Hiking Kilimanjaro Vs. The Inca Trail : Travelers, hikers, and adventurers all dream of taking a select few hikes in this world. To reach these peaks, which frequently require a good deal of effort and perseverance, is an accomplishment for any traveler. The Inca Trail and Mount Kilimanjaro are two of the best-known hikes in history.
There are many things to take into account if you’re thinking about starting one or both of these well-known hikes. They are by no means a walk in the park, from costs to health issues. However, anyone in good physical condition can complete both of these hikes safely with the right preparation, research, and tour operator. Here are a few key factors to think about when contrasting hiking Kilimanjaro with hiking The Inca Trail:
HIKING KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA
Getting to Kilimanjaro
In the Kilimanjaro region of north-east Tanzania, Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is a three million-year-old dormant volcano. This monster, which is also known as the tallest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest mountain in Africa, rises 5,895 meters above sea level, making it a difficult trek even for seasoned hikers. More than 44,000 people each year attempted the Kilimanjaro climb, and about 75% succeeded in reaching the top.
How many days does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?
- Days to hike: 5–9 days
Depending on the route taken and the tour company you select, the hike’s length varies. As a general rule, keep in mind that you are more likely to reach the summit the longer you spend acclimatizing on the mountain. A five-day hiking option is provided by many companies. Although the trek can be finished in this amount of time, you shouldn’t undervalue it or the risks involved. Shorter time frames can increase the chance of altitude sickness and prevent summit success. Don’t worry; you’ll reach the top, so take your time. Spend some time getting acclimated safely.
What’s the cost of climbing Kilimanjaro?
- Cost: $1,500 USD to $6,000 USD
Once more, the cost varies according to the tour you select. Keep in mind to read all of the tour operator’s instructions regarding what is included, safety precautions, available chefs and porters, etc. While one company may be less expensive, it’s possible that they don’t provide safety equipment, high-end cooks, hiking gear, etc., so make sure you read the fine print to see what the price includes.
What’s the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?
- Months: January to March, June to October
Kilimanjaro can be hiked all year, but the spring and fall are the best times. The winter months of January to March are typically colder and more likely to snow, but the slopes are much less crowded. While much busier, June to October is dry and warmer. The wettest months are April and November, making them unsuitable for trekking.
How hard is it to reach the summit?
- Difficulty: Challenging
This difficulty rating is influenced by a variety of factors; despite being regarded as a walk-up mountain, Kilimanjaro is widely regarded as a difficult trek, even for seasoned hikers. High altitude, unfavorable weather, camping-style sleeping arrangements, and a steep incline are all factors. It is always advisable to prepare because this hike becomes even more challenging without adequate training.
Kilimanjaro’s ascent doesn’t provide much in the way of comfort. Most nights, you’ll be sleeping in tents or huts, and temperatures drop below freezing at night. The restroom situation is not known to be ideal. The good news is that none of that will matter once you reach the summit and take in the view.
Safety Considerations: Altitude Sickness, Hypothermia, and Heart Attack
You must get ready before you even consider hiking Kilimanjaro. To find out if there are any warning signs or causes for concern, discuss your physical health with your doctor. Make sure to hike at a pace that is safe for your body and take altitude sickness medication into consideration. It gets very cold, and staying warm is important for both comfort and safety. Warm clothing and sleeping bags are a must. Finally, get in shape before your trek. Your heart and lungs must be accustomed to regular hiking in order to avoid going into shock while climbing a mountain. A regular fitness regimen will significantly improve things.
HIKING THE INCA TRAIL, PERU
How to get to Machu Picchu
The Inca Trail is a historic route built by the Inca to get to Machu Picchu, a citadel constructed by the Inca in the 15th century and a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to Peru’s mountains to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, eager to reach the stunning summit. The Inca Trail isn’t as challenging as other treks because it only ascends to a height of 4,200m. Over 90% of hikers have succeeded in making it to the trail’s end.
How long is the Inca Trail?
- Days to hike: 3-5 days
The length of your trek will depend on the tour operator you choose, but most treks last between three and five days. Longer hikes are frequently regarded as safer because altitude sickness is still a possibility, and they also give you more time to take in the lush jungles and historic ruins of the trail. Some tours offer day trips to experience some of the trail if your health is a concern. That isn’t the most popular choice, though.
What’s the cost to hike the Inca Trail?
Due to its short length, the Inca Trail is frequently combined with trips to other Peruvian locations, raising the cost. The cost will be lower if you only need a guide for the five-day hike. When you compare the price to the distance traveled, the Inca Trail is one of the more expensive treks because there is high demand and a limited supply of permits. Even though the five days are expensive, they are always worthwhile.
What’s the best time of year to visit the Inca Trail?
- Months: May to September
The driest months in Peru are May through September, making those the ideal times to go hiking. Even though they are cooler, it is worth it to avoid fighting the rain. Trekking is difficult during the extremely humid and warm months of December to February.
How hard is it to complete the Inca Trail?
- Difficulty: Moderate
Although everyone’s opinion will differ, most people rate the Inca Trail as a moderately challenging hike. Although the altitudes are high, most hikers have no problems with them after a day or two of acclimatization in the city of Cusco. Additionally, there is a good mix of inclines and less hiking per day, so your body is not being overworked.
Accommodation: Pretty Comfortable
Accommodations on the Inca Trail are very comfortable because of the trail’s recent surge in popularity. The sleeping accommodations, whether in heated huts, tents, or cabins, are usually quite comfortable. There are restrooms with toilets and showers nearby. To ensure comfort, the majority of tour operators bring along trained chefs, porters, and horses.
Safety Considerations: Altitude Sickness, Robbery
Altitude sickness is the only safety issue to be aware of while traveling the Inca Trail. Almost all tour operators advise clients to acclimatize for two to three days before beginning the hike. You run a higher risk if you don’t comply with this. There have also been reports of property being stolen while hiking the Inca Trail, though this is rare. Try to keep your belongings close to you and inform your guide as soon as you suspect something has vanished.
Despite the fact that both of these locations are stunning and inspiring, you should give both trails some thought and preparation. There’s no need to rush your trip, research, or preparation; instead, go slowly and work your way up to the longer treks. Fortunately, both of these landmarks are well protected, so they will endure for a long time. Start with Machu Picchu and work your way up to Kilimanjaro, perhaps. There are numerous tour operators who can assist you in organizing the trip of a lifetime when you’re ready.