How to Hike the Inca Trail in Two Days

How to Hike the Inca Trail in Two Days
According to the Peru Tourism Bureau, over 25,000 hikers from over the world hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. The trail usually begins at Qorihuayrachina and ends 27 miles and three to four days later at Machu Picchu. There is, however, a two-day version of the hike that can be taken for those who do not wish to hike the entire 27 miles. The steps below outline a typical itinerary; tours may vary slightly depending on the trek guide.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Before you Go

Things You’ll Need:
  • Plenty of water
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Backpack
  • Snacks
  • Hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Passport
  • One change of clothing
  • Water sterilizing tablets
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Camera
 
Step 1
Begin training your body for the trek well in advance. Unless you are already in peak physical condition, you should begin getting into shape for this arduous hike. If you are overweight, now is a good time to begin eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Step 2
Determine the date you would like to begin your hike. You will need to acclimate your body to the high altitude of Peru for at least two days before you begin hiking in order to avoid altitude sickness.
Step 3
Check for availability of the Inca Trail trek permit. Be aware that there are only 500 permits available for each day, so you will want to plan in advance and book your trip through your tour guide so that the company may reserve your permit.
Step 4
Hire a professional tour guide to take you on your expedition. Many guide companies are available. Check the Peru Tourism Bureau website for recommendations. Costs vary but should fall between $200 and $250. This will include your hotel, entrance fees, train ride, professional guide fees, lunch on the first day and breakfast on the second day. Other meals, bus rides and tips are not included.

Traveling and the Inca Trail

Step 1
Ride the train from Cusco for 3 1/2 hours to kilometer 104. You will begin the hike from the river toward the Chachabamba ruins.
Step 2
Descend into the forest after 2 1/2 hours of hiking. You will soon see a large waterfall and then come to the Trekker's Hostel and restaurant where you can buy drinks. Public restrooms are available here as well.
Step 3
?Hike another two hours to Machu Picchu. Make sure to get plenty of photos of these beautiful ruins--the view is incredible, too.
Step 4
Ride the bus about 20 minutes down to Aguas Calientes, where you will stay the night. The thermal springs in this town are open until 9 p.m., so you will have time to soak and relax.
Step 5
Ride the bus back to Machu Picchu early the next morning to enjoy the sunrise over the ruins. You will have time to thoroughly explore the ruins and eat lunch before returning to Aguas Calientes on the bus. From Aguas Calientes, you will take the train back to Cusco.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Due to regulations, visitors are not allowed to hike the Inca trail by themselves; they must be accompanied by a professional tour guide. Bring your original passport with you on the trek.
 
Due to regulations, visitors are not allowed to hike the Inca trail by themselves; they must be accompanied by a professional tour guide.
 
Bring your original passport with you on the trek.
 
The trail is rated moderate. You should only attempt this hike if you are in good physical condition.

Article Written By Cate Rushton

Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.

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