Inca Trail Trip Notes

Inca Trail

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Last Modified: 27 Sep 2016
Inca Trail
Trip code: GGTBC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to Peru and retrace the steps of the Inca, Peru's fascinating ancient civilisation. Follow Inca traditions from Lima to Cuzco, journey through the fertile heartland of the Sacred Valley, see the magnificent Ollantaytambo ruins before embarking on the ultimate adventure – trekking to Machu Picchu. This action-filled Peruvian tour gets you closer to the secrets of this elusive civilisation on a breathtaking adventure along the Inca Trail.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationAlternate finish point description
ThemesMeals introductionAlternate finish point instructions
Is this trip right for you?MealsEmergency contact
Why we love itMoney mattersVisas
MapSafetyWhat to take
ItineraryJoining pointClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerJoining point instructionsHealth
Physical ratingAlternate joining pointTravel insurance
Included activitiesAlternate joining point descriptionA couple of rules
Important notesAlternate joining point instructionsResponsible Travel
Group sizeFinish pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersAlternate finish pointFeedback
Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive into the country a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise.
- Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.
- Due to the high altitude in many places, the sun is unusually strong and it’s easy to get burnt. It’s important to wear sunscreen and other sun protection, and always drink plenty of water.
- This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you do the Inca trail, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness but there are also a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the trip notes for more information.
- For those who do the Inca trail, you'll be camping with basic facilities. It's not exactly the Hilton Hotel but the rewards of the trek are great.
Why we love it
- Lima’s grand colonial facades, Spanish houses and endless culture make it one of the prettiest cities to explore in Latin America. Adjust to the altitude with a pisco sour and some ceviche
- Machu Picchu may just be the greatest icon of ancient South America. There's a reason this site is so famous, and it has something to do with how truly amazing it is
- The Inca Trail is one of the best ways to approach Machu Picchu, along the way you'll see multiple Inca sites and beautiful landscapes
- Explore Cuzco, South America's oldest continuously inhabited city. The city has ancient foundations, an interesting blend of Inca and colonial influences and endless things to do and see
- The Sacred Valley is known for its steep and soaring scenery, its mystical significance for the Inca and the indigenous cultures that still reside here

Day 1 Lima
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, Peru. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

After the meeting, go on a walking tour of downtown Lima, one of the most beautiful cities in South America, and an optional dinner with your group. Be sure to get your hands in Peru's national dish of ceviche during your stay. As there's little time spent in Lima, you may like to arrive a few days early to see the sights, including the chic suburb of Miraflores, Central Park, Lovers' Park and the National Museum.

Notes: As this is a combination trip, your experience can be quite different to the other travellers. Some may start later in Cuzco and everyone will choose their own route to Machu Picchu, either by train or trekking. Also, due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Health' sections in the trip notes for detailed information.
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Pachacamac Tour (30 km from downtown) - USD37
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Cuzco
    This morning, take a short flight from Lima to Cuzco. Cuzco is the region's oldest continuously inhabited city, built on foundations left by the Inca and dominated by beautiful colonial architecture. Spend a little time acclimatising to the high altitude (3,450 m) and then go on a guided tour of the city led by a local expert. You’ll be taken through the Plaza de Armas, the lavish cathedral, and led through the Coca Museum and San Pedro Market. You might feel overwhelmed by all there is to see in Cuzco, but there’ll be more time for you to go exploring at the end of the trip.
    Included Activities
    • Cuzco - Coca Museum
    • Cuzco - Orientation Walk
      Optional Activities
      • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN135
      • Cuzco - Cathedral Visit - PEN25
      • Cuzco - City tour - USD15
      • Cuzco - Coricancha Archeological Site, guided tour - PEN15
      • Cuzco - Mountain biking - USD35
      • Cusco Ruins & Market Walking Urban Adventure - USD70
      • Cusco Pisco Making Urban Adventure - USD45
      • Sacred Valley In Depth Urban Adventure - Free
        Hotel (1 nt)
        1 breakfast
        Day 3 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
        Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley for about two hours today. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the valley has been a source of livelihood to the locals for hundreds of years. You’ll see maize crops covering the terraced valley walls and the sacred river beneath. For lunch, visit a community that live in the valley and learn about the local lifestyle and language. If it’s market day, you may have the opportunity to browse the local handicrafts, such as beads and ponchos. Continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo where you’ll spend the night.

        If there’s time, you may like to see the town’s archaeological site, which includes remnants of an Inca city and soaring views over the present-day settlement.
        Included Activities
        • Sacred Valley - Local community visit
          Optional Activities
          • Ollantaytambo - Archeological site - PEN70
            Hotel (1 nt)
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch
            Day 4 Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
            Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be doing one of the following: hiking the Classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cuzco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cuzco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cuzco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (6 kg maximum).

            Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cuzco and only travel with the necessary items during the excursion by train.

            Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
            Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometres marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

            Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometres long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

            Route 2 Quarry Trail:
            Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

            Notes: The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

            Route 3 Train:
            After spending the night in the Ollantaytambo, leave around 9.30 am and take a short drive to the town of Pisac. Pisac is well known for its market. Here you’ll have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs and perhaps try some local Empanadas. Arrive back into Cusco in the afternoon, where your leader will take you to San Pedro Market in order to buy some things for a picnic tomorrow. In the late afternoon, you’ll have an option to visit the Choco Museum where you can try some artisanal chocolate that is prepared in-house from cacao beans into a chocolate bar. Be sure to sample some of the delicious hot chocolate.

            Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
            Included Activities
            • Trek - 3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night / 3 Day Quarry Trail)
              Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 5 Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
              Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
              This is the most challenging day of the trek, as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

              Route 2 Quarry Trail:
              This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, which is only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

              Route 3 Train:
              Today, take a taxi to Tambomachay, an archaeological site just outside of Cuzco. From here you’ll take a short downhill walk (between one and three hours) back to Cuzco. On the way, stop to admire some of the archaeological sites including Puka Pukara, Qinqu Quenqo and Saksaywaman. Arrive back in Cuzco in the afternoon and enjoy some free time to go shopping, or perhaps visit Merida, Mendivil and Olave art galleries and workshops. Your tour leader will be able to give you some suggestions or point you in the right direction.

              Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
              Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 6 Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
              Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
              Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as the 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

              Route 2 Quarry Trail:
              Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

              Route 3 Train:
              After a drive to Ollantaytambo (about one and a half hours), catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (another one and a half hours). The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour the following day. Otherwise, you can while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs in Aguas Calientes.

              Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
              Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 7 Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option (Machu Picchu)
              Route 1 Inca Trail:
              This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station, and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over Machu Pichu, ‘Lost City of the Incas’, as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists).

              Route 2 Quarry Trail:
              Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu (around 30 minutes). At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular sunrise over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

              Route 3 Train:
              Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cuzco.

              For all trails - after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well-deserved shower and a pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.

              Notes: Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.

              Hotel (1 nt)
              1 breakfast
              Day 8 Cuzco
              Your tour comes to an end today and there are no activities planned. As there was little time spent in Cuzco at the start of the trip, you may like to stay on for a few extra days to make the most of your visit here. We’ll be happy to assist in booking accommodation. Visit some of the sites you didn’t cover during your orientation tour at the beginning of the trip, such as the Inca ruins of Coricancha, Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

              Perhaps buy a boleto turistico (tourism ticket) and gain access to the many fascinating museums here such as the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum.  
              Optional Activities
              • Cusco Ruins & Market Walking Urban Adventure - USD70
              • Cusco Pisco Making Urban Adventure - USD45
              • Sacred Valley In Depth Urban Adventure - Free
              • Zipline- Sacred Valley - PEN165
                1 breakfast
                Itinerary disclaimer
                Physical rating

                Included activities
                Cuzco - Coca Museum
                Cuzco - Orientation Walk
                Sacred Valley - Local community visit
                Trek - 3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night / 3 Day Quarry Trail)
                Important notes
                SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
                A single supplement is available on trip. This includes the Inca Trail where a single tent will be provided.

                INCA TRAIL PERMITS
                Inca Trail permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavour to secure a permit for you.

                If Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Inca Quarry Trail instead.

                The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Inca Quarry Trail.

                Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

                Group size
                Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                Your fellow travellers
                SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                Camping (with basic facilities) (3nt), Hotel (4nt)
                Meals introduction
                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.

                DIET REQUIREMENTS
                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 stools, markets, etc.

                More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, 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.

                Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

                SIMPLE BREAKFAST
                Some of the included breakfasts along this trip can be quite simple: toasts, spreads, juice and coffee or tea.
                7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
                Money matters
                When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller 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).

                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.

                EMERGENCY FUNDS
                We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

                CREDIT CARD & ATMS
                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.

                ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout this trip (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. 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.

                Traveller cheques have become less accepted and generally quite cumbersome to exchange. The best “Plan B” is to carry USD100 – USD200 in small notes in case of an eventuality (your bank card doesn’t work, you are unable to withdraw funds, etc.)

                DEPARTURE TAX:
                In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

                Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.

                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.

                Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.

                TIPPING GUIDE

                To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

                - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

                - Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day.

                - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

                - Porters: While on the Inca Trail and the Quarry Trail, we suggest PEN80-120 for all porters, assistants and cook per person per trek.

                - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
                Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service 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 areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery 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, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. 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.

                For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:


                While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
                In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

                SEAT BELTS:
                Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                HIKING IN PERU
                In accordance with local laws governing tourism in Peru, trekking groups of up to and including 8 trekkers will be led by one local guide. The evacuation of an injured traveller in normal conditions may take more than 8 hours. For your own safety, it's crucial that you adhere to the local guide's safety instructions, particularly in regard to how to prevent trekkers getting separated or lost. Your leader will also conduct a brief safety discussion before our trekking activity.

                LIMA AIRPORT WARNING
                For safety reasons, we strongly recommend that during transfers in Lima all of your luggage, including hand luggage and valuables, is stored out of sight in the rear boot of the vehicle.
                Joining point
                Monte Real Hotel
                Calle 27 de Noviembre 169-189
                Phone: +511 2414100
                Joining point instructions
                The best way to get from Lima's International Airport Jorge Chavez to Lima city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxi counters. We recommend you take Taxi Green services. They will charge you 50 PEN (Soles) for a trip to Lima’s downtown.

                The following will be useful in getting to the hotel:
                Por favor lléveme al Hotel Monte Real, que se encuentra en la Calle 27 de Noviembre 169-189 en Miraflores.
                Alternate joining point
                For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                26 Oct 2016 (GGTBC161026), 12 Nov 2016 (GGTBC161112), 28 Dec 2016 (GGTBC161228)
                Hotel El Faro Inn
                857 Francia St.
                Alternate joining point description
                Alternate joining point instructions
                The best way to get from Lima's International Airport, Jorge Chavez to Lima city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxis. We recommend you take the green taxi (Taxi Verde) services. They will charge you PEN 50 (Soles) for a trip to Miraflores.

                The following will be useful in getting to the hotel:
                Por favor lleveme al Hostal El Faro Inn, que se encuentra en Calle Francia 857 en Miraflores, a dos cuadras del Faro de Miraflores.
                Alternate joining point
                For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                05 Oct 2016 (GGTBC161005)
                Hotel La Castellana
                Grimaldo del Solar 222
                Alternate joining point description
                Alternate joining point instructions
                The best way to get from Lima's International Airport, Jorge Chavez to Lima city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxis. We recommend you take the green taxi (Taxi Verde) services. They will charge you PEN 50 (Soles) for a trip to Miraflores.
                Alternate joining point
                For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                14 Nov 2016 (GGTBC1611142), 28 Nov 2016 (GGTBC1611282), 03 Dec 2016 (GGTBC1612032), 12 Dec 2016 (GGTBC1612122), 17 Dec 2016 (GGTBC1612172)
                Hotel El Tambo I
                1276 La Paz Ave - Miraflores
                Phone: +51 12194080
                Alternate joining point description
                Alternate joining point instructions
                Alternate joining point
                For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                03 Oct 2016 (GGTBC1610032)
                El Tambo Dos de Mayo Hotel
                494 - 2 de Mayo Ave - Miraflores
                Phone: +51 12413130
                Alternate joining point description
                Alternate joining point instructions
                Finish point
                Hotel Awkis Dream
                Calle Collacalle Nº 310 - 312
                Phone: 084 221521
                Fax: 084 234085
                Alternate finish point
                For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                26 Oct 2016 (GGTBC161026), 12 Nov 2016 (GGTBC161112), 28 Dec 2016 (GGTBC161228)
                Hotel Emperador Plaza
                377 Santa Catalina Ancah St.
                Alternate finish point description
                Alternate finish point instructions
                Emergency contact
                While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at

                In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.

                In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency in Peru or Bolivia, Intrepid's Peru Operations Office can be reached on:

                Intrepid Peru office:: +51 9 9605 5559
                As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking.
                Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
                Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                Also remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.
                What to take
                What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. 

                Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although a small suitcase with wheels is ok too. 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 short walking distances (max 30 minutes).

                In terms of weight, keep in mind that if you are flying domestically (either on this itinerary or during your personal time) airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage.

                Finally, you'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc. for day trips.

                Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:


                Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document
                Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
                Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
                Money belt and small padlocks
                Personal medication
                Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
                Torch/flashlight (your phone’s may suffice)
                Electrical adapter plug (view
                Toiletries/travel wipes
                Insect repellent
                Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
                Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
                Refillable water bottle
                Phrase book
                Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
                Wind and waterproof rain jacket
                Travel Towel
                Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
                Camera with spare memory card and charger/batteries
                Swimwear (dependent on itinerary)
                Emergency fund as mentioned in the Money Matters section
                Clothes! Bear in mind that laundry facilities are widely available throughout this trip. The cost varies between USD1 to USD3 (approx.) per kilo and it can normally be dropped off and picked the same day.

                SLEEPING BAGS
                It’s not essential that you bring a sleeping bag for any of our trips however on some itineraries we will recommend either bringing one from home or hiring one on the ground. If this is the case it will be mentioned in the ‘region specific’ packing list.

                PERU TREK PACKING LIST
                In addition to the general packing list above, please ensure you bring these items if you are trekking in Peru.

                You MUST take your passport, a photocopy is not sufficient. It's important the passport matches the details your provided us when booking this trip (Keep it in a plastic bag in case of rain)

                Sleeping bag:  
                You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the trek. Sleeping bags can be hired for US20-25, please let your Tour Leader know at the trek briefing. A four season (or -10) bag is recommended especially for the winter months. At other times you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -5) bag although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given as a guideline only.

                Silk sleeping bag liner:
                Especially recommended if you plan to hire a sleeping bag but can also give your own bag added warmth.

                Trek Poles:
                Trek poles are not requires, it's a personal preference. We recommend hiring these at the pre-trek briefing for approximately US$10 as it will save you carting them around for the remainder of your travels.

                Day Pack:
                A day bag that has easy access to water bottles (external side pockets) or a day pack with a built in hydration bladder. This bag only needs to be large enough to hold the few things you need during the day (hat, water, camera, snacks, rain jacket etc)

                Water bottle:
                You should be carrying at least 2 litres of water daily, while trekking. Depending on whether you have a hydration bladder in your bag or not we recommend bringing two (1 litre) bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied daily.

                Waterproof, well worn-in walking boots: 
                Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well-worn in pair!

                Walking clothing in layers:
                (E.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts). It’s a personal choice as to how many items you bring however please remember there’s a 5kg limit. We recommend the following;

                • 2 Pairs of long Walking Trousers (Zip off are a very hand
                  choice but not a necessity)
                • 2 T-shirts
                • 1 Pair of shorts
                • Rain Jacket or Poncho (Poncho can be purchased locally
                  for a $2-3)
                • 4-5 Pairs of Thick socks

                Warm clothing for night time:
                Fleece, long pants, woollen hat, gloves.

                Thermal underwear:
                Thermal wear is highly recommended, being light, warm and will keep you warm at night.

                Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat

                Personal medication and basic first aid kit: 
                Band-Aids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration sachets.

                Camera and spare batteries, memory cards or film: 
                Please note: there are no electrical outlets on the trek so make sure you fully charge and or have spare batteries.

                Chocolates, chips, biscuits, energy bars. Snacks are provided during the trek but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case. If you have a dietary requirement then be recommend bringing some suitable snacks from home. We will accommodate you for Breakfast, lunch and dinner however for snacks it’s recommended to bring some just to be safe.

                Head torch or Standard Torch (flash-light)
                (Very Important) and spare batteries.

                Tropical strength insect repellent.

                Antiseptic hand gel.

                Flip-flops / thongs / jandals: 
                If you wish to have a shower on the third night and to wear around camp after a long day of trekking.

                Ear Plugs:
                In case your tent ‘roomie’ is a snorer.

                Plastic bags: 
                To keep your belongings and clothes dry (wrap everything in plastic bags).

                Toilet paper: 
                Most important! Also small plastic bags or zip lock bags for rubbish which can then be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters. Please don’t dispose of your toilet paper on the ground!

                Wet wipes and or Face wipes:
                These are an essential and will come in handy after a long day of trekking and no showers.

                Small towel and basic personal toiletries:
                On the third night of both the Inca Trail and the Quarry there is an opportunity to have a shower so bring travel size shampoo and shower gel if you would like.
                Climate and seasonal information
                If it rains heavily for a number of consecutive days the terrain on the third campsite (Wiñaywayna) can become unstable increasing the danger of landslides. In such instances, the number of safe camping spots is outnumbered by the number campers. This could occur mostly during the wet season (December to March) although it could also happen at any time of the year.
                If that’s the case, some groups will spend the third night at a campsite in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town).
                This decision is made by Inca trail local authorities using a lottery type system (Intrepid has no control over this lottery process)
                Since there may be hotel availability nearby the Aguas Calientes campsite, you can choose to upgrade to a hotel at your own expense.
                We can provide you an insurance letter in this case in order to lodge a travel insurance claim for any incidental costs.
                All Intrepid travellers 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 cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves 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 and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                The World Health Organization has identified the following mosquito transmitted diseases in this region:

                Dengue, Yellow Fever, Malaria and Zika (amongst others)

                For more information, please visit

                Zika virus.
                According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in parts of Central and South America. This virus is mostly concerning to pregnant women as recently in Brazil local authorities have linked the virus to an increase in babies born with microcephaly (smaller than normal skull).
                In addition to the risk mentioned above WHO have reported that Zika symptoms may include mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
                In line with the above, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip to Central and South America.
                At this stage, WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to the Zika virus.
                More information on the Zika virus can be found at the following links:
                World Health Organisation:

                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.

                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. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

                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.

                Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

                Travel insurance
                Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen 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 credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                A couple of rules
                Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                Responsible Travel
                We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                The Intrepid Foundation
                Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:


                Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Peru include:

                * Living Heart - Focuses on improving the education, nutrition and health of disadvantaged Andean women and children near Cusco. Currently they provide free breakfasts, assist local schools with educational supplies and organise visits by doctors and nurses. They are also raising funds to build homes for orphaned children and abused women and children.

                * Kusimayo - Improves the living conditions of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in one of Peru’s poorest regions: the high plains of Puno. They provide daily nutritious breakfasts for a number of pre-schools in the area, as well as educational material, hygiene kits and basic kitchenware.
                Take a look at this short video for more info - may melt your heart! -

                *Project Peru - Aims to break the circle of poverty, offering opportunities through education, independence through responsibility, and dignity through employment. All of the staff in Peru are from the local community and are paid and treated with equality and respect.

                After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.