Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

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Lares Trek Information Needed

Postby kathyv » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:08 am

I am taking the Lares Trek in a few weeks - how difficult is it??? Are there steep inclines? How many hours a day of walking?
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby melody02 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:05 pm

I am in awful cardiovascular shape, have kinda bad knees, had a nasty sinus infection, AND was on my period during the trek (sorry for the TMI). It was very difficult, but I survived and am so glad I did it. The person in our group who had actually spent time acclimatizing and training with steps beforehand was practically walking backwards up the stairs while carrying on a normal conversation, while everyone else was huffing and puffing. I was by far the worse off in the group, but taking my sweet time allowed me to enjoy the scenery more. I rented two hiking poles, brought knee braces and spent a lot of just letting my heart rate go down. You will enjoy the journey a lot more if you are prepared, but if you are in moderate good shape, you will survive.
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby michalcap » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:13 pm

Great tour ! You must go your own pace. Altitude can be a prob you can get something in Cusco for that.

This was my 1st trip in 2006 and since then I am with Gadventure going into my 10th trip. Have fun!
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby michalcap » Mon May 06, 2013 7:05 pm

Great tour. I did it in 2006. You must be in good shape.I did the Lairs trail. level 4. Great group of people and I still keep in touch with 1 of them .
Enjoy it. Have fun and use pills for the altitude.
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby jenemiah » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:04 pm

Having just returned from hiking the Inca Trail I thought I'd add my two cents. I read most everything on the forum about the trail and fitness levels required. I prepared the only way I could where I live (Northern Ontario) and that was by walking. I would say I am in decent shape but I'm no marathon runner and so I was worried going into the trek that I would have difficulties. I'm not going to say there aren't parts where I wished my lungs could get a bit more oxygen but for the most part I had a great time on this trek. Each day was well paced for the walking you were doing. I never felt I had to rush nor did I feel I was being held up. Your guides let you walk at your own pace with one staying with the lead group and one with the stragglers. I often found myself somewhere in the middle. I had read that day 3 was particularly hard because of the strain on the knees. I didn't find my knees hurt that much and day 3 was by far my favourite day on the trail. You see so much that even if your knees do hurt it's well worth the pain.

I've also read that the trail can be crowded and touristy. You do see other people but I would never have used the word crowded. There was a part of day 3 where the only people a saw in over an hour were a few porters (and they went by so fast that I didn't see them for long!) For the most part you are only sharing any particular part of the trail with the other people in your group.

If you are comtemplating doing this trek then I would say do it. Make sure to book early so you get a spot on the Inca Trail. Our guide told us we were on a pilgrimage and that is a bit what it feels like. You bond with the group and have a shared experience you will cherish for the rest of your life.
If I were to pass on some useful tips I think the top two would be to make sure you have layers of clothing (it did get cold at night and my scarf and hat from the women's weaving project were invaluable) and bring more toilet paper then you think you need! :lol:
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby bec_1989 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:58 am

A small query.

I think that the most time when someone asks a question about fitness during the inca trail, is that we worry that we aren't fit enough for it.

Granted I'm not the fittest person in the world, but my job requires me to be on my feet all day etc. I've been through Kakadu and, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon in Australia.

My question is, if I happen to be slow and slightly struggling with keeping up and out of breath. Is there any pressure or unhappiness portrayed from the guides?

I know that having persistence and a strong mind will keep you going, but if I feel concerned about the thoughts of the guides, that will faulter me I think.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

:-D Rebecca
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby kcupp95 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:59 am

bec_1989 wrote:I think that the most time when someone asks a question about fitness during the inca trail, is that we worry that we aren't fit enough for it.

My question is, if I happen to be slow and slightly struggling with keeping up and out of breath. Is there any pressure or unhappiness portrayed from the guides?

I know that having persistence and a strong mind will keep you going, but if I feel concerned about the thoughts of the guides, that will faulter me I think.


There should be a guide at the front and at the back of the pack. They are there to support you, not pressure you.

I would imagine that if you were being unreasonably slow and medically unsafe for you to continue there would be concerns, but normal back of the pack stuff shouldn't be an issue.

When I did the Lares Trek, there was just 2 of us and our guide so we had absolute freedom to go at our own pace. Despite huffing and puffing my way along and stopping for breaks, we made considerably good time. I think they build in a lot of extra time for the itinerary to compensate for taking your time.

The longest walking day is 16km. The way I looked at that, was that I could easily do 16km in about 3 hours on flat ground at sea level. On the Inca Trail you've got more than double the time to complete that with the incline and altitude.
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby markmol » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:53 pm

Hi Rebecca,
go at your own pace, the second guide will stay with you, on day 2 i stopped every 30 steps or so on the way up to Dead Womens pass, remember it is your trip, the fitter you can get the better you will manage.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby sudsandlinda » Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:41 pm

With one month to go before my Inca Trail trip I have broken my big toe! Am I crazy to think I can manage the hike on a newly healed injury? it's been such a dream and the plan was to arrive at the sun gate on my fiftieth! I so don't want to give up before I've started but maybe I need a reality check. Any thoughts?
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby ballu » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:57 am

I hiked it on a sprained ankle, and although I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone else try it that way, I have no regrets.

It's quite challenging without issues, and there were a few tears of pain and frustration along the way. The trail is often worn, wet stone...so you are likely to slip here and there. I rented a walking stick that helped...as did ibuprofen.

I'm not trying to scare you off, just want you to be prepared. I'm glad I did the trail anyway, it was the right choice for me.
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Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby graybeard » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:18 pm

Broken toe? Could be an issue. Best bet is to do some hiking NOW with the boots you were planning to wear and make sure you are doing some hills. The downhill portions, when your feet naturally slide toward the front of the boot, is when you are likely to experience the problems. Also, make sure your "test" hikes have some distance. A 1/4 mile might be fine whereas 8 miles might hobble you. Good luck!!!!
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