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Inca Trail - How Challenging Actually Is It?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Inca Trail - How Challenging Actually Is It?

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1. Posted by Emily_Oz (Budding Member 39 posts) 10y

People set off to do the Inca Trail for charity etc, I have just seen pictures and heard about it and really would love to do it, but I don't really if I am honest know what I am getting myself in for! Do you trek it with your backpack and all your belongings? Sorry if I sounds silly, I was just interested?
Em xx

2. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 10y

I just got back from hiking the Inca Trail in September and loved it. It is and incredible experience. Carrying weight? If you carry all of your own gear you can expect to carry anywhere from 10-15 Killos. I carried all my own equipment personal clothes, hygeine, torch, sleeping bag, sleeping mattress, and some small snacks, and water it was 12 kilos. If you carry only a daypack and hire a porter this can get cut down to about 5 kilos. Tents, food, and other group gear is carried by the porters.

Difficulty: Depends how fit you are. You hike several hours a day so you need some stamina. The second day where you go over dead womans pass is a short but steep day. We had people in our group who hiked from one camp to the next in only 3 hours. Most people did it in about 4-6 hours. It is not a long day but steep. If you like the stair master then you are ok. I would say that it is a realatively tough hike, though I was only one of three people to carry their own equipment for the full hike. If you give me some infomation about your fitness level it may help me let you know really how difficult it will be. Please contact me if you have any additional questions. Brent

3. Posted by samot (Budding Member 35 posts) 10y

are Tents the only thing to stay in at night, or are there small villages with rooms for rent?

If they have rooms, is it better to make reservations or just show up and hope for the best.

4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Is it challenging; hardly.

Your stuff is carried for you at low prices; the route is one of the easier ones in the region.

5. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 10y

The only way is by tent. They have to be organized trips. As far as difficulty it is a good hike but hard if you are not in shape. It is only as difficult as your ability. You can have porters carry your things for you if you want for cheap.

6. Posted by Emily_Oz (Budding Member 39 posts) 10y

Great feedback everyone, thank you! My fitness is at a medium level, I wouldn't say great, but I won't travel out until late next year so I will kick start some jogging round my area I think !
With regards to the porters, do they actually do the hike carrying your backpack then, there are no worries about theft of valuables etc? That must make you feel like a bit of a celebrity being waited on :P? In a way I feel I should carry my bag to experience it properly, but I have a feeling I would give in to temptation!
Em xx

7. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

You shouldn't take valuables with you when travelling, anyway. The only thing I can imagine being of much value, a camera, you'll carry in your daypack anyway; how else to take snapshots of the condors?


8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 10y

It depends on what you like as well. I am just in a moderate shape, but even if I had a top shape, I wouldn't do it, just because I get bored when I walk in the same area for more than one day.
But I heard some nice stories about people walking the trail of course.

9. Posted by cde3879 (Full Member 142 posts) 10y

Just munch on some coca leaves and you'll be fine :)

10. Posted by flo jo (Respected Member 414 posts) 10y


Make sure you have good trekking boots and a good fleece for the night.
Bring a tiger balm it can be useful for your ankle (personal experience)