How challenging is the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail reaches approx 13,700 feet (4,200 meters) at its highest point and is approx 27 miles long. Machu Picchu is located at 7,800 feet (2,400 meters) above sea level and is considered a moderate hike. It’s not a technical hike but there are a lot of Inca staircases to walk up and down, […]

What if I’m a single trekker, do I have make any special arrangements?

No, we take care of all arrangements for you. However, you may have the choice of sharing with another traveler of the same sex or you can request private accommodations (you will have to pay a single supplement fee). This applies whether you are camping or using lodges/hotels along the way. However, most travel providers […]

I don’t want to carry my backpack- what options do you have for me?

Very few of our treks require you to carry your own backpack, as porters or animals will carry your pack for you. If your trek is a backpacking trip, you may still be able to hire porters or support animals to carry your excess luggage.  If you do hire this service, make sure that you […]

Should I bring my own food?

Our local outfitters do provide food to all their travelers, however if you have a favorite snack or something you can’t live without, feel free to bring it with you. Classic hiking snacks are always a good idea, such as granola, oats, raisins, peanuts, chocolate etc. Detour’s Tours

Will I feel safe traveling the Inca Trail?

As always, please use common sense when traveling to a foreign country.  Theft is now not as common on the Inca Trail, but you should always take basic precautions. Don’t take any valuables with you that you don’t need for the trek.  Leave jewelry, large sums of money, or any other valuables in your hotel […]

How cold will it get on my trek?

Because of the high altitude, the temperature can vary and get very cool, especially during the Andean winter (May – September) when the temperature can drop to below zero degrees (Celsius) at night. There is still potential for it to be very cool at other times of the year, so it is recommended that you […]

Can I Trek the Inca Trail Without A Guide?

It is not possible to trek the Inca Trail without hiring the services of a guide from a licensed Inca Trail tour operator.  Independent trekking, or trekking without a guide and tour operator has been banned since 2002. 2001 trekking independently was banned. The regulation, however, was not enforced until early 2002. Trekkers now have […]

Is there another way to trek into Machu Picchu without a permit?

No, the permitted Inca Trail is the only way to arrive on foot through the Gate of the Sun at Machu Picchu. You can trek on other Inca Trails that get you very close to the site.  Only those on the Inca Trail (which includes the One-Day, Mollepata, and Classic trails) will trek directly into […]

Is there only one Inca Trail?

No, there are actually hundreds of trails constructed by the Incas in Peru, Ecuador, and Chile.  You can hike on a number of these non-permitted trails for a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure.  The Inca Trail for which you need a permit is the only trail that leads directly into Machu Picchu.  Travelers have the option of […]

What kind of Accommodations Can I Expect on My Peru Trek?

The accommodations for a typical trekking trip in Peru will be camping. Typically, you will have to provide the sleeping bag and pad yourself while the trek operator will provide the tents, cooking equipment, food, and water purifiers.  For specific trip deatils, you should refer to the “What’s Included” section of a particular trip.  With […]

What happens in case of a medical emergency while I’m trekking?

All treks featured by Detour include first aide kits and guides will have relevant safety training as well. For more specifics on training, certification, and safety awards won, please visit the provider information page through the Detour website. However, medical expenses beyond first-aide, including air evacuation, are not covered by trek providers. We highly recommend […]

I want an off-the-beaten path trekking experience in Peru. What treks can Detour recommend for me?

Choquequirao (5-day trek) is certainly a fascinating destination for any experienced hiker with a desire to explore amazing Inca ruins. Due to it’s remote location, extensive ruins, and uncrowded nature, many guides attest that this is like visiting Machu Picchu 20 years ago. For experienced trekkers, treks along the Cordillera mountain range offer an exciting […]

What will the weather be like on a Choquequirao trek?

The Andean weather can be unpredictable, despite the sharp divide between dry and wet seasons.  The dry season runs from May to October or November; the rainy season goes from December through April.  Nevertheless, Choquequirao lies in the forested fringes of the Amazon basin, where showers can occur at any time of year.   Therefore, even […]

What type of bag should I use for my trek?

If there are porters for your trek, we recommend duffel bags that are waterproof or can be lined with plastic bags to protect your clothes from water. These are easily tied on pack-animals and can be carried by porters (we use porters only on the Inca Trail since pack-animals are not allowed).Typically, the weight limit […]

What should I pack for my trek?

Here is a sample packing list for a trekking trip, courtesy of Explorandes. Adventure Gear for Trekking • Cotton short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts • Light colored long-sleeved shirts • Fleece or Wool sweater and/or trousers • Lightweight pants • Hiking shorts • Regular and long underwear (at over 13,000 ft/4,000 m. asl) • Medium weight […]

How fit should I be for a trek?

It depends on how challenging the trek is.  In general, you should be comfortable hiking for about 5 hours.  To see the level of difficulty for a given trek, you should review Detour’s Difficulty Rating, which is on each trip’s overview page.  Also, customer’s reviews can be helpful. To prepare, a regular exercise routine that […]

What kind of footwear do I need?

Take strong, comfortable footwear. Heavy boots are probably not required or advised; all you need is something that you can walk in all day, that gives good traction and which supports the ankle. Lightweight modern hiking boots are probably ideal. Remember to wear your boots in thoroughly before you go and get used to walking […]

Will I need to pay an entrance fee for this trek?

Most National Parks require an entrance fee, so be prepared.  The Inca Trail is the most notable trek that requires a permit.  Most treks do not require a permit however.  If you have questions, please contact a Detour representative. Trekking Tours

When is the best time to do a trek in Peru?

The dry season is generally the best time to do a trek anywhere in Latin America. In Peru the dry season usually runs from April to November, while the wet season runs from December to March. The Inca Trail is closed in February.June to September are the most popular months for treks in Peru (plan […]

What is the weather like in Cusco?

Cusco (and nearby Machu Picchu) has two distinct seasons, but it’s actually possible and sometimes advisable to visit during some parts of the rainier or off-season.  While June through August are fail-safe months for dry weather, you may actually prefer to visit in May, September, October or November. 

How much cash should I bring with me to Peru?

It is recommend that travelers bring in at least $500 (in US dollars) cash each, then change into PEN at the change house in the airport arrivals and ask the teller to explain what a false Sol note looks like. You can then use your debit card to access dollars from your US account and […]

What is the currency in Peru?

Peru changed the law last year so that everything is now priced in Peruvian Nuevo Soles (PEN). US dollars and Peruvian Nuevo Soles are still fairly interchangeable in hotels and restaurants, but they will probably give you a poor rate. It is important to note that in the country-side, Soles are now the only currency […]

What vaccinations should I get to travel to Peru?

No vaccinations are required for travel to Peru from the USA. Call the CDC Travelers’ Hot Line at 800-232-4636 or visit the website ( Most travelers receive inoculations for Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever and Tetanus. If traveling to the Amazon region, you should consider Malaria prophylaxis and Yellow fever. Peru Tours

Should I visit Machu Picchu if I Am Afraid Of Heights?

Visiting Machu Picchu shouldn’t be a problem if you are afraid of heights if you take the train to get there.  However if you hike the Inca Trail to get there be aware that there are some steeper areas and some exposed areas on the trail.  This means there are chances of loose rocks and unsure […]

What is the train ride like from Cusco to Machu Picchu?

This service to the ancient ruins at Machu Picchu offers a spectacular journey in the Andes region. The just over 3-hour journey begins with a series of switchbacks, known appropriately as the ‘zig-zag’, out of Cusco, before a stop at the village of Poroy. The train then descends from the highest point into the Sacred […]

What is Aguas Calientes like?

Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, is the small village at the base of Machu Picchu, and it is the train depot for Machu Picchu. This tiny town is located 5 miles (8 km) away from of Machu Picchu at 6,500 feet above sea level (2000 meters) and has trains that depart daily […]

What is the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail, as it’s now known, was the Royal Highway that led pilgrims and officials of the Empire to the Sacred City of the Incas. Although there are thousands of mile of Inca Trail in South America, the trail known as the Inca Trail is the only way to reach Machu Pichu on foot. […]

What is Machu Picchu?

Often called the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu is a well-preserved pre-Columbian Inca ruin located on a high mountain ridge in Peru about 44 miles (70 km) northwest of Cusco. Forgotten for centuries by the outside world, although not by locals, it was brought back to international attention by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham […]

Should I get travel insurance when I travel?

YES! Trip insurance does not cost much but can save you a huge loss in case you must cancel your trip for some reason at the last moment. Based on our experience, trip cancellation due to unexpected medical circumstances is quite common. Many trips require that you have insurance and we always recommend it to […]