One century ago, while exploring the South American wilderness in search of lost cities and hidden treasures, explorer Hiram Bingham battled the high altitudes, fast-flowing rivers and thick Peruvian jungle to take his first glimpse of the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu.
Luckily, for those wanting to travel to the city by foot today the path isn’t nearly as treacherous, thanks to the 26-miles of Inca Trail walking route that wind through various religious and archaeological sites on the way to Machu Picchu.
Those wanting to endure this monumental trek should allow four days and be warned that the epic journey is no walk in the park. Careful preparation is therefore required.
Here’s their guide on how best to prepare for this incredible trip:
BOOK A PERMIT
Before you can even consider following in the footsteps of Hiram Bingham, you’ll need to ensure you have a permit. This must booked no later than 90 days before your departure.
You can also book through a tour operator who will ensure that these details are organized on your behalf. Only 500 people are allowed on the track per day and places fill up quickly, so try to book as far ahead as you can.
HIRE A GUIDE
Out of the 500 people on the trail, only 200 are hikers. The others are porters, cooks and guides. The area along the trail and around Machu Picchu is protected by the Peruvian state, so hikers must be accompanied by a guide at all times.