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Trekking FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Huaynapicchu Mountain: Please, if you are planning to climb Huaynapicchu Mountain you must book at the same time as ANY trek booking.  Please send us a photocopy of your passport so we can book with the government office.  The Huaynapicchu Mountain is limited to only 400 people a day.

Trekking Staff:  Guides, Cooks and Porters, all of them are amazing, helpful, caring, and great people to be around with. Our guides speak good English and are patient and very informative, they are all able to communicate with natives from around the area and of course they will have lots of history to share with you. Our cooks provide amazing family style food for you and our porters and everyone is impressed with what they can whip up in the middle of the mountains. Your porters will carry everything for you what makes your trek as easy and comfortable as possible, thanks to them you will finish your trek and have a great time. We make sure that all our team are well looked after and we provide all the equipment that they need so that they can do the trek in as much comfort as possible.

Our Food on the Trail:  Definitely one of the highlights of the treks (you’ll never be hungry!).  It is always fresh and organic.  There is always a lot to eat and lots of options including vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and other types of protein and carbohydrates.  It is all served family style and we go out of our way to accommodate all food restrictions including vegetarian options or any food allergy issues at no extra cost.
At early mornings, you will be greeted at your tent by a selection of teas, as well as soap and bowl of warm water, with which you can make your personal care. Breakfasts include milk, coffee, herbal, dark and coca tea, and a combination of bread, butter and jam, pancakes, scrambled eggs or oatmeal. For Lunch you will eat traditional Andean food. Dinner includes chicken, beef or lamb, fish with potatoes, pepper or other main dishes. Snacks include fruit, chocolate candies or sandwiches. We also provide our famous Teatime, which includes sort of teas, popcorn and other delicious goodies.

Our Equipment:  We provide 4 man tents for only 2 people and foam / air mattresses for everyone; all dining equipment (including a spacious dining tent; tables and chairs; plates and utensils).  We do NOT supply sleeping bags or walking sticks, but all can be rented from CHAKANA Office.  We do bring an extra blanket for our hikers for those cold nights just to make sure everyone is warm enough when they sleep.

Horses: On the alternative treks we provide horses to carry the food, the camping equipment and your own stuff; we also provide an emergency horse.

Storage During Your Trek.-During the Inca Trail or any other trek your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffle bag at your Inca Trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before you start the trek) to pack clothes for 3 – 5 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group, you should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water and sun screen, etc. on the alternative treks the horses carry the hikers bags up to 6 kilos per person and again you will not have access to your belongs until the end of the day.


Note: Once you booked your trek, we send immediately your information to Machu Picchu Park in order to get the permits soon as possible. As part of this information are: your names, passport number, nationality, gender and age. Everything listed above cannot be modified with the only exception of the passport number in case of renewal; it is very important that you bring your original passport for the park to verify your information. If any of the information does not match upon arrival, you may not be able to start the trek.
In the case that your passport number changes between reserving your spot and the start of your trek, you have two options. You can send us the new number at least 10 days before the start of your trek but if you can send us this information before will be much better, the another option is to bring your old as well as your new passport to the start of the trail. In case you arrive in Cusco and you don't advised that you have got a new number and your information does not coincide, Chakana Adventure won't be held responsible, so to change it that will have an EXTRA COST of $12.

Return Train to Cusco. - The return train is the Expedition Train which departs either at 2.55, 4.20, 4.42 or 6.45 pm. The train that is booked depends on availability and is confirmed at your briefing. There is an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome Train which is an extra $65 per person. Please let us know your preference at the time of booking. None of the trains go straight to Cusco, they only run either to Ollantaytambo or Poachar but in either case we will transfer you back by bus to your hotel.

FITNESS. - The Inca Trail or any other treks are certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but the Inca Trail or any other Treks are the kind of treks that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail, the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.
Many people worry whether they will be able to manage physically to complete the trail. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek and age itself. There is not barrier if you are positive minded and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.

Hotel for the last night:  
The package includes a basic hotel pretty clean, with private bathroom and hot water. However if you would like to upgrade the hotel you have many hotels from the cheapest to the highest ,so in the case of using a different hotel let us know.

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.

What is included in the tour?
Chakana Travel Adventure 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.

Is it possible to rent equipment from Chakana Office?
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.

I have heard that there is a maximum weight of 7kg that each hiker can give their porter or horse on the alternative treks. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Can Chakana Travel Adventure accommodate my dietary needs? What kind of food should I expect?
Chakana Travel 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.

Will I get water on the Inca trail?
The first day take a bottle of water in your canteen, the second day we will provide boiled water throughout the tour, which will be filled in the bottle at each place of food, (optionally purifying pill can take), experience has taught us that tourists feel upset stomach for drinking bad purified water, boiled ensure you do not have inconveniences. You can also buy water (optionally) on the way from the first day until before the first step (second day) and Machupicchu.
When buying water on the route must be very responsible for not throwing the bottles on the road, bring it with yourself to Aguas Calientes where you can leave in landfills, because there are some customers who leave on the road causing a very bad environmental impact.

At what time will we return to Cusco?
After catching a bus down to Aguas Calientes, hikers will take a 2 hour train ride along the Sacred Valley and arrive in Ollantaytambo. Here, Chakana Travel transportation will be waiting and hikers will board for the two hour trip back to Cusco. Depending on what time the train leaves Aguas Calientes, the group will return to Cusco between 7-11pm.

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.

What if I get altitude sickness while doing the Inca Trail or another trek?
Our guides will be evaluating each trekker through the first day and observing any signs of altitude sickness. Generally speaking, once you make it through the first day, most hikers are fine. In the unlikely event that you have a severe case of altitude sickness a porter will carry you back to the closest populated area. Not to worry though, this is extremely rare.

Is there a student discount?
Chakana travel provides student discounts of $20 US with a valid ISIC card on the Alternative Treks. Please let us know at the time of booking that you have this card and send us a scanned copy for our records. Note that you have to bring with you your original student card. No University cards are accepted - you can apply for an ISIC card at www.isic.org.


FAQ Inca Trail

How far in advance should we reserve our space on the Inca Trail?
We recommend that you make a reservation for the Inca Trail as far in advance as possible. For trips from October to March, we suggest booking at least 3 months in advance and from May to September, 4 months. In the high season (July to August) we advise a minimum of 5 months. Government restrictions, designed to protect the route, limit the number of trekkers to 500 per day, including guides, porters, and cooks. Therefore, the trail usually gets fully booked far in advance. For more information regarding Inca Trail permits.
If there are no slots left for the Inca Trail, there are many alternative Inca trails that follow other Inca roads systems, which can also include an optional visit to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes.

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.

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.

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.

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, we supply tent toilets as there are not any official park toilets.

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. Chakana Travel Adventure 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.

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.

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE: We treat our hikers, our porters and all the local people from the villages with the upmost respect.  We travel in small groups to give personalized tours to each traveller; we pay good salaries to our porters and follow the porter’s law.  We provide all our porters with their hiking gear such as shoes, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, sleeping bags and most importantly, with health insurance.



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