Explore the most popular regions in Peru with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My only regret from my trip to Machu Picchu is that I didn't do the Inca trail. But it was with a class trip, so I didn't have a choice. You need a special permit to hike the mountain that specifies what time you're allowed to enter. I think our group had the earliest time (8a) and we tried to hike pretty fast which ended up being worth it because for at least 10 minutes at the peak there wasn't anybody else. Once other tourists started showing up, we had to climb over people and try not to fall off. Spending the day at Machu Picchu is like spending 8 hours on a stairmaster but where most of the stairs are only deep enough for the balls of your feet (unless you go sideways). Amazing view up Huayna Picchu, but make sure you've done a LOT of lunges before you go!

Hiked this trek on day 4 of hiking the Inca Trail two weeks ago. Worth every vertical stair!!! The views are absolutely amazing and the hike itself was hard but extremely rewarding! A natural high! Do it if you can, it won't disappoint!

I did the 4 day trek the beginning of January 2018. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. The trek (especially Dead Women’s Pass) was better than Machu Picchu. I can’t imagine just taking the train up to Machu Picchu, as it completely bypasses the experience of the pilgrimage.

Definitely do your research about how difficult the trail and altitude are. Be sure to acclimate for a few days prior. It is extremely difficult, but this is part of the reason it is so rewarding. It is a very spiritual and magical place.

A pretty epic trail with variety of terrain and scenery. Make sure you’re acclimatized first so you can really enjoy it.

Beautiful, Historical trail. Some areas are very dangerous because some parts the side of the mountain is like hiking along a cliff.

We hiked from the hidroelectrica station to Cusco and took the bus up to the ruins.There's really nothing else like it on earth.

hiking
2 months ago

Life changingly beautiful. Very crowded at the top, very steep on the way down (you take a different route from the way up). No a long hike, but truly amazing. Only a certain number of people can go per day, so plan in advance. Go in summer (US summer, June or July) for the best chance of clear weather.

2 months ago

Amazing views and great people! You can see the Bolivian Andes. This is a wonderful island with interesting flora and some pre-Columbian ruins. A must-visit in the Lake Titicaca area.

crazy steep steps, portions are vertical climbs. guides said they were called the "gringo killers." worth it.

camping
2 months ago

be one with the pachamama up in the clouds and be forever changed.

hiking
2 months ago

Challenging hike but very rewarding. Many many steep steps especially on day 2,3 and 4. Climbed 2 mountains on day 2. Intense and non-stop nature with fantastic views!

Made the hike in 2007. Very step but an interesting adventure. However, when we got to the top, we could only see clouds and nothing else.

2 months ago

Completed in 4 days, with the 5th day at Machu Picchu. Had trek guides “Tour Leaders Peru” and they were energetic, had excellent equipment, and generally fantastic — local guys who spoke great English and were very passionate about the money from the trip going directly back into the Peruvian economy.

It’s of course simpler to have a trek guide and also porters for your stuff, as we did. I am a moderate hiker at best and the trail was tough for me. I trained weekly beforehand on similar inclines for a few hours at a time with a weighted backpack and my hiking boots (15 lbs as I didn’t need to carry food/tent). Acclimated for 2.5 days beforehand in Cusco, which is necessary. Took Diamox just in case, and the altitude was still tricky going up Salkantay. Was passed by tons of people going up on horses.

If your knees are bad, like some of the people in my group, the hours of downhills on slippery rocks is going to be tough. Poles were absolutely necessary — heading both up and down. Pack in layers as you’ll go through many different climates, the first night in tents it was so cold some members of our party couldn’t sleep.

Would recommend just buying a train ticket into Aguas Calientes instead of hiking the last set of miles bc it’s not a comfortable hike, although flat, due to the loose rock, and you’ll also be exhausted at this point. We hiked it and it was miserable.

I heard that this trail may be permitted (like the Inca) in about a year or two.

Hardest physical thing I’ve ever done but also most rewarding. Every day I saw magical landscapes that made me inadvertently gasp. I may never do another hike this demanding again in my life, but am proud to have done this one. Made the grandeur of Machu Picchu even more amazing when you realized how people traveled to the ancient city.

hiking
2 months ago

A dream come true! It was exhausting, Sun was too hot..
But it was an amazing journey, the best hike so far!
17,000 ft of hard work paid off at the top!!
And I did it!!!

hiking
2 months ago

The most amazing hike so far ever!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Not to hard, maybe cause I’m from Peru, but it was amazing breathtaking and you will not regret to do it.. is worth it!

The altitude makes this one extremely difficult but it was worth it

Just finished this trek in a 5 day trip towards Machu Picchu. I live below sealevel, so had to get used to the altitude. Went from Lima (msl) to Arequipa (2500m) to Cuzco (3300) and started the trek at Soraypampa (3800m). Which was fine altitude wise but if your not a trained hiker/runner and your daypack is too heavy (like mine ... 8kg) because you want to take your big-ass camera ... Do yourself a big favour BUY DECENT POLES!

They helped me a lot. Furthermore there are a number of opportunities to buy water and snacks so do not load up your backpack. Take the camera, a water bottle, a snack or two, a raincoat/poncho, gloves/beanie/buff and layer up (clothes) so you can layer down as well.
Leave enough room in your daypack to be able to stow the clothes you take off,

You will climb from moderate pampa, to a cold snowy mountain pass and descend to warm pre-jungle.

It’s super!

Leave some energy for the Machu Picchu (1670 steps) climb or even consider taking the bus up if you have to walk back (2hrs) to HydroElectrico afterwards.

Have fun

completed this yesterday 3 days after the salkantay trek. it was beautiful. any of the reviews you read that say it's not worth it must be because they did it on an overcast day. truly spectacular but it is a lung burner. definitely hike the extra few hundred feet to the right after you get to the top.

backpacking
3 months ago

Incredible sights. The hike was very difficult. However if you train correctly then it becomes difficult. The scenes and the mountains were jaw dropping. If you add another day or two then you can also see rainbow mountain which is just as beautiful. I highly recommended this hike to anyone. There are no people on the trial so you get to really take all of the environment in. I will never forget this hike and will trek it again in the future.

In my opinion, this is the way to enter Machu Picchu. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to enter through the Sun Gate. If you don’t have the whole four days to do the full trail, this one day trek is wonderful. Took us about 4 hours to get from KM 104 to the Sun Gate. You get to experience beautiful views of the Andes and two other Inca ruins along the way.

AMAZING. As good as it gets!

hiking
3 months ago

Do it! It’s challenging in few parts for sure, but manageable if you’re in decent shape. I recommend following others’ advice by spending a day or two in Cusco before the hike to acclimate to the altitude. Since the city is a few thousand feet higher than the trail, it will be easier to breath on the hike. Be prepared for a lot of stairs (yes, actual stone steps) - it’s much different on the knees than hiking up/down a slopped incline. You’ll never forget the moment when you finally arrive at the Sungate and look down at Machu Picchu in all it’s glory.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail! Challenging at parts (especially day two). Make sure your wearing hiking shoes that are broken in. Lots of steps so it’s hard on your knees (up and down).
I did the classic 4 day trek into Machu Picchu with Alpaca Expeditions (have to hire a guide) and it was the best experience hiking ever!

No words to describe this experience. I did the classic 4 day trek and it was absolutely incredible. Truly is an experience of a lifetime!

hiking
3 months ago

We did this in July of 2017. The hike hike down the canyon from Cabanaconde was easy. We camped a couple nights in the small "oasis" of Sangalle. I'm not sure if this map represents that exact path. Anyway, incredible place to camp! Id never seen so many stars! Also, we didn't pay to camp the first couple nights because we got in late and set up camp down hill from the main camping area(whatever, we were broke backpackers). The hike back up suuucked. Pack light but bring lots of water. They'll gouge you if you try to buy it in the canyon.

hiking
3 months ago

An absolutely beautiful and fun but challenging hike. Did the 4 day classic Inca Trail. First day was nice and easy with rolling hills and not to much climbing. The second day was the real test as we ascended the highest point on the trail at dead woman’s pass, roughly 13,800 feet. Then a pretty steep downhill on stairs that really worked the knees. Beautiful camp site on night number 2. At altitude it’s a bit more chilly. Day 3 we trekked to the second highest peak at roughly 13,100 feet. Then lots of up and down hills and more stairs. The knees were very sore after. Camp on night 3 was not very glamorous since it was close to the check point to hike to the sun gate. 4th day hike to sun gate was pretty easy and ended at Machu Picchu. Weather was great during the day and cool at night with few clouds and no rain. Trail was dry.

just finished this in 3 days with 2 friends. we did it on our own without a guide. went up to humantay lake first then on to the salkantay. make sure you acclimate before starting. it is a tough hike but very rewarding. camp in one of the coffee plantations just after the town of la playa. there is a lot of water on the trail so bring a filter and dont bother carrying much water. the final several miles to aguas calientes is miserable as it follows the train track and you are walking on loose rocks the entire way.

Challenging hike, beautiful scenery culminating in Machu Picchu. Unforgetable experience!

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