Inca Trail Express Trip Notes

Inca Trail Express

Last Modified: 21 Apr 2016
Inca Trail Express
Trip code: GGTA
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to Peru to retrace the steps of the Inca, Peru's fascinating ancient civilisation. Follow the Inca from Cuzco, through the fertile heartland of the Sacred Valley and to the magnificent Ollantaytambo ruins before the ultimate adventure – trekking to Machu Picchu. This action-filled express Peruvian tour gets you closer to the secrets of this elusive civilisation on a breathtaking adventure along the Inca Trail.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesAlternate finish point instructions
ThemesMeals introductionEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?MealsVisas
Why we love itMoney mattersWhat to take
MapGroup leaderClimate and seasonal information
ItinerarySafetyHealth
Itinerary disclaimerJoining pointTravel insurance
Physical ratingAlternate joining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesAlternate joining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Important notesAlternate joining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersAlternate finish point
AccommodationAlternate finish point description
Style
Original
Themes
Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.
- 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
- This trip allows you to choose how you want to approach Machu Picchu. Hike the Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or relax and take the train
- You'll have plenty of free time to explore the greatest icon of ancient South America, Machu Picchu. Take a guided tour and then wander around it at your own pace
- 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
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Cuzco
Welcome to Cuzco, Peru. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 12 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.

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 to the Coca Museum and San Pedro Market. You might feel overwhelmed by all there is to see in Cuzco, but there will be more time for you to go exploring at the end of the trip.

Notes: As this is a combination trip, your experience can be quite different to the other travellers. Some will have started earlier in Lima and everyone will choose their own route to Machu Picchu, either by train or trekking. 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.
Included Activities
  • Coca Museum
  • Orientation Walk - Cuzco
    Optional Activities
    • Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN135
    • Cathedral Visit - PEN25
    • City tour - Cuzco - USD15
    • Coricancha Archeological Site - Cuzco - PEN12
    • Mountain biking - USD35
    • Cusco Ruins & Market Walking Urban Adventure - USD70
    • Cusco Pisco Making Urban Adventure - USD45
    • Sacred Valley In Depth Urban Adventure - Free
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 2 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
      Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley for about two hours. 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
      • Private bus to Sacred Valley and local community visit
        Optional Activities
        • Ollantaytambo Ruins - PEN70
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch
          Day 3 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 kilometre 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
          • 3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or Quarry Trail) and a guided tour of Machu Picchu
            Accommodation
            Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
            Day 4 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 high). 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, 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.
            Accommodation
            Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
            Day 5 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 '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 at Aguas Calientes.

            Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
            Accommodation
            Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
            Day 6 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. The journey takes 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.
            Included Activities
            • Machu Picchu guided tour
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 7 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 (subject to availability). If you decide to stay on, visit some of the sites you didn’t cover during your orientation tour at the beginning of the trip. These may include the Inca ruins of Coricancha, Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

              Notes: You may want to consider purchasing a Boleto Turistico (tourism ticket) It gains access to the many fascinating museums here such as the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum (transport & guides not included).
              Please speak with your tour leader about this for more details.
              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
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Itinerary disclaimer
                ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

                DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS: Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout South America, however Peru in particular. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. Intrepid does everything possible for these changes to be at little or no extra cost; however in such circumstances we find that travellers need to access part of, or the entire, emergency fund. Please read below for more information on this trip's emergency fund.

                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. This particularly occurs during the wet season, December-January however could be any time of the year. If that is the case, and with your, your leader and porter’s safety in mind, your trek leader may make a decision for the group to descend and camp Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) for the night. You leader may offer you (if available) an option 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 for any incidental costs.
                Physical rating

                On Day 2 of the Inca Trail or Quarry Trek you will be walking uphill from 3000 to 4500 metres above sea level before descending steeply through big steps and difficult terrain. While this demanding walk is the main challenge our passengers face on this trip, it's also one of the highlights and worth every minute of it.

                We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.
                Included activities
                Coca Museum
                Orientation Walk - Cuzco
                Private bus to Sacred Valley and local community visit
                3 Night / 4 Day Inca Trail (or Quarry Trail) and a guided tour of Machu Picchu
                Machu Picchu guided tour
                Important notes
                SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS
                A single supplement is available on this 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 (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/sites/default/files/pdf/inca_quarry_trail.pdf) 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. (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/sites/default/files/pdf/inca_quarry_trail.pdf)

                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
                GROUP TRAVEL
                As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                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.

                COMBINATION TRIP:
                Please note that this trip is part of a combination trip. Some of your fellow travellers may start this journey in Lima, may hike a different trek (or not hike at all) and/or may continue travelling to the Amazon Jungle
                Accommodation
                Camping (with basic facilities) (3nt), Hotel (3nt)
                Due to energy supply and timing provisions being limited in some places, please be prepared for some cold showers.

                A single supplement is available on this trip. This includes the Inca Trail, where a single tent will be provided.
                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 others 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.
                Meals
                6 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.
                Ok
                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.)

                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.
                Group leader
                All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                Safety
                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:

                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.

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

                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.
                Joining point
                Hotel Awkis Dream
                Calle Collacalle Nº 310 - 312
                Cusco
                Cuzco
                PERU
                Phone: 084 221521
                Fax: 084 234085
                Alternate joining point
                For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                07 May 2016 (GGTA160507), 14 Jul 2016 (GGTA160714), 28 Jul 2016 (GGTA160728), 15 Sep 2016 (GGTA160915), 27 Oct 2016 (GGTA161027), 13 Nov 2016 (GGTA161113), 29 Dec 2016 (GGTA161229)
                Hotel Emperador Plaza
                377 Santa Catalina Ancah St.
                Cuzco
                Cuzco
                PERU
                Alternate joining point description
                Alternate joining point instructions
                Finish point
                Hotel Awkis Dream
                Calle Collacalle Nº 310 - 312
                Cusco
                Cuzco
                PERU
                Phone: 084 221521
                Fax: 084 234085
                Alternate finish point
                For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                07 May 2016 (GGTA160507), 14 Jul 2016 (GGTA160714), 28 Jul 2016 (GGTA160728), 15 Sep 2016 (GGTA160915), 27 Oct 2016 (GGTA161027), 13 Nov 2016 (GGTA161113), 29 Dec 2016 (GGTA161229)
                Hotel Emperador Plaza
                377 Santa Catalina Ancah St.
                Cuzco
                Cuzco
                PERU
                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 www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

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


                Intrepid Peru office:: +51 9 9605 5559
                Visas
                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.


                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.
                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. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                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 handle it at airports, in/out accommodation and perhaps even short walking distances.

                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:


                ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST

                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
                Daypack
                Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
                Torch/flashlight (your phone’s may suffice)
                Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
                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.


                Please see our detailed packing list specifically for trekking in Peru-
                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/sites/default/files/intrepid_marketing/114818_Peru_packing_list_LR.pdf
                Climate and seasonal information
                WEATHER:
                The wet season in this region is from December to March when heavy rains can cause disruptions to ground transport. Intrepid will monitor any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to natural weather occurrences.
                Health
                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 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.

                WHO – WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

                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 www.who.int


                “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: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/”


                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:

                http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
                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.

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                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.

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

                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:

                http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                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.

                Feedback
                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.

                http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback

                Was this page helpful?