Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

From the mystical peaks of the Andes to the tango rhythm of Argentina, South America has an undeniable energy that pervades everything.

Moderators: sinecure, TravelFun, ballu, jimshu, JaliscoJudy

Yup.. it is the ATTITUDE that counts!

Postby traveller13 » Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:08 pm

Hi there....

I just came back from doing the Inca Trail and I am a 57 year old female....I went with my husband who is 61 and has two artificial hips, and our children in their twenties, and niece in her 30's.. am in good physical shape and work out daily at a gym which certainly helped me on the trail, but despite all that it was quite a challenge, especially with the breathing!.BUT worth every minute of our effort! Good idea is to do as much cardio at home before you do the trek, pack light (especially your daypack), consider taking Diamox to help with altitude sickness,and do use two hiking poles (you can rent them in Cusco)....they are definitely worth it to help with balance, especially on the way down. The trail is mostly made up of smooth rocks and thousands of steps... so be prepared... however. everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace, the guides are amazingly supportive and wonderful, and I found that step by step, I was able to make it and enjoy the experience despite the sore muscles at night!..... Do take the trip.. and try to get in shape before you go.. the Inca Trail is not a "walk in the park", but it is an experience that you will never regret! I still am grinning from ear to ear as I am downloading my pictures and re-experiencing the adventure!!!!
traveller13
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:31 pm

Incan Trail Training

Postby Aychee » Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:52 pm

Hi all, I will be on Oct 20th trip, coming not too far from South Florida. My alma mater is also planning a similar excursion and posted some really useful health and pre-training info on their newsletter site that I think we can all learn from. It also has a link to the CDC website which condones getting certain prescriptions for different types of altitude sicknesses. I will BE SURE to do that! DEFINITELY pick up the Stairmaster if you haven't yet. I have two months left... It's going to come fast! Also feel free to let me know if you will also be on the same trip as myself. I'm hoping to make some connections.

http://www.globaladrenaline.com/fordham/peru2007/
Aychee
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:39 pm

Postby eagerbeaver's _bf » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:33 am

my gf and i will be going in oct. is it super hot? is wearing black not a good idea?

what is the water situation like? do we need to bring our own? do the porters carry a supply? are there places to fill?
eagerbeaver's _bf
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: vancouver, canada

Postby Aychee » Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:51 am

I heard that in Oct they will just be beginning their spring as their seasons are the opposite of ours. It does get chilly at night but during the day Tshirts/sweatshirts and pants should be fine. Keep in mind they are a warmer climate being so close to the equator but we will also be up very high. All in all, I don't think parkas and eskimo boots will be needed.
GAP does not want visitors to take their own water bottles for reasons of polluting. Do get a large canteen however. I got like a 2 qt insulated one at walmart for $7. It has a strap. Each day you will be given water that's been boiled. I am also going to get some water cleansing tablets. Also do not drink things with ice in them as the ice can be contaminated too.
Aychee
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:39 pm

Postby ballu » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:23 pm

I started the trail early November...it was warm enough to wear shorts the first day. After that I wore pants and mostly a tshirt. Bring a fleece for when you stop to take a break, you'll get cold once you stop moving. I also had a sweater/jumper for around camp and long johns/thermals.

We were able to buy water at the campsites on the 1st and 3rd night. On the second night, safely boiled water was made availble for us. You will need to bring a water bottle, mine was a 1L bottle.
User avatar
ballu
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2814
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Vaccines?

Postby Aychee » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:17 pm

To those who have gone to Cusco/Incan Trail already, did you get any vaccinations? I'm still pondering as it doesn't seem to be a must if you're not going into the jungle. Thx!
Aychee
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:39 pm

Postby little_miss_sunshine » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:22 pm

Unless you're going to the jungle, you won't need any special immunizations. It would be wise to head to a travel doctor before you go though, just in case.

happy trails,
lms
little_miss_sunshine
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:38 pm

Spend Some Time Getting In Shape

Postby jeffepops » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:12 pm

Yes, you should be in decent shape for the trek. You don't need to be a super athlete, but you don't want to spend four days suffering. My son was in superior shape (college football player), I run and play basketball regularly (age 53); my wife plays tennis, but has a bad knee, and my daughter does yoga and rides bikes. Only my son had a relatively easy time of it. I found that one of my knees started aching after 4-5 hours each day; my wife had worse knee issues, and my daughter had breathing issues, partially based on early teen illness that compromised her lungs. But becasue we were all in somewhat good shape to begin with, were able to enjoy the majority of the trekking experience.

My own opinion, having just finished the Inka Trail, is that the trek itself far surpasses arriving and touring Machu Picchu. So, if you want to want to enjoy an appreciate the journey, spend at least a couple of months beforehand getting into shape. Do some simple cardio, and some stair climbing if possible. Also, wear a daypack around when walking, shopping etc. Unfortunately, my upper back and shoulder blades are still tight from carrying 10-15 lbs in my pack without any preparation of those muscles.
jeffepops
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:27 pm

Postby Tall Paul » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:19 pm

Hey;

I just got back from two "active" level GAP trips in Argentina and Chile. I would like to further comment on training for preparation.

I discovered, for me, it is not enough to do road work. I also recommend a stairmaster or aerobic training in hilly areas near you, if you can.

Road work on more or less flat terrain and hill-climbing use slightly different muscle groups.

Just my conclusion after hiking 100-125 kilometers over mountainous and hilly terrain over 40 days.

Paul
User avatar
Tall Paul
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada

Postby amazon0313 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:50 am

This was a very enlightening read! I'm going in Apr/May and while I'm a fitness instructor, I'm concerned about the hike.

I'll be hitting the dreaded stairmaster and bringing along my anti-inflammatories and knee braces!

Now I have some real work to do.
User avatar
amazon0313
User Rank: Adventurer
User Rank: Adventurer
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Toronto, ON

Postby ballu » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:22 pm

Hi amazon,

If you have knee problems, a hiking pole would also be a good idea. It needs to have a rubber tip. I'd suggest getting a proper one instead of the cheap bamboo ones. My guide helped me with renting one in Cusco, I'm sure yours would do the same.
EMBRACE THE BIZARRE
http://www.gadventures.com/about-us/gadventures/

I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list

If you never get lost, you never get found


Image
User avatar
ballu
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2814
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Postby amazon0313 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:56 pm

Thats good to know. I wondered about bringing one with me, but renting there is that much easier.

Thanks!
User avatar
amazon0313
User Rank: Adventurer
User Rank: Adventurer
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Toronto, ON

Postby IncaTrail50 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:01 am

This is for Antonia who asked a few posts back about medical facilities along the Inca Trail...there are none. The guide carries basic first aid as well as an oxygen tank in case anyone needs it. If you require medical care they'll evacuate you to a medical facility. One of the guys in our group was joking during one of our breaks on the long struggle up to Dead Woman's Pass that he'd had it, he couldn't walk any longer. He said he'd paid good money for his emergency medical evacuation and told the guide to call in the helicopter and get him out. Our guide laughed and said if he truly needed evacuation he would use his radio to call back two of the porters and they would carry him out, there would be no helicopter. And for anyone who thinks that being carried out would take a long time...check out the links on the Inca Trail Marathon:
http://www.andesadventures.com/run2asum.htm
The winner in 2006 ran the entire 44 kilometres (and all those stairs) in 5:35 :shock: I am in awe!
The guides really are great. There was absolutely no pressure to keep up. One guide went with the front of the group and one stayed with the stragglers. I was a straggler and the guides encouraged me to stop and look around to catch my breath, they gave detailed explanations on the plants to allow me time to recover, and both guides made a point to congratulate me (with hugs) when I finished the trail. They told me they feel if someone has come all the way to Peru then it is part of their job to help them make it through the trail. Enjoy!
I will never let my dreams just be dreams.
User avatar
IncaTrail50
User Rank: Explorer
User Rank: Explorer
 
Posts: 580
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby debdeb » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:38 am

I was of moderate fitness when I did the Inca Trail. I play team netball and soccer but I didn't do any hiking or walking preparation. I found it challenging (Day 2 was probably the hardest day of my life) but I certainly I made it!
I was told that not long before I did it, a 67 year old woman completed it. It took her a little longer to get to the top of Dead Womans Pass (it took her 7 hours and it took me 4 1/2) but she made it. You just have to do it at your own pace.
Highly recommended
debdeb
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:18 am

Re: Fitness Level Required for Treks in Peru

Postby sfadventurer » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:12 pm

I did the Lares Trek and it was challenging. I was in decent shape and just kinda went at my own pace. Luckily we had porters to help alleviate the loads, but seriously unless you live in Colorado (or any high elevation elsewhere) the altitude will be a shock. (Living in NYC at the time, it was hard to prepare, other than regular cardio).
sfadventurer
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:50 pm

PreviousNext

Return to South America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest