Tips for Hiking and Climbing Preparation – Machu Picchu, Peru

This is a guest page by Sachin.

When you are planning a camping trip overseas, there is a little more to do than just book your transport and sign-off your cost effective and cheap travel insurance. Camping, hiking and similar holidays get better as you get more experience. There are so many things to know and understand. A few days on the peaks of Machu Picchu, the home of the ancient Incas was a life changing experience. Here are the ‘must-dos’ of your attempt.

  • Time of Year. The dry season is April to November, and so this is the only time you can go. All good tour operators will advise the same.
  • Insurance. Always check with your supplier and make sure your policy will cover you for the particular activities. If you are going into the Amazon, you might not be covered. Make sure you understand all the requirements of your activities.
  • Clothing. It is easy to make a mistake on this one. Preparing clothing that will cover you for all extremes of weather during the day and night that is light enough to carry when you are not wearing is essential. It is a good idea to wear boots well before you are going to use them in rough terrain. There is nothing worse than breaking them in, while you are half way up the mountainside.
  • Do some reading. It always pays to read up on the destination before you go. Read more than descriptions, search for stories and reviews by previous travellers. Look for real-case advice. Those who have been, will have a tip or two that will make all the difference.
  • Talk with others. If you are staying in a backpackers in Lima before you leave for your final destination, talk with other travelers, and get some last minute personal advice. It will not be hard to find someone who has been, or has just come back. There is nothing like talking to someone else who has been.
  • Think about altitude. Understanding the effects of altitude takes some experience. None of us really understand the implications of altitude. This is another area to research. This is also one of those things, until you have experienced it for yourself, you will not really understand. Everyone reacts differently, and the way you feel can change in an instant. Being aware of your mental state and your physical condition takes some practice.
  • Tour and Guide. Even the most experienced travelers should arrange for a local guide to take them into well-known regions. Local guides have many years of experience with the local conditions. This may also be a requirement of your travel insurance. This is an absolute must.
  • Make a checklist. With so much going on, it is easy to forget a single item that will impact your whole trip. Writing a checklist, and working through that on your final departure day is essential.
  • Understanding diet. When you are climbing through jungle, or hiking up hills, your body will use a lot more energy than normal. Getting a good grasp of how much energy and what kinds of foods are good for you, and how much you need to eat, will make each day of effort that much easier. You will need certain foods to keep your body warm, and others to give you energy for the effort. Get some education on this.

Even those who are not often physically active can change the way they live with regular outdoor holidays. Spectacular mountain views and surreal surroundings are also beneficial for the mind. From someone who never experienced this type of travel, then tried it, I can tell you it is very addictive. The ancient buildings at Machu Picchu are a wonderful place to begin your new hobby in outdoor adventure.

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