Tips to know before you go to some tours or trek
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind.
Please review the following trekking information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
1.- Do you need to book ahead for the Inca Trail?
Yes, it is recommended that you make a reservation for the Inca trail and pay for your entrance fee well in advance.
Bookings should be done:
- Dec, Jan, Mar: 3-5 weeks in advance
- April, Oct, Nov: 6-8 weeks in advance
- May, Sep: 2-3 months in advance
- Jun, Jul, Aug: 3-4 months in advance
- In Feb, the trek is closed.
You can still visit Machu Picchu. The number of trek permits is limited to 500 per day (check Inca trail availability) (about 200 tourists and 300 trekking staff) This includes the 2 days – short Inca trail, and 4 day Classic Inca trail treks as well as the Salkantay 7 day trek.
The estimate is 160 trekkers per day on the 4 day trek, 25 on the 2 day trek and 15 on the 7 day trek.
2.- Is it possible to do without an agency?
Since June 2002 trekking independently on the Inca Trail has been prohibited. Regulations state that each trekker must be accompanied by a professionally qualified guide.
The UGM (Unidad de Gestion Machu Picchu) is the regulatory body responsible for controlling access to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. Machupicchu Kingdom must meet these requirements proving professional guides and good camping equipment, radio communications and emergency first aid including oxygen bottle.
Is it possible to enter the National Park with different name than what I gave when booking the Inca Trail?
No, you have to carry your valid ID (passport) to enter the national park.
Are there alternative routes to the 4 day Inca Trail?
Yes, there are many alternative routes and they are Unique ones, here are a few.
- 2 day Inca Trail (requires permit)
Checkout our alternative Inca trail treks.
Treks not requiring a permit
- Salkantay 5 or 4 day trek
- Lares Valley 4 day trek
- Choquequirao of 4, 5, 6 and 9 days trek
Are numbers of day visitors to Machu Picchu also limited, like those doing the Inca Trail hike? Or can just buy the bus / train and entrance ticket on the day we want to go?
Yes, since the last August 2011, there are many regulations for Machu Picchu. The number of people permits is limited to 2,500 per day. Is included the Inca trail hikers.
***********The trains are normally full so make your reservations four weeks in advance.
3.- What should I bring when I’m on the trek?
- Pair of trekking shoes and plenty socks
- Insect repellent
- Sun block
- Dark glasses (shades)
- Rain Gear or rain poncho
- Light clothing for the day and warm for the night.
- Trekking pants (the ones you unzip for shorts)
- Hat or sun cap
- Water Bottle
- Sleeping bag (unless you rent one from the company)
4.- How fit do you have to be to do the Inca Trail?
You have to be fit. It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail then it must be easy. But it isn’t.
The trail is 42km (24.4 miles) long and involves great physical exertion to complete. On the second day you climb two mountains and the highest point is located at 4,217m (about 13,907ft)
Combined with high altitude (lack of oxygen) and extreme weather (you can easily burn in the high altitude sun during the day and temperatures can drop to below freezing at night) the trek can be hard work.
However all this suffering can make the final arrival at Machu Picchu all the more enjoyable!
5.- What about altitude sickness?
In general if you take regular exercise and spend a few days in Cusco, or better, in the Sacred Valley, acclimatizing to the altitude you shouldn’t have to suffer too much.
We offer the Cusco City Tour which you can book whilst you acclimatize.
The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER AND COCA TEA; our guides know how to treat it.
6.- How many people in the groups?
The maximum group size is 10 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-7 persons. Machupicchu Kingdom is specialize in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and offers a personalized itineraries service.
Is the trek difficult, do I need to be fit?
The Inca Trail is a 42km (24.4 mile) hike through the Andes Mountain in Cusco region. The maximum altitude reached is 4,217m/13,907ft
On the second day of the trek we climb two mountains. The Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise.
In preparation: try walking 15km in a day or go to the gym in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatized to the altitude.
Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.
7.- What does the trail look like in the peak season?
It could get a little bit crowded, but with the regulations in place, you have enough space for everyone. That why we highly recommend the alternative treks.
8.- Are there toilets on the trail?
Toilets have improved a lot in the last couple of years and all of the larger campsites have toilet blocks with flush toilets and running water.
On the whole they are kept pretty clean. If you do need to go to the toilet between campsites then defecate well away from the trail and water supplies; dig a hole, or cover your faces with a rock, and take the paper with you in a bag to deposit in one of the several bins along the way.
There are hot shower facilities at Wiñay Wayna on day 3, although they are usually pretty unclean.
9.- Should I hire an extra porter (‘third of a porter)?
About 50% of the group hires the services of an extra porter to carry their personal items.
A ‘third of a porter’ can be hired for $130 for the 4 day trek (includes porters entrance fees, meals, transport and wages). If you hire the services of a third of a porter you can give him a maximum of 6kg (13lbs) to carry which is usually sufficient for your sleeping bag (about 2.5kg), mattress (1kg) and change of clothes (about 3kg).
However the porter will not walk at your side during the trek so you will still need to bring a day pack to carry essential items such as water, snacks, camera, warm sweater and rain jacket. When you pay the trek balance in our office in Cusco we will give you a duffle bag so that you can put your items in that, which you will give to the porter on the day of the trek
10.- Are there any discounts for students?
There are discounts available to Students with valid ISIC Student Cards and to young persons under the age of 15 years old ($30).
When making your booking please send us a scanned in version of your Student Card or for young persons, a scanned in version of your front passport page, to entitle you the discount.
11.- What if I am unable to finish the trail?
In the scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due health issues, Machupicchu Kingdom will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems
There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and recover quickly. They then continue with the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to original plan.
How does the Lares to Machu Picchu trek compare to the traditional Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
The Lares trek is slightly shorter than the Inca Trail. The trekking part of the 4-day Lares tour actually finishes around midday on the 3rd day at the village called Ollantaytamb. The group then takes the train ride to Aguas Calientes where the group spends the night in a hotel. On the 4th day of the tour the group takes an early bus up to Machu Picchu for a guided tour. Usually the group arrives at Machu Picchu for around 6:00am, before the Inca Trail Hikers. The standard Inca Trail trek, in contrast, starts further along the Urubamba Valley just beyond Ollantaytambo and treks all of the way to Machu Picchu. Trekkers on the Inca Trail arrive at Machu Picchu around 8:30am. The Inca Trail is famous because it passes many Inca archaeological sites along the route of the trail and also passes through a large variety of eco-systems such as high mountain puna (grassland), cloud-forest and sub-tropical vegetation. The Lares trek takes us through small village communities in the mountains, where you may interact with the real descendants of the Incas. The Lares trek is a more culturally rich trek as it allows us to see Quechua farmers working in the fields, tending their herds of llamas and alpacas. In these mountain regions the local people are still proud wear traditional dress. We will camp in the grounds of the community and have the opportunity to see locally-produced weavings and handicrafts. The scenery along the route of the Lares trek is spectacular with many snow-capped peaks and turquoise lakes.
How far in advance do I need to make a trek reservation for the Lares Trek?
Trek permits are not required for this trek so in theory you could just turn up in Cusco and book this trek a day or two in advance. However the train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back to Ollantaytambo at the end of the trek are becoming more and more difficult for us to purchase at short notice and it is highly recommended that these tickets are bought at least 2 weeks before trek departure. Space within the group is also limited so if you don’t have much time in Cusco and you really want to do this trek then we would recommend making a trek booking as far in advance as possible.
What are the best months to do the Lares trek?
The best months to do the Lares Trek are during the dry season from April to October. Outside these months it is possible that some of the high passes along the trek may become blocked by snow which is why we only offer this trek from April to October.
What about payment, do you need a deposit?
After we have confirmed your trek booking you will need to pay a trek deposit of US$200 per person. The deposit can be paid by PayPal (preferred method as it is quick), or by bank transfer. The remaining trek balance needs to be paid in our office in Cusco at least 2 days prior to the trek departure date, before 7pm. Payment is to be made in cash (US dollars or local currency. When we confirm your trek booking we will send you more details about how to pay the trek deposit. Please note that the trek deposit is non-refundable & non-transferable. The deposit is used to reserve your train tickets and entrance tickets to Machu Picchu as well as reserving your space within the group. After purchasing your train tickets and Machu Picchu entrance tickets we cannot change the date of trek departure or change the name or passport number on the tickets.
Is the sleeping bag and mat included?
Sleeping bags are not included and so we recommend bringing a compact three-season sleeping bag. If travelling between May and October a 4-season sleeping bag is recommended. These can be rented in Cuzco for approximately $20 for the length of the trek. Some renters may choose to bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. Inflatable mats are provided however some travellers also bring their own self-inflating mat.
Is the trek difficult, do I need to be fit?
The Lares Trek is a 37km hike through mountainous regions. The maximum altitude reached is 4550m above sea level which is 350m higher than the highest point on the Inca Trail. You should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting the trek. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise. Try walking 15km in a day or go to the gym in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatized to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m) prior to starting the trek. This time can be put to good use visiting the city of Cusco, nearby Inca ruins and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Is there a minimum or maximum age limit for the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?
There is no government restriction on the age limit for the Lares Trek. However as a responsible trekking company Machupicchu Kingdom does not accept reservations for children under the age of 8 years old and adults over 65 years old. All children under 18 years old must also be accompanied by an adult. We require that all of our trekkers over 59 years old hire the service of an extra third porter (6kg). We recommend that if you are over 59 years old you should talk to your doctor well in advance about how best to plan for the trek and also to ensure that your travel insurance covers such adventure activities. We also insist that clients over 59 years old arrive in Cusco at least 3 days prior to starting the trek (rather than the usual 2 days). For trekkers over 63 years old we also ask you to bring a letter from your doctor confirming that you are fit to participate in the trek. Unfortunately if you fail to bring a letter from your doctor we reserve the right to cancel your trek and your trek deposit cannot be returned.
Can I have vegetarian meals?
Our cooks can provide vegetarian meals no problem. Just let us know your dietary requirements when you book your trek.
I have a food allergy, can this be catered for?
We have plenty of clients who have allergies to nuts, wheat, etc. Please give us details of your allergy at the time of booking. Please indicate the severity of the reaction and what type of medicines you have to take in an emergency. If your allergy is severe you must be accompanied by a friend on the trek who is aware of your allergy and the location of any required medicines. Due to the nature of the remote geographical location of the trail and the lack of suitable nearby medical facilities Machupicchu Kingdom will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special medical/dietary requirements. We suggest that you to check with your doctor before booking the trek.
I have asthma / diabetes / another medical condition. Can I still do the trek?
You must disclose at the time of booking any medical condition that you may have that could affect your ability to do the Lares Trek. Machupicchu Kingdom reserves the right not to accept a trek booking if we feel that a medical condition may put your life or the lives of any of our trekking staff or other clients at risk on the trek. People with heart conditions, knee problems, severe asthma or are more than 18 weeks pregnant should not participate in the trek. People with mild asthma / diabetes / pregnant less than 18 weeks will have to bring a medical note from their doctor stating that they are fit to undertake the trek. They will also be required to be accompanied by a trekking companion on the trek at all times who will trek at their sides and be familiar with any medicines required in case of an emergency. Machupicchu Kingdom reserved the right to cancel the trek booking of a client if the client has not fully disclosed at the time of making a booking a medical condition that may pose a risk to the health of the client and/or other trekkers. No refunds will be given in this instance.
Due to the nature of the remote geographical location of the trail and the lack of suitable nearby medical facilities along the trail Machupicchu Kingdom will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special dietary requirements / medical condition. We suggest that you check with your doctor before booking the trek.
Having paid my trek deposit can I turn up in Cusco the day before to pay the balance?
No. We require everyone to be in Cusco at least 2 days prior to starting the trek, although 3 days is even better. Therefore if your trek departs on a Monday you must come to our office before 7pm on Saturday to pay the trek balance. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the high altitude. Unfortunately we are no longer making any exceptions to this policy even if our clients have already been at high altitude prior to arriving in Cusco. We are strict on this point! (Please note the trek balance needs to be paid in Cusco, and cannot be paid in advance of your arrival).
What do I need to bring on the trek?
Backpack, sleeping bag, double-thickness foam mattress (we will provide you with this), rain jacket, strong footwear, one complete change of clothing, sweater, jacket (something warm), water bottle (metal or nalgene type) and sterilizing tablets (Micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in Cusco), flashlight and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunblock, insect repellent, toiletries and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc, camera and spare batteries (nowhere to charge your camera during the trek). For your own personal hygiene we also recommend that you bring a small bottle of antiseptic/anti-bacterial hand gel to clean your hands each time after using the camp toilets and before eating any snacks / meals. You also have to bring your original passport with you on the trek, with the same passport number you originally made your reservation with, otherwise you will be unable to go on the trek. Photocopies are no longer acceptable.
What do I need to carry?
We include horses to carry all the other items such as tents, food and cooking equipment. Horses are also provided to carry your personal items such as sleeping bag, mattress and change of clothes up to a maximum of 6kg per person. You will need to carry a daypack with items such as rain jacket, water bottle, camera, sunblock, snacks, valuables etc.
Do I need to bring walking boots?
Walking boots are recommended as they provide support to the ankle which reduces the risk of injury. However it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in and not brand new. Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals or using new boots or hiring boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.
Can I use trekking poles / walking sticks on the trek?
Yes, Many people like to hike with trekking poles or walking sticks. Unlike the Inca Trail there are no restrictions on the use of trekking poles. Metal trekking poles and wooden walking sticks can be purchased in Cusco. Metal poles can also be hired in many equipment hire shops in Cusco for about US3 per day or you may rent is from us.
Where can I store the bags that I do not need to take on the trek?
Any bags that you don’t need to take on the Lares Trek can be left at your hotel in Cusco. Nearly all hotels have a luggage deposit and rarely charge for this service as long as you are returning to the hotel after the trek. You can also leave valuables in the hotel safe, but remember to bring your passport and some emergency money.
What is the weather like on the trek?
May to August:
Generally the weather on the Inca Trail is similar to that in Cusco. During the day you can expect blue skies and sunshine. The sun as this altitude can be very strong so it is important to bring a hat and plenty of sun cream to protect you. Trekking in T-shirt and shorts is ideal but have warm sweater handy in your day pack. During these months there is little chance of rain but we recommend that you bring a rain jacket or lightweight plastic rain poncho (can be bought for US$1 in Cusco) just in case. As soon as the sun goes down the temperature can rapidly drop maybe to freezing during the early hours of the morning. It is important to keep warm so bring a jacket, wooly hat and scarf. Thermal underwear is ideal for these conditions.
April, September and October
During the day you can expect to encounter all 4 seasons. Generally you will have at least one wet day on the trek. The rain can be very heavy at times so it is important to bring a good rain jacket or medium duty rain poncho (can be bought in Cusco for US$5-10). Between the showers the sun can be strong and quickly dries the rain up. Shorts and T-shirt are fine for the day.
Bring a sun hat and high factor sun protection cream.
November – March
This is officially the wet season in the Andes but it also coincides with Summer. Expect at least two days of rain on the trail so bring a good rain jacket or poncho. Pack all of your clothes in plastic bags and bring a cover for your backpack. Generally the skies are overcast but you’ll have plenty of sunny spells. When the sun is out is can be extremely hot so a hat and sun cream is essential. The nights on the trail are mild so bringing items such as wooly hats and scarves is not necessary. January is popular with Latin Americans enjoying their summer holidays. The trail will be closed during the month of February.
How warm are the sleeping bags that your rent?
Our sleeping bags are rated to temperatures as low as -10ºC but are more suitable for temperatures of about -5ºC. Since you won’t find temperatures as low as this on the Lares Trek we rate them as very warm and cozy! We charge US$30 per person for the 4 day/3 night trek. We will give you the sleeping bag one day in advance so you can try it out. If there are any problems just let us know when we come to pick you up from your hotel. On the morning of the 4th day of the trek the cook has instructions to collect all the sleeping bags and bring them back to the office. After renting out our standard sleeping bags 15 times we give them to our porters to use. Our sleeping bags are synthetic (easily washed) and weigh 2.5kg. We do not provide down-filled sleeping bags because they can’t be washed after each use. There are several equipment rental shops in Cusco is you need to rent down-filled bags.
Are there toilets on the trek?
We will carry a toilet and toilet tent with us on the trek.
What is the maximum group size?
The maximum size of our Lares to Machu Picchu 4 day group service is only 10 persons.
Is there a minimum group size and what happens if Machupicchu Kingdom does not meet the minimum size?
Guaranteed and Flexible Departures, we only need Minimum of 2 trekkers and maximum of 7 for all our listed tours. We are specialized in small and private groups which allows you to enjoy much more your trek or tour in Peru.
Machupicchu Kingdom is a direct local tour operator based in Cusco and we neves pass you onto other companies.
What do we do for water along the trek?
At meal times we will give you teas, coffees etc to drink. If the group size is small we will have enough gas to boil up water for you to fill your water bottles. However this should not be relied upon and during the trek you may have to use local water sources. You’ll come across a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 2 hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. Take a bottle of at least 1.5 litre capacity per person. Although the water looks clean it is always safer to use sterilizing tablets or a water filter. The sterilizing tablets can be bought in most pharmacies in Cusco. With these tablets you have to wait between 60 and 90 minutes before drinking. Many people complete the trek without ever having to use water taken from streams etc, but sterilizing tablets are recommended for emergencies. Clients can also bring their own water filter if preferred.
A long the way, there are some local families selling water and some energizer drink. So, you will have the opportunity to buy water a long the way.
If I am travelling alone can I have my own tent?
If you are travelling alone and are willing to share a tent with a member of the same sex, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own tent then there is an additional supplement of US$25.
Can I come back on a different train than that included in the trek?
Machupicchu Kingdom has 2 options to take the train on the way back to Cusco, this at the end of the trek
Expeditions Train Schedules for the way back to Cusco:
First: Departure from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) at 14:55, arriving to Cusco around 19h
Second: Departure from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) at 18:45, arriving to Cusco around 22h
Both train schedule are included in the packages, if would you like different train schedule or different service, you may need to UP GRADE you train service on the way back to Cusco.
If I come back on a different train from that arranged by Peru Treks will you still send a bus to Ollantaytambo to collect me?
If you decide to book your return train yourself our decide to change your return time from that arranged by Peru Treks once you arrive in Cusco then unfortunately we won’t be able to send a bus to meet you in Ollantaytambo and take you back to Cusco. However not to worry since if you let us know before you start the trek, we will refund you the transport costs of US$5 per person so that you can take a bus back to Cusco. There are many buses waiting at the station in Ollantaytambo to meet the train. Alternative you can take a private taxi back to Cusco which costs in the region of US$40 per taxi which works out fairly reasonable if there are 4 of you, US$10 per person. Max 4 persons per taxi.
Can I stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes, what is the cost?
If you want to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes after the trek this can easily be arranged by Machupicchu Kingdom. We will purchase your train ticket to return from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo the following day. You need to let us know at the time of making the trek reservation so we can reserve your train tickets in advance. Obviously if you stay an extra night then you will have to pay for your accommodation, meals. You can make a reservation in advance (recommended May to Sept) or simply turn up in Aguas Calientes and book a room. If you return to Machu Picchu the following day then you will have to pay for the return bus fare up to the ruins (US$14 each way) and pay another 215 Peruvian Soles (about US$65) entrance fee. If you stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes we won’t be able to send a bus to Ollantaytambo especially to pick you up so we will refund the price of the bus ticket (US$5) and you can simply catch a bus when you arrive in Ollantaytambo, for Cusco. There are plenty of buses waiting in Ollantaytambo to take passengers back to Cusco. Alternatively you can return in a taxi (approx cost US$50 per taxi which works out fairly reasonable if there are 4 of you, US$15 per person. Max 4 persons per taxi)
Do you recommend staying an extra night at Aguas Calientes?
The advantage of staying the night in Aguas Calientes is that you can spend all day at Machu Picchu. Most people leave the ruins at about 2pm to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to have lunch or visit the thermal springs. Machu Picchu is therefore fairly quiet between 3pm and 5pm. You will have to check the time of the last bus back to Aguas Calientes but it is usually about 5:30pm. Staying an extra night at Aguas Calientes also gives you the opportunity to return to Machu Picchu early the following day. This is particularly useful during the wet season (December to March) when you are more likely to encounter rain and Machu Picchu enshrouded in mist and clouds. During this type of weather Machu Picchu has an almost mystical atmosphere, but if you are looking for photos of the “Lost City” in the sunshine then the extra day spent at the ruins helps to improve your chances. The decision as to whether to spend an extra night at Aguas Calientes may depend a lot on how much time you have in Peru. From our experience however, many people who had planned to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes usually end up trying to change their train tickets to return to Cusco straight after the trek (this is subject to availability and often quite difficult). Machu Picchu is fairly small and 4 or 5 hours is usually sufficient for most visitors. Many people are surprised by the beauty of Cusco and would prefer to spend more time discovering this city than revisiting Machu Picchu for the second time.
What happens if I arrive at Machu Picchu and then decide to stay an extra night, can I change my train ticket?
It is still possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you decide to stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes. You will have to take your train ticket personally to the train station in Aguas Calientes and ask them to change the return date of your ticket. You will probably be asked to pay an extra US$20 administration fee and changing the ticket will be subject to availability of spaces on the train on the following day.
1.-How do I reserve a space for the Salkantay Trek?
You can rely on our dedicated staff to answer any questions you may have and to take care of every detail of your trip from the beginning to the end. Please email us to: firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
2.-Will the altitude affect me?
When travelling throughout the Andes in Peru some people will suffer some effects of altitude sickness. If you plan to hike the Salkantay Trek we recommend arriving 2 or 3 days before start your trek to acclimatize to the altitude.
3.-What is the best thing to do in the event of altitude sickness?
Wherever possible “go down”. But, if you are staying in Cusco, you may still feel the effects. The best advice is to sleep, take plenty of fluids and you could also try coca tea. The porters chew coca leaves wrapped around a black resin called llipta. When you are actually walking and active (especially on day two of the trail), this may help since it dilates vessels to increase the blood flow to the parts of the body that need it.
4.-Is the Huayna Picchu Mountain Included?
Yes, with us everything is included on the trek.
5.-Do you require a deposit?
Yes. We request a $800 non-refundable deposit per person along with your personal details (full name, passport number, gender, nationality, DOB) Non-refundable because the deposit we be used to buy your Machu Picchu entrance and Train ticket.
6.-Is the Salkantay Trek difficult?
You know the answer to this one: it depends! You reach 4650m/1417ft on the second day after climbing for the best part of the day. Especially if you are within your first five days at altitude, this may give you headaches and shortness of breath. Don’t forget that even people who live in Cusco (at 3300m) still get short of breath… You must know that Machupicchu Kingdom always provide one emergency horse for the group, which can be ridden by the person who is feeling sick or exhausted.
7.-What do I need to bring on the trek?
Backpack, sleeping bag, rain jacket, strong footwear (walking boots are recommended as they provide support to the ankle which reduces the risk of injury especially when trekking in the wet season (December – March). However it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in and not brand new. Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals. One complete change of clothing, sweater, jacket (something warm), water bottle and sterilizing tablets (Micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in Cusco), flashlight and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunblock, insect repellent, toiletries and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc, camera and plenty of film. You also have to bring your original passport with you on the trek. Inflatable mattress is included for all our clients.
8.-Should I request an extra horse?
Not. Your belonging will be carried by our horses (7kl/15p), even the group will have an emergency horse in case some could need it.
9.-What do we do for water along the Salkantay Trek?
At meal times we will give you teas, coffees etc to drink. You’ll come across a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 1½ hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. Take a bottle of at least 1½ liter capacity per person. Although the water looks it is always safer to use sterilizing tablets or a water filter. The sterilizing tablets can be bought in most pharmacies in Cusco. With these tablets you have to wait between 30 and 40 minutes before drinking. Bottled mineral water can also be taken from Cusco or bought at Mollepata or Santa Teresa.
10.-What is the best thing to do in the event of altitude sickness?
Wherever possible “go down”. But, if you are staying in Cusco, you may still feel the effects. The best advice is to sleep, take plenty of fluids and you could also try coca tea. The porters and horse handlers chew coca leaves wrapped around a black resin called llipta. When you are actually walking and active (especially on day two of the trail), this may help since it dilates vessels to increase the blood flow to the parts of the body that need it.
11.-How much money should I take?
Please review what is included in your trek in order to estimate what you should take. Along the way you can buy snacks and souvenirs, mostly of a non expensive nature (average soles per person 500).
12.-When is the best time to go?
This is a difficult question to answer as Peru has a huge variety of weather conditions. We would say travelers can visit Peru any time of the year! Dry season runs from May to September and this is typically the time that is most recommended. However, this is also the cooler time of year. Nighttime temperatures can drop to below freezing at the height of the dry season. June, July and August are the most popular months to visit so you will tend to encounter much larger crowds during these months. In the wet season (December to April), you can expect showers three to four afternoons a week. For travelers that don’t mind a little drizzle and muddy trails, this time of year offers smaller crowds and greener hillsides, with wildflowers and orchids often in bloom The shoulder seasons, April to June or September to November can often provide the best of both worlds. They typically have fewer crowds and warmer temperatures than the height of the dry season, but still tend to have relatively little rain. For more information, check out our Peru Weather page.
13.-What entry documents do I need?
U.S. citizens need a valid passport and an entry form-tourist card which is provided by your air carrier either at the ticket counter when checking in for your flight to Peru or once on-board. (NOTE: Other nationalities should check with the nearest Peruvian Consulate to determine correct entry requirements.
14.-Is it safe to travel in Peru?
Definitely. We tend to hear the very worst news from Latin America. Helpful people and extraordinary culture. Most crime is opportunistic and not violent buy of course, it is possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Care and common sense will nearly always prevail. The Sendero Luminoso is not active anymore..
15.-How do I get from the airport to the hotel on the escorted tours?
Upon your arrival to Cusco you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel of choice where you will receive a short briefing with the rest of the morning being at leisure to rest and acclimatize to the altitude.. All this included.
16.-What type of transportation is used?
Our escorted tours utilize a variety of transportation including private vans/ cars, comfortable tourist buses, flights, canoes, etc. We use a mix of private/ public transportation to provide travelers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. Occasionally, we may include non-typical transportation modes (rickshaw, bicycle taxi, “chicken bus”, etc.) for z
It is still possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you decide to stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes. Please let us know it at the booking time, then we organize everything for you! We organize Hotel & Hostel accommodation in all over Peru, for the same price they offer.
17.-What training do you provide for your staff on environmental practices?
Our guide teams have been trained in first aid, rescue and are regularly updated through seminars and courses in their respective fields. All of our trekking staff receives regular briefings on how to best comply with the Inca Trail Trek, Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Sanctuary Regulations as well as on environmental awareness.