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LARES TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL  TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS

This tour combines the best of the Andean traditions and original indigenous villages, and the exotic inca trail hidden by an lush cloud forest, that looks like lost in the time. Embark on an incredible Cusco Andean exploration through Lares trek with a taste of the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 5 Days. Take a guided tour through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, stopping at a women’s weaving in Calca, before beginning your hike. The Lares Trek might not be as touristy but it’s no less breathtaking with scenic views of lagoons, the snow-capped mountains of  Chicon,Sawasiray, Pitusiray, andean flora, and opportunities to meet local Quechua people along the way.

The Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu  includes  many Inca ruins, such as, Ancashmarca, Unu Urqo, Ollantaytambo, Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna and of course the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. On day fourth you will hike a ancient inca trail to Machu Picchu surrounded of beautiful orchids, pristine waterfalls, and exuberant cloud forest and breathtaking scenery.

The incredible agricultural terraces and Inca fortresses above the village of Písac and in the town of Ollantaytambo provide a fascinating look into how farming was maximized in the empire. You will have the time  needed to truly appreciate and understand the Inca Empire’s history.

With only five hundred permits issued a day for the Classic Inca Trail normally, forward planning is essential. The Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail , on the other hand, is relatively undiscovered. They both offer up incredible experiences, but with different focuses. If you want to escape into the wild, experience local living in Peru and still challenge yourself on a hike, the Lares Trek may be more suited to you. While hiking the Short Inca Trail, you will arrive directly into the Lost City of the Incas, and enjoying unique views from the sun gate. A guided tour through Machu Picchu at sunrise, the best time to see the Lost City of the Incas, is a suitably stunning way to conclude your adventure.With the Lares Trek, there’s the option to take a train to Machu Picchu. Not only is this one of the most stunning rail journeys in the world, but it gives you the chance to enjoy all the magnificent Andean landscapes of Cusco.

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Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days Trip Overview

Difficulty of the hike: Moderate

KmDistance hike: 48 Kilometers

Elevation max: 4700m

Group: 2-8

Price from $920 per person

Departures
from NOV 2021 to DEC 2022

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Trip Highlights

  • Visit one of the most iconic routes, where the last descendants of the Incas still live, who are expert weavers and still practice their ancestral rites and customs.
  • Explore the path that goes to the Amazon jungle from the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
  • You get the best of Inca history and local culture,It’s a great chance to live (and learn) local
  • Delight your senses with the sacred snow mountains and its waterfalls, which will revitalize your energies, and free you from stress.
  • Contemplate the most spectacular landscapes of Peru, in just two days a substantial change is made from the Andes to the cloud forest of Machu Picchu.
  • Enrich your knowledge about the history and culture of one of the most powerful empires in South America, the Incas.
  • Enjoy the best buffet dishes of Peruvian food prepared with fresh ingredients.
  • Visit one of the seven modern wonders of the Machu Picchu World.

Activities

The Lares Trek is challenging, because of the level of the walk. The second day is the hardest because an ascent of the highest pass is made (4650 meters), and then descends down a steep slope. The weather is quite cold the first three days, during the winter season (May-August). On the fourth day when the route of the Inca trail is cut short to Machu Picchu there will be some heat, the maximum height will be 2700 meters. We recommend that participants do physical exercises, such as running, biking or moderate walks, and adapt to heights at least 2 days before Lares Trek.

Accommodations

Lares Trek Camping Tents: 2 nights

The overnight stays during the Lares Trek are made in double-roofed tents, which are installed by the accompanying team. The tents are equipped with thick foam mattresses that are carried by the horses. Sleeping bags can be rented on site for a fee prior to the start of the trek. The camps have permanent sanitary facilities, some have toilets, but most of them are of the “squat” variety. They may not be the most hygienic, but try to use them instead of nature, remember you are in one of the most amazing natural environments in the world. Please bring toilet paper with you. A dining tent offers enough space to eat together and end the evening in peace.

VERONICA View Hotel: 1 night

VERONICA View Hotel is located in Ollantaytambo and offers a bar, a garden and a terrace. The property has a restaurant, 24-hour reception, room service and free WiFi. There is free private parking and a car rental service. The rooms are equipped with a wardrobe. All rooms at the VERONICA View Hotel have a work desk and a private bathroom. A continental breakfast is served at the property. The VERONICA View Hotel features spa and wellness facilities with an indoor pool and sauna.

RETAMA MACHU PICCHU: 1 night

The Hotel Hotel Retama Machupicchu is located, 700 meters from the hot springs of Machu Picchu, it is the most beautiful and quiet area of ​​the town, in the Wiñaywayna Park located three blocks from the Peru Rail station, overlooking the river and the moutains; It offers free WiFi and a tour desk. The accommodation offers luggage storage and a currency exchange service. Room service, 45-inch plasma AOC TV, 24-hour hot water, Hair dryer, Towels for thermal baths, Buffet breakfast.

 

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Day 1

CUSCO-VALLEY OF LARES-QUISWARANI VILLAGE

Difficulty level: Moderate
Altitude: 3825 m
Hiked distance: 10 km
Approximate walking time: 5 h

We will pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 am to start our expeditions to the best Trek to Lares, then we will drive for 1 hour to the city of Calca during the trip we will stop at the taray viewpoint, from see the highest mountains of the Sacred Valley, this day we will have our breakfast in the middle of the road, in the ruins of Ancashmarca, which in Inca times was a bigger place for the deposit of food, clothing, weapons, metals, etc. We continue with the trip to Lares for 1 more hours, there we meet our muleteers and horses, who will take the whole team for three days. Then we descend to the thermo medicinal baths of Lares, there you can enjoy for 2 hours, since afterwards we will make our trek to the community of Quiswarani, about an hour; there we will have our fresh and delicious lunch prepared by our chef, after a good nap, we explored the community very famous for its weavers who still maintain the textile traditions of the Incas. In the afternoon we make our walk of the last section that will last 2 hours, through the beautiful landscape of the Andes, we will arrive to our camp that is next to the Yanacocha lagoon, at 4:00 pm.

Day 2

HIKE TO THE PACHAQUTEQ PASS-VILLAGE OF CANCHA CANCHA

Difficulty level: Challenging
Altitude: 4700 m
Hiked distance: 14 km
Approximate walking time: 8 h

After a delicious breakfast, we will start our trek to about 4 hours to reach the highest point of our trek, during the journey we will meet the villagers who also take care of their llamas, Alpacas, others go to their agricultural tasks, of native potato crops. Today we are going to learn in situ about the agricultural technologies of the Incas, from sowing to harvesting, taking into account that Peru is one of the countries with the largest amount of potatoes, also exotic tubers such as Añu, Oca, Smooth At noon we will reach the highest place in our trek, the Pachacuteq Pass (4700 meters), once there, we will enjoy incredible views of the snow-capped peaks of the Sawasiray, Pitusiray, San Juan, Veronica, glacial lakes, after a time to enjoy the 360-degree angle view, the descent begins towards the lunch spot, just about 1 hour downhill and will be located in the glacial lake, with stunning views of the Sacred Valley. After a short nap we start a downhill hike for 2 more hours to our camp located by the community of Canchacancha (3700 meters), in the way down we use a part of the Inca trails paved, around the lakes large number of Andean birds like Puna Ibis, Andean Goose, perhaps a Condor flying near of the mountain cliffs. Today we end at 5:00 p.m.

Day 3

 VALLEY OF HUARAN-INKARRY MUSEUM-OLLANTYATAMBO

Difficulty level: Moderate
Altitude: 2792 m
Hiked distance: 7 km
Approximate walking time: 3 h

After a very nutritious breakfast we will go to the valley of Huaran, which is surrounded by high Andean forests, with native tree species such as Chachacomo, Queuña, Kiswar, etc. The descent is very pleasant since we will enter the valley floor, this place was very respected by the Incas, for its climate and abundance of water. At 9:00 am we will arrive at the town of Huaran, where we say goodbye to our incredible cook and muleteer. Then we take our van to visit the Archaeological Museum of Inkarry, one of the best in the representation of the experiences and beliefs of all the cultures of Peru, such as Caral, Chavin, Nazca, Mochica, Wari, Inca. At noon we go to the town of Ollantaytambo, where we will have our lunch, and you can also walk through one of the most beautiful Inca cities, which still maintains the layout and construction of the Inca architects. In the afternoon you can explore the town Ollantaytambo and the beutiful and original inca town. This day we will sleep in Ollantaytambo in one nice Hotel.

Day 4

HIKING THE SHORT INCA TRAIL

Difficulty level: Moderate
Altitude: 2700 m
Hiked distance: 11 km
Approximate walking time: 6 h

By this stage on your trek, you will have really gotten into the swing of things. Fully motivated and raring to go, early in the morning we take our train  to 104 kms (2,100m/6,927ft).  At 8:00 am we begin our trek, passing the first checkpoint. Afterwards we initiate a moderate climb for three hours to the magnificent archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna. (2,650m/8747ft). Once there, we notice the weights lift off our shoulders, as we take in the spectacular views of the Urubamba Canyon, the stunning Inca sites around us, and the connection to the traditional four day Inca Trail.  We continue onward  towards the Sun Gate, (2,730m/9,007ft) where we  take flight with excitement as we get our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and its majestic monumentality. Your destiny awaits you, just one more hour downward, to the Citadel of Machu Picchu,where we can take some pictures, then we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town, where we will spend our last night in hotel.

Day 5

TOUR IN MACHU PICCHU- RETURN TO CUSCO

Difficulty level: Moderate
Altitude: 2400 m
Hiked distance: 6 km
Approximate walking time: 4 h

Full of excitement on our last day, after a short breakfast at the hotel, we will take the first bus to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, at 6:00 am we pass the main checkpoint where you must show your original passport, Once inside with our guide we will have a guided tour for 2 hours. Then you can walk a little further on your own, remember that the visit of Machu Picchu is very restricted, so you are advised to leave the place at 11:00 am, at this time you can descend to the town of Aguas Calientes On foot or by bus. Since the return train is at 14:30 p.m., the same will be arriving at the Ollantaytambo station where you will pick up our private transport, the final point will be at your hotel in Cusco, we will arrive at 6:30 p.m.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE LARES TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS:

  • Transportation from your hotel to Huaran
  • English speaking professional mountain guide
  • Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Bus tickets Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
  • Admission fees to Machu Picchu and short Inca Trail
  • Ticket to visit the Inkarry Museum
  • 2 person Igloo tents (large and comfortable) and a roll pad mattress
  • 2 night hotel ( 1 in Ollantaytambo and 1 night in Aguas Calientes)
  • Delicious meals during the trek ( 4 Lunch, 4 Dinners, 4 Breakfast )
  • Cook and cooking equipment Horseman and mules, to carry all camping and personal equipment (5 kgs of your personal items such as extra clothes, you need to include the sleeping bag in the 7kgs, it will be carried by our mules)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Boiled water to fill in your bottles during the treks

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • Sleeping bag (minus 10 ºC) – US$20
  • Air Mattress – US$20
  • Walking Poles – US$15
  • Wayna Picchu Mountain – US$ 80
  • Boleto Turistico to visit Ollantaytambo ruins $ 30 usd
  • Energy snacks – chocolate bars, dried fruits (recommended)
  • Lunch and Dinner on the last day
  • Tips for the Staff (optional)
  • Other services not mentioned

PACKING LIST FOR THE LARES TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS

When packing for your Lares trek, you should keep in mind that it is best to dress in layers due to the weather variation.

The variety of clothes that you must pack to dress in layers is key to your walk, from the morning when it is quite cold until mid afternoon when the temperatures rise and reach their peak and then freeze again at night.

Stratification is also useful as you ascend high passages that are exposed to winds or descend into shady valleys.

Effective stratification only works if each layer allows moisture to pass and escape into the external environment. In fact, the best layered clothing, such as wool, promotes moisture transfer through its absorbent properties. Cotton and denim absorb moisture and, therefore, should be avoided.

Below, we detail the types of clothing you should carry with you and offer specific recommendations on the characteristics you should look for in each one.

  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
  • Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
  • Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
  • Sun block
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported
  • Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
  • We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
  • Small towel or sarong
  • Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
  • Cash – sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
  • Original passport
  • Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
  • Binoculars (if you have them)
  1. Underwear

You should bring 2-3 pairs of sports underwear, such as those made by Icebreaker, or even any sports brand (for example, Adidas).

For women bring two pairs of sports bras.

  1. Base layer

On your underwear you should wear a light base coat (or a layer close to the skin). You will not wear this polo every day, just when it is cold in the morning, in the high passes and at night.

We recommend SmartWool, but any merino base coat will work. Usually, you only need an upper base layer (i.e., the torso), but it is worth bringing a lower layer (i.e., legs) in case it is very cold at night.

  1. Trekking shirts

In terms of shirts, we recommend 3 x short sleeve shirts and 1 x long sleeve shirt. The ideal fabric is a breathable, lightweight and quick-drying polyester, merino or nylon. Make sure your shirts are not cotton.

  1. Hiking pants and shorts

Bring 1-2 x pairs of hiking pants: 1 is fine for 3/4 day walks, an additional pair is ideal for walks longer than 4 days. The Columbia hiking pants are great. Also bring a pair of trekking shorts.

A tip for women: consider wearing a light, medium-length skirt to allow privacy when switching in and out of the base layers along the way and for unexpected breaks in the bathroom between camps.

  1. Fleece and windbreaker jacket

For the coldest sections on the road, you should bring a medium-weight wool jacket or jacket. The fleeces that use Polartec materials are great. Usually, Polartec fleeces come in 100, 200 or 300. The 100 are a bit light and the 300 are too heavy. Two hundred provide great warmth and comfort, and are perfect for the Inca Trail, Lares Trek, Ausangate Trek.

Notable brands include Columbia, The North Face and Helly Hansen.

  1. Soft Shell Jacket

In addition to your wool jacket, you must also have a waterproof and windproof jacket coat. Again, you want it to be relatively light (not a winter jacket), but still warm and resistant. You must resist any rain you find (although, as you will see below, we recommend you bring a cheap rain poncho / equipment in addition to your shell jacket).

We recommend you the North Face Resolve, The Patagonia Torrentshell, or the Marmot Precip Jacket.

  1. Rain gear / Poncho

Finally, you can never really predict the weather on Lares Trek. As an extra precaution, you should bring light rain gear, or preferably a poncho that sits on your body.

  1. Sun hat

You should wear a light and easy-to-store sun hat to protect your head and face from sunburn and reduce the likelihood of sunstroke. We prefer sun hats that have an adjustable neck cover, like the one shown. Do not bring a large and bulky hat, like a straw hat, as these are difficult to store.

  1. Neck / Headband / Bandanas

If your hat does not have a neck cover, you may want to wear a neck or head band that can help protect against sunburn while bending like a scarf or head and ear warmer during cold nights.

  1. Wool hat or headband

As we have already mentioned, the nights cool down on the Lares Trail. We suggest you bring a winter wool hat.

  1. Sunglasses

Good sunnies are essential. At high altitude (more than 4,000 meters) the intensity of the UV rays is high and the visible light is strong.

This can be harmful to your eyes. A leader in polarized glasses is Oakley. All of its lenses provide 100% protection against UV rays A, B and C and its category 4 lenses block 90% of visible light. This is a bit of an exaggeration for Machu Picchu, since it will not walk in snow conditions that intensify visible light.

  1. Headlamp

You should also bring a headlamp to be used in the camp and its surroundings, and as a backup if it is a bit slow on the road and ends your walk at dusk. Headlamps are preferable because they allow you to keep your hands free.

The torch leader is Petzl TIKKINA.

  1. Gloves

On the Lares Trail you are likely to find cold pinches in the highest passes and in the mornings.

A pair of lightweight, breathable and weatherproof gloves that are designed for high-performance aerobic activities such as trekking, but that provide some heat in cool environments, is what you should be looking for.

Affordable, but good, light and warm gloves, which provide some weatherproof functionality, are made by Outdoor Research, Black Diamond and Seal Skinz.

  1. Walking sticks

The poles for walking or trekking are essential on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.

You will walk along an undulating landscape up to 5-6 hours a day, for 3-4 days. The joints of the legs, particularly the knees, will suffer blows. With the help of good trekking poles, you will reduce the impact on your joints by up to 25% (a 1999 research study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine showed even better results than 25%). The posts also give you a better balance.

An affordable but good quality trekking pole is the Black Diamond. It is lightweight, has a quick locking system and uses a combined cork and EVA grip for great durability.

  1. Mountain boots

Hiking boots are one of the most important pieces of equipment on your packing list at Lares Trek. Your feet are the ones that take you up and down the path to Machu Picchu.

It is essential that you bring a good pair of boots that are well worn (that is, the inner sole should have begun to mold to the shape of your foot).

Do not arrive with new boots that you have not yet used, you will get blisters, sore feet and even loose nails!

The Italian brand, Asolo, makes incredible hiking boots. Check out your Asolo Fugitive hiking boot. Other good brands of hiking boots include Salomon, Berghaus, the Timberland Chocorua or the Hi-Tec Men’s Altitude VI.

See REI for excellent hiking boots

  1. Trekking shoes / sandals

After a long day of hiking, the first thing you will want to do is take off your hiking boots and air your feet. We recommend bringing a basic pair of lightweight trekking shoes or sandals that you can wear while wearing your warm socks. Alternatively, you can bring a pair of lightweight shoes.

  1. Trekking socks

You must bring 4 pairs of trekking socks. Look for a light to medium trekking sock made of high absorption material. The best trekking socks are made of wool, preferably merino, since they promote breathability and are very good for absorbing moisture from the foot. Alternatively, a merino wool sock with a waterproof membrane is also an option. Avoid cotton, as they absorb and retain moisture, which makes your foot susceptible to blisters. If you are allergic to wool, you can opt for a synthetic acrylic or acrylic sock.

  1. Backpack

During the Lares Walk you have a maximum weight of 5 to 7 kg of your equipment.

Good backpacks are designed to transfer the weight of the load to the hips. Shoulder straps should not carry more than 30% of the weight. These are the key features to look for in your backpack:

Size: The ideal size backpack for the Lares Trek is a lightweight 30-36L package. These can easily transport a maximum load of 10 kg. If you have managed to stay super light and have cargo support, then all you need is a small backpack to store your pieces (a 20L package will be fine)

Waterproof: Backpacks are generally not waterproof, but good ones must be weatherproof. Look for design materials such as cloth for the bag and Condura for high friction areas (that is, inside the straps). A waterproof urethane coating is also beneficial.

Design: for a perfect fit, the harness and suspension system must be of various sizes and adjustable. Shoulder straps should be well padded and not restrict movement, and there should also be a hip belt that is well padded. The best manufacturers, such as Osprey and North Face, design specific handbags for women who have remodeled hip belts that are wider and more molded; and narrower but wider straps.

For an excellent backpack we recommend Osprey Stratos for men and Osprey Sirrus 36 for women.

Don’t forget to buy a rain cover for your backpack.

  1. Water bottle / hydration bladder

Due to the effects of altitude, you should stay well hydrated on the Lares Trail. You should try to drink 2-3 liters of water a day. Water is normally supplied by your trekking equipment at the beginning of each day.

It is possible to buy water at certain points along the path, but we recommend not to do so, as it is expensive and generates unnecessary waste on the path.

To transport 2 or more liters of water per day, you can:

Use two 1 liter bottles

Use a 1.5 liter bottle (and drink half a liter before leaving in the morning)

Use a hydration bladder (can contain between 2 and 5 liters)

In terms of water bottles, we recommend the 1L or 1.5L CamelBak Eddy water bottle.

  1. Sleeping bags

A sleeping bag of good quality and warm is essential on the trail. These are the key features to look for in a sleeping bag.

Sleeping bags come in two types: goose or duck, and synthetic. Sleeping bags are generally lighter, warm and of better quality. However, they are more expensive.

The Lares Trail is only one with little probability that you will go to high altitude or on winter trekking trips in the future, so a good synthetic will be enough.

Hot: Regardless of the season, it can be quite cold at night on the Lares Trek (as seen in the previous temperature table). The coldest months coincide with the dry season of popular trekking from May to September. During this time, freezing temperatures are common at night. We recommend a four-season bag for the whole year with a rating of -10 C (14F). During the dry shoulder months of March-April and October-November, you can leave with a bag of three seasons (-4 C / 25F). December, January and February are very wet and are not excellent for hiking. Visiting Machu Picchu by train is fine, but we would not recommend a trekking / camping trip at this time of year.

Weight: As you / your goalkeeper will carry your sleeping bag, the lighter the better. However, there is a trade-off between warmth and weight. Try to get a bag that weighs no more than 2.5 kg.

Shape: The mummy-shaped sleeping bags are the best, as they are designed to fit the contours of your body and, therefore, provide excellent insulation. Sleeping bags with hood and insulated cord are great. Another useful feature is a bi-directional rack system that allows you to easily decompress at both ends.

Keep in mind: it is possible to rent a sleeping bag in Cusco, but we recommend that you bring your own, as rented sleeping bags are often not of high quality and sometimes have questionable hygiene standards.

If you plan to rent, be sure to look for the key features listed below, and bring a sleeping bag liner with you to Peru for additional insulation and cleaning.

 

 

LARES TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU FAQs

BEFORE TO START THE TREK

  1. How is the pick up for the Inca trail tour organized?

Our company works with its own transport, so according to the number of our groups, we organize pick-ups from cars, minivans, or buses. In all of them the pick up is from the door of your hotel in Cusco at 4:00 am. Please indicate on the day of the orientation the name of your hotel with the correct address. You must also coordinate with the gentleman of the reception of your hotel, if in case you are going to leave the luggage that you will not take to the Inca trail tour, since sometimes the managers of these hotels in the morning are usually asleep, and the attention is not very fast.

If your hotel is located in the sacred valley, the pick up time is at 5:45 am. From the door of your hotel.

  1. Where to leave the luggage that I will not take to the Inca trail?

As you know, to the Inca trail trek you will only have to take your most important belongings, which will be of support in your walk. The rest must be left at your hotel in Cusco, or the sacred valley.

But what is the most important thing on this tour?

We are referring precisely to three  t-shirts, two or three undergarments, a down jacket, a rain jacket, a hat, two trekking pants, and pajamas. And your personal hygiene items. As a whole, this must weigh no more than 20 kg, what you will carry in your backpack.

  1. Where to pay the remaining amount of the Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail?

The payments of the pending balances of the tour must be made in our office in Cusco, at least two to three days in advance. This is because we already had serious incidents in which clients organize their tours to visit more places in Cusco, or arrive from other destinations by air or land, and many times there will be, as you can imagine, delays, with which there will be no long enough to make the payment.

The Cusco office is located at 250 Marques Street, second floor, office 2. We are open from Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The payment can be paid in dollars, euros, or soles at the exchange rate of the day. You can also pay by credit or debit card, but in this case there is a commission of 5%, which are those that arise from the banking system, not from us.

Please, if you are going to pay in cash, evaluate that the tickets are valid, the dollars should be in optimal conditions, we mean not having stains, or being broken. This is because in Peru the banks reject these bills.

If due to any situation you cannot arrive at the indicated time to make the payment, please coordinate with our staff.

  1. What should I pack for the Short Inca Trail?

The most important things, for a day of trekking like:

  • 1 trekking pants
  • small backpack
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Has ample
  • Bottle of water
  • appetizers
  • walking shoes
  • raincoat
  • Original passport
  1. Is the Inca trail to Machu Picchu very difficult?

This route to Machu Picchu is classified as moderate, that means it is not that hard.

The first kilometers of the tour are made a leisurely ascent, observing the Vilcanota river, and the mountains of cloud forest. The hike will begin at 2000 meters, and the highest point is 2700 meters.

The most difficult points are the ascent to the Wiñaywayna palace where you climb more than 200 rock steps. And another before reaching the Sun Gate with 30 steps with an incline of 85 degrees.

The rest of the way is undulating and within the vegetation. In the autumn, winter and spring months, the heat is quite an average of 23 Cº.

  1. Am I going to need any extra money on the short inca trail?

Yes, so you can buy: for example, a bottle of water / drinks, hot springs in Aguas Calientes , souvenirs, snacks in Machu Picchu, etc. Bring at least 400 soles as emergency money.

  1. How many people will be in my group on the short inca trail?

We require a minimum of 2 people for our tour, dates indicated in the availability of the web, are open groups in which you are invited to join. We can have up to 8 hikers with a guide and a 9 -16 hikers sheet we have 2 licensed trekking guides on the short inca trail. During the low season groups are more likely to be small and during peak season groups will probably be large. The Ministry of Culture has a rule in place made limited the amount of passengers by 2 guides for 16 people.

DURING THE TREK ON THE  LARES TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL.

  1. WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU?

The weather in the Lares Trek is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. We recommend to always dress in layers as it is more easier to adjust to the different climates.

  1. How our things are transported in the lares trek?

The evening before you start your lares trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFEL BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/14lbs. The horses will carry your duffel bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware, that you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the horses will always be ahead of the group. During the lares  trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc.  A 30 to 50L backpack is sufficient.

  1. And what about our duffel bags?

After you finish the lares trek, and you will spend the night in Ollantaytambo, so that the next day you will start the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, what we advise you is that you only take the most necessary for the remaining two days, and the rest you can leave At the hotel in Ollantaytambo, where after visiting Machu Picchu you will pick you up again on your return to Cusco.

  1. The route guide speaks English?

If all our guides are professionals, who have studied at the tourism institute or the university, who work for more than 8 years with our company, they speak English perfectly, they are highly trained in all our trekking routes, with extensive knowledge in history , archeology, ornithology and botany.

The company also has its staff in the languages of French and German, if you would like a guide in your native language of preference, coordinate with our staff.

  1. IS THE LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?

The Lares trek to Machu Picchu is a 39 km hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. The maximum altitude reached is 4,700 mt. 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 15kms/9 miles in a day or working out in the months leading up to the lares 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 lares trek.

  1. I am not very experienced hiker in? What if I can not keep up? How difficult is the Short Inca Trail?

Most people have that concern, but they do not care. Only in extremely rare circumstances does a passenger need to return before. Just remember what made you are able to go at a speed made it comfortable for you. Take your time, your own pace, and enjoy. The Short Inca Trail is considered a moderate hike. It is not a technical hike but there are plenty of Inca steps, up and down, and altitude can affect some individuals by value. It is recommended to use a trekking poles and have them in the early evening before the trek.

  1. Are trekking poles really necessary on the short inca trail ?

For the short inca trail  we recommend the use of trekking poles, especially for those passengers with known problems of the knee. There are several times during the short inca trail hike  the need for its use, whether ascending a mountain or walking through immense sets of ladder of the short inca trail. It will help you with your balance and reduce the impact on your knees. Park rangers only allow trekking poles with rubber tips, because if it is metal it damages the road. You can purchase rubber tips for metal tips from any local store in Cusco.

  1. Is altitude sickness common? And how high is the Short  Inca Trail?

It is impossible to predict that they will be affected by altitude. Its ability to adapt to high altitude is deterministic undermined by its genetic makeup and has little to do with fitness or health. Most people will have no problem as long as they take the time to acclimate properly.

  1. Can Andean Path Trek meet my dietary needs? what kind of food will there be?

Not to worry, andean path trek is able to accommodate many types of dietary needs on request at the time of booking. If you are a vegetarian, or can not eat gluten or have allergies to certain foods, it will not be a problem for us.

  1. I’m going to have to carry the water on the short inca trail?

Yes you must carry your own water, be it in a canteen or a bag to carry water. Since  2018, the entry of plastic bottles to the Inca Trail networks and the Machu Picchu Sanctuary is no longer allowed. So we beg you to take that detail into account. On the other hand you must be wondering how much water you should carry, the answer is, that you will evaluate it according to your need to want to drink, on the short Inca trail you usually have the first two hours a very hot temperature so Surely you should drink more than a liter of water, and to continue the journey you must have another equal volume of water. We do not recommend the idea of carrying water tablets for you to take from the streams and can purify, since many of them are not suitable for human consumption.

  1. ARE THERE TOILETS ON THE LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU ?

It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by lady trekkers, who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet!! Andean Path Trek  toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite.  At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean.There are hot showers and hot water pools to soak in and relax on the first day of your trek at the Lares Hot Springs. Be sure to bring your bathing suit.

  1. Are there any bathrooms along the short inca trail?

Along the short inca  trail there are 3 places with toilet facilities. First at the hiking start, then after 3 hours, and in Machu Picchu. Please bring a roll of toilet paper. As for another type of trash going, please take your own trash to each camp. Do not leave a trace or throw away the trash.

  1. WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU?

In the scenario that you are unable to finish the lares trek due to a health issue, Andean Path Trek will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the Lares trek.

Generally, those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to the Lares Village and then to Calca Town, and if they recover quickly, they then continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to original plan.

  1. Is there a possibility to cancel my hike of Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail?

There isn’t a chance of  cancellation the short inca trail. Even in extreme climatic conditions or even in case of a strike there will be no cancellation. The Ministry of Culture or Andean Path Trek can not change the date of a walk if there is a general strike. We will make every effort to ensure that you get to the beginning of the short inca trail to start the walk by the date of the permit, on some dates if there is a strike will be communicated by the mail, where you will be informed the time and date of departure, Sometimes you must go a day earlier to prevent the road from being blocked. In the event that a passenger decides to cancel the trip for any reason, he will lose his trip; You would only have the option of going to Machu Picchu, on your own and do not lose your return train ticket, entrance to machu picchu.

  1. Is the Short  Inca Trail good during the rainy season? It is safe?

The trail is perfectly safe during the rainy season. In fact, some people like to go during the rainy season because there are fewer tourists. If you are one that does not mind the rain then it says’ ok for it! “You’ll just have to bring good rain gear and water boots.

  1. What kind of weather can I expect on the Short Inca Trail? The temperatures?

During the “rainy season” (Dec 1 – May 1), you could have some rain at any time, but you can not expect it to rain every day. Often in December and January you may only get some continuous light rains or you could be fine and then a splendid afternoon, but in reality you could have days of good weather. At the same station, therefore, it will be noticeably hotter at night. The times of the day will get up to about 25 C° degrees Celsius. On the other hand, during the “dry season” (June – Dec) the days seem surprisingly like spring, with a bright and sunny sky, but it will be much colder at night. During the day you can expect it to be somewhere in the range of 20 C° to 30 C° degrees Celsius and at night it will be 10 C°to 8 C° degrees Celsius. It is always better to dress in layers at any time of the year, really. As you walk, change the poles, since if you walk with the garment wet, it is dangerous since it could catch a flu.

  1. How many hikers are there per group?

We work with a group size of 2 to 8 people, for which it is assigned: 01 guide. If the group is 8 or  more, you will have two guides

  1. What is the standard procedure when it comes to tips?

The tips for the trekking staff mentioned above are not included in the price of the trek. Gratuities are optional but not mandatory. Tips for the guide: The guide will accompany the group along the tour including Machupicchu. We recommend you tip the guide after the tour in Machu Picchu, a reasonable amount is 80 usd.

  1. Will I be able to witness the sunrise at Machu Picchu?

Sunrise at Machu Picchu: The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 5.30am. The estimated arrival time is between 6- 6.30am The sun rises at Machu Picchu at approximately 5.30am, therefore it’s not possible to be there in time for sunrise.

  1. Will I be able to climb the Huayna Picchu?

If you are interested in the mountain Huayna Picchu in your visit to Machu Picchu, it is mandatory to have a special permit which is reserved, at least 6 months in advance of your visit to Peru. This income has an additional cost of $ 80 usd.

  1. How long am I able to stay at Machu Picchu? How I will I get down to Aguas Calientes?

According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

  1. AT WHAT TIME IS THE TRAIN DEPARTURE?

It will depend on the train availability (high season it could book out) but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. So we will try to make the reservation at 14:30 pm arriving to Cusco at 18:45 pm.

  1. ARE WE GOING TO BE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL?

Absolutely!! Hotel drop off is included in your lares  trek package. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too.

RESERVATION OF THE LARES TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL 5 DAYS

  1. Student discount? How can you use it to get a discount?

According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example: if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your lares trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.

All students from 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30 USD.

All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.

Send us a copy at: andeanpathtrek@outlook.com

  1. Is it possible to change the dates after the initial reservation?

Unfortunately the answer is No. Once the tickets have been bought the Peruvian government does not allow any changes so we can’t change any dates. Tickets are not transferable nor refundable. If you cancel your Short Inca Trail  to Machu Picchu, the deposit is not refundable at all!

  1. What if I do not have my passport at this time?

The Ministry of Culture requires a valid passport issued, the best case is to organize your new passport in advance if you did is the case. There is the possibility, due to the limits of the spaces on the requested date of reservation with your old passport number, and change it when you have the new passport. So we recommend bringing both documents.

  1. DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT

Yes!, You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport you sent to us to book your Lares Trek, other entrances and reservations. In case, you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 USD per person.  We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.

If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you.  You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to anter to the Short Inca Trail and  Machu Picchu.  If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or get on the train.

  1. PASSPORTS, VISAS AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the ‘Money Matters’ section of this document.

It is a requirement of the Peruvian Tax Authority for our trip leaders to show proof that all travelers on our groups are foreign tourists and are thus exempt from the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) charged to locals. This may require your trip leader to take a photograph of your main passport page and the page showing the immigration stamp you receive upon entry to Peru.

  1. Can I pay for the full tour in advance?

If you want to make the full payment in advance, it is much better for us and you, since all services will be organized in advance. If in case you for some reason could not do the tour, only a part of the payment will be refunded. This applies only to payments made at 100%, in advance.

10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HIKING THE LARES TREK

  1. You get the best of Inca history and local culture

The Lares Trek doesn’t include as many Inca ruins as some of the other treks in the region, but it more than compensates with a look at local life and breathtaking scenery. Before trekkers start the hike, there’s a day tour comprising some of the most famous Inca sites around the Sacred Valley, once home to the Inca Empire.

The incredible agricultural terraces and Inca fortresses above the village of Písac and in the town of Ollantaytambo provide a fascinating look into how farming was maximized in the empire. Separating history from hiking gave me the time I needed to truly appreciate and understand the Inca Empire’s importance.

  1. It’s not a “runner up”

With only five hundred permits issued a day for the Inca Trail normally, forward planning is essential. The Lares Trek, on the other hand, is relatively undiscovered.

Nevertheless, I have heard many people comparing the two; to be honest, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. They both offer up incredible experiences, but with different focuses. If you want to escape into the wild, experience local living in Peru and still challenge yourself on a hike, the Lares Trek may be more suited to you. And with the Lares Trek, there’s the option to take a train into Machu Picchu. Not only is this one of the most stunning rail journeys in the world, but it gives you the chance to enjoy a warm shower and get some shut-eye in a real bed before exploring Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail hikes directly into the Lost City of the Incas, so depending on how clean and comfortable you want to be for that big moment, the Lares Trek might be your winning ticket.

  1. You’ll feel like you have the Andes to yourself

On a three-day hike, you could count on just one hand how many other tourists were hiking the Lares trail. The remoteness added to the magical and spiritual vibe that you’ll start to feel the second you arrive in Cusco. Sometimes on the hike you would just stop and listen to nothing but silence while surrounded by mountain peaks more than five thousand metres high. If you want to be humbled by nature, then the Andes will happily oblige.

  1. It’s a great chance to live (and learn) local

The history of the Inca Empire was tumultuous. These days, however, Peru’s native Quechua residents are an important part of the country’s cultural fabric.

On your hike, your tour group will visit a local family and learn about weaving, how to dye alpaca wool, and about a number of cultural traditions (did you know a Quechua girl must skin a Guinea pig to prove she is ready for marriage?). The Andean Path Trek projects provide real impact and opportunities for the local communities, and it is fantastic to see tourism use as a force for good. (It’s also worth learning some of the local Quechua language before arriving to help you make the most of these encounters; not everyone will speak Spanish.)

  1. The stars will blow your mind

Being a city slicker, it’s easy to forget how incredible the night sky truly is. High in the Andean Mountains, the Lares Trek will treat you to some of the most impressive views of the Milky Way and constellations you’ll ever see. Both nights, you will see outside clutching your  warm coca-leaf tea until it is too chilly to admire the night sky.

  1. Pack light and pack smart

On the Lares Trek, all of your belongings will be carried by pack mules and transported between campsites by porters. For this reason, minimizing weight is essential to help your four-legged friends out. In addition, kepp your day pack as light as possible (we regret taking quite so much camera gear). The less you’re carrying, the more energy you’ll have to enjoy the hike.

  1. Don’t let Day 2 beat you: The views are worth it!

While this isn’t the most challenging hike in the world, it’s no walk in the park. The altitude, especially on Day 2 — when you reach an altitude of 4,800 metres, the Lares Trek’s highest point — can affect even the healthiest and most acclimatized of people. Day 2 is the toughest day of the hike, so take it at your own pace, but soldier on. Once you reach the top, the views are truly incredible — trekking down through the Valley is a nice respite. Plus, no trekker is left behind: with an assistant guide on each trek, your group can take two different speeds, allowing some to go at a slower pace.

  1. This is camping reimagined

Both of the Andean Path Trek  campsites on the Lares Trek have fitted toilets and shower blocks. If you aren’t a fan of freezing first thing in the morning, We recommend washing with the warm water bowls provided in the morning. Oh, and a word to the wise: on the Lares Trek, wet wipes are your best friend.

One of the stand outs of the trek is the food: each meal is better than the last. Three courses of soups, fresh fish, egg dishes and delicious desserts somehow made it out of the kitchen each day.

Don’t make the mistake of skimping on the gear; these mountains are cold. If you don’t have a four-season sleeping bag, rent one. Plus, an air mattress and hiking poles are worthy investments.

  1. Coca leaves are king

Altitude sickness is very much a real thing, so factor this in when planning for the Lares Trek. Even if you are taking altitude sickness-preventing pills (called Diamox) before you arrive or relying on acclimation to the altitude in Cusco, the coca leaf may be of use to you.

Chewing on these leaves is the go-to in the Andes for both medicinal purposes and to ease the effects of altitude. If you aren’t a fan of rolling these green leaves into a chewable ball, do take the tea when offered by the porters. Plus, if you stock up on a bag of the leaves from a market, you’ll have the perfect gift and conversation-starter when you meet local people.

  1. Machu Picchu doesn’t disappoint

Ever worry that something isn’t going to be worth the hype? Well, Machu Picchu is not one of those places!

After completing the 36-kilometre hike, exploring these incredible ruins is the ultimate reward — and they are as impressive in real life as they are in all those Instagram photos you’ve spent years drooling over. You will arrive to the sun gate hiking the short inca trail to machu picchu. And take some great pictures. Last day in the morning you will visit again the citadel of machu picchu, exploring all the most important places.

 

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

  1. PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED

Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally, on certain trips, it’s needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

  1. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:

A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however it has a extra cost.

  1. LUGGAGE

Please ensure you have a day pack or small overnight bag in addition to your main luggage. This will be needed for the Homestay at Lake Titicaca and the night in Aguas Calientes, as you will be leaving your main luggage back at the hotels in Puno and Cusco respectively.

  1. PASSPORTS, VISAS AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the ‘Money Matters’ section of this document.

It is a requirement of the Peruvian Tax Authority for our trip leaders to show proof that all travelers on our groups are foreign tourists and are thus exempt from the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) charged to locals. This may require your trip leader to take a photograph of your main passport page and the page showing the immigration stamp you receive upon entry to Peru.

  1. MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATION
  • GENERAL HEALTH

All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling.

  • COVID-19

The safety and wellbeing of our travelers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety

  1. HEALTH SCREENING

If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travelers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.

  1. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY

From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip:

– Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or

– Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or

– Proof of recovery documentation

In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip.

  1. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY

From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip:

– Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline.

  1. MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES:

Some regions of Central & South America can experience outbreaks of dengue fever. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent, and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. If you have a fever or feel unwell, please let your leader know right away. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria by taking measures to avoid insect bites.

  1. ZIKA VIRUS

There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip.

  1. ALTITUDE SICKNESS

Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude – regardless of your age, gender and fitness.

Before your trip:

Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip.

While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

  1. YELLOW FEVER

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It’s also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you’ll be visiting.

  1. FOOD AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

While travelling with us you’ll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There’s no obligation to do this though.

  1. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you, you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home.

  1. OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

  1. CHECK-IN TIME

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we’re arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn’t always possible which means we won’t be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

  1. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION

If you’ve purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

  1. MONEY MATTERS

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveler is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly, so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).

The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travelers; however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

  1. CONTINGENCY FUNDS

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

  1. MEALS NOT INCLUDED

For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

Breakfast – If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

Lunch – If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

Dinner – At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

  1. CREDIT CARDS & ATMs

ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as – suspecting fraud – they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

  1. TIPPING

Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier.

  1. PACKING

Most travelers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You’ll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage.

Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

  1. RECOMMENDED

– Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary

– Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments

– Electrical adapter plug

– Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.

– Insect repellent

– Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both

OPTIONAL:

– Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate

– Phrase book

  1. VALUABLES

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

  1. LAUNDRY

Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo)

  1. PHONE AND INTERNET ACCESS

WhatsApp is a popular way to communicate in Latin America. We recommended downloading WhatsApp prior to departure to communicate with by text with your leader and group members during the tour. Once downloaded, please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive unless you have international roaming enabled. Connections for making phone calls through WhatsApp are not reliable, so please do not use this app to make calls to our emergency phone line.

  1. GROUP LEADER

All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Andean Path Trek endeavors to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location, then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

  1. SAFETY

Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewelry at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you’ll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it’s deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

  1. PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY

While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

  1. MONEY WITHDRAWAL

In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

  1. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD

Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

  1. SEAT BELTS

Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

  1. FIRE PRECAUTIONS

Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

  1. LIMA AIRPORT TRANSFERS

For safety reasons, we strongly recommend that during airport transfers in Lima all of your luggage, including hand luggage and valuables, is stored out of sight in the rear boot of the vehicle.

  1. A COUPLE OF RULES

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines.

The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

  1. TRAVELLING ON A GROUP TRIP

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

  1. SOLO TRAVELLERS

This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people.

We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room.

Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis.

Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information. On the following night the single supplement isn’t available:

  1. TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travelers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

Travelers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travelers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting.



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