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Walking the Inca Trail unaided, advice on accommodation/food and water.

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From what I have gathered it is going to take about a week to walk the Inca Trail. Do we need a tent? Or is there adequate accommodation en route such as tea houses? Is there adequate shops to hire sleeping bags and tents in the area? Would we need to bring all the food and water and carry it for the journey from the outset?
8 years ago, January 8th 2011 No: 1 Msg: #126240  
Walking the Inca Trail unaided, advice on accommodation/food and water.

We are two experienced walkers/climbers who are going to include the Inca Trail on our round the world travels. We intend to walk unaided and we have a couple of questions which we have been unable to find the answers to.

We are walking to Everest Base Camp after the trip and have the necessary clothes for the journey. However, we intend to hire our sleeping bags in Kathmandu to save valuable space on our round the world trip and we won’t be bringing a tent.

From what I have gathered it is going to take about a week to walk the Inca Trail.

Do we need a tent? Or is there adequate accommodation en route such as tea houses?

Is there adequate shops to hire sleeping bags and tents in the area?

Would we need to bring all the food and water and carry it for the journey from the outset?

Many thanks in advance,

Norman and Peach. Reply to this

8 years ago, January 9th 2011 No: 2 Msg: #126274  
Hi There

As far as I know you cannot trek the Inca Trail without a guide/group. As part of the group you will be accompanied by a group of porters who will carry all your tents and food. You will need to carry your own day bag containing clothes/sleeping bag/porter but you can hire a porter (at cost) to carry these if you wish.

You need a permit to walk the Inca Trail and these are obtained by the tour groups, I'm really not sure you will be able to get one on your own and entry to the trail is very strict, you need to supply your passport etc as proof of ID as you enter. Numbers on the trail are restricted to 500 per day and most people book around 3 - 6 months in advance to secure a place depending on the season. The whole trail is closed each year during February for maintenance.

The Inca Trail is generally a 4 day trip, 3 days trekking and the final day at Macchu Picchu itself. There are designated camping areas along the trail and groups have to stay at these areas. Limited drinks are available for purchase from the tiny villages/houses along the way but are very expensive, drinking water is provided by the porters.

There are other treks in and around the area which you may be able to do alone ending up at Macchu Picchu, I'm sure others may be able to give advice on this if they have done this.

Hope this helps 😱 Reply to this

8 years ago, January 9th 2011 No: 3 Msg: #126292  
B Posts: 137
You cannot walk the classic Inca Trail unless you go with a registered company as detailed above. There are other treks you can do on your own in the area or, depending on the time of year, there are some wonderful treks around Huarás. Reply to this

7 years ago, March 3rd 2011 No: 4 Msg: #130361  
N Posts: 5
Dear Norman and Peach. Hi. Glad to know you will be doing the inca trail, and, as Peruvian, am able to give you some good advice. First of all, as indicated by Sophie, you need to book through an operator, this is compulsory. As spaces allowed per day are only 500 per day, spaces run out real fast and you need to book in advance. Bear in mind that if you change up your mind, tickets are non refundable, and also dates and names cannot be changed. Your full name and passport number will be registered in your inca trail ticket when you buy it. There are no hotels, hostels or lodges on the way for the more than 1 night inca trail, so necessarily you sleep in sleeping bags. Operators will take all necessary equipment and food, except sleeping bags, these you may hire in Cusco. The most common inca trails are the 2 day inca trail, and the 4 day inca trail. For the 2 day inca trail, you take in Cusco (Poroy station) the train to Machu Picchu and get down at Km. 104. Here you start your hike. It is 8 hours until you reach Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. Here you overnight in Aguas Calientes, there are plenty of hotels to choose, and return the next day by train to Cusco. For the 4 day inca trail, you take in Cusco the train to MP and get down at Km 82, here, on the first day you camp at Huayllabamba at 3,100 ts, 6 hours hike. Camping site day 2 is Pucaymallu, 3500mts, 7 hours hike. Camping site day 3 is Wiñaywayna, 2650 mts, 5 hours hike. On day 4 you get to Machu Picchu and return by train to Cusco in the afternoon. NOTE THAT YOU CANNOT CAMP JUST ANYWHERE YOU LIKE. CAMPING SITES ARE OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED AND ONLY ONE OR TWO OPTIONS PER DAY. Inca trail is done best from April to November. February is closed. Groups cannot exceed 15 paxs per group. Hope this info helps.<snip>
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