How hard is the Inca Trail? Well, that all depends on you and your level of physical fitness, but if you train hard during the weeks leading up to your trip to Peru, and take time to prepare for this adventure of a lifetime, the answer is, it’s very doable, and it’s oh so worth it!!
Unlike Kilimanjaro Expeditions that span over 7, 8 or even 9 days, trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu takes just 5 days, with 3 nights camping and 1 night in a hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). Days 1 and 2 are relatively easy with just a few climbs, day 3 is the most demanding with 2 tough climbs including in infamous Dead Woman’s Pass, and day 4 is the day you finally reach Machu Picchu… and all aches and pains are instantly forgotten!
But there is one hurdle most people forget to mention, and that is you very last climb just before you reach the Sun Gate. Fondly referred to as the ‘Gringo Killer’ or ‘Tourist Killer’ by the locals, it is a short but incredibly steep staircase that you have no choice but to scramble if you are to reach the Lost City of Inca’s.
By the time we reached the Gringo Killer, we were hot, sweaty, and more than ready to get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu, but rather than take it slowly, many in our group decided to race to the top, only to be left in second place by our ‘cheating’ guide Chino!
Here’s what the Gringo Killer looks like… it’s really not that bad!