7 Things to Do After the Inca Trail
If you’ve just completed the Inca Trail, you are probably hungry, tired, dirty, and sore.
Here are seven ideas on what to do once your Inca Trail hike is over.
1) Check into a luxury hotel. After three nights of camping, you deserve a little comfort. So, check into a luxury hotel, take a hot shower, and relax. The three best-known luxury hotels are Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. It can be difficult to get a reservation and the price can be steep, though. Two other somewhat more moderately priced hotels are El MaPi Hotel and Hatun Inti.
2) Get a good meal. Finding a good meal in Aguas Calientes, the small town that has sprung up at the foot of Machu Picchu, can be difficult. Much of the food is tasteless and greasy. However, amid this dismal culinary landscape, Indio Feliz is a gem. They serve fresh-cooked, delicious meals. I always make it a point to dine here when I visit Machu Picchu. Get there early, though, as they tend to fill up fast.
3) Soak in the hot spring. On the edge of town, you’ll find the thermal baths for which the town Aguas Calientes (literally, hot water) was named. Pack your swimsuit and rent a towel at one of the shops along the way. Then, kick back and let the hot water soothe your aching body.
4) Book an extra day at Machu Picchu. People who hike the 4-day Inca Trail, tour Machu Picchu immediately after they finish the hike. It’s hard to enjoy the splendor of Machu Picchu when you are tired and your feet hurt. So, book an extra day so that you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience when you are fresh.
5) Visit the Machu Picchu Museum. The museum houses an interesting collection of artifacts that have been found at Machu Picchu. There is also a multimedia display that explains the significance of Machu Picchu.
6) Shop for souvenirs. You must pass through the local market on your way to the station where you catch the train back to Cusco. It is worth it to take time to wander through the maze-like passages and sift through the merchandise displayed at the various stalls. If you are looking for a more upscale experience, the streets of Aguas Calientes are lined with shops that sell fine art and jewelry. The gift shop at Inkaterra is also worth a look.
7) Get a hot chocolate. When I finished the Inca Trail, the first thing I did was to get a hot chocolate and a chicken empanada at the snack bar at Machu Picchu. It was the perfect snack to fortify me after 4 days of hiking.