Peru: Inca Trail Elevation Maps From Strava and Fibit

I'm a bit of a data and data visualization nerd. Don't tell anyone. I spent one year on a project working with ways to visualize ad impression data. I learned a lot during that timeI will totally judge an app based on how good their dashboard is because if they can visualize complex data properly, then the back-end must be pretty good. 

For our Inca Trail hike, our friend, Arjun, tracked the trek via his Strava device and he just recently sent his results.  That got me thinking about what other info I had.  I was wearing my FitBit at the time and had my iPhone in my pockets.  My FitBit data looks more accurate and it was easy to see activity by day.  The iPhone Health app, not so much.  You can technically export the data but it takes some work and I don't have time for that.  

There are some caveats though.  The Strava device that was used was one specifically for cycling.  It appeared to record the elevation changes properly, but perhaps not the distance.  My FitBit data looks to be accurate based on the steps taken each hour which indicated when we woke up, trekked, rested and spent some restless nights. 


Day 1:  Inca Trail 82km to Lunch Site

Strava Distance:  3.9mi

Strava Elevation:  1,155ft

Strava Moving Time:  1:46:29

Strava Calories: 538

Day 1:  Lunch to Camp Site

Strava Distance:  2.7mi

Strava Elevation:  1,400ft

Strava Moving Time:  1:18:17

Strava Calories: 379

Day 1 elevation map from lunch site to camp site.

Day 1 Strava elevation map shows a steady incline which corresponds to the number of floors FitBit recorded.  FitBit by hour recorded steps starting at around 3:30AM when we started getting ready so that we could be picked up by 5:30AM.  Miles for this day seems a lot, but this includes getting ready, walking around Ollantaytambo to shop for last minute items and lots of pictures at the start of the trail.


Day 2:  To Lunch Site

Strava Distance:  0.9mi

Strava Elevation:  8,251ft

Strava Moving Time:  43:41

Strava Calories: 136


Day 2:  Lunch to Dead Woman's Pass

Strava Distance:  0.1mi

Strava Elevation:  21,774ft

Strava Moving Time:  5:11

Strava Calories: 14

Day 2:  Descent from Dead Woman's Pass to Camp Site

Strava Distance:  1.6mi

Strava Elevation:  21,774ft

Strava Moving Time:  55:09

Strava Calories: 229

Day 2 elevation maps showed steep inclines which appear to correspond with FitBit number of floors tally.  Not a long day distance wise, but the elevation changes and the altitude make it tougher to climb fast.  The descent is also a challenge as it is straight rocks and uneven steps going down.  Note we made it before it got dark. 

Day 3:  To Lunch Site

Strava Distance:  1.4mi

Strava Elevation:  5,909ft

Strava Moving Time:  1:03:57

Strava Calories: 197

Day 3:  Lunch Site to Camp Site

Strava Distance:  1.4mi


Moving Time:  55:40

Calories: 200

Day 3 Strava elevation maps show an easier ascent/descent.  No major inclines.  Distance covered was not as much as the first day.  We arrived to the camp site pretty early. 

Day 4:  To Machu Picchu

Distance:  6.1mi

Elevation:  1,461ft

Moving Time:  3:19:02

Calories: 850

Day 4 Strava elevation map showed a steady descent to Machu Picchu as the Inca ruins are technically lower in elevation than the rest of the Inca Trail.  Note that FitBit recorded us up at 2:30AM which is correct as we started our descent at 3:30AM in the dark.  One of the longest days as even after reaching the Sun Gate, you will have to walk another mile to get to Machu Picchu.  The pockets of steps in the afternoon is due to our walk around Aguas Calientes, switch from train to bus, then back to our hotel. 


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