Inca Trail or Mt. Kilimanjaro - Where to go?
Hiking has its own charm. It is one of those few experiences that money can’t buy and requires hard work and a quest to see the best of Mother Nature. People toil hard to build the stamina and the grit for trekking amidst undulated, unkempt terrains that contain life’s deep and mystifying secrets and also some of the most beautiful views in the world.
Throwing light on two such beautiful treks – the Inca Trail and Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek – it’s quite a task on which one to choose as both are equally enticing. One way is to just a flip a coin and go for it and the other is to keep certain factors in mind and making an informed choice.
Well, we’d definitely advise the latter.
What’s the Inca Trek about?
Mark Adams, the well-known blogger of National Geographic, says “THERE’S NOTHING LIKE the satisfaction of approaching Machu Picchu on one’s own two feet”, which is why the classic Inca Trail hike has become so popular in the recent years.
The time when a traveler could roll into Cusco and set up an Inca Trail trek for the following day—or week, or month—has been long over, though. To limit damage to the trail, the Peruvian government now limits access to 500 persons per day, porters included. Permits for the peak summer season sell out months in advance.
Difficulty Levels of the Inca Trek and Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek:
The Inca Trail is an ancient roadway created by the Inca people in order to reach the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu – a citadel built by the Incans in the 15th-century. Amidst the majestic mountains of Peru, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu attracts thousands of visitors each year, all of them waiting to catch a glimpse of it. Situated at an altitude of 4,200m, compared to other treks, the Inca Trail isn’t considered as difficult. The success rate of reaching the finish point on this trail is over 90%.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (also known as Camino Inca or Camino Inka) is a hiking trail in Peru that ends at Machu Picchu. It contains 3 three overlapping trails: Mollepata, Classic, and One Day. Mollepata is the longest of the three routes with the highest mountain pass and intersects with the Classic route before crossing Warmiwañusqa ("dead woman"). Located in the Andes mountain range, the trail passes through several types of Andean landscapes including cloud forest and alpine tundra. Settlements, tunnels, and many Incan ruins are located along the trail before all of them culminate at the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The two longer routes require a taking an incline beyond 4,200 meters (13,800 ft) above sea level, which can result in altitude sickness.
Kilimanjaro is very much a cardiovascular test. One of the most challenging treks in the world, to take up this trek, it’s important for everyone to train to be able to successfully complete the trek without extreme exhaustion and falling sick. Certainly not for novices, the strength and stamina required for a successful summit of Kilimanjaro is not gained by merely thinking about the climb. The local guides, too, undergo training that includes weight training, long-distance runs, stamina building exercises, and off-mountain training regimes.
At 5896m, Mt Kilimanjaro appears to be daunting and imposing but that doesn't mean it's out of reach. Team Go Discover Abroad provides a start to end facility to hike the magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro but the fitness level is something you have to take care of. Hosting 6 different routes to reach the top, it’s well known in Tanzania that the more difficult the route, the better the views. Machame and Marangu Routes are the most popular ones.
Visa For The Inca Trip:
According to laws pertaining to Peruvian travel, visitors ought to have a return or onward journey ticket /passage when entering the country. While the law isn't enforced by the official Peruvian immigration authorities, airlines often demand to see a return or onward ticket when checking in for a flight to Peru. If you fail to provide one, most airlines will forbid you to board the plane. So in case you are planning to leave Peru for example by bus, check with the airline, if they accept a bus ticket or similar to avoid unpleasant surprises at the airport. As a general rule, the citizen of the following countries do NOT have to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate before entering Peru. A passport valid at least six months with at least 2 free pages in the visa section is enough to get a Tourist Visa (actually it's only an entry stamp) directly at the border or the airport. Children should travel on their own passport with photo. Below listed countries can get a tourist visa at airport immigration or any other Peruvian border without applying for it at an embassy or consulate.
North America: Citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico
Central America: Citizens of most Central American countries (exception Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic)
South America: Citizens of all South American countries
Europe: Citizens of all countries within the European Union and Switzerland
Africa: Citizens of South Africa
Asia: Citizens of Brunei, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
Oceania: Citizens of Australia and New Zealand
Visa For The Tanzania Trip
Primarily a form of pre-entry clearance, The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens obtain visas before traveling to Tanzania, but visas are also available at ports of entry upon arrival. A passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond visa issuance and/or date of entry, and at least one blank visa page is required.
A similar prerequisite exists for British Citizens, where they are required to obtain a Visa to enter Tanzania. Single entry Visas can be obtained on arrival at the main ports of entry (including International Airports). A fee of USD 50 per person in cash for the Visa is necessary.
Botswana Gambia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique Namibia Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are the countries that are exempt from any Visa requirements.
For further rules and regulations on the Visa requirements, refer to the detailed guide.
Both hikes are amazing in their own ways. If you are interested in historical sites, a shorter experience, and are nervous about altitude sickness, try the Inca Trail. If you are looking for a significant challenge, can fight fatigue, and have the endurance to hike for a longer amount of time, Kilimanjaro is the way to go.