Inca Trail to Machu Picchu complete training plan!

The Inca Trail is one of the most popular trekking routes in the world, and for a good reason. The four-day trek takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Peru, from cloud forests to the cloud forest and, of course, the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

But before you embark on this amazing journey, you must be properly prepared. That's why we've put together this Inca Trail training plan to help you get in shape for the challenges ahead.

With a little bit of preparation, you'll be ready to take on the Inca Trail and enjoy one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life.

How to prepare physically for the Inca Trail Trek To Machu Picchu

Getting in shape before you go is important to hike the Inca Trail. The trail is challenging, and you'll carry your gear with you. Here's a training plan to help you get ready for your hike.

Take short walkings

Start training at least two months before your trip, and gradually increase your mileage and elevation as you get closer to your departure date. Make sure to include some hill work in your training, as there are plenty of uphill sections on the Inca Trail. 

Organize short hiking trips on weekends or 2 times a month. Start by gradually increasing the length and intensity of your walks. If you live in a hilly area, try to find routes with some inclines to help prepare your legs for the uphill sections of the trail. If you can't find any hills, simply walk for longer periods of time to build up your endurance. As you get closer to your departure date, aim to be taking long walks (3-4 hours) regularly.

Working on your aerobic fitness

Exercising aerobic fitness is important if you want to hike the Inca Trail. The Inca Trail is a 26-mile hike that takes four days to complete. It's important to be in good shape before attempting this hike, as it can sometimes be challenging.

Working on your aerobic fitness will help you to be able to complete the hike without getting too tired. You can work on your aerobic fitness in a few different ways. You can go for a run, bike ride, or swim. Ensure you're doing something that keeps your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes.

Work on muscular strength

There are many ways to work on muscular strength, such as lifting weights, doing bodyweight exercises, and using resistance bands. Start by doing exercises like squats and lunges to build your leg muscles. Then move on to upper body exercises like push-ups and pull-ups to build your arm and back muscles. With a little bit of hard work, you'll be ready to tackle the Inca Trail in no time!

Work on Cardiovascular endurance

The Inca Trail is at a high altitude, so having a strong heart will help you deal with the thinner air. Start by adding cardio to your workout routine, whether running, biking, or swimming. And be sure to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you get closer to your hike date. This will help ensure that you have a successful and enjoyable hike.

Resistance and Weight Training.

Resistance training helps your body improve at handling the demands of hiking uphill. This type of training can be done with or without weights. Some great exercises for resistance training include squats, lunges, and leg presses.

Weight training, on the other hand, helps increase your overall strength and muscle mass. This will help you on the Inca Trail and in everyday life. Some great weight-training exercises include lifting weights and doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups. 

Cross-fit Training

Cross-fit training is a great way to get in shape for the Inca Trail. It is a type of training involving short, high-intensity activity bursts followed by rest periods. This type of training helps to improve cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength. It is also great for burning fat and helping to improve overall fitness levels.


Prepare your Inca Trail hiking gear in advance.

One of the most important things to consider when packing for a hike is what to wear. The clothing you choose will depend on the weather conditions you will likely encounter on your hike. If you are hiking in warm weather, you will want to dress in light, loose-fitting clothing that will help keep you cool. If you are hiking in cold weather, you will want to dress in layers to adjust your clothing to the changing temperatures.

Another important consideration is the type of terrain you will be hiking on. If you are hiking on rough, uneven terrain, you will want to wear sturdy shoes with good traction. If you are hiking on a paved trail, you may be able to get away with wearing sneakers or other light shoes.

Whatever the conditions, ensure you are comfortable in your clothing and that it does not restrict your movement. You should also pack a hat, sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, and insect repellent to keep insects away.

How to Choose the Right Hiking Gear

Whether planning a day hike or a longer backpacking trip, choosing the right gear is important. The gear you'll need will depend on the hike you're planning, the distance you'll be hiking, and the weather conditions you'll be hiking in.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your hiking gear:

-The type of terrain you'll be hiking on. If you are hiking on rough, uneven terrain, you'll need shoes with good traction and support. If you're planning to hike in hot weather, you'll need light and breathable clothing.

-The distance you'll be hiking. If you're only going for a short day hike, you won't need to pack as much food and water as you would for a longer backpacking trip.

-The weather conditions. Check the forecast before you head out so you can dress appropriately for the conditions. If it's going to be cold or wet, pack extra layers of clothing and waterproof gear.

Considering these things, you can choose the right gear for your hike and be prepared for anything the trail throws at you.

Best hiking equipment

When it comes to hiking, preparation is key. Having the right gear can make all the difference on your hike, so choosing wisely is important. Here are some of the best hiking equipment items to help you enjoy your time on the trail.

Hiking boots are a must-have for any hiker. They should be comfortable, durable, and offer good support. Look for a boot that fits well and provides ample ankle support.

A good backpack is also essential for any hiker. It should be comfortable to wear and large enough to hold all your gear. Try on different backpack models before choosing one to make sure it's a good fit for you.

Another important piece of gear is a hiking pole. This can help you maintain balance on uneven terrain and can also help reduce fatigue in your arms and legs. Again, it's important to choose a model that feels comfortable for you to use.

Finally, don't forget to pack plenty of food and water for your hike. It's always better to have too much than not enough when you're out on the trail. And, if you're planning on spending any time in backcountry areas. 

Familiarize yourself with your hiking gear

How to break in your hiking boots

If you're new to hiking or have never owned a pair of hiking boots, it is important to break them in properly before hitting the trails. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

  1.  Wear them around the house. For the first few days, simply wear your boots around the house to get used to them. This will help you get a feel for their fit and support.
  2. Go for short walks. Once comfortable wearing your boots around the house, take them for short walks in your neighborhood or local park. Again, this will help you get a feel for the fit and how they perform on different types of terrain.
  3. Do some light hikes. After a few days of wearing your boots and getting used to them, it's time to take them for a spin on the trails! Start with some easy, short hikes to get a feel for how they handle different types of terrain and elevation changes.
  4. Be patient! Breaking new hiking boots can take time, but having a pair that fits well and provides good support is worth it. Stick with it, and soon you'll be ready for

Tips for using hiking poles

Hiking poles are a great way to add stability and support when hiking, especially on uneven or slippery terrain. Here are some tips for using hiking poles:

  • Start by holding the poles in your hands with the tips pointing down.
  • As you walk, plant the poles in front of you, ensuring the tips first make contact with the ground.
  • Use your arms and shoulders to power the poles, not just your wrists.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body as you swing the poles.
  • When going uphill, use a shorter stride and plant the poles more frequently.
  • On downhill sections, loosen your grip on the poles and let gravity do its work.

These tips will help you get the most out of your hiking poles and make your hike more enjoyable.

Mental preparation for the Inca Trail 

  Mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation for the Inca Trail. The Inca Trail is a tough hike, and there are a lot of variables that can affect your experience. You must be mentally prepared for the challenges you'll face, including bad weather, long days, and difficult terrain. You might struggle on the trail if you're not mentally prepared. So take some time to think about what you're doing and why you're doing it before you set out on the Inca Trail. With the right mindset, you'll be able to enjoy the experience and create lasting memories.

Tips for mental preparation

1. Visualize your success
2. set yourself small goals to achieve along the way
3. take some time for yourself each day to relax and de-stress
4. make sure you are getting enough sleep in the lead-up to your trek
5. eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water to keep your energy levels up

Acclimatize before the Inca Trail 

Acclimatization is the body's process of adapting to a new environment, whether it be a new climate, altitude, or terrain. When hiking at high altitudes, it is crucial to allow your body time to adjust to the thinner air before embarking on a strenuous hike like the Inca Trail. Symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

The process of acclimatization

The process of acclimatization is a vital part of preparing for any high-altitude trek, and the Inca Trail is no exception. By gradually exposing your body to higher altitudes over the course of several days, you can minimize the risk of altitude sickness and give yourself the best chance of enjoying a safe and successful expedition.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when acclimatizing:

1. Give yourself enough time: It's important to allow your body ample time to adjust to the change in altitude. For most people, this means spending at least a few days at a moderate elevation (around 2,500-3,000 meters/8,200-9,800 feet) before attempting to reach the trail's highest point.

2. Climb high and sleep low: Each day during your acclimatization period, aim to hike to a higher altitude during the daytime hours. Then, descend to a lower elevation to sleep – this will help your body recover from the day's exertion and further adjustments to the thinner air.

3. Drink plenty of fluids: Staying properly hydrated is important at any altitude, but it becomes even more critical when you. 

Why is it important to acclimatize before the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail is one of the most popular trekking routes in the world. Located in the Andes Mountains, the trail climbs to over 4,000 meters. This can be a big challenge for hikers, who may not be used to such high altitudes.

That's why it's so important to acclimatize before embarking on the Inca Trail. By spending a few days at a lower altitude first, your body will have time to adjust to the thin air and are less likely to experience altitude sickness. You'll also find the hike much more enjoyable if you're not struggling with your breath the whole way!

How to acclimatize before the Inca Trail

If you're planning on hiking the Inca Trail, it's important to acclimatize properly beforehand. This means gradually getting used to the high altitude so that you don't experience any adverse effects while on the trail.

There are a few things you can do to help your body acclimatize:

- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated.

- Get plenty of rest and sleep so your body can recover from the day's activities.

- Avoid alcohol and smoking, as these can dehydrate your body and make it harder to adjust to the altitude.

- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of complex carbohydrates like whole grains to give your body the energy it needs.

Taking these steps before starting the Inca Trail will help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable hike.

Tips for acclimatizing

When preparing to hike the Inca Trail, it is important to take steps to ensure that your body can properly acclimatize to the high altitude. This is especially important if you are coming from a lower altitude, as your body will need time to adjust. Here are some tips for acclimatizing before your hike:

- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated.

- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate the body.

- Eat light meals and avoid fatty foods, as they can be difficult to digest at high altitudes.

- Get plenty of rest and exercise regularly to help your body adjust.

- If you start to feel symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, nausea, or fatigue, descend to a lower altitude immediately and seek medical attention.


If you're planning to hike the Inca Trail, it's important to acclimatize yourself to the altitude first. This means spending a few days at a lower elevation to let your body adjust before heading up into the mountains. Plenty of activities keep you busy in Cusco and the surrounding area, so take your time and enjoy the sights before embarking on your big adventure.

Arriving early to Cusco

If you're planning on trekking the Inca Trail, it's important to give yourself time to acclimatize to the high altitude. Cusco, where the trail begins, is more than 11,000 feet above sea level. That's about twice as high as Denver, Colorado.

Symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to take it easy and not push yourself too hard. Drink plenty of fluids, and if possible, take a day or two to rest and acclimatize before beginning your trek.


Tips for hiking the Inca Trail

1. Give yourself time to adjust to the altitude. The Inca Trail reaches a height of over 13,000 feet, so it's important to give your body time to adjust before attempting the hike. Spend a few days acclimatizing in Cusco or another nearby city before starting the trek.

2. Don't underestimate the hike itself. The Inca Trail is not an easy hike, even for experienced hikers. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete the trek, and don't be afraid to turn back if you're feeling overwhelmed.

3. Pack light, but pack smart. You'll want to bring enough food and water to last you throughout the hike, but keep in mind that you'll be carrying everything on your back. Choose lightweight, high-energy foods that won't weigh you down, and pack a filter or purifier if you're worried about clean water sources along the way.

4. Be prepared for changing weather conditions. The Inca Trail passes through various climate zones, so be prepared for everything from hot sun to cold rain or snow. Dress in layers and pack a waterproof jacket just in case.

5. Start early! The Inc

What to do if you get lost while hiking

If you find yourself lost while hiking, the first thing you should do is stay calm. Take a few deep breaths and assess your situation. Look around and see if you can identify landmarks to help you orient yourself. If not, don't panic. Start by backtracking to the last trail junction or fork in the path. From there, you can determine which way you came from and which you need to go to get back on track.

If backtracking doesn't work or if you can't seem to find your way, the next best thing to do is stay put. Find a comfortable spot to sit or lie down and wait for help to arrive. Make sure you are visible to rescuers by waving a brightly colored piece of clothing or setting up a signal fire. And most importantly, don't wander off in search of help - this will only make it harder for rescuers to find you.

Juan Coronel

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