HOW DO I MEET THE GUIDE ON ARRIVAL IN CUZCO?
Once we have received your final payment, we will send a Confirmation of Service voucher with your arrival details, plus any pre-paid transfers, and hotel arrange¬ments. Services in Peru are by Inca Tours and Travel Adventures (ITTA). On the day prior to the trek, there is an important orientation meeting with your guide and other group participants at noon in the ITTA office at Avenida Pardo 705, tel. (51-84) 225-701, Cuzco. We review trek arrangements, discuss clothing, health and diet, and distribute trail duffels, sleeping pads, and rented sleeping bags. Passengers who have not contacted the office by noon on the day prior to trek departure will be deleted from the roster. In such cases no refund is payable.
Please note that this is a high altitude trek with night temperatures typically below freezing for the duration of the trek. Bringing a ski hat, gloves, a winter-weight sleeping bag and parka will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the trek.
Modest hotels in Lima or Cuzco are available from US$38 per night in shared twin, $56 in single inclu¬ding taxes and continental breakfast. We are pleased to assist you with flights, air¬port transfers and additional tour ar¬rangements prior to and fol¬lowing your tour. For acclimation purposes, we require that you arrive in Cuzco three days or more prior to the trek.
Currency other than US$ is difficult to exchange. Bring travelers' checks and/or cash. Major credit cards are accepted in hotels and larger restaurants. Meals in mainstream restaurants are similar in price to what you'll pay at home in modest restaurants. 19% government value-added tax plus service charges of up to 10% are added to the bill. You’ll pay airport departure taxes of about US$5 for dom¬estic flights in Peru, and US$28 for international departures. Tipping your trek staff is optional but customary. Take between $20-$40 in local currency for this purpose. On the final trek morning, trekkers distribute pooled funds among guide(s), kitchen crew and wranglers. Suggested distribution: Guide $2.50 per day, Asst guide $1.00 per day, Cook $1.00 per day, Chief wrangler $1.00 per day, Asst cook $.50 per day, $5 for all the wranglers.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP
Cuzco has well-defined seasons. From June to August, while Andean winter days are typically sunny and warm, the temperature can drop to below freezing (20°F/-9°C) at night in our high camps. Rain seldom falls during winter. Departures during Andean spring and autumn offer slightly warmer nights, but you still must pack for cold weather.
Expect a wide range of tem¬perature and preci¬pita¬tion on your program. In high mountain environments, you must be prepared for inclement weather at any time. Even at mid-day, if clouds obscure the sun, the apparent temperature cools dramatically. By packing a system of thin, independent layers of clothing, you can easily add or remove layers to remain comfortable as conditions change throughout the day.
Most trekkers leave camp in the morning wearing a cold-weather layer over T-shirt and shorts. At the first rest stop, after you have warmed up a bit, remove a layer. You’ll find that you’re making small adjustments throughout the day according to your pace and whether you’re trekking in the sun or under overcast skies. At all times, carry rain-gear in your day-pack.
Basic clothing list: underwear, thermal underwear (tops and bottoms), socks, lightweight hiking boots, sneakers for around camp, loose-fitting long pants or wind-pants, shorts, T-shirts, long-sleeved shirt, Polarfleece jacket, ski parka, full rain gear, sun hat, bathing suit, gloves and ski-type hat.
Essential: Day pack, winter-weight sleeping bag, water bottle, flashlight, sunglasses, sunscreen, toilet kit.
Optional: pocket knife, sewing kit, camera and film, binoculars, paperback book, snacks and/or energy bars.
Your outfitter provides: a heavy-duty, 4,100-cubic-inch trail duffel, Thermarest sleeping pad, tents and communal camping gear. The guide carries a hand-pump water filter.
Our llamas carry up to 14 kg (31 lb.) of your personal gear. If your packed duffel exceeds 14 kg. In weight (including sleeping bag and pad) at the trailhead, you will have to transfer excess weight from your duffel to your daypack.
While no vaccinations are mandatory for entering Peru, and no official is likely to demand to see proof of your vaccination against any disease, some protection is prudent. Consult your physician or local travelers' clinic for the latest recom¬mendations. For general travel, the most common recommended vaccinations or boosters are against tetanus, typhoid/diphtheria, Hepatitis A, and polio. The World Health Organization does not recommend vaccination against cholera. If you're visiting the Amazon before or after your trek, ask about yellow fever and chloroquine-resistant malaria. Some countries (notably Brazil) require travelers to show proof of a valid Yellow fever vaccination when arriving from Peru.
Important Notice for Vegetarians, Passengers with Allergies and Other Restricted Diets
In the cities, you will find sufficient vegetarian choices in most restaurants. We serve a variety of freshly-prepared foods in our camps. While our trek meals are designed for omnivores, we are able to satisfy most restricted-diet passengers. Strict vegetarians will have to bring many food supplements from home, as specialty items are unavailable in South America.
If you have food allergies you must detail these on your trip application when you register for your trek. Review these with our guide and operations staff during the trek orientation meeting.
Our approach in meeting the needs of restricted-diet passengers is the same: while our cooks concentrate on providing the main meal, they can heat and serve food supplied by the passengers that the passengers deem safe.
If you have a restricted diet, please ask for our memo detailing our approach to food service on the trek. Note: we treat our camp water (both for drinking and for cleaning) with iodine.