Luxury Hikes for the Inca Trail

If you’re voyaging to Peru to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, why not do it in style? Many different travel packages are available for this tour, but if you can afford it, sign up for a small group luxury tour. These tours will include a dozen or so people to minimize the total cost, but will be intimate enough for you to enjoy the scenery and ancient ruins that you will be passing.

A luxury small group tour includes a tour guide, and enough porters – seven or eight – to carry the gear, food, and essentials for all the members of the tour. These porters will have tents set up, delicious food ready, and the fire lit before you arrive at the campsite for the evening. When you get up the next morning, they will serve you breakfast in your tent, then take down everything and run ahead of you to have everything set back up for the next evening. It’s not rugged mountain living, but if your older, a little out of shape, or just want to walk without having to lug around all of the heavy equipment, a group tour like this can’t be beat.

Having porters move your rigging allows you to look around, relax, and enjoy the vistas. You will get to spend some extra time checking out the ancient ruins viewed along the way, and still not have to worry about carrying all that extra gear over Dead Woman’s Pass, 18,000 feet above sea level. You will start your excursion from Cusco, and ride a bus from the city to the trail head. The total hike is 45 km, which will take four total days, and end with a train or bus ride back to Cusco at the end of day four after reaching and getting the opportunity to explore Machu Picchu.

Although taking a luxury small group tour gives you the best of all possible worlds, you must still do some preparation. Remember, the air is still thin and regardless of your physical condition, the trail can be tiring. Travel agencies recommend arriving in Cusco a day or two before you start your Inca Trail hike in order to trek the Sacred Valley to help get you used to the thinner air and strenuous exercise ahead of you. Also, make sure you get plenty of sleep and drink a lot of purified water before your trek institutes to ensure you make the most of your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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