FAQ




Why is the trek briefing two days prior to departure?
In order to make sure that only people start the treks that are adequately acclimatized to the altitude. All tour operators have this policy and it is for your own safety.

As a courtesy to our customers we do the trek briefings at your hotel. Payment of the remaining trek fee is also done during the briefing.

How big are the groups?
Maximum amount of guests per group is 12 for group service. For private services you can decide how many people you will bring along.

What is the advantage of a private service?
No other people you don't know/want will be part of your trip. Ideally for honeymooners, a family, a group of friends, etc. Guides will be able to provide a more personal service than in a group service tour.

Where do I store the bags I don't need when I go on the trail?
All hostels and hotels in Cusco are accustomed to trekkers leaving belongings whilst on the trek and will have storage facilities at no extra cost.Optionally you can leave your bags withus in our storage.

How difficult are the trails?
You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise. Some preparation prior your holiday is a good advice. Try walking 15km a day and see how you feel afterwards, go to them gym or do some cycling.

Generally the pace on all treks is rather slow and is always adjusted to our clients. At the end you should enjoy the trail and it should not be seen as a competition on how arrives first.

Can I use walking sticks/trekking poles?
Many people use them. Either you bring them along with you or you can buy/hire sticks in many shops around Cusco.

For the Inca Trail however certain restrictions apply in order to prevent damage to the trail: walking poles with a metal spike are only allowed on the Inca Trail if the spikes are equiped with a rubber protection. Wooden sticks are also fine as long as you have brought them from home. In recent times trekkers with wooden poles from local trees have been stopped by the Governement. Governement wants to prevent deforestation and protect Andean forest.

We offer trekking poles for rent for USD 15.

Can you guarantee that we camp at Wiñay Wayna the third night on the Inca Trail?
Wiñay Wayna is the campsite closest to Machu Picchu, so it is everybody's favourite campsite. Wiñay Wayna is about a 2 hour trek to Machu Picchu so it allows the group to arrive at Machu Picchu very early in the morning. However there is not enough space at Wiñay Wayna for all the Inca Trail groups. The next nearest campsite is Phuyupatamarca which is a 5 hour trek to Machu Picchu. The campsite assignment is done by the Governement and we have no control over it.

Will I be able to climb Wayna Picchu when doing the Inca Trail?
Governement limits the total number of people allowed to climb Wayna Picchu to 400 per day. Since July 2011 the fee for a combined Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu ticket is 70 USD, or 40 USD if you hold a valid ISIC card. The Wayna Picchu permits are not sold separately and as we buy your Machu Picchu ticket together wih the inca trail permit you can only buy a combined ticket. There is no combined ticket inca trail/Machu Picchu/Wayna Picchu.

The 400 people allowed on Wayna Picchu are split into two groups. The first one climbing Wayna Picchu at 07:00 and the second one at 10:00. If you do the inca trail you will arrive at Machu Picchu after 07:00, so your only option to climb Wayna Picchu is the 10:00 group.

Either you buy the Wayna Picchu tickets by yourself (make sure that you buy the ones for the second group), or you can ask us to buy it for you while booking by making putting a remark in the booking.

Will I be able to climb Wayna Picchu when doing other treks than the Inca Trail?
Governement limits the total number of people allowed to climb Wayna Picchu to 400 per day. The Wayna Picchu tickets are not sold separately, so you need to let us know if you want to climb Wayna Picchu while booking. The combined Machu Picchu/Wayna Picchu ticket costs 15 USD more than the normal Machu Picchu ticket that we will buy for you.

The 400 people allowed on Wayna Picchu are split into two groups. The first one climbing Wayna Picchu at 07:00 and the second one at 10:00. When doing the Lares or Salkantay trekking we are at the entrance of Machu Picchu at 06:00 and you can chose whether you want to join the 07:00 group or the 10:00 group. But you have to let us know during the booking procedure which group you want to join, by putting a remark in the remarks field.

At what time will we leave Aguas Calientes for Ollantaytambo?
We take the train Expedition Service) leaving Aguas Calientes at 14:55 (2:55 pm) and will arrive at Ollantaytambo at 16:30 (4:30 pm). From there our private transportation will take us to Cusco and we will drop you at your hotel. Arrival is at around 18:30/19:00.

If we should not be able to get tickets for that schedule (e.g. short notice booking), we would take the train at 18:20 (6:20 pm), arrival in Ollantaytambo at 20:05 (8:05 pm), and in Cusco at around 21:00/21:30. This will be the Expedition Service.

If none of these schedule suit you there are several upgrade options:

Vistadome train leaving Aguas calientes at 13:37 (1:37pm, and will arrive to Ollantaytambo at 15:04 (3:04pm) and arrival to Cusco around 16:30/17:00 pm. + USD 20 per person.


Vistadome train leaving Aguas calientes at 15:48 (3:48pm, and will arrive to Ollantaytambo at 17:29 (5:29pm), and arrival to Cusco around 19:30/20:00 pm. + USD 30 per person.

Expediton train leaving Aguas calientes at 16:22 (4:22pm, and will arrive to Ollantaytambo at 18:10 (6:10pm) and arrival to Cusco around 20:30/21:00 pm. + USD 10 per person.

Can I get back on a different train than the one included in the trek?
If non of the above options suit you then you are best to make the train booking directly with Peru Rail yourselves using their website www.perurail.com.

But you have to inform us when doing the booking. We will of course deduct the costs of the train (50$) and the bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco (5$) from the price of your trek. This is done when settling the total price of your trek. The deposit will remain the same.

Why do you not offer the direct train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco?
Because the trip is longer than taking the train to Aguas Calientes and then stepping on a bus (1 1/2 hours train, 1 1/2 hours bus). The direct train needs 4 hours to get to Cusco and then you need to take the bus for another 45 minutes to get to downtown. In addition it is very difficult to get tickets as the railway company prefers to sell round trips from Cusco to Aguas Calientes than one way tickets.

If I come back on a different train from that arranged by WAKE UP PERU TREKKING will you still send a bus to Ollantaytambo to collect me?
If you decide to book your return train by yourself or change the return time from Aguas Calientes from that arranged by us we won't be able to send a bus to pick you up and drive you to Cusco.

However there are many buses leaving Ollantaytambo for Cusco or you can also take a taxi that will cost you around 40$ per ride.

How do the alternative treks to Machu Picchu compare to the traditional Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail is famous because it passes through various different landscapes such as high mountains, cloud-forest, sub-tropical vegetation and grassland. In addition many archeological sites are located along the route. But it is very crowded and Governement stricktly limits the number of people allowed on the trek. Hence it is booked out already months in advance.

The alternative treks are much less crowded and you can enjoy the amazing high-mountain scenery with many snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes. The alternatives trek will lead you through many small villages and communities in the mountain that mainly live as farmers, working hard on their fields and tending their llama and alpaca herds. These people still live very traditionally, proudly wear their traditional dresses and you will be able to see their outstanding weaving products and handicrafts.

The alternative treks are an excellent alternative for those not having found any space on the Inca Trail but also for those preferring a much less crouded hike that gives a good impression on how the live in the Peruvian highlands is.

Do you provide drinkable water on the trek?
On the Lares and Salkantay treks you can buy water and other drinks from local people throughout the whole trail. Same applies for the first two days of the Inca Trail. From the third day onwards on the Inca Trail we will provided boiled water.

Can I buy drinks and snacks on the trek?
On Lares and Salkantay trek you can. Just make sure that you bring already some drinks on the trek to avoid that you have to start without any drinks. On the Inca Trail from the third day onwards we will provide boiled water as no drinks can be bought anymore.

Are tips included in the trek price?
Tips for the guides, assistants, cooks, porters and the horse men are not included in the price of the trek.Tips are optional and depending on the level of service provided.

Tips for the cook, porters and horse men:
On the Inca trail generally tips are distributed amongst the cook and porters on the third night of the trek at Wiñayhuyna.
This is because on the final day, porters are not going with the group to Machu Picchu, they will decend to km 107 and take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then they will return to their comunities.

On the Lares treks and Salkantay treks tips are distributed amongst the cook,assistants and the horse men the third day of the trek after lunch.
Cook, assistants and horse men are going back to their comunities after lunch.

Somone from the group is usually elected to collect the tips, for this we recomend to take plenty of small denomination bills in Peruvian soles, and also we recomend that the cook should recive 50% more than the porters and the horse men.

Tips for the guide and the assistant guide:

We recomended to tip our guides and assistants after the guided tour in Machu Picchu or when they meet at the restaurant in Aguas Calientes.

All our cooks, porters and horsemen receive a fair salary. However it's common to give tips if customers were satisfied and happy with the provided service. Usually people give 50 to 60 soles per porter and the cooks get 100 soles.

How does Lares differ to Salkantay?
Lares:
- slightly higher difficulty
- you see more traditional culture on that trek, i.e. custom and tradition
of the people living in the high ands.
- many alpacas and llamas
- you pass many lakes that give a nice scenerie
- less touristed than Salkantay
- if doing the "Hot Springs" Lares trek you can visit great hot springs,
when doing the Salkantay you still pass hot springs in Santa Maria and Aguas
Calientes, but the Lares ones a nicer.

Salkantay:
- no need to take the train from Olantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the trek
ends at Aguas Calientes
- different fruit vetegation like banan, papaya, coffee plant etc.
- more tourists on that trail than the Lares
- is geographically closer to the original inca trail. We also pass a small
archeological complex (Llapta Pata) which is very nice. Lares does not cross
any archeological sites, expect the one at Ollantaytambo, but there we don't
have too much time as we have to get the train to Aguas Calientes.
- Many birds and orchids
- we pass the second highest mountin of the cuso region - the Salkantay

Depending on your fitness level Salkantay might be a little bit easier and you have the possibility to do a 5 day trekking (4 day hiking + 1 day at
Machu Picchu). Lares only offers 4 day treks (3 days hiking + 1 day at Machu Picchu).

Where can I check if inca trail permits are still available for my preferred date?
1. Go to: http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/
2. Select the English flag
3. Select "Consultation" and check the month you are interested in

In which hotel will we stay in Aguas Calientes?
We stay in Muyurina, rooms included private bathrooms with hot showers. If you would like to upgrade you have the following options:.

  • Hotel Santuario Machupicchu: + USD 85 per person

  • Hotel Waman: +USD 75per person

  • Hotel Killa Inn: +USD 65 per person



Can you pick us up from the airport
Sure. We're happy to provide this sure at the following small cost:
- 2 persons USD 15
- 3 persons USD 20
- 4 persons USD 25
- 5 persons USD 30
- 6 +persons USD 45

Do you rent backpacks?
Yes, for 40 soles per person per trek you can rent a backpack.

Which hotel do you recommend in Cusco?
We have no agreement with any hotel but recommend based on customer feedback the following.

Hotels

  • Casa Andina hotels, they have 4 hotels in Cusco at different location

  • Tierra Viva Hotels, They Have also 4 hotels in Cusco at different location.


Hostels

  • Pariwana

  • Ecopackers


What are the extra costs for an extra night at Aguas Calientes
- Only Machupicchu tickets USD 47
- Machupicchu tickets+ Waynapicchu USD 62
- Extra night at Muyurina hotel USD 35
- Bus tickets round trip USD 24
- Transportation from Ollantaytambo to cusco hotel USD 40

Do I have to pay a deposit?
Yes, when booking a trail you need to state a valid credit card and we will charge it. The non-refundable deposit varies from tour to tour.

The deposit is required to pay official fees, entrance fees and taxes. We also use the deposit to secure cooks, porters and horses for our different treks.

When do I pay the remaining amount for the trek?
The remaining amount for the trek is paid cash (US$) two days before the trek starts. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the high altitude.

IMPORTANT: please note that we can only accept undamaged bills (no damages, markings, rips etc.)

We will meet you in your hotel where you can settle the remaining amount. This is a courtesy to our customers in order to avoid that you have to walk through the city with a lot of cash.

The trek briefing will also be done in your hotel.

How far in advance do I need to make a trek reservation?
For the Inca Trail as far in advance as possible. The governement has strictly limited the number of people permitted on the Inca Trail to 200 trekkers and 300 porters). Depending on the month you wish to do the trek we recommend the following:
June, July, August: Between 5 and 6 months in advance.
April, May, Sept, Oct: at least 4 months in advance.
Nov, Dec, Jan & March: at least 3 months in advance
Feb: Inca Trail is closed for cleaning.

Can I change the date of my place on the Inca Trail, once I have booked it?
No. Unfortunately once your reservation is officially confirmed with the Inca Trail Authorities (INC Reservation Office) it is not possible to change or postpone your departure date. You would need to make a new reservation with a new deposit for your new date (this date needs to be one which is at least 5 days before or after your prior departure date). Please note that this is an authority regulations applicable for all agencies.

Can I book without a valid passport?
Unfortunately not. Both for the Inca Trail and visit to Machu Picchu governement requires a valid passport. If your passport expires between booking date and your vacation you have to bring along the old passport, since 2014 a copy of the old passport is sufficient. Authorities will not admit you on the Inca Trail or Machu Picchu with your new passport only in case it is different than the one you used to book. This is not under our control! However you can book with an expired valid passport, as long as you also bring it with you resp. a copy of it. Booking without a passport is not possible.

What is the Inca Trail trek permit and who buys it?
As number of people on the Inca Trail is limited to 200 trekkers and 300 porters per day the governement issues Inca Trail permits. Permits can only be bought by licenced tour operators and there is a pretty complicated procedure on how operators can get the permits for their clients. We will take care of buying your permit.

Do you guarantee that I will get an Inca Trail permit for my booked date?
We will do our best but it strongly depends on luck. Governement uses a pretty complicated procedure to allocate the trek permits. From mid January onwards for a couple of weeks permit allocation takes place. On specific dates permits are allocated for a specific month. The evening before the permits go on sale the Association of Cusco Tour Operators puts the names of all the tour operators with valid bookings in a hat and then the order of the tour operator names that are taken out of the hat determines the order of companies that can purchase the trek permits for that given month.

If for any reason we are not able to buy your trek kpermits we will e-mail you as soon as we know and will try to offer you an alternative departure date or refund your trek deposit.

Why do you add 80 USD if only 1 or 2 people book for a group service?
We would like to be able to perform every booked trek. If two days before the trek start only 2 people are registered we have to add a surcharge of 80USD/person. This is to ensure that we will be able to cover the costs of the trek. If you are the first two people booking a trek the system will inform you that the 80USD/person might apply. However if at the end more than 2 people attend the trek, this surcharge is of course not levied.

Do you give discount for kids?
Yes. If you send an electronic copy (scan) of the passport of your kid (younger than 14), we can get a discount of USD 20. But we need the passport copy to get the permits.

Do I get discount as a student?
If you hold a valid ISIC student card you get USD 20 discount on the 4D/3N inca trail and USD 20 discount on the 2D/1N inca trail and on the Lares and Salkantay treks. We need a scanned copy of your ISIC card in order to get the permits. Please send it to info@incatrekkers.com right after you booked and make a note in the booking remarks.

Do I need to bring walking boots?
Walking boots are recommended as they provide support to the ankle which reduces the risk of injury especially when trekking in the wet season (December - March). However it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in and not brand new. We do not recommend trekking in sandals or using new boots or hiring boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.

What do I need to carry on the trek?
You only have to carry your daypack with your personal items (drinking water, rain gear, etc.). The rest of your belongings required on the trek are carried by porters or by horses. Depending on the length of trek you are entitled to bring along between 5 (inca trail) and 8 (Lares, Salkantay, Choquequirao) kilos. You should store the rest of your travel baggage in your hotel.

Do you have vegetarian option?
Yes. We can provide vegetarian food on request. During the briefing two days prior to departure we will ask for any special diet wishes and will then buy the food for the trekking accordingly.

Are there toilets on the Inca Trail?
Since the beginning of 2003 many new, flush toilets have been built along the Inca trail including all of the major campsites. This has helped a lot to improve sanitary conditions on the trail. Each toilet block has cold running water. Every evening we will provide you with a bowl of warm water to wash with.

Are there toilets along the alternative trails?
No. But we bring chemical toilets along for your convenience.

Will I be able to take a shower on the trails?
There are no showers on the trekkings but we will provide a bowl with warm water every evening to wash yourself.

How many people go in each tent?
The tents for all our treks are 4 man tents but actually 2 enter in each thus allowing you more space and comfort. If you travelling alone and there is an even number of people in your group, you will share the tent with somebody from the same sex.

Where do I store the bags before the Machu Picchu guided visit?
There is a storage near the control gate at Machu Picchu main entrance, where tourists leave their personal belonggings. Please note that you can only visit Machu Picchu with a small daypack and without food (walking sticks are not allowed either unless is really necessary i.e. age of tourists etc.).

Appropriate clothing along the hikes
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required along the route.

Will your guides accompany us from start till end of the trek?
Yes. Unlike other operators our guides will stay with you until you are back in your hotel (private and group service). Many operators let their customers travel alone from Aguas Calientes to Cusco. We don't. We want to provide excellent service and go the extra mile. Therefore we will stay with you for the whole trek duration (from picking you up at the hotel, till dropping you again at the hotel).

Will I be able to visit the Hot Springs?
When you do the Lares or Salkantay trekking you have time to visit the hot springs of Aguas Calientes in the afternoon of the third day before dinner.

Can a child climb Wayna Picchu?
We do not recommend that kids hike Wayna Picchu. Teenagers from 15 onwards should be able.

Climate - Lares Valley
Cusco’s climate is divided into two seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.

Along the route from Lares to Ollantaytambo, temperatures range from 10-20ºC during the day if it’s sunny, to 5-15ºC during the day if not sunny and depending on the elevation. Temperatures drop at night, reaching 0-5ºC although rarely below. In Aguas Calientes and Machupicchu, at lower altitude, temperatures are usually warmer though warm clothes are still recommended at night.

Climate - Inca Trail
Cusco’s climate is divided into two seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.

Along the Inca Trail, temperatures range from 15-20ºC during the day if it’s sunny, to 05-10ºC during the day if not sunny. At night it's between 0-05ºC at the first 2 campsites. At Wiñaywayna and Machupicchu, at lower altitude, temperatures are usually warmer though warm clothes are still recommended at night.

Climate - Salkantay
Cusco’s climate is divided into two seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the heaviest rainfalls occurring usually between January – March); and the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees at night.

Along the Salkantay route, temperatures range from 10-20ºC during the day if it’s sunny, to 05-10ºC during the day if not sunny and can drop below freezing at night. In Aguas Calientes/Machupicchu, at lower altitude, temperatures are usually warmer though warm clothes are still recommended at night.