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Inca Trail 2 or 4 days???

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Inca Trail 2 or 4 days???

1. Posted by Lyds (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

Hi Guys,

We're going to be in Peru in June (around 21st-ish) and we're a bit restricted for time so we are considering doing the 2 day 1 night Inca trail instead of the 4 day 3 night one! There is going to be a fiesta in Cuzco while we're there and I think it would be really fun to experience this but we're worried that by shortening the Inca Trail we are going to be missing out on a really amazing experience.....what do you think????

If you could let us know we'd really appreciate it!

Also, is anyone else who uses this forum going to be in Cuzco at the same time??

Lyds and Anna x

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

As with most outdoor activities, hiking is little fun when done under pressure.

The attraction of the Inca trail really isn't the trail per se, but the destination. I'd recommend not doing it at all if you cannot spare the time, and simply take the train to MP, and go hiking elsewhere instead.

3. Posted by Lyds (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

Thanks for that. We plan on climatising in Cuzco for a few days before hand but do you think we will be more likely to suffer the altitude sickness if we go by train rather than starting at the bottom and climing gradually??? If anyone who has done the 2 day trek can shed any light it would be really appreciated!

Thanks :)

4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

The altitude of Cusco is such that further acclimatisation to the MP-altitude is not so much a problem; I'd say you'd be fine.

5. Posted by andymoore (Respected Member 24 posts) 9y


we wanted to go trekking from Cusco but decided against the Inca Trail because these days it's simply too crowded (and it's advisable to book well in advance). If you want a good four-day trek to an -as yet- relatively undiscovered but breathtakingly impressive Inca civilization, go to Choquequirao. The trek is demanding; you need to be relatively fit and acclimatized, but it is truly worth it; we arrived at Choquequirao just before sunset - for a taster of what it's like, take a look at my blog entry here:

We took the scenic train to Macchu Picchu, which was expensive but suited us fine.

Just my tuppence-worth, but I hope it helps...

Best regards,


6. Posted by Lyds (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

Thanks Andy, that def looks like something to consider. I just had a read over your blogs from South America and I have to say it's brilliant! How long did you spend in South America? We're looking to do a similar route (leaving out the Pantanal bit-far to scared about 'everything' to do that!)


7. Posted by andymoore (Respected Member 24 posts) 9y

Hi Lyds,

thanks for the praise on the blog; I'll finish it one day!

We spent just over three months in South America, starting in Chile and ending in Brazil. I absolutely fell in love with Argentina and can't wait to go back, but all of South America is pretty damn good. Don't be too hasty in dismissing the Pantanal; we didn't even know it existed until we actually arrived in Brazil, but it was one of the defining places of our whole round-the-world trip. And there's nothing too scary there. Honest. ;)

Incidentally, after South America we tackled Central America but now I'm veering wildly off topic, and Central America is a whole different ball game...

Happy travelling!


8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

Hi Lyds,

I suppose it's different for everybody, but for me the trail itself made reaching Machu Piccu a whole lot sweeter. I suppose really it's a pilgrimage of sorts. For me, it became (unexpectedly) quite a profound experience. It wasn't very busy at the time of year i was there, so I had a lot of alone time on the trail and I wrestled with a lot of different emotions and feelings during those four days (chief among them, severe muscle pain )

When I think back on it, the best moments for me were during that four days of trekking. But it could be a different experience for you, so it's hard to say for sure. Certainly, a fiesta in Cuzco sounds like a lot of fun too :) If you're going to be in South America for a while though, you are almost certainly going to cmoe across another fiesta somewhere else. They dont need much of an excuse for a party

If you pushed me for an answer, I'd say do the four day hike. It's tough, but ultimately a very fulfilling experience.

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