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Cesar Conde


For over 15 years, Cesar has been leading adventure tours across the Peruvian Mountains to include Machu Picchu. Patient and enthusiastic, he enjoys showing others the awe-inspiring Cultural Wonderworld as much as he loves discovering its wonders for himself. As a Mountaineer and Hiker expert, at Tour Leaders Peru Adventure, Cesar is a great storyteller who loves spending evenings around the campfire or dinner table sharing travel tales and making new friends.

Is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu hard?

Nov 7, 2021 | Peru Travel Blogs | 0 comments

Machu Pichu is a citadel among Andes Mountains, which is situated in Peru. Peru is one of the most mesmerizing countries in South America. 

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 trail 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 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 is it all just a myth. 

What is 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 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 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 situated 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 headache. 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 becomes significantly easy. 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 in 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 covering 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 as 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 and exhausted 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 being physically strong. 



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

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