Posted by: baworldtraveler | June 26, 2011

100 Year Celebration: Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

On June 24, 2011, The NY Times had a great article to celebrate the 100 year mark of Hiram Bingham’s first encounter with his remarkable discovery, Machu Picchu. The article, by Mark Adams, includes a superb 46 photo slideshow that must be seen in full screen mode on your computer. It also includes a nice video from the Inca Trail.

For the link to the slide show click here.

For the link to the video of the Inca Trail and the article click here.

I think that Machu Picchu is one of those places that ends up on bucket lists of many people. Take my advice and go sooner rather than later, and when you go, hike the Inca Trail to get there. You will discover that the journey exceeds even your greatest expectations of the destination. You won’t be disappointed.(Go while you have good, strong knees to tackle a full day of climbing down Inca steps.)

Take note of my three best tips that follow.
1. Make sure you give yourself extra time in Cusco to acclimate to the higher altitude before hiking the Inca Trail, or you will be sorry.

2. Get some really sturdy but comfortable hiking boots. It can take a long time to find that perfect boot. I finally found mine in NYC’s Tents and Trails store. The sales person had hiked the trail – he even had photos in the store to show us. He said, “I know the perfect boot for the trek. There is only one boot to get. It is the Vasquez, Sundowner. I guarantee you will not get a blister.” He pulled out the photo where we could see he was wearing the same boot on the trail. He was right. Of all the boots in the group, only the two people wearing the Sundowners were blister-free. (He also advised us to be sure to get the boot 1/2 size larger; your feet will swell from the altitude.)

3. Be prepared for altitude sickness. It hit everyone of us at different times and in different ways. If you can stand it – the trail guides will show you how to prepare cocoa leaves to alleviate altitude sickness – it worked for many in the group but it tasted to nasty for me.

Please comment if you have any additional tips to add for those considering a journey to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail.


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