We did the Inca trail with Q’ente expeditions – their 5d/4n private option. With Callum and Declan being so young, we wanted to give them every chance of success! With Alex, our guide, and Jorge our cook, and his team of porters, we had a fantastic time, not only managing the trail well, but learning a lot about the Incas and seeing some great flora and fauna.
We had done quite a lot of practice walking before hand, lots of 8 to 10 km walks, some with hills. We also spent a total of six nights at altitude before we started the trail, which I think helped a lot. I think the most important thing for success at a tough hike like this for children is that they have had experience of something difficult before, that they have to push thrugh. That gave them both a good reserve of mental strength in getting over Dead Woman’s pass.
With Q’ente, the positives were that Alex and Jorge were excellent, with fantastic meals, and Alex showing us a huge amount we never would have seen by ourselves. The campsite equipment was great, with nice roomy tents, and a cozy dining tent for our meals. Alex was very patient with our boys, listening to them chatter about whatever took their fancy, and explaining both the Incas and the plants and birds we saw in ways that captured their interest.
We were disappointed that the campsites we got meant that our day 2 was the same very tough day as the classic 4d/3n, we just got an easier day 3 and 4. That could have been because we only booked four months before we went. We also only got three down sleeping bags; definitely ask for sleeping bags early in your booking. We hired walking poles, which I would highly recommend; they make the trail MUCH easier, particularly on the downhills.
On the Inca trail itself, the toilets are quite disgusting, most of the time, we had to police the boys with hand sanitizer every time they went.
Overall, highly recommended, we had a great time, and we were all very pleased we did the trail. You can do the trail with children this young, providing they are experienced walkers.