Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail in Peru is by far the most famous trek in South America.  It combines beautiful mountain scenery, lush forest, subtropical jungle and a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. The final destination of the trail, Machu Picchu, at an altitude of 2,400m is known as the mysterious "Lost City of the Incas".


To trek the Inca Trail, usually takes four days.  The trail itself just 26 miles (43km).  The second day is general considered to be the most challenging as it includes an ascent to Dead Woman’s Pass at an altitude of 4,215m.  On the fourth day, after exploring Machu Picchu, the return journey is often made on the tourist train.  


Most tour operators combine the Inca Trail with other walking or sightseeing options resulting in a longer itinerary.  

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Barry's Story

As I was heading towards the half century milestone I decided it was time to do something for me, and I needed to get fit. I knew I needed a challenge and had thought about the Inca Trail for several years. I wanted to do something that was iconic, but also something that would force me to get off my sofa and start training. Before this I really did nothing physical, was overweight, very unfit and needing to change.


I started to gradually improve my fitness and lose weight and as things progressed I knew I needed to get used to hill walking (although I didn’t realise that I would find walking downhill harder than going up!), so a little bit of research led me to Peak Walking Adventures. The trek training weekends are great training, especially doing two days together as the challenge treks I do involve several consecutive days so I find this the best training.


Since my first trek on the Inca trail I am now over 25kg lighter and have subsequently walked on The Great Wall of China, Mount Toukbal in Morocco, Mayan ruins in Guatemala, and heading towards Kilimanjaro in 2018 and looking forward to new adventures beyond that. 

Barry at Machu Picchu

Barry's Top Trekking Tips

  • Invest time in getting a good level of fitness, you don’t need to be able to run marathons but the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the walking
  • Invest in the best gear you can get, boots and waterproofs in particular.
  • Irrespective of your fitness hill walking is an essential part of a training programme