The adventure of a lifetime: meet the Inca Trail 2019

Do you want to get into a forest? Climb a mountain? See natural landscapes? Meet the Machu Picchu? Well, there’s only one place in the world to do that, and it is located in Peru. But before you go online and start looking for your Inca Trail booking 2019, there are a few things you should know.

What is the best time of the year to do it?

All year long it is a beautiful journey to make, but you should know that there are five months a year that it is considered the high season, which is from may to September. If your free time is during those months, then you should make your reservation around five months in advanced, because there are not so many permissions issued by the Peruvian government, only 500 a day, of which only 200 of them are for the hikers. What about the rest 300? They’re for guides and professionals that work in the area. So you better start looking now for your Inca Trail booking 2019 if you want to go by next year.


Is it time to reserve your place on this iconic trail to Machu Picchu.


October 1st: January 2019 permits

October 2nd: March 2019 permits

October 3rd: April 2019 permits

October 4th: May 1st-15th 2019 permits

October 5th: May 16th – 31st permits

October 9th: June 2019 permits

October 10th: July 2019 permits

October 11th: August, September, October and November 2019

Why booking early is so important to do this amazing hike…

Hiking the Inca Trail is a bucket list worthy event, but it involves a lot of advance planning. In order to hike this amazing trail, you must book through a licensed operator, like Best Andes Travel, to secure permits for your trek. Permits are extremely limited and sell out almost immediately. Here are some answers to the most common questions about this process…

What do I need to hike the Inca Trail?

You NEED to secure Inca Trail Permits with the Institute of National Culture (INC) in order to hike the Inca Trail.

How do I obtain a permit?

An official Inca Trail operator, such as Best Andes Travel, must do so on your behalf.

How many permits does the government give out?

The Inca Trail (7 via Salkantay, 5, or 4 days) is limited to 500 people per day (including guides, porters and cooks) which means that only about 200 – 300 visitors will be able to start this hike every day.

Do I need a permit for each day of the trek?
No, you only need a permit for your START date.

Once I have booked my place on the trail, can I change my departure date?

No. Unfortunately once your reservation is officially confirmed with the INC it is not possible to change or postpone your departure date. You would need to make a new reservation with a new deposit for your new date (this date needs to be one which is at least 5 days before or after your prior departure date). Please note that this is not an agency decision but a local authority regulation.

When do I need to book my trek?
ASAP. 2019 Inca Trail permits are on sale now and going fast. Book now to secure your place on one of the world’s most iconic treks.

Shouldn’t I wait until October to book then?
Definitely not! If you know that you want to do this hike, booking soon will ensure you get a permit. The government is changing the rules all the time about when they will release permits and you want all your details in our system so we are ready for the moment we are notified. Plus, booking now ensures you get our current prices for next years trek.

Am I guaranteed to get my start date?
Unfortunately no, but by booking with a trusted company like Best Andes Travel, you are in the best hands to make this happen. For the last three years we have been 99% successful in getting everyone’s first choice for a start date. But giving us a back up or two for possible starts does help us make sure that you get to do this hike. We will always work to get your top choice and notify you if this doesn’t happen (which will not be the case). If we weren’t successful at all, which has NEVER happened, we will refund your money entirely – 100%.

Why should you choose Best Andes Travel to travel with?

We are a fully licensed agency that complies by the Peruvian Law. Apart from the formalities we are dedicated to changing the perception of tourism in Peru.


How to Book this Tours?


Is it expensive?

The best part about Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail is that there are so many options to do, that you can choose what to do and what not to do according to your travel budget. The definite destination must be the lost city of Machu Picchu, so make sure you are going to make the tour through the worldwide famous path made of stones and reach the city, which, by the way, is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Is it difficult?

This is definitely a no. If you go to Machu Picchu, you’ll find all kinds of people, from all sizes, ages and aspects. This should be something you have to propose yourself. It is somehow a challenge on its own, the Inca Trail, but it eases on you while you get more into it. At some parts it can get harder, but then you’ll find yourself in the Peruvian plains, and it is a pleasure. So, let’s get to the point: no, you don’t have to be a professional to do the Inca Trail, but you have to be in good shape, either in your body or in your mind, because it can break you if you’re not ready.

How do you get to be part of this journey?

There are several options. Just have in mind you won’t find a place for tomorrow. Be prepared, in advanced. For example, if you make a decision now, then what you’re looking for is an Inca Trail booking 2019. You can get guides online, such as maps and suggestions according to what you expect to do there. Remember, this is hiking; this is not shopping, or going to the beach. You’re being connected to mother nature. You are getting fresh air. You will exercise. And this is in a high level over the sea, so oxygen is not as abundant as in your house, but still, we’re talking about a once in a lifetime experience. Just make up your mind and go. This is not only to see Machu Picchu. This is an adventure. You can go straight to Machu Picchu by other trails and train, but the Inca Trail is a four-day hiking experience where you connect to yourself, the nature and other cultures more than anywhere else in the world.

What no one is telling you about this journey

Well, I already said it before. This is the longest way to see Machu Picchu. This is four days hiking, climbing, camping, going up and down in stone ladders and steps, and being out of oxygen for about 60% of the day. Your feet may hurt, your legs may get exhausted, you may lose a toenail and you may say a few bad words that you’re not used to say every day. If all of these things happen in a trail, then why do people keep doing it? Because once you get to the destination, tears will come out of your eyes. The emotions are so many that you won’t be able to describe the situation once you go back home and your friends ask you about it. And most of the hikers who take the Inca Trail will tell you the same thing: if you take the short way, you won’t understand these emotions that the long-way hikers have.

What to learn from this place

Just think of this place as a hidden citadel (and it is), where Incas would hike for four days straight to get there, and live peacefully. You’re connecting with them, somehow. And if you take a guide with you, try to learn as much of their culture and history as possible. The Sun Gate, the Death Woman’s Pass, the Andes, the hidden treasures, everything’s just worth it, and going by train won’t allow you to enjoy them. And in the way, all the porters will give you so much food you will forget what it was like to be hungry. So, every doubt aside now, it is time for you to decide. Do you want to get this unique feeling? Do you want to connect with an ancient culture and nature? Do you want an adventure? Then this is a hike and a place for you.


Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a curious tourist destination in the Andes of Peru, South America. It is often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas.” This famous ruin representing the Incas Empire and is listed under UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is a must-see site. The inspiring archeological site is often populated with visitors from all over the world who come to witness its scenic view.

To access Machu Picchu, you will have to go through Cusco, which can be accessed via air or road. At Cusco, you can buy bus tickets to Machu Picchu at the Cusco office. Another office is located at Agua Calientes where you can similarly buy tickets.

Buses to Machu Picchu

At the Aguas Calientes terminal, located just 5 minutes away from the train station and adjacent to the Vilcanote River, buses leave for Machu Picchu from as early as 5.30AM up to 4.00PM. They are the only official public means of transport that cruise the meandering highway leading to the site. If you want to be on the first trip, get to the station at least 30 minutes earlier to the departure time. The site opens at exactly 6.00AM and you will be there just in time. In between the hours of operation, the buses leave within 5-10 minutes intervals from either side. This will, of course, depend on the season, high or low and the number of visitors.

It takes an average of 20 minutes in these Machu Picchu bus trips on the winding road with steep side views. The view along the way is captivating and you can vividly note the climb with the Vilcanote River appearing down in the distance.

As a summary of your preparation for this trip, it is important to note these:

-The Machu Picchu site opens at 6.00AM.

-You are served on a first come first serve basis at the bus terminal.

-Buses from the Aguas Calientes terminal operate between 5.30AM to 4.00PM.

-An average one-way trip takes only 20 minutes.

-One-way and round-trip costs for adults are $12 and $24 respectively.

– One-way and round-trip costs for children are $7 and $12 respectively.

To get in touch with the offices, see the details below:

Aguas Calientes office:

Avenida Hermanos Ayar S/N

Aguas Calientes Bus Terminal

Tel: 084 211 134

Open: Daily 5.00AM-9.30PM

Cusco Office:

Avenida Infancia 433, Wanchaq,Cusco (Consettur)

Tel: 084 222 125

Open: Daily 8.00AM-1.00PM, 3.00PM-5.30PM

Machu Picchu has been a great tourist destination for a long time now. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, it features a lot of attraction sites for people from all walks of life. Machu Picchu is the only intact surviving city of Inca in Peru. Being situated at 2360 meters above the sea level, it surely takes you closer to the beauty of nature. We all would naturally want to be in such a place but the question that begs for answers is how to get there. There is no road between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The road exists only up to a point between the two places and that is Ollantaytambo, it is somewhat midpoint and after this, the train is the only mode of transport between the two places.

There are two train companies that provide the train service between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The first one is PeruRail and the second one is Inca Rail. There once existed the third rail company that got merged with the Inca rails, the Machu Picchu Trains. These two companies provide a wide variety of options to choose from for those traveling to Machu Picchu:

PeruRail Trains To Machu Picchu:

Thes trains provide the customers with three departure points – Cusco, at Urubamba, and at Ollantaytambo. And, all have different travel time before you can reach Machu Picchu station in AguasCalientes.

In Cusco, it’s basically Poroy station from where you get the train and the travel time is 3-4 hours. From Urubamba, the time is 3 hours and from Ollantaytambo, it is 1.5 hours. There are three trains classes that are available these are

  1. Expedition.
  2. Vistadome.
  3. Hiram Bingham.

The Expedition is the most economic train and has various facilities like AC and heating in the cabin, large panoramic windows for a clear view of outside scenes, as well as a highly spacious and a separate luggage area. It costs you around $65 one way and has 6.50 as departure time from Cusco and 10.51 arrival time. From Ollantaytambo, it has various departure times starting from 5.37 to 20.35 and arrival time from 7.44 till 22.58.

The Vistadome is the upgraded version of The Expedition and is a little costlier than it. It costs you around $100 one way, but with this huge amount, you get to enjoy lots of services such as comfortable, air-conditioned, plush leather seats, fitted with panoramic windows, and most importantly it has a wide variety of snacks and beverages (Non-Alcoholic) and all this included in your ticket price. From Cusco, its departure time is 6.05 and arrival time is 9.52. From Ollantaytambo it has different departure and arrival time, 6.40 -16.03 being the departure time and 8.01 – 17.42 the arrival time.

PeruRail_Trains to Machu Picchu

Hiram Bingham, being the most luxurious among all the three trains of PeruRail, it costs you around $400 and only runs from Poroy station with the departure time being 9.00 and arrival being 12.25. It has a very well furnished interior and also has an in-house bar and kitchen. Hiram Bingham is named after the man who gave Machu Picchu the real recognition. It has services like a Welcome cocktail as well as an onboard gourmet lunch, and a spectacular observatory car, which makes it different from all. It is indeed one of the best trains from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

Train to Machu Picchu Hiram-Bingham

Inca Rail trains to Machu Picchu:

Inca rail provides you with 3 class of travel: Machu Picchu train class; executive class; the first-class; and the presidential service. The trains of Inca rail operate from Ollantaytambo three times a day in high season (April through October). The Machu Picchu class is also known as the tourist class.

Inca Rail train to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu train class/ tourist class are like the economy class among all the four. It is quite cheap in comparison to the other three. It will cost you around $75 per person one way and has a very comfortable structure and seating arrangement. Snacks and refreshment will be served on board.

They operate from Ollantaytambo station. With different time slot of travel:

  1. 06. 40 departure – 8.01 arrival
  2. 11.15 departure – 12.45 arrival
  3. 16.36 departure – 18.09 arrival
  4. 11.30 departure – 13.06 arrival
  5. 19.27 departure – 21.09 arrival

The first class is the luxury train. It has plus-sized seats for extra comfort and costs you around $200 per person one way. But if you are paying $200, it is worth it because they provide you with so many onboard facilities like expansive panoramic windows for a better view and thirst quenching welcome cocktail. Also, you can choose between gourmet lunch or dinner as well as background music and much more. The departure time is 19.00 and the arrival time is 20.41.

The Executive is the lower version of the tourist class which costs you only $60 per person one way but it is not as spacious as the other trains. It is a quick and economical option to choose. They provide you with onboard snacks and drinks with music in the background. This option has different departure and arrival time. The first set being the departure at 10.32 and arrival at 12.12 and the other being the departure at 16.12 and arrival at 17.50.

The Presidential-class is the Inca Rail’s high-end option being the most expensive and the luxurious option. The cost of booking is $5000 and you’ll have to make a prior booking for the entire car. The train is well decorated with wood interior which gives it a luxury touch. Also,the food that they provide you is prepared by the best chefs of the region and after the meal, they provide wine or cocktail which is also the best in the region. It has an onboard stocked open bar with a variety of drinks.

The presidential class has three slots of travel:

  1. 6.40 departure – 8.01 arrival
  2. 11.15 departure – 12.45 arrival
  3. 16.36 departure- 18.09 arrival

Other than these train networks, there are different trail and trek routes to travel Machu Picchu.

Some of the options are:

  1. Inca trail is an alternate route; time taken to reach Machu Picchu is 4-5 days covering 82 kilometers.
  2. Salkantay trek is another alternative. It is a 7-day long trek and then joins Inca trail in the end.
  3. Lares trek is the most popular trek route, which takes 2 to 3 day to complete the trek.

There are many more options available but the safest mode is train travel to reach Machu Picchu. If you want a better deal than others to travel to Machu Picchu come to us, we also provide exciting offers. Machu Picchu is the dream of a traveler and we make that dream true.

The question hanging over all tourists is Machu Picchu is going to be closed to the public?

The answer is NO.

Only the Inca Trail is closed every year for the month of February for rainy season, conservation work etc, sometimes people turned this from a rumour to Machu Picchu is closing!!!

Dont fear, Im sure it will there for many years to come!


How to buy Machu Picchu tickets online through internet

Is Machu Picchu on your bucket list for Peru? Do you want to know how to buy Machu Picchu tickets online & where to get them? Check this guide on all the different ways to buy your Machu Picchu entrance tickets as an independent traveller!

1. Go to the Ministry of Culture website

2. Select which sites you want to visit
Machu Picchu Museum
Huayna Picchu or Montaña Machu Picchu

3. Choose your date

4. Choose the # of tickets needed

5. Enter your information

6. Finalize your order

7. Pay for your tickets

8. Save & print your tickets

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Cusco

The Ministry of Culture of Cusco makes available 2 places to buy tickets to Machu Picchu

  1. Calle Garcilaso
  2. Calle Maruri

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Aguas Calientes


How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Lima (or any city in Peru)


Machu Picchu Restaurants: Treating Guests to Worthwhile Meals

How do you hope to quench your hunger when you are on a long vacation in a farther distance from your home? Making yourself a meal is one of the critical situations you have to face as a tourist while on a vacation in Peru. You wouldn’t want to go hungry, considering the fact that the Peruvian climate may be needing you to restore your lost fluid along with a warm dish. As it is, you don’t have to be worried, concerning how you will feed yourself or your family during vacation. Machu Picchu restaurants are out to take care of all sorts of needs, relating to hunger and thirst in the Peruvian tropical climate. So, some of the restaurants you can visit quickly for your meal services during vacation are explained below.

  1. El Mapi Restaurant

One of the challenges of going out on a vacation is being forced to take meals outside your diet. Are you a strict vegetarian who is afraid of switching over diet all of a sudden because of a quick vacation? If your answer is yes, then El Mapi restaurant has come to your rescue. There are meals that are solely vegetarian spec coupled with other cuisines being preferred by clients during a vacation tour. With a wide interior décor, families can enjoy unlimited space together without getting stuffed, as they wine and dine in the joy of the Peruvian atmosphere.

  1. Julian Restaurant

There are several food options you can choose from when you have a family coming along with you on vacation. Perhaps your children are obsessed with pizza or the smell of it, you rest assured that you will savory all options that are available to you. For those that cannot be pleased with the idea of forcefully eating meat or dairy products, there is an option to go vegetarian.

  1. Indo Feliz Restaurant Bistro

With an incredible staffing unit, you can expect nothing other than the best from this restaurant. Regardless of the number of clients you have brought in for vacation, everyone is treated professionally to the delicious delicacies of fresh vegetable, wines, and Peruvian dishes. Moreover, there are menu varieties which you can choose from as all activities are geared towards helping visitors relive good moments that may tempt them to think of not going back to their country. Another engaging aspect of this restaurant for visitors is that there are fruit appetizers that can be used to keep a company of visitors as meals are in preparation to keep everyone filled and satisfied.

  1. Incontri del Pueblo Viejo

With a blend of music in the eighties and warm open fire attraction, you can enjoy meals in the evening with your families, as you listen to the melodious sounds of music from the twentieth-century musicians. From good food to pasta, vegetables and Italian dishes, you can expect nothing other than this best from this restaurant. The members of staff are always on the alert to come to your aid when you are in need of extra food items such as pizza and other desserts which you will find irresistibly delicious. Irrespective of what you intend buying as a tourist, you rest assured of spending far less income as expected, because of the affordable services.

  1. Alpakay

In the course of experiencing a nice environment with a therapeutic view, Alpakay has one of the best staffing units in Machu Picchu. At any time of the day, you can be treated to the best cuisine from the Peruvian food collections which are nicely prepared by the best chefs. Moreover, you can also have a good beer to chill with your friends as you are engrossed in dealing with this grilled Alpaca which is one of the most sort after meals in this restaurant.

  1. Café Inkaterra

If you are looking for a place in which you want to wine and dine, this is the right place to start off your fun. The restaurant is located at the far end of the street, allowing visitors to troop in large numbers to get a feel of the great venue, the delicious meals and the dining experience, which are as the result of the quality staff that is always at the service of clients. Moreover, you cannot expect anything less from their services because every customer’s request is treated with the most unique detail to provide the best food service for tourists visiting Peru for the first time.

  1. Apu Inti Restaurante

Are you looking for a place in which you want to get freshly backed meals? This is the restaurant you can turn your attention to as there are great chefs that can treat you, your family or friends to a high-quality Peruvian food which you will keep desiring to have over and over again. The corn soup is the part of food item you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Are you visiting Machu Picchu for the first time and you are in search of a restaurant that can take care of your daily needs as you tour around with a guide in Peru? You don’t have to look far away as there are countless number of restaurants you can choose from, in order to meet with the demands of your daily meals. Moreover, one remarkable thing about Machu Picchu restaurants is that you will always get your food ready and fresh whenever you walk in into any of these places to satisfy that hunger, which has kept your quiet within the short period.

Machu Picchu: You can no longer travel through ruins without a tour guide

Also, since this month the Inca citadel and wonder of the modern world can only be visited in two schedules and for four hours.

As of July 1 2017, visits to the citadel of Machu Picchu that take place in groups of up to 20 people will have to count with the service of a tourist guide, according to a resolution of the Ministry of Culture that came into effect on Saturday the first of July.

“To enter the City of Machupicchu, visitors must carry the entrance ticket, their official identity document and must be accompanied by a tourist guide for the protection of their physical integrity, especially in places of risk,” indicates the document.

However, how much does Machu Picchu Guide cost?

Prices vary according to the company that provides the service. According to travel agents, currently group guided prices for the Citadel range from $10 to $15 by groups of more than six people.

You can also use private services ranging from $25 to $50 per person for groups of up to four people. In all cases, these prices are for one hour and a half to two hours. However, the standard requires that the guiding time should not be less than three hours.

“If a family of four wants to enter alone, it would have to pay for a guide,” Jorge Arrunátegui, Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries. He added that this new regulation seeks to improve the flow of tourists and information received by people who visit the wonder of the modern world.

Machu Picchu in double schedule

As well as the enforceability of the tour guide, the resolution establishes that the visits to the ruins can have a duration of four hours in the schedules of 06:00 a.m. to 12:00 PM and between 12:00 p.m. until 05:30 p.m. The price of tickets is as follows:

OptionForeign Adult (Soles)National Adutl (Soles)
Machu Picchu City15264
Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu200112
Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain200112
Machu Picchu City Afternoon Schedule100

*Afternoon entrance is valid for all adults, regardless of whether they are foreign or national.

Also, people who want to enter the two schedules of the visit of the Citadel will have to buy two tickets to the Inca shrine. All these provisions will be evaluated in November, according to the Ministry of Culture.

Re-entry to Machu Picchu

Although the Decentralized Department of Culture of Cusco recently recalled that during the tour of the City of Machu Picchu is not allowed to re-enter the Inca citadel, Deputy Minister Arrunategui indicated that people who want to go to the toilets, which are outside the ruins, they can re-enter without any problem.

The rule states that if a person enters both schedules during a day, having a guide is optional in the second entry. Also, if a person visits the ruins two days in a row, the second day will not need guidance.

Machu Picchu Maps

Thinking about visiting Machu Picchu? The following Machu Picchu maps may serve to better locate and better understand the lost city of the Incas.

Description of Machu Picchu in Maps

Machu Picchu Map (The lost Incas city)

Machu Picchu Sanctuary map

The Urban Zone and its Two Areas Machu Picchu map (Zona Urbana)

Machu Picchu urban sector map

The Agriculture Zone Machu Picchu map (Zona Agraria)

Machu Picchu Agricultural sector map

Map showing the Inca Trail route to Machu Picchu

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu map


Thanks to historian Hiram Bingham, the world has access to the fantastic and mysterious sites of the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Your trip to Peru will be incomplete without visiting Machu Picchu. In Machu Picchu itself, there are magnificent structures that you must see. This ‘Lost City of the Incas’ has about 200 buildings which include both its urban and agricultural sections.
Some of these places you must visit include:

The Sun Gate

The Sun Gate is a very important structure in Machu Picchu. It has steps which give the impression that this was how people entered and exited the Sanctuary of the Sun god – INTI. The location of the gate allowed him to monitor the coming and going of people. Also known as Inti Punku, the sanctuary has a route to Machu Picchu and a very breathtaking view. At the Sun Gate, you get to see Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains and the Urubamba River more visibly.

Temple of the Sun

You’ll find the Temple of the Sun in the urban area, and you can gain entry by going in through a gate which has a closure mechanism that ensures maximum security of the city. This unique site overlooked the Urubamba site and was the most famous temple. It was covered in sheets of gold and gold statues filled the courtyard. The sun, during summer, usually shines through one of the windows of the temple and it aligns with the temple boulder. The people believed that being close to the sun made them find ease with their sacred practices. The Inca people held sacred events such as rituals and religious sacrifices there, and placed Torreon, their most important building or tower in the temple.

Temple of the Three Windows

This historical structure is very important in Machu Picchu as it is close to the Main Plaza which has the greatest spiritual value of the city. You will find it in the residential sector, precisely in the lower part, on the east. This sacred place provides so much of the history of Machu Picchu. Foreigners could not gain access into the city because this temple hid the Inca people from the Spanish invaders. It was the best hideout. The temple is a sided building with windows which were made by expert engineers. We can as well say that this is the foundation of the Inca civilization.


IntiHuatana refers to the stone which the Inca people used to ‘tie the Sun’ and keep him in his place. The stone is a ceremonial piece in between two annual equinoxes which occur in March 21st and September 21st. The Incas used it as a clock for telling times and as religious rituals for one of their main gods – the Sun. It was located in the Sacred Valley until it was slightly damaged in 2000.

To know more about the Sacred Rock Terraces, The Principal Temple and the Inca Bridge and how to climb Huayna Picchu, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re at your service


If you have any further questions about things to do in Machu Picchu, please just drop us a note below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Physical Training for Machu Picchu Hiking

Some of the best things really do take time and efforts to accomplish. It applies to all aspects of life including tourism world. Take Machu Picchu for example; an Incan citadel set in the Andes Mountain in Peru. Located in probably the most spectacular site, the citadel is the best known archaeological site in the continent. During the Spanish colonial period, the site survived and was never found by the Spaniards, so they did not destroy or plunder it as they did to other sites. Machu Picchu stands at 2,430 meters above sea level in the middle of tropical mountain forest. If you feel like visiting, be ready for the physical training for it.


There are 9 known trails to reach Machu Picchu as follows:

Classic Inca Trail4 days 3 nightsDifficult
Short Inca Trail2 days 1 nightEasy
Salkantay / Inca Trail Combo6 days 5 nightsExperienced
Salkantay Trek5 days 4 nightsExperienced
Lares Trek4 days 3 nightsIntermediate
Choquequirao Trek4 days 3 nightsExperienced
Inca Jungle Trek4 days 3 nightsIntermediate
Vilcabamba Trek5 days 4 nightsProfessional
Huchuy Qosqo3 days 2 nightsIntermediate

While one of the trails is relatively friendly even for beginners, physical trainings are still required to acclimate to the elevation. Here is an easy breakdown of the physical trainings you need.

1.    Aerobic Fitness: assuming you are not already participating in aerobic training, the best time to start one is now. The level of fitness required for comfortable trekking adventure takes regular exercise of about 4 to 5 times a week. There is no need to do specific program because anything that elevates your heart rate will do for examples swimming, running, and step aerobics. Your heart and lungs need to be stronger to prepare for the thin oxygen as you climb higher.

2.    Leg and Core Strength: you may focus on your legs during the training (which is a good thing because the leg muscles do the hard works), but it also takes steady core strength to maintain form and balance. Many parts of the trail (any trail) are rocky and with uneven surfaces, so you need to focus not only on legs, but also core strength, arms, back, and shoulders. Train those muscles and you’ll be ready for the adventure.

3.    Weight Training: when you think of hiking, the first thing that comes to mind is standing at the top of mountain with sense of great relief. You are missing one big part of the picture: the hike itself. Training using weighted pack regularly as you will carry a huge load of things on your back when you trek the trails of Machu Picchu. Take your largest backpack, fill it up with sands, and climb up a small hill. Do this multiple times a week.

4.    Backcountry hiking: referring back to the table above, some trails can take up to 9 days to complete. You can always choose the easier ones, but you may not get the full excitement at the same time. The problem with multi-day hiking is the continuous strenuous physical exertion; combine that with the absence of computers, cell phones, or any kind of entertainment. Get used to the idea by doing a backcountry hiking many times before you head to Peru. It is best that you minimize the possibility of a shock to your system.

5.    Acclimatize to elevation: the only way to do this is to climb high-elevation locations. Symptoms of altitude sickness typically develop at between 8,000 feet to 12,000 feet above sea level. While Machu Picchu is “only” 7,970 feet, you still need to be ready for the worst. Before you go to Machu Picchu, get used to the elevation by climbing high altitude destinations as often as you can.


The construction and location of Machu Picchu is nearly impossible even by today’s standards. The good thing is that the Incas were probably all excellent architects that they also built roads that blazed through the Andes to reach the sacred citadel. Today Machu Picchu is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that you can visit and experience. The only downside is that, you must climb unbelievably high through strenuous trails to get there.