There’s no question the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a tough walk. It’s not all that long, but you start high up, get higher still, drop like a stone and go up and down like a roller-coaster along the way. There are many points where you are breathless and tired. We thought the kids would find it a lot harder than they did; many adults we met seriously struggled along the way.
But it is entirely worth it. The views are staggering, just beautiful. The Incan ruins are fascinating. The plants and wildlife are great and unexpectedly diverse. We were perhaps most thrilled to see humming birds, but also saw many others birds and animals and learnt a great deal about the local plants.
At the end of the Trail Machu Picchu is a real treat and well deserves its reputation as a wonder of the modern World. It also makes a great bookend to the trail itself, providing a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
There are numerous narrow and high points on the trail that can be scary with kids. If the particular kids were prone to running off or much younger than ours I would be seriously concerned about tackling some parts of the trail. There were a couple of points when we crossed rickety wooden bridges or paths crudely repaired after mudslides when I had to clench my teeth as I watched the kids tackle them.
One of the interesting things about the trail is that, in spite of the fact it is used by so many people, it is a strange combination of amazingly well-preserved Incan stonework and rather crudely maintained modern work. The combination lends the Trail a real charm and makes for many surprises along the way.