Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

by Emma Hackwood

Have you ever wondered what the view was like above the clouds? Our Travel Expert Kelly witnessed the exhilarating view on her trek of the Inca Trail with G Adventures and shares her experience crossing Dead Woman’s Pass:

The morning before our group started the Inca Trail hike, we visited a small ruin in the city of Ollantaytambo. There were a lot of stairs to get to the top; it was a good warm-up to the Inca Trail. It wasn’t too difficult but it did make a lot of us wonder, if this was just the warm-up, would we be able to handle the Inca Trail?

sacred valley peru

Nonetheless, we began our trek. Steadily. It was an uphill hike but it was gradual, and not too extreme. We hiked for about four or five hours until we arrived at our camp site where the porters had set up our base. The porters also had prepared tea for us, as well as a little dishes with hot water to wash our hands.

I would highly recommend bringing ear plugs for sleeping at night in case you’re a light sleeper like myself. Between the donkeys and dog fights all night, it was somewhat challenging trying to fall asleep.

On day two, our group was up at 6 a.m. for breakfast. Gluten-free pancakes was a great start to the day and super important for this one in particular. Day two took us to a stretch of the Inca Trail called Dead Woman’s Pass, which is the most challenging part of the trek because of the high altitude – the highest point of the Inca Trail.

Physically, I wanted to push my body harder but the altitude was just too hard on the lungs. Along the way we kept asking our guide, “are we almost there?” to which he would reply with, “it’s just around the corner.” (It never was.)

Dinner on night two was awesome! They really do know how to cook in Peru and the team at G Adventures always served up excellent dishes for us. The group went to bed early again for another 6 a.m. start.

Day three was a mix of up and down hill terrain. Everyone in the group rented walking poles, including myself. They came in handy going down stairs where there were a lot of high and uneven steps. It was an easy day of hiking, but this was also the longest day of the trek. That night we camped right on the side of the mountain so going to the bathroom in the middle of the night was a little scary. Head lamps are a must! On night three, the cook baked a cake! He baked a cake on the side of a mountain. We couldn’t believe it (and it turned out really well!)

Day four started early, as well. 4 a.m. It was still dark out. We hiked for about two hours before we finally made it to Machu Picchu! What an exhilarating moment. peru-machu_picchu

Looking out over Machu Picchu stirred up so many different emotions. Just completing the hike was amazing in itself. It really doesn’t get much better then that. This was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life.


For more information on hiking the Inca Trail or travelling with G Adventures, contact a Flight Centre Travel Expert by connecting with us online, calling 1-877-967-5302, or visiting your closest Flight Centre store.