SAFETY ON THE TRAIL
The safety and comfort of both guests and the Alpaca Expeditions team is our priority on the trail.
We pride ourselves on the level of precautions we take on treks through through Andes. We were the first company to introduce required satellite phones on the trail, our team receives annual safety and first aid training, and we are always mindful of weather and trail conditions.
Explore our safety practices and standards to better understand the proactive role we take in your experience on the trail with us!
Alpaca Expeditions Guests: We are committed to the safety of our staff, guests and the communities where we travel. Please see our COVID-19 Travel message for information on 2020 postponed trips and next steps.
One of the best parts of hiking through the Andes is the remoteness. Being on top of the mountain with just your fellow trekkers and team can help connect you to the world in a way you have never experienced before. It's amazing to be disconnected from work and the daily grind you left back home.
With this remoteness, however, comes limited access to emergency resources. This is why Alpaca Expeditions has invested in satellite phones to have on all treks.
While our team is trained in many things, having direct access to a doctor at all times greatly increases our rapid medical response rate to help get you off the mountain and to safety in the event of an emergency.
Your safety is our priority, and our company has invested in reliable satellite phones as they are one of the most important tools to have for any operator running treks through the Andes. This means that every guide going out on one of our treks will be equipped with a fully charged satellite phone, as well as radios. And while these are really for emergencies, we allow our clients to use them at any time.
We ask that you only cover what we are charged, which is $2.50 per minute. This can be paid in cash in our office or through PayPal when you are done with the hike.
Each of our tours guides carry radios to help coordinate any last minute details, or navigate unforeseen situations that may happen as porters, chefs, and additional team members often trek ahead of guides and clients.
These radios also allow for communication with the Tourism Culture Rangers, and SERNANP Rangers of the Inca Trail as part of our signed agreement for additional support in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Annual Training for Trek Teams
To be a guide with Alpaca Expeditions, you must have graduated from University with a degree in Tourism.
Course study includes history, archeology, language, sociology and other courses relevant to being able to showcase our history. But the most important course for all guides is safety.
Knowing how to rescue and evacuate people in case of emergency, as well as how to treat major and minor problems, is a practice that is revisited every single year during our annual training event every February: we hire a medical doctor to retrain and re-evaluate all guides.
AE has a partnership with Clinic 02 and Medical Cusco. This partnership allows us to have direct access to medical professionals at all times, including via satellite phones while on the trail.
Among the topics we cover in training is how to handle the following issues:
- How to recognize and what to do in case you get altitude sickness
- Mountain accurate sickness
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR
- Pulmonary edema and brain edema
- Heart attack
- Animal Bites could be mosquitoes, spider, snakes or whatever bites you can get along the way
- Broken bone or toe, How to evacuate in case this would be the situation
- Cuts and wounds
- Diarrhea, sometimes people’s stomach react to the food and water of Peru.
- Fever in Adult and child, this may be the case when one gets infection
- Food poisoning
- Heart palpitations
- Insect bites and stings
- Whatever pain you may experience
We carry equipment to help us tend to all injuries and illnesses.
Medical First Aid & Procedures on the Trail
Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has an oximeter and will monitor your condition as you get higher and higher in elevation: this tool lets us know your oxygen percentage level. Everyone has a different reaction the altitude, and our guides will keep you informed and let you know if you need to take a bit of oxygen from the portable oxygen tank our guides carry with them, too.
We will make sure your heartbeat and blood pressure is in healthy ranges while in the mountains.
First Aid & O2 Kit
Our guides will carry the oxygen tank and a first aid kit full of medicine and other equipment needed for health care and safety on the trail. We also strongly encourage our guests to prepare their own medical kit that includes personal medication, or preferences for your own care—for example, vegan supplements.
Drinking water for our tourist and porters
It is always important to know what type of water one drinks on the treks; it’s glacier water which is collected from the river or stream. It's filtered and boiled and cooled down, and then it's provided as drinking water for everyone. Purification pills are not needed to take for these hikes.