One Step At A Time: A Guide to Hiking Machu Picchu Mountain.

Hiking the Machu Picchu Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in the world. The main reason why people do this hike is actually what’s on top: ruins of the Inca Civilization. Today, I’ll be showing you what to do when hiking this mountain, how to prepare for it, and some different options you can choose.

Photo by logan primm on


Hiking this mountain isn’t easy, and since the elevation is higher than most people are used to, you’ve got to get used to it. How? When arriving in the capital of Peru, Lima, don’t start hiking the next day. You need at least 3-4 days to fully prepare yourself. But, Lima doesn’t have the altitude required for this hike, so you have to stay in another city in Peru, Cusco. (I’ll explain more in ‘The Hike’ section.)

The hike itself is 25 miles long, which doesn’t seem like too much, considering that the hike is supposed to take you four days. But, it turns out that it isn’t the distance isn’t what makes this hike hard: it’s the elevation, which you spent three days to prepare for.

The mountain rises to 13,776 feet or 4,200 km, making it a difficult mountain to climb.

And of course, preparation means packing. Pack for about 10 days, but maybe a little less. You probably won’t be there ten days, unless you want to do something in Peru that doesn’t involve Machu Picchu, but I always find it better to pack extra.

Lima, Peru

The Hike:

After preparing for the hike for a few days, you’re ready to actually do it. The hike itself starts in the town of Cusco. To get there from Lima by bus, it’ll take 21 hours, something only the most patient can work out. That’s why I would take a flight, which would take about an hour.

There is more than one way to get to Machu Picchu, but I’ll be showing you the way on the Inca Trail. The Inca trail is 25,000 miles long, according to Active Adventures. It streaches over multiple countries in South America. Of course, you probably don’t want to walk 25,000 miles, so we’re only dividing that by a thousand and hiking 25 miles. A lot more doable, don’t you think?

The Red Line is the Inca Trail

The hike starts at a marker called Kilometer 82. To get to Kilometer 82, you can board a train from the Poroy Station in Cusco. Then, do the hike.

Okay, it’s not that simple, but… maybe it is. Before any of this though, months before, you need to have secured a place on the trains that go from the sun gate of Machu Picchu (the end of the hike) back to Cusco. You also need to have gotten a place at the campsite sort of places on the mountain, since the hike does take multiple days.

Once you arrive back in Cusco after your long hike, you can either continue on your exploration of Peru, or you can depart from Peru, whatever you choose.

Photo by Trace Hudson on

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Published by Dhatri, the Voyager

Hi! I'm Dhatri, the Voyager. Voyage the World is my travel blog, where I post itineraries, travel tips, and top ten lists. Join me on my voyages of the world!

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