Physically Preparing for Your Hike to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century ancient Incan society situated almost 2500 m above sea level – roughly 8000 feet. Nestled among the mountains in the Cusco region in Peru, Machu Picchu attracts as many as 5000 people a day during the high season between May and October, with 1 million people visiting the site on a yearly basis. Most visitors will come from the surrounding communities, with the bulk of tourists coming via train from Aguas Calientes. The full hike up the mountain via the Inca Trail takes about four to five days, so read on to learn about physically preparing for your hike.

Don’t Forget About Physically Preparing for Your Hike

Most able-bodied individuals are able to accommodate the four to five-day hike up the Inca trail. However, it’s important to err on the side of caution and physically prepare for the trip.

Aerobic training. Aerobic training will allow you to meet the demands of the hike and should be the focus of your regimen. Light to moderate intensity activities like long-distance running, brisk walking, and cycling, will engage the muscles that you will use during your hike. They also help build cardiovascular strength, which is essential during the long hikes. Include muscle training programs that tune the legs and the buttocks.

A jogging regimen. You’re not going to be jogging up the Inca Trail, but a jogging regimen will allow you to walk longer and faster so you can enjoy all the sights and sounds of Machu Picchu sooner. Aim to jog three to four times a week, covering a distance of seven-ten kilometers at a time. Make sure that you aren’t consistently out of breath. Your jogging regimen should have you breathing briskly, but you shouldn’t feel like you are starved for oxygen. Reduce intensity and to get more comfortable to build endurance.

Practice hiking with a weighted backpack. Even though the Inca trail will have porters who will carry the bulk of your bags, it’s still a good idea to practice hiking with a weighted pack to prepare for the worst scenario. This type of hiking will emulate the potential stress of going up the Inca trail.

Make sure to bring necessary equipment and tools for your hike – taking extra precautions will provide a safe and fun trip. To learn more about physically preparing for your hike to Machu Picchu, get in touch with Alpaca Expeditions. Alpaca Expeditions is a Peruvian travel operator with a main office in located in Cusco, Peru, and we are the top-rated tour operators of the Inca Trail.

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