Negotiating the Inca Trail for hikers of a certain age

We are planning a trip to Peru in June, with a highlight being trekking the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  “We” includes Stuart and me (mid 40s), our son Coop (16) and friends Jim & Koko (late 50s).  We’re all pretty physically fit, but it appears that the altitude issue can be a bit of a wild card, and some of us are beginning to sweat.

So, being the psycho research hound that I am, I painstakingly examined  trekking companies as well as different types of treks in search of the perfect experience that would provide just the right blend of physical challenge, Incan history and five-star backpacking (contradiction in terms?) trek.

Ultimately, we settled on Llama Path and their Imperial (private) service.  They offer this in both the standard 3N/4D “classic” trek, as well as a 4N/5D version, which allows a little extra time.  We opted for the 3N/4D, mainly because we are all just slightly competitive and want to know that we can complete the trail in the standard amount of time.   Certainly we felt the private aspect had inherent benefits, specifically:

1.  the flexibility of stopping to “admire the view” (READ: rest and attempt to breathe);

2. the joy of not having to experience a bunch of cocky 20-somethings serving as a constant reminder of the aging process;

3.  less people to have to fight off in the event the supplied oxygen bottle is needed

As part of the research, I came across this couple’s account of their Llama Path Inca Trail experience this past summer.  I knew I liked them the moment I read this statement,

“Over breakfast we chatted easily with our co-trekkers as we tried to size up their athletic abilities. At first glance we readily placed ourselves at the bottom of the trekking pecking order. These guys had clearly seen a lot of the inside of a gym in the past year, we had driven by several and were beginning to regret not going inside more often!”

Click here to read the entire blog – even if you’re not considering a trek to this amazing place, you will be entertained.

More to follow.

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