HJDS Travel Group

How Not To Do The Inca Trail

by on Jan.06, 2013, under Travel

  • Sumo

I’m here to warn you about a fake Inca Trail and to make sure you do the real Inca Trail, which is amazing. You want four days of trekking and camping out in the immense valleys of Peru and on the last morning you want a nice easy descent down into Machu Picchu, the Lost Inca City – the highlight of your four amazing days of trekking! First up – if you are going to South America, please TRY NOT TO MISS THE INCA TRAIL. It is incredible. Secondly – ensure you do the Real Inca Trail! I just want to highlight this to all Inca Trail enthusiasts.

So how can you tell if an advertised Inca Trail is a ‘fake’? (and how do you know it’s the real Inca Trail)

1. You didn’t have to show your passport on the entrance to the trail (at the start of the Real Inca Trail there is a compulsory passport check – you also have the option of getting a passport stamp, which I took)

2. You didn’t see the sign saying Inca Trail at the official entrance (the one I’m photographed in above and about 3 other signs on the way in)

3. You paid less than $150 US Dollars (the real Inca Trail simply cannot be done for less than that) – the real Inca Trail will cost you more than $150 US Dollars (depending on porters, quality of tents, size of group, time of year etc.)

4. Your ticket doesn’t have the silver hologram on it (see my ticket above)

5. You didn’t spend your third night in Winay Wayna (a mountain area with a massive campsite deliberately located only 6 kilometres from Machu Picchu – if you’re on the Real Inca Trail you will stay here – or at least pass through it and stay nearby)

6. You used a bicycle on any part of the trail (the real Inca Trail doesn’t permit bicycles) The Inca Trail is a walking trail!! It’s a hike, if they give you a bike, you are on a fake Inca Trail

7. You got a bus to Machu Picchu (seriously, I met people who got a bus to Machu Picchu!! Now come on but if you get a bus then you know it’s not the real Inca Trail)

8. The night before visiting Machu Picchu you didn’t even stay in a tent (on the Inca Trail the only accomodation is tents – if you stayed in a hotel or hostel, sorry but it’s not on the trail)

9. The night before visiting Machu Picchu you spent the night in a town called Aguas Calientes (if this happens, I feel a bit sorry for you, as you won’t even have done any part of the real Inca Trail – and possibly done the Salkantay Trek instead. Sure you will love it – but remember you may have been given false information)

10. You entered Machu Picchu by ascending to the top of a hill (Please note – When you reach Machu Picchu at the end of the Inca Trail it is a downward descent and you get your first viewing of Machu Picchu on the way down at a place called Intipunku or Intipata.)

11. You did the trip in 3 days (unless under special circumstances as the proper hike from Qorihuayrachina to Machu Picchu is four days – yes of course experienced hikers can do it faster, but this is the set route and timescale)

12. You hike you do is called the Salkantay Trek or Machu Picchu Trek (these are also great hikes by the way, but not the Real Inca Trail).

13. You book it the day before (There are only 400 places on the Real Inca Trail each day and it normally fills up fast so booking the day before sounds suspicious to me)

On a final note and not to put a dampener on it, if any of you did another hike, that’s also amazing. I’m just trying to highlight that if you want to do the Original Real Inca Trail, it’s a four day hike through the hills and valleys which ends at Machu Picchu. No settlements, hotels or transport at all during the four days.

So get to Cusco, book the Inca Trail and just check it’s the proper trail before you pay up and confirm everything. For the record I used the company Cuzco Explorers and my guide was Sonja. Recommended.

Want to find out more about the fake Inca Trail, then visit Jonny Blair’s insightful travel, work and lifestyle website called Don’t Stop Living if you want to live a lifestyle of travel.. This article, How Not To Do The Inca Trail is available for free reprint.

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    Behind HJDS Travel Group Blog

    My name is Harry Delgado and I am a full time Internet and Small Business developer and marketer. Over 30 years in the Computer systems development, programming, hardware installations and support. Currently making a living from blogs like HJDS Computer Services , HJDS Investment Group and HJDS BlogBiz. You can connect with me via social media sites at Facebook - LinkedIn - Twitter - YouTube.