Is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Hard?

by | Nov 7, 2021 | Inca Trail | 0 comments


Machu Pichu is a citadel in the Andes Mountains, which is situated in Peru. Peru is one of the most mesmerizing countries in South America Is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Hard? 

It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. The country is one of the Amazing Destination Tours and Machu Picchu is one of the new seven wonders of the world. 

Machu Pichu holds historical importance and is not short of a mystery. There are numerous ways through which you can reach Machu Pichu. Out of those all, hiking the Inca Trail 4 Days is the most adventurous, thrilling, and hypnotic. 

Hiking The Inca Trail Trips allows you to enjoy the hypnotic valleys, ancient sites, and much more. The Inca Trail is filled with adventure and is perfect for hiking enthusiasts. But hiking the Inca Trail isn’t as easy as it seems. It is one of the most strenuous tracks in the entire world. Today, we are going to talk about Is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu hard? Or if is it all just a myth. 

RELATED: How Much Does The Inc Trail Cost?

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Is The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Dangerous

The Inca Trail is not as dangerous as it seems. Every year, approximately 67,400 tourists travel this hiking route. The number of accident cases is for only a few people. Most are due to some stumbling block. The most common problem is that people fall off the trail because they are not used to the altitude or they haven’t properly acclimatized to the change in elevation.

The next most common reason is dehydration, which can be caused by not drinking enough water or not taking enough breaks. The final reason is getting lost, which can be avoided by following the marked path and paying attention to markers along the way. In short, the Inca Trail is not as dangerous as it seems, but it’s still important to take precautions and be prepared before embarking on this journey.

Machu Picchu Hike For Beginners

The Inca Trail is probably the most popular hike in the world. Every year, thousands of people from all over the globe come to Peru to walk the iconic trail to Machu Picchu. However, the Inca Trail is not the only hike in Peru. In fact, there are dozens of other incredible hikes that are far less crowded and just as scenic. If you’re looking for an Inca Trail alternative, here’s a complete beginner’s guide to hiking in Peru.

The Inca Trail is not the only hike in Peru. In fact, there are dozens of other incredible hikes that are far less crowded and just as scenic. If you’re looking for an Inca Trail alternative, here’s a complete beginner’s guide to hiking in Peru.

There Are Three Main Types of Hikes In Peru:

day hikes, multi-day hikes, and treks. Day hikes are generally shorter and can be done in a single day. Multi-day hikes are longer and usually take two or more days to complete. Treks are even longer, often taking weeks or even months to complete. The Inca Trail is considered a trek because it takes four days to hike the entire trail.

If you’re interested in doing a day hike, there are plenty of options to choose from. One popular day hike is the Huayna Picchu trail, which leads to the summit of Huayna Picchu mountain. The trail is relatively short (about 2 miles round trip) but it is very steep and strenuous in parts. Another popular day hike is the Inca Bridge trail, which leads to an Inca bridge that spans a deep gorge. The trail is about 3 miles long round trip and also quite strenuous in parts.

If you’re interested in doing a multi-day hike, there are also plenty of options to choose from. One popular multi-day hike is the Salkantay trek, which takes five days to complete and culminates with a visit to Machu Picchu on the fifth day. The Salkantay trek is considered one of the best treks in South America and it’s definitely more challenging than the Inca Trail (due to its higher altitude and more difficult terrain).

Another popular multi-day hike is the Lares trek, which takes four days to complete and goes through some stunning Andean scenery. The Lares trek is less challenging than the Salkantay trek but it’s still a fairly challenging hike.

How Long Is The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

So, you want to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4D/3N, eh? Well, let me tell you a little bit about what you’re in for. The classic Inca Trail Route is 43 km (26 mi) long, and it’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll be spending four days hiking at an elevation nearing 13,828 feet (4,215 meters), and trust me when I say that it’s grueling. The relentless uphill (and downhill) hiking is tough, even for experienced hikers. But the pain is worth it when you get to see the sunrise over the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu. So go ahead and lace up your boots – just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Can You Hike The Inca Trail Without a Guide

Permits are needed for each hike and you must get your permit from a licensed operator. You cannot hike the Classic Inca Trail whit out a guide or on your own. The Inca trail to Machu Picchu is 26 miles long and can take up to four days to complete. It is a strenuous hike with many uphill sections, so be sure to train before attempting it.

Guides are essential not only for getting the permit but also for navigation and safety. There are many dangers on the trail, such as falling rocks and steep drop-offs, so it’s best not to go it alone. With a guide, you can focus on enjoying the stunning scenery and learning about the Inca culture. So if you’re planning on hiking the Inca Trail, be sure to get a permit and hire a qualified guide. You’ll be glad you did when you reach the top of Machu Picchu!

Inca Trail Cost For Machu Picchu

If you’re looking to trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of the first questions you’ll have is how much it’ll cost. The answer, unfortunately, is that it depends. The cost of your Inca Trail hike will vary depending on the tour company you choose and the package you select. There are different packages available, including a 4-day Inca Trail Tour, a 6-day Inca Trail Tour, and a 2-day Short Inca Trail Tour. Mid-range operators will typically charge between US$700 and US$900 per person. Keep in mind that you’ll be traveling with a group of 9 to 12 people, so the total cost will be divided among your group members.

Still, the Inca Trail cost is worth it when you get to experience one of the most beautiful places on Earth – Machu Picchu. The incredible views and unforgettable experience are worth every penny. So start planning your trip today!

Is The Inca Trail Worth It

hiking the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu is an experience like no other. it’s considered one of the earth’s greatest adventures and there are very few trails where you pass 500-year-old archeological treasures while also hiking among some beautiful mountains
The Classic Inca Trail Route to Machu Picchu is definitely worth it, a great way to travel around South America is by taking this route from Cusco, Peru! The scenery throughout will have your heart swelling with joy at every turn–it really feels as if we’ve been transported into another dimension entirely when exploring these ancient ruins left behind by someone else centuries ago…

Best Time to Hike Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail is an amazing hiking spot that you should consider visiting during the dry season. The best time to go will depend on your preference for high-langer adventures or not so many risk-taking activities like mountain climbing since this could be very dangerous without proper training and experience in those types of situations!

Machu Picchu was built somewhere between 1200 – and 1500 years ago which means it’s one o the oldest buildings still standing today…but how do we know when visiting

What is the Inca Trail?

Inca Trail is a hiking trail that joins Ollantaytambo and Machu Pichu. It takes 4 days and 3 nights for hikers to visit Machu Pichu through the Inca trail. You can view many historical sites along the Inca Trail that unravel the mysteries hidden in Peru. 

Is hiking the Inca Trail hard?

Numerous factors make hiking the Inca Trail hard. Some of the most effective elements are specified below. 

  • High altitude

The trek is located at the highest point in Peru. Due to this, it is one of the most arduous treks in the world. Inca Trail consists of three high-altitude passes. The trek is not smooth and consists of uneven land. You’d have to hike for 24- 28 miles to reach Machu Pichu if you are considering hiking the trail. You have to walk 3000 steps to hike the Inca trail to reach Machu Pichu.  

Although the Inca trail distance is not the specific problem that makes the trek hard, it is the altitude. The trail starts from Cusco, a city in Peru known for its mesmerizing scenery. The city sits 3400 – 3500 meters above sea level. Due to these geographical conditions, it is one of the most high-altitude treks. 

As the Inca Trail is at such a high altitude, oxygen is less here.

It makes it hard for you to breathe fresh air. As a result, your body doesn’t function at its optimal pace and urges you to give up.

It is one of the most challenging parts of the trek. Moreover, such high altitudes can make you sick, especially if you have Acrophobia. Due to this high altitude, you can also experience loss of appetite, anxiety, and headaches. However, oftentimes these symptoms are fixed as you continue to hike, and you don’t have to worry about them. 

Hiking across the Dead Woman’s Pass, which is at 4200 meters (google Earth Map) is one of the strenuous parts of the trek. It is the spot where you are likely to experience a shortage of breath the most. The pass has a sharp elevation gain which makes it hard for you to trek. 

Hiking along the Dead Woman’s Pass requires 1-2 days and is the toughest part of the trek. After that, the Inca Trail became significantly easier. To get used to the high altitude, you can arrive in Cusco 12 hours before you hike the trail. 

It will allow your body to get familiar with the surrounding thin air. As a result, you will experience fewer symptoms due to extremely high altitudes while hiking the Inca Trail. While hiking the Inca Trail, make sure that you do not eat absurd things. As these things can make you tired. Also, do not smoke while hiking, as it will reduce your overall stamina. 



Another factor that makes the Inca Trail one of the toughest treks in the world is the weather. As Peru is a tropical country, the weather is generally warm. It makes hiking difficult. While hiking you have to continuously walk for 4-5 hours before you reach the first pass. In this condition, the last thing you want is the scorching heat. 

In addition to this, the trek is more humid and wet in the monsoon seasons. Hiking the trail during monsoon seasons means that it will be difficult for you to camp along with the sites. Hence, the weather is one of the major factors which makes the hike significantly harder. 


The route of the trek is not smooth, and it is bumpy. The Inca Trail is coverer with stones and boulders. Moreover, the majority of the land is uneven, which makes it harder for you to trek. 

However, if you are less active, do not worry and consider the hike a challenge. The hike does not require you to be extremely fit. But if you are, it will benefit you. In addition to this, the wet season, which is from October to April, can cause the land to be slippery. So, make sure that you trek consciously using proper equipment. 

As the majority of the land is uneven, it can cause you several injuries, especially when you might be descending. To avoid this, make sure that you have trekking poles. Trekking poles will provide you with a solid grip while you descend from higher altitude passes. As a result, you will have less chance of getting injured. 

The rocky land will make you tired but will not certainly stop you from reaching Machu Pichu.

In addition to this, as the track consists of steep inclines and declines, make sure you hike carefully. To hike the Inca Trail, you must be mentally strong instead of physically strong. 



The above-specified are the things that specify if the Inca trail is worth it. Hiking the trail is adventurous, and is related to your mental toughness. Hence, if you are mentally preparing for the hike, there’s nothing that will be able to stop you. 


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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde Licensed Tour Guide in Peru, owner of Tour Leaders Peru and Travel Advisor. My other side job is a Digital Nomad. I share my amazing travel experiences, stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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