After hiking for three days and waking up at 3 AM, my friend Jessie and I stepped into Machu Picchu in the early morning fog. When the clouds started to clear we got this amazing view! Hiking the Inca Trail was the hardest hike I’ve done to date, hitting 13,828 feet above sea level on day two after basically an entire day trekking uphill. It was a weird feeling being so out of breath you had to stop to take even one sip of water! Our motley crew of 15 was by far the fastest group on the trail, even with a sprained ankle, a dislocated knee (don’t worry, we got it back in!), altitude sickness, and even bronchitis. Don’t let that scare you away, though – I would say that the Inca Trail is a “must-do” if you want to experience Peru/Machu Picchu with a little bit of grit built in. If you’re planning on going, feel free to get in touch via the comment section about recommendations – Jess and I kept a running list of things we couldn’t live without and should’ve left behind on the trail.