How Hard is the Inca Trail?

Jun 5, 2021 | 0 comments

Hiking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for 4 days is an experience that can inspire excitement, stir a sense of wonder in the soul, and invoke a bit of fear. Even more, this is one of the best things to do in South America. Also, it is one of the most popular yet adventurous and mesmerizing hikes in the world. Ince Trail hiking is one of the best adventurous things to experience for everyone visiting Peru Country.

It is because the trail can bring you to so many amazing yet unique views including:

  • Ancient narrow paths going deep to the Peruvian countryside
  • Beautiful paths high to the Andean mountains
  • Cloud forest
  • Majestic valley views
  • Perfect Incan ruins
  • Last but not the least, the iconic Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the greatest endpoint of this 4-day hiking trail.

Overall, the experience of hiking the Inca trail is gorgeous and adventurous but unforgettable.

However, are you wondering how difficult is the Inca trail or how you are going to survive  Inca Trail? Here is a detailed summary of what you will experience on the Inca Trail for attempting a hike. 

How hard the Inca Trail to Trek?

So many people don’t know what to expect on the long Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, therefore, they get nervous. Would you fall on the ground halfway or able to trek the trail successfully? How hard is the Inca trail? Is it going to be a safe and pleasant experience? And much more.

There are usually so many things that come to mind when you think of trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

However, trekking Inca Trail is a mixed experience. Some parts are hard while others are seamlessly easier to trek. Overall, it is made of 4 days intense trekking journey. While, after that, you will be able to set your eyes on the mesmerizing view of Machu Picchu, proudly.

Overall, the hardest point of the Inca Trail hike is your mental challenge. It is because most of the people continuously going through whether they can make it or not, behind in their minds especially after the second day of hiking while climbing Dead Woman’s Pass.

However, once you are going to cross Dead Woman’s Pass, it is downhill. From here going forward is way easier than moving backward.

In short, the sheer climb up and down on the trail along with the high altitude is something that makes the trail harder. So, overall, people who want to know the clear and straightforward answer to is Inca Trail harder must know, yes, hiking on the Inca Trail is harder, especially after day 2.

However, if the Inca Trail hike was not hard, then there would be no point in hiking it. Even more, the hard efforts you will put here can bring some amazing, mesmerizing yet unforgettable experiences to you as well.

On the 3rd day, you will feel blessed when you are going to be surrounded by a bunch of beautiful scenery. This would seem like a view out of your desktop screen, straight. While the 4th day is also here with some beautiful views. You will literally feel rewarded after making it to the Sun Gate and seeing the iconic Machu Picchu’s first view.

At that time, a fantastic sense of accomplishment will wash over you.

Overall, the Inca Trail can make your overall visit to Machu Picchu amazingly and unbelievably special.

Be well-prepared to hike the Inca Trail

So, if you have chosen to hike the classic Inca Trail, expect to have 3 nights and 4 days trek here. A journey through the Andes to the Sun Gate which is an exclusive yet beautiful entrance to Machu Picchu. This adventurous trail is a part of the ancient pilgrimage. A path that has been walked by numerous ancient shamans, holy men, and various Incan Scholars.

However, the Inca Trail hike is incredibly difficult. However, going with a tour company can make it a bit easier yet more enjoyable for you. It is because they take different approaches to hike the trail. Still, here we have some of the most important ways that you must consider to make your Inca Trail hike an amazing experience.

For this, you need to consider all the tips mentioned below:

Start small

It is always recommended to consider your first hiking day as a warm-up. Start from smaller and gradually increase your distance on the trail each day.

Stay well-hydrated

When you are hiking these 4 days trail, make sure to stay well hydrated and properly fed. For this, you have to drink lots of water. It is because when you walk on the trail, you will get sweaty. So, you have to replace those water losses over time.

Even more, staying hydrated on the trail is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of experiencing altitude sickness. Therefore, make sure to keep a water bottle and some hydration packs in your backpack.

Feed yourself enough

Altitude can impact your digestion. Due to this, you might experience a lack of appetite. However, if you acclimate well, then the condition won’t last for longer. While even if it doesn’t, still you need to eat more than what you think you eat otherwise.

For this, you must keep some healthy yet nutritious snacks with you. So, you can munch on these even if you are not feeling hungry.

Travel in the dry season

Are you planning to hike this classic hike in Peru? Make sure you are traveling in the dry season. It is because hiking during the rainy season can become even tougher. And for inexperienced hikers, the situation can be the hardest to overcome. So, it is always recommended to plan your tour in the dry season.

Even more, to make the most out of your Inca Trail hike, book your Peru Luxury Tours in Advance. It is because now management here has put a limit on per-day travelers to keep the Inca trail safe and clean for the hikers.

Overall, be well-prepared. So, you can enjoy the best of Inca trail hiking in a more effective way.



The Inca Trail is a well-established and iconic 4-day, 3-night hike which leads travellers from km. 82 (the start point 40 minutes outside the town of Ollantaytambo) all the way to Machu Picchu via its exclusive Sun Gate



The 5 day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve ever had, but it’s no easy feat. You reach altitudes of 4600m and hike long days with some strenuous downhill sections. The Salkantay trek was named the Top Alternative Trek to Machu Picchu by National Geographic and is less crowded than the Inca Trail.