Land in Lima - off to the Inca Trail - how long?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Land in Lima - off to the Inca Trail - how long?

1. Posted by Beggsy (Budding Member 30 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone. I'm flying into Lima in late May (as background, I'm travelling for nearly 4 months, and hoping to take in some of Peru, Equador, Colombia, Bolivia and Argentina before flying out of BA) and want to book the Inca Trail in advance. I wondered if anyone has advice as to when I should book it for? Let me explain....

I'm keen to do the the IT at the start of my trip, so as after that I'm free of commitments. I could fly into Lima, have a few days investigating Lima and go straight to Cusco, three days acclimatisation, then do the trek? So book for maybe a week after arriving in Lima?

On the otherhand, maybe someone knows some better way to do it. Is there a more circuitous way to get to Cusco that would be interesting to do, taking, say, two weeks? How many days stay is Lima worth? Should I just crash a night and move straight to Cusco?

I'm just looking for opinions of how more experienced travellers would plan to do this for themselves really - I remember being forced to stay 5 days more than I wanted to in Bangkok due to badly planning a flight to Vietnam - you just always want to feel like you're making the most of your time......

Thanks very much in advance, any advice much appreciated!

2. Posted by miromar (Respected Member 175 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!


You are right, get it done asap! The best thing about backpacking is not having to stick to dates, and enjoy the trip as you go! My friends booked the IT half way through their 3month trip and were worried all the time about not making it! end up getting to cusco too soon so went around the south and came back, just to make time!

My advise would be, a couple of days in Lima, not more than that, and then intead of flying, take the bus to cuzco, about 20hs, but you will get to see the ladscape and also you will have some time to start aclimatising! Then 3 or 4 days in Cuzco before you start the IT. So yes, I would say about a week after your arrival would be good. You can always be safe and say 10days, and do more things in cuzco (there is plenty to do in the area, apart from getting drunk, obviously! :D)

Not too sure how you wanna do the rest of the journey, as you have to go north for ecuador and colombia and go back south, maybe passing through areas you have seen already??? The ideal would be fly into bogota and make your way down, but then again, the IT would be a pain in the ass as it would be right in the middle!!

x x Miriam x x

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 6021 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beggsy

Is there a more circuitous way to get to Cusco that would be interesting to do, taking, say, two weeks?

The way I'm going to do it (only having a month in Peru, so not having the luxury of being able to go with the flow, but needing to do actual planning in advance) is the classic gringo trail: First a flight to Arequipa to acclimatize, then the bus to Lake Titicaca, and on to Cuzco from there. You'll arrive in Cuzco completely acclimatized, so should be able to do the inca trail pretty much right away. If you know you want to spend two weeks getting to Cuzco, then this route might be a good option for you. On the other hand, a place like Arequipa and surroundings could easily deserve two to three weeks in itself (it does, from all I've heard), so it probably would be better to get the "must be here on a certain date" thing out of the way first, and then explore the rest of the country at a leisurely pace. Then again, if you really want to see all those five countries in four months, it might be best to set time limits per country after all. I guess it all depends on how you set your priorities...

Regardless of which option you go for, I'd recommend picking a date for the inca trail fairly soon and booking it. Half of the dates in May are already sold out, and June already has a couple of dates with less than a hundred tickets left, too, which means those dates will be sold out within 2-3 days, probably. (You can check real time availability here.)

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 2, 2008, at 2:13 PM by Sander ]

4. Posted by Pyjamarama (Budding Member 16 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Sander

(You can check real time availability here.)

Wow great link, thank you!! No-one has booked November yet!

5. Posted by ehuaman (Budding Member 41 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Remember that high-demand period began in may.

6. Posted by manuperu (Budding Member 3 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

If you want to do the Inca trail you need to reserve it months by advance, now is possible to reserve it for april, if you need more info mail me i can do it for you.