Fitness levels are often mentioned when planning for a trek to Machu Picchu. Many times travelers book their trip including flights, hotels, tours, guides, land transportation, transfers, and trek to then come to the realization that they never thought about the fitness level required for hiking through the Andes. A familiar scenario is getting a phone call from a traveler who asks: “hey can I even do it, what is the Inca trail fitness level requirement?”
The easy answer to the Inca trail fitness level would be “moderate to easy” but that really depends on a few factors. Not everyone will feel the Inca trail as a moderate – easy trek, yes it will feel easier for someone who is active and is an avid hiker, someone who regularly attends the gym, runners basically anyone with any inclination to sports. However that is not necessary but it makes the adaptation to the hike much easier. So if you want to take steps to making sure the Inca trail fitness level isn’t something beyond your abilities, sometime in the gym will definitely help. Fitness level is important but not the biggest factor (being in shape helps in this too) the adaptation to altitude is also very relevant. Altitude sickness is the biggest culprit in altering peoples trekking plans, there is also a protocol to make sure this doesn’t happen to incoming travelers though. If you want to learn how to deal with altitude sickness we have a great article on our blog so check that out as well.
The Inca trail is a great trek for beginners and seasoned hikers; it offers marvelous views of the surrounding Andean mountains as well as a culturally immersive experience. We do offer treks with are more of a challenge such as the Salkantay trek (moderate difficulty) if that is what you are looking for. In any case preparation is key to any successful trekking experience so be sure to take the necessary steps before starting the Inca trail.