WHY SOUTH ADVENTURE?

South Adventure Peru, is a responsible and committed travel agency, with 15 years of experience

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  • Ruben info@southadventureperutours.com
  • Tatiana reservas@southadventureperutours.com
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ADDRESS
  • Address: Calle Carmen Bajo 257 San Blas
PHONE
  • Phone: (51-84) 234573

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu (4D/3N)

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  • lares valley trek
  • lares trek to machu picchu
    The Lares valley is one of the most
    picturesque villages in the
    southern part of Cusco. Lares
    Valley is particularly well known
    for its very high-quality, brightly
    colored weavings and characteristic
    upturned hats, many of the popular
    tourist markets being supplied from
    here. Although in this area always
    people not far away, they often
    don't speak
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  • machu picchu ruins private
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Lares Valley trek to Machu Picchu & Huaynapicchu 4D/3N


The Lares valley is one of the most picturesque villages in the south Cusco. Lares is well known for very high-quality & brightly coloured tapestry

The Lares valley is one of the most picturesque villages in the southern part of Cusco. Lares Valley is particularly well known for its very high-quality, brightly colored weavings and characteristic upturned hats, many of the popular tourist markets being supplied from here. Although in this area always people not far away, they often don't speak Spanish. Although in this area always people not far away, they often don't speak Spanish...The 4 days Lares Llama Trek is a great alternative, ending at Machu Picchu.

The trek itself is rated moderate, similar to the Inca Trail. There are, however, one pass over 4000m so it is essential that you are well acclimatized to the altitude. If arriving from sea level then plan on spending at least 2 days in Cusco and the surroundings before undertaking the trek. This 4-day newly developed itinerary offers an outstanding combination of amazing mountain scenery in a remote area and visits to authentic Quechua communities such as Wacawasi, Willog, and Patacancha and reaches Aguas Calientes on the third day. The last day is devoted to the visit of the impressive Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.To have the best experience we combine interaction with the local people and use their Llamas to carry all the camping gear and our backpacks, how ancient Andean people did.

This trek takes us into the Lares region of the Peruvian Andes, passing green valleys, tranquil mountain lakes and high passes, with breathtaking views of snow-capped Andean peaks rising to just under 6,000 meters. Our route takes us through many small village communities that offer a rare & fascinating insight into traditional Andean life. Finally we make our way by train to Aguas Calientes and continue on to Machu-Picchu, the legendary Lost City of the Incas. We have plenty of time to explore this renowned and fascinating site, climb to Huayna Picchu, walk to Sun-Gate etc.

  • Distance : 46km
  • Duration : 4 days
  • When to go: from April to October
  • Altitude : 2700 masl to 4600 masl
  • Difficulty : Moderate .

South Adventure Peru Tours: Strongly recommend book this amazing trek as far in advance as possible, prior you arrive to Peru. The entrances to the santuary of Machu Picchu and Huaynapichu must be booked 3 to 4 months in advance...South Adventure Peru Tours recommend spending two nights in Cusco before to begin the Lares Valley trek to Machu Picchu; two spending at 3400m (Cusco) will be great to aclimatize to the altitude.

Important info: Since July 20th 2011 the entrances has been limited , due to the high demand and limit of entrances to the santuary of Machu Picchu and Huayna picchu we suggest you book in advance before it runs out of spaces.

We take small groups, Why ?

The principal reason to take small groups in the inca trail to machu picchu, is to provide personalized service, in a small group is easy to keep walking together and enjoy the nature of the inca trail, there is a possibility to make friend and share experiences, interacting more closely with each other. Whereas, in larger groups from (10 – 16) people it trend to split into factions. Moreover, in larger groups tends to be a sizeable difference “often over onehour in a section of the trail” between the fastest andslowest member, what makes more difficult for the guides, cooks and porters to make their effective labors. In small groups, people are more likely to arrive at roughly the same time to hear the guide’s explanations. Also our porters are given the same food as the tourists.

In larger groups agencies often provide inferior food for the porters. Smallgroups require less space in campsites and this enables the guide to select better locations. In small groups the guide, cook and porters have a more intimate relationship with the tourists and are better able to meet individual needs and attend to environmental issues such as waste disposal, contamination, etc. as the group will be together more of the time. Because of these reason in our standard service we take small groups, only in a group of friends and delegations we manage larger group. So choose small group.

What are the benefits of doing a private tour? One of the main reasons why the private option is sought after is because you do not need to worry about which dates we have departures set for or if our departures have enough space…Your only concern is whether or not there are permits available…You can choose almost any date that you want if permits are available… In addition to the convenience and flexibility in booking, the private option provides a more personal trip experience for your group. We will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel….The guide will focus all of his energy and attention on your group. You can also be more specific about the foods that you would like to be served during the trek. It is a truly wonderful experience to go on such an amazing journey with only your friends and loved ones. Ask at South Adventure Peru Tours how you can arrange your own private tour.

Stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes town :Stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes? Yes, if you want to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes after the trek this can easily be arranged. We will purchase your train ticket to return to Cusco the following day. You need to let us know at the time of making the trek reservation so we can reserve your train tickets in advance. Obviously if you stay an extra night then you will have to pay for your accommodation which is US$75 per person at HOTEL LA CABAÑA OR Hotel Eco Machu Picchu Pueblo for $ 45 each Lares Valley weather: Dry season (April - November) Day temperature 15ºC/21ºC / Night temperature -0ºC/5ºC Wet season (December - March) Day temperature 17ºC/22º;C / Night temperature -2ºC/5ºC. Local Kids and Adults: Along the way you will met many people, specially kids walking long distance to arrive at school and study 5 hours and they back home after maybe 30 minutes or 2 – 4 hours depending how far they live from the school. Normally they are son or daughter of poor farmers living on the mountains. We strongly recommend help us to give some present to them like pencils, notebook, dictionaries, toys, clothes (socks, gloves, hat, t-shirt, etc) and something to eat. We don’t recommend giving them things like candies, chew gun, soda, camping knife or money. If you really like to make picture of them, especially of adults we strongly advise you to ask first. If you don’t speak any word of Spanish language (español) coordinate with your guide to see if is possible to have picture of them. Local people don’t permit take picture of them, because they believe you taking their spirit on your camera.

This trek takes us into the Lares region of the Peruvian Andes, passing green valleys, tranquil mountain lakes and high passes, with breathtaking views of snow-capped Andean peaks rising to just under 6,000 meters. Our route takes us through many small village communities that offer a rare & fascinating insight into traditional Andean life. Finally we make our way by train to Aguas Calientes and continue on to Machu-Picchu, the legendary Lost City of the Incas. We have plenty of time to explore this renowned and fascinating site, climb to Huayna Picchu, walk to Sun-Gate etc.

Day01: Cusco – Calca – Lares Valley – Hot Spring – Wacawasi Camping ( B-L&D)

At 6am private vehicle will pick you from your hotel, transfer through the sacred valley, archaeological remains, Andean markets, cultivated Inca terraces, small villages, and then pass the highest point of this trek know Huacacasi (4450m), from here downhill to Lares valley (3250m), where we have time to enjoy the thermals baths. Buffet Lunch is provided there as well. Here will meet the rest of our trek team, Cook and the Llameros (Llama or Horses handlers), Llamas or Horses to carry all food, our backpacks, and the camping gear…Three hours of uphill trekking to Wacawasi, there we will set up, our campsite, here there is nice chance to meet the locals and they will show their artisan weaving exhibition and lessons about its ancient techniques.

  • Meals : Brekfast / Snack / buffet lunch / & Dinner
  • Acommodation : Camping over 3800 meter above the sea level.
  • Maximum Altitude : 4,450 m/714476 ft
  • Minimum Altitude : 3,800 m/1,250 ft
  • Distance Travelled : 10 km approx
  • Approximate Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Day02: Wacawasi - Abra Ipsay – Patacancha Camping ( B-L&D)

Today you must wake up at 7am and country breakfast with spectacular scenery. Today is the largest and hardest day of this entire Llama trek, will hike between 7 to 8 hours, on the beginning will be uphill to the Abra Ipsay(4480m). The climb is pretty hard with indescribable panoramic view of snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray, Sawasiray, Chicon and surrounding by stunning landscape. Half way stop for lunch break. While hiking will pass Andean communities, they have a large knowledge of natural agriculture and ancient ways of working textile so that their colorful clothes, unique from this region. After the pass we'll continue our journey downwards until our campsite next to the small village of Patacancha (3720m) .Set up the tents and time to explore around on your own.

  • Meals : Buffet brekfast / Snack / buffet lunch / & Dinner
  • Acommodation : Camping
  • Maximum Altitude : 4,480 m
  • Minimum Altitude : 3,720m
  • Distance Travelled : 15 km approx
  • Approximate Walking Time: 8-9 hours

Day03: Paracancha Community – Willoq – Pumamarca – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes (B-L&D)

This day of hike also is considered one of the spectacular trekking, we will visit several communities and indigenious twons such as Willoq (3400m/11156ft) Pumarca (3200m/10499ft) and Ollantaytambo (2850m/9350ft) From Patacancha throught the landscape, crossing these village we can taste the traditions and habits passed on by our ancestors through the times of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire, the Inca – culture and traditions. Then we continue walking and arrive to Ollantaytambo that peaks from its archaeological sites a wide story of Andean history. Between 4 to 5pm, you will aboard the train straight to Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night there , you will have fantastic journey through the sacred valley of the Incas and the remote canyon of Vilcanota to Aguas Calientes village.

The train ride consist is an spectacular views along the way in this wonderful land of the Incas, amazing landscapes of mountains and valleys, Inca farming terraces, in both sides of the valley, snowcapped mountains, and sub-tropical jungle near the Ceja de Selva. From Pachar the sacred Vilcanota River. Aguas Calientes town is set in 2,040 mts and is the closest access point to Machu Picchu. After 1H/45 Minutes of journey along the cloud forest and once you arrive there, you will be picked up by our English speaking guide or our representative and then, you will be immediately transferred to Hotel for check in for the night there.

  • Meals : Buffet brekfast / Snack / lunch / & Dinner
  • Acommodation : Comfortable Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Maximum Altitude : 3,900 m
  • Minimum Altitude : 2,050m
  • Distance Travelled : 12 km approx
  • Approximate Walking Time: 7-8 hours

Day04: Private Guided tour to the WONDER of the world “Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu “ (Machu Picchu Montaña: Optional) (B)

This day, is one of the most important and interesting days during your whole trip, you will be picked up from your Hotel very early (BEFORE the BIRDS SING) our guide will meet you at your hotel between 4:30 to 5:00am to aboard the first touristic and shared bus to drop off you at the main door where you have to show your original PASSPORTS and ISIC Cards ( if applicable ) at the check point , and then try to be the first visitors inside of the wonder of the world Machu Picchu and the archaeological sites you will have complete guided tour during 2 to 3 hours of this spectacular mystical place. The GUIDED tour basically includes walk through the different sections such as: The Urban sector, the agriculture sector, and the religions zone was used by the Inca Culture. After the guided tour in Machu Picchu, you will have free time to explore by yourself, walk at your own space, a lot of selfies and to meet other tourists into the sanctuary.

According with the time and to your physical conditions, you can coordinate with the tour guide to climb to HUAYNA PICCHU or Machu Picchu Mountain from where you can have the best panoramic view for photos of all Machu Picchu and of deep green canyon surrounding the sacred Inca Citadel. Do not forget that this entrances, must be booked in advance and pay US$ 15 extra. Afternoon and depending on your train schedule back to Cusco, you will have to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Cusco. After the guided tour, our guide will give you all the instructions for your bus down and train back to Cusco. Upon your arrival to Poroy station, you will be meeting again by our staff and then transfer back to your Hotel. (Meals on your own)

Stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes town: Stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes? Yes, if you want to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes after the trek this can easily be arranged. We will purchase your train ticket to return to Cusco the following day. You need to let us know at the time of making the trek reservation so we can reserve your train tickets in advance. Obviously if you stay an extra night then you will have to pay for your accommodation which is US$75 per person at HOTEL LA CABAÑA OR Hotel Eco Machu Picchu Pueblo for $45 each person.

Tips:

After your dinner, try to sleep early and be ready for the glorious day in Machu Picchu the next day ... No alcohol & discos for now!!! Tonight, you will sleep at comfortable Hotel La Cabaña or another similar.

This trek takes us into the Lares region of the Peruvian Andes, passing green valleys, tranquil mountain lakes and high passes, with breathtaking views of snow-capped Andean peaks rising to just under 6,000 meters. Our route takes us through many small village communities that offer a rare & fascinating insight into traditional Andean life. Finally we make our way by train to Aguas Calientes and continue on to Machu-Picchu, the legendary Lost City of the Incas. We have plenty of time to explore this renowned and fascinating site, climb to Huayna Picchu, walk to Sun-Gate etc. This trek is a good alternative to the Inca Trail when permits are sold out!

HIGHLIGHTS of TOUR

  • Fantastic trip along highway until the starting point of the hike
  • Hot Springs in Lares Valley
  • High altitude and camping in the scenic Andes
  • Awesome views along the hike
  • Landscape in every camping site
  • Variety of Animals : Lamas / Alpacas / Huanacus
  • Archaeological site of Ollantaytambo
  • Comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Sunrise at Machu Picchu
  • Machu Picchu & HuaynaPicchu.
  • Cloud forest after the Andean hike

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING/CARRY

  • Original passport to be showed in the park control of Machu Picchu (Day 4).
  • Original and valid International Student Card (ISIC), only if you booked the trek as student.
  • Hiking boots (waterproof)in the dry season only sneakers
  • Long pants or slacks & Warm sleeping bag Minus 20ºC
  • A Daypack (for your personal porters we provide a duffle bag)
  • Long-sleeved shirts to prevent you from the sunburn.
  • T-shirts and Thermal underwear can be worn in the sleeping bag or cold conditions.
  • Warm clothes , layers for variable temperature especially at night
  • Sweaters and a jacket (something warm for the night).
  • Gloves or Mittens, scarf, Wool socks, Woolen hat for cold nights.
  • Rain wear or poncho for the rainy season December - April
  • Camera with extra batteries and flash light , head torch and extra batteries
  • Bottle of water, more bottle of water can be purchase at Aguas Calientes town.
  • Snack (dried fruits, chocolates, etc).
  • Insect repellent to protect you from mosquitoes along the Trail
  • Hat and sun block to protect you from the sun.
  • Personal toilette items and personal medical kit.
  • 2 Liter water bottle, disposable plastic bottles are forbidden along the hike.
  • Water purifying tablets optional, since we provide boiled water.
  • Bathing clothes for the hot springs in Lares and Aguas Calientes.
  • Extra money for drinks and tips , souvenirs in Soles
  • First Aid kit (Band-Aids,cotton,bandages,alcohol,aspirin,tablets for stomach troubles, medicines to avoid altitude sickness)
  • Big bottle of Oxygen for the highest mountain
  • Day pack is good to bring to carry your camera, water, rain jacket.
  • Swimsuit (On the last day there is possibilities to swim on the hot spring of Aguas Calientes – only if time permit).

VIDEO LARES TREK INFORMATION

Prices Valid for Trips through December 31, 2017

Pricing
Private service US$750 each person with the Hotel La Cabaña or another similar
Shared service US$ 650 each person with the Hotel La Cabaña or another similar

Our Price Included:

  • Pre-information night before of your Lares Trek by your guide
  • English-Speaking guide (two guides for groups over 6 people)
  • Private transport Cusco – Calca – Lares
  • Transport train station – Cusco hotel
  • Entrance fee to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
  • Horses to carry food and camping equipment only along the way.
  • Experienced cook and Cooking equipment
  • Teatime everyday (coffee, tea, popcorn, biscuit)
  • 2 nights of camping along the Lares Trek
  • 01 Night at the comfortable hotel in Aguas calientes
  • 4 capacity tent - 2 persons per tent with plenty space
  • Sleeping mattress and totally clean
  • All BUFFET meals on the trail ( VEGETARIAN OPTIONAL )
  • Water supply (boiled) after every dinner or breakfast time
  • Train ticket Ollantaytambo–Aguas Calientes–Cusco
  • Bus tickets Aguas C - Machu Picchu – Aguas calientes
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs.
  • Kitchen tent & Porters insurance
  • First Aid Kit and Oxygen bottle for emergency
  • Personalized service
  • Government sales (18%know as IGV )

Our Price does not include:

  • Entrance to the hot springs in Lares ( S/10)
  • Towel can be hired for $2 USD at the hot spring
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Tips for the guides, cooks, porters. It`s a tradition
  • Energy snack will be very useful as chocolate bars, dried fruits.
  • Personal expenses
  • Extra horse for your personal items (9 Kilos $ 70 / 18 Kilos $140 for whole trip )
  • Sleeping bags : to hire $30 (-15ºC)
  • Extra night at Aguas calientes ($45 & $70 )
  • Vistadome ( Luxury train $ 85 for round trip )
  • Entrance to Huaynapicchu $15 per person
  • Emergency horse to be ride in case you feel sick or tired
Stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes town: Stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes? Yes, if you want to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes after the trek this can easily be arranged. We will purchase your train ticket to return to Cusco the following day. You need to let us know at the time of making the trek reservation so we can reserve your train tickets in advance. Obviously if you stay an extra night then you will have to pay for your accommodation which is US$70 per person at HOTEL LA CABAÑA or Hotel Eco Machu Picchu Pueblo for $45 each person .

F.A.Q BY OUR CUSTOMERS

How do I book a trek? 

How do I book a trek? If you do wish to book an Inca Trail trip, we will need to confirm availability of the Inca Trail at the time of your enquiry. This will normally take no longer than 2 hours but please allow for 4 hours. If your enquiry is made after 5PM EST, we will only be able to confirm availability the next day. When availability has been confirmed, we can confirm the space for no longer than 24 hours after which time a new availability check will have to be made. If you wish to proceed and book your Inca trail trip, we strongly advise you do so within 4 hours of receiving availability confirmation but not after 24 hours. To book your trip, we shall require all your personal details such as : Name and last name / Passport number / Nationality and Age (otherwise no booking can be made) along with the completed booking form and the non refundable deposit payment. If these are not received within 24 hours of the availability check, the spaces will be automatically released and a new availability check will have to be made. We advise you book your Inca trail trek at least three months in advance. For treks between May and August, we recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. For certain treks such as the Salkantay, Lares, and other hikes, also is required booking in advance because we must buy the entrance to Machu Picchu—before—sold--out.

Is it true that they will close the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail will be closed during the month of February each year. The last group will depart on 31 January and the next group will start on 01 March. The closure is to allow conservation projects to take place, give an opportunity for camping facilities to be improved and to allow the vegetation to grow back. February is also the height of the wet season. The ruins of Machu Picchu will remain open as normal as will the train services between Cuzco and Machu Picchu. During February we can offer an alternative 4 day trek that starts from km82 and follows the Urubamba River until km104 where it climbs up to Wiñay Wayna and then on to Machu Picchu. This trek is picturesque but does not include visits to the Inca ruins at Runkurakay, Sayacmarka or Phuyupatamarca .

Can I trek the Inca Trail alone?

No. Trekkers have to trek using the services of a licensed tour operator.

Should I make a reservation for the trek in advance or wait until arriving in Cuzco?

Because of the numbers of persons permitted on the trek has been dramatically reduced it is advisable to make a reservation at least 3 months in advance for most months and at least 6 months in advance if wishing to trek between the months of May and August.

When is the best time to go?

The dry season from April to October is probably the most comfortable period as far as the weather is concerned. Even during these months you can still get a little rain. Ideally the month of May is perfect since there is little rain but the vegetation is still rich and lush. June, July and August are the 3 busy months and the numbers of trekkers has been limited so book well in advance. Although the weather is sunny during these months the temperature at night can drop considerably, falling to below freezing so be prepared. The months of November and December can still be very enjoyable with fewer trekkers. Expect at least one day of rain during this period. January and March can be very wet at times. However most of the rain falls late in the afternoon and at night so ensuring you have a good waterproof tent is all important. These months also correspond to Summer in Peru so the sun can be very strong and the nights generally mild. The Inca Trail for the entire duration of February.

Weather on the Inca Trail Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum Temperature °C 19 19 19 20 20 20 19 20 20 21 21 21
Minimum Temperature °C 7 7 6 5 3 0 0 2 4 6 6 6
Rainy Days 18 13 11 8 3 2 2 2 7 8 12 16
How safe is it on the Inca Trail?

Theft is very uncommon on the trail provided that you take basic precautions. Do not take any valuables with you that you don't need for the trek. Leave jewelers, large sums of money in your hotel safe (However you need to take your passport on the trek with some money for tips). Take plenty of plastic bags to wrap socks, boots, underwear and wet clothes in. Do not leave them outside of your tent at night (no matter how much they may smell!) or they may not be there in the morning. Carry your valuables in a money belt or neck pouch and keep items such as cameras and passports with you at all times especially at meal times.

What kind of drinking water is available?

You will come across a small stream or mountain spring every 90 minutes or so along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. Take a bottle of at least 1.5 liter capacities per person. Although the water is clear always use sterilizing tablets and follow the instructions. The sterilizing tablets 'MicroPur' can be bought in most pharmacies in Cuzco. With these tablets you have to wait at least 60 minutes before drinking. Also, we will boil water for you in the morning and at meal times. Bottled mineral water can also be taken from Cuzco or bought from local people at several places along the Inca Trail.

What are the toilets like along the trail?

Toilets have improved considerably in the last couple of years and all of the larger campsites have flush toilets and running water. We also provide our own chemical toilets for private use for your group only. On our Superior, Premium and Luxury treks we also provide portable showers.

How fit do I need to be to do the Inca Trail?

In brief, in good shape. It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail then it must be easy ... it isn't. The trail is 45km (26 miles) long and involves great physical exertion to complete. On the second day you climb nearly 1200m (about 4000 ft) in the morning. Combined with high altitude (lack of oxygen) and extreme weather (you can easily burn in the high altitude sun during the day and temperatures can drop to below freezing at night) the trek can be hard work. However all this suffering can make the final arrival at Machu Picchu all the more enjoyable In general if you take regular exercise and spend a few days acclimatizing to the altitude (which our programmers allow for) then you should be fine. If you are a regular walker and comfortable being on your feet for 7 hours per day, then you should complete the trek with nothing more than a few blisters and a great sense of achievement.

How much should I tip?

Deciding how much to tip the porters, the cook and guide is always a difficult moment at the end of the trek. In general, however, we would recommend taking an extra US$25-30 per person to cover tips. Try to take this amount in low denomination Peruvian Soles bills so that it can easily be divided amongst the porters, cook and guides. Remember the above figures are just a guide line.

Inca Trail Preparations

The maximum altitude reached is 4200m above sea level. On the second day of the trek you will climb nearly 1200m. Make no mistake, the Inca Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise. Try walking 15km in a day or go to the gym in the months leading up to the trek. The good news is that virtually everyone who starts the trek finishes it!.

Altitude Effects

At higher altitudes the air pressure becomes less and the air becomes thinner. This creates a shortage of oxygen for your body. This effect is noticeable at altitudes of over 3000m above sea level. Cuzco is at an altitude of 3400m and the highest point on the Inca trail is at 4200m. At this height a lungful gives you about 50% less oxygen than at sea level. To help compensate for this reduced amount of oxygen you have to breathe twice as fast and your heart has to work much harder to pump the oxygen around your body. Your body also tries to concentrate the number of red blood cells (which carry the oxygen). This is done by getting rid of excess fluid (urinating more frequently) and by producing more red blood cells although the latter process may take a week. On reaching heights above 3000m, heart pounding and shortness of breath are a normal response to the lack of oxygen in the air. However, for some visitors these symptoms can deteriorate into a conditions known as Soroche (or acute mountain sickness) when you can start to experience headaches, loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, sleeplessness and often nausea. Symptoms usually develop within the first day or two at altitude, but may be delayed by up to 2 weeks. To prevent Soroche, try to take things easy as soon as you arrive. Once settled in your hotel room has a lie down for a while and drinks plenty of fluids. Don't plan any strenuous treks until you've acclimatized for a few days. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food. Drinking mate de coca (an infusion of coca leaves) may help. If symptoms become more severe and prolonged it is best to quickly seek medical attention and make arrangements to descend to a lower altitude. On recovery one can re-ascend slowly or in stages. The drug Diamox is often used by many visitors to speed the acclimatization process and counter the symptoms of Soroche. It can now be purchased in most pharmacies in Cuzco.

What to Bring (Packing List)

Backpack (we will provide one if you forgot to bring it), sleeping bag (included on all superior, premium and luxury treks), rain jacket, strong footwear such as hiking boots with ankle support, one complete change of clothing, sweater, jacket (something warm), sterilizing tablets (Micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in Cuzco), flashlight and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunglasses and high factor sun protection, insect repellent, toiletries and toilet paper (we also provide this), camera and spare batteries (there is nowhere to charge your camera during the trek). We recommend that you buy a walking stick/trekking pole at the start of the trek which can also be taken with you as a memento. You also have to bring your original passport with you on the trek. Photocopies are not acceptable.

What does the company provide?

The company provides all camping equipment, communication equipment, chemical toilets, individual tents, dining tents, dining chairs, mattresses, all fresh food, cooking equipment, cooking gas, drinking water and portable showers. Sleeping bags and pillows are provided on all superior, premium and luxury treks along with a personal masseuse and yoga instructor. We also provide a cook, cook's assistant, and all porters to carry all equipment. A qualified English speaking guide who is trained in first aid with a portable oxygen tank will be the leader of the trek. On all Luxury treks, a company assistant will also be present to assure that a very high level of service is given. Please note that the personal tents are not in the same style as African safari tents due to the size and weight limitations that porters are allowed to carry. Everything available to you on this adventure will have been carried by the team of porters.

Porter's conditions

The working conditions of our porters are very important to us. We select porters who are not only reliable, hard working and honest but also who can play musical instruments, recite Quechua stories and sing Quechua songs. It is important that our porters are happy working for us and are committed to staying with the company for long term. To ensure this, we provide amongst the highest porter's salaries in the industry, we also provide comfortable working conditions, their own sleeping tent, individual mattresses and very good food, not the left- over's of the group. Our porters have recognized this and are the most company loyal porters in the entire region. We are proud of this and will continue to provide superior conditions for our porters, amongst the most hard working and diligent people we have ever come across.

F.A.Q BY OUR CUSTOMERS

How do I book a trek? 

How do I book a trek? If you do wish to book an Inca Trail trip, we will need to confirm availability of the Inca Trail at the time of your enquiry. This will normally take no longer than 2 hours but please allow for 4 hours. If your enquiry is made after 5PM EST, we will only be able to confirm availability the next day. When availability has been confirmed, we can confirm the space for no longer than 24 hours after which time a new availability check will have to be made. If you wish to proceed and book your Inca trail trip, we strongly advise you do so within 4 hours of receiving availability confirmation but not after 24 hours. To book your trip, we shall require all your personal details such as : Name and last name / Passport number / Nationality and Age (otherwise no booking can be made) along with the completed booking form and the non refundable deposit payment. If these are not received within 24 hours of the availability check, the spaces will be automatically released and a new availability check will have to be made. We advise you book your Inca trail trek at least three months in advance. For treks between May and August, we recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. For certain treks such as the Salkantay, Lares, and other hikes, also is required booking in advance because we must buy the entrance to Machu Picchu—before—sold--out.

Is it true that they will close the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail will be closed during the month of February each year. The last group will depart on 31 January and the next group will start on 01 March. The closure is to allow conservation projects to take place, give an opportunity for camping facilities to be improved and to allow the vegetation to grow back. February is also the height of the wet season. The ruins of Machu Picchu will remain open as normal as will the train services between Cuzco and Machu Picchu. During February we can offer an alternative 4 day trek that starts from km82 and follows the Urubamba River until km104 where it climbs up to Wiñay Wayna and then on to Machu Picchu. This trek is picturesque but does not include visits to the Inca ruins at Runkurakay, Sayacmarka or Phuyupatamarca .

Can I trek the Inca Trail alone?

No. Trekkers have to trek using the services of a licensed tour operator.

Should I make a reservation for the trek in advance or wait until arriving in Cuzco?

Because of the numbers of persons permitted on the trek has been dramatically reduced it is advisable to make a reservation at least 3 months in advance for most months and at least 6 months in advance if wishing to trek between the months of May and August.

When is the best time to go?

The dry season from April to October is probably the most comfortable period as far as the weather is concerned. Even during these months you can still get a little rain. Ideally the month of May is perfect since there is little rain but the vegetation is still rich and lush. June, July and August are the 3 busy months and the numbers of trekkers has been limited so book well in advance. Although the weather is sunny during these months the temperature at night can drop considerably, falling to below freezing so be prepared. The months of November and December can still be very enjoyable with fewer trekkers. Expect at least one day of rain during this period. January and March can be very wet at times. However most of the rain falls late in the afternoon and at night so ensuring you have a good waterproof tent is all important. These months also correspond to Summer in Peru so the sun can be very strong and the nights generally mild. The Inca Trail for the entire duration of February.

Weather on the Inca Trail Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum Temperature °C 19 19 19 20 20 20 19 20 20 21 21 21
Minimum Temperature °C 7 7 6 5 3 0 0 2 4 6 6 6
Rainy Days 18 13 11 8 3 2 2 2 7 8 12 16
How safe is it on the Inca Trail?

Theft is very uncommon on the trail provided that you take basic precautions. Do not take any valuables with you that you don't need for the trek. Leave jewelers, large sums of money in your hotel safe (However you need to take your passport on the trek with some money for tips). Take plenty of plastic bags to wrap socks, boots, underwear and wet clothes in. Do not leave them outside of your tent at night (no matter how much they may smell!) or they may not be there in the morning. Carry your valuables in a money belt or neck pouch and keep items such as cameras and passports with you at all times especially at meal times.

What kind of drinking water is available?

You will come across a small stream or mountain spring every 90 minutes or so along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. Take a bottle of at least 1.5 liter capacities per person. Although the water is clear always use sterilizing tablets and follow the instructions. The sterilizing tablets 'MicroPur' can be bought in most pharmacies in Cuzco. With these tablets you have to wait at least 60 minutes before drinking. Also, we will boil water for you in the morning and at meal times. Bottled mineral water can also be taken from Cuzco or bought from local people at several places along the Inca Trail.

What are the toilets like along the trail?

Toilets have improved considerably in the last couple of years and all of the larger campsites have flush toilets and running water. We also provide our own chemical toilets for private use for your group only. On our Superior, Premium and Luxury treks we also provide portable showers.

How fit do I need to be to do the Inca Trail?

In brief, in good shape. It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail then it must be easy ... it isn't. The trail is 45km (26 miles) long and involves great physical exertion to complete. On the second day you climb nearly 1200m (about 4000 ft) in the morning. Combined with high altitude (lack of oxygen) and extreme weather (you can easily burn in the high altitude sun during the day and temperatures can drop to below freezing at night) the trek can be hard work. However all this suffering can make the final arrival at Machu Picchu all the more enjoyable In general if you take regular exercise and spend a few days acclimatizing to the altitude (which our programmers allow for) then you should be fine. If you are a regular walker and comfortable being on your feet for 7 hours per day, then you should complete the trek with nothing more than a few blisters and a great sense of achievement.

How much should I tip?

Deciding how much to tip the porters, the cook and guide is always a difficult moment at the end of the trek. In general, however, we would recommend taking an extra US$25-30 per person to cover tips. Try to take this amount in low denomination Peruvian Soles bills so that it can easily be divided amongst the porters, cook and guides. Remember the above figures are just a guide line.

Inca Trail Preparations

The maximum altitude reached is 4200m above sea level. On the second day of the trek you will climb nearly 1200m. Make no mistake, the Inca Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise. Try walking 15km in a day or go to the gym in the months leading up to the trek. The good news is that virtually everyone who starts the trek finishes it!.

Altitude Effects

At higher altitudes the air pressure becomes less and the air becomes thinner. This creates a shortage of oxygen for your body. This effect is noticeable at altitudes of over 3000m above sea level. Cuzco is at an altitude of 3400m and the highest point on the Inca trail is at 4200m. At this height a lungful gives you about 50% less oxygen than at sea level. To help compensate for this reduced amount of oxygen you have to breathe twice as fast and your heart has to work much harder to pump the oxygen around your body. Your body also tries to concentrate the number of red blood cells (which carry the oxygen). This is done by getting rid of excess fluid (urinating more frequently) and by producing more red blood cells although the latter process may take a week. On reaching heights above 3000m, heart pounding and shortness of breath are a normal response to the lack of oxygen in the air. However, for some visitors these symptoms can deteriorate into a conditions known as Soroche (or acute mountain sickness) when you can start to experience headaches, loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, sleeplessness and often nausea. Symptoms usually develop within the first day or two at altitude, but may be delayed by up to 2 weeks. To prevent Soroche, try to take things easy as soon as you arrive. Once settled in your hotel room has a lie down for a while and drinks plenty of fluids. Don't plan any strenuous treks until you've acclimatized for a few days. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food. Drinking mate de coca (an infusion of coca leaves) may help. If symptoms become more severe and prolonged it is best to quickly seek medical attention and make arrangements to descend to a lower altitude. On recovery one can re-ascend slowly or in stages. The drug Diamox is often used by many visitors to speed the acclimatization process and counter the symptoms of Soroche. It can now be purchased in most pharmacies in Cuzco.

What to Bring (Packing List)

Backpack (we will provide one if you forgot to bring it), sleeping bag (included on all superior, premium and luxury treks), rain jacket, strong footwear such as hiking boots with ankle support, one complete change of clothing, sweater, jacket (something warm), sterilizing tablets (Micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in Cuzco), flashlight and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunglasses and high factor sun protection, insect repellent, toiletries and toilet paper (we also provide this), camera and spare batteries (there is nowhere to charge your camera during the trek). We recommend that you buy a walking stick/trekking pole at the start of the trek which can also be taken with you as a memento. You also have to bring your original passport with you on the trek. Photocopies are not acceptable.

What does the company provide?

The company provides all camping equipment, communication equipment, chemical toilets, individual tents, dining tents, dining chairs, mattresses, all fresh food, cooking equipment, cooking gas, drinking water and portable showers. Sleeping bags and pillows are provided on all superior, premium and luxury treks along with a personal masseuse and yoga instructor. We also provide a cook, cook's assistant, and all porters to carry all equipment. A qualified English speaking guide who is trained in first aid with a portable oxygen tank will be the leader of the trek. On all Luxury treks, a company assistant will also be present to assure that a very high level of service is given. Please note that the personal tents are not in the same style as African safari tents due to the size and weight limitations that porters are allowed to carry. Everything available to you on this adventure will have been carried by the team of porters.

Porter's conditions

The working conditions of our porters are very important to us. We select porters who are not only reliable, hard working and honest but also who can play musical instruments, recite Quechua stories and sing Quechua songs. It is important that our porters are happy working for us and are committed to staying with the company for long term. To ensure this, we provide amongst the highest porter's salaries in the industry, we also provide comfortable working conditions, their own sleeping tent, individual mattresses and very good food, not the left- over's of the group. Our porters have recognized this and are the most company loyal porters in the entire region. We are proud of this and will continue to provide superior conditions for our porters, amongst the most hard working and diligent people we have ever come across.

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