visitors at wiayhuayna

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SALKANTAY TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS

The Salkantay Trek is named for Mount Salkantay (6,271 m / 20,574 feet). This Sacred Mountain is higher than any mountain in North America. On this  trek you will see gorgeous blue lakes, stunning glaciers, cloud forest with green vegetation and many archeological ruins. This trek is a great blend of the two very popular hikes, with an incomparable variety of flora and fauna. So, anyone who knows anything about Peru knows about the Inca Trail, and with good reason. It is an amazing way to get to Machu Picchu, while making the most of what this ancient path has to offer: fascinating Inca ruins, cloud forests, subtropical jungle, not to mention the amazing llamas and alpacas you will meet on the way and the local flora you will marvel at.

As far as Salkantay goes, it used to be only an alternative to the Inca Trail when this was sold out, but nowadays it has become a choice in itself. The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6,271 m/ 20,569 ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Andes.  The Salkantay Trek was recently named on the National Geographic Ultimate Adventure bucket list – defined as “The 20 most extreme, hair-raising, legendary adventures on the planet. And because we know it would be a hard choice between these too, we have carefully designed an amazing trekking tour, that gets you the best parts of both: the 5-day, 4-night Salkantay Trek with Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With this trek, you will enjoy the stunning scenery offered by the Salkantay trek the first 2 days, and on the third day you will get off the beaten track, on a path that will connect you with the Inca Trail, which you will then follow on the fourth day, in order to reach one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, on foot. The Salkantay part of the trek comes with the whole package: stunning glaciers, crystal clear lakes, cloud forest and rain forest, which on the last part transforms into rich vegetation and enigmatic ruins, this way giving you the best of nature and culture. With this trek, only offered by Andean Path Trek, you get to camp in the middle of nature, surrounded by the majesty of the mountains, for 3 nights, while on the other  you will sleep in hotel, in Aguas Calientes Town. You also get a very pleasant train ride, on day 4, from Ollantaytambo to km 104, dinner in a nice restaurant on the fourth day in Aguas Calientes, horses that carry 8kg of your personal belongings during the Salkantay Trek, the permit to hike the short Inca Trail and much more.

This is a very unique version of the Classic Salkantay Trek and short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The first two days follow one of the common Salkantay trails, but on the 3rd day we depart the Salkantay trails to enjoy  the first day  section of the Classic Inca Trail, and the 4th day is the hiking of the short inca trail to Machu Picchu.

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

Difficulty of the hike: Challenging

KmDistance hike: 60 Kilometers

Elevation max: 4850m

Group: 2-8

Price from $780 per person

Departures
from NOV 2021 to DEC 2022

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Trip Highlights

  • Discover a new path that is little traveled, and full of beautiful landscapes, magnificent snow mountains, turquoise lakes, waterfalls and cloud forests that hide Inca citadels.
  • Explore in a single tour the three best treks to Machu Picchu (salkantay trek, classic inca trail, short inca trail)
  • Visit the network of roads of the Incas, and during the journey you will connect to the first section of the classic Inca trail, you can also contemplate this incredible marvel of the construction of more than 600 years, even in full use.
  • Experience a walk through the wild mountains of Cusco, only traveled by the mountain muleteers, who will share their customs and cultural traditions.
  • Understand in depth about the culture, astronomy, and history of the Incas, with the best local guides.
  • Delight your palate with the best typical dishes of PERU prepared by our chefs.
  • Feel the harmony and energetic force of our mountains, which will leave you without stress or worry, just disconnect from the noise of the cities.

see map of
Salkantay Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

Activities

This route of Salkantay + Short Inca Trail is considered  with the level that goes from moderate to difficult. Thus, the first and second day are sections in which we are going to ascend more than 4000 meters. The second day we will have to overcome the highest pass at 4800 meters, and from there everything will be descent to the Paucarcancha valley, and finally to the sacred valley of the Incas. On the fourth day we will climb the cloud forests along the ancient Inca road to the citadel of Machu Picchu. That is why we recommend that you be in good physical condition for this route. Prepare before the trip, maybe doing morning jogging, or riding a bike, the gym also helps a lot. The weather is very changing, in the Andes there are temperatures from -2 C ° to 25 C °. But nothing is impossible just have the best want to enjoy and you will see that everything becomes easier.

Accommodations

Camping Tents during Salkantay Trek: 3 nights

The overnight stays during the Inca Trail 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 porters. 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.

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 – SORAYPAMPA – ICHUPATA

Difficulty level: Moderate
Altitude: 4300 m
Hiked distance: 12 km
Approximate walking time: 8 h

We will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning and have a beautiful scenic drive of 3 hours duration to Mollepata. At Mollepata we will have breakfast at one of the local houses. During this portion of the drive we will have our first views of the magnificent Salkantay and Humantay Mountains, as well as observe lush vegetation and the fields of local families growing potatoes, quinua, lima beans, etc.

At this point we will arrive at Soraypampa (3,800 m/12,467 ft), the trailhead for the Salkantay trek, and meet our support staff, who will pack everything for the trek and load the equipment onto horses. The first thing we will do is hike up to the magnificent Humantay Lake. After enjoying the beauty and taking pictures, we will hike back down to Soraypampa and “officially” begin the trek.

The hike today is uphill from Soraypampa to Ichupata (4,300 m / 14,104 ft) in the upper valley. This is a 5 to 6 hour hike. Along the way we will pass Salkantaypampa, which is our lunch spot. Ichupata is our camp for the night. When we arrive, we will settle in, have happy hour and a hearty dinner.

Day 2

ICHUPATA – INCACHIRIASCA – PAMPACAHUANA

Difficulty level: Challenging
Altitude: 4850 m
Hiked distance: 14 km
Approximate walking time: 8 h

After a savory breakfast, we will begin the 3 to 4 hour steep climb to towards the Incachiriasca pass (4850m/15908ft), the highest of the entire route. We will have amazing views of Apu Salkantay and glacial moraines during this portion. We will pause at the top of the pass to take pictures and enjoy the magnificent view.

We will then descend towards our lunch spot at Sisaypampa, a flat area from which one can observe the neighboring Salkantay Valleys. This is a place where we might see Andean condors.

After lunch we continue towards the Pampacahuana community (3,700 m / 12,136 ft), located next to an original Inca canal. This is our camp for the night.

Day 3

PAMPACAHUANA – PAUCARCANCHA – HUAYLLABAMBA

Difficulty level: Challenging
Altitude: 3700 m
Hiked distance: 16 km
Approximate walking time: 8 h

We begin by hiking downhill for 2 hours from Pampacahuana to Paucarcancha (3133 m / 10,276 ft)). We will visit the Inca site of the same name.

After to explore we will hike downhill for 3 hours until we reach Huayllabamba village, there we will have our lunch. Afterwards, we will descend to the Urubamba River, following the first section of the Inca Trail, this day we will be able to appreciate the archaeological complex of Patallacta, which is famous for its semicircular constructions, and near there is another Inca compound named Willcaraqay. At dusk we will arrive at Km 82, where we will spend the night.

Day 4

OLLANTAYTAMBO  – WIÑAYHUAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU

Difficulty level: Moderate
Altitude: 2700 m
Hiked distance: 12 km
Approximate walking time: 10 h

Early in the morning we go to the train station. One hour free flowing train ride to 104 kms (2,100m/6,927ft) will take us to the beginning our trek, where we cruise past the first checkpoint with easy. Afterwards we initiate a moderate climb for three hours to the chiselled remnants and remote archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna . (2,650m/8747ft). As we view out with an open mind and heart, we embrace the spectacular plunging views of the Urubamba Canyon, and the ethnic wonder of ancient Inca sites, we make our connection into the traditional four day Inca Trail. After being at one with this beautiful sight, we continue onward towards the Sun Gate (2,730mts/9,007ft). Following the ancient remote footpath we grasp onto our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. As we move closer to the Citadel of Machu Picchu, you will feel the reasoning of her energetic vibration. Then we take our bus to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in our hotel.

Day 5

VISIT OF MACHU PICCHU –  BACK TO CUSCO

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

Bursting with excitement on your final surreal day, we take the first bus to Machu Picchu archeological site, making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The Citadel of the Incas, machu picchu, what an unforgettable experience. Your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, you can wander around the town squares of the world’s spiritual center of esoteric wisdom, as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone. Or you can stay still and find the peace within as you sit in the pure delight of the moment.  Finally, climb Huayna Picchu to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu and the valleys below.

When you are ready, you will descend to Aguas Calientes, have a leisurely lunch on your own, and later on board the train at  14:30 pm or 14:55 pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station, where our transfer will pick up you to come back to Cusco. The drop off is your hotel in Cusco.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE SHORT INCA TRAIL +SALKANTAY TREK

  • Bilingual English/Spanish speaking tour guide
  • Pre-Departure Briefing 1 or 2 days before your trek
  • Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Soraypampa
  • Four person tent for each 2 persons.
  • Mattress
  • Kitchen tent
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Toilet tent
  • Professional chef and assistant chef
  • Horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc) and 5 kg (9 lbs) per hiker for your own belongings
  • Duffle bag for your personal gear
  • Emergency horse in case we need it
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles.
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo round trip
  • Private van transportation from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
  • Emergency oxygen bottle, medical kit
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu and Inca Trail
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas calientes

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED:

  • Sleeping bag – you can rent one from us
  • Day 5 Lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips for the crew (guides, porters, cooks, wranglers)
  • Ticket for Huayna Picchu Mountain $ 80 usd
  • Sleeping Bag – US$20 per person per trek (you can rent in our office)
  • Air Mattress – US$20 per person per trek (you can rent in our office)
  • Trekking Poles – US$15 per pair per trek (you can rent in our office)

YOU SHOULD BRING TO THE SHORT INCA TRAIL + SALKANTAY TREK 5 DAYS

When packing for your Salkantay 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 Salkantay 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 Salkantay Trek. 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 Salkantay Trek 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 Salkantay 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 Salkantay 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 Salkantay Trek 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 Salkantay 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 Salkantay Trek. 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 Salkantay Trek 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 Salkantay 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.

THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SALKANTAY TREK + SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS

  1. This Alternate Route of Salkantay + Inca Trail; do you go through the same path as the traditional route?

No, we are only going to coincide on the first day of the excursion, where we walk along the classic route of the Salkantay Trek, and visit the Humantay lagoon. After lunch, our trekking group should ascend to the base camp of Ichupata, which is higher than the other camps, and we still continue to practice the true adventurous spirit of trekking, where they spend the night in tents.

  1. Why should you choose this Salkantay + Short Inca Trail tour?

Of all the hiking options to Machu Picchu, this is undoubtedly the most complete in every way, unique landscapes, blue and turquoise lakes. Inter-Andean valleys, traditional local populations, etc.

This tour connects the best trekking trails, the majestic Salkantay, the Inca trail that passes through Paucarcancha, Hatunchaka, Patallaqta Archaeological Site, Kanabamba, Salonpunko. And the short Inca trail that begins in the ruins of Chachabamba, the Wiñaywayna palace, and as a step before discovering Machu Picchu the famous Puerta del Sol. As you will realize, this is the perfect route for those who are looking for adventure, culture. , history, archeology and pure nature.

  1. How difficult is the Salkantay Trek connection to the Inca Trail?

Don’t worry, it isn’t. You will not be climbing mountains like Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro. None of the itineraries of the tours to Machu Picchu are designed for mountaineers. They are designed for tourism, which means that all people with a moderate physical condition are capable of doing them. The same applies to the Salkantay trek. It is not easy, but it is not very difficult to achieve either. When considering doing the Salkantay trek, you just need to be aware of a few things.

  • Spend at least one additional day in Cusco to get used to the altitude.
  • The second day of the Salkantay trek is the hardest.
  • Do not rush. Enjoy.
  • Once you cross the Salkantay pass, it gets easier.

To get the most out of your trip, you should always take it as calmly as possible. It is not a mountain race, so it is better that you take the time to enjoy the scenery. You don’t spend every weekend in the Andes. Bring plenty of snacks and hydrate yourself properly. At higher altitude, more water is needed and one of the benefits of trekking is that a lot of calories are burned. If you have difficulties on the first day of the Salkantay trek, you have to know that you can rent a horse for the second day. This can help you relax when climbing the Salkantay pass. You will not need any help during the rest of the trip.

  1. When should I do the Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

If you are thinking of doing the Salkantay + Inca Trail trek, it is good to know what weather conditions you are in. The Cusco area in Peru has two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season lasts from April to October and the driest months are June, July and August. The latter is also the season with the highest number of visitors. Don’t worry, it’s not like the classic Inca Trail so you don’t have to worry too much about permits.

The rainy season is from November to March and the worst months to trek to Machu Picchu are December, January and February. It’s not impossible, but you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Do you like rain? Then go ahead! At least the Salkantay trail, unlike the classic Inca Trail, is not closed in February.

  1. How high is the Incachiriyasqa pass?

The Incachiriyasqa pass is your biggest obstacle during the Salkantay trek. The pass has an altitude of 4800 meters (15,748 feet). On a typical Salkantay + Inca Trail trek, you are more likely to cross the pass on the second day. It is essential to take things slowly. If you are prone to altitude sickness, then this is where it can occur. Luckily once you cross it, you will descend quite quickly. This will aid acclimatization and should resolve the worst symptoms of altitude sickness.

  1. Altitude sickness during the Salkantay Trek + Short Inca Trail

Altitude sickness (AMS) can ruin your trip to Machu Picchu. Often people who want to do the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek are in a hurry and fly from Lima, which is at sea level. Then they are in Cusco at an altitude of 3399 meters above sea level. To give you perspective, mountaineers like to ascend the so-called “three thousand” mountains at 3,000 meters above sea level. You can understand that Cusco is high and from there it goes even higher because the Salkantay trek + Inca Trail crosses the Incachiriyasqa pass (4800 m). There are a good “four thousand”. Keep in mind that there are treks that go much higher than that, such as the ascent to Huayna Potosi in Bolivia, which reaches 6000 meters above sea level. However, at 3000 meters, symptoms can appear and the dangers of altitude sickness must be taken seriously. Our trekking experts always advise those interested in the Salkantay + Inca Trail trek, spend at least one day in Cusco. The ideal is to spend two days. And why not? There is so much to do. It is a great city and spending some time there will help you get used to the altitude. Our experts are well aware of the dangers of altitude sickness. They have blogged about MAM while trekking in Nepal and know not to rush up Mount Kilimanjaro. There is a golden rule that applies during altitude trekking: Listen to your body.

Listen to your body

When the body needs to rest, it tells you. Listen carefully to your body. You should be vigilant and talk about the symptoms of altitude sickness. Let your friends, the guide and the porters know how you feel and take a break. Don’t let it get worse. Eat all you can. Don’t skip meals, even if you don’t like what you have on your plate. Trust us, you will enjoy food in Peru. The body works hard and needs a lot of carbohydrates to go further and overcome altitude. Forget about the diet and buy extra nutrition bars. Trekking is hard work and you can easily burn over 4,000 calories a day. In fact, perhaps it is one of the reasons why you like trekking. Eat, the body will thank you.

Alcohol and Coca Leaves

If you drink alcohol, you will surely also drink during the Salkantay + Inca Trail trek. Drink 3-5 liters a day and a little tea when you can. You’re out on a hike and not partying, so save (most of it) the alcohol for after the trip. Alcohol stimulates mountain sickness and it’s not just because it dehydrates you.

The Incas used coca leaves as a remedy for illnesses and physical problems. Today, coca leaves are still used to suppress the effects of altitude sickness. Don’t tell your mother we told you this, but prove it. Last but not least: Choose a longer itinerary. You can do the Salkantay trek, but doing it in 5 days will not only make you enjoy it more, but it will also help you acclimatize. The longer the better.

  1. What type of Mountain Equipment do I have to bring?

As you know, this trek is one of the strongest and the highest of all in Cusco, together with the Ausangate treks. For what you really are going to feel the icy cold of the Andes. We recommend you wear the best trekking clothing, we talked about the three layers of protection:

  • First line of coverage, it can be a cotton polo shirt, plus a fleece that covers very well.
  • Second line of coverage, normally it is the down jacket or a synthetic one that insulates the cold.
  • Third line of coverage is a good rain jacket, eye this must at least carry a certification to repel water enough so as not to spoil your other coverage.
  • For your hands you should wear good gloves to isolate the cold, a thermal cap that warms you at night.
  • Footwear is also very important, since it is one of our main equipment for this highly demanding route, do not forget that it must have a rigid sole and resistant to rain, with ankle protection, in order to avoid dislocations. Trekking socks, the normal ones do not support more than 3 hours of walking, they are damaged or will cause blisters on your feet.
  • A small backpack for the route, so you can take your jacket, snacks, water; always with its rain cover.
  • Your sunscreen in cream or spray, sunglasses.
  • Personal medication is very important to carry, since in these towns it is very difficult to find health posts.
  1. Are trekking poles very necessary?

Yes, since this team has the two most important functions for every adventurer.

1.- During the ascents, it will propel you towards the mountain and it will reduce a little muscle fatigue in your feet.

2.- During the descents, it is super necessary, since the Andes of Peru are well inclined and full of gravel or sometimes small streams of water that moisten the ground where you walk, slipping often occurs, in case you do not have a cane walking, you could surely fall. But in addition to this, these equipment will protect your knees, balancing your body weight.

  1. Who will carry the other trekking equipment?

On this route we work with mules and horses, who help us in the transfer of our tents, food and personal 5 kg suitcases. Our company is very committed to the protection and care of animals, we will never allow the abuse of these docile animals. That is why we organize this tour with as many mules  as possible, and if you would like to use a horse in any part of the route, please indicate at the time of morning talks the first two days, and thus our guide of Route can organize one for you, but that will have an extra cost that you must pay to the owner of the horse.

  1. Explain to me more about the types of climates and their temperature of the Salkantay + Inca Trail 5 days tour?

This tour is considered, as a high mountain trekking. Therefore the climate during the first two days is very cold at night (average of -8 Cº). And during the day if it is going to be sunny you will have an average of 10 Cº.

As for the short Inca trail and Machu Picchu, it is more tropical, its climate during the day reaches temperatures of 20ºC.

  1. Are there hygienic services on the route?

Because it is a very little traveled route, there are still no physical toilets. That is why our company will always carry portable toilets, which are more private and comfortable. Please always respect the environment, if by chance you feel like urinating in the middle of the route, you are advised to have a somewhat remote space and avoid the use of plastic or wipes that are not degradable, use toilet paper.

12.How many people make up my travel group?

This tour is organized exclusively in small groups, from 02 people to a maximum of 8. If there are more people we will assign another leader guide, with their respective cook and route assistants.

  1. Will the daily walks be very arduous?

The first two days will be arduous and of a lot of perseverance, because there is a trekking with inclines of up to 15º 20º, the terrain is very rough.

The other days the degree of difficulty will be less, since you descend to the Paucarcancha valley, finally it culminates with the trekking of the short Inca trail to Machu Picchu which is very easy, if you survived the Incachiriasqa pass (4,800 m ).

  1. How much time in advance, do I need to make the reservation of Salkantay Trek?

We recommend booking at least 4 or 5 months in advance. The government has strictly limited the number of people allowed in Machu Picchu (permits are issued at around 2,500 per day). Therefore, we recommend that you try to make your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu reservation as soon as you know the dates of your international flights.

Since January 2019, the visit tickets to Machu Picchu have been divided into several schedules, obviously the most requested is at 6:00 a.m., because there are not many visitors, and also in the dry season you have the opportunity to appreciate the dawn.

March, April, May to October: Salkantay Trek departure dates during these months sold out as soon as the trek went on sale in early January, so we recommend making a reservation in advance.

  1. Why should I make a reservation deposit?

In all the tours that take place to the citadel of Machu Picchu it is necessary to make a reservation deposit, which will be used for the immediate purchase of your entrance tickets to the Machu Picchu sanctuary, also for the purchase of your train tickets. Once the reservation is made, our team will confirm your reservation by mail.

The balance of the tour will be paid upon arrival in Cusco, for that you must come to our office, where everything about the trek will be explained in detail, and if you have any other questions, it will also be clarified.

To make the payment of the preferential balance in cash, if you do it through a visa or mastercad card, there is a charge of 5.5%.

  1. What happens after making the reservation deposit?

First, we will send you an email to confirm your payment. Two weeks before your tour date, we will contact you by email to request final payment. We will also ask you where you will be staying in Cusco, so we can pick you up on the day of your trek.

Is the informational section important for my trip to Salkantay Trek?

The informative session is important because it will have details of the trek to Salkantay Trek, you will be given a canvas bag for your luggage, you will also pay the remaining balance and we will give you a map with the developed route.

  1. How are the guides?

Having a good guide is an essential part of having a good Salkantay Trek. Because of this, Andean Path Trek works with some of the best guides in the business. Our guides speak English, Quechua and Spanish fluently, have knowledge in the areas of history, archeology, ecology and are native to the Cusco area.

To continue working with our guides, we pay them a higher salary than most agencies and make sure they are treated well.

  1. Where can I leave my luggage before my hike to salkantay trek?

Andean Path Trek, establishes that for security reasons you must leave your luggage, which will not be taken to the trek, to your hotel or hostel in the city of Cusco. Since we do not have luggage storage.

  1. Can I rent a sleeping bag at the office for salkantay trek?

You can definitely rent sleeping bags from our office, for the Salkantay Trek route. Our sleeping bags are designed to withstand extreme temperatures. The cost is $ 20 usd for the entire trip.

  1. How is the food in salkantay trek + short inca trail?

One of our strengths is the food we provide on Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail, which is why our company has been working with high mountain cooks for more than 10 years. They will bring you the best gastronomy of Cusco and Peru. At breakfast there will be scrambled eggs, omelettes, pancakes, coffee, milk, butter, etc. The lunches are very nutritious (quinoa chaufa, steak, chicken stew, sautéed tenderloin, stuffed avocado, etc.). And dinner is designed according to the type of weather, for example, the first night you will have a refreshing soup for cold and altitude sickness. On the last day we will have dinner at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes. If you have any dietary restrictions, don’t worry, as our chefs are prepared for all kinds of food restrictions, such as vegetarian, vegan or gluten allergies and others. All food is prepared with fresh and organic ingredients, produced by the farmers of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

  1. Is water included in the Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail?

If water is included in the Salkantay Trek, you only need to buy water for the first day. Then our cooks will fill it with clean and safe drinking water, we take the water from the cleanest sources and then it is boiled and filtered. If possible, avoid drinking water from springs, rivers or lagoons, as we do not certify the quality of the water, even if you carry the purification tablets, maybe those water bodies are contaminated with heavy minerals, which come from the mountains, which it can cause poisoning to your body. If you are drinking a lot of water, don’t worry as there will always be women selling bottles of water in all the towns we pass through. If possible, avoid carrying many plastic bottles, prefer to bring a canteen or a camel back, so you will contribute to the care and responsible use of environmental resources.

  1. Should I bring additional money for Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail?

Yes. This is very important !!! . We recommend that you bring 300 to 400 Peruvian soles. You may not need any of this money, but in an emergency, you need to make sure you have plenty of cash. If you have difficulties on the route, you can use the money to buy alternative forms of transportation, such as: car, horse and train. If you participate in the 5-day hike, there are a couple of additional activities along the way that include hot springs.

Will I have a chance to charge my devices during the trek and will I have wi-fi?

No, on this trekking route you will not be able to have showers until the fourth day you arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes. That is why our support staff will provide you with small tubs of warm water every day, with which you can wash your face, armpits and feet.

  1. If I can’t walk very fast, can I rent a horse?

In Salkantay Trek it is only necessary to rent a horse for the uphill section, after the entire route is downhill. You can rent a horse from any of the community members who will offer you this service, the cost According to each horse owner, remember that Andean Path Trek is not the owner of the animals, and if an incident occurs on the route of The climb, it will not be our fault, also note that these riders do not speak English, and you will be most of the tour separate from the group. And you will meet your group again at lunchtime.

  1. What happens if I have altitude sickness or deafness?

Our guides are trained in case you get sick. Unfortunately, in Peru it is illegal for us to provide you with medicine as long as they are not medical, but we do our best to help you feel better in other ways. For example, we often make coca tea and the guides carry oxygen bottles with them. If you feel bad, you have the option to return to Cusco and then meet your group in Aguas Calientes so as not to miss Machu Picchu. However, this will entail significant additional charges, which will be paid by you or your insurance.

  1. Can I change the start date of the salkantay trek?

No, once we have purchased your tickets for the Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail (Machu Picchu Ticket and Train Ticket) with your security deposit, you can only change your start date if you pay an additional amount. This amount is usually around $ 150 USD.

  1. If I decide to cancel my salkantay trek, will I be reimbursed?

No. Unfortunately, our company does not have a refund policy. All deposits of $ 200.00 are non-refundable and non-transferable. We understand that unexpected things happen that are beyond your control, but we cannot make exceptions. For more information, see our terms and conditions. Nor can you be reimbursed any amount if in case you have already completed the total payment of your tour, be it due to natural, social or personal causes. This is because we are a serious company that hires the services of porters, muleteers, cooks and guides, who must be paid for their services that have been hired, since they have their valuable time, when working. with our company.

  1. What happens if I leave the trek on the first or second day, or any other day?

In this case, if you abandon the tour for health reasons such as soroche or others, you will be provided with horse assistance so that you arrive as quickly as possible at the vehicular access point, and can be evacuated to a hospital, and remain until you reestablish your Health. Therefore, you will be asked for your travel or health insurance so that you can make use of this service, with which you can pay the expenses that are incurred. As you know, our company will not be able to return any amount of the tour that you have paid, it will only be able to help you in organizing your train tickets so that you visit at least Machu Picchu and do not lose your reserved tickets. Keep in mind that the reconnection of your trip to Machu Picchu will have additional costs, which must be covered by your own account.

  1. Can I use my mobile / cell phone in the mountains?

You will get sporadic phone coverage during the hike and there will be nowhere during the hike to charge your phone.

  1. What should I bring to the salkantay trek?
  • Original passport
  • A backpack with a change of clothes for the entire period of the trek.
  • Rainwear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (you can buy plastic ponchos in Cusco)
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots are recommended
  • Sandals or running shoes for greater comfort in the camp.
  • Warm clothing, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • Flashlight / headlamp and batteries.
  • Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly in cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect yourself from the sun, rain and cold.
  • Sunscreen
  • After-sun cream or moisturizer for face and body.
  • Insect repellent: minimum recommended 20% DEET: no risk of malaria has been reported
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: cookies, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Container of water and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed in Machu Picchu. Plastic (i.e. Nalgene) or metal water containers are recommended.
  • Small towel
  • Swimsuit (if you want to go to the hot springs in Santa Teresa)
  • Cash in soles and / or US $
  1. How are tips on the salkantay trek?

Tips are at your discretion but are always greatly appreciateda

 

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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