Altitude Considerations on the Inca Trail

Altitude Considerations on the Inca Trail

Let’s delve further into the topic of elevation. Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the surrounding cities vary in their altitude above sea level. Starting with Cusco, it sits at an elevation of 11,152 feet (3,400 meters).

Since most visitors must pass through this city to access the Inca Trail tours and Machu Picchu, many trekkers spend 1.5 to 2 days there beforehand to acclimatize and reduce the risk of experiencing altitude sickness.

If you are embarking on the standard 4-Day Classic Trek, the maximum elevation you will likely reach is 13,776 feet (4,200 meters).

Altitude sickness can affect any adventurer, regardless of their physical fitness level. Failing to allow sufficient time for acclimatization can potentially have a significant impact on your entire trip. If you seek more essential tips on hiking at high altitudes…

Machu Picchu itself is situated at an elevation of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters). Most individuals who have been hiking the Inca Trail for several days do not feel the effects of the altitude upon reaching Machu Picchu, provided they have rested adequately and stayed hydrated during their journey. From Machu Picchu’s citadel, there are two peaks you may choose to climb: Huayna Picchu, reaching an elevation of 8,920 feet (2,719 meters), and Machu Picchu Mountain, standing at 10,007 feet (3,050 meters).

Some trekkers find it helpful to take medication to cope with altitude and potential headaches. We encourage you to consult your doctor beforehand to determine if this course of action is suitable for you.


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