How hard is the Inca Trail?

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

How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby passionateexplorer » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:28 am

I am looking for honest feedback regarding the difficulty of the Inca Trail.

I am looking at doing a tour that does the Inca Trail, but I am nervous regarding the difficulty. I am looking for feedback from people who have done it.

I am overweight, but I walk 10 kms 3 times a week (mostly flat surface) and I do the occasional spinning classes I have mild asthma but it is controlled and my doctor has no worries about me doing the hike. However, I want to know how fast the group climbs, do some people regret it doing it (would you take the train?), how steep is it?

I know elevation medication helps, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
passionateexplorer
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:21 am

Re: How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby markmol » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:12 am

hi
there are posts already on this forum, 1 is fitness levels for treks in Peru, all your questions will be there. 1 of the question you ask is how fast the group climbs, you got at your own pace, we had 2 guides 1 stayed with the faster & fitter people in our group the 2nd stayed with the last in the group. I was at the back of the pack, took breaks when i needed them ended up taking some great photos, the faster people tend to try & be first to each stop & not to look around at the veiws. Day 2 & the first part of day 3 are steep, but as i say go at your own pace & you will make it.
“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
User avatar
markmol
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:43 am

Re: How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby IncaTrail50 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:49 pm

I've posted a number of replies to this and will add here briefly, I did the hike for my 50th birthday. I was overweight, didn't do much exercising before, and was the slowest in the group. I agree with Mark, since I stopped more frequently I got lots more pictures. The guides were great, they stayed back with me and talked about the vegetation, animals, birds, and generally life in Peru. I never felt pressured to go faster. In fact, they told me to take my time and not rush to keep up, it was MY hike and I should be enjoying it. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, I lost 8 pounds in the four days, but at the end of it all both guides hugged me and congratulated me for finishing. They knew how much I struggled!
It spurred me to join a gym, lose weight, and get in shape so I could do further hikes like it. There are some incredible places in the world that you can only get to on foot!!
Determination will get you through it.
Good luck!
Kim
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

Re: How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby IndyGent » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:15 pm

I am an older guy who did the Inca trail and the comments above are very good. There were a few "twenty something" young guys in the tour I was on who just ran up the hill. Light daypacks, running shoes (not hiking boots) and no hiking poles. They were at the camp playing cards a good twenty minutes before I got there. Day two is the worst and if you can make it through that you can handle anything. As has been said, take your time.

Enjoy the experience,

IndyGent
IndyGent
User Rank: Adventurer
User Rank: Adventurer
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 4:22 pm

Re: How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby specialh » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:30 am

We did this last year. We did a fair bit of prep (figuring the easier we can make it, the more we can enjoy it) but I was sick before we set out and had no appetite during the trek so did it on no fuel.

It IS hard, day 2 is long and steep. But as others have said, it is YOUR hike, you can take as long as you need. The feeling of pride upon completion is immense :) There was a lady in our group who was doing the trek for her 60th birthday and others on the same bit of trail as us we also in their 60s.

It was the best thing I've ever done :)
specialh
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:08 am

Re: How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby passionateexplorer » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:13 pm

Hi Everyone,

I really appreciate all your responses to my question, as well as sharing your experiences. I think I am going to go ahead and do it. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be the hardest activity since I was a teenage, but I agree that it will be a great accomplishment. I am going to up my preparation and enjoy the experience.

Thank you all again!

Julie
passionateexplorer
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:21 am

Re: How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby Zuleika » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:40 pm

Be under no illusion - Its hard. But brilliant.
I really really recommend you do some practice (steep) hills before you go - do you have anything near you? If not, use the gym running machine and put it on steep hill and walk up it at a good pace - I did half an hour of this 3 or 4 times a week for several months for prep and was just about ok getting up those hills in good shape.
It IS one of the best treks I have done.
But if you are in a lot of pain and puffed all the time you wont enjoy it. Dont forget the altitude also affects your breathing.
Yes go for it I would say, but be well prepared before you go, just booking it will give you impetus to get to the gym anyway. Recommend a good walking stick for all the downhills too.
A hundred percent better than getting the train/bus up - there so much more than just Macchu Picchu to see!
"Live the life you love, Love the life you live"
User avatar
Zuleika
User Rank: Road Warrior
User Rank: Road Warrior
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:01 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: How hard is the Inca Trail?

Postby trekker_lady » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:32 pm

The trail is strenuous but with G Adventures terrific guides they ensure you go at your own pace and safely. I never felt pressured to go any faster than I could. I'm in my 50s and a frequent hiker and cyclist but had difficulty with the altitude. I did not take any Diamox or anything and think I fared as well as my co-trekkers who experienced side effects such as tingling fingers and toes. Hydration is the key! I agree with all the aforementioned that prior to going try to do some uphill hiking in preparation. Day 2 is the challenge day and there was much rejoicing when I made it to the summit. The trail is hard but a life altering experience second to none! :D
trekker_lady
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:58 pm


Return to South America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: marcyboulder and 1 guest