Hiking to Machu Picchu, vomit, diarrhea and no bathroom

Hiking to Machu Picchu, vomit, diarrhea and no bathroom

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be in the middle of practically nowhere and have your entire tour group get sick? You’ve probably never thought about that actually. Neither had I.

I was in Peru with a group of 8 people, hiking the Inca trail, making our way to Machu Picchu when the scenario above occurred. Yup, our entire group became sick. One by one we came down with “the bug.” When I was preparing to go to Peru, everyone forewarned me of the headaches and elevation sickness I might get, so I was quite prepared for that. However, no one prepared me for what actually happened. It was disgusting, but at the same time something I will never forget about this trip. Sooo this is just a little post on exactly what happened on our trip. Side not: If you haven’t checked out my post on how to travel in a big group check it out HERE-because that is a feat in itself.

We were all hiking along having a jolly good time. Day 1 went great-we were exhausted from the long hike, but we were all enjoying our time getting to know each other more. Day 2 started just like day 1-breakfast and hiking, but day 2 most definitely did not end like day 1 had. After lunch time is when the first man went down. We started the second part of our hike and one of the girls became sick. Stopping and vomiting about every 10 minutes on the trek. Boy was she a trooper though. She just kept hiking and didn’t even let it bother her. We all just thought she was probably experiencing some elevation sickness. We were about 30 minutes out from our camping spot for the night and two other members from our group became sick. Again, we just chalked this up to elevation sickness.

We had finally reached our camp spot for the night and boy was I glad I was not experiencing the same symptoms the other three had been. This campsite was not the place to be sick. The surrounding area was absolutely gorgeous, but there were stray dogs and chickens running all about and only one run down toilet-with no toilet paper of course.


We set up camp, had tea time, took a little nap and was just about to prepare for dinner. By this time another member of our group had become sick. It was starting to become scary thinking- “uh oh, this is getting real. Who is next?” Well, little did I know-I would soon fall too. I became the 5th culprit. I headed to dinner, determined that I was feeling fine, even though my stomach had began to feel unsettled. I wanted to be so strong, I didn’t want to get sick. The second I looked at dinner though I had to leave. Not because the food looked bad, but because the bug had finally hit me.

Planning a trip to Peru? Check out this post on 25 interesting facts about Peru.

Throughout the night, the sickness hit the rest of the group-vomit, diarrhea and all. The campsite was covered. Yuck! We were all quite ready to get out of that campsite and move on. The morning rolled around-after a VERY long night and thankfully most of us were feeling better by that point and we got to finish our trek, but boy did that night create for some memories.


Although, vomiting and having diarrhea is not a fun experience in any way shape or form, I do feel like it brought us closer together as a group. In those moments of sickness and pain we bonded. We knew each other’s pain. Due to the ripple effect of the sickness-when one person was finally feeling better they were able to help those who were still sick. It was a blessing in disguise that we all didn’t get sick at the same time.

Anyways, there is not much you can do when you are out in the middle of the mountains and become sick. The best thing I can tell you to do is just be as prepared as you can.

-Maintain well hydrated

-If needed bring some antibiotics with you to help you get through a possible sickness

-Make sure any water you drink from the mountains is boiled well to get rid of the bacteria

-Rest. Sleep. Rest helps everything

-Bring toilet paper in-case you get the runs! They don’t provide toilet paper in Peru

-Help your friends if they get sick

-Bring an anti-diarrhea medication

All in all-if you ever experience getting sick on a trip-I know how you feel! I’ve been there before and just know you CAN get through it!


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