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Physical Preparation for the Inca Trail: Are you Ready for Machu Picchu?

Physical Preparation for the Inca Trail: Are you Ready for Machu Picchu?

Physical preparation for the Inca Trail is critical due to the altitude, necessary endurance, terrain difficulty, and injury prevention. Additionally, being in good physical shape will allow you to more fully enjoy the experience, appreciating the landscape and historic ruins instead of struggling against fatigue and altitude sickness. Have you ever wondered how much physical preparation is needed to take on the grand adventure of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

How Difficult is the Inca Trail?

The difficulty of the Inca Trail depends on several factors. Some people might consider it a moderate challenge, while others find it extremely difficult. This depends on your fitness level, the time of year, and even your mental predisposition. Although it’s not like climbing Everest, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu will definitely require you to be physically prepared. Why? Keep reading, and you’ll find out soon.

Physical Preparation for the Inca Trail

Physically preparing for the Inca Trail isn’t just about increasing your cardiovascular endurance, but also about strengthening your muscles and improving your acclimatization to the altitude.

Cardiovascular Training

The Inca Trail involves long hikes, often climbing up and down steep hills. Therefore, you need to have good cardiovascular endurance. Activities like running, swimming, or biking are excellent ways to prepare for the challenge.

Muscle Strength

In addition to cardiovascular endurance, you’ll need strength in your legs for steep climbs and your core to maintain good posture during the long hikes. Strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and planks can be very useful.

Altitude Acclimatization

Machu Picchu is at a considerable altitude, so acclimatization is essential to avoid altitude sickness. You can start preparing for this by going on hikes in high altitude areas in your locality.

Tips for the Inca Trail

In addition to physical preparation, there are other aspects you should consider before embarking on the Inca Trail.

Proper Rest

Rest is essential to allow your body to recover after each day of hiking. Make sure you get enough hours of sleep and consider taking naps during the day if necessary.

Balanced Diet

Nutrition also plays a crucial role. You should follow a balanced diet, rich in carbohydrates and protein, to give your body the energy it needs for the journey.


Finally, don’t forget to drink enough water to stay hydrated, especially if you’re hiking on hot days.

Talk to an Expert

A critical factor, in addition to a solid mental state and excellent physical fitness for the Inca Trail, is to enjoy optimum health. If you have any concerns or pre-existing medical conditions, it is advisable to contact a medical professional or a personal trainer before starting any training program. Please note this observation if you have any diseases such as:

  • Cardio-respiratory diseases
  • Chronic conditions
  • Circulatory disorders (high blood pressure, heart conditions)
  • Respiratory problems (asthma, emphysema, or frequent bronchitis)
  • Any heart problem (tachycardia, myocardial pathologies, epilepsy or others)
  • Any condition that may cause fainting during the journey

Frequently Asked Questions

How long before should I start physically preparing for the Inca Trail?

It depends on your current physical condition. If you are an active person, a couple of months of specific preparation might be enough. If you don’t exercise regularly, we recommend you start training three to six months in advance.

How will the altitude affect my physical performance?

At higher altitude, the air contains less oxygen, which can make you tire more quickly and leave you short of breath. This is why it is important to acclimatize before starting the Inca Trail.

How should I eat during training for the Inca Trail?

A balanced diet, rich in carbohydrates and protein, will help give you the energy needed for training and the journey. It is also important to stay hydrated.

What should I do if I feel ill during the hike?

If you feel ill during the hike, you should inform your guide immediately. It’s important not to push your body and rest if necessary.

Need more information?

If you want more information about physical preparation or the Inca trail, you can easily contact us via a call or WhatsApp message at +51 901557125, or if you prefer, you can email us at ventas@incatrailinperu.com. Our team is eager to provide you with the best care.


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