The Inca Trail is the most beautiful trek in the world, but you need to be well prepared; find here important info for you Inca trail preparation

Inca Trail Preparation is highly recommended prior to trekking the Classic Inca Trail to make the experience more enjoyable. Your training should include long walks, up hills and down hills – the steeper the better, or walking up and down stairs is an ideal training method. During your training, try to bring some load / backpack perhaps after the first 1-2 weeks of initial training. You should train in the shoes that you will wear for the trek to get your feet most comfortable with it. Allow for 1-3 months of training ahead of the Classic Inca Trail.

For the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is very important to be in good physical condition before you start your the trek and the best way is to do a lot of walking. Running a few miles most days is probably the best single physical activity, which will hand. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. While you are training you can also be breaking in those new trekking boats that may otherwise give you blisters on the first day out on the trail. Those who are planning to climb one of the trekking peaks need to be physically very fit.

The Inca Trail Preparation

Though physical fitness is an important part of any outdoor activity, you do not need to be an athletes or marathon runner to enjoy the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Most people of good fitness for their age can complete our Classic Inca Trail. Inca Trail Trekking in Peru is walking holiday at your own pace enjoying the Mountains vistas and cultural contrast to its fullest.

Most first-time trekkers are concerned that they won’t keep up, but soon discover that a steady pace will have them in destination well before they would have expected. These treks are not running competition but walking holidays for people of all ages. However, the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it, and you will have enough energy for extra activities.

There are three basic components of Inca Trail Preparation – aerobic, strength and mental. Aerobic conditioning is important primarily because you will trekking in thinner air, up to 40% less than at sea level. With good aerobic conditioning you will be able to better metabolize whatever oxygen is available to you.

Inca Trail Preparation & Altitude Sickness

On reaching heights above 3, 200 masl, heart pounding and shortness of breath are a normal response to the lack of oxygen in the air. However, for some visitors these symptoms can deteriorate into a conditions known as “Soroche” (or acute mountain sickness) when you can start to experience headaches, loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, sleeplessness and often nausea. Symptoms usually develop within the first day or two at altitude. To prevent Soroche, try to take things easy as soon as you arrive. Once settled in your hotel room, you have a lie down for a while and drink plenty of fluids. Don’t plan any strenuous treks until you’ve acclimatized for a few days. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food.

Drinking mate de coca (an infusion of coca leaves – and perfectly legal in Peru) may help. If symptoms become more severe and prolonged it is best to quickly seek medical attention and make arrangements to descend to a lower altitude. On recovery one can re-ascend slowly or in stages.  The drug Diamox is often used by many visitors to speed the acclimatization process and counter the symptoms of Soroche.

Cusco is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is important that you have a healthy respect for the altitude. If arriving from sea-level (Lima) try to spend at least 2 days in Cusco prior to starting the Inca Trail (3 days is recommended). This period will allow you to acclimatize and also give you time to enjoy the city of Cusco, the nearby Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, Pucacpucara and Tambomachay, as well as taking a day trip out to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Guidelines on your Inca Trail Preparation.

  • Is very important to use hiking boots for Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
  • It is vital to do at least one weekend trek of 7 hours each day across the most difficult terrain you can find within your area. This does not mean climbing a mountain; the objective is to find a rural rocky / hilly / stony terrain so that your muscles can get used to long periods of walk.
  • For people who are overweight it is important to also use the gym (particularly the step machine) and do regular swimming during this period in order to reduce the waistline. This will make it much easier to walk for 4 consecutive days.

What to bring for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The key to packing for a trip to Peru is to pack for a variety of conditions while keeping the weight to a minimum. Easier said than done when you have to deal with the intense heat of the equatorial sun and the cold mountain nights spent camping on the Inca Trail. The best way to deal with these extremes is to dress using several layers rather than one thick jumper. If you forget something, don’t despair since most things can be bought in most Peruvian cities

Suggested Inca Trail Packing List:

  • Backpack (65 liters should be quite sufficient).
  • Comfortable walking boots with good ankle support.
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented in our office).
  • Adequate Clothes.
  • 2 pairs of long trousers (lightweight).
  • 2 T-shirts.
  • 1 short-sleeved shirt.
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt.
  • 1 pair of shorts.
  • Underwear and socks (thermal underwear is highly recommended, being light, warm and makes good nightwear on cold nights).
  • Fleece jacket.
  • Rain jacket or poncho.
  • Hat or cap to protect from the sun.
  • Toiletries: soap, toothbrush, toothpaste & toilet paper etc.
  • Sun cream, lip salve, sun glasses.
  • Basic first aid kit.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Money belt + passport + emergency money.
  • Camera + film (film can easily be bought in Peru and is of excellent quality).
  • Water bottle (mineral water can be bought throughout Peru).
  • Water purification tablets (Micropur tablets can be bought in Cusco and are very efficient).
  • Walking sticks.

Route Options to Reach Machu picchu

  Inca Trail Peru Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 days

This is a less energetic route and starts at kilometre 104 along the railroad from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The trail climbs up to Wiñay Wayna where you join the final stages of the Classic 4-day hike. From Wiñay Wayna, the trek continues to Machu Picchu. The trek has the advantage of allowing you to visit the beautiful ruins at Wiñay Wayna and also to experience at least part of the Inca trail...Read more 


Luxury Inca Trail   Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days

This is the most popular route trekked by hundreds of visitors each day. This beautiful trail starts at kilometre 82 (so called because it is 82 km along the railroad from Cusco to Machu Picchu) and takes in many of the Inca ruins including Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and of course Machu Picchu….Read more  


Classic Inca Trail  Luxury Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days

This itinerary follows the same route as 4-day trek. However, you have the opportunity to visit the ruins of Llactapata. You’ll also camp at different less crowded campsites during your trek. You will arrive at Machu Picchu in the afternoon of the fourth day of the trek and see the sunset over Machu Picchu…Read more  


Leave a Comment