Getting ready for the Inca Trail? Here are a few FAQs that we receive from travelers about ways to prepare your self at home, in the US and in Cusco before heading off on the trail:
1. What is the best general way to prepare for trekking the Inca Trail?
We recommend doing stairs to get ready. Try to find a place where you live, or the stair-stepper at the gym, where there are many flights of stairs in a row and practice going up and down those to get in the best shape for the Inca Trail. You do not have run the stairs, you just need the endurance. You can even practice with a weighted back pack (you can put water bottles in your pack for weight) and go up and down with that for extra endurance training.
2. Is there anywhere in the US where one can go to practice hiking at altitude?
The best places in the US to acclimate, or practice hiking in high altitude areas are in Colorado- there are numerous 14K ft peaks there that are non-technical to practice on. However, we believe that the most important thing with training is just making sure that you are in good overall physical shape. The hardest part of the Inca Trail for most people (our AWR team included) is the downhill portions. Your feet and knees get tired so it is good to train your self, once again, going up and down stairs, or doing hikes near by where you live that will stimulate this. For altitude, the most important thing is not trying to push yourself too fast (slow and steady always wins the race in altitude) and DRINK LOTS OF WATER- hydration is so important.
3. Do you have a recommended local hikes or excursions while staying in Cusco to see local sites and promote acclimatization?
In Cusco, one of the main tourist attractions is the ruin sites just outside the city. The Sacsayhuaman Ruins are the closest. All the ruins require a tourist ticket to enter and most require transport to get to. However, for Sacsayhuaman, you can take a hiking trail from Cusco to get to the entrance of these ruins and you can get to a vista point overlooking all of Cusco for free. This is an excellent walk/hike to get ready for the trail. Remember to take it slow and do not get discouraged if you run out of breath quickly; take your time, enjoy the hike and enjoy the view! 🙂
Want to book your Inca Trail adventure? Contact us!
Your friendly Peru expert,