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Hike the Inca Highlights

$1,275$2,100

5.00 out of 5

Experience the best Inca sites on day hikes around Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu, then relax in in comfortable, local boutique hotels at night. You will experience Peru like no other tourists and you will even get to hike the last day of the Inca Trail to arrive to Machu Picchu on foot via the Gate of the Sun, just like the Incas did centuries ago.  World-class guides will entertain you and enhance your understanding of what you are seeing, giving you a very complete Inca Peru experience.

Trip Length: 6 Days
Destination: Cusco, the Sacred Valley, & Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
Lodging: 3-Star or 3-Star Plus Hotels
Activities: Day hikes, Inca ruins

Click button below to request trip details and check available dates.

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WHY THIS TRIP

Hike the best trails around Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and then enter Machu Picchu on foot via the Gate of the Sun on the 1-Day Inca Trail Trek, even when permits for the full Inca Trail trek are sold out. Each day you will hike along little known Inca Trails and learn about the fascinating cultures of Peru, both past and present. These moderate hikes show you all the main sites of the area, but allow you to walk away from the crowds and see the real Peru that lies beyond. At the end of each day you can relax in comfortable local hotels. World-class guides will enhance your understanding of what you are seeing, giving you a very complete Inca Peru experience.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Arrive to Machu Picchu on foot via the Gate of the Sun, even if permits are sold out for the full Inca Trail trek
  • Hiking on Inca trails
  • Exploring the popular and lesser know Inca sites with your knowledgeable local guide
  • Relaxing each night at a comfortable hotel
  • Early morning and a full day at Machu Picchu
  • Experiencing the culture of Peru, both past and present

After being met at the Cusco airport, you  will begin the trip with a local’s guide to Peru, a short walking tour of colonial Cusco to help you get your bearings in this fascinating city, and also to help you adjust to the high altitude.

On Day 2 you will hike in the hills above Cusco to explore the impressive site of Sacsayhuaman where huge stone rampart surround a beautiful grass amphitheater. Next is the Inca water temple of Tambo Machay where you will enjoy a special picnic lunch. After checking out the Temple of the Moon you will descend a beautifully preserved section of royal Inca Trail back into Cusco.

You will hike to the circular ruins of Moray on Day 3, as you begin your journey towards Machu Picchu. The concentric circular terraces her3e were used as an experimental agricultural center by the Inca. From there you walk downhill through a series of fields where you may get to stop and chat with local farmers digging in their corn fields or planting potatoes, ending up in the Sacred Valley.

Day 4 takes you to the Pisac Ruins, high above the modern village of Pisac, home to a local market and Artisan stalls. You will hike around the ruins of Pisac and in the afternoon you will have time to explore the ruins and village of Ollantaytambo.

Next you catch the train towards Machu Picchu, where you get off at Kilometer 104 to begin the final stretch of the trek along the world famous Inca Trail, passing restored ruins and eventually arriving at the entrance to Machu Picchu at the Gate of the Sun. You will hike past perhaps the prettiest part of the Inca Trail, hiking on Inca stairways and through the tropical cloud forest. At Machu Picchu you will enjoy the overview from the Gate of the Sun, but then will head down to a hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo where you have the evening free to explore the extensive artisan market and lively bars and restaurants.

The next morning you explore the pinnacle of Inca engineering – Machu Picchu. You will arrive early, allowing you to explore the ruins in the company of your guide, before they get too busy. The guided tour takes around two hours leaving you a few hours free to wander amongst the old Inca walls and just sit and take in the scale of the place on your own. For those who want to walk a bit more, you could hike to visit the Inca Bridge which once spanned a sheer cliff face. Later you return via train and bus to Cusco along the spectacular Urubamba River.

Your final day is a free day in Cusco, the  old Inca capital, to enjoy all that this city has to offer. Museums, chocolate making classes, souvenir hunting or even just sitting in one of the many cafes and watching the world go by. Finally you are taken to the airport for your flight home or on to the Amazon rainforest, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, or other destinations.

LOCAL PROVIDER: AMAZONAS EXPLORER

For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.

Click the “+” to see details

DAY 1: Arrive in Cusco & Local’s Tour of Cusco

Welcome to Cusco- touch down, collect your luggage and meet your guide, then drive twenty minutes through the colourful South American streets to your hotel.

Meet in the Coffee Museum at 1pm to enjoy a tasty lunch and learn about the story and people behind this popular drink.

After lunch step out into the Cusco streets and explore with one of our carefully chosen guides. They are not only very knowledgeable but also great fun to be with. You do not want to cram too much in on your first day at altitude, so relax and get used to being up high with a gentle walk around this old Inca capital.

Visit the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Qoricancha temple of the sun and perhaps take in the sights, sounds and smells of San Pedro food market too. If you normally shop in supermarkets and farmers markets, you are in for a surprise. Stands full of juicy exotic fruits, counters heaving with cow heads and sheep hooves and cheerful local women selling handmade cheeses, local breads, healthy juices and even toad soup.
The evening is free to relax and wander around the UNESCO World Heritage Site city center.

3 Star Hotel: Casa Esmeralda or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Quinta San Blas or similar

DAY 2: Cusco Ruins Hike

Today you stretch your legs with a delightful hike in the hills above Cusco. First you visit the impressive site of Sacsayhuaman. Huge stone ramparts surround a beautiful grass amphitheater. Once the scene of fierce battles it now hosts the annual re-enactment of traditional Inca ceremonies such as Inti Raymi and Warachikuy. Sundays also see families from Cusco head up here to play, fly kites and dig the traditional huatias, a method of cooking potatoes in the ground.

Next is the Inca water temple of Tambo Machay lying at 3700m (12,000 feet) followed by a special picnic lunch. A trail through the fields leads you to the intricately carved Inca Temple of the Moon. From here a beautifully preserved section of royal Inca Trail leads you down into the old San Blas district, home to the city’s artists and finally into the Plaza de Armas.

3 Star Hotel: Casa Esmeralda or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Quinta San Blas or similar

(Breakfast, Lunch)

Hiking distance: 8km / 5mi
Hiking time: A full day includes time to explore
Hiking Elevation: 3750 to 3300m / 12,303ft to 10,827ft

DAY 3: Moray to Maras Salt Pans Hike

Leaving Cusco behind you start your journey towards Machu Picchu. The hike starts at the fascinating circular ruins of Moray. While some think it was a landing pad for alien spaceships, most agree the Incas built this as an experimental agricultural centre. Concentric circular terraces allowed them to simulate different facing slopes and different growing temperatures to see which crops would grow where. They then used this knowledge to cultivate the varied terrain of their vast empire providing abundant amounts of food to feed the people.

After exploring Moray you take a mainly downhill trail through the fields. Depending on the time of year, you may have a chance to stop and chat with local farmers digging their fields of corn or planting potatoes. Perhaps you could have a go with the hand tools that have been used for centuries.

Along the way you stop for a for a homemade picnic with marvellous views across to the snow capped Viilcanota mountains before carrying on down to the spectacular salt pans of Maras. Here you can stop and watch as local families extract the salt by hand, much as they have done for centuries. You could even buy some of the famous Maras Pink Salt as a souvenir. Finally you take the old track down to the Sacred Valley, where once llamas, then horses carried out the salt to be sent across the empire.

Your support vehicle is on hand most of the day, should anyone prefer to take a ride rather than walk at any point.

3 Star Hotel: Lizzy Wasi or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Villa Urubamba or similar

(Breakfast, Lunch)

Hiking distance: 11km / 7mi
Hiking time: 6 hours includes time to explore
Hiking Elevation: 3532 m to 4050m / 11,588ft to 13,288ft

DAY 4: Hike the Royal Inca Trail (km 104) to Machu Picchu

You start the day with an early transfer to catch the train towards Machu Picchu. Jumping off at km104 you pass through the control point and begin your Inca Trail trek.

First you visit the recently restored ruins of Chachabamba before gradually ascending through tropical cloud forest up towards the the base of Wiñay Wayna. Here you climb more steeply on old Inca stairways through these beautiful terraces, stopping to explore the various buildings and water features.

Here we can enjoy our packed lunch, with a great view. You then continue on perhaps the loveliest part of the whole Inca Trail. Lush vegetation flanks you on either side, the scent of wild orchids fills the air, and all around you brightly coloured tropical songbirds fill your ears with song.

Soon you will reach a final set of stairs to arrive at Inti Punku, the gateway of the Sun. As you step through the old stone gate-way, Machu Picchu appears laid out before your eyes. After plenty of photos you carry on past this wonder of the world to catch the bus down to the lively town of Machu Picchu Pueblo and a well-deserved hotel and shower.

Total hiking distance: 11 km / 7 mi. While walking all you need is your daypack, as your over-night luggage will be transferred to your hotel in Machu Picchu town to await your arrival.

3 Star Hotel: Waman Hotel or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: El MaPi by Inkaterra or similar

(Breakfast, Lunch)

Hiking distance: 12km / 7.5mi
Hiking time: 8 hours
Hiking Elevation: 2100m to 2700m / 6,889ft to 8,858ft

DAY 5: Machu Picchu Ruins & Train to Cusco

Today you explore the pinnacle of Inca engineering – Machu Picchu.

For years it was lost to the jungle. Rediscovered in 1911 by the Yale professor Hiram Bingham, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, Machu Picchu exceeds all expectations.

This astounding site lies in an even more astonishing location. Perched high on an inaccessible hilltop it is protected by huge cliffs and the raging Urubamba river. Things are slightly easier now than in the time of the Incas and so you start your day with a twenty minute bus ride up to the site.

You will arrive early, allowing you to explore the ruins in the company of your guide, before they get too busy. The guided tour takes around two hours leaving you a few hours free to wander amongst the old Inca walls and just sit and take in the scale of the place on your own. For those who want to walk a bit more, you could take the hour long trail up to the Sun Gate, or a shorter trail to visit the Inca Bridge which once spanned a sheer cliff face.

Eventually the time comes to catch the bus down to Machu Picchu Pueblo and board your train back along the Urubamba River. The scenery is beautiful and the train jolts softly along, allowing you to sit, stare out the window and reflect on a wonderful week.

3 Star Hotel: Casa Esmeralda or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Quinta San Blas or similar

(Breakfast)

DAY 6: Free Morning in Cusco & Depart

Back once more in the old Inca capital you have time to enjoy all that this city has to offer, depending on your flight schedule. Museums, chocolate making classes, souvenir hunting or even just sitting in one of the many cafes and watching the world go by. The new late flights out of Cusco allow you to really maximize your time and get the most out of this holiday of a lifetime.

(Breakfast)

Getting To and From the Trip: 

You will need to arrive in Cusco on Day 1 of this trip. You can arrive at any time this day, by flight, train, or bus. You will be met by your guide upon your arrival, and transferred to your hotel in Cusco.

All international flights to Cusco must route through Lima. Most likely, you will need to overnight in Lima the night before you fly to Cusco. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services upon your request.

At the end of this trip on Day 8, you will be transferred to the Cusco Airport, train station, or bus terminal in time for your departure. We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

We do not sell international or domestic Peru airfare but partner with a flight specialty company, Exito Travel, who can arrange all of your flights for you, simplifying the process of this part of your trip.

Trip Start: Trip starts upon your arrival at the Cusco Airport. All international flights route through Lima. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima the night before your arrival in Cusco. A hotel in Lima can be added upon request.

Trip End: Trip ends at the Cusco Airport in time for you to catch your flights home, or continue on to the next part of your adventure.


This trip is a complete package, starting and ending in the Cusco Airport. International and domestic Peru flights are not included, but can be booked through our travel partner Exito Travel. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services if this is necessary.

We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

2017 PRICES: 

Price per person (based on double occupancy)

Group Departures:

Group Departures: Every Saturday through Thursday (6 Days), from March through December

3 Star Hotels:
2-3 People: $1,619.00
4 + People (total trip size): $1,432.00
Single Supplement: $300.00

3 Star Plus Hotels:
2-3 People: $1,750.00
4 + People (total trip size): $1,488.00
Single Supplement: $463.00

Private Departures:

Private departures can start on any day, from March through December. Please inquire for rates.

2018 PRICES: 

For 2018 pricing, please inquire using the “I Am Interested” button above or by calling 1-866-386-4168.


INCLUDED: 

  • All transport in private vehicle
  • A private, qualified, English-speaking guide
  • 3-star or 3-star plus accommodation in Urubamba, Cusco, and in Machu Picchu Pueblo (upgrades available upon request)
  • An emergency first-aid kit and oxygen
  • All meals provided are indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all ruins in the itinerary, including Machu Picchu
  • Short Inca Trail hiking permits
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu ruins
  • Bus tickets between Machu Picchu Pueblo and the ruins
  • Train tickets as described in the itinerary

NOT INCLUDED: 

  • National or International flights (can be booked on your own or with our travel partner Exito)
  • Personal belongings
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Personal or medical expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Tips
  • Services and meals not indicated
  • Entrances to hike Huayna Picchu Mountain ($80* per person) & Machu Picchu Mountain ($80* per person)
  • Lima services (hotels, transfers, & tours) can be added upon request

Note: Permits to hike Huayna Picchu Mountan or Machu Picchu Mountain are not automatically included in this trip. Before you confirm your trip to Machu Picchu, consider whether or not you want to do one of these hikes, and let us know what you decide. For more details: http://www.detourdestinations.com/blog/should-you-hike-huayna-picchu-mountain-or-machu-picchu-mountain

* Permit fees subject to change


ADDITIONAL EXPENSES TO CONSIDER:

  • National or International flights (can be booked on your own or with our travel partner Exito)
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Tips (optional)
  • Services and meals not indicated
  • Entrances to hike Huayna Picchu Mountain ($80* per person) & Machu Picchu Mountain ($80* per person)
  • Lima services (hotels, transfers, & tours) can be added upon request

* Permit fees subject to change


 

 

 

Plan Your Trip

Private Departures
Private trips can begin on any date March through December, pending availability.

2016 Group Departures: Every Saturday to Friday (7 Days), from March through December
MAR19 – 25; MAR 26 – APR 1; APR 2 – 8; APR 9 – 15; APR 16 – 22; APR 23 – 29; APR 30 – MAY 6; MAY 7 – 13; MAY 14 – 20; MAY 21 – 27; MAY – JUN 3; JUN 4 – 10; JUN 11 – 17; JUN 18 – 24; JUN 25 – JUL 1; JUL 2 – 8; JUL 9 – 15; JUL 16 – 22; JUL 23 – 29; JUL 30 – AUG 5; AUG 6 – 12; AUG 13 – 19; AUG 20 – 25; AUG 27 – SEP 2; SEP 3 – 9; SEP 10 – 16; SEP 17 – 23; SEP 24 – 30; OCT 1 – 7; OCT 8 – 14; OCT 15 – 21; OCT 22 – 28; OCT 29 – NOV 4; NOV 5 – NOV 11; NOV 19 – 28; DEC 3 – 9; DEC 24 – 30

2017 Group Departures: Every Saturday to Thursday (6 Days), from March through December
MAR 11 – 16; MAR 18 – 23; MAR 25 – 30; APR 1 – 6; APR 8 – 13; APR 15 – 20; APR 22 – 27; APR 29 – MAY 4; MAY 6 – 11; MAY 13 – 18; MAY 20 – 25; MAY 27 – JUN 1; JUN 3 – 8; JUN 10 – 15; JUN 17 – 22; JUN 24 – 29; JUL 1 – 6; JUL 8 – 13; JUL 15 – 20; JUL 22 – 27; JUL 29 – AUG 3; AUG 5 – 10; AUG 12 – 17; AUG 19 – 24; AUG 26 – 31; SEP 2 – 7; SEP 16 – 21; SEP 23 – 28; SP 30 – OCT 5; OCT 7 – 12; OCT 14 – 19; OCT 21 – 26; OCT 28 – NOV 2; NOV 4 – 9; NOV 11 – 16; NOV 18 – 23; NOV 25 – 30; DEC 2 – 7; DEC 9 – 14; DEC 16 – 21

There are no set family departures. All departures are open to families to join.

Trip Start: Trip starts upon your arrival at the Cusco Airport. All international flights route through Lima. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima the night before your arrival in Cusco. A hotel in Lima can be added upon request.

Trip End: Trip ends at the Cusco Airport in time for you to catch your flights home, or continue on to the next part of your adventure.

How Do I Get To and From the Trip: 

You will need to arrive in Cusco on Day 1 of this trip. You can arrive at any time this day, by flight, train, or bus. You will be met by your guide upon your arrival, and transferred to your hotel in Cusco.

All international flights to Cusco must route through Lima. Most likely, you will need to overnight in Lima the night before you fly to Cusco. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services upon your request.

At the end of this trip on Day 8, you will be transferred to the Cusco Airport, train station, or bus terminal in time for your departure. We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

We do not sell international or domestic Peru airfare but partner with a flight specialty company, Exito Travel, who can arrange all of your flights for you, simplifying the process of this part of your trip.

For all your transportation in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, you will be in a private van with your guide, fellow travelers, and driver.  Between Machu Picchu ruins and Machu Picchu Pueblo, you will be on a tourist bus.  From Machu Picchu Pueblo to the Sacred Valley or Cusco, you will take the Vistadome Train or similar, and have a private van transfer from the train station to your hotel in Cusco.

Lima Hotels: Depending on your international flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima.  We can help you arrange hotels, transfers, day rooms, and/or tours here upon your request.

Cusco Hotels: If you would like to extend your stay in Cusco beyond the scope of this trip, we can help you arrange this.

We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

Cusco is great starting point to explore Peru. You can extend your stay in Cusco, and explore the area by mountain bike, stand-up paddle board, rafting and kayaking, horseback, and hiking.

If you want to go further afield, you can take the luxury train or a comfortable bus to Puno and Lake Titicaca (we recommend spending 3 or 4 days on Lake Titicaca). You can catch a short flight to the Amazon (flying into Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos) to check out the incredible wildlife. We recommend spending 4 to 6 days in the Amazon. You can take a flight or an overnight bus from Cusco to Arequipa, and from there explore the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons.

A trip in Peru combines very well with a visit to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. You will need at least 5 days, but preferably 8 days, to have a great trip in the Galapagos. Allow yourself a full day to fly from Cusco, Peru to either Quito or Guayaquil in Ecuador.  All trips to the Galapagos start in either Quito or Guayaquil, and you will need to spend at least one night in one of these cities before starting your Galapagos trip.

We work with local trip operators throughout Latin America, and we can help you plan the rest of your trip to where ever sparks your curiosity.

Countries Visited: Peru

Destinations Visited: 

Pisac, Urubamba, Chinchero ruins & market, Huayllabamba, Moray, Maras Salt Pans, Pumamarca, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Q’enko, Sacsayhuaman

Green Certifications: 1% for the Planet

Trip Sustainability: 

Amazonas Explorer recognizes that tourism has the potential to create many problems. Here are their beliefs and goals to create more sustainable trips and to help eliminate these problems.

  • They try to further reduce their impact on the environment and conserve energy when possible.
  • They endeavour to become a paperless company and prefer the use of e-mail and on-line banking where possible.
  • They use re-cycled paper where available in the office, for brochures and adventure-dossiers. They make full use of the recycling paper and plastic rubbish has finally come to Cusco.
  • They are committed to running small groups tours, to exploring new routes away from the busiest areas and to operating these tours where possible in conjunction with local communities, maximizing the benefit to local areas and minimizing the impact on the environment.
  • They educate clients and locals on how to preserve the fragile environment and endangered species they encounter. This includes on-going guide and porter awareness programs, and thorough pre-departure information and in-country briefings for travelers.
  • They continue to carefully dispose of all their waste. All non-biological waste, and as much non-biological waste, as possible is carried out and disposed of correctly. On the Apurimac rafting trip, all human excrement is also carried out. On other trips they carefully bury all biodegradable waste below the high-water mark, at the official deposits on the Inca Trail, or as deep as possible elsewhere.
  • They employ as many locally trained guides as possible, using foreign guides only where their overseas expertise is essential.
  • All food produce is purchased locally and they try to minimize the amount of imported foreign goods on trips, using locally grown fresh produce where possible. They are developing new menus to minimize the use of canned and packaged products, and encouraging cooking with local Andean products. They bulk purchase items when possible to reduce excessive packaging and reduce the need for constant trips to shops.
  • They work to reduce the use of all plastic products (bags, bottles, etc) to the absolute minimum, and to recycle what little they do use.
  • They use as much locally made equipment as possible, designing and modifying equipment using local ideas and materials, and only importing equipment otherwise unavailable, or not of sufficient quality when available locally.
  • They encourage the most efficient use of fossil fuels, using the most suitable and efficient transport options available, ie cooking with gas not kerosene or firewood.
  • They have introduced recyclable glass bottles whenever possible on trips, and not disposable plastic bottles, while at the same time encouraging travelers to do likewise.
  • They continue to educate clients in local customs and languages where possible so as to promote local pride and not bring offense.
  • They are committed to encouraging sustainable tourism projects in conjunction with local communities.
  • They are committed to providing all staff a realistic wage and correct working conditions. This will include regular staff training in Responsible Tourism management, on-going assessments and quality control of Staff conditions, health insurance policies for porters, and correct clothing and equipment made available.
  • They encourage responsible tipping. Nothing for nothing – locals are rewarded for helping set up camp and pose for photographs but not for doing nothing.
  • They encourage the purchasing of local weavings directly from the local women encountered en-route.
  • They are actively looking at new ways to reduce their carbon footprint,and minimize the use of excessive transport where possible without compromising our service.
  • They have reduced our attendance at International travel shows and encourage ‘face to face’ meetings with our agents using Skype instead.
  • In 2007 Amazonas Explorer joined www.onepercentfortheplanet.org and chose to support the local NGO Ecoan www.ecoanperu.org for its 1% donations.

According to Peruvian legislation, the definition of a porter is “an independent worker who offers his services and who with his own body carries gear, personal equipment and other goods necessary for touristic expeditions.” Each individual can establish working relationships with one or more employer, subject to the laws being obeyed by the operating company.

  • The payment for porters has been established as a percentage of the UIT (an official tax code) by INRENA and the ministry of employment. Amazonas Explorer pay their porters the correct amount on time for their work done in accordance with this legislation. This wage has been agreed by Amazonas Explorer and their porters and is also accepted by the Porters’ union in Cusco.
  • Porters are contracted by a designated Head Porter, and payment is made directly by the Head Guide, thus avoiding any intermediaries or other possible conflicts.
  • While the legislation is unclear at present, Amazonas Explorer pays the $15.00 per person Inca Trail Porter fee, and they do not take this fee out of their wages.
  • The Inca trail rules state that porters can not carry more than 20kg (44lbs) of company equipment and 5kg (11lbs) of personal equipment. Amazonas Explorer abides by this, and it is enforced by the Inca trail governing body at several weigh stations on the way.
  • They provide a large communal tent with carry mat floor for the porters to sleep in. It is not the dining tent used by travelers.
  • They provide their porters with plenty of good food. This is not the same menu given to the passengers, but it is nutritious, abundant, and what they are used to eating. They have their own cooking facilities so do not have to wait for the clients to finish eating before they get their food.
  • They provide the porters transportation from Ollantaytambo to the trail head. They also provide them with return train tickets (with designated seat allocation) from Machu Picchu Pueblo to Ollantaytambo. They do not take this out if their wages.
  • They only use registered Inca trail porters (as Inca trail rules stipulate) – these porters have to pass several forms of ID, character reference, a letter of good health, and to have attended an Inca Trail Porter Awareness course.
  • All porters work freelance. Amazonas Explorer provides them with accident insurance and work contracts for each period of work they do for the company.
  • They provide each porter with a uniform, a back support, a carrying frame, and footwear. (Please note the porters often prefer their own sandals.)
  • As good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru, Amazonas Explorer encourages travelers to donate any excess outdoor clothes, sleeping bags, etc directly to the porters.
  • Tipping porters is also encouraged and guidelines are provided at the pre-departure meeting. The tip is administered by the travelers with assistance from the head guide whose tip is completely separate.
  • Amazonas Explorer holds an annual, end-of-season, porters’ party and football tournament. The 2008 hotly-contested tournament had over seventy participants; the final winners were the red team captained by Anacleto Suclli, Cook.
  • Amazonas Explorer is a member of www.onepercentfortheplanet.org. We support a local native-tree re-forestation program www.ecoanperu.org and planted over 57 thousand trees in 2014. These native-trees are planted in the water-tables above our porters’ villages. The porters are proud to be essential part of achieving these goals and maintaining the projects.

Activities: Cultural Tour, Day Hike, Trek

Activity Description: 

For your first days in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, you will go on a few short, easy walks and hikes that are designed to help you acclimatize to the high altitude and give you an introduction to Inca culture. Your hikes on Days 4 and 5 are more challenging. On Day 6, you will explore Machu Picchu ruins with your guide. If you have permits to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will be able to do this after your guided tour. Please note, these permits must be purchased in advance.

Trip Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous

Fitness Level: 

The day hikes are moderately strenuous, mainly due to the high elevations, and are easily achievable for travelers who are active in their daily lives. Hiking is at a slow to moderate pace, with plenty of time for rests, and visiting communities and ruins along the way, but it is still challenging. The ascents and descents very steep trails and tracks. You will be hiking at very high elevations, with the highest point at about 4,100m / 13,450ft.

The best way to prepare for trekking in Peru is to go hiking when ever you can. Chose the steeper and longer trails at higher elevations when possible. If you don’t have access to hiking trails, the stair master at your gym will help immensely.

You will need to give yourself at least three days and three nights in Cusco and the Sacred Valley before you begin the trek in order to acclimatize. This trip has built into the itinerary plenty of time to acclimatize, as well as easy day hikes in the area to allow you to get accustomed to hiking at high altitudes.

And make sure to drink plenty of coca tea while you’re in Peru, this will help you deal with the side effects of being at a high altitude and help you adjust more quickly.

Minimum Age: 8

Maximum Age: 85

Minimum Group Size: 1

Maximum Group Size: 16

Typical Group Size: 4

Months Offered: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Best Time to Go: 

Any time except January and February, when it is the height of the rainy season when the rain is heaviest. In December and March, the rain will usually come and go throughout the day. July and August are dry but cold. May is the most popular month, as it is warm and dry. No matter when you go to Peru, make sure to bring a good rain jacket, as there can be rain any time of the year.

Food and Special Diets: 

Amazonas Explorer pride themselves selves on excellent cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on hygienically prepared, wholesome, and copious quantities of really tasty food. Vegetarian dishes are their specialty and any unusual dietary requirements can easily be accommodated. Each morning, you start with a breakfast at your hotel, and around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, either prepared by the talented cooks at Amazonas Explorer or in a local restaurant. Snacks are also provided for the longer day hikes. Amazonas Explorer’s aim is to source as much produce locally and organically as possible and their menus reflect a wonderful mix of delicious local recipes and international favorites. They regularly run catering courses for their cooks and chefs, and introduce new menus and ideas including the latest hygiene policies.

All their fresh vegetables are washed in iodine water prior to serving and they provide only boiled, filtered, or iodized water for drinking.

Amazonas Explorer is trying to cut back on all packaging by buying in bulk, using recyclable containers for foodstuffs, and shopping sensibly. Where possible, they recycle all vegetable waste, tins, and plastic. They only use plastic bottles where no alternative is available and they provide water for you to refill yourself when needed.

By sourcing food locally, Amazonas Explorer aims to reduce the carbon footprint of their food and to encourage local farmers to provide quality products, which are often far superior to imported equivalents. Their cooks also produce a range of in-house delicacies from birthday cakes to quiches, biscuits, and pizzas. It is unlikely you will ever be disappointed by their range of delicious home-cooked meals and the variety of choice they can provide.

All dietary requirements from vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten allergies, and general dislikes can be catered for, so long as prior warning is given when booking the trip.

Drinking Water: 

Boiled, filtered, or iodized water is provided for drinking for your day hikes. Please bring a refillable water bottle. While you’re in hotels in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo, you will be responsible for procuring your own drinking water.

Equipment Provided: 

Private transportation for each day hike.

Boat Specifications:

Special Equipment You Should Bring: 

  • Trekking poles & protective tip covers
  • Day pack & rain cover
  • Refillable water bottle (with capacity for at least 2 liters)
  • Water proof jacket & pants and/or rain poncho
  • Good, well worn-in hiking boots
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, after bite, anti-diarrhea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (Amazonas Explorer carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)

For a complete packing list, see the Suggested Packing List under the More Info Tab.

 

HOTEL / LODGE AMENITIES:  Breakfast, Restaurant, WiFi

BOAT AMENITIES: You do not stay on a boat on this trip

CAMP AMENITIES: You will not be camping on this trip

ROOM AMENITIES: Twin Beds, Double Beds, Queen Beds, Safebox, Telephone, Hot Water, Private Bathroom, Shower, Soap and Shampoo, Towels

ROOMING OPTIONS: Double, Triple, Single, Single Supplement

DESCRIPTION:

URUBAMBA HOTEL OPTIONS
3 Star Hotel: Lizzy Wasi or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Villa Urubamba or similar

OLLANTAYTAMBO HOTEL OPTIONS
3 Star Hotel: Tunupa Lodge or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Hotel Pakaritampu or similar

CUSCO HOTEL OPTIONS
3 Star Hotel: Casa Esmeralda or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Quinta San Blas or similar

MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO HOTEL OPTIONS
3 Star Hotel: Waman Hotel or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: El MaPi by Inkaterra or similar

Upgrades to 4 star hotels available upon request.

 

 

Local Tour Operator:

For more than 30 years Amazonas Explorer has used a different approach in leading high-quality trips and adventures in South America. While the company had its beginnings in adventure tourism, its success in building a strong team of knowledgeable guides has enhanced its ability to offer a range of innovative cultural tours. By raft, bike, foot, horse and even paddleboard, travelers are immersed in their surroundings to explore in unique ways the highlights of southern Peru, the company’s home turf. Every adventure with Amazonas Explorer is treated with impeccable care and top-notch services, all focused on the client’s comfort and safety.

The current owners, while originally from the United Kingdom, have lived and played in the Cusco region for more than 20 years. The itineraries they’ve crafted are based on places they love and activities they enjoy. Their obvious love for Peru shines through in the company’s efforts to maximize benefits to local economies and to promote responsible tourism across the country. Beginning in the home office, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew are well cared for as they build rewarding careers for themselves within the hierarchy of the company. With more than 20 office staff and a Peruvian team total of nearly 200, Amazonas Explorer prides itself on being a great place to work. On an Inca Trail hiking trip, for instance, it is likely you will have the support of porters who have been with the company more than 10 years. Amazonas has a porter protection policy in place and all employees enjoy the provisions of proper working conditions, fair wages, quality gear, and insurance.

Dedicated to sustainable tourism projects in alliance with local communities, Amazonas Explorer purchases local food and, when available, local equipment and gear. Its exceptional cultural experiences include engagement with local people and opportunities for travelers to purchase local crafts and weavings directly from their source. The largely paperless company takes significant steps to further reduce its carbon impact by minimizing its impact to the environment with small group sizes, smart transportation choices, recycling whatever it can, cooking with gas not kerosene or firewood and carefully disposing of all waste generated on trips. Above all, the entire crew of experts holds collective focus on safety and on providing memorable experiences that are equal to none. Amazonas Explorer is also a member of One Percent for the Planet, donating annually its time and money to reforestation efforts in Peru’s Lares Valley.

Guides:

Amazonas Explorer staff are true professionals dedicated to making your trip an unforgettable experience. From your first contact with our office sales staff to your guide’s briefing, the driver who picks you up from your hotel to the porters who carry your camping equipment, the cooks that prepare your meals to the muleteers who load the mules, our aim is to make your stay with us as comfortable and as memorable as possible. We love what we do, we love where we live and above all we love to share our knowledge of and respect for all the beautiful places we are going to show you.
Efrain Valles, Amazonas Explorer Guide

Efrain Valles – Trek guide and Tour Conductor
A graduate of Cusco’s Tupac Amaru University, Efrain’s knowledge of Peruvian history, culture and fauna together with his fluent English makes him one of our most popular trekking guides and tour conductors. His latest trip involved exploring the central highlands of Peru to set up a new trip for Christian Aid and he also leads all of our “Traidcraft- Meet the people tours”. His dream is to compete in the London Marathon.

Zacarias de Ugarte – Trek guide and Tour Conductor
Zacarias comes from a family of guides who were amongst the first to explore Peru and its potential as a travel destination. His ability to share his love of Peru, his wild sense of humour and deep love of all things Peruvian makes him one our most popular trek leaders and tour conductors. Several of the photos on this website were taken by “Zac” whilst leading trips for Amazonas Explorer.

Wilo Cardenas – Trek and Cultural tour guide
Wilo started out as a porter but decided to put himself through college where he met up with Efrain and Zacarias and then joined Amazonas Explorer as a trainee trek leader. Several years later, he leads his own treks, tours and has even been seen on a bike. His wicked sense of humour makes him great fun to be around but you might not want to believe everything he says!

Ruben Apaza – Trek and Cultural tour guide
“Chino” as he likes to be called once taught Peruvian history at uinversity but decided he preferred the great outdoors and joined Amazonas Explorer where he has excelled himself leading treks and tours throughout Peru. To travel with Ruben is like having your own friendly professor along to show you round.

Nilo Gamarra – Trek and Cultural tour guide
Nilo’s quiet confident manner with clients has made him a firm favourite to guide many of our cultural tours and treks. His knowledge of Machu Picchu, Cusco and surrounding ruins and his ability to share his love of all things Peruvian, make Nilo a very popular guide.

Alain Abril – Multi-Activity Guide
Alain has been studying tourism for so many years now, we are wondering if he’ll ever finish his course as for much of that time, he’s been delighting our clients, families and travellers with his amazing abilities as safety kayaker, head river guide, bike guide, family trip leader, charity trek leader and full on expedition leader. There are very few trips Alain hasn’t been on and if he doesn’t tire you out by day, his “Cusco by night” knowledge is truly impressive too.

Efrain Castro – Head River Guide
Efrain has been guiding the rivers of Peru and South America for over two decades and his unflappability on and off the river makes him a plus to have on any river journey. He also cooks a delicious camp meal and makes a mean Pisco Sour for the all important “Happy Hour” when on multi-day raft trips.

Jose Soldevila – Multi-Activity Guide
“Pepe Negro” has been guiding Rivers and Bike trips throughout Peru and Central America since early nineties and has been seen in a number of TV shows guiding celebrities such as Bruce Parry in his “Amazon” series in 2008 and the BBC wildlife unit’s “Wild and Dangerous” series in 1999. Fluent in English and German, Pepe loves to guide our Jungle rafting trips and is a skilled ornithologist as well as excellent camp cook and has enough stories up his sleeves to make even the rainiest day a truly memorable journey.

Juan Carlos Salazar – Mountain bike guide and Trek leader
I first met JC or “El chato” at the tender age of 16 in 1993 when I dragged him out of his brother’s bike shop to become our first bike mechanic. 15 years later, he’s gone to university and graduated in tourism, learnt English and travelled all over Peru with Amazonas Explorer. His infectious smile and competent manner with groups makes him always popular and he is still a legend on a bike, coming second in his category in the 2009 Mega Avalanche downhill race. He looks after all our bikes, cooks a delicious Spaghetti and can tell you all about the Incas too.

Simon Leishman – Mountain Bike Guide and Tour Conductor
Originally from Cornwall in the UK, Simon has been living in Cusco for over ten years. He is a highly experienced mountain leader and expert Mountain bike guide and leads many charity trips each year as well as running trips for Amazonas Explorer.

Javier Salazar – Bike Guide and Mechanic
Juan Carlos’s little brother works for us as a bike guide and mechanic and is studying English and tourism in his spare time. Amazing on a bike, he recently came first in a local Cusco downhill race despite breaking his collarbone crashing only a few months previously.

Gabriel Gygax – Bike and Tour guide
Gabriel studied tourism in Lima and did his internship with Amazonas Explorer. Since then, he has led bike trips, coordinated treks and school groups, and swum down most of the rivers chasing his kayak. He is at present helping to develop our “Green Policy” and recently joined us on our latest recce trip to cycle from Titicaca to Cusco.

Richard Pethigal – River Guide
Richard originally hails from California but has lived on the beach in Brazil and in Cusco for as long as we can all remember. When not taking our gear boat skilfully through the dangerous rapids of the Rio Apurimac, he can be found high above the Andes, flying customers in his tandem Paraglider.

Marcia Cardenas – Trainee Guide
Wilo’s little sister, Marcia joined us as a trainee trek guide a few years ago and now helps out on the Inca trail where possible. Her infectious smile and good nature has encouraged many an exhausted traveller to make it up Dead woman’s pass and as her English improves she will become regular and sure to be favourite amongst Amazonas Explorer groups in the years to come.

Aaron Zarate – River, Trek and Climbing guide
Aaron’s fluent English and competent river and mountain skills has led him to become first choice for many of our trips and he has been reported to have been able to talk the hind legs of a llama so there’s never a dull moment when Aaron is around!

John Leivers – Trek leader and TV Fixer
There’s hardly a country in the World that Australian John hasn’t travelled in, driven across or lead expeditions to but he now calls Peru his home. His in depth studies of the Incas and never ending fascination with all things Peruvian makes travelling with John like having your very own Peruvian encyclopaedia on board. John has helped “fix” several of our latest TV programs from Bruce Parry’s “Amazon” to the BBC’s Human Planet filming of the ritual battle called Chiaraje. His ability to micro-manage complex projects like this makes him an invaluable member of our team. When not working, John is always off exploring in search of Inca ruins, ancient trails and one day we are hoping he will write a book about it so we can find out where’s he’s been!

Other guides, logistics and Support staff
Besides the above mentioned, Amazonas Explorer support staff include cooks, porters, drivers, hotel transfer staff, horse wrangler, muleteers, tree planters and other specialist guides etc. In fact enough to provide at least 5 football teams at our annual get together and when added to wives and children, the extended Amazonas Explorer team has well over 200 of us all involved. We like to think of it as one huge family with the common shared aim of making sure your holiday to Peru is as memorable as possible. We love what we do and we hope you’ll enjoy the time you spend with us as much we will enjoy spending it with you.

TMI (Too Much Information)

SUGGESTED PACKING LIST

  • Smart clothes for night life in Cusco
  • Hiking shorts (quick dry)
  • Hiking pants (quick dry)
  • T-shirts (quick dry)
  • A warm fleece, down jacket, or wool sweater (available in Cusco)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Underwear and socks
  • Warm hat, gloves, & scarf
  • Water proof jacket & pants and/or rain poncho
  • After trekking trousers & t-shirt
  • Good, well worn-in hiking boots
  • Trekking poles & protective tip covers
  • After trek shoes (sandals)
  • Water bottles (2 liter capacity)
  • Sunglasses
  • Eyeglasses or contacts (if necessary)
  • Swim suit (optional)
  • Sun hat
  • Flashlight & spare batteries
  • Book, notepaper & pen (optional)
  • Suntan lotion with 15 SPF or higher
  • After sun care
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera & spare battery
  • Personal toiletries
  • Money belt
  • Passport
  • Day pack & rain cover
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, after bite, anti-diarrhea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (Amazonas Explorer carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)

 

HOW TO PACK 

For your day hikes, you will need a day backpack, large enough to hold water bottles, rain jacket & pants, a warm layer, sun screen, insect repellent, camera, and snacks. The day backpack makes a good carry-on for your flights.

For your main luggage, you can use whatever type of suitcase, duffle bag, or backpack you prefer. The main bulk of your luggage and your main suitcase will be left at your hotels during the day.

Pro Tip: We recommend carrying on all of your most essential items on your flights to Cusco. This way, if your checked luggage is lost in transit, you will still be able to do the trek. For example, wear or carry on your hiking boots. Good, comfortable, and broken-in hiking boots are irreplaceable. Also carry on any prescription medications, sunglasses, and anything else that is irreplaceable for you. Everything else necessary for your trip (trekking poles, rain jackets & pants, etc. can be found in Cusco).

NOTES

  • New rules at Machu Picchu limit the number of visitors to Huayna Picchu.  Please let us know when booking your trip if you wish to climb this peak so we can include your permits.
  • We recommend trekkers carry 200 soles in local currency during the day for any personal expenses, or purchasing local handicrafts in the towns and communities you will be visiting. 
  • Most good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru so if you wish to donate any outdoor clothes, etc they will be gratefully received by any of our staff.
  • 1491 – Charles Mann
  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu – Mark Adams
  • The White Rock or Cochineal Red – Hugh Thomson
  • Exploring Manu or Where the Andes Meets the Amazon – Kim MacQuarrie & Andre Bartschii
  • Field Guide to the Birds of Machu Picchu – Barry Walter
  • Exploring Cusco – Peter Frost
  • Lost City of the Incas – Hiram Bingham
  • The Inca Trail – Richard Danbury
  • Neo-Tropical Companion – John C. Kricher
  • Running the Amazon – Joe Kane
  • The Last Days of the Incas – Kim MacQuarrie
  • Birds of Peru – Clive Byers
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey – Thorton Wilder
  • Conquest of the Incas – John Hemmingway
  • Into the Forest of the Night – John Simpson
  • Touching the Void – Joe Simson
  • Heart of the Amazon – Yossi Ghinsberg
  • Inca Kola – Matthew Paris
  • Inca Gold – Clive Cussler
  • Realm of the Incas – Max Milligan
  • Peruvian Wildlife  – Gerard Cheshire, Huw Lloyd & Barry Walker
220 Volt outlets are standard in Peru, although outlets in most hotels and tourist areas can accommodate 110 Volt appliances. Peru uses two styles of outlets: two-pronged plugs with flat, parallel blades (same as the US), and two round prongs. Most outlets are designed to accommodate both styles.

You will be hiking through several small communities and small towns, and you will have opportunities to purchase drinks, snacks, and local handicrafts in these communities. Bring small denominations of coins, as it is unlikely that they will have enough change for larger bills.

Smoking is not allowed in Machu Picchu, in hotel rooms, or enclosed public areas.

Safety:

SAFETY FIRST
Amazonas Explorer pride themselves on their safety record, and plan to maintain their claim as being the safest and best equipped team on any expedition. While rafting, safety kayaks and cata-rafts are present wherever deemed necessary, and guides carry an extensive emergency first aid kit and satellite telephones on all remote expeditions.  The key to Amazonas Explorer’s Safety Policy is their highly trained and superbly motivated staff. The guides make decisions that put safety above all else. These decisions include walking around rapids, waiting out for better weather, route changes, and limiting trip participation if a traveler is too sick to continue. They expect travelers to abide by these decisions.

RISK ASSESSMENT
Amazonas Explorer has undertaken a risk assessment for all activities that they offer. Individual risk assessments per activity are available on request. Travelers should be aware they are taking part in adventurous activities in remote locations with inherent risks including possible personal injury. They should be prepared to accept such inherent risks and personal injury that may occur on a trip of this nature. A prerequisite of joining an Amazonas Explorer trip is all travelers must take out personal travel insurance that will cover personal injury (including search & rescue) should any accident occur while partaking in an adventure, details of which must be given to their tour guide at the start of the trip.

GUIDE TRAINING
Amazonas Explorer considers training to be vital investment to ensure the security and safety of all their trips. They also believe that trained guides are confident guides which help them to relax and enjoy the trip which the company firmly believe will massively enhance your own personal enjoyment. Their guides are all qualified in first aid qualifications, the more senior guides in Wilderness First Aid by NOLS, and the majority by multi-day local courses run by medical organizations in the local area such as Hampiland, O2, Clinica Paredes, Clinicas Pardo, and San Jose. With all of these organizations, Amazonas Explorer has close contacts and experience this ensures that they are able to organize visits by doctors and treatments as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

TREKKING GUIDES
All guides have the necessary Tourism University degree required to be a registered guide. This course includes Peruvian history, languages, International tourist circuits, geography, geology, company organization, and administration. They have up to date Wilderness first aid certificates and a working knowledge of hypothermia and altitude sickness. They are aware of emergency & evacuation procedures at any point.

SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY OF PASSENGERS
People traveling with Amazonas Explorer are expected to abide by certain basic safety rules including:

  • Informing the guide of any medical condition or any other factors that may affect your or another traveler’s safety
  • Respecting the guide’s decisions
  • Being responsible and taking care of individual equipment that is assigned you
  • Keeping covered to avoid sun exposure and insect bites
  • Drinking plenty of water to avoid sunstroke and dehydration
  • Understanding that you are entering National parks and there are certain rules concerning, litter, waste, and wildlife that you must abide by
  • Being honest with yourself concerning how comfortable you are and if your limits are being pushed.
  • Advising your guide if any medical emergency arises that it left untreated could jeopardize the safety of the entire group.

Medical Attention:

The trekking guides have up to date Wilderness first aid certificates and a working knowledge of hypothermia and altitude sickness. They are aware of emergency and evacuation procedures at any point. Guides carry an extensive first aid kit and Oxygen on all trips, but this is generally for emergencies only.

Staff/ Crew on Trip: You will have one guide for a group of 1 to 7 travelers. You will have one guide and one assistant guide for groups of 8 to 16 travelers.

DETOUR'S POLICIES

DETOUR’S DISCLAIMER
Detour acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Detour, LLC and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws, or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are provided. Detour, LLC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours /trips arranged by Detour, LLC. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.

Cancellations: If you cancel the trip at any point after confirmation, you will forfeit a $100 per person handling fee to Detour. This is separate and in addition to the fees, deposits, and payments potentially owed to the tour operator (see information below).

Trip Changes:  If you decide to make any changes to your trip (changes to your itinerary, travel dates, tours, or accommodations) after it is booked, you will incur a $50 change fee per person, per change.  Unavoidable changes (such as those imposed by an international flight schedule change) will not incur this fee.  Adding on services before or after your confirmed tour will not incur this fee.

Rate Changes to Domestic Flights, Park Entrance Fees, Government Taxes and Fuel Surcharges:  The rates for all these items are subject to change at any point and these fees or fee changes can be imposed on any trip, even after a trip has been confirmed and paid for in full.  These rate changes are beyond the control of Detour or our local operating partners.  Oftentimes, these changes are imposed by government decree and take effect immediately.  While this is a rare occurence and the rate changes themselves are typically quite small, these changes are unpredictable and sometimes unavoidable.  Travelers are responsible for any additional costs or fees due to these rate changes, even after the trip is paid in full.

Passports and Traveler Details:  Passengers are responsible for sending up-to-date and correct information that is requested in the “Trip Reservation Form.”  If any of those details change, it is the passenger’s responsibility to notify Detour of the change before the trip departure.  If you need to renew your passport prior to your trip, you must notify Detour that you will be renewing your passport and you will have to email a scanned copy of both your old and new passports to Detour.  Additionally, you will have to bring both passports with you on your trip. Please make sure that you request to receive your old passport at the start of the renewal process.

Airport Transfers:  Airport transfer rates are based on group size with the assumption that all travelers will be taking the same transfer.  If some travelers in your personal group arrive or depart on different days or at different times, additional airport transfers will have to be booked and the passenger is responsible for this additional cost.

DETOUR’S DISCLAIMER
Detour acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Detour, LLC and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, default of any company or person in performing these services.  Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws, or other such causes.  All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are provided. Detour, LLC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours /trips arranged by Detour, LLC. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects. 

DETOUR’S CANCELLATION POLICY
If you cancel the trip at any point after confirmation, you will owe a $100 per person handling fee to Detour.  This is separate and in addition to the fees, deposits, and payments potentially owed to the tour operator (see information below).

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S DISCLAIMER
Amazonas Explorer’s trips travel through remote and rarely visited parts of Peru and they believe travelers should be aware that the remoteness that makes these trips so very special could also cause certain problems. Thus, while Amazonas Explorer endeavors to minimize the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to. This is the very nature of adventure travel and they expect travelers to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in itineraries. At certain times of the year, these trips may be run with the activities (walking, trekking the Inca trail, mountain biking, rafting and jungle) taking place in a slightly different order to those indicated in the itinerary. This is to best suit the weather, take in any local fiestas, or due to availability of permits for the Inca Trail. In all cases, they will advise you of any changes in the itinerary as early as possible. They have taken all these possibilities into account when planning your expedition, and have allowed sufficient leeway to enable them to successfully run these exceptional trips. You should also be aware that adventure travel, in particular trekking, white-water rafting, inflatable canoeing, mountain biking and traveling in remote areas such as southern Peru, does carry with it certain inherent risks that you, the traveler, will have to assume. You will have to take out an adequate travel insurance to cover these risks. National flight time tables are also subjected to local weather conditions. Please ensure your travel insurance covers any cost incurred due to delayed and cancelled flights. Excess baggage is also at the traveler’s expense. A pre-departure meeting will be held upon your arrival in Peru. It is highly recommended you attend. All travelers will be asked to sign a release and waiver form and must provide a photocopy of their passport, Peru entry stamp and details of their travel insurance.

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S CANCELLATION POLICY
1: We will invoice you on confirmation of your trip at which time a 20% deposit is required to hold your reservation or payment in full if less than two months prior to departure.
2: Full payment is required two months prior to trip departure unless previously negotiated credit terms with Amazonas Explorer.
If the trip is cancelled by yourselves, we reserve the right to charge:
A) A $200 or 20% non-refundable deposit. This covers the cost of Inca Trail clients’ and porters’ permits purchased on client’s behalf.
B) 60-15 days prior to departure we charge 50% of price.
C) 14 days or less we charge 100% of net price
In exceptional circumstances and entirely at our discretion, we can offer up to 50% off net price as an advance towards a future Amazonas Explorer fixed departure trip.

INCA TRAIL CANCELLATION POLICY
With the new Inca Trail regulations in force, Machu Picchu has become a very expensive and inflexible place to visit. Any last minute cancelling or dropping out of the Inca Trail during the trip has certain repercussions. An outline of extra expenses incurred as a result of cancellation and continuing to Machu Picchu via the Sacred Valley is detailed below. These extra expenses may be paid for directly by the client in situ. Full payment in cash US dollars will be required prior to agreeing to make any changes or alternative arrangements. A full receipt from Amazonas Explorer can be given to the passengers to claim of their insurance to cover all expenses incurred.

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S BOOKING CONDITIONS
The purchase of Inca Trail permits is strictly controlled by the Peruvian Institute of Culture (INC). There are only 500 permits for guides, porters, and trekkers per day. This has led to very competitive demand with permits often being sold out three to four months in advance. With regard to any trip that involves trekking the Inca Trail, we are therefore introducing the following booking conditions.
1: Space on the trip cannot be confirmed until:
A): Full client information (Full name, Passport number, Nationality and Date of Birth) are sent to us in order to purchase your Inca trail permit.
B): Amazonas Explorer has confirmed that an Inca Trail permit is available for the trip of your choice.
C) The USD $200 non-refundable deposit has been paid.
2: Clients must bring with them the passport with which the permit was issued – ie the passport number that was provided us with at time of booking – otherwise entry to the Inca Trail will not be permitted.
3: Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and local ruins entrance fees for 2015 have not yet been confirmed and should there be a significant increase, Amazonas Explorer will not be able to assume this extra cost and the extra will  have be passed onto the clients
4: Any changes will be entirely at the discretion of the INC and, if possible, will incur a penalty fee of $50 per change.

INCA TRAIL CANCELLATION
Amazonas Explorer reserves the right to charge the following additional costs for a full alternative service. Discretion may be used by Amazonas Explorer as to the implementation of these costs.
1. More than five days before: (100% of permits is lost, pax food can be cancelled, admin fee). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of approx $150 extra.
2. Less than 5 days before. (100% of permit & porters is lost, food may be cancelled, admin fee). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $250 extra.
3. The day before: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra.
4. Day 1 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The travelers, if turned back on the Inca trail, are accompanied to KM88 by an Inca trail guide and put on the train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo (with or without the guide depending on the health and attitude of the client.) The Guide would then have to catch up with the group to ensure their continued safety & enjoyment.
5. Day 2 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a guide to accompany passenger to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The passenger involved would have to continue on the train to Aguas Calientes (again with or without a guide depending on passenger condition), and catch a bus up to Machu Picchu and enter Machu Picchu on their Inca trail permit (this is valid only 1 day, the next day is $32 entrance payable in cash). They could if desired then walk back up to the sun gate and wait for the remaining Inca trail groups to arrive.
6. Day 3 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for the guide to accompany passenger to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The guide would then be unable to return to the main group.
7. Day 4-5: This evacuation is to Machu Picchu. No extra cost incurred. Passengers should note an emergency evacuation helicopter is not always available in Cusco, depending on where in Peru the helicopter is. The Inca trail is a serious undertaking with very steep, high & remote passes. Passengers should not expect an easy evacuation at any point. Passengers are advised to be educated in the symptoms of High Altitude sickness and have the strength of character to turn back if considered too sick to continue or a danger to other clients’ safety. Our Inca trail guides have the final decision regarding passenger safety.

7:00 am – Breakfast at your hotel
8:00 am – Guide picks you up at your hotel & drive to trailhead
9:00 am – Begin hiking*
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch break
3:30 pm – End hiking & drop off at your hotel

*Hiking is at a slow to moderate pace with plenty of time for rests and exploring the ruins and towns on route. This itinerary is flexible depending on the weather and group health.

Most hotels in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo will have wifi and/or computers available. Your guide will have a satellite phone in case of emergencies.

PERU TIPPING
Tipping in many countries can be a problem and can add a great deal of stress to your holiday. This is a rough guideline to try and help you work out how much you should tip. Remember Tipping is entirely voluntary and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received.

For background, Peru has a minimum salary of 800 Nuevo Soles (US$300) monthly for a 6 day 48 hour week. However in many of the lower paid jobs (eg waiters, porters etc) this is not always enforced. 2.60 Peruvian Soles are roughly the equivalent of GBP 60p, USD$1 and 1 Euro.

AIRPORT BAGGAGE CARRIERS
Strictly this is not a tip as these people make their living by carrying your luggage from the carousel to your bus. The general rule is one or two soles per bag.

HOTEL STAFF
If the hotel staff are helpful and friendly a tip of roughly one / two Soles per bag for the porters helping carry bags to your room, and for the breakfast staff, leave on the breakfast table a tip of roughly one Sol per person per breakfast. In many hotels this is not expected but the staff will be grateful.

DRIVERS
Generally drivers doing transfers from the airport to hotel or vice-versa don’t expect tips.  However if you have a driver for a few days then it is generally expected to tip. Again the service supplied (ie. did he drive safely, did he help with luggage, was he friendly) should determine the size of the tip. A reasonable average would be a total of 10-30 Soles a day from the group.

SPECIALIST GUIDES
On many trips you will have a number of specialist guides e.g. cultural, jungle, rafting, biking, or trekking guides. In most instances these guides have spent a number of years studying at Colleges or Universities to qualify as guides. Generally these guides will be with you for a few days but sometimes just for a day trip.

As a general guideline it would be expected to tip each specialist guide US$10-30 a day in total from the group. Again the group size, depth of knowledge of their area or specialist skill, command of English and friendliness should help determine the tip.

TOUR CONDUCTORS
On some of our bigger tours you will be accompanied by a Tour Conductor who will help deal with all the small problems that crop up when travelling in a foreign non English speaking land. Again it would be expected that the group would tip the tour conductor around US$10 – 30 per day. The group size, their friendliness, patience, availability and ability to resolve your problems should help determine their tip.

RESTAURANTS
As with most places in the world it is normal to tip in restaurants if the service was reasonable and the food good. A tip of 5% would be adequate, 10% is normal and 15% would be considered excellent.

SUMMARY

Airport porters Minimum 1-3 Soles per bag – compulsory
Hotel staff 1-2 Sole per bag / per breakfast
Transfer drivers Generally not expected
Drivers 10-30 Soles per day total from the group
Specialist guides US$10-30 per day total from the group
Inca trail cooks, porters 100-200 Soles per client divided up following advice of guide
Tour Conductors US$10-30 per day total from the group
Restaurants 5-15% for adequate to excellent food and service

We hope you find the above information useful, remember this information is a general guide, the only rule with tipping is that:  IT IS VOLUNTARY

Laundry: Laundry services are available through your hotels in Cusco, Urubamba, and Machu Picchu Pueblo, but you may not have enough time in each hotel for your laundry to be done. It will depend on the individual hotel. Laundry services are not available during the trek.

Food and Special Diets: 

Amazonas Explorer pride themselves selves on excellent cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on hygienically prepared, wholesome, and copious quantities of really tasty food. Vegetarian dishes are their specialty and any unusual dietary requirements can easily be accommodated. Each morning, you start with a breakfast at your hotel, and around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, either prepared by the talented cooks at Amazonas Explorer or in a local restaurant. Snacks are also provided for the longer day hikes. Amazonas Explorer’s aim is to source as much produce locally and organically as possible and their menus reflect a wonderful mix of delicious local recipes and international favorites. They regularly run catering courses for their cooks and chefs, and introduce new menus and ideas including the latest hygiene policies.

All their fresh vegetables are washed in iodine water prior to serving and they provide only boiled, filtered, or iodized water for drinking.

Amazonas Explorer is trying to cut back on all packaging by buying in bulk, using recyclable containers for foodstuffs, and shopping sensibly. Where possible, they recycle all vegetable waste, tins, and plastic. They only use plastic bottles where no alternative is available and they provide water for you to refill yourself when needed.

By sourcing food locally, Amazonas Explorer aims to reduce the carbon footprint of their food and to encourage local farmers to provide quality products, which are often far superior to imported equivalents. Their cooks also produce a range of in-house delicacies from birthday cakes to quiches, biscuits, and pizzas. It is unlikely you will ever be disappointed by their range of delicious home-cooked meals and the variety of choice they can provide.

All dietary requirements from vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten allergies, and general dislikes can be catered for, so long as prior warning is given when booking the trip.

Drinking Water: 

Boiled, filtered, or iodized water is provided for drinking for your day hikes. Please bring a refillable water bottle. While you’re in hotels in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo, you will be responsible for procuring your own drinking water.

 

5 reviews for Hike the Inca Highlights


  1. Deb G
    5 out of 5

    :

    We got very lucky that we were able to reach Machu Picchu as the day after we visited, the river swelled and the trains didn’t run. February is not the most reliable time to go due to the rain. However, we did get there and staying the night in Aguas Calientes meant we could get up there before the crowds. We thought we wouldn’t enjoy the day in the Sacred Valley, but the Pisac ruins were really interesting (though a lot of climbing at an altitude we had not adjusted to) and the town of Ollantaytombo was worth walking around (with a guide to explain its history). The train ride was fun, but the bus ride from the train station back to Cuzco was long and very cramped.

  2. Elise E
    5 out of 5

    :

    It was a fantastic trip- the people, culture, food, history and spectacular scenery were great. The itinerary worked out perfectly and wouldn’t change a thing- except probably the night in Agua Calientes. The local Amazonas guides really made the history and their country come alive to us. It was a much more enriching trip because of them.

    Loved Casa Andina in Arequipa and lodge in Colca Canyon; and we booked ourselves, but fyi- the Tambo del Inka is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at globally. I’d go back to all these hotels in a second. Next time would just do day trip from Tambo to Machu Picchu because the train is so easy from there- and the night in Aqua Calientes was miserable from the noise and wasn’t worth the hassle as was totally fogged in the morning so didn’t see the sunrise anyway. I have a feeling that is more often the case than not (Machu Picchu being foggy in the morning); not a problem, just not worth the lack of sleep and moving hotels to catch the sunrise in my opinion unless the weather is more predictable at other times of the year. There are lots of people at Machu Picchu but I must say I was really impressed with how organized they were getting them up, in and out so wasn’t as aggravating as I was expecting at all and was quite painless surprisingly. Seeing the condors was really neat- and our hike along the canyon rim afterwards was great.

    everything was organized and ran so completely smoothly it was impressive. I must make a note of how impressed we were with the drivers along with the guides. The drivers were all so professional, pleasant and extremely safe (we noticed some other tour companies where the driving was not that safe) and were thankful to be with ours for sure. They also took such pride in their work and literally cleaned the car while we were stretching our legs at a rest stop. Impressive.

    Very impressed with Amazonas

  3. Ray S
    5 out of 5

    :

    We really enjoyed the trip. Overall, the experience was unique and very satisfying.

    There were a couple of minor issues – – hot water at the Villa Urubamba was very limited.

    The guides we had in both the Sacred Valley and the Amazon were great – – very knowledgeable, open and spoke English well. Also, the travel arrangements in both locations were excellent – – buses and boats were timely and in good operating condition, the bus drivers were very skilled, the food that was provided was very good.

    For our group, the hiking portions of the trip were just right – – not too difficult.

    Thanks again for all of your efforts to put together a great package.

  4. Jane S
    5 out of 5

    :

    I asked for at least one day in Lima. It would have been nice to have 2 days. There is much to see here and many areas are beautiful. There is also a larger variety of restaurants. The time in the Sacred Valley, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu was terrific and 8 days there was more than enough. Three days in the jungle was perfect. (Only one mosquito bite this time of year!) We had an independent guide and driver who were outstanding in the Andes part. His name was Willow. Easy to understand, very helpful and considerate. The guide in the Amazon was at least as good (Moises). Both had an endearing sense of humor as well. The guide in Lima (Cissy) was also great. She shepherded us though the most important sites in the three hours we had with her and we were able to get a real feeling for the city. Do not short-change yourself by leaving out Lima. There is a vibrant night-life there as well.

    Be prepared not to have reliable hot water in the Andes, even at the finest hotels. In places like urubamba you might not have heat in the room and it does get cold at night. i brought my own slippers. Slippers an robes are not provided in most hotels. If you want a shower cap, bring it. In the jungle, keep your clothes away from the windows (screens only) as they will get damp. Don’t rely on washing anything there as it won’t dry.

    Very demanding hikes, thinner air affects muscles.

  5. woart
    5 out of 5

    :

    This was an excellent trek option for someone who cannot committ the time or get the permits for the Inca Trail. While I wish I could have hiked the trail, this was a well run trek with an excellent guide and lots of amazing things to see. I deffinatly recommend it to anyone who lacks the time or inclination to hike the trail.

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