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INCA TRAIL

 

The vast Inca’s Empire was connected by an extense Inca trail system. This Inca Trail system linked about 25,000 miles (40,000 kims.) Nowadays, the Classic Inca Trail is the most popular and better preserved trail. The Inca Trail is the only trail in Cusco that has as final destination, Machu Picchu. There are several places from where it is possible to start the Inca Trail, but the most popular ones are the 2 Day Inca Trail and the Classic  4 Day Inca Trail.

 

If you would like to hike the Inca Trail, you will need to have an Inca Trail permit which needs to be purchased through a local tour operator. Latika Inca Trail is a tour operator located in Cusco which has obtained a license to operate the Inca Trail for the 2011 season. During the high season (April to October), it is important to obtain your Inca Trail permit well in advance because the Peruvian government only allows 500 people per day and permits can be sold out three months in advance. All tour operators and travel agencies offer packages including the permit and other services. It is important to book the Inca Trail with a tour operator that is going to provide you the service that you are paying for.

 

The Classic Inca Trail covers a total length of 28 miles or 44.8 kilometers from the starting point to Machu Picchu. The first and forth days can be considered the easiest days of the trek while the second day is usually the hardest one because the trail consists mainly of stairs going up and down. In order to be able to complete the trek, it is important to be in good physical shape. If you are in good physical shape, you will really enjoy the ruins and amazing landscapes along the way. A person who is not used to exercise should not hike the Inca Trail (Please consider a visit to Machu Picchu by train.)

 

If you are starting to exercise for the Inca Trail, please make sure that you include in your routine cardiovascular activities and exercises to strength your legs. One month prior to starting the trek, you should hike long trails (5-10 miles) at least once per week. Since we provide porters to carry up to 15 pounds or 7 kilograms of your personal belongings, you should hike with a small backpack including a jacket, water, snacks, sun screen, insect repellent, and an impermeable or poncho or similar weight.

 

People who suffer of asthma, respiratory conditions, or a heart conditions, please ask your doctor for advice before hiking the Inca Trail

If you are coming to Peru to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will need to look for the services of a Travel Agency or a Tour Operator. There are several Travel Agencies and Tour Operators offering Inca Trail tours but not all of them offer the same service. The service that a Tour Operator provides usually depends on the amount of money that they charge. Basically, you get what you pay for. Also, porters, cooks and guides will get paid what you are paying for.

 

The Peruvian government has ruled the minimum requirements that a Tour Operator has to comply in order to be able to offer tours in the Inca Trail. The majority of Tour Operators only comply with the basic regulations while only a few Tour Operators make efforts to provide a quality service. Porters, cooks and guides are the key for a successful Inca Trail. In our opinion all of them are equally important but porters are the ones who will amuse you. Your porters will be the ones carrying all the equipment and food necessary to make of your Inca Trail experience the best one of your life.

 

In the Inca Trail, porters are the ones working harder than anybody else but they are usually the ones who are getting the lower payment and the ones who are usually abused by most tour operators. In order to avoid these abuses, the Peruvian government introduced a bill stipulating that a porter should get about USD 14.00 per day and carry a maximum of 44 pounds. Unfortunately, this bill is not always respected by the majority of tour operators so it is important to hire a tour operator or travel agency providing good treatment to its porters.

 

Since USD 14.00 per day is not enough for the hard work of the porters, there is a tradition in Inca Trail (this tradition applies  to all treks being offered in Peru.) This tradition consists of a ceremony performed at the end of the third day. At the end of this ceremony trekkers have the opportunity to tip them and thank them for making possible such a beautiful journey. If you decide to tip porters, please make sure that each porter gets a specific amount of money. If you give the tip to the cook or the guide, it is possible that porters get less money.

 

http://www.latikaincatrail.com/

 


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