A group of people hiking the Inca Trail.


How to Prepare for Hiking the Inca Trail

Preparing for Your Trek

The Inca Trail is mostly stone-paved (Inca stones!) and it undulates up and down across green mountains while crossing two high-altitude passes. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed because we always have a staff member hiking in the lead as well as one behind with the slowest hiker in our group. Any fit, experienced hiker will enjoy this hike, but we recommend you make an extra effort to prepare by engaging in regular exercise well beyond your normal routine. To accelerate your conditioning, try walking faster than 1.5 miles per hour, walking on steeper inclines, using your gym’s stair-climbing machines, or going on long hikes (also a good way to break in your boots). Please be aware that there are a few sections of long, steep stone “staircases,” so we do suggest hiking poles to protect your knees. The trek takes place at altitudes between 9,840 feet and 13,776 feet.

Three hikers' shoes.

What to Pack

The Peruvian government has a strict 22-pound weight limit for duffels on the Inca Trail. Keep in mind that weight will include your sleeping bag and pad. Thus, you do need to pack light for the trek, but you will find it is not that challenging since all you really need are the following: comfortable hiking clothes, with additional warm layers, good hiking boots, and personal toiletries (we provide a detailed clothing list). Your non-hiking luggage will be safely stored for you at our Cusco hotel. One of our Area Managers will be your point person from your first inquiry throughout your preparation for the trip, and they will be happy to answer any questions you have about preparing and packing for this incredible journey.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall

Average Daily Max/Min °F


Rainfall – Inches

Lima 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0


The Inca Trail was better than I could have imagined. The trip was organized flawlessly and was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My first big trek and I loved every minute of it.

Learn More

Talk to an Expert

Our Latin America Specialists know every detail about our Peru trips. They will be happy to answer any questions and help make sure it’s the right adventure for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!