When should I make Inca Trail reservations for 2019 & 2020?
As far in advance as possible. The government has strictly limited the number of people permitted on the Inca Trail (permits are issued to about 200 trekkers per day plus 300 porters). Permits may sell out 6-9 months in advance.
How fit do I need to be to participate in the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu guided tour?
The Inca Trail is a 43km (26 mile) strenuous hike through mountainous regions involving trekking for 5-7 hours at high altitude and over rough terrain. The maximum altitude is 4200m above sea level. The Inca Trail is a difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. Try to spend 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3400m) prior to starting the trek. If you do not exercise regularly, have heart, respiratory, knee or back problems do NOT consider doing the trek.
Is there an age restriction for the Machu Picchu & Inca Trail Tour?
Cachi Life, Inc does not accept reservations for children under the age of 8 years old and adults over 67 years old. All children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. The service of an extra half porter (6kg) is included with purchase. Trekkers over 64 years old must consult with their doctor prior to starting the trek to check that they are fit to participate in the trek. We require proof of physician consult if you are over the age of 64. We recommend that clients over 64 years old arrive in Cusco at least 3 days prior to starting the trek. We recommend that all clients over 59 years old talk to their doctor in advance about how best to plan for the trek and also to ensure that their travel insurance covers such adventure activities. We do not accept bookings from hikers over 60 years old traveling on their own and group bookings where everyone in the group is over 64 years old.
What sort of meals do you offer?
We offer standard meals as well as a vegetarian meal option. Please let us know your meal preference when booking your tour. We do not offer vegan meals. Please note that all meals are made using the same pots. We will do our best to wash dinnerware and cookware, but there may be contamination.Meal options:
Standard (no dietary requirements, eats everything),
No red meat
What about medical conditions?
You must disclose at the time of booking any medical condition that could affect your ability to do the Inca Trail. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to deny a trek booking if we feel that a medical condition may put your life or the lives of any of our trekking staff or other clients at risk on the hike. People with medical conditions such as mild asthma
/diabetes must bring a medical note from their doctor stating that they are fit to undertake the trek. They will also be required to be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek at all times who will trek at their sides and be familiar with any medicine required in case of an emergency. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to cancel the booking of a client if the client has not fully disclosed at the time of booking a medical condition that may pose a risk to the health of the client and/or other hikers. No refund will be given.Due to the nature of the remote geographical location of the trail and the lack of suitable nearby medical facilities along the trail Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special dietary requirements / medical condition. We suggest that you check with your doctor before booking the trek.
Orientation will take place at your hotel prior to the trip. We know everyone’s travel plans are different therefore we try and accommodate. Once your trip is booked you will be assigned a travel expert who will help you organize a time and place for your guide to meet you.
Where do I store my luggage?
You will have to make your own arrangements. Most hotels will hold your luggage for free or with a fee.
How's the weather?
You should prepare for any type of weather. We run rain or shine. January through March tend to be the rainy season.
How many people can be in a group?
We require a minimum group size of just 2 people to depart. We run private luxury tours. Therefore, you will not be combined with other people.
Do I have to share a tent?
No. We try to accommodate everyone and their privacy needs. If you are requesting a private tent, please consult your travel expert 3 months prior to departure.
Can I climb Huayna Picchu?
Huayna Picchu is the large mountain situated in front of Machu Picchu. There is a narrow and steep trail right to the top of the mountain and there are also some interesting Inca ruins at the top. The view of Machu Picchu from the summit is breathtaking. The government charges an additional fee for climbing Huayna Picchu. The entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu is only available as part of a combined Machu Picchu – Huayna Picchu ticket, which will have an additional charge. You will get entrance to Machu Picchu and be able to climb Huayna Picchu which offers better value for money. You will have to pay for your accommodation in Aguas Calientes as travelers will have to get into the early morning Machu Picchu group or hike Huayna Picchu the next day. The entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu must be bought BEFORE you go to Machu Picchu and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis often several months in advance. During the high season, these tickets can sell out more than 8 weeks in advance. During the low season, it may still be possible to buy the tickets from the government offices when you arrive in Cusco. However, this is not recommended as there are only 400 tickets sold per day. You must be at least 12 years old to hike. Check out the complete guide here
Can I climb Machu Picchu Mountain?
Machu Picchu Mountain is the large mountain just behind Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu Mountain rises higher that Huayna Picchu. Machu Picchu Mountain tends to have fewer people on the trail compared to Huayna Picchu but the view is equally as amazing. The government charges an additional fee for climbing Machu Picchu Mountain. The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain is only available as part of a combined Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Mountain ticket. You will get entrance to Machu Picchu and be able to climb Machu Picchu Mountain which offers better value for money. You will have to pay for your accommodation in Aguas Calientes as travelers will have to get into the early morning Machu Picchu group or hike Machu Picchu Mountain the next day. The entrance tickets to Machu Picchu Mountain must be bought BEFORE you go to Machu Picchu and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis often several months in advance. During the high season these tickets can sell out more than 8 weeks in advance. During the low season it may still be possible to buy the tickets from the government offices when you arrive in Cusco. However, this is not recommended as there are only 400 tickets sold per day. Check out the complete guide here
Can I rent a sleeping bag or hiking poles?
If you prefer to not bring your own hiking poles or sleeping bag, we do have these available for rent. Sleeping bag rental is $25 per person and hiking poles are $15 per person.
What is the cancellation policy?
Unfortunately, no refunds can be provided within 30 days of departure. The payment is used to purchase your Inca Trail trek permit and reserve space within the group. After purchasing the permit we cannot change the date of trek departure or change the name or passport number on the trek permit. If you decide to cancel we cannot transfer your trek permit to another client. Government regulations prevent us from filling your canceled space with another traveler and the government won’t refund or credit us the cost of the permit. Any cancellation over 30 days is subject to a cancellation fee as outlined in the terms and conditions
When is payment due for the Inca Trail guided tour?
A non-refundable deposit is due at time of booking. The full payment is due at 30 days prior to tour departure. If booking within thirty days of the tour, full payment of the tour is required. This guided tour is $899 per person. This provides payment for your transportation, permit tour guide, food, porter, chef, tour guide payment, entrance fee to Machu Picchu etc.
What if the Inca Trail closes?
During the month of February, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance, thus resulting in no bookings at this time. During the wet season heavy rains can result in landslides that can block part of the trail or close some of the campsites. Usually these partial trail closures are just for a few days but they can be for several weeks or even months. In the event of such closures Cachi Life, Inc will do our best to find an alternative route to get to Machu Picchu. If we can’t offer a suitable alternative then we will have to cancel the trek and refund any payments less than any costs already spent or committed to operating the trek. You will have to reclaim the remaining proportion from your travel insurance.
Do I need a passport for the Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu?
A passport is required to book the Inca Trail. The passport number must match the number that was used to book the trek. You will not be allowed to book if your passport expires within the next 6 months. You are required to bring your passport on the trek or you will not be able to start. The government will not allow you on the trail if you do not have your permit. If you lost your passport you will have to obtain a replacement prior to the trek. This requires you to submit an application with a $25 processing fee to the Peruvian government. You will be required to submit photocopies of your old and new passport along with the police report of the lost passport. Even so, the government may not accept the transfer to the new passport. As such, this is considered a last resort. If this happens, this will be considered a cancellation by the trekker and no refund will be given. Peru will not let anyone in that has a passport expiring within 6 months the date of entrance.
Can I hike with my friends/family?
Yes, and we encourage it! However, if your friends reserve later they may not be guaranteed a permit with your group. Permits are issued on a first-come first-served basis. We recommend everyone in your groups books your trek at the same time
What if I have food allergies?
Please give us details of your allergy at time of booking. Please indicate the severity of the reaction and what type of medicine you have to take in case of emergency. If your allergy is severe, you must be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek who is aware of your allergy and the location of any required medicines. We do not accept clients with life-threatening allergies. Due to the nature of the remote geographical and lack of suitable nearby medical facilities, Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special medical/dietary requirements. Check with your physician prior to booking.
Do I have to get acclimated to the elevation?
We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the trek, three nights is preferred. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the altitude before starting the trek.
What should I bring?
We recommend you pack a backpack, sleeping bag, rain jacket, good footwear, hiking poles, one change of clothing, sweater, jacket, water carrying device, flashlight and batteries, cap for sun protection, sunblock, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, toiletries and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc, camera and spare batteries in addition to any other articles you may need. There is nowhere to charge batteries during the Inca Trail.We provide tent, food, a small bag for your half porter to carry belongings, cooking gear, water, and you may rent a sleeping bag and double-thickness foam mattress (which weighs approximately 1kg).You MUST bring your original passport that was used to book the trek. Government authorities will NOT allow you on the trail without your original passport. Therefore if you passport is expiring prior to your trek date, please obtain a new passport prior to booking with us. You must bring your ISIC card during the trek if you have a student discount. Once again, the government will NOT allow you to start the trek without this if you have a student rate.You carry all your own personal gear. We will provide the services of a half porter to help assist you. The half porter will carry up to 6kg (13.2lbs) worth of your gear.Wear clothing and footwear that is sturdy, comfortable and can withstand the rigors of the trail.We recommend hiking poles. However, metal tips are NOT allowed on the trail. Please use rubber tips/protectors. Rubber protectors can also be bought in several shops in Cusco. Please do not purchase/use wooden poles as many of these are obtained from deforestation.Please bring cash to tip your porters, cooks and guides.We recommend that you bring antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI, antibiotic for severe bacterial infection, medication for upset stomach/indigestion, anti-diarrhea medication, anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed, cold/flu medication, general painkiller/fever reducer, and have all your vaccinations up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc).
What's a 'half porter'?
A ‘half porter’ will be provided for the 4 day trek. A half porter can carry a maximum of 6kg to carry which is usually sufficient for your sleeping bag, mattress and change of clothes. Your half porter will not walk with you. You will still need to carry your water, snacks, etc.There are unofficial half-porters along the trail who may charge anywhere from $30 to $40 US per day. The unofficial porters are in no way affiliated with Cachi Life, Inc.
Are there bathrooms?
We provide you with a popup tent toilet that is clean and sanitary. There are bathrooms built along the Inca Trail including all of the major campsites, however they can be a bit disgusting. Each bathroom block has cold running water. We recommend that you bring hand-sanitizer to use after visiting any bathroom.
Will there be drinkable water?
At meal times we will give you teas, coffees, etc to drink. We will have some boiled water for the group each day. However this should not be relied upon. A cold night may not allow us to boil water for your usage. You may have to use a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 2 hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. You should use a water filter or sterilization tablet. We do not provide these tablets or filters. You will have to bring them for your own personal use.
Can I have my own tent?
Yes. If this is a request please consult your travel expert prior to departure.
What can I expect from my Machu Picchu and Inca Trail tour guide?
Our tour guides all speak excellent English. We guarantee that your guide will stay with you on all parts of the Inca Trail guided tour. All our guides provide the highest level of service. Ask as many questions as you would like and ask to see what you want. Our guides will tailor your experience on the Inca Trail to your needs! This is your trip! We strive to be the best Inca Trail Tour operator in 2019 and beyond!