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Machu Picchu WITHOUT Inca Trail - missing out?

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We have a week's vacation coming up at the end of May and no plans as of yet. Machu Picchu is on my bucket list, although I do admit that the work involved in us getting there and the stories of altitude issues do seem daunting!

I admit that seeing the Inca Trail permits all gone does put a bit of a damper on things. We would only have ever likely done the 2 day trek as opposed to anything longer, anyway. But all I keep reading in my research is how amazing of an experience the trail is, how it's not to be missed, how it may even be better than Machu Picchu itself, etc.

I enjoy archaeology and history and have no doubt that Machu Picchu would be worth it (as I said, it's on the bucket list anyway) - but will we feel that we've come such a long way and still missed out on something crucial by not being able to do the 2 day Inca Trail? Is there truly no hope of procuring a permit at this point (do people sell them off)? Should we wait and schedule this trip when it's possible to do the trail also? Or will we be so in awe of Machu Picchu itself, and maybe plan to hike around one of the peaks, that we will be just fine with what we've got?

Thanks in advance.

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