Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   South America (
-   -   Inca Trail - Single Female (

Erin464 Jan 26th, 2010 11:13 AM

Inca Trail - Single Female
Hi all,

My apologies if I missed this topic previously but I'd like some advice. For those of you who have hiked the Inca Trail before would you say that this is a safe trip for a single female to make? I am 26 and fairly well-traveled (mostly in Europe) but I have not done a lot of traveling on my own.

I realize that you do the hike in a group so I should think there wouldn't be too many concerns here - correct? My plan would have me flying into Lima and spending the night in the airport (most likely) and then flying into Cusco the next day for a few days before the hike starts. Are Lima and Cusco safe provided I'm not going out by myself at night or putting myself in questionable situations?

My parents are really freaking out about the idea of me traveling on my own but I really want to do this and I don't want to sacrifice the trip just because I can't find a travel companion.

Thanks for your input! :)

P_M Jan 26th, 2010 03:33 PM

Hello Erin,

I am a female who traveled to Peru alone and I was fine. I found Lima to be a lovely city, especially the Miraflores area. Cuzco is fine too, just use the same basic common sense you would anywhere in the world. I also hiked the Inca Trail and it is the experience of a lifetime. I think it's good you will be in Cuzco a few days in order to acclimate.

If you have any other questions I will be happy to answer if I can.

Axel2DP Jan 26th, 2010 05:38 PM

Provided that you have chosen a reputable outfitter to hike the Inca Trail with, it should be safe since there are a group of you on the trail along with the guide(s). When I went with Perutreks, there was always a guide behind the rest of the group, making sure that everyone reached his/her checkpoints.

Spending the night in the Lima airport should be safe. The airport looks modern and is brightly lit. Do watch your belongings, as always, if you plan to sleep there.

Cuzco should be fine but do use common sense and take in accountsany warnings that you've read in the guidebooks. I didn't have any trouble picking up a taxi in the plaza when I needed one, but it might be safer to arrange it through your hotel.

Erin464 Jan 27th, 2010 06:44 AM

Thanks for the replies!

Axel2DP - I was looking at Perutreks, actually. Would you recommend them? Any other suggestions for reputable companies to do the hike with?

Thanks again!

qwovadis Jan 27th, 2010 06:51 AM younger folks

my top 3... Peru review for heads up

In Peru petty theft and Latin "machismo" sundrome

2 major issues for solo female overall safe if careful

Trip Insurance Buddy system money belt top hostels


Fly/Follow the Gringo Trail via

Deluxe bus the VIP seats to the Inka Trail.

If you fly take Diamox to prevent altitude illness

and go lower to the Sacred Valley to adjust

before your trek.

Have fun,

qwovadis Jan 27th, 2010 06:55 AM

when you get there

great place to find travel buds...

Axel2DP Jan 27th, 2010 09:16 AM

Yes, I would highly recommend PeruTreks. I really had a great time with them. They really did a good job organizing the whole trek. The guides that led my group, Freddy and Alessandro, were super nice, very informative and super patient guiding the group. Everyone in my group was also very nice. is full of information.

UnitedMice is another company that I've also seen recommended in quite a few guide books.

It's good that you're spending a few days in Cusco before the trek. I was hit really hard with high altitude sickness the first 1 1/2 days in Cusco. Drinking coccoa leaves tea did seem to help though.

Bring a hand-free flashlight. You'll say thank you when you need it to use the bathroom in the dark :)
Bring as little as possible on the trek.

Have a great time.

Erin464 Jan 27th, 2010 10:08 AM

Quovadis - are you saying that UnitedMice in particular has a lot of younger people on it? That would be ideal. I'd also looked into this company, as I'd seen them mentioned on the boards here.

Axel2DP - When you went with Perutreks what was the approximate breakdown in terms of age and couples vs. groups or single people? Not that I have anything against couples or people older than I am of course, but it would be nice to find some people to befriend for the hike!

Thanks all for the suggestions :)

Axel2DP Jan 27th, 2010 10:25 AM

There were 17 total in my group, including the lead guide and the assistant guide. The youngest was around 22. The oldest was early 40s I think. There were three solo traveller; The rest were couples (excluding the two guides). The one girl that travelled single had a tent to herself since there wasn't another single girl for her to share with.

I'm not sure how PeruTrek decides which group you go with. When you get to Cuzco, you have to meet them at their office to pay and go over the details of the hike. There was an older couple there with me for the briefing that was to depart the same day as myself. On the day of the hike I found out that they were put into a different group than mine.

Everyone on the trek is sharing pretty much same experience. I think you'll make friends with people in your group, regardless of their ages.

Erin464 Jan 27th, 2010 10:37 AM

Thanks again!

One more question (somewhat unrelated to the topic of hand) but any thoughts on when is the best time of the year to go? I had been thinking maybe late April/May/June. I would prefer to try to avoid the rainy season but I guess the tradeoff for that is colder temperatures at night from what I've seen...

Axel2DP Jan 27th, 2010 11:15 AM

June, July, August are the dry seasons but also are the time when most people do the trek. For me, I would avoid any of those months if possible. I went last year during the last week of Sept.

May would be my primary choice. It's kind of inbetween the rainy and dry season, so you'll probably encounter some rain but also some dry days. From the pictures I've seen of MP and Sacred Valley in May, everything is very lush and green and you'll probably see a lot of flowering blooms also.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:25 PM.