Is the Inca trail worth it? A Peru Journey Worth Every Step

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Inca Trail | 0 comments

Inca trail worth to Hike?

Is the Inca trail worth it to hike? Few travel experiences can rival the joy of trekking the Inca Trail in Peru. This ancient path, once used by the Incas to reach the magnificent city of Machu Picchu, is more than just a hiking trail.

It’s a journey back in time, an adventure that challenges your body and mind, and an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty and rich history of Peru.

Hiking the remarkable Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is worth every penny! It offers an incredible experience filled with breathtaking views, rich history, and unforgettable moments.

Inca Trail is the only one where you literally hike into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate

Don’t miss this opportunity to join us on a seasonal hike in Peru.
km 82 Inca Trail
Inca Trail Km 82

Should I hike the Inca Trail or not?

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Is the Inca trail worth it to Hike?

Embark on the adventure of a lifetime and conquer the legendary Inca Trail – a journey that goes beyond the ordinary and redefines your limits! If you’re an outdoor enthusiast seeking the ultimate thrill, this multi-day trek should be at the top of your bucket list. Brace yourself for an experience that not only challenges your stamina but also captivates your soul.

Sure, there might be moments along the trail when you question your life choices – the uphill battles and steep sections will test your mettle.

But here’s the thing: those who’ve conquered the Inca Trail swear by its transformative magic. Many claim it surpasses the awe of Machu Picchu itself!

Don’t just take our word for it: let the numbers do the talking. Over 97% of online reviews are the witness about the Inca Trail as a positive, life-changing odyssey.

More than just a scenic escapade: the Inca Trail is a symphony of challenges and triumphs that culminate in an unparalleled sense of accomplishment.

Why Trek The Inca Trail?

Trekking the Inca Trail for 4 days isn’t simply about reaching Machu Picchu, it’s about the journey itself. The trail winds through cloud forests and subtropical jungles, past towering mountain peaks, and alongside roaring rivers. It’s a path that leads you to ruins of ancient Inca settlements, each with its own unique story to tell.

But what truly sets this trek apart is the sense of discovery it offers. As you trace the footsteps of the Incas, you don’t just see Machu Picchu from a distance – you arrive there on foot, just as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.

It’s a moment of triumph, awe, and connection with the past that you simply can’t get from a train ride.

Comparing the Cost of the Inca Trail to the Experience: Is the Expense Worth it?

Alright, fellow adventurers, let’s break it down. The Inca Trail might not be the cheapest hike around, costing you roughly $800 to $1200. But before you start questioning if is hiking the Inca trail worth it, let me spill the beans on what you’re getting for that price.

First off, you’re not just paying for a walk in the park – you’re getting a guide, a pro at navigating the Inca Trail. These guides aren’t just about directions; they’re like living encyclopedias, loaded with cool info to spice up your trek.

But wait, there’s more! No need to lug around heavy camping gear and food because we’ve got porters to do that for you.

Picture this: you get to enjoy the views without feeling like a pack mule – tasty meals magically appear at your campsite.

Now, here’s the jackpot

Most Inca Trail packages include tickets to Machu Picchu. Yes, the famous spot you were probably planning to hit up anyway. Consider the costs of transportation, guide fees, and entrance tickets separately, and suddenly the Inca Trail deal seems like a steal.

So, is it worth doing the Inca trail? Absolutely. Think of it as a complete adventure package where every buck you drop ensures a stress-free, awesome experience. The Inca Trail isn’t just a hike; it’s an investment in a smooth journey and memories that’ll stick with you long after the trail dust settles. Happy trails, my friends!

Inka Trail Private Tour
Inka trail Private Tour To To Machu Picchu

What is the true experience of trekking the legendary Inca Trail?

It sounds like your experience on the Inca Trail was quite challenging and physically demanding. It’s not uncommon for trekkers to find the trail more strenuous than anticipated, especially due to factors like high altitude, steep ascents, and varying weather conditions. The Inca Trail is indeed known for its difficulty, and the elevation gain, particularly at places like Dead Woman’s Pass, can be exhausting.

The sensation you describe of feeling like you have heavy bags around your legs and the struggle with the “stair master from hell” is a common sentiment among those who have hiked the Inca Trail. The altitude can contribute to a feeling of fatigue and shortness of breath, making each step more demanding.

Taking breaks and allowing your body to acclimate is a wise approach to such a challenging trek. It’s crucial to listen to your body and pace yourself, especially considering the altitude and the physical demands of the trail. Many trekkers, regardless of their fitness level, find the Inca Trail to be a humbling experience.

Despite the physical challenges, the sense of accomplishment and the breathtaking scenery along the way, as well as the ultimate reward of reaching Machu Picchu, often make the Inca Trail journey a memorable and rewarding adventure. It’s great that you were honest about your experience, as it can provide valuable insights for others considering the trek.

Inca Trail Altitude

The decisive factor in our journey was the altitude which affected us severely. When we reached the highest point of our trek at Dead Woman’s Pass, we had climbed up to 4,200 meters (13,800 feet). To give you a perspective, the peak of Whistler is 2,184 meters, airplanes generally fly at 11,887 meters, and the peak of El Capitan is 2,307 meters.

5 Reasons Why The Inca Trail Is Worth Doing

  • Arrival at the Sun Gate: The Inca Trail is like a grand story with an epic ending at the Sun Gate. Imagine standing there, looking down at Machu Picchu like a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered. It’s a moment that will take your breath away.
  • Views Beyond Imagination: Get ready for a visual treat! The Inca Trail gifts you with views that are straight out of a dream – lush valleys, misty peaks, and landscapes that redefine breathtaking. Every turn feels like flipping through a nature-inspired art book.
  • Incan Ruins: A Walk Through Time: As you hike, you’ll stumble upon ancient Incan ruins along the way. It’s like walking through a real-life history book. These remnants share tales of a once-mighty civilization, turning your trek into a captivating journey through the past.
  • Triumph Beyond the Trail: The Inca Trail isn’t just a physical challenge; it’s a triumph of your spirit. Overcoming those steep climbs isn’t just about reaching Machu Picchu; it’s about proving to yourself what you’re capable of. The sense of accomplishment is a reward that stays with you.
  • History in Every Stone: The Inca Trail isn’t just rocks and dirt; it’s a living testament to history. Your guide will unravel fascinating stories, and every step feels like a stroll through time. It’s not just a trek; it’s a cultural journey that adds depth to your adventure.

In a nutshell, the Inca Trail is an adventure that crescendos at the Sun Gate, unfolds with jaw-dropping views, whisper tales of ancient civilizations, celebrates personal triumphs, and weaves history into every step. It’s not just a trail; it’s an immersive experience tailor-made for the adventurer in you.

If The Inca Trail Really Worth It Here Some Factors to Consider

Before embarking on this journey, there are several factors to consider.

First: the Inca Trail is a high-altitude trek, reaching over 13,000 feet at its highest point. This requires a good level of physical fitness, and it’s recommended to spend a few days acclimatizing in Cusco before starting the trek.

RELATED: Best Time To Visit Machu Picchu?

The choice of tour company is also crucial. Look for companies with experienced guides, good safety records, and ethical treatment of porters. Remember, your enjoyment of the trek will largely depend on the quality of your tour operator.

Weather can greatly impact the trek. The dry season (May to September) offers the best trekking conditions but also attracts more tourists. The rainy season (November to March) presents a greater challenge but with fewer crowds.

RELATED: Sorth in Time? Hike the Inca Trail in 2 Days With Hotel

Inca Trail Tours
Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

The Experience and Its Drawbacks

Despite its allure, the Inca Trail isn’t for everyone. The physical demands, potential altitude sickness, and basic camping conditions can be off-putting for some. However, for those willing to embrace the challenge, the rewards are immense.

Alternative Treks: Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu

Totatlly Worth it

There’s something truly remarkable about pushing through tough challenges and emerging victorious, especially when you have your closest friends by your side. The sense of camaraderie and support that comes with conquering obstacles together is unbeatable. It’s the kind of experience that you’ll always look back on with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

I do remember that I asked someone if would do it again, and honestly answer was, “No.” After all, why would I willingly put myself through such physical and mental strain again? Lol

However, for those who have never experienced it before and are ready for an adventure, I highly recommend you hike with us.

The Inca Trail is the only way to go: Not only does it lead you to the iconic Sun Gate entrance of Machu Picchu, but also allows you to explore numerous Inca sites along the way. These ancient ruins are just as awe-inspiring as Machu Picchu itself.

Some of these ruins may even leave a bigger impression on you than Machu Picchu. If you’re up for it, try hiking ahead of the crowds and arriving at these sites before anyone else. It’s an incredible feeling to have these ancient wonders all to yourself. Trust me, it’s worth every step of the journey.

Essential Tips to Know Before Hiking: What Others Haven’t Shared With You.

1 – It is important to mention that the Inca Trail is a challenging trek and should not be taken lightly. Before embarking on this journey, it is essential to consult with your doctor about any health concerns and to make sure you are physically fit for the hike. As mentioned earlier, high altitude can have effects on your body, so it is important to inform your doctor about this and ask for any necessary medication, such as Diamox.

2 – The Inca Trail consists mostly of uphill hiking, with very few flat portions. The intensity of the uphill increases as you progress, culminating in the difficult Dead Woman’s Pass. This section involves 5 hours of continuous uphill hiking, which can be physically and mentally challenging. It is crucial to pace yourself and take breaks as needed.

3 – As an expert Inka Trail Hikers my helpful breathing technique for coping with the high altitude. The technique involves taking deep breaths in and quickly exhaling all at once. Avoid rapid breathing as it does not help with acclimating to the altitude.

4 – Altitude not only affects breathing but also impacts other bodily functions such as digestion. It may be difficult to digest food at higher altitudes, so extra break time after meals may be necessary. It is also common to feel sluggish while hiking due to the effects of altitude on the body.

5 – It is important not to push yourself too hard while hiking. Trying to keep up with others or going at a faster pace than what you are comfortable with can lead to exhaustion or even collapse. It is better to maintain a casual pace that allows you to enjoy the journey without overexerting yourself.

6 – A hydration backpack, such as a Camelback, is highly recommended for the hike. Staying hydrated at high altitudes is crucial for acclimatization and avoiding altitude sickness. My advice is to sip your water constantly, and a good indicator of hydration is whether your lips are moist or not. It may be helpful to keep the hydration tube in your mouth and drink small amounts of water frequently throughout the hike.

7 – It is common for hikers in Cusco to experience stomach problems, so it is wise to pack accordingly. Bring medications for upset stomachs and make sure to have enough toilet paper as it may not be readily available during the trek.

8 – Be aware of mosquitos while hiking, especially if you have any exposed skin. The use of DEET-based bug repellent is necessary to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Alternatively, wearing long clothing can also protect against mosquitos.

9 – Lastly, it is important to pack light for the hike. The porters who carry the gear and supplies for the trek will appreciate lighter loads, and you will thank yourself later for not lugging around unnecessary items. Make sure to bring only essential items and leave behind anything that is not necessary for the journey.

With these tips in mind, you can better prepare for your Inca Trail hike and make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Remember to stay safe, stay hydrated, pace yourself, and enjoy every moment of this incredible adventure!


If you’re ready for an adventure that will push your limits, stir your soul, and leave you with unforgettable memories, then the Inca Trail is calling your name. Prepare well, respect the path, and embrace the journey – it’s one you won’t regret.

Thank you for reading! If you have any comments or questions, we are here to help you organize your Inca Trail experience. Chat with us or leave your comments below and let’s make your journey even more amazing!


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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde, owner of Tour Leaders Peru & Travel Advisor and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own amazing Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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