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Tour operators in Cusco will tell you the Inca Trail is of "moderate" difficulty, but it can be rough going, especially the first couple of days. You must be in decent shape, even if your agency supplies porters to carry your pack - current regulations limit your load to 20 kilograms (44 pounds). The trail is often narrow and hair-raising.
As the mountains sometimes rise to over 4,200 meters (13,775 feet), be wary of altitude sickness. Give yourself two or three days in Cusco or the sacred valley to acclimatize.
Your gear should include sturdy hiking boots, a sleeping bag (some outfitters rent them); clothing for cold, rainy weather, a hat, and a towel. Walking sticks can be helpful. Also bring plenty of sunblock and mosquito repellent. Toilet paper is essential.
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