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Travelling from Lima to Cusco

Cusco receives millions of tourists every year. It’s the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley and holds its own as a must-visit destination. So, how do you get to Cusco from Lima, the only entryway if you’re flying into the country (for now)? There are two main ways to get to Cusco if you are in Lima. One is by flying, which is the easiest option, second is by bus which is scenic and adventurous.


Irish owners, The only hop-on hop-off bus Company in Peru. It might be a Little expensive but safety and fun is guaranteed. They already have thousands of happy customers on Tripadvisor and they just started in 2013. They cover a lot of routes and you can get out in a city for a few days and then get in again for no extra cost.

Cruz del Sur

The most reliable Peruvian bus Company (but they are not always). This is the best Price/security ratio in the bus business. They still have some really bad reviews and bad experiences but that can happen to everyone. We recommend this Company if you want a single trip to point A to B for a good Price.


Same as Cruz del Sur, seems to be reliable, but opinions are really divided, when it Works it’s amazing but when it fails it fails miserably. Good Price/security ratio as well.

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When to visit Cusco

May – September

Dry, most popular time to trek (busiest months June, July and August)

October – December

Wet, but quieter than the busy season and worth considering as months to trek

January – February

Wettest months, Inca Trail closed in February. Too wet to trek

March – April

Wet, but quieter than the busy season and worth considering as months to trek

Top Inca Trail Tour Operators

SAM Travel Peru

SAM Travel Peru is a highly professional Tour & trekking company that focuses on both young and older travelers alike, making sure everyone makes it to their intended destination. A key feature offered by SAM Travel is small group sizes. They never exceed eight trekkers per group, unlike many operators who will happily reach the maximum group limit of 16 people. What’s more, the company’s Peruvian owner, Saul Alvarez, has been working along the Inca Trail since the age of 18, including as porter and a guide.

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Orange Nation

For a while, this relatively new start-up company has been on my list of other Inca Trail tour operators to consider. The tour guides, porters and cooks have shares in the company, with people earning a fair amount for their level of contribution. The company has also had plenty of excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. Definitely one to consider.

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Spider Travel Peru

Spider Travel is a New & an innovative Local Tour Operator in Cusco, Specialist in Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Lares Trek, Tour Packages to Machu Picchu, Luxury Glamping Treks, Rainbow Mountain, Choquequirao trek.

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How to Prepare for the Inca Trail

Before you leave

  • Book with a Travel Company: The Peruvian government requires that a professional guide accompanies all hikers. Only 500 people are allowed on the Inca Trail per day, so make sure you organize your permit and private guide or book a tour in advance.
  • Physical Prep: The Inca Trail is no joke and even those who are reasonably fit may find themselves short of breath on the trek. I highly recommend, at the very least, hiking before your trip with the gear you’ll carry on the Inca Trail. It’s a great way to make sure you only pack what you can handle. If you want to get in better shape before the trek, cardio is a great way to increase your endurance, and weight training will strengthen your upper body and legs.
  • Mental Prep: Preparing your mind is just as important as preparing your body. There are parts of the hike that will feel easy and others that will have you questioning your ability to finish the trail. You need to push through those hard moments and keep your motivation in mind to help you reach your final destination.

What to pack

  • The key to packing for the Inca Trail is essentialism. You only want to take what you need to finish the hike. If you pack too much, your bag will weigh you down and put extra weight on your body.
  • Pack Layers: It’s important to keep in mind that the temperature changes. In the evening, you’ll need warmer layers, but the days heat up fast. Make sure you pack enough layers, as well as a hat and gloves to keep your body insulated.
  • Boots and Sandals: I’d also recommend bringing along two pairs of shoes: waterproof hiking boots and sandals.
  • Extras: Other useful things to pack are a hydration pack, bug spray, sun protection, a headlamp, moleskin (for blisters) and medication for altitude sickness.

After you arrive

  • Acclimate in Cusco: Before you start the Inca Trail, you need to prepare your body for the high altitude. Spend a few days in Cusco, and you’ll reduce the risk of getting altitude sickness and having to turn back. You can even hike around the area as practice and explore places like Colca Canyon.
  • Pace Yourself: Hiking the Inca Trail is not a race. Go slow and take your time adjusting to the altitude and taking in the scenery.
  • Stay Hydrated: One of the best ways to prevent altitude sickness is to stay hydrated. Make sure you’re drinking enough water every day, even if you don’t feel like it. Another item that’s useful to pack is salt tablets. It will help you replace what your body is sweating out.
  • Eat Enough Food: The higher you climb, the slower your digestion becomes. While you’re hiking, you might find that you’ve lost your appetite. However, it’s super important that you continue to eat and have snacks that you can munch on throughout the day. If you’re not consuming enough calories to replace the ones you’re burning, you won’t have the energy and stamina to finish the trek.
  • Pack Your Passport: Once you arrive at the gates of Machu Picchu, you can get your passport stamped as a souvenir!
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