OUR TOURS & HIKING TREKS FAQs
We want your trip to Peru as memorable and easy as possible, in this section, you’ll find speedy answers to all those questions you had about our Tours and hiking in Peru with Andean Great Treks . Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Please send us a email or use our chat onlie 24 hrs.
- HOW MANY DAYS DO I NEED TO ACCLIMATIZE IN CUSCO BEFORE THE TREK?
It’s very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. We recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you adjust and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.
You might have already been in another area of Peru at a high altitude before arriving in Cusco. In that case, we still recommend you have a whole day in Cusco to rest, recover from your travel, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cusco before departing for the trek.
- BRIEFING OR INFORMATIVE MEETING
All information meetings and briefings are held in our Office in Cusco, at Marques Street Nº 250; office 02 (second floor) (or your Hotel) the day before start your trek. We organize the briefings at (9:00 am to 17:00 pm) depending on your confirmation email details. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. If you’re unable to attend, you must coordinate another time by email, by phone or at our travel Office.
- THE BALANCE PAYMENT IN CUSCO
The balance of your Travel Package or Trek has to be paid in full at most 5:30 pm one day before your departure (generally after the briefing).
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency at our office in Cusco. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Av. El Sol ( either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PayPal online, but you will have to pay a 5 % service charge, charged by VISA, Master Card, or any other Cards, and PayPal. We don’t accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
- DUFFEL BAG OR CANVAS CASE
You’ll recive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. Our porters and horses will carry them, and the head of porters will hand them to you get to each camp. They measure 60 x 24 x 22 cm. (23.6 x 9.45×8.66 in)
A maximun of 7 kg / 15.4 lb. is allowed for each duffel bag, including the weight of your sleeping bag, sleeping mat, clothes and other personal items.
Dear customers, please, these bags must be returned to the office the day you return from any of our tours or walks, otherwise coordinate with the office staff so that you can pick up the bag at your hotel.
- CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE?
For security reasons please leave all your travel luggage at your hotel in Cusco. Any equipment that you won’t need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain a itemized receipt ( in the unlikely case of theft, many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing everything). It’s much better to put some items such us credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
- PICK UP OF GUESTS
Andean Path Trek can pick up you from your hotel, as long as it’s the Historical Center of Cusco. Your guide will coordinate the pick up time in the briefing session, but please keep in mind that time may vary between 30 to 45 minutes.
Cusco is an old city, meaning its has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without acces to cars or minivans, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good acces.
- RETURN TO CUSCO
Returning from Machu Picchu or any other Trek, requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour.
- In Aguas Calientes, you’ll board a train to Ollantaytambo. Your guide will give you the train tickets where the boarding time will be shown. Make sure you’re on the platform 30 minutes early. The train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes 1.45 hours.
- Once you arrive at the train station, our travel staff, identified with Andean Great Treks clothing, will be waiting to transfer you to Cusco or directly to your hotel. The trip from Ollantaytambo to Cusco takes 1.30 hours.
- In Cusco depending on your hotel’s location, we’ll drop off you at your hotel door. Or as close as possible to your hotel .
- STRIKES AND DEMONSTRATIONS
Strikes and demonstrations are usually common in Peru, and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked, and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your trip as originally planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be canceled. In case of changes or cancellations, everything will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority, and our decisions will be made to protect it.
- LOST OBJECTS
Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our transport, trains, tents or restaurants. You’re only on responsible for your objects during the tour.
- HOW TO BOOK THE TRAVEL JOURNEYS AND HIKING TREKS
FIRST, to book your Travel Journey’s and Hiking Treks, you need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here the link BOOK NOW.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase any Travel Journey or Hiking Trek permit without the following information:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit amount (it depends of your chosen travel journey or trek, which will appear you at our reservation formular) the deposit amount is per person in order to purchase a permit for Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Train Tickets, Hotels, etc. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.
- HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?
According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek or tour to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example: if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you must have a valid university ID card to qualify for the student discount.
University students must provide a copy of their ID card showing a photo, University name and card expiration date. Cards must be valid for the current academic year only.
- All students from 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30 USD.
- For children from the age of 2 to 11 the discount is $40 USD.
- Children from the age of 0 to 2 are free.
All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount. Send us a copy at [email protected]
- DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT?
Yes! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your Travel Journeys , Inca Trail Permits , Machu Picchu, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check your passport when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or get on the train. They are very strict about this here!!
- PASSPORTS, VISAS AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the ‘Money Matters’ section of this document.
It is a requirement of the Peruvian Tax Authority for our trip leaders to show proof that all travelers on our groups are foreign tourists and are thus exempt from the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) charged to locals. This may require your trip leader to take a photograph of your main passport page and the page showing the immigration stamp you receive upon entry to Peru.
- WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN CUSCO REGION?
The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. We recommend that you plan to always dress in layers to facilitate adjusting to the quickly changing weather conditions. We highly recommend you bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.
- WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
In general if you exercise regularly and spend 2 to 3 days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatization to the altitude, you may be just fine.
We recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness.
- HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?
The maximum group size is 15 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-10 persons. Andean Great Treks specialises in SMALL, PRIVATE groups and provide a personalised service.
- WHAT ABOUT TOILETS ON THE TREKS?
This has been highly appreciated by most of our clients, especially by our trekkers, who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet! Andean Great Treks toilet facilities have an individual tent and a camping toilet with a seat. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean.
- WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE TREK?
In the unlikely scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due to a health issue, Andean Great Treks will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to the nearest are to evacuated by ambulance or car to Cusco.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary in your country, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during your Trek or Travel Journey. It inspires them to give excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Andean Great Treks destinations. Of course you are free to tip as much as you feel appropriate, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
- THE ROUTE GUIDE SPEAKS ENGLISH?
If all our guides are professionals, who have studied at the tourism institute or the university, who work for more than 8 years with our company, they speak English perfectly, they are highly trained in all our trekking routes, with extensive knowledge in history , archeology, ornithology and botany.
The company also has its staff in the languages of French and German, if you would like a guide in your native language of preference, coordinate with our staff.
- HOW LONG I WILL VISIT MACHU PICCHU?
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.
Visiting Machu Picchu:
– Tickets are only valid only for one entry, that means that travellers cannot leave the site and re-enter as in the past.
– Once travellers begin on a chosen circuit they cannot walk backwards and once they finish the circuit they must leave the site. They cannot explore afterwards.
– It will be mandatory to have a official Machu Picchu guide, all our tour guides are allowed.