Participants need to be in good physical health and condition to be able to enjoy the Inka Trail. The trekking will be difficult if you have not exercised regularly before your trip. To fully enjoy an Inka Trail adventure, we advise passengers to get into an exercise program for their
own safety and enjoyment. If a passenger suffers from any medical condition, we advise him/her to consult a physician about joining an Inka Trail Expedition.
If you are pregnant, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, migraine headaches, asthma, sickle cell anemia, emphysema, or other circulatory or respiratory diseases, please talk to your doctor before planning an altiplano trip.
The most common problem for the traveler in Peru is diarrhea (between 30% and 50% of travelers in a 2 week stay experience this) but the majority of these problems will be relatively minor. But don't be paranoid; to eat the local food is part of the experience of travel.
Tap water in Peru is not safe to drink. Always purify the water first by boiling it or adding purification tablets such as Micropure which can be acquired in most pharmacies throughout Peru. Bottled mineral water is available everywhere.
Fruit in Peru is plentiful and delicious, but ensure that you wash it or peel it yourself. Avoid undercooked and reheated foods.
On reaching heights above 3000 m., heart pounding and shortness of breath are a normal response to the lack of oxygen in the air. However, for some visitors these symptoms can deteriorate into a conditions known as Soroche (or acute mountain sickness) when one experiences headaches, extreme tiredness, loss of appetite, insomnia and often nausea. Symptoms usually develop during the first 24 hours at altitude, but may be delayed up to 3 weeks. To prevent Soroche, on arrival don't over exert yourself.
On arrival at your hotel have a rest for a while. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food. Drinking mate de coca (an infusion of coca leaves - and perfectly legal in Peru) may help. If symptoms become more severe and prolonged it is best to quickly seek medical attention and make arrangements to descend to a lower altitude. On recovery one can reascend slowly or in stages.