Inca Trail Express
Travel to Peru to retrace the steps of the Inca, Peru's fascinating ancient civilisation. Travel from Cusco, through the fertile heartland of the Sacred Valley and to the magnificent Ollantaytambo ruins before the ultimate destination – reaching Machu Picchu. This action-filled express Peruvian tour gets you closer to the secrets of this elusive civilisation on a breathtaking adventure along the Inca Trail.
Tour At a Glance
- This trip gives both trekkers and non-trekkers the chance to visit Machu Picchu with Inca Trail, Quarry Trail and train options.
- Travel through the Sacred Valley - known for its steep and soaring scenery, its mystical significance for the Inca and the indigenous cultures that still reside here.
- Explore the greatest icon of ancient South America, Machu Picchu on a guided tour.
- Explore Cusco, South America's oldest continuously inhabited city. The city has ancient foundations, an interesting blend of Incan and colonial influences, and seemingly endless things to do and see.
- Tour code: GGTA
- Group Adventure
1 Cusco (3450m)
Welcome to Cusco. Your adventure be Welcome to Cusco. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. After this important meeting, get acquainted with this charming city's intriguing blend of cultures on a guided walking tour with your leader. Check out some of Cusco's main attractions, as well as its lesser-known sights such as the Qoricancha temple, San Pedro market, the main square, the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. End the walking tour with a visit to the Chocolate Museum where you get to sample hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. There’s also a small store where you can shop handicrafts and artisanal chocolate products. Don't miss the opportunity to sample mate de coca (coca tea) while here.
Hotel ( Night)
Cusco - Leader-led orientation walkCusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN135Cusco - Half Boleto Turistico Pass (access to selected archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN75Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN25Cusco - City tour - USD15Cusco - Coricancha Temple (entrance fee) - PEN15Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD51Cusco - Pre-Colombian Museum - PEN20Cusco - Inca Museum (entrance fee) - PEN10Cusco - Machu Picchu Museum & Botanical Garden - PEN20
2 Sacred Valley - Ollantaytambo (2792m)
Travel by private bus through the S Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley for about two hours. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the valley has been a source of livelihood to the locals for hundreds of years. You’ll see maize crops covering the terraced valley walls and the sacred river beneath. Stop for lunch in a local community, where you'll also get the chance to learn about their traditional lifestyle and maybe wrap your tongue around a few words of the Quechua language. If it’s market day, you'll have time to browse the local handicrafts on offer, such as beads and ponchos. Continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo where we check out the town’s archaeological site – a magnificent example of Incan urban planning – which includes remnants of an Inca city and soaring views over the present-day settlement. Spend the night in Ollantaytambo.
Hotel ( Night)
Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch
Ollantaytambo - Archaeological site - PEN70
3 Inca Trail (3100m) or Quarry Trail (3700m) or Cusco
Depending on the travel arrangement Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be doing one of the following: hiking the Inca Trail (Route 1), hiking the Quarry Trail (Route 2) or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes (Route 3). All routes visit Machu Picchu. While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail* or the Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and travel with only a small bag for the excursion by train. Route 1 Inca Trail: Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3100m above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal. The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometres long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals. Route 2 Quarry Trail: Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3700 metres above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas. The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4450 metres above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals. Route 3 Cusco: After spending the night in the Ollantaytambo, leave around 9.30 am and take a short drive to the town of Pisac. Pisac is well known for its market. Here you’ll have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs and perhaps try some local Empanadas. Arrive back into Cusco in the afternoon, where your leader will take you to San Pedro Market in order to buy some things for a picnic tomorrow.
Camping with basic facilities (Routes 1 & 2)/Hotel (Route 3) ( Night)
Cusco - 3 Night/4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night/3 Day Inca Quarry Trail)
4 Inca Trail (3650m) or Quarry Trail (3600m) or Cusco
Route 1 Inca Trail: This is the mo Route 1 Inca Trail: This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4200 metres above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3650 metres. Route 2 Quarry Trail: This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4370 metres high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4450 metres. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away and at 3600 metres. Route 3 Cusco: Today, take a taxi to Tambomachay, an archaeological site just outside of Cusco. From here you’ll take a short downhill walk (between one and three hours) back to Cusco. On the way, stop to admire some of the archaeological sites, including Puka Pukara, Qinqu Quenqo and Saksaywaman. Arrive back in Cusco in the afternoon and enjoy some free time to go shopping, or perhaps visit Merida, Mendivil and Olave art galleries and workshops. Your tour leader will be able to give you some suggestions or point you in the right direction.
Camping with basic facilities (Route 1 & 2)/Hotel (Route 3) ( Night)
5 Inca Trail (2650m) or Aguas Calientes (2040m)
Route 1 Inca Trail: Start the day Route 1 Inca Trail: Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site. Route 2 Quarry Trail to Aguas Calientes: Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu. Route 3 Train to Aguas Calientes: After a drive to Ollantaytambo (about one and a half hours), catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (another one and a half hours). The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour the following day. Otherwise, you can while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs at Aguas Calientes.
Camping with basic facilities (Route 1)/Hotel (Route 2 & 3) ( Night)
Machu Picchu - Guided tour
6 Machu Picchu (2430) - Cusco
Route 1 Inca Trail: This is the fin Route 1 Inca Trail: This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and then begin hiking by 4.30 am. Once the final checkpoint opens at 5 am, begin the final leg of the trek. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through the Sungate. Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail: Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5.30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins. Route 3 Train: Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cusco. Visiting 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. For all routes after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a Pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure. 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 guide (official Machu Picchu guide, not our leaders) to visit the site. However, this rule cannot always be applied as there are not enough official guides to cover the large amount of people visiting so authorities are being flexible. There may be an option for travellers to explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun Gate and Inka Bridge) before their guided tour starts (so about 2 hours before meeting the guide). Your leader will provide more information on what the group options are at the welcome meeting.
Hotel ( Night)
Your tour comes to an end today and Your tour comes to an end today and there are no activities planned. You may like to stay on for a few extra days to make the most of your visit here. We’ll be happy to assist in booking accommodation (subject to availability).
Cusco - Ruins & Market Walking Urban Adventure - USD84Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD51Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding - USD75Sacred Valley - Via Ferrata & Zipline - PEN265Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking - USD120Cusco - Totem painting workshop - USD59Rainbow Mountain Hike - USD97
Dates & Prices
Is this trip right for you.
- This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.
- This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you trek the Inca Trail* or Quarry Trail, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a good level of fitness. Please bring comfortable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘Packing’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.
- For those who trek the Inca Trail or Quarry Trail, you'll be camping with basic facilities. It's definitely the journey as well as the final destination (Machu Picchu) that makes this way of exploring Peru worthwhile.
- Can't decide which trek is for you? Read up on them here:
- This trip forms part of many longer combination trips. Some of your fellow travellers may have started earlier in Lima or elsewhere or be traveling on further after Peru, and some will be doing different routes to Machu Picchu.
- Route 1 - Inca Trail: Camping with basic facilities (3 nights)
- Hotel (3 nights). Route 2 - Quarry Trail: Camping with basic facilities (2 nights)
- Hotel (4 nights). Route 3 - Train option: Hotel (6 nights)
Joining point instructions
Intrepid offers a pre-arranged transfer service from Cusco Airport at an additional fee. If you require this service please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs. As you exit please look for the Intrepid sign with your name on it. There is only one exit for the domestic arrival.
If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please phone our Intrepid Peru Emergency number listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section.
If you do not have a device or mobile coverage please go to the I Peru Information office located in the Customs area, they can help you to make a phone call.
Alternatively, you can travel from Cusco Airport to the down town by taxi. Before you exit the luggage collection area you will find a number of authorized providers. Rate vary from PEN 25 (USD 8) up to PEN 45 (USD 12). The drive from the airport to your hotel can take up to 20 minutes depending on traffic.
- Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.
- Demonstrations and protests occur regularly and can turn violent. National or regional strikes can be called at short notice and can disrupt domestic air travel, public transport and road networks. In the past, protestors have also caused disruption to Juliaca airport, Cusco airport and rail services to Machu Picchu. Avoid protests, demonstrations or large gatherings. Street crime, including muggings and thefts, is a significant problem in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and other major cities. Be vigilant in public places and when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night. As with travel across the country, you should remain aware of your surroundings and avoid wearing or displaying expensive items. In the event of a robbery, do not attempt to resist attackers or take any action that puts you at greater risk. Tourists have been the targets of robbery by bogus taxi drivers. Do not hail taxis on the street and instead only use licensed telephone or internet-based taxi services whenever possible, or ask your hotel to book one for you. Be particularly careful when arriving at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and only use one of the official taxi companies located at desks directly outside the arrival hall. Tourists are sometimes offered ‘spiritual cleansing’ programs in the Amazon area, Northern Peru and Cusco. These are sometimes called Ayahuasca or San Pedro and typically involve the consumption of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an hallucinogenic drug. These practices are not regulated and people have suffered serious illnesses and in some cases death after participating in these ceremonies.
- HIKING IN PERU In accordance with local laws governing tourism in Peru, trekking groups of up to and including 8 trekkers must be led by one local guide. The evacuation of an injured traveller in normal conditions may take more than 8 hours. For your own safety, it's crucial that you adhere to the local guide's safety instructions, particularly in regard to how to prevent trekkers getting separated or lost. Your leader will also conduct a safety discussion before our trekking activities
- PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
- MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.
Medical and health information
- All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
- You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling.
- The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here
- If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.
- All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
- This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit
- According to the World Health Organisation, yellow fever is widespread in Peru. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It is preventable by vaccination. There is alo widespread transmission of Zika virus in Peru. The Australian Department of Health advises pregnant women to discuss any travel plans with their doctor and defer non-essential travel to affected areas. Malaria, dengue fever and other insect-borne diseases occur in parts of the country. Protect yourself against insect-borne diseases by using insect repellent and wear long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing and getting vaccinated against yellow fever before you travel.
- If you travel above 2,500m you may get altitude sickness, which can be life threatening and can affect anyone, even if you're physically fit. You're more at risk if you've had altitude sickness before, exercise or drink alcohol before acclimatising to the altitude, or have health problems that affect breathing. See your doctor before travelling and get advice specific to you and your situation
- check your insurance covers emergency evacuation from altitude and related medical costs.
- Medical treatment can be expensive and is not always of high quality in some parts of the country. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
- A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
- Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
- Before your trip
- Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
- During your trip.
- While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.
- Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience
MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY
Food and dietary requirements
- Peruvian food is delicious and becoming more trendy and popular around the world. You are sure to some away from your travels with some new favourite dishes. Simple street food is a surprise for many of our travellers to Peru - see what is in store for you here
- Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts. Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc. More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.
- For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets please be aware due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are not common in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork or shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may like to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel.
- Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage.
- Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip
- Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings
- Sun protection hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments
- Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent
- Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
- Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate
- Phrase book
- Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.
- Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo)
- Tents and sleeping mats are provided for the duration of your Peru trek.
- At the pre-trek briefing you will be given a small duffle bag to pack your clothes for the trek, please note there is a 5kg limit, this includes your sleeping bag.
- In addition to the general packing list above, please ensure you bring these items if you are trekking in Peru.
- You MUST take your passport, a photocopy is not sufficient. It's important the passport matches the details your provided us when booking this trip (Keep it in a plastic bag in case of rain)
- Sleeping bag
- You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the trek. Sleeping bags can be hired for US20-25, please let your Tour Leader know at the trek briefing. A four season (or -10) bag is recommended especially for the winter months. At other times you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -5) bag although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given as a guideline only.
- Silk sleeping bag liner
- Especially recommended if you plan to hire a sleeping bag but can also give your own bag added warmth.
- Pillows are not provided on the trek and it's your personal preference if you wish to bring one along. If you decide to bring a pillow then we do suggest packing a travel friendly option, something that can be easily packed into your small duffle bag.
- Trek Poles
- Trek poles are not requires, it's a personal preference. We recommend hiring these at the pre-trek briefing for approximately US$8 per pole as it will save you carting them around for the remainder of your travels.
- Day Pack
- A day bag that has easy access to water bottles (external side pockets) or a day pack with a built in hydration bladder. This bag only needs to be large enough to hold the few things you need during the day (hat, water, camera, snacks, rain jacket etc)
- Water bottle
- You should be carrying at least 2 litres of water daily, while trekking. Depending on whether you have a hydration bladder in your bag or not we recommend bringing two (1 litre) bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied daily.
- Waterproof, well worn-in walking boots
- Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well-worn in pair!
- Walking clothing in layers
- (E.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts). It’s a personal choice as to how many items you bring however please remember there’s a 5kg limit. We recommend the following;
- 2 Pairs of long Walking Trousers (Zip off are a very hand
- choice but not a necessity)
- 2 T-shirts
- 1 Pair of shorts
- Rain Jacket or Poncho (Poncho can be purchased locally
- for a $2-3)
- 4-5 Pairs of Thick socks
- Warm clothing for night time
- Fleece, long pants, woollen hat, gloves.
- Thermal underwear
- Thermal wear is highly recommended, being light, warm and will keep you warm at night.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
- Personal medication and basic first aid kit
- Band-Aids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration sachets.
- Camera and spare batteries, memory cards or film
- Please note there are no electrical outlets on the trek so make sure you fully charge and or have spare batteries.
- Chocolates, chips, biscuits, energy bars. Snacks are provided during the trek but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case. If you have a dietary requirement then be recommend bringing some suitable snacks from home. We will accommodate you for Breakfast, lunch and dinner however for snacks it’s recommended to bring some just to be safe.
- Head torch or Standard Torch (flash-light)
- (Very Important) and spare batteries.
- Tropical strength insect repellent.
- Antiseptic hand gel.
- Flip-flops / thongs / jandals
- If you wish to have a shower on the third night and to wear around camp after a long day of trekking.
- Ear Plugs
- In case your tent ‘roomie’ is a snorer.
- Plastic bags
- To keep your belongings and clothes dry (wrap everything in plastic bags).
- Toilet paper
- Most important! Also small plastic bags or zip lock bags for rubbish which can then be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters. Please don’t dispose of your toilet paper on the ground!
- Wet wipes and or Face wipes
- These are an essential and will come in handy after a long day of trekking and no showers.
- Small towel and basic personal toiletries
- On the third night of both the Inca Trail and the Inca Quarry there is an opportunity to have a shower so bring travel size shampoo and shower gel if you would like.
Passport and visas
You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the passport details you provide are accurate. Any errors provided may result in extra fees for making corrections in bookings. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip.
COVID-19 ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS
Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, you must monitor your government's foreign travel advice for the most up-to-date border measures and entry requirements as they may change without notice. See Intrepid Travel Alert page for some commonly used government travel advice websites:
Entry requirements may include but not limited to the presentation of a vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test, health declaration form, passenger locator form, or proof of hotel or tour booking. Lack of any required documents may result in denial of entry.
Airline boarding requirements may differ, or be in addition to, a destination’s entry requirements. Monitor your airline’s requirements regularly in the lead up to travel. Being allowed to board a flight doesn’t guarantee entry to a destination.
Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that extends to cover COVID-19 related expenses.
Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour.
We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested.
Citizens of Australia, USA, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa do not currently require a visa for Peru. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa or entry requirements with the Peruvian consulate in your home country.
PERU COVID-19 ENTRY & EXIT REQUIREMENTS
For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Peru, please check your government's foreign travel advice and visit the following website:
Requirements include an online health declaration, a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival, and an additional antigen test taken on arrival.
Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers you for travel to and from Peru as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country.
Most air passengers are now required to get a COVID-19 test within 3 days of boarding their return flight. This includes citizens returning to their home country after their travels. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before they board otherwise boarding will be denied.
We are able to facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as book appointments for all travelers who need to be tested.
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.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting.
For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:
Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.
Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:
The Intrepid Group operations in Peru are now certified by Rainforest Alliance, following an assessment in which we successfully achieved a 100% score for all critical criteria. Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods: .
Climate and seasonal
See here for more information about the best times to trek in Peru:
INCA TRAIL CLOSURES
The Inca Trail closes in February each year to allow for cleaning and restoration works. If you are booked to hike the Inca Trail at this time you will be you will be rebooked to hike the Quarry Trail.
FLOODING & LANDSLIDES:
The wet season in Peru is from November to April. During this time it can be rainy or even snow heavily in the Andes. There have been occasions of torrential rains and flooding in some parts of the country, including Cusco. During the wet season landslides and inclement weather can cause disruption to road and rail travel as well as trekking and hiking routes. These can include Cusco, the routes to Machu Picchu and the north of Peru.
Peru is in an active earthquake zone and there are frequent tremors. If in a building when an earthquake strikes keep away from the windows and make your way to the safe zones marked in most buildings with an ‘S’ sign. If you are outside keep away from buildings and other areas where objects, like trees or power lines, could fall.
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