Planning Machu Picchu

How amazing is this city of stone high in the sky? The Inca moved all the stone to the sky and crafted incredibly tight seams with out any modern day tools.

I was dreaming of Machu Picchu (will be referred to as MP) for years. I decided to hike the Inca Trail. Julie, a friend of mine had hiked an alternative route to MP and was a great resource for my inital inquest. I picked a tour company and put a deposit down. After another few paycheques I had the trip, flight and many side trips paid for. I filtered through all the Peru reading travel books and watched travel DVDs to verse myself on the history of this great place.

Picking a Tour Company

I researched many reviews and prices and came up with Peru Treks. They had great reviews and were the cheapest by $100+. I made contact and started the reservation process. A few emails went back and forth and then there was nothing.

I e-mailed them again only to find out they decided to not accept my booking because I eat a Vegan diet. Ouch. Burn. We can thank places like Peru for food like Potatoes and Corn (which are my fav!) Me gusta como papas!!!!

SAS Travel accepted my reservation but I never got a personal e-mail like the other company they just kept resending the confirmation and updating the information.

Travel Vaccinations

Knowing some countries have vaccination mandates for entry I always research where I’m going. There was nothing mandatory for Peru or Panama. I received the reccomended Hepatitis A shot, Thypoid shot, Diamox and Dukoral. Luckily because I was visiting MP which has a higher altitude I was not required to have the Yellow Fever shot. The vaccine is on a world wide shortage and can have adverse effects. A very disappointing amount was covered by my group benefits but I guess better than nothing.

Clothing and gear

Dressing for a cold mountain and a hot desert in the same trip can present it’s challenges. I’m a frequent over-packer so I’ll need to really plan to keep it tight.

I’m checking my luggage at the hotel and carrying a 28L pack on the hike. My porter will carry 8kg/17.6lbs of clothing and the rest I’m hiking with.

This is what I’m bringing for hiking to Machu Picchu:

  • Hiking boots
  • Blue Jays Star Wars cap
  • Lululemons
  • Dry fit tee shirt
  • Long sleeve dry fit x2
  • Hiking convertable pants x2
  • Insulated sweater
  • McKinley shell jacket
  • Thermal pants
  • Running Socks/Hiking Socks/Underwear/Bras
  • Crocs
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Cell phone
  • Camera
  • External phone battery/cords
  • Protein Bars
  • 2L Water bladder
  • Hiking poles
  • Liquid skin
  • Small first aid kit
  • Debating sleeping bag liner as I’m renting bag but I’ve already spent a lot…

Flights and Accommodations

I usually end up booking a connecting flight; it is cheaper and I’m crazy like that. This time I have a quick lay over in Panama City before on to Lima,Peru. I’m flying Panamanian Copa Airlines and then local from Peruvian Airlines.



I work in the hotel industry so I have a good deal on a couple swanky hotels. Where they are not available I have booked modest accommodations and one night in a humbling hostel.
When I’m gone

At work I’m lucky to have coverage and I appreciate that. At home I have a loving suck of a cat I’ll be worried about. I have amazing volunteers/voluntolds that have a set visiting schedule.

Honestly….. Shane, Chelsea, Ryan and Mom thank you from the bottom of my big sappy Madison-loving heart. Ponchos for all!!! xo

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