Everything You Need to Know Before Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

So you are interested in visiting Machu Picchu, what a truly unique experience to be able to journey along a 500+ year old trail and stumble upon Incan ruins carved into the side of the mountains. This trip was a big bucket list hike for us, and all I can say, is wow, it was worth it!! Check out our list of what you need to know for your Inca Trail Trip Planning.

Critical Pre-trip Information:

We chose the 4 day Inca Trail guided trek to Machu Picchu and also purchased the additional Wayna Picchu permit. Plan to book your trip at least 6 months early.

You must hike the Inca trail using a guide. There are a bunch of different treking companies as well as different treks to do depending on your interests. After a lot of research we choose to do the 4 Day Inca Trail – Llama Path Company .

We did not find this company the cheapest, but the professionalism and quality of food / service was extremely high. Another reason we chose Llama Path was because of how they treated their porters. We highly recommend them.  Of note, some groups will hike this trek with different camping location. The Llama path sets it up so the difficult day is day 2 and days 3 & 4 are more manageable. Some groups will have day 3 be a little more challenging to break-up the large altitude changes we saw on day 2. There are pros and cons, but overall we enjoyed having a very comfortable day 3 prior to arriving at Machu Picchu.

General Seasons Information:

May – October is generally the dry season. November – April is the Rainy Season. Recommended best months: Most places say September or May, but generally try to avoid Jan – April due to the rain. Note: you can rent sleeping bags & poles, but we tend to bring our own because we are comfortable with them. See our full packing list for Machu Picchu here.

Estimated Trip Costs (as of 2016):

Total Estimate per person:  $2,900 (This will be less if you can Split a Hotel)

  • Airfare (Round Trip Estimate from major US City): $1000 per person
  • Hotel: $275 per night (est 3 nights) – $825 total
  • Guided Path with Wayna Picchu: $730 per person
  • ½ Porter: $75 (carries 15.4 lbs or 7Kgs)
  • Tip for porters:  $60 per person
  • Food: $200 per person (50$ per non-hiking day)
  • Bathrooms on the trail – $10 – ($0.33 per toilet (1 Sol))

You can do this trip slightly cheaper, we stayed in a nicer hotel & typically ate nice meals out.

Other Useful  Info:

Travel Info: CDC PeruTravel Clinic Finder (You will likely need: Altitude, Hep A, Typhoid, Hep B, MMR)

What should I pack for hiking Machu Picchu?

Hotel: SPG Tambo Del Inca – Urubamba

See related posts:

What to Pack for Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Helpful Trip Planning Information

Hiking the Inca Trail Summary (4-Day Trek to Machu Picchu)