EXPLORE THE 7TH WONDER WITHOUT THE WEIGHT OF THE 8TH ON YOUR SHOULDERS... Travel in style with Alpaca
OUR ADVENTURE TREKS
Machu Picchu Tours by Train
Tours in and Around Cusco
OTHER DESTINATIONS IN PERU
PERU TOUR PACKAGES
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Frequently Asked Questions / What you should know before coming to Peru!
1. What currency is used in Peru?
Peruvian Soles are the national currency.
2. What type of money is most commonly accepted?
Soles are accepted nation-wide. However, at tourist sites you are often able to use American dollars and money exchanges are easy to come by in major cities.
3. How many people are there in Peru?
Peru has a population of 28 million; made up of by 54% women and 46% men.
4. What is the language spoken in Peru?
Most Peruvians speak Spanish. In the Andes, one will also find many people fluent in Quechua (the Indigenous Inca language). However, many people also speak English and in frequently touristed areas you should't have any communication problems.
5. How long in advance should I book for the Inca trail?
You should book for the Inca trail at least 2-3 months in advance. Permits are required as only 500 people are allowed to begin the trail per day, and they can sell out quickly especially during peak season (July and August).
6. How should I proceed to book a reservation for the Inca trail?
Begin by following the website links, filling out a form with your details. You will be required to make a deposit of $200 for the Inca Trail and $150 for all other tours to our PayPal account. Then wait for your confirmation e-mail.
7. How far in advance is it recommended to arrive in Cusco? How far in advance must one check in at the Alpaca Office to guarantee the reservation?
Inca Trail hikers should plan to arrive in Cusco about 2 days prior to their start date to acclimatize to the high elevation. Your briefing will be the night before your trek/tour unless otherwise told by our office.
8. Is there a meeting before the trek?
There will be a group meeting the night prior to your departure, where you will meet your tour guide, the rest of your group, and be provided with a clear overview of what to expect on your trek.
9. What is included in the tour?
Alpaca has gone out of our way to make sure there are no hidden costs, so everything is included in all our treks - even the personal porter who will carry up to 7kg per person. Rentals and upgrades are still additional. For other tours, most meals or tourist tickets into the sites are not included unless told otherwise by the company representative.
10. Is it possible to rent equipment from Alpaca Tours?
Hikers can rent gear such as walking sticks, sleeping bags, and air mattresses. We do not rent hiking boots, rain jackets or other personal clothing.
11. I have heard that there is a maximum weight of 7kg that each hiker can give their porter. Since the sleeping bag and mat are included in this weight, how much do the sleeping bag and air mattress weigh?
The sleeping bag weight 2kg (4lbs) and the air mattress weighs 1kg (2lbs). This makes a combined weight of 3kg, leaving 5kg of personal items (clothing, toiletries, etc) to add to the porter-carried bag.
12. Do the guides speak English?
All of our guides speak very fluent English, and some of them can speak some French. They are well prepared to assist you with all your needs along your trek and other tours.
13. How many people will there be in my group?
According to Peruvian laws, the maximum group size is 16 hikers and 2 guides, but Alpaca really tries to keep our groups small so we can personalize each experience.
14. I am travelling by myself. Will I have to share a tent?
Our tents are designed for two people. So, you can choose to share with another solo traveler (same sex) or you can rent a single tent for an extra $25.
15. I don't have experience trekking. Will I be okay?
Our tour guides are very experienced and they will always encourage you to take your time and walk at your own pace. In the case of an accident, our guides are trained in first aid, and they will be able to judge what is necessary. In emergency situations help can arrive on the trail via helicopter.
16. Are trekking poles necessary?
For this trek more than any of the treks, we DO recommend the use of Trekking poles, especially for those passengers with known knee problems. There are multiple times during the trek that a Trekking pole is handy, be it ascending a mountain or walking down immense sets of Inca stairs. It will help with your balance and reduce the impact on your knees. Alpaca Travel and the national park ask that you not use trekking poles with metal tips as it damages the trail. You can purchase rubber tips for metal poles from any local camping shop.
17. Are there toilets along the way?
On the Inca trail there are flushing toilets at every lunch stop and campsites. However, it is a well-visited park and they are squat toilets. At busy times, they may become slightly dirty. But it is all part of the adventure!
On alternate treks, Alpaca supplies tent toilets as there are not any official park toilets.
18. Is altitude sickness common? How high is the Inca Trail?
It's impossible to predict who will be affected by altitude. Your ability to adapt to high altitude is determined by your genetic makeup and has little to do with fitness or health. Most people will have no problems as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. A full day spent in Cusco (3399m), taking it very easy and drinking plenty of water is enough for some people. However, you should arrange to arrive in the Cusco area a minimum of 2-3 days prior to your trek. This is important in the case of any travel disruptions and the time spent here will help you to feel rested, acclimatized and ready to start your hike! As well, it is a magical area and there is a lot to learn, experience and enjoy!
The highest point you will reach while hiking the Inca Trail is 4200m/13818ft. You will sleep at 3340m/10988ft for two nights.
19. How long is the total Inca trail and how far will I be walking every day?
The total Inca trail is 45 km(26 miles).
Day 1- 14 km (7 miles)
Day 2 - 16 km ( 8.6 miles)
Day 3 - 10 km (5 miles)
Day 4 - 5km (2 miles)
Every day you will receive a wake up call with hot coca tea in your tent at approximately 5:30 am. You will then have time to pack your personal gear and have breakfast before hiking each morning.
20. Can Alpaca Expeditions accommodate my dietary needs? What kind of food should I expect?
Alpaca Expeditions is able to accommodate many types of dietary needs upon request at the time of booking. Whether you are a vegetarian, allergic to gluten or have specific allergies, it will not be a problem. Our Chefs and the meals they create are one of the most popular parts of our tours. They can accommodate a variety of dietary needs with amazing ease, considering they are cooking trailside. The meals are served buffet style and you are able to choose what and how much you would like to eat. Your guides will let you know what time the meals will be served.
21. Will I get water on the Inca trail?
Every morning, you will only need to carry enough water to last you to the first lunch stop. Everyday at lunch (as well as breakfast and dinner) you will be provided with new boiled water to refresh your bottles or hydrations packs.
22. How much should I plan to give in tips to my guides, porters and chefs?
The tips for the guides, cook and porters is not included in the price you paid for your tour. However is something extra present to your staff after a special Inca trail,however you must know that tips are not mandatory and instead you must take from different view of point as saying thanks after making successfully your trip to machupicchu.
23. At what time do we arrive at Machu Picchu on the last day?
The final day is the most exiting day for all Inca trail hikers because we arrive at the sacred city of the Incas. The group will get up very early, and after breakfast will hike the final 2 more hours together, arriving at the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu at 7:30 am.
24. Will we get to see the sunrise from the Sun Gate?
The sunrise is at different times throughout the year as follows:
May-September: 7:20 am; therefore depending on the weather and the speed of the group, it is possible!
October-April: 5.30 - 6.00 am; therefore the sun will have risen before the group arrives at the Sun Gate.
25. Once I arrive at Machu Picchu, how long will I be given to enjoy it?
Hikers will arrive at the Sun Gate at approximately 6.30 am the walk one more hour to Machu Picchu. You will then have a 2 hour guided tour of the sacred city. After the tour ends, you will have approximately 3 additional hours to enjoy and explore the ruins on your own.
26. Are there short hikes to do around Machu Picchu?
Huayna Picchu is the mountain located directly behind the ruins of Machu Picchu. It rises approximately 300 meters higher than the ruins and takes 2 hours in total to hike up and down. It is recommended to allow 45minutes to reach the peak, 15min to enjoy the view, and 30min to descend.
To climb it you do need to book in advance. The tickets are $ 65 per person, but only 400 people can climb it per day. The 400 tickets are divided into two groups: 200 hikers are allowed to begin early and 200 more at 10am. For both start times, the tickets are provided at the Inca Road Check Point. Please speak with your guide the night before you arrive to Machu Picchu if you are interested in this optional hike.
27. At what time will we return to Cusco?
After catching a bus down to Aguascalientes, hikers will take a 2 hour train ride along the Sacred Valley and arrive in Ollantaytambo. From here, an Alpaca Tours bus will be waiting and hikers will board for the two hour trip back to Cusco. Depending on what time the train leaves Aguascalientes, the group will return to Cusco between 7-11pm.
28. If I rent an extra porter to carry my pack, does the porter walk along with me?
You will only see your duffle bags at breakfast and at dinner time at the campsite, since the porters walk faster than the groups.
29. Is there a student discount?
Alpaca Tours provides student discounts of $30US with a valid ISIC card. Please let us know at the time of booking that you have this card and send us a scanned copy for our records. No Unversity cards are accepted - you can apply for an ISIC card at www.isic.org.
30. If I have more questions, how should I contact Alpaca expeditions?
If you have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us. You can e-mail us or you can skype with us, see the Contact Us button on the website.
Travel, enjoy, and learn!
Alpaca expeditions peru