One of Peru’s most popular historical sites is Machu Picchu. Here are 10 tips to follow when hiking the Inca Trail to this unique site.
Machu Picchu is one of Peru’s most popular historical sites. It is an Inca citadel that dates back to the 15th century and comes from the southern region of Peru. The city sits high in the mountains at 7,970 feet. The civilization was abandoned in 1572. Due to its historical significance, the city receives many visitors every year.
However, reaching Machu Picchu is not an easy task, due to its location. As it is on the mountain ridge, people have to walk to the top. The hike is not easy and you have to be well prepared. Here are some practical tips to follow.
ten Get used to the elevation change
When hiking to Machu Picchu, there is a big change in elevation. Since the destination is at 7,970 feet, the physical effects can be severe. You can suffer from altitude sickness and be a challenge for people who are not used to it. It is worse for people arriving from places where the altitude is otherwise considered low. Visit Cusco and spending two nights is a good way to get used to the change before boarding Cusco is a good city with a great environment.
9 Get the right engaging route
The trek to Machu Picchu should not be limited to the city. Indeed, entering the city only takes 2 hours for all visitors, therefore, without a good itinerary, it will be difficult to enjoy the place. However, very good planning will give hikers more places to explore and enjoy the experience. There are several places to visit along the way. One such place is Winyawayna where people can spend the night. Sun Gate is also a great place.
8 Physical training is a must
The trek to Machu Picchu is not easy. This is a hike that will end at an elevation of 7,970 feet. The journey is long and difficult, and you have to be physically prepared. Many visitors may hear of the town but are unprepared for the challenge of climbing. Physical training is about making the body strong, flexible and fit for climbing. There are many ways to do this, which may involve going to the gym, running, swimming, hiking, walking, or biking.
7 Hydration and food are crucial
One cannot walk successfully without having the necessary energy. Machu Picchu is no different. When walking, we sweat and expend a lot of energy. With altitude sickness, hydration and starvation are a serious concern. A traveler should ensure they are well fed before starting the trek. You should also carry enough water, making sure to use reusable bottles, as well as snacks. Altitude slows digestion, so eating before hiking is a good way to conserve enough energy.
6 Prepare for the weather
The trek to Machu Picchu will present hikers with weather challenges. This is because it can be hot or rainy and you cannot predict what will happen on the mountain. In some cases, one may start the hike when it is warm and then find rain on the mountain. Therefore, being prepared for the weather is crucial. The ideal is to use light pants. This ensures that there are no excessive heat effects. A waterproof jacket and good hiking shoes will also come in handy, so in case of rain you’ll be fine. For those going camping, heavy clothing is good for the cooler evening temperatures.
5 Skin Protection
Since the hike to this historic site includes trails through the forest and into the mountains, one should make sure they protect their skin. There are many insects that can pose a great threat to the skin. This is especially true for those who go camping. Another challenge is the heat. When hiking in hot weather, the risk of getting a sunburn is very high. Accordingly, the visitor is advised to carry sunscreen and additional insect repellent.
4 Carriers are important
Many hikers may assume that the trek to Machu Picchu is an easy task that they can complete on their own. This is not the case for most visitors. The trail up the mountain is difficult and full of many challenges. The chances of getting lost are quite high. Therefore, new visitors should make sure that they use the services of porters. The porters are very useful as they help to guide you along the route. They also know where to rest and how to handle various challenges along the way.
3 Spare shoes for camping
These are some of the small details that are often overlooked and lead to suffering. When hiking and camping, rest is crucial. However, having only hiking boots and nothing else to change into can be very uncomfortable on the feet. After a day of hiking, you have to change to light and open shoes for the night.
2 The hiking stick is crucial
A hiking pole is an essential tool to have for this type of hike. We might not think much about it, but it is practical when it comes to climbing steep areas, as well as during descents. A hiking stick is easy to get. One can purchase or speak to porters for assistance in acquiring one.
1 Join a group
It is almost impossible to Machu Picchu hike, especially for visitors unfamiliar with the area. Therefore, the secret to getting motivation, help, and a broad understanding of the best route is to join a group. Many people are willing to hike with friends, which can create an enjoyable experience.
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