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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

slocagolferslocagolfer Advanced Members Posts: 475
I'm going in early April. Four days, three nights. Any tips from those who have done it?

Comments

  • Matt JMatt J Advanced Members Posts: 8,548 ✭✭
    If it's guided you might not have a big say in itinerary, but the secret is to get inside Machu Picchu as early as you can. The first hour or two of the day is the only time it is not absolutely swarmed with people. If you are in good physical condition the trail will be fine. Drink a ton of water, maybe take an aspirin or two to thin your blood, and make yourself lie down and try to sleep for 8 to 9 hours every night. If you are overweight or out of shape consider consulting a doctor for altitude meds.
  • slocagolferslocagolfer Advanced Members Posts: 475
    Matt J wrote:


    If it's guided you might not have a big say in itinerary, but the secret is to get inside Machu Picchu as early as you can. The first hour or two of the day is the only time it is not absolutely swarmed with people. If you are in good physical condition the trail will be fine. Drink a ton of water, maybe take an aspirin or two to thin your blood, and make yourself lie down and try to sleep for 8 to 9 hours every night. If you are overweight or out of shape consider consulting a doctor for altitude meds.




    Thank you. It's a guided tour and we get to MP early. (Can you go otherwise?) I'm in good, not great, condition and have been doing a lot of fairly difficult hikes as well as golf twice a week carrying. I'm going to get altitude meds too. The altitude is the part that concerns me. Thanks for your reply.
  • One_Putt_BlunderOne_Putt_Blunder Advanced Members Posts: 10,789 ✭✭
    edited February 26
    If are you getting in early can you do some training hikes up to elevation? Best way to acclimate is climb high during the day and retreat to lower elevation to sleep. If you can get your body used to 6-7000 feet before you set off going up to 13-14 wont be as bad. Doesnt take long. I was going +6,000 to +10,000 feet in elevation gains a lot during the summer/fall for day hikes and by the middle of fall I was trucking along ridgelines at 8-9k feet like I was back in PHX at 1200 feet. Got hurt stayed low for a month went up to 7800 to camp and felt the altitude just trying to set up camp. I had never really thought about acclimatizing until I was feeling it setting up camp after that break.



    I say this assuming with the current snowpack it will be near impossible for you to get up to altitude in the Sierra's before you go.







    Enjoy, a bucket list trek for many people.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Matt JMatt J Advanced Members Posts: 8,548 ✭✭

    Matt J wrote:


    If it's guided you might not have a big say in itinerary, but the secret is to get inside Machu Picchu as early as you can. The first hour or two of the day is the only time it is not absolutely swarmed with people. If you are in good physical condition the trail will be fine. Drink a ton of water, maybe take an aspirin or two to thin your blood, and make yourself lie down and try to sleep for 8 to 9 hours every night. If you are overweight or out of shape consider consulting a doctor for altitude meds.




    Thank you. It's a guided tour and we get to MP early. (Can you go otherwise?) I'm in good, not great, condition and have been doing a lot of fairly difficult hikes as well as golf twice a week carrying. I'm going to get altitude meds too. The altitude is the part that concerns me. Thanks for your reply.




    Buses bring visitors from Aguas Calientes every 15 or 20 minutes all day. That's why it's quiet in the morning as they can only fill the buses up to capacity and return for more, so the flow of guests is fixed but it's not until around lunch that the earliest guests have had their full and return.



    Most of the Inca Trail guests camp near Machu Picchu or stay in the hotel at the ruins the night before. I emphasize to go early, because even as a paying client you can exert some power over the group to really hustle the morning you enter the ruins so that you get that first hour or two of relative serenity before it looks like a shopping mall on the weekend before Xmas. And it does. UNESCO has warned the Peruvian government for ages that they are allowing too many people into the ruins and degrading the site, but the money talks.



    As for the altitude, I speak from having been an outdoor guide for most of my adult life, take care of yourself. Listen to your body. Do not drink alcohol for as long as possible before the trip. Get tons of sleep, limit stress, and try and keep that vibe rolling through the trip. Choose carefully what you eat. Stay away from real greasy and spicy food or anything that might upset your stomach. Take antacids, anti-diarrhea medicine, and anti-inflammation medicine with you and take at the smallest sign of distress. Altitude effects everyone differently and it seems to depend a lot on your overall health and immunity. I have lived in houses at over 10k feet in elevation for years at a time, I have stayed in towns like Cusco at 11k feet for weeks at a time, I've hiked and climbed at over 18k feet of elevation, but still sometimes after weeks of living at lower altitude if I climb quickly it will negatively effect me. You're asking your body to ramp up a lot of red blood cells and other metabolic processes and sometimes it handles that pretty easily and sometimes it simply doesn't. Certainly don't fixate on it. Just take it slow and steady. Go at your pace until you feel comfortable. Drink tons of water. Basically the altitude makes you fatigue quickly which makes you susceptible to illness. Try and save what's in the tank until you really need it. Often times mild mountain sickness isn't serious, but it's uncomfortable. The more you can avoid it the better.



    Another trick you can try is using the Altitude Mask. I had an endurance ski race partner use it while living and training at low altitude and he swore by it.
  • slocagolferslocagolfer Advanced Members Posts: 475
    Matt J wrote:


    Matt J wrote:


    If it's guided you might not have a big say in itinerary, but the secret is to get inside Machu Picchu as early as you can. The first hour or two of the day is the only time it is not absolutely swarmed with people. If you are in good physical condition the trail will be fine. Drink a ton of water, maybe take an aspirin or two to thin your blood, and make yourself lie down and try to sleep for 8 to 9 hours every night. If you are overweight or out of shape consider consulting a doctor for altitude meds.




    Thank you. It's a guided tour and we get to MP early. (Can you go otherwise?) I'm in good, not great, condition and have been doing a lot of fairly difficult hikes as well as golf twice a week carrying. I'm going to get altitude meds too. The altitude is the part that concerns me. Thanks for your reply.




    Buses bring visitors from Aguas Calientes every 15 or 20 minutes all day. That's why it's quiet in the morning as they can only fill the buses up to capacity and return for more, so the flow of guests is fixed but it's not until around lunch that the earliest guests have had their full and return.



    Most of the Inca Trail guests camp near Machu Picchu or stay in the hotel at the ruins the night before. I emphasize to go early, because even as a paying client you can exert some power over the group to really hustle the morning you enter the ruins so that you get that first hour or two of relative serenity before it looks like a shopping mall on the weekend before Xmas. And it does. UNESCO has warned the Peruvian government for ages that they are allowing too many people into the ruins and degrading the site, but the money talks.



    As for the altitude, I speak from having been an outdoor guide for most of my adult life, take care of yourself. Listen to your body. Do not drink alcohol for as long as possible before the trip. Get tons of sleep, limit stress, and try and keep that vibe rolling through the trip. Choose carefully what you eat. Stay away from real greasy and spicy food or anything that might upset your stomach. Take antacids, anti-diarrhea medicine, and anti-inflammation medicine with you and take at the smallest sign of distress. Altitude effects everyone differently and it seems to depend a lot on your overall health and immunity. I have lived in houses at over 10k feet in elevation for years at a time, I have stayed in towns like Cusco at 11k feet for weeks at a time, I've hiked and climbed at over 18k feet of elevation, but still sometimes after weeks of living at lower altitude if I climb quickly it will negatively effect me. You're asking your body to ramp up a lot of red blood cells and other metabolic processes and sometimes it handles that pretty easily and sometimes it simply doesn't. Certainly don't fixate on it. Just take it slow and steady. Go at your pace until you feel comfortable. Drink tons of water. Basically the altitude makes you fatigue quickly which makes you susceptible to illness. Try and save what's in the tank until you really need it. Often times mild mountain sickness isn't serious, but it's uncomfortable. The more you can avoid it the better.



    Another trick you can try is using the Altitude Mask. I had an endurance ski race partner use it while living and training at low altitude and he swore by it.




    Thanks for the advice and your perspective. The altitude is what worries me. No way to tell how I'll react until I get there. I'm waaaay out of my comfort zone here so this trip will be good for me as well as very interesting.
  • Matt JMatt J Advanced Members Posts: 8,548 ✭✭
    Go into it as if going to battle. You'll be fine.



    It's the skipping through the daisies guests that are a bigger worry. Don't let it get to you, hike for 15 or 20 minutes and stop and drink water, rinse, repeat. Get up and hit the trail a little in front of the group and take your time. Don't get too carried away with the coca leaves image/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />
  • HoosierMizunoHoosierMizuno Advanced Members Posts: 3,316 ✭✭
    Looks like an unbelievable trip. definitely report back once you've completed and let us know how it went! any suggestions from anyone on how to plan or book a trip like this. are prices pretty competitive, or are there deals or companies that are preferable. for this trip, are there even multiple tour companies to choose from?
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  • slocagolferslocagolfer Advanced Members Posts: 475


    Looks like an unbelievable trip. definitely report back once you've completed and let us know how it went! any suggestions from anyone on how to plan or book a trip like this. are prices pretty competitive, or are there deals or companies that are preferable. for this trip, are there even multiple tour companies to choose from?




    We went through this outfit: https://www.alpacaexpeditions.com/?fbclid=IwAR2vUGf6uR-Y1zMiMym3RtrPRPjx8WHzxwrts_HuwsShhrKEeqVfau143Rg



    My buddy set it up.
  • gregh729gregh729 #TheWRX 2016 Advanced Members Posts: 2,837 ✭✭
    Can't wait to see the pics. Have a great time
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