As I packed my suitcase to go home for spring break, I was really wishing I could be going somewhere unique, exotic, or even somewhere different from home. I caught up with high school friends who were home during the same break I had, and asked what they would be doing over break or if they had any fun vacations or trips planned for spring break, or over summer too. One of my best friends said she was going to Peru to hike Machu Picchu. This is certainly different than where most people go over spring break (ie: to some warm beach in florida), and I had completely forgotten that she had told me this earlier in the year.
I love the outdoors, especially going on long hikes around my local dog parks, so I was really interested when she told me. I asked her to tell me about what she was doing for the week she’d be there, and decided to write my next blog about her trip. Note to (your)self: if you really want to see Machu Picchu and the ruins, make sure you really enjoy hiking – the average hike takes about 4 days, with about 6 hours per day.
This being said, this was the main part of her trip: hiking the Inca Trail. This trail is considered to be a ‘moderate’ hike, but there are a lot of steep staircases to climb. Her dad didn’t join them on this part of the trip because he tends to suffer from altitude sickness easily, and the high altitudes during this hike can definitely affect the body. Walking sticks can be useful for this too… they’re not just for old people! Like I mentioned earlier, the hike is very long, so bring comfortable hiking boots. To get an (exact) idea of how high this hike is – you’ll begin at 2,800 m (9,186 feet), and the highest point you’ll get up to is 4,200 m (13,780 feet).
Even though it might be warm in Peru, it does get cold at night because of the altitude. It’s more than necessary to bring some long sleeved clothes and a sleeping bag. Hiking Machu Picchu is available year-round to anyone who wishes to hike the trails. Although there are usually always crowds, it will be less crowded during october through april, given that this is the ‘rainy season,’ but in reality, it can rain anytime – so don’t let this prevent you from going during these months.
The views during the hike are incredible! Pictured below (and other pictures through) are some of the pictures my friend took during her 4 day hike with her family and friend.
As far as I know, going to Peru, regardless of if you’re going to hike Machu Picchu, will still be an incredible trip. As you probably know from reading previous blogs, I’m dying to study abroad in a spanish-speaking country. If I ever had the chance to go to Peru, I would definitely make an effort to hike the Inca Trail.