Por: Paloma A. (Brazil) – Edited by Admin
On my trip to Cusco, I did the 2-day tour of the Inca Trail until I reached Machu Picchu. For me, who is not used to these difficult walks, it was a real challenge. Happily, I managed to meet the objective of passing the trek and reaching Machu Picchu. In this testimony, I tell you how it went for me so that you are prepared if you ever want to do it.
My previous days in Cusco
I arrived in Cusco one night in January when it was raining a lot. Happily, the taxi picked us up early and took us to our hotel almost without a drop of rain on us. Then we had a wrong night, I admit. I am sure it was of the changed climate and the altitude of Cusco since I come from Rio de Janeiro, a city by the sea. Well, the next day we got to know the city, beautiful, by the way. The other day we did a tour of the Sacred Valley, which I loved. After two days I was already better adapted to the climate of Cusco. I decided to look for a tourism agency to hike the famous Inca Trail.
- More information: The city of Cusco has a height of 3,400 meters above sea level. Tourists coming from cities at sea level have a harder time channeling the little oxygen, so they suffer from headaches, nausea, and fatigue. However, after two or three days of acclimatization, most will already feel better. For symptoms to be mild, it is recommended to drink plenty of water and avoid greasy foods.
The tour of the Inca Trail
We were ready to trek the Inca Trail. We went to look for a tour of the tourist agencies, which are in the streets of Cusco. Unfortunately, no one told me that the 4-day tour to Machu Picchu had to be purchased online several months in advance, about 6 months according to what they told me. So I had no choice but to buy the 2-day Inca Trail tour that could be purchased at the time. In the end, I think it was a good choice since I’m not very sporty and the four-day tour would have cost me a lot of work. The agency we hired seemed serious and it turned out to be so.
- The original Inca Trail tour, the one that everyone wants to do, lasts 4 days. This walk is difficult because it covers 39 kilometers. During the day you walk and at night you camp in the mountains. In the end, you will reach Machu Picchu. The 2-day tour, on the other hand, is only 12 kilometers long and the first night is spent in a hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes. Just the next day you visit Machu Picchu going up by bus. The big problem is that the 4-day tour must be purchased online 6 months before. The 2-day tour, no.
On day 1, the difficult hike
On the day of the tour, a minivan picked me up from my hotel at about 4 in the morning to travel to the train station. Once there we travel by train until we stop in the middle of the route to get ready to do the walk. In the place, other tourists were also going to take the same route. There were young people but also old people and people in poor physical condition like me. I suffered a lot during the first two hours of walking. After that everything became easier. On the way, they gave us a simple lunch. We visit the archaeological sites of the Incas. I liked Wiñayhuayna, very similar to Machu Picchu. We saw splendid landscapes and original Inca trails. At about 2 in the afternoon, we arrived. We were almost the last ones because of me haha. Thanks to the guide who was very patient. And sorry to the other tourists for the delay.
- More information: The Inca Trail 2-day tour is only 12 kilometers long. Visit the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñayhuayna. In the end, it reaches Machu Picchu through the Intipunku (Gate of the Sun), just as the Incas did. Afterward, tourists must descend to the town of Aguas Calientes to sleep in a lodging. So the next day is entirely destined to know Machu Picchu. The tour includes full transportation (in a minivan, train, and bus), permits, 1 lunch, 1 breakfast, 1 dinner, a tour guide, one night in a hotel, and an entrance to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu and return to Cusco
On the first day, we did not visit Machu Picchu. We went down by bus directly to the town of Aguas Calientes where we had dinner and settled in a comfortable hotel. Well, the next day we got up at around 5 in the morning to have breakfast at the hotel. Then we take the bus back to Machu Picchu.The guide distributed our tickets and accompanied us on a tour for 2 hours or so. The tour we booked did not include lunch on the second day, so we all returned to eat at a nice restaurant in Aguas Calientes. At the scheduled time we boarded the train and returned happily to Cusco. Fortunately, we all arrived safe and sound, especially me, who was the most nervous about this walk. I still recommend it! Dare!
- More information: This tour cost us something like 400 dollars. It was a comfortable price because other tours are more expensive. The service was good. The super friendly and understandable guide. Later I found out that there are other multi-day tours to Machu Picchu that cost between 400 and 500 dollars. The most famous are the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu (5 days), the Lares trek to Machu Picchu (4 days), the Huchuy Qosqo trek (3 days), and more. Do not do like me and find out well before traveling to Cusco.