Cannot reccomend doing the Inca Trail enough, it was harder than expected, especially in the rain, but after 3 nights camping, to arrive before the rest of the tourists on top of Machu Picchu was an incredible feeling.
The group we were with and the porters and the guides were all amazing and everyone managed to keep their energy up for the whole trip. Make sure that you are fit, bring some clothes for wet weather and I can recommend Inca Trail Reservations to go trekking with.
So day 1, which we were told was the easiest day was really easy, it was a gentle uphill trek, plenty of rests and the twinge in my knee was helped by my new walking stick. At this point I was thinking perhaps that the trak was going to be a bit basic and a bit too civilised. And then day 2 happened. At 4:30 AM...
It was a tough climb to over 4000 metres, then we started our decent, which was followed by another steep up hill and then a long steep decent to our campsite. But it was raining. Absolutely pouring with rain. Poncho´s came out to cover us and our rucksacks - but we were too late to properly cover our sleeping bags and our sleeping mats seemed to always have water dripping onto them.
Our waterproof shoes were great until the water came over the top, streams down the steps flooded over the backs of our shoes and then the streams turned to rivers and at one point we were trekking down a waterfall, trousers completely soaked, hands and arms dripping, cold wind biting at our faces and aware that all we had to look forward to was a cold campsite, wet clothes and no spare shoes...
It was a cold, wet and uncomfortable night, high up under the clouds. But the group had bonded somewhat and in the morning (6am start) we were greeted to beautiful skies and sunshine.
Then, easy walks in the sun, lots of ruins, lots of fun!
For photos go here: http://andrew-and-iona.com/wp/?p=1273