Recommendations for hiking routes to Machu Picchu

The trekking routes to Machu Picchu are one of the best travel alternatives to Machu Picchu. The adventure is difficult to compare with the normal trips to Machu Picchu. This is because the trekking routes are a separate experience. This activity is ideal for people who want to take a tour of several Inca sites and also appreciate the beautiful scenery of the place. Thanks to the different hiking trails you can find a variety of landscapes and opportunities to get into nature and have Machu Picchu as a destination. In this blog, we will learn more about the trekking routes and some recommendations that will make possible a trip like no other.

Tourists touring Machu Picchu
Tourists touring Machu Picchu

Recommendations for trekking routes to Machu Picchu Picchu

Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu
Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

In this blog we want to talk about the main complications that can occur, when attempting or making the visit to Machu Picchu by trekking routes. We have gathered 5 of these problems that usually occur in our clients. Likewise, we want to show the corresponding options so that you can solve some of these imperfections.

There are many tourists who make the complete trek to Machu Picchu and are surprised to find that they require an entrance ticket. They also have problems with some sections of the hike. This, precisely, because they carry extra weight or simply did not have an adequate acclimatization. All these details we will see later.

Also, mention that there are many people who venture to the route. As well as there are those who desist from making this trip. Others, on the other hand, do not have the slightest intention of doing it. From now on, we openly recommend any of the trekking routes that culminate in Machu Picchu. As long as you like this activity or because you want to experience new activities.

Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Inca Citadel
Machu Picchu Inca Citadel

Something primordial to get to Machu Picchu in the way you choose, is to have ready the entrance tickets to the wonder of the world. In the case of the trekking routes is no exception, even though they are trekking routes, they require an entrance ticket. Before we continue, let’s take a look at the trekking routes by which you can get to Machu Picchu.

  • Inca Trail 4 or 2 days .
  • Salkantay Trek.
  • Lares Trek.
  • Inca Jungle.
  • Choquequirao + Machu Picchu.
  • Huchuy Qosqo.

All these alternatives require the reservation of the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu. The prudent time to make ticket reservations is 1 to 2 months. However, the Inca Trail option, in any of its variations, requires a more immediate reservation. This is because it is a ticket that usually sells out even 3 months in advance.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that there are 5 tickets with different activities to tour Machu Picchu. The main difference of these tickets is that some of them offer the option to do short trekking routes. An example of these tickets is the hike up to Machu Picchu Mountain or reach the top of Huayna Picchu.

Physical preparation for trekking

Tourists on the Lares Trek
Tourists on the Lares Trek

The truth is that for anyone who decides to do this type of activity, you have to be aware of the type of activity you will be doing. The trekking routes do not have many comforts and require great physical effort. When hiking the Inca Trail, it is necessary to be in good physical condition. Doing these trekking routes, beyond being a challenge, should be an enjoyable experience.

Normally people leave aside some physical activities and have a bad experience at the moment of doing any of the hikes. Likewise, they are little informed about the weather conditions and the necessary equipment to have a safer and more comfortable hike. For this reason we leave below, some recommendations to achieve a good physical condition.

  • Walking activities for easy stretches.
  • It is recommended to go jogging in a continuous and continuous way.
  • It is essential to take proper care of your diet.
  • You may need to change some daily habits.

The trekking routes to Machu Picchu can be really challenging. The least amount of days you can hike is 2 days. While the maximum number of days of trekking can reach 8 or 9 days. This is the route from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu. Being one of the most arduous routes to do.

Adequate luggage for the trek

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

There are many problems with really heavy backpacks. An overweight backpack is a big problem when hiking. In this case it is important to carry only what is necessary.

But, what is only what is necessary? Without giving too much importance to the route you decide to walk to Machu Picchu, it will be vital to choose your luggage. To begin with, it is vital to bring a change of clothes and basic toiletries. Also, and if necessary, you should add a space for personal medication, if needed.

As for other belongings to carry, it is likely that the agency you hired for the activity will take care of it. In this sense, you will have to contact them so that they can guarantee the necessary services for the route and that everything they offer will be fulfilled. In this way, you will be able to make a trip without much trouble.

Acclimatization for an excellent trip

Small lagoons on the Lares route
Small lagoons on the Lares route

Something important to have an excellent trip on the trekking routes to Machu Picchu, is to contemplate a prudent time to acclimatize. Cusco is located at 3 399 meters above sea level or 11 552 feet above sea level. This means that it is at an altitude where the presence of oxygen is lower.

Oxygen density decreases according to the geographical altitude at which we find ourselves. In this sense, in places close to the sea or with altitudes lower than 2 000 meters above sea level, there are large amounts of oxygen. For this reason, some people, when ascending to higher latitudes, experience discomfort due to the low presence of oxygen.

The problem occurs when a person accustomed to the aforementioned altitude ascends or travels to a geographical area of higher altitude. When making this change of geography, he/she will encounter less oxygen. This will provoke a normal reaction in the body that will be expressed as a generalized malaise and other symptoms.

The body will enter into a process of oxygen deficiency, this will cause some malfunctions in the body, such as the case that oxygen does not reach the brain and some organs of the body properly. This is the main reason for the discomfort of altitude sickness. Next, let’s recognize more of these symptoms.

Symptoms of altitude sickness

  • Cases of fatigue occur.
  • The most common symptom is headache.
  • Some cases cause dizziness and vertigo.
  • There were also cases with symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
  • All these symptoms cause poor appetite and difficulty sleeping.
  • The most extreme cases produce fainting.
  • Disorientation processes are also found.

All these symptoms can vary in intensity. In Cusco, you can do various activities as you acclimatize. There have been cases where no symptoms are present. However, anybody can react differently. Therefore, we leave some tips to avoid problems.

Tips for altitude sickness

  • Try to avoid physical exertion or activities that require a great use of energy.
  • It is important to hydrate regularly. Even if you do not feel any symptoms.
  • Coca leaf is one of the best infusions to drink.
  • If the symptoms are very acute, it is recommended to rest. Of course, you can not stop hydrating.
  • The diet should be light.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and even smoking.
  • Another infusion that can help is the leaves and stems of pineapple.
  • It is important to remain calm.
  • Remember that all discomfort is a natural process, as the body exposes its lack of oxygen with these symptoms.
  • Altitude sickness can affect everyone, so it is recommended to have a regulated and calm activity. Especially during the first days.
How many days should I acclimatize?
It is recommended to have one or two days for the acclimatization process. For this process to be more immediate, it will be important to continue hydrating adequately throughout the day. It is also vital to follow the recommendations and take breaks, especially if the body itself is asking for it.

Who can do the trekking routes?

The hiking routes can be done even by children over 10 years old. Of course, they must show interest in the route and in the adventure itself. Older adults can also do it without any problems. In the case of them, it is recommended that they make a previous visit to the doctor and ask for his recommendations and care to be taken to do the route.

Large groups of family members can also do it. This is highly recommended so that during the whole experience the bonds are strengthened. In addition, it is one of the best options to encourage physical activity in children. Long walks are ideal to disconnect from the city or those things that produce stress.

Finally, it is an excellent option for the group of friends looking for new activities. The routes to Machu Picchu can be the best adventure you can do. There are many cases of groups of friends who made this route and the comments they make are always good. Choosing the trekking route will depend on each person. We can only say that any of the options is really rewarding and will remain in your memory forever.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, May 14, 2024

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