Machu Picchu

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Tholland 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #12781


    I’m thinking of going traveling to Machu Picchu this upcoming September. Any one have advice on how to go about planning – where should I fly into, how to join a hike along the Inca trail, packing tips, etc.?? :)

  • #12815

    Stephanie Coulter

    Are you set on doing the Inca Trail? The Salkantay trek (5 days), which is what I did, was amazing. If you want to do the classic Inca, you need to start booking this in advance and you will pay a premium as it is the most popular route. I looked at companies on tripadvisor. Keep in mind, no matter what company, you will end up on the same route – the difference might be in the quality of the camping equipment and food. We did our trek with Salkantay Trekking and evening though they are number 50 something on tripadvisor, they were awesome guides and the equipment and food was amazing.

    If you aren’t set on the Inca Trail and okay to book when you show up, most of the hostels offer the Lares, Salkantay and Inca Jungle treks and for cheap! We paid US$400 for ours (booked online 1.5 months in advance). At our hostel, it was offered for US$250. You need to allow at least 2 days before your trek in Cusco to get used to the elevation anyways. People didn’t seem to have any issue booking when they showed up and leaving within 2-3 days.

    As for packing, bring layers! Some days I was hot wearing shorts and a tank, then by night was in every piece of clothing I brought. You are limited to a bag the guiding company will give you (it is likely smaller than your backpack so check the weight requirements ahead). On top of this, you will have your day pack that you carry during the hike. This should always have sunscreen, bug spray, rain coat and a warm layer (and 2L of water, which the company should provide). I was fine wearing my running shoes during the hike but if you are comfortable with hiking shoes, bring these.

    A few packing considerations:
    – headlamp
    – flip flops for when you get to camp
    – pack something for sleeping in and something for all weather conditions (2 pants, 1 short, 2 t-shirt, 1 tank, 1 long-sleeve, packable puffy warm jacket, rain jacket)
    – water filtration tablets (while they do boil the water, I recommend using these)
    – altitude sickness pills (if you can’t get these from your doctor, they do give you coca tea at almost every meal which helps a bit)
    – Ciprofloxacin (or similar) just incase of bacterial infection (3 of us ended up needing this :S)
    – a caution on shorts: wear a lot of bug spray – 2 of us got so badly bitten even with bug spray that we needed special treatment when we arrived in Aguas Calientes

  • #13067


    I did the Salkantay trek, It was pretty rough especially because we did not pack at all right. at the top it is freezing and i only had a rain jacket. It is definitely worth the pain though. your legs will be wrecked by the end of it. hot during the day, cold at night. and bring a swim suit as there is a glacial river yo may get to sim in if the guide is up for it. plan for about 3 days in cusco, there is lots to do and see there and great food to eat so longer there is not a bad thing at all

    we did it with alpca expedition and i cant sing their praises enough. they helped with verything and they had amazing food even during the hike. the guide also was great allowing us to push it off the regular trail so we could go through the harder but more beautiful section. this will depend on your group. ask for Herlin if he is still the guide. he was what made it . alittle more expensive but i would say worth it and i am used to spending 20 dollars a day on my trips

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