Machu Picchu, Peru

The Many Ways to Trek to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail hike is at the top of the bucket list for any adventurous globetrotting trekker. It is an ultimate experience most relatively fit travellers can enjoy, and if you have the time, anyone who has done it will tell you it is the only way to get to Machu Picchu.

The city of Cusco
The city of Cusco

To step back for a second, there are a few ways to get to Machu Picchu in Peru. You’ll have to visit the colonial town of Cusco, where we advise at least a few days to explore, and acclimatize to the altitude. Then, to get to Machu Picchu, choose one of the following options:

There’s a few levels of train, the best being the Belmond-operated Hiram Bingham, passing through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a beautiful stretch of land you have to experience.

Baby Inca Trail
This trek involves being dropped off at a trail which intercepts the main Inca trail, allowing trekkers to spend 1 night in tents before the climatic final leg of the trail arrives into Machu Picchu.

2-Day Baby Inca Trail

Traditional Inca Trail
The famous Inca Trail trek in its purest form. Heavy bags are carried by professional porters, while trekkers carry a day bag. Simple tents, and simple but hearty food. There are few travel experiences which can rival the exhilaration of the final stage of the trek, where passing through a stone ‘Sun Gate’, the Lost city of the Incas is revealed, often enshrouded by mist.

4-Day Traditional Inca Trail

Porters on the Inca Trail
Porters on the Inca Trail

5-Day Incan Trail
Similar to the Traditional Inca Trail, visitors get an extra day to explore Machu Picchu’s nearby ruins, climb to Huayna Picchu, or enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage site at their own pace.

5-Day Trekking the Inca Trail

Luxury Inca Trail
Have the best of both worlds! Enjoy the full Inca Trail trek, as it’s existed for centuries, along with a number of modern comforts, like hot showers. Trekking doesn’t mean you have to totally rough it. Tents are larger (Bedouin style) and include 2 ‘army-style’ cots (beds), meals are in spacious dining tents with candles, silverware, and crystal glasses, prepared by a skilled chef. A portable ‘tent-shower’ allows you to start or end your night fresh and clean. The best part… on request, a professional masseuse can soothe sore muscles each night.

Peru Luxury Inca Trail LIT Massage tent02
Luxury Inca Trail’s massage tent
Peru Luxury Inca Trail unch tent
Peru Luxury Inca Trail lunch tent

Travel is, as the saying goes, about the journey, not the destination. This journey, no matter how you make it, is one that will never be forgotten.

With so many options and so much that goes into a Trail trek, contact one of Goway’s South American experts to get the best information for all treks to Machu Picchu.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
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Don Forster
Don Forster

Trade Training Manager — Born in Australia and raised in Canada and Papua New Guinea, Don took his first solo trip to Bali – aged just 13. Since then, Don’s travels have taken him to every continent. He’s been a backpacker in Asia, Europe and Egypt, an overland adventurer in East and Southern Africa, and an overland driver in South and Central America. He is especially fond of Peru, Patagonia and Namibia, though his longest adventure to date has been a London to Kathmandu run via the Middle East.

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