FAQs on the 7 Days INCA TRAIL and SALKANTAY TREK
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
We try to make booking as easy as possible at Pacha Peru Explorers. We need a booking form that is completed and includes all details for the entire party on one form please, and then a $300 deposit per person. We will then book your permits. When permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% set. All start dates, once confirmed, are guaranteed.
Only licensed Inca Trail tour operators, like Pacha Peru Explorers, can obtain permits from the government. Once your permit is secured, the name and start date can not be changed, under any circumstance. The only information the government permits us to change is the passport numbers.
UPDATING PASSPORT NUMBERS
The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any government issue ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same. Also, make sure your passport does not expire six months or less from your trip.
HOW TO GET TO CUSCO
Most people will get to Cusco by air. Please remember that the Cusco airport is for domestic travel only. If you come directly from overseas through Lima, you must get your bags in Lima and re-check them for your flight to Cusco. Four airline carriers fly roundtrip between Lima and Cusco. That includes LATAM Airlines, AVIANCA Airlines, Star Peru, and Peruvian Airlines. They all offer similar schedules and in-flight service, but we usually recommend either LATAM airlines or AVIANCA. They tend to be the most helpful when unexpected flight cancellations or delays occur.
WHERE TO STAY IN CUSCO
While you can stay at any hotel in Cusco, the city is becoming more challenging to navigate by car. Many roads, especially near the main square, are open to pedestrian traffic only. We will notify you if it is not possible to pick you up by car and arrange another meeting point for pick up/drop off. For a list of recommended hotels, please ask your Pacha Peru Explorers sales rep.
CAN I STAY IN THE SACRED VALLEY
Ollantaytambo is the best place to stay other than Cusco. By staying in Ollantaytambo, you get a little more sleep, because we will pick you up about 1.5 hours after the Cusco pick up time. You can only have your briefing in Cusco. So please arrange a time that works for you and our office team with your Pacha Peru Explorers sales rep.
CAN I SPEND AN EXTRA NIGHT IN AGUAS CALIENTES
Of course, if you are ok with taking the same train out of Aguas Calientes that is part of your original itinerary, which is typically at 4:22 that evening than there is no additional charge to move the train back a day. If you need us to secure your hotel or another visit to Machu Picchu, this will be an additional cost. If you do choose to spend one more night in Aguas Calientes, make sure you tell the Pacha Peru Explorers office at least one month in advance, so your train ticket is purchased for the right day.
WHAT TYPE OF ELECTRICAL OUTLETS ARE USED IN PERU
Most hotels and even homes in Peru now have the standard US outlet and also the South American outlet.
DURING YOUR TRIP
HOW CHALLENGING IS THE TREK
While you don’t need any specific training to do the 4 Day Inca Trail, being fit will help. The best preparation for the trek is treadmill exercises with steep inclines and stairs. The second day will be your toughest day, as you will climb up two peaks that day.
DO YOU NEED HIKING BOOTS
We always recommend light hiking boots if possible. Ones with ankle support are extra helpful, especially for the inexperienced hiker. Because you will be climbing down so many steps created by the Incas, now uneven and at varying heights, the extra support helps from twisting your ankles.
SHOULD I USE WALKING STICKS
Walking sticks are always helpful to trekkers, but particularly on this trek. There are so many stairs that you will walk down and all made by the Incas 400 years ago. They vary in height and are not all straight. Using walking sticks can help take the pressure off your knees while doing this portion of the trail. Plus they will help you get up the mountain as well. All our walking sticks are expandable black diamond poles that can be folded up and tied to your bag when you are not using them. For those who are bringing your own, make sure you have rubber tips, or the rangers will not allow you to use them. Rubber tips can be purchased in Cusco if you forget before you leave.
WHERE DO I STORE MY LUGGAGE
All of your luggage is not needed for the trek and should stay in Cusco. All hotels are very accommodating and quite used to storing luggage on-site, or you can safely store with the Pacha Peru Explorers team.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AS FAR AS WEATHER
Please understand that this is an impossible question for us to answer. Historically April through September is the dry season, November through February is the rainy season and March and October and bridge months – a mixture of both. But the clouds have not followed these rules in the last few years. Prepare for sun and rain no matter when you come. As far as temperatures go, that is consistent throughout the year. Mornings and evenings are always cold. Make sure to bring a fleece jacket for the mornings and a down jacket for the evenings. Once the sun is up you should be comfortable hiking and touring Machu Picchu in short sleeves. Long pants (yoga or hiking) are encouraged to help from the mosquitos which can be a nuisance in Aguas Calientes.