FAQ Machu Picchu and Inca Trail
Replies: 408 - Last Post: Sep 29, 2012 8:44 PM Last Post By: icetray07
Nov 25, 2005 4:44 PM
Dec 2, 2005 7:03 PM
106incatrail cheaper iff you reserve before 30 december
Hello , i,m in cusco now and just did the incatrail , amazing ! and also good luck with the weather , for the moment its rainy season , but it doesn,t rain a lot !
The agent where i reserve my incatrail tell me that the incatrail again gone rice up in price next year , now the prices are around 250 usd for the 4 days , but next year the entree fee , the traintickets , the bus and the insurency for the porters are gone rice again extremly ! the price for next year is gone be around 350 USD ,what is a lot
Why i write this ,is because there,s a rule , the oficials agry that iff you reserve in december for leaving in januari on the trail , the price stay the same as this year 250 usd , iff you reserve in januari for leaving the same month , you have to pay the new price what is much higher , this only consern for people who like to do the trail in januari , the trail in februari is closed and everybody have to pay the new price after februari
like this you save a 100 usd iff you like to do the trail in januari !enjoy the trail as i did , because this time of the year its not so bussy with a risk for rain
greatings out of warm peru
Dec 5, 2005 4:01 PM
Dec 7, 2005 9:34 PM
108#259 regarding the Salkantay trek:
Find out the exact itinerary is for your tour group's Salkantay Trek. It can be radically different from one agency to the next in both price, time, and scenery. I thoroughly enjoyed my 7-day Salkantay trek which started outside Mollepata then joined the Inca Trail at day 3 and finished (via trek) at MP. However "most" Salkantay treks do not actually finish the trek at MP nor do they get you on the Inca Trail itself. They go on separate trails off the Inca Trail, finish "near" MP, overnight at Aguas Calientes, and then the last day you take the bus to MP. This version is usually offered as an alternative to the standard Inca Trail treks during the high season. No permits are needed to trek Salkantay treks that avoid the IT altogether. Nonetheless I do suggest you look into these Salkantay treks, they are much less crowded than the standard MP treks, more challenging, and the views of the surrounding mountains like Salkantay are incredible.
Good luck with your planning.
Dec 17, 2005 12:18 AM
Dec 26, 2005 7:43 PM
110I can't answer your first question, but as for the second one - it is said that you have to be careful at night in Cusco, but personally I have been out alone at night (though usually not too late, maybe at midnight... later than that I usually was with someone else), and didn't have problems. Especially at night if you take a taxi I would say make sure it is an official one... In general, the usual precautions apply...
I ate at two vegetarian places, and got a bit sick each time - but that was mainly because I had omelette there and shouldn't have that at night... Else the places were fine, the second one was actually quite cheap for a tourist place. But unfortunately I can't remember its name.
Dec 28, 2005 6:31 PM
111RE:262 - ELinhin - the porters as per the regulations can carry 20 - 25kg. Some of the tours seem to point out that 'their' porter will carry up to 7kg. Beware the efforts to better the wroking conditions for these hardy souls. Probably better to leave anything above the limit back in Cusco, or better yet - at home.
Re: items to bring, items to buy. It crossed my mind, carrying a fleece for 9,000 k, when there are so many wonderful wools available in Peru, would be kind of silly. How much can an equivelent to a 'fleece' be bought in Peru for? a souvenir that is useful before you get back home would make more sense if the prices are reasonable.
Dec 28, 2005 7:26 PM
112Fleece, of course, is a light weight hi tech fabric and, at least in the US, rather expensive. Yes, you're right Kedh, the wonderful, cuddley alpaca sweaters, jackets and parkas don't only make good souvenirs, but - though they weigh a bit more than fleece - are just as toasty warm or warmer at one tenth the cost. I paid 90 soles for my best piece and have bought them for as little as 30 soles (under USD 10). The cruder the finish, the better because the fiber is not stripped of its protective animal fat in the spinning and weaving process which renders the garments practically waterproof. After the first few times in the rain you might find yourself smelling a bit like a wet llama, but to me that smell brings back a flood of memories that no fleece on earth could reproduce!!!
Dec 28, 2005 7:40 PM
113Thanks for that Swissa! Wow - that's a great price for anything wool - even socks! Ok - I just saved myself packing a fleece - will buy one in Peru. Should I assume that t-shirts, pants etc. are similarily cheap (compared to Can/US)? This may not be the place to ask it - but - eating like a Peruvian - but twice as much - what should I plan on spending for meals per day (without beer costs of course)?
ps. thanks for the tip on the coarse /crude finish.
Nothing beats MEC raingear (IMO) so I'm bringing that along - no matter how cheap the 'cheap plastic pochos in Cusco' are. With the heat, the altitude, and the hikes, i don't think I'll be smelling as good as a llama at all - lol. Planning on an odd time (not mentioned here before) Mar.15 - Apr.15 - any thoughts on rainpants - necessary or overkill? Should I consider this high or low season - it seems to strattle some of the reference dates for high and low season.
Dec 28, 2005 8:30 PM
114This summer I paid 9 soles for plain long-sleeved t-shirts - about 2.50 US. Not sure about pants - I love my (pricey) hiking pants from stateside - but I heard knock-offs can be found cheaply, too. As far as eating goes: I highly doubt you could eat twice as much as a Peruvian! They can really chow down on those potatoes, man. I actually know what you meant by "eating like a Peruvian" - you meant eating their kind of foods in their kind of restaurants, washing it down with their kind of beer, no doubt. Here's an approximate range of prices going from local minimum to backpacker best (leaving out the luxury establishments): Breakfast = s/1.50 - 5.00; lunch s/2.50 - 9.00; dinner s/4.00 - 12.00; translating into s/8.00 - 22.00 or approximately USD 2.65 - 7.35. Tips are not mandatory but I always tip generously because workers are all grossly underpaid.
Food, by the way is deeeeeeeelicious - best soups, best potatoes, best alpaca (oh yeah), best Andean trout, you get my drift.......
About rain pants, please see my post #169 - you will definitely need them. Also, you might want to pm me for more details - don't want to bore the entire readership of this lengthy thread with my personal take on absolutely everything
Dec 30, 2005 1:51 PM
I would totally recommend that you get yourself proper hiking boots - with adequate ankle support and a good tread. We did the trek in November, so I'm not sure about your weather in March. But even though many people hike the trails every day, we only saw good sturdy hiking boots on everyone but the porters (some of the porters had boots, but some had sneakers, but mind you that most of them have hiked that many times and their bodies are adept at navigating the large rocks, the steep steps, and anything in between). You wouldn't want a tiwsted ankle to ruin your hike. The last day you might be tempted to go runnning down the mountain to Machu Pitchu, and well, big rocks and running downhill can be a serious injury situation.
Other good tips - carry your own water purifier - we chose the ones that look like sport drinking bottles with the filer cartrage inside the bottle - we had two, and had them always filled. Sometimes, depending on your trekking company, they can provide you with clean water, but carrying your own ensures you always have your own supply.
Sunscrean is very important. Bug repellent wasn't a big del (it only was if you decide to do any walk around Aguas Calientes, like along the railroad tracks and off on the patch - watch out for nasty sandflies (and if you get bitten resist screatching, otherwise the bights will last a month like they did for us).
Get a half-porter to carry most of your gear - it really is more than worth it. Unless you enjoy the grueling punishmnet of carrying your own stuff - and the 2nd day is killer!
Do carry some energy bars (you can either carry them from your home country, or buy them in stores in Cusco - there's a pretty largish grocery store that stocks a good range of energy bar and energy food which is just off the mani square - I think below the Irish pub there). Although if your trekking company is well equiped they will dole out snack packs for everyone, from the very first day (just that if you're not into sweets, you might not appreciate the chocolate covered cookies, and chocolate bars, for example).
Do get yourself a waterproof hat that you can use for the sun too. Or you can buy s simple wide brimmed safari-type hat from the village girls at the start of your trail, or while in Cusco.
When you get to Cusco, buy yourself a inexpensive rain poncho (that town would have more and cheaper choices than getting it at the beginning of the trail), which is a better idea than a rain jacket for draping over you and your pack (even if it's just a camera bag) along the path.
And lastly, do bring along walking sticks (although you can buy bamboo ones from the village girls selling them to you at the start of your trek). Also their handmade water bottle carriers are very handy and super cheap, so really worth the couple or so soles you would pay for them.
And it's very important that you've given yourself enough time acclimitize (I went while pregnant, and so I couldn't take any of the medication to help you with that, and I managed just fine - just took it VERY easy, especially on the 2nd day). We were in Cusco 3.5 days before our trek - we'd flow in from Lima instead of taking the 24 hour bus journey from Lima (basically direct from our home town in America). Drink the coca leaf tea - it may and may not help, but it's very pleasant. I did throw up the first day we arrived in Cusco, as a reaction to the altitude sickness, and both my husband and I experienced bad headaches, for which we took some heache medicine. Keep well hydrated too!
And most of all, as others have said many time, remember, it's NOT a race, so take your time, and enjoy the scenery, get to know your new family of trekkers as you will pass each other many times over the 4 day trek.
Have a great time! And any other questions, I'd be happy to try and clarify.
Jan 3, 2006 8:04 PM
116mayitana - there are several threads that talk about how to get from lima to cusco... anyway, it depends on how much time you have and whether you want to see something on the way. the quickest and most expensive is to take a flight - flights usually cost around 80 dollars. you can also take a direct bus, but that will mean ca. 22 hours on a bus, though it is a lot cheaper. both bus and flight mean though that you will quite suddenly be at the hight of approx. 3.500 m in cusco and should allow a few days of adjusting before doing the trek...
you could also decide to see something on the way. the most common route then would be going to arequipa - maybe via ica, nazca, or other places - spend a few days there, it is a nice city, and colca canyon is nearby (careful, you pass some pretty high places en route to the canyon too, on our canyon tour group two people got altitude sickness)... arequipa isn't quite as high as cusco, so you do acclimatize somewhat, there... another nice place to see on the way is the titicaca lake... this route can take 2 days 3 nights, for example, if you take night busses, and allow two days for arequipa, but of course can also be allowed a lot longer, as there is lots to see.
if you have a lot of time, you could also take the route via huancayo, ayacucho, andahuaylas, abancay - i would allow at least a week for this route, better more. nice thing is, there will be few gringos around, and you will see some very pretty towns and scenery.
there are other ways to get there as well, but they are more "adventurous" (like, you can break up the direct busline, but then you won't be able to buy official tickets, but rather have to stop a bus, and you will be in regions where you might be the first gringo visiting in days or even weeks...
Jan 5, 2006 8:42 PM
117Here you have:
Km 82 starting point of the Trail: 2720m
First campsites: depending on where your agency is camping
Llullucha 3, 800m
Pacaymayu 3 590
Chaki cocha 3 600
Phuyu 3 650
wiñaywayna 2 670
Machu Picchu 2 400
Cusco 3 400
Aguas calientes 2 032
Jan 14, 2006 1:28 PM
I hope you have fun on your journey, just so you know the cost of the trail and the treks may seem high to you now but once you have completed the trail I think you will find that it is actually quite a bargain. The porters and the guides work very hard, the trail is immaculantly clean and it is amazingly beautiful. I happen to be in very good physical shape but I was very happy not to have to carry all my food and supplies up to 14,000 ft. Get over the cost, I understand trying to save a few bucks here and there but come on, it is the Inca Trail to MP...how many times in your life are you planning on trekking it?
Also, once you arrive in Peru you will find that it is incredibly cheap. You can literally eat for 10 USD a day...and that's livin large.
Jan 17, 2006 11:41 AM
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