How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1

How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1

We recently dug up our photos from the Inca Trail and it brought back a lot of memories. It was our first multi-day hike and definitely tested our relationship early on. Regardless, it was well worth it!

If you plan on hiking the Inca Trail, be sure to check out our packing guide and 4-day overview.

How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 Photo Guide // localadventurer.com

DAY 1 OF THE INCA TRAIL: CUSCO – WAYLLABAMBA

Distance: 7.45 miles / 12km
Estimated Time: 5-6 hours
Maximum Altitude: 9,850 feet / 3,000m
What You See: Llaqtapata Ruins, Unnamed Ruins

Day one started early! After a quick stop for breakfast, we got checked in and hit the trail. It was the easiest of the 4 days and was a nice “warm up”.

How to Hike the Inka Trail - Guide to Day 1 Hike to Machu Picchu // localadventurer.comGetting the Inca Trail Permits + How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com
Hiking Peru - How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.comHiking Peru - How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.comGoing to Machu Picchu - Photo Guide to the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com
Inca Trail Photos - Photo Diary Hiking to Machu Picchu // localadventurer.comHiking the Inka Trail in Peru - Photo Guide to Day 1 // localadventurer.comHow to Hike the Inca Trail Peru // localadventurer.com
Day 1 of the Inca Trail Peru // localadventurer.comInca Trail Photos and Travelogue // localadventurer.com

We heard lots of stories of this flower that’s a hallucinogen. One of the side effects include going blind and many don’t try it a second time. In case you were curious, I looked it up and it’s jimsonweed!

Jimsonweed Growing in Peru South America // localadventurer.com

Views of the snow-capped peak of Veronica (5860 m)

Inca Trail Day 1 Guide + View of Mount Veronica Peru // localadventurer.com

An elevation chart of our four-day hike to Machu Picchu. Can you tell the second day is going to be a *****?!

Map of Inca Trail Elevation Gain // localadventurer.com

It was a struggle for us, but the porters were carrying over double the weight we carried and were sprinting up and down the mountains. These guys were our heroes! I’m not sure how Matthew stayed so joyful while carrying a 50+ lb pack, but he was definitely an inspiration to us all.

Guided Tour to Machu Picchu - Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com

The people who didn’t make it to Machu Picchu (at least that’s what they told us!).

Graves along the Machu Picchu Trail // localadventurer.com

Our lunch spot! Llactapata:

Guide to Day 1 of the Inca Trek // localadventurer.com

Our guided tour with Info Cusco had the best food. The most gourmet camp food we’ve ever had! I can’t believe they hauled all that stuff up and down the mountains.

How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.comHiking the Inca Trail Blog and Photo Guide // localadventurer.comInca Trail Food - Guided Tour to Machu Picchu // localadventurer.comHiking to Machu Picchu - Guide to the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com

We passed by random unnamed ruins, but this was our first ruins in clear view – Llactapata Ruins.

Llactapata Inca Ruins Peru - En Route to Machu Picchu // localadventurer.comLocal Kids on the Inka Trail Peru // localadventurer.com

If you think travel always changes you for the better and is the answer to all your problems, here is my newest favorite travel quote. “If an ass goes traveling, he does not come home a horse.” – Thomas Fuller haha

Inca Trail Information // localadventurer.comHow to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.comHiking the Inca Trail Blog // localadventurer.com

The third ruins we saw:Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Photo Guide // localadventurer.com
Inca Ruins on the Inka Trail // localadventurer.comInca Ruins on the Inka Trail // localadventurer.comHow to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com
Inca Trail Pictures - How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com

Day 1 and I’m already exhausted. Can you tell?

How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.comHow to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com
Inca Trail Photos // localadventurer.com
Flora on the Inca Trek // localadventurer.comFauna on the Inca Path to Machu Picchu // localadventurer.com

Setting up for our first night of sleep in Wayllabamba. Put on all your layers, it’s gon get cold!

How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 // localadventurer.com

Will we survive another day? We shall see!

Book Your Trip Here.

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ESTHER + JACOB

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

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How to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 Photo Guide // localadventurer.comHow to Hike the Inca Trail Day 1 Photo Guide // localadventurer.com

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. This is a trip that everyone should take. What an amazing destination

  2. Such an amazing photo essay! We are not hikers, however if we were to do one, it would be this one. We hear however the price is pushing $1000 USD for the trip. Do you remember how much you paid? How difficult was the altitude on your breathing? Amazing post however!

    1. Thanks, Brady and Shelly! We paid $520 for the guided hike, which did not include the additional porter, airfare, or lodging at Cusco. It can be pricey, but definitely a trip of a lifetime. We spent two days in Cusco to acclimate, and we could really feel our labored breathing the first two days, but it wasn’t bad on the hike at all. Neither of us considered ourselves as hikers either before this trip. It was really challenging, but we probably didn’t train nearly as hard as we should have.

  3. Great description of the trail to Machu Picchu or the Inca Trail. I have always wanted to visit Peru and its high elevation twons steeped in tradition and spanish influence on religion and yet manages to maintain its traditions and culture. Great pictures of the trail.

    1. Thank you, Rob! I hope you get to go see it for yourself! :)

  4. This trip is one of the highest priorities on my bucket list. I hope I make it there one day!

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