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The Ultimate Inca Trail Trek

$2,013

4.93 out of 5

2017 Inca Trail Permits Are On Sale Now With Limited Availability. Book Now to Secure Your Trip Dates.

Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu after acclimatizing with hikes to ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The 5-day Inca Trail Trek allows you to hike and camp apart from most of the crowds who walk together on the 4-day trek, while giving you extra time to explore ruins and at Machu Picchu. Expert guides, cooks, and equipment make this a truly top-notch, complete experience, starting and ending at the Cusco airport.

Length: 9 Days
Destination: Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru
Lodging: Comfortable camping, boutique 3- or 4-star hotels
Activities: Trekking, Inca ruins
Dates: Trips depart every Saturday, March – December

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

SKU: AmazonasExplorer-ITR Categories: , , ,
Local Operator:


WHY THIS TRIP

While the Inca Trail is the classic, bucket-list trek in Peru, and it is the only way to arrive in Machu Picchu on foot, the traditional 4-day trek is not the best way to do it. On this 5-day trek you begin the trek after the hordes have departed on the traditional 4-day trek, allowing them to clear out so you can hike and camp in relative solitude away from the masses of other trekkers. This schedule also gives you more time to explore ruins along the way and at Machu Picchu. The trip begins with acclimatizing hikes to impressive ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley to help get you ready for the altitude of the Inca Trail, but also because these sites shouldn’t be missed! The guides are world class, the food is inspiring, and the equipment is first rate.

TRIP DESCRIPTION

If you are looking for a top-quality Inca Trail trek, complete with acclimitazion hikes to the best Inca ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, this is the adventure for you. It is operated by one of the best outfitters in Peru, which specializes in top-quality guides and seamless logistics.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a fantastic journey on an ancient trail used by the Incas, passing numerous ruins and with fantastic mountain views. Entering Machu Picchu through the Gate of the Sun is something you will remember for life.

While the 26-mile Inca Trail is most commonly hiked in four days (with the last half-day spent at Machu Picchu), this is not the best way to do the trek. This five-day trek allows for a later start (more sleep!) on day one so you avoid starting your  trek with the multitudes on the four-day trek, and then puts you on a different schedule so you are not walking and camping with all the trekkers on the four-day trip. This schedule also breaks up the trek so you only cross one high pass a day, making for a much more pleasant experience. You also have more time to stop and explore ruins along the way without feeling the need to rush onward to camp.

Finally, late on day four you arrive to Machu Picchu, entering through the Gate of the Sun. You have time to enjoy the views of the ruin before heading to your comfortable hotel in town, peaceful with the knowledge that you will return the next morning full of energy, and with plenty of time, to fully explore this sacred site.

A team of porters takes care of the work on this remote trek, carrying all the group gear and all your personal items except for those items you will carry in a small daypack i.e water, snacks, camera, raincoat, etc. When you arrive in camp your tent will already be set up and the cook staff will be hard at work preparing your 3- to 4-course meals, which you will enjoy sitting at a table in the dining tent.

The trip begins and ends in Cusco, the fascinating former capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport and given a short orientation walk around Cusco’s central square, the Plaza de Armas, for the latest on where to eat, where to find local markets, and about iconic city sites to check out. In the evening, you’ll meet your guide for a full briefing on the days to come. After the trek you’ll have a free day to explore Cusco on your own.

This trip can be combined with other highlight destinations like the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca or even the Galapagos Islands.

LOCAL OPERATOR: 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 Cusco

On arrival from your spectacular flight along the Andes to Cusco, you will be met and escorted to your hotel. After some time to check in you are introduced to Cusco with the “Locals’ guide to Cusco” tour. This short walking tour is a great way to get your bearings, stretch your legs after traveling and experience hiking at 3,300 meters. The beautiful historic center was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 with Inca and colonial architecture evident all around. At a convenient time your guide will arrange a full briefing for the days ahead.

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

DAY 2: Cusco Ruins

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 recreation of traditional Inca ceremonies such as Inti Raymi and Warachikuy. Next is the Inca water temple of Tambo Machay lying at 3,700 meters (12,000 feet) followed by a special picnic lunch. From here it is all downhill to Cusco, stopping at the Temple of the Moon and other historical sites along the way.

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

(Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 3: Sacred Valley Hike: Moray to Salt Pans

Leaving Cusco behind you start your journey to Machu Picchu. The hike starts at the fascinating circular ruins of Moray. While some think it was a landing pad for alien spaceships, more likely is that the Incas built this as an experimental agricultural center. Concentric circular terraces allowed them to simulate different facing slopes and different growing temperatures to see what crops would grow where. With another homemade picnic along the way you hike on down, past the spectacular salt pans of Maras to end in the Sacred Valley.

Overnight in the Sacred Valley:
3 Star Hotel: Lizzy Wasi or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Villa Urubamba or similar

(Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 4: Ollantaytambo & Start The Inca Trail

Your five-day Inca Trail is carefully tailored to avoid the crowds. By leaving later than everyone else, and allowing an extra day, you spend the whole trail out of sync with other tourists. Thus you will literally have the trail to yourself.

This morning you visit the old Inca town of Ollantaytambo. After a look around and some lunch you have a short drive to the trailhead at Piscacucho (km 82). Here you meet the porters and cooks that will support your journey to Machu Picchu. With the crowds now long gone, you hike an undulating trail above the Urubamba River to camp beside the spectacular ruins of Llactapata (2,788 meters/9,146 feet). While walking all you need to carry is a daypack. Your luggage is carried by the porters, your tents are put up for you and your food is prepared for you. All you have to do is shoulder your daypack and enjoy the walking.

Total distance: 5km (3.1mi)
Estimated walking time: 2.5 – 3 hours
Maximum altitude point: 2,650m (8,690ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,650m (8,690ft)

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5: Inca Trail: Llactapata to Llulluchapampa

After a hearty breakfast you climb gently up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huayllabamba. This is the last inhabited place on the trail. A little steeper now, you head up the beautiful Inca path, past hummingbirds and stunted cloud forest to your camp at Llulluchapampa (3,680 meters/12,073 feet). This beautiful grassy area has outstanding views and you may be even see the Andean deer that come to feed here.

Total distance: 12km (7.5mi)
Estimated walking time: 5 – 6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,850m (12,590ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,850m (12,590ft)

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6: Inca Trail: Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca

Today is the most challenging day but also the most exhilarating. You climb to Dead Woman’s Pass (4,212 meters/13,819 feet) the high point of the trail before dropping into the Pacasmayo valley. Climbing once more you pass the Inca control post of Runkuracay to the second pass of the day (3,998 meters/13,117 feet). On a clear day there are spectacular views toward Pumahuanca mountain in the Vilcabamba range.

You continue on well preserved Inca trail to Sayacmarca. Located at the junction of two old Inca roads, historians still argue over its exact purpose. A few more gentle ups and downs and you arrive to your stunning campsite for the night at Phuyupatamarca, or “the place above the clouds” (3,650 meters/11,975 feet).

Total distance: 15km (9.3mi)
Estimated walking time: 8 hours
Maximum altitude point: 4,200m (13,780ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,600m (12,030ft)

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7: Inca Trail: Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu

This is the day you finally reach Machu Picchu. As you step out of your tent the views are stunning. Perhaps you will see the sun rising over the snow-capped mountains of Salkantay (6,200 meters/20,341 feet) and Veronica (5,800 meters/19,029 feet). Or perhaps you will have a cloud inversion, with the clouds filling the valleys beneath your feet. After saying a fond farewell to your porters it is time to put on your boots and head to Machu Picchu.

You descend through the cloud forest on beautiful Inca stairways, to Winay Wayna, another interesting ruin full of swallows and orchids. Finally you contour the hillside to arrive at Inti Punku, the gateway of the Sun. As you step through the old stone gateway 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 colorful town of Machu Picchu Pueblo and a well-deserved hotel and shower.

Total distance: 11km (6.8mi)
Estimated walking time: 5 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,600m (11,770ft)
Hotel altitude: 2,400m (7,870ft)

Overnight in Machu Picchu Pueblo:
3 Star Hotel: Waman Hotel or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: El MaPi by Inkaterra or similar

(Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 8: Machu Picchu

Relaxed after a comfortable night, you head back up to Machu Picchu for your fully guided tour before the crowds arrive. There is time afterwards to hike to the Inca Bridge, Watchman’s Hut or to wander through the ruins soaking up the atmosphere. In the afternoon you descend to the waiting train to enjoy one of the great train journeys of the world back towards Cusco.

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

(Breakfast)

DAY 9: Depart Cusco

Back once more in the old Inca capital you have time 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. The new late flights out of Cusco allow you to really maximise your time and get the most out of this holiday of a lifetime. You will be transferred to the Cusco Airport in time for your departure flight.

(Breakfast)

Or for those with more time consider one or more of our excellent extensions to the Amazon Rainforest, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, Nazca and the Ballestas islands or more adventures by bike, foot, canoe, raft or horse. Please contact us for more details.

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 9, 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: 

GROUP DEPARTURES

Departure Dates: Every Saturday, from March 11 – December 23

3 Star Hotels
2 – 3 Travelers: $2,169.00 per person
4+ Travelers: $2,013.00 per person
Single Supplement: $288.00

3 Star Plus Hotels
2 – 3 Travelers: $2,488.00 per person
4+ Travelers: $2,294.00 per person
Single Supplement: $463.00

Note: Group sizes refer to the overall number of travelers on this group departure, not just you and your travel companions.

PRIVATE TRIPS

Please inquire for private trip rates.

2018 PRICES: 

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


INCLUDED: 

  • All Cusco airport transfers
  • An orientation walk of Cusco
  • Transport to the Inca Trail in private vehicle
  • All camping and cooking equipment: Therm-a-rests, spacious two-person tents, dining tent, and toilet tent
  • An emergency first-aid kit and oxygen
  • A registered, English-speaking Inca Trail guide, all porters, cook team, and guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
  • The porters’ correct wages, Inca Trail entrances, transport, tents, food, and insurance
  • Bus transfers between the ruins and Machu Picchu Pueblo
  • Transport from Machu Picchu to your hotel in Cusco will be the Skydome / Vistadome train service and bus transfer
  • Accommodation will be 3- or 4-star hotels in Cusco and Machu Picchu Pueblo
  • All meals provided are indicated in the itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).

NOT INCLUDED: 

  • National or International flights
  • Personal belongings
  • Sleeping bag (available for rent at $10 per night)
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Entrances for optional hikes to Huayna Picchu ($80) & Machu Picchu Mountain ($80)*
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Personal or medical expenses
  • Tips for guides and staff
  • Lima services (hotels, airport transfers, day rooms, & tours) are not included but can also be quoted for and organized on request
  • Services and meals not indicated

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:

  • Sleeping bags are available for rent at $10 a night (or bring your own)
  • Personal travel insurance (required)
  • Entrances for optional visits to Huayna Picchu ($80) and Machu Picchu mountain ($80)*
  • Tips (optional)
  • National and International flights
  • Lima services (hotels, airport transfers, day rooms, & tours) are not included but can also be quoted for and organized on request

* Permit fees subject to change


 

 

 

Plan Your Trip

2017 GROUP DEPARTURES (requires a minimum of 2 travelers)
MAR 11 – 19 – MAR 18 – 26; MAR 25 – APR 2; APR 1 – 9; APR 8 – 18; APR 15 – 23; APR 22 – 30; APR 29 – MAY 7; MAY 6 – 14; MAY 13 – 21; MAY 20 – 28; MAY 27 – JUN 4; JUN3 – 11; JUN 10 – 18; JUN 17 – 25; JUN 24 – JUL 2; JUL 1 – 9; JUL 8 – 16; JUL 15 – 23; JUL 22 – 30; JUL 29 – AUG 6; AUG 5 – 13; AUG 12 – 20 ; AUG 19 – 27; AUG 26 – SEP 3; SEP 2 – 10; SEP 9 – 17; SEP 16 – 24; SEP 23 – OCT 1; SEP 30 – OCT 8; OCT 7 – 15; OCT 14 – 22; OCT 21 – 29; OCT 28 – NOV 5; NOV 4 – 12; NOV 11 – 19; NOV 18 – 26; NOV 25 – DEC 3; DEC 2 – 10; DEC 9 – 17; DEC 16 – 24; DEC 23 – 31

2017 PRIVATE DEPARTURES
Private Trips can start on any date from March through December, pending availability.

There are no set family departures. All departures are open to families to join. Private trips are also available to start on any day with a minimum of 2 travelers.

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 9, 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, the Sacred Valley, and to the Inca Trail starting point, 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: 

Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, Tambo Machay, the Sacred Valley, Moray, Maras Salt Pans, Ollantaytambo, the Inca Trail, and Machu Picchu

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, Expedition, Trek

Activity Description: 

For your first three 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. On the Inca Trail (Days 4 to 7), you will be trekking most of the day, with breaks for snacks and meals, and to explore Inca ruins. On Day 8, 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.

DAILY TREKKING DISTANCE & ELEVATION

DAY 4: Ollantaytambo & Start The Inca Trail
Total distance: 5km (3.1mi)
Estimated walking time: 2.5 – 3 hours
Maximum altitude point: 2,650m (8,690ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,650m (8,690ft)

DAY 5: Inca Trail: Llactapata to Llulluchapampa
Total distance: 12km (7.5mi)
Estimated walking time: 5 – 6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,850m (12,590ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,850m (12,590ft)

DAY 6: Inca Trail: Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca
Total distance: 15km (9.3mi)
Estimated walking time: 8 hours
Maximum altitude point: 4,200m (13,780ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,600m (12,030ft)

DAY 7: Inca Trail: Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu
Total distance: 11km (6.8mi)
Estimated walking time: 5 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,600m (11,770ft)
Hotel altitude: 2,400m (7,870ft)

Trip Difficulty: Strenuous

Fitness Level: 

The Inca Trail is strenuous, but achievable for travelers who are active in their daily lives. It is best to have some long distance hiking experiences, but not necessary. Trekking is at a slow to moderate pace, with plenty of time for rests and exploring the ruins on route, but it is still challenging. The Inca Trail is rarely flat, and you will be hiking up and down very steep trails and old Inca stairs. The stairs are uneven in height and width, rocky, and steep. The longest day of hiking is approximately 12 hours, including breaks and stopping for lunch, and you will cross over the two highest passes of the trail: Dead Woman’s Pass (4,212m / 13,819ft) and Runkuracay (3,998m / 13,117ft).

The best way to prepare for the Inca Trail 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 Inca Trail 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: 16

Maximum Age: 85

Minimum Group Size: 2

Maximum Group Size: 16

Typical Group Size: 6

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

Best Time to Go: 

This trip is great at any time, except during the rainy season. The rain is heaviest during January and February, so this trip is not operated during these months. 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.  However, permits tend to sell out quickly during this time.

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 hearty breakfast, around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, and by early evening, an excellent three-course dinner is served. Snacks are also provided in between meals. 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 during your trek. 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: 

Gear includes spacious two person tents or single tents, dining tent, cook tent, portable camp toilet, and toilet tent. All camping and cooking equipment including Therm-a-rest inflatable mattresses, camping stools, tables, utensils, etc. Sleeping bags and pillows are not included, but can be rented upon request.

Boat Specifications:

N/A

Special Equipment You Should Bring: 

  • Trekking poles & protective tip covers
  • Sleeping bag, -5C / 20F (also available to rent)
  • Head lamp & spare batteries
  • 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: Single Tents, Double Tents, Sleeping pads/mattresses, Porters, Toilet Tent, Dining Tent, Dining Tables, Dining Chairs

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

ROOMING OPTIONS: Double, Single, Willing to Share, Single Supplement

DESCRIPTION:

INCA TRAIL CAMPING
Gear includes spacious two person tents or single tents, dining tent, cook tent, portable camp toilet, and toilet tent. All camping and cooking equipment including Therm-a-rest inflatable mattresses, camping stools, tables, utensils, etc. Sleeping bags and pillows are not included, but can be rented upon request. Bowls of hot water are supplied in the morning and in the evening at camp. Clean hand washing water is available in camp. Filtered water is available in camp and at meal times (please bring a refillable water bottle).

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

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

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

 

 

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
  • Shorts (quick dry)
  • 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)
  • Sleeping bag, -5C / 20F (available to rent)
  • Towel
  • Water bottles (2 liter capacity)
  • Sunglasses
  • Eyeglasses or contacts (if necessary)
  • Swim suit (optional)
  • Sun hat
  • Head lamp & spare batteries
  • Book, notepaper & pen (optional)
  • Suntan lotion with 15 SPF or higher
  • After sun care
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera & spare battery (charging is not availability during the trek)
  • Personal toiletries (only soap is provided)
  • 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 trek, 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 hotel in Cusco.

At your pre-trek briefing, your guide will provide you with a small duffle bag. In this, you will want to put all your clothing and gear that you will need for the trek. Please remember that this is limited to 17.6lbs / 8kg per person. Your porters will be carrying this duffle, and you will not have access to it during the day. You will need to take everything you need during the day in your day pack.

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 required for your trek (sleeping bags, trekking poles, rain jackets & pants, etc. can be found in Cusco).

 

NOTES

  • The porters carry all you heavy camping gear but this is inaccessible during the day so please bring a small day-pack to carry your personal day gear in (i.e. water bottle, camera, sun block, insect repellent, light fleece and rain jacket).
  • Due to Inca Trail rules limiting the numbers of porters and the weight they carry, we have to limit your heavy gear to 8kg (17.6 lbs). This is usually more than adequate. Kit bags are supplied for these porter carried items.
  • Any excess gear may be stored in Cusco at your hotel while you are on the Inca Trail.
  • 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.
  • Inca Trail regulations stipulate ski poles are only allowed with plastic protecting covers. This is to prevent trail damage. ‘Native’ tree walking sticks are also banned on the trail. This is to prevent de-forestation.
  • We recommend trekkers take around 600 soles in local currency for any emergencies and expenses in Machu Picchu.
  • We implement a ‘porter protection policy’ that ensures all porters are well treated, paid, insured, fed and looked after.
  • Most good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru so if you wish to donate any outdoor clothes, sleeping bags, etc they will be gratefully received by any of our staff.
1491, by Charles Mann
Turn Right at Machu Picchu, by Mark Adams
The White Rock or Cochineal Red, by Hugh Thomson
Exploring Manu or Where the Andes Meets the Amazon, by Kim MacQuarrie & Andre Bartschii
Field Guide to the Birds of Machu Picchu, by Barry Walter
Exploring Cusco, by Peter Frost
Lost City of the Incas, by Hiram Bingham
The Inca Trail, by Richard Danbury
Neo-Tropical Companion, by John C. Kricher
Running the Amazon, by Joe Kane
The Last Days of the Incas, by Kim MacQuarrie
Birds of Peru, by Clive Byers
The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thorton Wilder
Conquest of the Incas, by John Hemmingway
Into the Forest of the Night, by John Simpson
Touching the Void, by Joe Simpson
Heart of the Amazon, by Yossi Ghinsberg
Inca Kola, by Matthew Paris
Inca Gold, by Clive Cussler
Realm of the Incas, by Max Milligan
Peruvian Wildlife, by 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 not have access to electricity during your trek.

During the first two days of the trek, you will be hiking through several small communities. You will have opportunities to purchase drinks and snacks 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 on the Inca Trail, in Machu Picchu, in hotel rooms, or in 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.

INCA TRAIL GUIDES
All Inca Trail Guides have the necessary Tourism University degree required to be a registered Inca Trail 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. By trekking the Inca trail in five days this ensures you never camp between the two high altitude passes where altitude sickness can take its toll. This means evacuation is a simple quick and effective operation.

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 Inca Trail 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. By trekking the Inca Trail in five days instead of four days, you never camp between the two high altitude passes where altitude sickness can take its toll. This means evacuation is a simple, quick, and effective operation. 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. During the trek, you will have support staff, including a cook and porters.

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.

TYPICAL TREKKING DAY
6:00 am – Wake up with a cup of tea and bowl of water for washing. You then have one hour to pack up your rucksack before breakfast at 7:00. This enables the porters to take down your tents while you are eating.
7:00 am – Breakfast
7:30 am – Start trekking*
11:00 am – Snack break
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch break
3:30 pm – Arrival at camp. The porters will have set up camp and have hot drinks and snacks waiting.
6:00 pm – Three-course dinner and hot drinks

*Trekking is at a slow to moderate pace with plenty of time for rests and exploring the ruins 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. You will not have access to wifi during your trek. 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.

INCA TRAIL
The Inca trail where you will be supported by a full crew of cooks, porters, waiters etc is far more complicated to organize in terms of tipping. We recommend that each traveler contributes 100 – 200 soles (US$40 – 80) into a pot and following the advice of the guide divide it out between the crew of cooks, waiters and porters.

For tipping the actual Inca trail guides and assistants we recommend following the advice for specialist guides above.

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, the Sacred Valley, 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 hearty breakfast, around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, and by early evening, an excellent three-course dinner is served. Snacks are also provided in between meals. 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 during your trek. 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.

 

15 reviews for The Ultimate Inca Trail Trek


  1. Tom M
    5 out of 5

    :

    We did Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. My wife developed altitude sickness. Half an hour later, oxygen was supplied by the Hotel. We also had a problem with the immigration card. The hostesses on the plane into Lima, note plural, said we didn’t need one but!!!!!! Told our guide and Amazons solved it for us. Major stress averted.

    Our four day Inca Trail Trek was a unique experience. Wonderful, wonderful memories. Fantastic food, my wife being gluten and dairy intolerant. Nothing was too much trouble, even relaxed stressed husbands.

    The key to all this was our guide – Jimmy. He set a pace that catered for everyone, has an limitless sense of humour, an enviable depth of knowledge, empathy, highly organised, proactive etc etc. Don’t lose him!!!!!!! He made this adventure unbelievable.

  2. Fauzia Graham
    4 out of 5

    :

    Trip of a life time, part of my bucket list and I made the best choice when it comes to choosing the organisers for my trip. The itinerary, guides and the organisation of the whole trip was flawless. Everyone was friendly and I cannot thank Detour enough for making my dream happen in such a seamless way. The only reason I am not giving them 5 stars is, 1. Because the travel agency they use are not the best at getting back and being proactive and 2. because my hotel in Cusco was a bit too out of town and being on my own, that was not most suitable. Although, having said that, the hotel itself was brilliant and the staff were VERY helpful. Thank you to everyone at Detour, you were all faultless and brilliant.

  3. Ana M.
    5 out of 5

    :

    This was a phenomenal trip. This trip was so organized from start to finish. We had a great tour guide who was very knowledgeable, friendly, and safely led the way with an incredibly professional group of porters. We truly enjoyed every aspect of this trip (including the camping accommodations, hotels, and absolutely delicious food) and of course, seeing Machu Picchu at the end of the hiking/camping was just icing on the cake. Thank you so much!

  4. Stacey L
    5 out of 5

    :

    It was absolutely fantastic. Every day was amazing and so organized! The only think I would have changed is the day the trek began. We did a tour in a city that we had already toured. Given that we were only in Peru for a short amount of time, I would have liked to have seen a different city/site before the trek began.

  5. Christy M
    5 out of 5

    :

    Overall, the trip was great! It was well organized and we all had a good time. The only hitches we ran into were 1) The hotel we booked in Cusco for our first night before the tour started was three hours away. When we booked it, it said it was in the “Cusco metropolitan area”. When we sent all the info, it would have been nice if this had been mentioned to us since we are less familiar with the area. 2) The hotel that was booked during the tour in Cusco, was very poor. The rooms were not clean, the bathrooms had questionable water pressure, we had to wait three hours to check in, but they kept telling us it would only be another ten minutes whenever we asked, etc. It was not a good experience. Other than that, everything else was amazing. Our guide was fantastic, the accommodations on the trail were better than expected and the food was phenomenal!

  6. Kathy J
    5 out of 5

    :

    Loved the guide. Everything ran so smoothly. We were very impressed by the organization of the hike so that we hardly saw any other hikers and had great private camping spots. Porters were terrific.

    A trip of a life time for sure.

  7. sncattlequeen
    5 out of 5

    :

    Can’t say enough good things about Amazonas Explorer and it’s full service approach to the Inca Trail trek. A hot cup of tea first thing in the morning as you are trying to take in the history and beauty of the Inca Trail, it doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you to our guides, Efi and Nilda for giving us the knowledge to truly appreciate all that we saw. Our porters couldn’t have been more supportive, cheering us into camp at the end of each day and like magic all of our night time gear appeared in our assigned tents. Ah, it is good to be Queen.
    5-day 4-night Inca Trail
    Sherry

  8. jamcinerney
    5 out of 5

    :

    efi our guide made this a wonderful experience for all of us. His assistant Nilda and the porters treated us amazingly. I would strongly recomend this group to everyone.

    Jack

  9. Kirby
    5 out of 5

    :

    The trip was fantastic!!. Can’t say enough about the whole experience; the guides, porters, hotel staff, etc were all great and made the trip a total success. Amazonas Explorer was a great choice and we would go with them again; they really catered to us and took care of us. The Inca Trail was unbelievable and Machu Pichu was breath taking. Thanks to Detour for all your help too. Everything was in order and organized very efficiently. Thanks again and hope to travel with you again.

  10. cvarner256
    5 out of 5

    :

    This was a wonderful trip. The Amazonas Explorer support crew were great, and the tour guide (Wilo) was knowledgable and courteous. He took good care of the guests. The food was delicious, and the efforts of the porters (campsite set-up, food and drink service, hygiene, etc.) were top-notch. This trip is a great way to see many archeological sites in the region that you just cannot otherwise access. So many people hop on the train to Aguas Calientes, then the bus to Machu Picchu and think they’ve seen it all, but you’re missing so much if you don’t trek the trail! The day or two in Cusco was also fun; there are many interesting sights to see there.
    On the “warnings” side, I would add these things:
    1) the altitude is pretty extreme, so you need to be able to deal with it. It would be a good idea to show up a few days early, just to get acclimated, before taking on the trek (there are a couple of high peaks on the trek).
    2) when they say “rainy season” they mean it. The rain can make for less-than-pleasant trekking and camping experiences and the clouds can mess up the view, so I would suggest either going in the dry season or in the spring or fall, so you won’t see as much rain and cloud.
    3) when in Cusco, since you obviously look like a tourist, you’ll be approached by a lot of people trying to sell you stuff (water colors, post cards, Andean dolls). Just prepare yourself to say “No” a lot.
    4) when choosing from among the local restaurants, stick with the places that serve normal food for the region. The places that aspire to be “gourmet” really fall short of the mark, while the normal restaurants serve great meals and plentiful portions.
    All-in-all, this was a great experience and I give all credit to the Amazonas Explorer group — they take care of their guests and forsee and accommodate all contingencies very well. And, yes, EVERYONE should try to see Machu Picchu, whether they do the Trail or not, sometime in their lives!

  11. Casey W
    5 out of 5

    :

    Peru is beautiful. The Inca trail was amazing and well worth the time and money. Our accommodations were great given the environment. All tents were very nice a well set up. The food was exceptional, especially for trail food. Our guide was helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. The trip was very environmentally responsible, nothing but tracks left behind and guide was very responsible in picking up trash left by others. Overall this was an excellent trip. Would definitely travel with this provider again and recommend this trip to my friends.

  12. David G
    5 out of 5

    :

    The folks at Amazon Explores did an excellent job. I was very impressed with every aspect (pick up, guides, food on the trail, knowledge of the culture, historical facts, etc). True professionals.

  13. Roman G
    5 out of 5

    :

    The guide Reuben “Chino” (nickname) was a real professinal. As a former history professor, he was able to give us the history of the Incas as well as the local vegitation, mountains,etc.

  14. Alex L
    5 out of 5

    :

    This was an amazing trip. Amazonas was a great company all the way around. I think their schedule is one of the better ones I witenessed while on the trail. You start the trail kind of late on the first afternoon and there is a short hike to the fist campsite overlooking the Patallacta site. All the other tour companies started way earlier to we had the the trail and campsite all to ourselves. For the most part we were able to stay away from other groups. As you hike the trail you can see porters setting up camps. Our campsites were always the best ones – away from other groups and far from the bathrooms (trust me – this is a good thing, plus we had our own chemical toilet – a.k.a the fax machine). Our guides, Willo and Oswaldo, were great – always cheerful and absurdly accomodating. The equipment was all first rate. The was the best backpacking food you could ask for, especially good because someone else cooks and cleans. Plus they catered to everyone from carnivors to the veggies. Every morning we woke to warm water bowls for washing up, hot tea, and a hot breakfast. Every day we stopped for a three course lunch followed again by hot tea. Every afternoon we arrived and the entire campsite was already prepared and the porters cheered your arrival. We were greeted with more hot tea and hot water for washing up. Dinner was three courses with soup, hot entree, dessert, and more hot tea. They provided plenty of drinking water and were obsessive about hand washing and overall cleanliness. The Inca Trail reugulations make it quite difficult to offer a first class trip – we had about 20 porters for 14 people – however, Amazonas has worked hard to provide an amazing trip in spite of challenging regulations. I have uploaded some pictures to the forum.

  15. gfi
    5 out of 5

    :

    What a fantastic trip! There is no better way to experience Machu Picchu than to arrive by foot as the Incas did. And Amazonas Explorer runs a fabulous trip. Our every need was taken care of before we even knew we had a need.

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