these bags while you hike the Inca Trail. Your other personal items will be stored safely at our hotel in Cuzco. All you need to carry is a daypack containing the things you’ll need during the day like water, camera, sunscreen, or anything else that’s over the 6kg allowance.

Will I be given a sleeping bag and mat?

Great question! Sleeping bags are not provided, so we recommend bringing a compact three-season sleeping bag. You can also rent a sleeping bag in Cuzco; just let us know when you book. We provide our travellers with foam mats, but please feel free to bring your own-self inflating mat if you’d like.

What type of food will be served on the Inca Trail?

Our cooks prepare excellent high-quality meals that are perfect for a day of trekking. The menu usually includes: pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables, oatmeal, and eggs. If you’re a vegetarian, no problem! We’re able to cater to your needs. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please let your CEO know.

Is purified water available on the trail?

Bottled water can be purchased on day one and on the evening of day three of the trek. However, we discourage trekkers from purchasing bottles as it increases the amount of waste. Instead, we strongly recommend bringing a refillable water bottle, as boiled water will be provided with every meal.

Can I bring my own walking stick?

Yes, as long as it is not a metal-tipped walking stick, as they are not permitted on the trail. You can rent a wooden walking stick from us as well along with additional equipment like sleeping bags and air mattresses.

What is the suggested amount that I should tip the guides and porters?

Tipping is at your discretion, but is always appreciated. If you enjoyed the service you enjoyed from your guides and porters, we suggest tipping between $6-8 dollars a day.