Solo Hiking Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of those “must see” destinations, it is the symbol of South America. The journey to Machu Picchu can certainly be challenging, especially if you are a solo traveler. Hiking with a group of strangers may seem odd, but it could be a life altering experience. This type of travel allows you to meet like minded people from around the world, or when you feel the need set off on your own to experience the sights solo.

If you are hiking the Quarry trail, which is less crowded than the traditional Inca Trail, by Day 2 you will be pretty resolute about your hatred of switchbacks. For those unfamiliar, switchbacks are zig zags that make ascending a steep trail more manageable and protect from erosion. This is the time to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, slow and steady. It’s ok to not be the first to the top and it’s ok to stop for breaks, after all you earned every view! Pushing through this challenging day will not only leave your feeling physically, but also mentally, stronger.

You’ll be overjoyed on Day 3 to hear there will be no more uphill. Fair warning though, a descent can be just as challenging. Going down is very demanding on your knees and feet. This is when you will be most thankful you invested in supportive footwear and took the time to break them in prior to the trip! Some walking poles for extra support are always a good idea as well.

Don’t falter yet, the strenuousness of the trail pales in comparison to it’s beauty. You’ll experience towering peaks, green lush valleys, dry expanses; trek past streams and grazing animals. And when you finally set your eyes on Machu Picchu you’ll feel both the ancient magic and overwhelming pride in your accomplishment.