INCA TRAIL EXPRESS: CUSCO – PISKACUCHO – WAYLLABAMBA – LLULLUCHAPAMPA
Altitude: 3800 m
Hiked distance: 16 km
Approximate walking time: 8 h
We pick you up at 4:30 am at your hotel then we take you in our private bus to Ollantaytambo. Afterwards we drive to Piskacucho, where our trek begins. After crossing the Urubamba River we follow the left bank before ascending to the Inca ruins of Llactapata (2,565m/7,505f). From the ruins we continue our hike as far as the Village of Wayllabamba (2,743m/8,997f), where we eat lunch. From there the trail climbs steadily through high Andean woodland to a plain called Llulluchapampa just before the Inca Trail’s first pass, where we will set up camp.
INCA TRAIL EXPRESS: LLULLUCHAPAMPA – PACAYMAYU – RUNKURACAY – SAYACMARCA – PHUYUPATAMARCA
Altitude: 4200 m
Hiked distance: 15 km
Approximate walking time: 8 h
After an early wake up around 5:30am for breakfast, we begin to climb from Llulluchapampa to the highest pass on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the death woman Pass 4217m/13,907ft , where there are excellent views of the Wayanay Mountain. Afterwards we descend to the Pacaymayu River. From here, the trail climbs to the second pass at Runcuracay, from where we will be able to see both the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges. After a short rest we will descend slowly along a paved Inca road to the restored ruins of Sayacmarca. Here we enter into the cloud forest, by afternoon the trail descends via a stone stairway to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, where we will camp for the night.
INCA TRAIL EXPRESS: PHUYUPATAMARCA – WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Altitude: 3800 m
Hiked distance: 11 km
Approximate walking time: 5 h
Another early wake up, around 3:00 am, from Phuyupatamarca (3,700m/12,136f) we hike downhill to the beautiful Inca ruins of Wiñaywayna (2,699m/8,853f). After visiting these fascinating ruins we will hike along a section of the trail renowned for its subtropical flora and fauna for about two hours, arriving at Intipunku (Sun Gate) early morning. From there we will get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. Once inside the citadel, we will be given a 2 hour guided tour around 8:30am to 9:00 am with plenty of free time for further exploring more places by yourself. Then we will take our bus to Aguas Calientes and by evening we will come back to Ollantaytambo by train; then by bus to Cusco arriving to the small square of San Francisco at 22:00 pm approx.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU 3 DAYS:
- Pick up at your hotel
- Private transport from Cusco to Piscacucho (starting the trek)
- 4 pers Igloo tents for 2 trekkers and a roll pad mattress
- English speaking professional guide
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food upon prior request)
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Porter to carry tents, food, cooking equipment
- Hot water for washing purposes
- Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and transport to Cusco
- Admission Tickets to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
- Dining tents with tables and chairs
- Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
- First breakfast – last lunch and dinner
- Tips for the crew, guide, cook and porters , tips are optional but greatly appreciated by them.
- Sleeping Bag – US$20 per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
- Walking Poles – US$15 per pair per trek
- Huayna Picchu Mountain – US$ 80 per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
PACKING LIST FOR THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 3 DAYS:
When packing for your Classic Inca trail , 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.
- PLEASE remember to bring your original passport – you will not get on the Inca Trail without it.
- Day Pack
- Sleeping bag ( minimum -10 C° )
- Hiking boots and sandals (very important)
- Trekking poles (you can rent from Eco Path Trek )
- Warm clothes: layers for variable temperatures, especially at night. Thermals/Gloves/scarves: wool socks and wool hat for cold nights: About 4 T-shirts for the entire trek
- Waterproof pants
- Headlamp (very important)
- Camera and extra batteries
- Sunscreen/hat and sunglasses
- Personal medical kit
- Insect repellent
- Rain Gear: a good rain jacket and rain pants and plastic rain poncho.
- Toilet paper
- Small towel
- Camel bag – if not you can take plastic bottles for water
- Extra money for drinks & tips, souvenirs, emergencies etc. (soles or dollars) minimum 500 soles
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rain gear / Poncho
Finally, you can never really predict the weather on Inca Trail to Machu Picchu . As an extra precaution, you should bring light rain gear, or preferably a poncho that sits on your body.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wool hat or headband
As we have already mentioned, the nights cool down on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We suggest you bring a winter wool hat.
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.
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.
On the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 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.
- Walking sticks
The poles for walking or trekking are essential on the Inca Trail 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.
- Mountain boots
Hiking boots are one of the most important pieces of equipment on your packing list at Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. 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
- 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.
- 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.
During the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 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 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 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.
- Water bottle / hydration bladder
Due to the effects of altitude, you should stay well hydrated on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. 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.
- Sleeping bags
A sleeping bag of good quality and warm is essential on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. 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 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (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.
INCA TRAIL EXPRESS TO MACHU PICCHU 3 DAYS FAQs:
BEFORE YOU GO TO THE INCA TRAIL:
- Where are the Departure points for the classic inca trail ?
The pick up is from your hotel in Cusco at 05:00 am , please provide a clear contact details of your accommodation at your check-in in the Cusco office.
- Arrival to Cusco and check in at the Cusco ANDEAN PATH TREK office
We assume most people try to arrive to Cusco 2-3 days before the trek to allow adequate time for acclimatisation and a buffer in case of transport delays. Once you have settled in and rested you must come to the Cusco office to view and reconfirm the information we have pertinent to your trek, personal requirements and sign the conditions ( even if you have already paid in full.) There are occasions when local holidays or unrest may require last minute changes to departure times or some additional information.
- Where can I store my luggage while I am on the Classic inca trail ?
On the trek/tour, you should only bring with you the things you really want/need and leave the rest of your things in your hotel in Cusco.
- What should I pack for the classic inca trail ?
- Good rain gears
- Hiking shoes
- 4 pairs of socks
- Trekking poles
- Mosquito repellent
- How much does the sleeping mat and sleeping bag weigh?
- Sleepmat weight = 1 kg aprox.
- Seeping bag weight = 2-5 kg aprox.
- I am on my own, will I have someone to share a tent with?
Yes another person of the same sex , or if you prefer you can pay a single supplement for a tent just for you. This is US$ 70 (For the entire trek)
- Will I need any extra money?
YES, so that you can take part in options such as bottle water/drinks, tips for your trekking staff, souvenirs, snacks in Machupicchu, etc. You should take at least 500 soles as emergency money. Also, for the passengers that are concerned about health, it may be prudent on your part to keep in mind that a train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes costs approx US$50-80 (in the case you need to leave the trail early).
- Do the guides speak English?
Yes all our tour guides speak very well the English, mostly of then have studied in th university of Cusco, aslo are Archeologist, Biologist, and the most important are really funny guys. How many people will be in my group? We work with small groups, we use to have 4 to 8 persons per tour guide. If there are more persons we will add another tour guide. Our staff for a group of 8 passengers are: 1 cook, 1 kitchen assistant, 1 head porter, 5 porters. Should I hire an extra porter? If you have not trekked in altitude before we would suggest your organise the extra porter. Unless you have hired an extra porter you will need to carry your day pack.
The half porter who will carry only 7 kg cost $70.00 USD for all the trip
A full porter who will carry 14 kg cost $ 120.00 USD for all the trip
ANDEAN PATH TREK provide a duffle porter bag at the briefing the day before your hike. You should bring only what you absolutely need/want on the trek, and store the rest of your belongings in Cusco.
ON THE INCA TRAIL TREK
- I am not really an experienced trekker?What if I can’t keep up? How difficult is the Inca Trail?
Most people have that concern but don’t worry. Only in extremely rare circumstances does a passenger need to come back early. You just need to remember that you are able to go at a speed that is comfortable for you. Take your time, pace yourself, and enjoy. The Inca Trail is considered a moderate hike. It’s not a technical hike but there are a lot of Inca stairs to walk up and down, and the altitude may affect some individuals. We recommend using a trekking poles and have an early night before the trek.
- Are Trekking poles really necessary?
For this trek more than any of the treks, we recommend the use of Trekking poles, especially for those passengers with known knee problems. There are multiple times during the trek that a Trekking poles is handy, be it ascending a mountain or walking down immense sets of Inca stairs. It will help with your balance and reduce the impact on your knees.
- How long will I be walking every day? How long is the classic inca trail?
This is an approximate breakdown according to our regular campsites:
Day 1: 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) 5-6 hours.
Day 2: 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) 7-8 hours (“Dead Womans Pass,” the highest pass of the trek at 4,200m, is on this day )
Day 3: 16 km (9.9 miles) 7-8 hours. Its the longest day of the trail
Day 4: 6 Km (3.7 miles ) 6-5 hours
The entire trail is about 42 kilometers (26 miles) long from start to finish.
- Is altitude sickness common? And how high is the Classic Inca Trail ?
It’s impossible to predict who will be affected by altitude. Your ability to adapt to high altitude is determined by your genetic makeup and has little to do with fitness or health. Most people will have no problems as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. A full day spent in Cusco (3399m), taking it very easy and drinking plenty of water is enough for some people but if you can arrange to have minimum 2-3 days in case of any travel disruptions as well then this is what we recomend as there is also so much to do here. The highest point you will reach while hiking the classic Inca Trail is 4200m/13818 ft. You will sleep at 3340m/10988 ft for two nights.
- What if I am unable to finish the classic inca trail?
In the scenario that you are unable to finish the classic inca trail due health issues, ANDEAN PATH TREK will do everything in its power to get you to the nearest civilization and get help or transportation to help. If the issue is respiratory or due to altitude, we do carry at least one tank of oxygen on trek that you will have access to. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel Insurance required) There are no refunds in the situation that you are unable to finish though. Generally if due to altitude sickness people can´t make it over the pass on the 2nd day they come back to Ollantaytambo accompanied by a porter if just mild (or guide if serious) and if they recover from altitude sickness they stay the night here in Ollantaytambo and then take the train to Aguas Calientes the next day (Day 3) in the afternoon , you will spend the night in any hotel in aguas calientes, and rejoin your group in Machu Picchu early on Day 4 and continue the tour as normal. The additional costs for this such as train ticket and accomodations will be payed by the customer.
- Can ANDEAN PATH TREK accommodate my dietary needs? What kind of food will there be?
Yes we are able to accommodate many types of dietary needs upon request at the time of booking. If you are a vegetarian, or cannot eat gluten or have allergies to certain foods, it will not be a problem. The meals of our chefs are one of the most popular parts of our tours too, and the quality will not be reduced when accommodating your dietary needs. The meals are served buffet style and you are able to choose what you would like to eat. Your guides will let you know what time the meals will be served. Our cooks prepare excellent high-energy meals appropriate for a trek of this nature. The menu usually includes quinua, cereals and vegetable soups, Beaf Lomo Saltado with rice, chicken cacerole, fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of oatmeal, eggs and other breakfast foods as scramble egg, quinua panqueques.
- Will I need to bring water?
We recommend that you purchase a 2 lts. bottle of water to take with you on the first day. Every night during the trek, we will boil water so you can refill the same bottle every morning before setting out. Also, you will be able to buy water along the way on Day 1, for the first few hours of Day 2, and of course at Machu Picchu.
- Are there bathrooms along the way?
Along the trail there are several sites with toilets. Bring a roll of toilet paper. As far as other trash goes, please carry your own trash to each campsite where the porters will pack it up and take it out.
- Is there a chance that my trek will be canceled?
There is very little possibility of a cancellation of a trek by the DRCC (Park Office) even under extreme weather circumstances or even in case of a strike there will be no cancellation. The DRCC or ANDEAN PATH TREK cannot change the date of a trek if there is a general strike. We do everything possible to ensure you get to the trail head to start the trek .
- Is the classic trail still good during the rainy season? Is it safe?
The trail is perfectly safe during the rainy season. Some people actually like to go during the rainy season because there are fewer tourists. If you are one who doesn’t mind the rain, then we say ‘Go for it!’ You will just have to bring good rain gear and waterproof boots.
- What kind of weather can I expect on the classic inca trail ? Temperatures?
During the “rainy season” (1 Dec – 1 May), you could have some rain any day but you can expect that it could rain every day in Feb and could be heavy! Often in Dec and Jan you may just get some light continual showers or it could be fine and then a heavy afternoon downpoor but in truth you could also have fine days. At the same time, it will also be noticeably warmer at night. The day times will get up to about 25 degrees Celsius, the low will be about 2 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, during the “dry season” (June – Nov) the daytimes will seem strikingly like spring time, with bright and sunny skies, but it will be much colder at night. During the daytime you can expect it to be somewhere in the range of 20 to 30 degrees Celsius and at night it will be as low as 0 to -5 degrees Celsius. It is always best to dress in layers during anytime of year, really. As you hike, put them on when you feel cold or shed them and put it in your day pack when you get hot.
- How many trekkers and trek crew are in a typical group?
For a group of max 8 trekkers our typical trekking staff comprise of: 01 guide, 01 cook, 01 assistant cook, and 8 porters.
- What is the standard procedure when it comes to tips?
Tips for the above mentioned trekking staff are not included in the price of the trek. Tips are optional not mandatory. Generally tips are distributed amongst the trekking staff (except the guide and the assistant guide ) on the third night of the trek at Wiñaywayna camp after the evening meal since these trekking staff will not accompany the group to Machupicchu. Deciding how much to tip is always a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable decision. We think that a tip should not be used to subsidize a poor wage but should be a way to show the staff that you have enjoyed the trek and appreciated the services that they have provided. Please pay tips in cash and do not pay in kind such as in beers etc. We have tried to be as clear as possible about tipping but we understand that this is a complicated issue when many different cultures and lifestyles come together.
- Will I be able to witness the sunrise at Machu Picchu?
In truth it is not typical sunrise. As long as you don´t have too much mist or low cloud then you see the first light illuminating Machu Picchu. It is after dawn though as the sun must rise up over the high mountains surrounding Machu Picchu.
- Will I be able to climb Huayna Picchu.
If you are wanting to include an ascent of Huayna Picchu in your visit to Machu Picchu, note that The trail to Huayna Picchu is safe but very vertical and is about an hour and a half round trip beware that there are new regulations since July 2018 and permits have to be bought in advance. If you want us to organise your permit to climb Huayna Picchu and we must have this request in writing and confirmed at the time of your booking indicating you will pay the extra for this permit. Deposit for Huayna Picchu permit is $80 usd . BUT remember, so in case you will book the huaynapicchu mountain, you will lost the tour guiding in Machu Picchu, because our tour guiding starts at 9:00 am and ends at 11:00 am. So the time to climb up Huaynapicchu is at 10:00 am. And you will not able to go to both places at same time.
- How long am I able to stay at Machu Picchu? How I will I get down to Aguas Calientes?
When the Inca trail tour is done, we arrive at the citadel at 8:30 am. After a 30-minute break to use the bathrooms, and eat a snack. It begins with the guided tour at 9:00 am. The complete circuit takes 2hrs approx. Then we will all retire as it is not allowed to stay longer in the archeological site, by rules of protection of the Sanctuary. At 12:00 pm approx. We must get off by bus to the city of Aguas Calientes where you can have lunch, and then take the train back to Aguas Calientes.
- What time will I be back in Cusco?
The train will came back at 14:30 pm, wich arrives to Ollantaytambo train station at 16:20 pm. Then you will be pick up by our private transportation , arriving to Cusco at 18:30 pm, the drop off will be your Hotel adress in Cusco.
BOOKING & RESERVATIONS OF THE INCA TRAIL
- What if i’m Student?
How can I use it to get a discount? The Decentralized Department of Culture of Cusco communicates To be considered as a student, you must carry your university card, and not be older than 25 years. This card must be valid at the date of your trip on the Inca trail. The card must have the following requirements:
- The full name should be appreciated
- The photo of you
- The name of your university
- And the expiration date
THE ISIC CARD IS NO LONGER ACCEPTED FOR ENTRY TO THE MACHUPICCHU ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK . The discount that is offered isn’t a ANDEAN PATH TREK discount, but is actually offered by the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Office. For that reason, it absolutely necessary that we have a scan of your card “in hand” when we go to purchase your permits. If you didn’t send us a copy of it along with the initial booking, then make sure to note on the registration form that you have one and will send the scan as soon as possible so that we know to try and wait before we purchase the permit.
- Am I able to change dates after the initial reservation?
The only time that you can change your dates with no penalty charge is, if we have not purchased your permit yet. Usually we try to purchase the permits, at the most, the same day yo do the reservation for the Inca Trail. If we do not already have your permit you can change your date. If we already have your permit, the penalty to change is US $150 and there must be availability for the date which you want to move to.
- What if do not have my passport right now?
The Park of Machu Picchu requires a valid passport to issued your permit to the trail,best case is to organize your new passport in advance if that is the case. There is the possibility due to the limits of spaces on your requested date to book with your old passport number, them we can do a paperwork to change it.
- Can I pay for the entire tour up front?
Usually we only charge the deposit of your Inca Trail to the card to confirm your booking. The balance is paid on your arrival to Cusco in cash. If you choose to pay with credit card you need to pay 5% commission. The prices of the tours are for cash payment. You can withdraw US $ out of the ATMs, which there are plenty in Cusco.
- ALTITUDE or MOUNTAIN SICKNESS, SOROCHE
Altitude sickness is serious and can ruin your trip. The biggest mistake you can make is to fly directly to Cuzco (3326m/10,910ft) and expect to hike the next day. Give yourself a few days to adjust to the altitude first. Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or Soroche, is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxigen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (approximately 8,000 feet). Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).The causes of altitude sickness are not fully understood. The percentage of oxygen in air remains essentially constant with altitude at 21% up until 70,000 feet (21,330 m), but the air pressure (and therefore the number of oxygen molecules) drops as altitude increases — consequently, the available amount of oxygen to sustain mental and physical alertness decreases above 10,000 feet (3,050m). Altitude sickness usually does not affect persons traveling in aircraft because the cabin altitude in modern passenger aircraft is kept to 8,000 feet (2,440 m) or lower. A superficially related condition is chronic mountain sickness, also known as Monge’s disease, occurring only after prolonged exposure to high altitude. An unrelated condition, often confused with altitude sickness, is dehydration, due to the higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs at higher altitudes. Those who ascend rapidly to altitudes greater than 2500m (8100 ft) may develop altitude sickness. In Peru, this includes Cusco ( 3326m) Machupicchu (2400m) and Lake Titicaca (3820m). Being physically fit offers no protection. Those who have experienced altitude sickness in the past are prone to future episodes. The risk increases with faster ascents, higher altitudes and greater exertion. Symptoms may include headaches,nausea,vomiting,dizziness,malaise, imsomnia and loss of appetite. Severe cases may be complicated by fluids in the lungs (high-altitude pulmonary edema) or swelling of the brain (high-altitude cerebral edema) If symptoms are more than mild or persist for more than 24 hours (far less at high altitudes), descend immediately by at least 500 meters and see a doctor. To help prevent altitude sickness, the best measure is to spend two nights or more at each rise of 1000m. Alternatively, take 125mg or 250mg of acetozolamide (Diamox) twice or three times daily starting 24 hours before ascent and continuing for 48 hours after arrival at altitude. Possible side effects include increased urinary volume, numbness, tingling,nausea,drowsiness, myopia and temporary impotence. Acetazolamide should not be given to pregnant women or anyone with a history of sulfa allergy. For those who cannot tolerate acetazolamide, the next best option is 4 mg of dexamethasone taken four times daily. Unlike acetazolamide, dexamethasone must be tapered gradually upon arrival at altitude, since there is a risk that altitude sickness will occur as the dosage is reduced. Dexamethasone is a steroid, so it should not be given to diabetics or anyone for whom taking sterorids is not adviced. A natural alternative is gingko, which some people find quite helpful. When traveling to high altitudes, it´s also important to evoid overexertion, eat ligh meals and abstain from alcohol.
ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION
- 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.
- SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however it has a extra cost.
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.
- 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.
- MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATION
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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:
– 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
– Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate
– Phrase book
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.
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)
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.