Peruvian People are the Porters of Alpaca Expeditions

AE súper porters

Our Porters represent the Peruvian people, both men, and women who are at the heart of our company. It is not possible to create the experience we provide without the unbelievably hard work of our team of porters. They are made up of men and women of varying ages who are willing to leave their homes several hours away for days at a time. They typically are farmers.

Being a porter is a hard job. Sadly, you will see many other companies with porters that have sandals that are falling apart. Many are sleeping on the floor without blankets and eating food without utensils. For us, this is an unacceptable way to treat our Peruvian people, so we try to be a leader in the treatment of all our porters.

We go out of our way to treat them with respect providing fair wages and proper equipment. We care for their health and the health of their families, and we are committed to social projects to help enrich their lives. Most of our team started as porters, including our owner Raul, and we hope we can improve their lives since they improve our company.

We have opened our doors to the women of Cusco, and have been lucky enough to have Female Porters. They work for us with even bigger smiles and brighter spirits. We are so excited for you to meet our amazing Green Machine Team.

Who are our Porters (Peruvian people)

Who are our Porters (Peruvian people)

Our porters are made up of proud Peruvian people who live simple lives as farmers in neighboring villages. They are people from Peru, both men, and WOMEN, ranging from 18 to 55 years old, and come from several different villages in the Cusco region. We employ approximately 250 male porters and 25 female porters (hopefully that number doubles every year. Often we have father and son, mother and daughter, or siblings work for us. They come from the following villages:

  • Comunidad Wakatinku 25 porters, located at 3800 meters
  • Comunidad Llullucha 20 porters, located at 3700 meters
  • Comunidad Choquekancha 25 porters, located at 3400 meters.
  • Comunidad Pumapunko 25 porters, located at 3700 meters
  • Comunidad Kachin 25 porters, located at 3700 meters
  • Comunidad Anparaes 25 porters, located at 3500 meters

For our local Peruvian people and culture their main language spoken is Quechua and farming is their main economic trade. Being a porter is a second income for them.

Why is it mandatory to have porters on the Inca Trail?

Before 1990, the Inca Trail was not regulated by the Peruvian government, and tourists would carry their equipment, meals, and cook by themselves. Unfortunately, many of these early hikers didn’t pay enough respect to Pachamama and left a lot of trash along the way. Without rangers, there was nobody to clean up the garbage they left. The government took note of this problem and initiated a project to protect the trail. It was at this time they began the permit process, limiting the number of tourists and Peruvian people or crew entering the trail to 500 per day. The government started making these changes in 1990 and continually get more and more strict with how to enter the trail. You may only enter with a licensed tour company, and it is not possible to do it on your own. Each company can organize groups with a maximum of 16 trekkers, 2 guides, and 22 porters. Each porter can carry a max of 25 kg.

The government has started the process of taking care of the Peruvian people and culture including the porter – we hope to expand on that…

porters bus
porters bus Alpaca Expeditions

Porter's Bus

We treat our porters with the same dignity and respect as we do our clients. Just as our clients enjoy our private, comfortable transportation to and from our trekking trails, now so do our porters. Alpaca Expeditions EIRL is the only company in Cusco to have private buses dedicated solely to our “Green Machine” Porters use.

porters doctor
porters doctor alpaca expeditions

Our Porter’s Doctor

In 2019, we hired our first Alpaca Expeditions Medical Doctor to help tend to our guides, drivers, chefs and most importantly porters. Our MD is a general medicine specialist, dedicated to our porter’s needs, care and health education. He is stationed at our Porters House in Ollantaytambo (also the breakfast place for our Inca Trail hikers) and works Monday through Friday.

porter house
porter house alpaca expeditions

Our Porter’s House

As we mentioned above, our Porters like many Peruvian people come from distant villages to work our treks. Since all our tours begin from Cusco, they all need to spend the night before their trek close by the trailhead. And often they hope for a hot shower before making the trip back home after the trek. Alpaca Expeditions has rented a complete house for our Porters use…complete with comfortable beds, rooms to relax in, a dining room to enjoy and now our medical post.

Because our owner, Raul Ccolque Ccolque, began his career as a Porter, we spend careful attention to make sure that our Porters are treated as brothers and sisters with respect, admiration and care.

porters Equipment
porters Equipment alpaca expeditions

Proper Equipment for our Porters

Every porter of ours receives proper equipment. That includes moisture-wicking long/short sleeve shirts, comfortable pants, a warm waterproof jacket, hiking boots, warm hat, sun hat, weight belts, and a headlamp. Our female porters are given skirts and dresses to make sure they are comfortable hiking without breaking their cultural traditions. Alpaca Expeditions provides this for free to all of our porters.

While the government allows each porter to carry up to 25kg, we keep our limit at 20kg. Each porter will carry up to 15kg from the company and 5kg of their stuff. That is why it’s so important to keep your duffel light and not exceed our allowed 7kg limit. You will see other companies carrying more than the allotted weight – we will not allow our porters to carry this burden.

Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Bags alpaca expeditions

Tents and Sleeping Bags for our Porters

Again, this is something unique that Alpaca Expeditions provides, and sad others are not doing. We supply tents for our porters so they can sleep as comfortably as our guests. Along with proper shelter, we also give warm, down sleeping bags to all our porters as the mountains can reach freezing at night. Our porter’s welfare is important to us, and we hope to treat them and all Peruvian people fairly, appreciatively and equally.

Nutritious Meals
Nutritious Meals alpaca expeditions

Nutritious Meals for our Porters

A general comment from trekkers on an Alpaca Expeditions tour is that we serve too much food. Well, our porters get to eat the same food that our clients receive. They get to enjoy it as they wish, in the dining tent or separately enjoying some quiet and some time to rest. They each are given water bottles to make sure they stay hydrated and plenty of coca tea, their favorite.


Our goal at Alpaca Expeditions is to create the best experience for all of our clients. We create journeys that are to be remembered for a lifetime. Journeys you can be proud of and can share with everybody around you.

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