FAQ’s 2016-10-18T15:27:48+00:00

TRAVEL KNOWLEDGE-BASE & QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are there any places where we can have a shower in the 7 day? 2015-10-14T20:26:30+00:00

The 7 Day trek goes via the classic Inca Trail and the only place that has hot showers is Winay Wayna Campsite – the last campsite before reaching Machu Picchu.

We do provide a bowl of hot water to each passenger in the mornings to freshen up with and we suggest bringing along wet-wipes to make you feel more fresh too! Cold water showers are available at Pacamayo campsite

What does the trail look like in the peak season? 2015-10-14T20:25:05+00:00

It could get a little bit crowded, but with the regulations in place, you have enough space for everyone.

How many people in the groups? 2016-10-18T15:27:57+00:00

The maximum allowed group size is 16 persons. Normally the group tours are between 12 and 16 persons. Pachamama Explorers operates small groups and offers a personalized itineraries service.

How fit do you have to be to do the Salkantay Trek? 2015-10-14T20:22:40+00:00

You have to be fit. It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail then it must be easy . it isn’t.

The trail is 70km (44 miles) long and involves great physical exertion to complete. This trek is for those with good levels of fitness and are looking for a challenge.

What should I bring when I’m on the trek? 2015-10-14T20:19:38+00:00
  • Pair of trekking shoes and plenty socks
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block
  • Dark glasses (shades)
  • Rain coat or rain poncho
  • Light clothing for the day and warm for the night.
  • Trekking pants (the ones you unzip for shorts)
  • Hat or sun cap
  • Water Bottle
  • Sleeping bag (unless you rent one from the company)
How is the weather in the Cusco region? 2016-10-18T15:27:57+00:00
F F M A M J J A S O N D
Temp Max °C 19 19 19 20 20 20 19 20 20 21 21 21
Temp Min °C 7 7 6 5 3 0 0 2 4 6 6 6
Rain days 18 13 11 8 3 2 2 2 7 8 12 16
Are there alternative routes to the Salkantay Trek? 2015-10-14T20:17:21+00:00
Is it possible to do without an agency? 2015-10-14T20:16:00+00:00

Since June 2002 trekking independently on the Inca Trail has been prohibited. Regulations state that each trekker must be accompanied by a professionally qualified guide.

The UGM (Unidad de Gestion Machu Picchu) is the regulatory body responsible for controlling access to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. Pachamama Explorers must meet these requirements proving professional guides and good camping equipment,radio communications and emergency first aid including oxygen.

Do you need to book ahead for the Salkantay Inca Trail? 2015-10-14T20:14:56+00:00

Currently there are no permit restrictions on the Salkantay Inca Trek so it is not like the 2 or 4 day Inca Trails.

Do we require a permit for the trek? 2015-10-14T14:24:34+00:00

No, for all our alternative trekking routes to Machupicchu or other you do not require a permit.  We can depart on any date.

Are ATM machines available? 2015-10-06T19:06:23+00:00

Yes. There are ATM machines in the main cities such as Lima, Arequipa and Cusco. We recommend using the ones located inside some hotels, stores, restaurants or banks. Be cautious as some thieves may watch these machines and target tourists and others who take out large amounts of cash. Consult with your guide for safety recommendations on ATM’s or exchanging money.

Should I bring cash or bank cards? 2016-10-18T15:28:04+00:00

You should bring both. It is easiest to bring US Dollars with you and exchange locally into Peruvian Soles.  There are many exchange bureaus where you can change your Dollars.  You can exchange your Dollars in Banks but you will get a much lower exchange rate. There are many ATMs in Peru and they all dispense US Dollars and Peruvian Soles. Credit or debit cards are also easy to use at most establishments. Be sure to check with your bank prior to your departure to inform them that you will be using your card in a foreign country. Traveler’s checks are less efficient and may take extra time and documentation to use. Find current exchange rates.

Is it safe to eat Peruvian food? 2016-10-18T15:28:04+00:00

Peru has a rich and marvelous culinary history, with diverse produce and proteins drawn from the Andes, the Coast and the Amazon. By all means, indulge and try all that you are comfortable with.

What is the weather like in Peru? 2015-10-14T14:30:19+00:00

Peru has various climatic zones so it depends  on where you are travelling and what time of year. In the mountainous zones and jungle zones there are two seasons: rainy & dry. Rainy season starts around November and ends around March. The highest rainfall is during January and February.  The coastline however at the that time of year is summer and very hot.  For more information, visit our About  Peru page.

What is the electrical current in Peru? Will I need a plug adaptor? 2015-10-06T18:57:05+00:00

Peru uses 220 volt, 60 cycle electricity. Travelers will require a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type found in the US, though some facilities have been noted to use the 2 rounded prongs instead.

Do I need a valid passport to visit Peru? 2015-09-30T12:39:39+00:00

Yes, you will need a passport that is valid for up to 6 months after the departure date.

Do I need any vaccinations when visiting Peru? 2015-09-30T12:03:51+00:00

No vaccinations are currently required but you should check with your doctor.

Is English spoken by the guides? 2015-10-14T14:18:41+00:00

Yes, all our guides speak English and hold tourism degrees.  They also speak Spanish and the local dialect of Quechua.

What language do Peruvian’s speak? 2015-10-14T14:31:54+00:00

The official language is Spanish and nearly everyone speaks it. But in the highlands the language the Incas spoke, Quechua, is still widely used. Older people in indigenous communities often don’t know Spanish, but younger generations do. Aymará, a pre-Inca language, is spoken in the towns around Lake Titicaca, and dozens of native tongues are spoken in the Amazon Basin. A growing number of Peruvians speak English.

Do I need a visa to visit Peru? 2015-09-30T11:54:49+00:00

Citizens of most American and Western European countries are not required visa to enter Peru. Citizens of Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile do not require passports or visa to visit certain regions of Peru. Contact the Peruvian diplomatic representative in your country for further information. Addresses and phone numbers are included in the website of Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.
If the purpose of your visit is tourism, the maximum length of your stay will be 90 days (you can apply for extensions with the immigration authority)
All travelers must carry a valid passport, or a safe-conduct issued by the Peruvian immigration authority.

Are visitors to Machu Picchu also limited? Or can I buy a bus / train and entrance ticket on the day? 2015-09-30T11:48:52+00:00

Yes, Machu Picchu is now limited to 2,500 visitors per day (not including Inca Trail). Please book in advance through Pachamama and we will be happy to take care of the necessities for you, including train tickets and bus tickets which can be complicated to purchase.

The trains can be very busy in the high season, so make your reservations in advance.

Are there alternative routes to the 4 day Inca Trail? 2015-10-14T14:38:23+00:00

There are several alternatives to the Inca Trail that end in Machupicchu or do not include Machupicchu.  These are:

Is it possible to enter the Inca Trail with different name than what I gave when booking the Inca Trail? 2015-09-30T09:16:36+00:00

No, you need to carry your valid Passport to enter the Inca Trail. This information will be requested by us.

Is it possible to do the Inca Trail without an agency? 2016-10-18T15:28:04+00:00

Since June 2002 trekking independently on the Inca Trail has been prohibited. Regulations state that persons need to register with an official agency to undertake the Inca Trail.

The INC (Institute of National Culture) is the regulatory body responsible for controlling access to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. Pachamama Explorers must meet their requirements providing professional guides, good camping equipment and emergency first aid kits including oxygen.

How fit do you have to be to do the Inca Trail? 2015-09-30T09:13:52+00:00

You have to have a reasonable level of fitness to do the 2D trek. The first day is about 6-7hrs hiking in total that includes a 1hr break for lunch. The second day you will be marvelling at Machupicchu!

What about altitude sickness? 2015-10-14T14:44:12+00:00

In general if you take regular exercise and spend a few days in Cusco acclimatizing to the altitude you shouldn’t have any problem.  We recommend that on arrival you do not exert yourself. Ensure you drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. Most hotels offer Coca-tea which is very good to combat altitude sickness. A slight headache is common on arrival, nausea is less common. Most altitude affects dissapate after a day, but if you do feel very ill then its best to consult a doctor.

We offer the Cusco City Tour which you can book whilst you acclimatize.

How many people in the groups? 2016-10-18T15:28:04+00:00

In general our trekking groups are between 2 and 10 persons.  However, if you are a large group we can certainly accommodate you, so dont worry.  We have operated in excess of 50+ persons before and are well equipped to handle large groups if you have a special request as such.

Pachamama Explorers offers a personalized itineraries service.

How busy is the Inca Trail in the peak season? 2015-10-14T14:48:53+00:00

It could get a little bit crowded, but with the regulations in place, you have enough space for everyone.  Permits are sold out 6+ months in advance for high season months (May-September) so please do book in advance.

Are there toilets on the trail? 2015-10-14T14:47:52+00:00

Toilets have improved a lot in the last couple of years and all of the larger campsites have toilet blocks with flush toilets and running water.

On the whole they are kept pretty clean. If you do need to go to the toilet between campsites then defecate well away from the trail and water supplies; dig a hole, or cover your faeces with a rock, and take the paper with you in a bag to deposit in one of the several bins along the way. There are hot shower facilities inWiñay Wayna on day 3, although they are usually pretty unclean.

Are there any discounts for larger groups? 2015-09-30T09:06:54+00:00

If you are traveling with a large group of more than 8 passengers please consult with us for discounted rates! Please Contact Us for additional group booking information.

How is the weather on the Inca trail? 2016-10-18T15:28:04+00:00
F F M A M J J A S O N D
Temp Max °C 19 19 19 20 20 20 19 20 20 21 21 21
Temp Min °C 7 7 6 5 3 0 0 2 4 6 6 6
Rain days 18 13 11 8 3 2 2 2 7 8 12 16