So that your body has sufficient time to acclimate prior to starting the trek, we strongly recommend that you arrive in Cuzco or similar elevation a minimum of two days prior to the trek. This is a 30-km/19-mile trek with elevation ranging from 3,050 to 1,550m feet. Once we receive your final payment, we will send a Con¬firmation of Service voucher with your prepaid travel details.
Services in Peru are provided by Inca Tours & Travel Adventures (ITTA). At 10.30AM on the day prior to the trek, there is an im¬portant orientation meeting with your guide and other participants in the ITTA operations office in Cuzco. We review trek arrangements, trail gear and packing strategies, health and dietary matters, tipping and other cash needs, and trail documentation requirements. We also distribute your trail duffel and sleeping pad. If you’ve rented a sleeping bag from us, we give it to you now so you can pack your duffel, ready for the departure early next morning.
ITTA office is at Avenida Pardo 705, tel. (51-84) 225-701, 235-583. Passengers who have not contacted the office by 10.30AM on the day prior to trek departure to reconfirm their arrangements will be considered no-shows and deleted from the roster. In these situations your tour prepayment is non-refundable. If your travel plans change at the last minute, due to airline delays, misconnections or any other reason, you must advise our Cuzco office (51-84)225-701, (51-84) 600-500; after-hours operations staff are at (084) 98465-1404) to see if alternate arrangements can be made for you.
Optional Extras Hotels in Lima or Cuzco are available from $64 per night for a double and $48 in single including taxes and continental breakfast. Airport transfers in Lima and Cuzco may be arranged upon request. We are pleased to assist you with additional tour ar¬rangements prior to and following your tour. If you seek an economic hostel, there are kiosks at the airports where you can arrange accommodation on arrival. Additional Expenses Currency other than US$ and € is difficult to exchange in Peru. Bring travelers' checks and/or cash. Major credit cards are also accepted in hotels and larger restaurants. Most credit card companies charge 2-3% surcharge over the purchase price – we recommend you check the policy with your credit card company prior to your trip.
You can find ATM machines in Cuzco but not in towns. Food and beverages in mainstream restaurants and hotels are comparable in cost to what you'll pay at home. 19% government value-added tax plus service charges of up to 10% are added to your bill. You’ll pay airport departure taxes of approximately US$5 for domestic flights in Peru, and US$30.25 for international departures.
Tipping your trek staff is optional but customary. Take along between $25-$50 in local currency for this purpose. Wranglers carry our gear for two days in to Choquequirao; on the return leg porters carry the loads out to the road. On the final trek morning, trekkers distribute pooled funds among guide(s), kitchen crew and porters. Suggested distribution: to the Chief Guide $3.50 per day, Asst guide $1.50 per day, Cook $1.50 per day, Asst cook $1.00 per day. Allocate $10 total for wranglers and porters.
PLEASE NOTE: We reserve the right to make minor changes where necessary for the safety and comfort of tour participants. Please reconfirm the current tour rate and park fee when you make your reservation. Additional expenses caused by circumstances beyond the control of the operator will be the responsibility of the tour participant.
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 (27°F/-3°C) at night in our high camps. Rain seldom falls during winter. From January to March, the Andean summer months offer daytime temperatures to 85°F/30°C, milder nights (typically to 45°F/8°C) and plenty of rain. Despite some rain, December and April are among our favorite months for trekking, since the mountains are lush with summer flowers and you enjoy plenty of sunshine. Departures during Andean spring (September through December) and autumn (April and May) offer weather patterns intermediate between these seasonal extremes.
Elevation on this route is lower than many other Andean trek routes, and you should be prepared for tropical heat in the Apurimac canyon. Biting insects are common in the valley bottom.
Clothing Expect a wide range of temperature and precipitation 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 and continue in hot-weather clothing until the temperature cools off later in the day. At all times, carry rain-gear in your day-pack. Basic clothing list: underwear, socks, light hiking boots, sneakers for around camp, loose-fitting long pants or wind-pants, shorts, T-shirts, long-sleeved shirt, Polarfleece jacket, full rain gear, sun hat, bathing suit, gloves and ski-type hat.
Essential: Day pack, winter-weight sleeping bag, 1-litre water bottle (Nalgene or similar), flashlight, sunglasses, sunscreen, toilet kit, insect repellent.
Optional: pocket knife, sewing kit, iodine-type water purification pills, 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; all drinking water is filtered and treated with iodine. Packhorses carry up to 10 kg (22 lb.) of your personal gear. If your packed duffel exceeds 10 kg. In weight (including sleeping bag and pad) at the trailhead, you will have to transfer excess weight from your duffel to your daypack.
Vaccinations 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, our creative and hard-working cooks are able to satisfy most restricted-diet passengers. Please let us know your dietary restrictions when you join our departure. 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. 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.
Know What You Are Buying There are many trek outfitters in Cuzco, offering trekking packages in a considerable range in quality, reliability, and price. As one of the pioneers of commercial adventure travel in Peru, we are very proud of our record of environmental and social leadership. We set the standard of quality among full-service outfitters. Inca Tours & Travel Adventures SRL has been awarded Best Adventure Travel Agency by the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism for 6 years since 1997. The award recognizes the high standards that our guides, cooks, porters and other employees consistently attain. When purchasing your Trek services from overseas agents, be certain you are buying the services operated by Inca Tours & Travel Adventures. Accept no substitutes! Environmental Policy Andean Treks applies a policy of 100% carry in/carry out. We were the first outfitter to introduce a system whereby all the camp waste is hauled out. Our system includes portable chemical (biodegradable) toilets, with no holes in the ground and no solid waste left behind.