Inca Trail Know Before You Go Part 2
Here are five more essential facts you should know if you are considering hiking the Inca Trail.
1) You need to be in really good shape. The Inca Trail would be considered a tough hike even at sea level. The high altitude at which this hike takes place makes it even more taxing. You hike 26 miles over four days. On the second day, you gain over 4,000 feet in elevation. And, there are lots of steps.
2) You better be healthy. Outfitters carry first aid kits and oxygen, but there are no medical facilities on the trail. If you become sick or get hurt, the porters carry you to a location where you can be transported to a clinic. This means it could be hours before you have access to professional medical care. In other words, the Inca Trail is not a good place to have a heart attack.
3) You should have access to an emergency fund, just in case. You will incur additional costs if you have to be evacuated from the Inca Trail, if you can’t make it because you became sick or got hurt before your hike started, or if you decide the Inca Trail is too difficult and turn back early. So, make sure you can access additional funds through your ATM. Cash is still king in Peru. I always hedge my bet by buying travel insurance. This way I’ll likely be reimbursed for at least some of my expenses when I submit my claim.
4) You must have your passport with you to be admitted to the Inca Trail. If you leave it in your luggage back at the hotel, you’ll end up joining it instead of joining your hiking party on the Inca Trail.
5) You need to pack your belongings in a backpack or a duffel bag so porters can carry them. Suitcases are not feasible on the Inca Trail. Oh and leave items such as heavy books and your hair dryer back at the hotel. (Seriously, people bring these things.) The porters can only carry up to 44 pounds. So, if you exceed the weight limit, you need to either send some things back to the hotel in Cusco or carry them yourself in your daypack.
More Inca Trail essential facts to come in Part III.