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Christmas with the Children of Kiswarani Village

SAM Travel Peru was able to do another Christmas Party in December 2016 for the Andean Communities of Huacawasi and Kiswaran.  As a part of our family we want the families of the communities and especially the children to experience the spirit of Christmas.  We had a Santa Claus and some clowns, and we shared with the children the meaning of Christmas, with lots of gifts for everyone.  We had lots of fun and food, hot chocolate and cookies etc.  We played games like tug of war, soccer, and other types of games. The winners of each game received a prize.

Every year near Christmas time, SAM Travel Peru organizes a trip to a village to share hot chocolate, special bread and to give out gifts like clothes, books, school items, toys, with less privileged children. These children live in poor conditions and most have material needs. They often do not have many toys, clothes or other material possessions. We are committed to helping the people in the areas where we work, and sharing with them as a part of our family.

We hope you can come and participate or give a donation for next year if you like. We always welcome donations. You will be able to continuue to help local children and make their Christmas better.

Our Most Recent Social Project

“We, (the students from Patachancha Community) got to Machu Picchu for the first time”

 

In December 9th of 2016, SAM Travel Peru fulfilled the dreams of 22 students,  by taking these students to Machu Picchu.  These students have just finished their high school studies from the very remote Andean Community of Patachancha, an hour uphill outside of Ollantaytamba in the mountains: providing them round trip transportation from their communities to Machupicchu, train and bus round trip, full meals, and guide service in their own language (Quechua the Incas language) with the purpose they can know and restore pride in their culture, history and heritage through experiencing it up close and in person. This kind of educational experience is important to the students and it is a great time for them to enjoy a time together.

Please enjoy the experience with them in this video, clicking on the video!

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQLeKypMQJM&width=650&height=366[/embedyt]

WHY WE TOOK THESE STUDENTS TO MACHU PICCHU

 

SAM Travel Peru believes it is extremely important to give, the Native Indigenous People, Los Incas, of the Andean highlands, that live high up in the more isolated mountainous regions around Cusco, the opportunity to see and experience Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, and Cusco, their ancient descendant’s historical sites in these areas. We are hoping to restore to the people of the indigenous communities, a pride and an understanding of the importance of their history, heritage, and ancient culture.  This is being lost to the people.

The people of these communities have been marginalized in some cases by society and may lack basic necessities in their communities of education, health services, adequate food and housing etc. It is sad that millions of foreigners now have the opportunity to experience Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, & Cusco to learn of the Incan heritage, history, and culture; and the native Inca populations of these communities in the Cusco Region that live so close to Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, and Cusco, do not have the resources nor ability for many reasons to be able to experience the historical sites of their Inca heritage.

Peru, Land of the Incas

Interesting Information about the Incredible Incas

The ancient Incas accomplished so much during their time. Here are a few interesting facts about these people and the amazing structures they left behind:

An Unfinished Story — The Incas never got to finish Machu Picchu. While the construction of the sacred citadel started at the height of the Incan empire, the Spanish conquistadors and the diseases they carried unfortunately killed a majority of the local people by the end of the 16th century.

The Immovable — The Incas constructed buildings without mortar using a dry masonry method. The stones fit so perfectly that to this day you cannot slide a razor blade between them. This made the structures extremely resistant to earthquakes.

An Effective Postal System — The ancient people had relay messengers called chasquis who traveled across rope bridges over deep mountain gorges and ran up and down steep mountain paths to quickly deliver communications to teams.

The Many Treks You Can Do in Peru

Trekking in Peru provides you with an opportunity to see and experience the culture and history of the ancient Incas. This country has an astounding array of trails winding through imposing peaks, stunning lakes, lost cities and Incan ruins. If Machu Picchu is on your travel or bucket list, you can combine your trip to the mountaintop citadel with these treks:

Lares Trek

This trek goes through the most beautiful, high Andean valleys, past glaciers and remote mountain villages. You will really feel like you are out trekking in the wilds of the Andean Mountains!

While this trek can be physically demanding, it pays off with fewer tourists, hidden lagoons and a memorable mountain trail. If you’re going for the rewarding and beautiful hike, take the time to acclimatize to the altitude.

Choquequirao Trek

This trek is ideal for hardcore trekkers or adventurers. While it takes several days to complete this journey, the rewards and experience are worth it. You’ll surely appreciate the magnificent citadel of Choquequirao, the impressive variety of vegetation around its construction, and amazing wildlife.

If you’re going to pursue this trek, you’ll need to be in good physical and mental condition. Make sure to stay hydrated on your journey.

Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Trek

You’ll find this beautiful multi-day hike in a section of the Vilcanota Mountain range. Throughout your journey, you’ll pass through colorful striped mountains, glacial peaks, turquoise lakes and relaxing hot springs. If you’re the type of traveler who loves to snap scenic photos for your Instagram, then you’ll surely enjoy embarking on this wonderful trek.

If you plan to take this route, prepare for the altitude. The highest pass is approximately 17,060 feet above sea level. Be sure to begin training well in advance of your hike and eat properly.

Salkantay Trek

This trail provides you with views of jaw-dropping natural attractions and opportunities for adventure. It’s great for travelers who want to connect with nature (and perhaps reconnect with themselves in the process) as they traverse through the untouched and magical mountain passes and landscapes.

Inca Trail

This is the most famous trek in South America. It’s shorter than other trails at only 25 miles — perfect for travelers who want to spend less time hiking. When you hike this popular path, you’ll see a landscape dotted with centuries-old ruins, steep mountain passes and a lush cloud forest alive with birds.

While you don’t have to be a vastly experienced hiker to enjoy this trail, it’s a good idea to acquire a decent level of fitness first to make this incredible journey more enjoyable.

If you have any inquiries about our Machu Picchu tours, browse our website or give us a call at +1 (347) 480-1609.

 

The Imperial City of Cusco

Celebrate Great Festivals in Cusco

Cusco is not just a highland hub for tours to Machu Picchu and other regional attractions. The city also hosts some cultural and colorful festivals. These festivities celebrate the past and the present, indigenous living, pagan traditions and the religious customs of the people.

Don’t be surprised when you arrive at a celebration in Cusco. No matter what time of year you visit the city, you’ll surely stumble upon a fiesta. If you’re planning to have some fun before your trek officially begins, here are a few festivals you can check out:

  • Fiesta de Las Cruces (Festival of the Cross) — This event usually falls on the second or third of May. You’ll see veiled crucifixes and crosses in Catholic sanctuaries, cathedrals and churches throughout Cusco. The usual partying and festivities take place and traditional food is served.
  • Corpus Christi — This celebration always falls on the ninth Thursday after Easter. The main event starts at 11 a.m., which involves taking out the statues of 10 saints from their respective churches and parading them around Plaza de Armas in a specific order. After the long procession, groups of chosen bearers bring the saints to the Cusco Cathedral where they stay for a week. On the eighth day, the bearers take the statues back to their churches, followed by fireworks, musicians and dancers.
  • Cusqueña International Beer Festival — This non-religious music and beer celebration happens in the second week of June. You’ll enjoy drinking locally brewed beer, called Cusqueña beer, and listening to some of the biggest names in the Latino jazz and pop music world.
  • Cusco Carnival and Inti Raymi — Thousands of visitors flock to Cusco to witness and be part of one of the largest festivals in the country. During the week building up to the festival, you’ll see the streets filled with traditional music and folk dancers. You can also watch folklore performances and re-enactments of sun worship that take place on the ruins of Sacsayhuaman.
  • Andean New Year — Aug. 1 marks Mother Earth Day, or Dia de la Pachamama. Locals pay their respects to mother earth by offering drinks, food and other precious items. They sprinkle yellow confetti outside businesses and homes to celebrate the start of the Andean New Year.

The Best Treks near Cusco

Once you’re done celebrating with the locals, it’s time to trek to Machu Picchu using Cusco as your starting point. You have the option to take the famous and classic Inca Trail, which consists of a beautiful cloud forest filled with birds and a landscape with various ruins that date back centuries.

If you’re looking for something different, try an alternative trek:

  • Lares TrekNEW FOR 2020! This trek is available starting 1 March, 2020. SAM Travel Peru is the only tour operator with its own scenic and cultural trekking route, that treks COMPLETELY OFF THE BEATEN PATH with the LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU.
  • Salkantay Trek — This hike gives you the chance to check out the turquoise Salkantay Lake, enjoy fruit-bearing trees in the Peruvian cloud forest, and be in awe of the long valleys of the Puncuyoc Pass.
  • Rainbow Mountain Trek — This adventure allows you to see the natural, snap-worthy colors of the sandstone mountains.
  • Choquequirao Trek — This expedition will take you to two major archaeological sites: Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.

Learn more about our treks and tours that start in Cusco by calling (347) 480-1609.

Trekking to Machu Picchu and Other Related Information

Sam Travel Peru holds the trophy of grand design for unique trekking routes to the awe inspiring ancient Inca Citadel ruins of Machu Picchu. Masses create a constant flow of long anticipated excitement upon entering the UNESCO World Heritage Site, voted one of the New Wonders of the World. Many enter via trekking the Inca Trail or one of the alternative trails to this citadel.

Machu Picchu citadel was built in the 1450s, during the reign of Inca emperor Pachucuti, the exact purpose of these masterful ruins carry to the beyond spiritually. A variety of stories and legends laying dormant. Still to this current day, it stands alone in its air of grandeur and mystery. Urban and agricultural sectors elude over the plateau of Machu Picchu, with clear structures that demarcate areas of important religious purposes. Layered agricultural terraces surround much of the city, producing food to sustain around 1,000 inhabitants. The terraces also played an important role in providing efficient drainage to mitigate the impact of earthquakes and landslides.

Constructed with architectural genius using the ashlar method of placing stone on stone without mortar; even with our current technologies ,we have minimal understanding of how the Incas managed to move and lay stones of such size with ultimate precision. Contemplating this architectural beauty is both humbling and mystifying.
The citadel nurtures the Temple of the Sun, the Astronomical Observatory and the Intihuatana structures. Influenced by universal elements on a grand cosmic scale, the Incas astrological understanding of the Sun and it’s planetary influences are incomprehensible.

Strategically placed between two mountainsMachu Picchu Mountain(not to be confused with the citadel itself) to the south and Huayna Picchu to the north – the city provides unrivalled plunging of valleys on both sides with guarded access points of Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) and the Inca Draw bridge.  After Bingham’s discovery, the site gained international prominence as the Lost City of the Incas.

Machu Picchu Trek – Trails and Routes

The Inca Trail or an alternate trek will reforge a negotiation of life with nature. The combination of the wildest landscapes, the remote and prestine transverses, typical peruvian awe-inspiring mountain ranges, diverse flora and fauna, it is nature in its purest form.
Its popularity, are concerns over the impact of so many visitors to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The trail has a limited number of 500 trekkers per day (only about 200 for trekkers). It is essential to book early, particularly during peak season May-September.

If you are interested in doing a Classic Inca Trail or one of our alternative treks to Machu Picchu, we have numerous treks on our website: www.samtravelperu.com  Please see below the links available for detailed information on some our most popular tresks.  Some possibilites are:

Information About the Huchuy Qosqo Trek

The Huchuy Qosqo archaelogical site, is named in Quechua (little Cusco). It has an elevation of (3,600 m/ 11,800 ft),  looking down on the town of Lamay and the Sacred Valley.  SAM Travel Peru offers you this remote and unspoilt paradise, it has a a large number of buildings, some constructed from stone, some adobe and a striking great hall, 40m/131ft long.  An Inca built irrigation channel, lined with stones for about (800m/2,624ft) provides water to sustain this site.

With ruins everywhere in Peru, you don’t have to dig deep to strike gold. Back in the 1500’s, after the Manco Inca Revolution, the Quechuas constructed several small reservoirs for irrigation. Unfortunately, the Spanish demolished some other Inca structures to build the larger reservoir ,which are evidently visible.

The most recent restoration in Huchuy Quosqo, is the store house for dried meat and crops such as corn, potatoes, quinoa, and beans. The two story structure, carries evidence of the historic cooling storage system known as conjeras.

Huchuy Qosqo , a much shorter and easier trek for those of you, who are just happy to go with the flow. Accessiblity is via a dirt road leaving Lamay and runs a long a set of switch backs which arrives at a viewpoint of the ruins. The walk from this viewpoint to the north entrance of the ruins is about (150m/492ft) and runs past a few typical houses inhabited by local farmers.

These awesome non official ruins are almost run-of-the-mill here in the Peruvian Andes, yet it will constantly marvel you. Follow the pass to the highest point and embrace a grand vista of lakes, communities and glacier-covered mountains located directly east of the belly button to the Inca empire (Coricancha) in Cusco.

Please check out our itinerary for 3DAYS /2NIGHTS TREK : Huchuy Qosqo, Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu using this link:  Huchuy Qosqo 3D2N.  or we also have Huchuy Qosqo 2D1N

 

 

Information on the Choquequirao Trek and the Inca Ruins

If you are keen for a challenge, Sam Travel Peru has the Choquequirao trek, that will exhilarate your senses and challenge you to the core physically and mentally. Be prepared for the remoteness and inaccessibility of this Inca City ruin that is located at (3,050m/10,006ft) above sea level in the province of La Convencion. The twin city to Machu Picchu but 3 times larger yet purely untouched and recluse. Although not as quite impressive as Machu Picchu, it has a very similar structure and architecture. A new adventure that you definitely must visit.

The Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu – a quiet, unpaved dirt trail challenging – yet mesmerizing in beauty, daringly adventurous – that provides a unique alternative to the busy Inca Trail. The trekker’s port hole of opportunity to visit both Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.

For those serious hikerswho dare to enter the untamed nature trail of the Choquequirao trek, it can be completed as a stand alone hike not requiring a permit.

Choquequirao Inca Ruins

Choquequirao, meaning Cradle of Gold, was the control gate between the Amazon and the city of Cusco. An Incan City built during the late 15th and early 16th century. Choquequirao is filled with ruins, its buildings and terraces tuck in below a flattened hilltop, levelled several hundred years ago, and circumferenced with stones to create a platform. Built as a cultural and religious center, it still stands tall in high status exposing the number of niches and double doorways that once overflowed in stature. Choquequirao is located above the valley of Apurímac river, 98kms/61mls from Cusco and in the Willkabamba mountain range, covers an area of 6 square kms.

We are the only company who take you to the hot spring of CONOC after the long hike and even explore the unique Inca ruins of Saywite. We are specialists in this amazing route and offer the most frequent departures with experienced and professional guides.  Check out all of our options to discover why.

See the links below with detailed itineraries and alternative trek information on our ChoquequiraoTreks.  Here are the links to the Alternative Choquequirao Treks:

Information about Our Salkantay Trek

Follow in the ancient footsteps of times gone by with Sam Travel Peru, a unique off the beaten track journey filled with intense emotion, culture, escalating adventure and upmost satisfaction and personal growth. In the trek, conquer the exotic snow capped Salkantay Peak dubbed as the most spectacular peak in the Andes, as you walk in the shadows of this spectacular outstretched mountain and visit two turquoise glacial lakes. You will hike through the puffs of cloud forests and be nurtured in mother natures warmth in her natural hot springs. Finally, explore the forgotten Llactapata Inca Ruins and collect your front row tickets to Machu Picchu as you pass through the original Inca Trail to embrace your long awaited dream of seeing the sunset and sunrise over the majestic Machu Picchu.

We offer the most comprehensive and latest information on the Salkantay trek on our website with our specially designed off the beaten trek trails.  In particular, you will find detailed information on the classic Salkantay trek itinerary through our links: Salkantay Trek 5 days and Salkantay & Inca Trail 7 days. 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE SALKANTAY TREK

Is there any company that may show you absolutely all the highlight of this amazing and unique Salkantay Trek

Mount Salkantay

Mount Salkantay one of the most iconic mountains in the Cusco region and the highest mountain on the Willkapampa range is situated 60km/37mls Northwest of Cusco city standing at (6,271m/20,5741ft).
The Quechua name, Salkantay, means Savage or Wild and lives up to its reputation as being a tough summit to reach.  Machu Picchu is located directly north of Salkantay.

The Southern Cross Star is aligned with Machu Picchu’s sundial appearing directly above Salkantay Summit during rainy season. In the past the Incas considered Salkantay to be one of the principal deities controlling weather in the region. Even to this present day Salkantay features very prominently in the local beliefs.

Salkantay Mt

Salkantay Lake

After pacing what feels like an infinite ascension, our heads gradually peep above the rocky earth that was once below our feet.  If you have never experienced the wow factor this is the time you will.  A panoramic view with a 360 degree of magnificence. Higher than the clouds stand erect multi coloured snow capped mountainous ranges. In the echo of the past, if you listen intently you may hear the sound of avalanches in the distance.
The color turquoise not of this world appears to fill to the brim the ancient glazier lake. Where to look first, no one would know? Just let yourself engulf this moment of unspeakable pleasure. We offer at SAM Travel Peru, the most comprehensive and latest information on the Salkantay trek.

salkantay-trek-4-day

Cloud Forest with undulating Fruit Plantations

The warm air begins to rise from the edge of the jungle, 15 unique eco systems exist accompanied by colourful butterflies and striking orchids.  You will discover abundant fruit trees, wild passionfruit, tall banana plantations and delicious star fruit, which is rich in medicinal purposes used for centuries within Peru. Organic coffee plantations is one of the main sources of exportation for Peru which has a faultless reputation, rich in flavour smooth and yummy!!

salkantay-trekking-sam

Hot Springs at Santa Teresa

The Hot Springs are built on the slope of the mountain and resides on the edges of the Urubamba River. The thermal water pools support three pools of different depths and sizes, its water supply varies between 40 º C and 44 º C. It ´s clear waters differ from most other hot springs in Peru. These waters have medicinal properties and are commonly used to treat skin ulcers, rheumatism and common bone and muscle ailments.  There are cold jets from the Uripata gaps that provide a feeling of soothing comfort, soft sand at the bottom of the pools, rocks, vegetation, mountains and the sound of the river. Truly a place to revive the body and soul all at once.

hot-spring-salkantay-trek

 

Llactapata Inca Ruins

Up and over the hill, you’ll find the highly elevated Llactapata Ruins located on top of a ridge between the valleys of the Aobamba and the Salkantay, 5,000 feet above the estate of Huaquina. A half-cleared ruin wholeheartedly presents our majesty Machu Picchu.

Along the Inca trail, you’ll discover an important Inca rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu, fitted out extensively with complex structures and features related to Machu Picchu. You’ll find a network of interrelated ceremonial sites with important astronomical functions during the solstices and equinoxes which supported the regional center at Machu Picchu.

“Llactapata Inca site, Located right in front of Machu Picchu. This will be the first site you see, of the Lost City of the Incas. You will be able to see the Machu Picchu ruins, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountain from this spot  – Greatest lookout point ever”

salkantay-trek-via-llactapata

 

Details about Our Lares Trek

Sam Travel Peru is offering an outstanding and unique opportunity, a combination of off-the-beaten track experiences with different choices for The Lares Trek. We have created independent travel experiences catering to your free spirited passion for exploration. Slide into the negotiation of life and nature near the quaint town of Lares, 40 miles north of Cusco and 35 miles southeast of Machu Picchu. The trek itself lies dormant awaiting your call in the legendary Lares Valley, east of the Urubamba mountain range, which traverses part of the Sacred Valley.

The hike can be completed as a stand alone 2 or 3 day trek or in addition to compliment your thirst for adventure it can connect with the epic Machu Picchu via Ollantaytambo with an extension by 1 to 2 days.
As of 2017 permits are not required for the Lares Trek. That means with a little organization of train tickets to Aguas Calientes and entrance tickets to Machu Picchu we can have you on the trail within a day or two.

An alternative to the Inca trail, the Lares trek is arguably easier and exhaustingly quiet for those who love the intense remoteness and isolation. A less heavily trodden unfamiliar and uncertain trail trapezing over 3 high altitude passes, the highest depending on your chosen route either (4,400m/14,435ft) or (4,600m/15,092ft).

The true Guardians of Andean knowledge and traditional communities has been kept safe and passed down by generations throughout the Lares Valley for over 500 years. Become apart of the grand tapestry intricately woven between local weavers and farmers, famous for wearing colourful traditional clothing and homemade textiles.

There are five common Lares trekking route itineraries to Machu Picchu, each offering an a la carte menu of regional tastes by various companies but, SAM Travel Peru’s route is the best of all of them. That is “off the beaten path,” (no crowds), the most scenic views of lakes, mountains & valleys etc, it visits the more isolated indigenous communities and best of all it ends at the Lares Hot Springs.  Recently, we have included the Pisac Ruins in the early morning when it is not crowed.

Please see each tab to find out much more about each different itinerary offered by various companies:

BEST ONE; FROM HUARAN TO LARES

ROUTE 1: FROM HUARAN TO LARES (Best Trekking Itineray – SAM Travel Peru)

Voted the best trekking itinerary according to TRIPADVISOR FORUMS, magazine reviews, and hikers of SAM Travel Peru

Our itinerary takes us through the Lares Valley known as the Weavers Way with your professional guide, having the opportunity to reforge your connection by interacting with the locals who are still keeping the Inca culture alive..   The travellers pilgrimage, combined with a small group, and unique path offered by Sam Travel Peru will enhance your experience of the Lares trek. You will explore the sophisticated Inca ruins of Pisac being enticed by the distillation of the oldest traditions and the finest building on the planet

Enjoy peaking ice glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, llamas, alpacas and your reward at the end the natural volcanic hot springs to soothe your tired muscles.  On the last day make your dreams into reality and enjoy a new day watching the sunrise at Machu Picchu and explore the amazing citadel with your professional guide……. 

This trekking route is one of the best and now is even better with the addition of  the Pisac Inca ruins.

BEST LARES TREKS ROUTE ITINERARY: 

Day 1: Cusco – Huaran – Cancha Cancha

The excitement of your Lares trek will help you arise early for your pickup at 5:00am, whether in Cusco or Sacred Valley. Within the hour from Cusco, we will arrive at the dusted ancient remanents of this truly awesome Pisac Inca citadel. If you are able to take your eyes off the ruins and look up towards the skies you will be memorised at the flight of the Cararcara falcons hovering and circling in this infinite sky. Our guide will share with you the its history in all of its brilliance.

Breakfast is served high above looking down at the plunging gorges and awesome views of the Inca city and valleys. Driving onward for 40 more minutes to Huaran, we meet our horsemen and horses. Time to get ready, boots on, and begin our first 3 hours gradually ascending up to Cancha cancha, replenishing our energy for our trek ahead with a delicious lunch prepared by our trekking chef.  Cancha cancha is the the most isolated and self sustainable traditional community to the core. There is no bus route, no electricity, no modern services at all. Reforge your connection with nature and the realness of life intertwining your energies with the locals and sharing in their homes.. It would be of much appreciation to share some toys, old useful clothes, notebooks, fruit or other items with the locals.  Two hours later, we have completed our first trekking day and arrive at our campsite. Boots off, time to enjoy afternoon tea with amazing views of  the frozen Andean peaks. After dinner, our guide will show you the Inca’s constellations, which they depended on for their agricultural guidance and still do to this present day.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities 
  • Distance: 12kms / 7 miles
  • Time: 6hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate 

Day 2: Cancha Cancha – Quishuarani

Feeling all revved up on our second day and having had a delicious breakfast, we begin our 4 hour hike northeast, an intense walk accomplishing the three high passes to the highest point of our trek called Pachacutec pass. (4,700 m / 15,420 ft) This is the time for you to pat yourself on the back and embrace the feeling of total exhilaration and self achievement.  Compensating for the intense walk, are the views of the rigid glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, llamas, rugged valleys and undulating farmlands. After a time to enjoy the 360º views, we descend for an hour, taking lunch by the mirrored glacial lake, with picturesque views of the Lares Valley with plenty of llamas and alpacas. After a siesta time, we descend for 2 hours til we reach our campsite located by the Kiswarani community. (3,700m/12,139ft). Taking the backroads to Machu Picchu, Llama herders are readily available and the local indigenous people will open there hearts and interact with you in the Quechua language (Inca’s language). Your guide will act as your mediator to translate and teach you some quechua language, and then you get to enjoy the stunning waterfall…

At the camp, everything will be ready. Enjoy afternoon tea time and dinner then snuggle in for a comfortable night sleep.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with comfortable tents, inflatable mattress´s, blanket´sand pillows
  • Distance: 14kms / 10.3 miles
  • Time:8hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: challenge

Day 3: Quishuarani – Cuncani – Lares – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Your adventure continues! We begin our ascension for 3 hours till we reach the Hullkiccasa Pass, (4,200m/13,779ft) taking a birds eye view reflecting in the mirror images of the glacial lakes. As we descend for 2 hours through the boundless farmlands and pristine lakes to the Cucani community. Connecting with the local indigenous children we will visit their school and share in some quality time with the students.

A little further on we are welcomed into the natural volcanic hot springs for an hour to soak in them, have lunch and take a siesta. Time for our goodbyes for our remarkable chef and horseman. With the body relaxed the mind begins to sway toward preparing for the ultimate experience. We take our van for 2.5 hours  to Ollantaytambo where we will have dinner at a tourist restaurant. At 7:00pm or 9:00pm, we take our train to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night at our hotel. (Presidente or Hostal Machu Picchu – private room with hot shower included) Just one more night to sleep for the big day!!!

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch  – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel 
  • Distance: 15kms / 9.3 miles
  • Time: 6hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Bursting out with excitement on your final surreal day, we take the first bus to Machu Picchu archeological site making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the citadel of Machu Picchu, what an unforgettable experience. Your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, wander around the town squares of the world’s spiritual center by esoteric wisdom as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone. Or stay still and find the peace within as you sit in the pure delight of the moment.

If you wish to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own (not included in the price)
Climb up Huayna Picchu and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu
– You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku.
– Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs.

You will descend to Aguas Calientes, have a late lunch and later on, board the train at 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station and be driven back to your hotel.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

LARES TO PATACANCHA

ROUTE 2: LARES TO PATACANCHA – WEAVERS WAY

The shortest 33km and most popular Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, truly the easiest route taking three days to trek reaching one high pass 4,450meters. With one extra day to visit Machu Picchu, trekkers hike through two interesting weaving communities at Huacahuasi and Patacancha.

Day 1: Cusco – Calca – Lares Thermal Springs – Huacahuasi

Trekkers leave Cusco early on the first morning, typically around 6am and drive for 2 hours to the small town of Calca (2,928m). Some groups stop here for a break and potentially get breakfast / stock up on snacks and water. From here, the drive continues north for another 3 hours to the town of Lares. Trekkers generally visit the thermal springs in Lares where one can take a quick dip before commencing the 5-6 hour (12km/7.5mls) trek to the first camp site, Huacahuasi (3,750m/12,303ft).

Day 2: Huacahuasi – Ipsaycocha Lake

Huacahuasi (Huacawasi) is a traditional weaving community. Trekkers usually spend the morning watching weaving in action and trying on some of the beautifully colourful ponchos made by the local villagers. The trek today is a short, but a tough one. It begins with a climb up and over the Ipsaycocha Pass (4,450m/14,599ft) – the heighest point on the trek – which takes about 2-3 hours, and then a descent of just over an hour to the campsite at Ipsaycocha Lake. Total trekking distance 9km/5.6mls and walking time 3-5 hours.

Day 3: Ipsaycocha Lake – Patacancha – Huilloc – Ollantaytambo

Today is all downhill! From Ipsaycocha Lake, the route descends for 2-3 hours to the Quechua weaving community in Patacancha (3,700m/12,139ft). The trail then turns south and continues downhill to another traditional Quechua village called Huilloc (sometimes written Willoq). You will see locals wearing traditional dress in both these villages. The trail concludes here where most tour operators organise land transport to Ollantaytambo (2,792m/9,160ft), before catching a train to Aguas Calientes (2,040m/6,692ft) – the town that sits below Machu Picchu.

FROM QUIWARANI TO PATACANCHA

ROUTE 3: QUISHUARANI TO PATACANCHA

This Lares trek route variation is the second most popular, after the Weavers Way’ The route is a little longer than the first (39km/24mls), but of a similar difficulty, except on this route you will need to contend with two big passes!

Day 1: Cusco – Calca – Quishuarani – Cuncani

Leaving early on day 1 you will drive from Cusco to Calca, where most tours stop for brekkie. From here you continue on to Quishuarani (3,700m/12,139ft), arriving around 11:00am. The trek starts with a gradual ascent that get’s steeper as you approach the first pass, Huilquijasa (4,200m/13,779ft) – the views of the valley and lakes below are great from the pass. It takes about 3-4 hours up and about 2-3 hours to descend to the first camp, Cuncani (3,750m/12,303ft). Total trekking distance is 12km/7.5mls, 5-7 hours walking.

Day 2: Cuncani – Huacahuasi – Ipsaycocha Lake

Day 2 starts early and is the toughest on the route. From Cuncani the route gradually descends into the Chancachaca Valley (3,600m/11,811ft) for about 2-3 hours before rising again to the town of Huacahuasi – 3,750m (sometimes spelt Huacawasi). This town is famous for it’s weavers and you will spend some time here watching the locals at work, whilst having lunch. From here, the route continues up and over the Ipsayjasa Pass (4,450m), before descending to the camp at Ipsaycocha Lake. Total trekking distance is ~15km, 6-9 hours walking.

Day 3: Ipsaycocha Lake – Patacancha – Huilloc – Ollantaytambo

Today is all downhill! From Ipsaycocha Lake, the route descends for 2-3 hours to the Quechua weaving community in Patacancha (3,700m). The trail then turns south and continues downhill to another traditional Quechua village called Huilloc (sometimes written Willoq). You will see locals wearing traditional dress in both these villages. The trail concludes here where most tour operators organise land transport to Ollantaytambo (2,792m/9,160ft), before catching a train to Aguas Calientes (2,040m) – the town that sits below Machu Picchu.

QUIWARANI TO YANAWARA

ROUTE 4: QUISHUARANI TO YANAHUARA

The Quishuarani to Yanahuara trek has the same first and last day as Route 2, but is better suited for the more experienced trekkers as it is longer (~45km/28mls) and more challenging (there are three passes over (4,200m/13,779ft) that need to be traversed). The route is one of the least popular Lares trek variations due to it’s difficulty and because the end point, Yanahuara (2,873m/9,307ft), is long bus journey away from Ollantaytambo, where trekkers catch the train to Aguas Calientes.

 

Inca Trail Trek Options

Sam Travel Peru offers the grandest of ancient inca trails, providing your own touch of paradise here on earth. You will enter a particularly beautiful 43km/26.7mls section of mountain trail connecting you to the never neverland of Inca archaeological sites of Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca. The trail route lies within the 32,592 acres of Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, which was created by the government in 1981 to protect the natural beauty and the archaeological sites of this extraordinary area.

This spectacular trail twists and turns, ascends through high mountain ranges, descends down steep escarpments and passes through a shrewdly placed misty cloud forest. The wildest landscapes and distillation of the oldest traditions and finest building on the planet, a number of diverse ecological zones are filled with an enormous variety of plants and bird life. The ancient and remote footpath passes you through archaeological sites which lead you to the ethnic and cultural exchanges of the Citadel of Machu Picchu itself.

Almost all of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is strictly controlled by authorized trekking companies such as SAM Travel Peru, who have authority to sell this trek. Please check out tripadvisor for our ratings. All of our guides on the Inca Trail are licensed and only a limited number of trekking permits are issued and must be purchased several months in advance.

INCA TRAIL 4 DAYS

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 4 DAYS & 3 NIGHT

If you have ever wondered where the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow, then you have found it.  Open your arms to our Classic 4 day Inca Trail known as one of the world’s ten best hikes.  The Inca Trail is unparalleled for its ecological diversity and rich in wealth of its archaeological treasures.  The wonder of ancient humanity and ecological zones (from glacial peaks to tropical forests) lay forgotten in the mists of the Andes, nurturing over 450 species of birds and 200 species of orchids, as well as the legendary city of Machu Picchu.

Join with nature at it’s purest form using our private and closely located campsite to Machu Picchu. This location stirs a potion of strengthened connections and has a reputation of being the site of matrimony with us.  We offer the option of an extra day allowing more time to embrace this life changing opportunity

ITINERARY

Day 1: CUSCO – KM 82 – WAYLLABAMBA – AYAPATA

Get ready to put another check off of your travellers bucket list.  You’ll be picked up at 4:30am from your hotel, travel by bus to the beginnning of our trail at Piskacucho- kilometer 82. At 6:30 til 7am you can buy your breakfast in Ollantaytambo and load up on energy.

Our arrival at 8:30am to kilometer 82, will give us some time to organise ourselves – restrooms, sunscreen, insect repellent etc.  Our first trail control point, you will need your entrance tickets, passports and student cards.

Lets move out as (2,720m/8,923ft), we cross the Vilcanota River and via right on route. The first day is a good warmup session for the days ahead. The Incan flat terrain offers unfamiliar views of the historical  Incan Fortress (Huillca Raccay), the vast and incredible Incan site of Llactapata inticing your lust for adventure (officially called Patallacta), the Urubamba mountain range that creates the diversity between  the jungle, the Andes and the beautiful snow-capped peak of W’akay Willca (5,860m/19,225ft) her arms rising towards the infinite sky in vastness  known as Veronica.

In 1.5 hours, we will reach our campsite Ayapata in the temperate green valley and small village of Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,842ft). Temperatures vary through the night around 5ºC .

  • Meals: Lunch, Snacks, Afternoon Tea Time & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 12kms (6 hours more or less of hiking)
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Day 2: AYAPATA – PASS – PAQAYMAYU – CHAQUICOCCHA

Early wake up and breakfast at 5-5.30am, we start a steep ascent unfamiliar and uncertain along the heavily trodden historic path reaching the highest pass Abra de Warrmihuañusca or Dead Woman’s Pass  (4,200m/13,779ft). Today, you will high five those around you with a real sense of achievement as we reach the top! Up at the top of the pass, there we will be hummingbirds and many other species of birdlife. Plenty of time will be taken to appreciate an incredible variety of native plants, Polylepis or Q’ueuña trees, which grow in astonishing cloud forest locations at (3,650m/11,972ft)!! After a well deserved rest, feeling rejuvenated we descend to Pacaymayu (3,550m/11,646ft) for lunch.

After lunch, begins a steep two hour climb and arrival time to camp Runkuraqay pass around 5pm, (almost 4,000 m/13,123ft) Having cooler night temperatures of around 4ºC.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Water, Lunch, Snacks, Afternoon Tea Time & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 16 kms ( 7 – 8 hours more or less of hiking)
  • Difficulty: Moderate/challenge

Day 3: CHAQ’ICOCHA – PUYUPATAMARCA  – WIÑANWAYNA

Wake up 6am for breakfast starting the day with a gentle climb to visit the archaeological site of Phuyupatamarca (meaning Town in the Clouds)  reaching the third highest point on the trail (3,680m/12,073ft). Catch your breath as your eyes fixate onto the mountains and canyons becoming groomed in the pure brillance of the suns reflections.

The mind boggles in the wonder of ancient humanity and the secrets kept in these lands walking toward the third pass and visit The Incan site of Phuyupatamarca then continue  3,000 worn steps towards our third campsite Wiñay Wayna (2,680m/8,792ft) through the pitted cloud forest and the impressive agricultural Incan site of Intipata. Only 5 hours of walking today arriving at camp by lunchtime! Temps around 12º C through the night.

A short distance from camp is the Incan site of the same name Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). Don’t miss visiting the most impressive site on the trail.

Note: On this day all our groups are visiting one of the most impressive Inca Cities of the Inca Trail is called Wiñay wayna!!

  • Meals: Breakfast, Water, Lunch, Snacks, Afternoon Tea Time & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities & hot shower
  • Distance: 10kms (5 hours more or less of hiking)
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: WIÑAY WAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

At around 4:00am you get up, have breakfast and move on the Inca trail to get to Machu Picchu. This is the last part of the journey arriving by 6:00am to reach Inti Punku or The Sun Gate. Instantly out of the blue every part of Machu Picchu is in front of your eyes stuttering its immense beauty – an incredible sight for all to see. The sight is beyond belief picturing the journey of those Incas and what they must have experienced during their taxing expedition to this expansive temple. At this point, we move downhill towards Machu Picchu (2,400m/7,872ft), after a period of 40 minutes, we enter the citadel from the top point through the House of the Guardians. Then, we proceed to the control point, where we register and leave our belongings. Your guide will expertly direct you throughout the astounding ruins and its main streets. You can then wander around the town squares as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone. Machu Picchu is considered as the world’s spiritual centers by esoteric wisdom. Once the guided tour is over, you will have some free time to explore the site on your own, to relax, or to meditate.

You will then have time to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own (not included in the price)

  • Climb up Huayna Picchu and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu from there.
  • Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or go to the hot springs.

Back to Cusco: You will descend to Aguas Calientes by bus (included) and later on, board the train by 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco;  stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station then getting picked up and driven to your hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Distance: 6 kms
  • Difficulty: Easy

SHORT INCA TRAIL

SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 2 DAYS & 1 NIGHT

The appeal of the SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU is the stunning reforging cultural show of Inca ruins, exotic side by side mountains, primitive lush vegetation and extraordinary ecological varieties. The trail goes through the National Park and enters through the Sun Gate with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu, through cloud pitted forest and finally into subtropical vegetation. Ending at the magnificent wonder of the world: Machu Picchu.

ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO – KM 104  – WIÑAY HUAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU

With a compacted 2 days of excitement ahead, we pick you up from your hotel by 4:30am and drive you to the train station.  A two hour free flowing train ride of KM 104 (2,100m/6,927ft)  will take us to begin our trek cruising past the first checkpoint with ease. Afterwards, we initiate a moderate climb for three hours to the chiselled remnants and remote archaeological site of Wiñay huana. (2,650m/8,747ft) Looking out with an open mind  and open heart embracing the  spectacular plunging views of the Urubamba Canyon and ethnic wonder of  ancient Inca sites making our connection with the traditional four day Inca Trail. After being at one with this beautiful sight, we continue onward  towards the Sun Gate. (2,730mts/9,007ft) Following the ancient remote footpath, we grasp onto our first spectacular view of Machu picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. As we move closer to the  citadel of Machu Picchu, you will feel the reasonation of her energetic vibration. Then, we will take our bus Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night in our hotel.

  • Meals: Box Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, and buffet breakfast included
  • Difficulty: Moderate

DAY 2: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Today, you will complete the new foundation to oneself by taking the first bus to Machu Picchu archeological site making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, wander around the town squares of the world’s spiritual center by esoteric wisdom as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone.
If you wish to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own (not included in the price)

  • Climb up Huayna Picchu and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu
  • You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku.
  • Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs.

You will descend to Aguas Calientes and later on, board the train at 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station and be driven back to your hotel.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Accommodation: Hotel with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, and buffet breakfast included
  • Difficulty: Moderate

 

SALKANTAY & INCA TRAIL 7 DAYS

SALKANTAY & INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 6 OR 7 DAYS

This trek is spectacular for those travellers who wish to get off the beaten track but still join the original Inca Trail. It is a wonderful trek taking you right from the watershed of the Apurimac river to the Urubamba river and around the stunning Mount Salkantay, which is the second largest mountain in Cusco region (6,277m /20,577ft). This spectacular trail twists and turns, ascends through high mountain ranges descends down steep escarpments passing intimately through shrewdly placed misty cloud forest. The wildest landscapes and distillation of the oldest traditions and finest building on the planet, a number of diverse ecological zones filled with an enormous
variety of plants and bird life. The ancient and remote footpath passes you through archaeological sites which lead you to the ethnic and cultural exchanges of Machu Picchu itself.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Lake – Salkantaypampa

At 5am, we pick you up at your hotel and we drive with our private van to Soraypampa for 3.5 hours. Along the way,  you can enjoy some spectacular views of villages such as: Iscuchaca and Limatambo, stunning valleys and snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay. At the trail head (Soraypampa), we have our breakfast enjoying the amazing views of Humantay (5,900m/19,356ft) and Salkantay (6,217m/20,396ft) Mountain glaciers. Then, we do a short hike up to see the turquoise Humantay Lake, which will take 2.5 hours round-trip. Afterwards, we continue with a gentle climb for 1.5 hours to Salkantaypampa, where we have our delicious lunch in front of the beautiful glacier. After lunch, we continue for one more hour uphill by switchback to our first campsite at Soroccocha, located at the foot of Salkantay Mountain. Then, enjoy your tea time with coffee and hot a chocolate. The views on this day will be truly breathtaking.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea Time & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 13kms
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Salkantaypampa – Pampajaponesa

Today, we continue walking off the beaten track for about 3 hours uphill. We stop to take lunch along the way and continue our trek for 3 more hours to reach our campsite, which is approximately 1km away from the snow-capped mountain Salkantay. On the way, we will enjoy the magnificent views of all the surrounding snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and amazing valleys. We have high tea and hot toddy at the camp.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 14kms
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 3: Pampajaponesa – Sisaypampa

Our day begins with a slow uphill climb of approximately 4 hours to reach the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m/16,010ft) which translates to the place where the Inca cools down. Around this area in the rocky crags, lives the andean Condor, the world’s largest bird. From here, the trail levels off downhill and we reach our campsite for the night at Sisaypampa.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 10kms
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Sisaypampa – Wayllabamba- Llulluchapampa

After a delicious breakfast we start hiking to the end of the valley, which then enters a wider valley named Pampacahua. There, we find an Inca canalthat is still in full use by the local farming settlements. At the end of the Pampa, we find our first Inca archaeological site named Paucarcancha that we pass on and we arrive at Wayllabamba for lunch. Then, we walk for 3 more hours through the Llullucha Valley to reach our campsite atLlulluchapampa, where we enjoy our high tea in front of all the great views.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 11kms
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 5: Lluluchapampa – Pacaymayu – Phuyupatamarca

Early in the morning we take our breakfast and afterwards we start our climb for about 2 hours following an original Inca stone path and trek up to the Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,217m/14,047ft), where we have a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. We descend on areconstructed Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayu River, where we have lunch. Afterwards, we walk uphill for 2 more hours towards Runcurakay Pass (3,977m/13,127ft) from here we enjoy the breathtaking views of all the surrounding mountains.  Then, we descend  for 3 more hours to Phuyupatamarca (3,650m/12,047ft), where we spend the night.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 16kms
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenge

Day 6: Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay wayna – Aguas Calientes

Today is the most beautiful day of our trek. We have our breakfast early in the morning enjoying the sun rise, the Urubamba Canyon, the Machu Picchu Mountain and the stunning Inca sites.  After that, we descend for 2 hours through the cloud forest to Wiñay wayna for lunch. Then, we walk for 1 hour to the Sun Gate, from here you can enjoy your first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu and all the surrounding mountains. Afterwards, we descend to the citadel and take our shuttle to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in a hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Distance: 12kms
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 7: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We leave our hotel after a very early breakfast to take the bus for the journey up to Machu Picchu ruins. Once inside the citadel, we are provided a 3 hour guided tour with plenty of free time for further exploring, taking photos and the option to climb Huayna Picchu or go up to the Sun Gate. Then back to Aguas Calientes at 4:22pm, we take our return train to Ollantaytambo with a bus connection to Cusco, arriving at your hotel in the evening.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

Welfare Porter

Ethical trekking: Support porter welfare in Peru

Most importantly travellers need to make themselves aware by researching their chosen tour provider to ensure their porters are treated with the utmost respect by abiding by the regulations that have been put into place and all for good reason. For Sam Travel Peru, our first priority is to enforce the protective welfare of our porters. We as a professional team are very strict on abiding by these guidelines. Local porters are contracted for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu as pack animals are not permitted due to environmental damage on the trails.
Please be aware that cheaper prices often fall short of satisfying legal standards to protect porter welfare at the expense of unfair low wages and permanent injuries.

Porter welfare at Sam Travel Peru

The Peruvian government introduced the Porter Law back in 2003 that created a set of work standards. Incorporated as legal requirements, porters should carry no more than a load weighing no more than 44 pounds and receive a minimum wage of S/. 45 ($16 USD) per day.

Each porters pack is weighed in at the beginning of the Inca Trail and the second check point to help to enforce Porter Law standards. If the pack exceeds the required weight the tour operator receives a fine or loss of their license for the Inca Trail. There are ways some companies can maneuver these laws. As an example companies can limit the personal weight of each porter increasing group camping equipment: the outcome, being porters not having adequate clothing and personal gear to keep them warm.

We as a responsible tour operator and on a personal level care deeply for our porters employed from the local villagers. We also embrace the welfare of these families and work very closely giving back to the community directly. Please see our Social Works link. We also employ more porters than most of our competitors to balance out the weight carried.

Sam Travel Peru pays 30 percent higher than the minimum standard wage as well as tips from outside sources received after their completed trek.
Donations of clothing,and school supplies are always a necessity and are greatly received.

Your porter is a precious gift so please be grateful for his efforts because we certainly are.

 

Official Inca Trail Trek Availability & Permits 2019 & 2020 Online

3, 4, 5, & 7 Days Classic Inca Trail Availability

SAM Travel Peru has Guaranteed and Flexible Departure Dates, we only need a minimum of 2 trekkers and a maximum of 8 for all of our listed tours.

CLICK EACH MONTH TO CHECK THE AVAILABILITY ONLY FOR THE 4, 5, 7  DAYS INCA TRAIL 

CLICK HERE for the Second Calendar Below to Verify the Availability for the 1 or 2 days Inca Trail!!!

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1 OR 2 DAYS SHORT INCA TRAIL AVAILABILITY

CLICK EACH MONTH TO CHECK THE AVAILABILITY ONLY FOR THE 1 OR 2  DAYS SHORT INCA TRAIL 

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***Note: If your date is sold out it is sold out for all travel agencies, there are not more permits!

***We need Inca Trail availability ONLY for the starting date of  your trek!

***NOTE: February 2018 – The 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 days Inca Trail is closed for maintenance

***We can ONLY operate the LARES TREK to Machu Picchu and TOURS to Machu Picchu during February.

 

WHAT TO DO IF THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL IS SOLD OUT

FOR YOUR DESIRED DATES?

 

If permits are sold out for the Classic Inca Trail on your preferred date,” don’t get stressed out,” you have so many options that will still allow you to trek and enjoy the Andes on the way to MACHU PICCHU. Alternative treks are just as beautiful as the Inca Trail. They are less crowded because we take you OFF the beaten track” in the Andes and we make sure you don’t miss anything on your trek to MACHU PICCHU.

***Sam Travel Peru Requires only a 2 participant minimum for our departures! “You can Choose any day that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers.”

***If you are a single traveler and are flexible with your start date, we will make sure you have a group to travel with and you won’t miss out on any of the fun.

ALTERNATIVE TREK OPTIONS: 

Important Note: We will buy your Inca Trail trek permit using the names and passport numbers that you send us with your trek booking application (they must to complete and accurate)
You must bring the same passport with you to Cusco and take it with you on the Inca Trail.

Very Important Note: If the name or number on your passport does not match the name and number on the trek permit, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund.

RENEWAL OR CHANGE OF NAME ON PASSPORT

If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you mustsend us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them.  We can then make the change with the government before you arrive.  The extra cost to do the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and Train.)

If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one).  You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or Train.  If  you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!

ISIC CARD 

If you make a trek booking at the student price must send us a copy of your ISIC card at the time you pay the trek deposit.  If you fail to bring your Original ISIC card on the trek, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek. “You will not be given the opportunity to pay the difference in price!”

Inca Trail Availability Online – SAM Travel Peru Team!

 

 

Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2020

Hiking the Inca Trail Machu Picchu is one of the best hikes that exist in the world for its exquisite natural beauty and different ecological niches ranging from high deserts to tropical forests. During their empire, the Incas created a vast network of roads that go throughout the Andes from Argentina to Colombia and from the coast to the Amazon rain forest. The Inca Trail Machu Picchu is a branch which goes from the Andes to the Jungle.

CYBER SPECIAL 4, & 5 DAYS INCA TRAIL 2019

SECURE YOUR PERMIT FOR 2019, DO NOT MISS OUT!

It is becoming more and more difficult to get permits. This year in 2018  almost all of the permits were sold out for the high demand weeks of April, May, June and July within the 1st day of going on sale. By the end of March 2018, the permits were almost completely sold out until mid September!

This year the permits for 2018 went on sale on the 1st of October 2017. It will probably be the same in 2018 for the permits of 2019.  If you wait you may loose out! 

CYBER SPECIAL OFFER FOR 2019!

  1. Get your Classic Inca Trail Trek at 2018 prices!
  2. VISTADOME TRAIN TICKET upgrade for 2019 free. This offer extend until the end of the 1st week of October 2018.
  3. A porter (7 kilos of your personal belongings will be carried by our porters at no extra cost).
  4. The Classic Inca Trail trek 4 days is available on any date that is best for you on 2019. (We just request a minimum of 2 hikers for running the hike.
  5. Best campsites guaranteed for the 4, & 5 day treks!
  6. Wiñayhauyna campsite for the 4, & 5 day treks.
  7. Guided tour into the ruins is 100% guaranteed for all Inca Trail treks.
  8. Small groups up to 8 people (can be 2, 4, 6 or 8)

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE FOR 2019 

You may change your booking date until September 15th, 2018 when the permits go on sale again!

HOW TO BOOK THE INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU FOR 2019?

FIRST, to book  your the Inca Trail Machu Picchu 4 days  you need to fill out our booking form on our secured site, by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here the link BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permits, entrances to Machu Picchu, or make hotel or train reservations (it is a government requirement) without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality


SECOND, we require a deposit of US$211 per person  in order to purchase permits, entrances, and hotel and train reservations for your tour or trek.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL

Price & Availability

“The 4 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu its available on any date that its best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 people”

BEST PRICE FOR THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU ON 2019

US$643 per person
Personal porter included!

***This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kilos.  We will provide you with a duffle bag…. And we are including the VISTADOME TRAIN upgrade for free. 

DISCOUNTS

  • Under 18 years old: US$40 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 12 years old: US$50  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Group of 5 or more: US$30. – All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.

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EXTRAS:

  • Down sleeping bag: US $20
  • Air Mattress: US$20
  • Walking sticks: US $15 for the whole trek.
  • Personal tent: US $30
  • Additional night in Aguas Calientes: from US $60
  • Waynapicchu Mountain: US $75
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: $70

ITINERARY

4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU ITINERARY 2019

Day 1: CUSCO – 82kms – WAYLLABAMBA – AYAPATA

Today begins your adventure of a lifetime, the Classic Inca Trial.  We will pick you up from your hotel in our private van very early in the morning at 4:40am.  From there we travel to Piskacucho, which is called kilometer 82, where the Classic Inca Trail begins.  On the way, we stop for breakfast in Ollantaytambo at 6:30-7am to load up on energy for our start of the trail.  (Breakfast is not included)

Upon arrival at kilometer 82 at 8:30am, we will have some time to organize ourselves, use of the restrooms, apply sunscreen, insect repellent, etc. At the Inca Trail first control point be ready to show your entrance tickets, passports and (if paying a student rate) your student card.

At the start of the trail (2720m/8923ft) we cross the Vilcanota River and follow its route to the right. The first day is relatively easy, a warm-up along the Inca flat terrain.  There are great views of the Incan Fortress (‘Huillca Raccay’), the vast and incredible Inca site of Llactapata, (officially called ‘Patallacta’), the Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle, the Andes Mountains, and the beautiful snow-capped peak of ‘W’akay Willca’ (5860m/19225ft) known in books as Veronica. .

Our first campsite (Ayapata) is an hour and a half up to the small village of Wayllabamba (3000m/9842ft) in the temperate green valley of the same name. Temperatures at night are around 5ºC depending on the month.

During the day, we will enjoy spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains Veronica, (5,860m/19,337ft), the lush green valley around us and a myriad of flora and fauna.

  • Meals: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities.
  • Distance: 12kms/7.5mls (6 hours more or less of hiking)
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate.

Day 2: AYAPATA – PASS – PAQAYMAYU – CHAQUICOCCHA

After waking up at 5 to 5:30am and enjoying a hot breakfast, we start a steep ascent towards the highest pass, Abra de Warrmihuañusca or ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ at 4200m/13779ft.  On this day, you will feel a real sense of achievement upon reaching the top! After a well-deserved rest, we begin the descent to where we stop for lunch, which is located at Pacaymayu (3550m/11646ft).

On our way up to the pass, we will be able to see an array of hummingbirds and a combination of other species of bird life. There will be plenty of time to appreciate the incredible variety of native plants and the ´Polylepis´ or Q’ueuña trees which grow in the astonishing cloud forest located at 3650m/11972ft!

After lunch, begins the second two-hour steep climb to Runkuraqay pass (almost 4000m/13,123ft). We arrive at our campsite by 5 pm. Temperatures at this campsite are around 4ºC during the night.

  • Meals: Breakfast, water, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities.
  • Distance: 16kms/10mls (9 hours more or less of hiking time)
  • Difficulty: Moderate/challenge.

Day 3: CHAQ’ICOCHA – PUYUPATAMARCA  – WIÑAYWAYNA

This is the most impressive day so far; keep this in mind as you ascend on day three! We wake up for breakfast at 6am and start the day with a gentle climb to visit the archaeological site of ‘Phuyupatamarca’ (meaning ‘Town in the Clouds’).  Here we reach the third highest point on the Inca trail (3680m/). The views of the mountains, canyons and surrounding areas are spectacular!

The Inca site of ‘Phuyupatamarca’, is located a few minutes’ walk from the third pass.  After visiting this site, we continue walking down 3000 stairs through the cloud forest to the impressive agricultural Incan site of ‘Intipata. After taking some time to visit this site, we continue on until we arrive at our third campsite Wiñay Wayna. (2680m/8792ft). Today, we will only walk about 4 to 5 hours.  We arrive at camp by lunchtime!  Temperatures during the night are about 12º C

A short walk from our campsite, is the famous Incan site of  ‘Wiñay Wayna’ (‘Forever Young’). Even if you are feeling tired after your day’s trek, it´s a moment you cannot miss, the most impressive site on the Inca trail.

  • Meals: Breakfast, water, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities and hot showers.
  • Distance: 10kms/6.2mls (5 hours more or less of hiking)
  • Difficulty: Moderate.

Day 4: WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

At around 4:00am it´s time to wake up, have breakfast and start day 4 on the Inca trail to get to Machu Picchu on time. This is the final part of your journey, arriving by 6:00am to reach Inti Punku or The Sun Gate. At that point, the majestic Machu Picchu Citadel is in front of us with its intense beauty – an incredible sight for all to see. The reality of what the Inca people must have encountered on their taxing journey to this expansive temple of Machu Picchu. At this point, we walk downhill towards the Machu Picchu Citadel. (2400m/7872 ft.) After walking 40 minutes, we enter the citadel from the top through the “House of the Guardians”. From there we proceed to the control point where we register and leave our belongings. Your professional guide will direct you throughout the astounding ruins and its main streets. You can wander around the town squares as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made from stone. Machu Picchu is considered as the world’s spiritual center by esoteric wisdom. Once the guided tour is over, you will have free time to explore the site on your own.

You will also have time to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own if you choose (not included in the price)

  • Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu from there.
  • Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or bathe in the hot springs.

Back to Cusco: You will descend to Aguas Calientes by bus (included) and later board the Expedition train by 4:22pm to the Ollantaytambo Train Station where you will meet our private van and be transferred to your hotel in Cusco arriving around 8:30pm.

Meals: Breakfast
Distance: 6kms/3.7mls
Difficulty: Easy

Inclusions

 WHAT’S INCLUDED FOR THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU ON 2019?

  • Pick up at your hotel
  • Private transport from Cusco to Piscacucho (start of the trek)
  • 2 person Igloo tents (large and comfortable)
  • Thick comfortable foam mattress
  • English speaking professional guide experienced in mountain ranges
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food with prior request)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Porter to carry tents, food and cooking equipment
  • Extra porter for your belongings, this means you will need only a day backpack to carry the things that you will be using for the day!
  • Hot water for washing purposes
  • Boiled water for your drinking bottles
  • Expedition Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and private transport to Cusco
  • Admission Ticket to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
  • Chef, cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Hot water for drinking and washing purposes
  • Pillow
  • Rain Ponchos
  • Taxes (18%)
  • Afternoon Tea time
  • Day pack rain covers

WHAT´S NOT INCLUDED FOR THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU ON 2019?

  • Wayna Picchu: $75
  • Machu Picchu Mountain $70
  • Sleeping bag (minus 8 ºC) US$ 20
  • Air mattress US$20
  • Walking sticks: US$15 per sticks for the whole trek
  • Energy snacks will be very useful such as chocolate bars, dried fruit
  • First breakfast, Last lunch
  • OPTIONAL UPGRADES:
    VISTADOME Train to Cusco instead of Expedition Train, Please add US$57 per person
  • Tips for your crew, guide, cook and porters
    SAM TRAVEL PERU staff receives a fair and decent payment immediately after they finish their trip, tips are optional but greatly appreciated for them)

 

Why SAM

WHY CHOOSE SAM TRAVEL PERU FOR THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU ON 2019

SAM Travel Peru is your best choice if you truly want to enjoy your trek in Peru, especially in the Cusco Region.  We are specialists in creating unique trekking routes, with our customized treks to Machu Picchu which other tour operators are not offering.  We have numerous Classic Inca Trail options of 1 to 7 days and other Alternative treks to Machu Picchu! What that means for our clients is lots of unique options to choose from, more enjoyable and exciting treks, personalized service, and small groups averaging 4 to 6 trekkers and with a maximum of 8 trekkers.

Our high quality service is not about quantity, nor is it about cheap prices and large groups…. We have a fair-price while providing the best possible service and personalized attention in small groups, and providing the best trekking experience through our unique trekking paths. All you have to do is to immerse yourself in the stunning landscape around you and simply feel the magic of Mother Nature (Pachamama) and the Andes. We carry your gear, prepare your meals, set up your tents, avoid crowded campsites, and take care of all your requirements and details so you can relax and enjoy your trek or tour.

All Treks are only operated by SAM Travel Peru:  The Company is owned and operated by Saul Alvarez Montalvo a native of Cusco, Peru and experienced guide himself. He is passionate about providing people the best quality service possible. What that means for you is that all our treks and tours are strictly and only operated by SAM TRAVEL PERU with our professional staff. SAM Travel Peru will never pass you onto another company; we will work with you until we get it right…. All the departures are 100% guaranteed – If you are booked and have made your deposit. ! You are going!

SAM Travel Peru also knows how important it is to trust in a reliable honest operator to create your adventure of a lifetime while in Peru. Check out our reviews and certificates of excellence on, TRIPADVISOR for yourself! Also we are highly recommended on Conde Nast Travelers,  Lonely Planet and by many blogs like: Salkantay/Inka Trail ! July 14th to 20th 2016  Trek de Lares 4 hours, “It’s the journey, not the destination…”Lares Pass – Day 3Trekking in the Sacred ValleyAlli and Ellie hike to Machu Picchu

SMALL GROUPS

In an effort to provide a more personalized service to our passengers, we in SAM Travel Peru have a policy that our groups will not exceed 8 people. This fact alone sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with bigger groups.

OUR TOP TOUR GUIDES FOR 4 DAYS TRAIL MACHU PICCHU ON 2019

I am very proud of my guides! Highly professionalspeaking in fluent English and very knowledgeable. Passionate for the Inca heritage/ history, dedicated to a steady personal development and learning to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories about the Inca Andean culture. Fun loving, great sportsmen and well educated some having a degree in Archaeology, Botany, History or Anthropology.  Others are great entertainers and the best “Salsa Dancers” on this side of Machu Picchu.

 

OUR EQUIPMENT

Our team (Guides, Cooks, Porters, Cowboys) and Our equipment are what really makes SAM Travel Peru stand out from all of our competitors…. For all our adventurous hikes we include the following items:

  • OUR TENTS: Enjoy a good night sleep in our 4 season EUREKA Timberline tents. All our tents are 4 man tents,  ONLY 2 will sleep in them, leaving lots of room to spread out comfortably and store your duffel bags. They also include a little vestibule in front, giving you some extra outdoor space to leave your boots and walking sticks so you don’t have to bring in dirt.
  • OUR THICK FOAM MATTS: They are included to separate and insulate you from the ground. Additional AIR MATTRESSES can be rented for US$20.
  • OUR KITCHEN & DINING TENTS: The dining tent is used as our meeting room at meal times. This is a great time to sit back relax and catch up for a chat.
  • OUR TABLES & CHAIRS: The interior of the dining room includes tables and chairs with two doors on each side,  adapting to the day’s weather.
  • DUFFLE BAGS:  Will be provided at briefing time the night before the trek.
  • MORE: Pillows, backpack, rain covers, survivor t-shirts, hot shower and bio chemical toilet are all provided on the trek.

OUR SOCIAL PROJECTS

SAM Travel Peru has always believed that we should “give back” to the communities we pass through on our treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment in responsible tourism, we socially support and employee from these communities.

Please click on social projects for more information about what we do.

SAM Travel Peru is proud to be able to support these beautiful people, not only in hiring them for work but to bring things back to grassroots, to share in their home and families. This makes us happy to have a holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!

A beautiful reflection of our attitude in everything we do, is that we wish to make life richer and more meaningful for all involved.

Important Info

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU

“Please read carefully the following information; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the 4 days Inca Trail Machu Picchu” 

WELCOME TO CUSCO

You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter inside) It can be done on any date that is best suited to you!

THE BRIEFING FOR THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU:

It will take place the night before the trekking departure at 6pm in our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa  Nº383 ; 303 (second floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:

Of course! During the  Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are for free. Please don´t  pack anything you will need for your hike.

HOW TO BOOK THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU FOR 2019?

FIRST, to book your 4 days Inca Trail Machu Picchu for 2019, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here the link BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase the Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu permit without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the 4 days  Inca Trail Machu Picchu.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money.  You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL.  To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of samtravelperu@gmail.com. 

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?

  1. According to Peruvian Law you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need ISIC cards). For example if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
  2. All students from 12 to 17 years, the discount is $40.
  3. For children from the age of 2 to 12 the discount is $60.
  4. For children from the age of 0 to 2 are free.
  5. All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
  6. Send us a copy at info@samtravelperu.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

Unfortunately the answer is “No”. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the ticket has been bought. Tickets are  also not transferable nor refundable.
*** If you cancel your 4 days  Inca Trail Machu Picchu Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?

Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu permit. The rangers will check every day and when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us your old number to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number…if so, please send the new passport number as soon as possible.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN THE 4 DAYS  INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?

First I would say that the weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee.  BUT you will have many different varieties of weather as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on the location. We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

In general if you have regular exercise and spend a couple of days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatisation to the altitude, you may be fine.

The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. See our detailed information about Altitude Sickness under FAQS.

We offer the Cusco City Tour or Sacred Valley Tour that you can book while you are acclimatizing.  Check out our Day Tours on our Home Page.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?

The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-6 persons. Sam Travel Peru specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized service

HOW MANY COOKS/PORTERS FOR THE GROUP?

You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, there will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.

DUFFEL BAG AND SMALL BACK PACK 

The evening before you start your 4 days Inca Trail Machu Picchu trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/15lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.

IS THE TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?

The 4 days Inca Trail Machu Picchu is a 42km (24.4 mile) hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. The maximum altitude reached is 4,217m/13,907ft. On the second day of the trek we climb two mountains. The Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise.
In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the 4 days Inca Trail Machu Picchu.

ARE THERE TOILETS ON THE 4 DAYS TRAIL TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?

It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by the female ones who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet!! SAM Travel Peru toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.”  Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite.  At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE TRAIL?

In the scenario that you are unable to finish the 4 days Inca Trail Machu Picchu due to a health reasons, Sam Travel Peru will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly they continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to the original plan.

ARE WE DROPPED AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?

Absolutely! Included in our packages is dropping you off at your hotel on the return from your trek or tour. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too!
If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, we wil pick you up there.

AT WHAT TIME IS THE TRAIN’S DEPARTURE?

It will depend on the train availability but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore you will take the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu

VISTADOME TRAIN UPGRADE; HOW MUCH IS IT?

For sure you may upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$57 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy (Cusco) train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to the Vistadome Train, the trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco), takes 3.5 hours, and then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at their hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take the bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek.  It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE? 

Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator in that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and it´s people.

MAP

4 DAYS  INCA TRAIL MACHUPICCHU 4 DAYS/3NIGHTS MAP

4-days-inca-trail-map

 

Packing check list

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU FOR THE 4 DAYS  INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3 litre Camelbaks are encouraged.
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from SAM Travel)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toiletpaper

WHAT TO PUT IN THE DUFFLE BAG FOR THE 4 DAYS INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?

As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and  INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Couple Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º Celcious.
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them.
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us for US$20.

TOILETRIES

  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.

WHAT TO PUT IN THE DAY BACKPACK FOR THE 4 DAYS  INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?

We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water  at every meal time. Please bring your canteens.
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Wool Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Coca leaves.
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by SAM)
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Value things

SAM Travel Peru team!!

 

 

Our Mules and Horses

Animals deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion. SAM Travel Peru treats their packing horses and mules with dignity and respect. (We work with mules and horses for our alternative treks ONLY).

No one is more concerned about animal welfare than our company. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about mules and horses,  if you have any other questions – please ask!

What kinds of animals do we use?

We use mules and horses for emergencies while trekking. We use more mules and horses than other companies allowing them each to carry less weight per trip.

How many animals do we have?

We do not own them; each horseman has a team of about 20 mules and 10 horses. There are 7 SAM Travel Peru horsemen.

How long do the animals work each day?

Their work hours and days are very limited. They can work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, this is the maximum we allow.

If the animals are sweating, is that bad?

No, it’s actually good. Sweating is the animal’s way of cooling itself. We collaborate with our horseman with vitamin E supplements into the animal´s feed to promote sweating and also add electrolytes to their feed to replace necessary elements lost through sweating. Animals never go more than an hour without access to water.

How often does the vet check the animals?

As an example, our animals are seen by a vet a minimum of 2 times a year or as needed. This is a requirement to work with us. This is part of our commitment to animal welfare.

How much do the animals weigh?

The average weight of our animals is 1,200 pounds.

 

-The SAM Travel Peru Team!

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Licensed Inca Trail Tour Operator

WHY IS AN OPERATORS LICENSE IS SO IMPORTANT!

SAM Travel Peru has been a Licensed Inca Trail Tour Operator since 2013. All companies managing the Inca Trail must be certified and have an Inca Trail operators license. This license is issued annually each December and SAM Travel Peru is license for the coming year of 2019.

Our licenses as an Official Travel Agency & Inca Trail Operator is under the name of SAM Travel Peru Expedition E.I.R.L. We are registered on the official Government web site: www.machupicchu.gob.pe.

Getting licensed by the government is a complicated and stringent process for the protection of tourists. The government evaluates your entire business operation and office site, if you paid taxes, they check the tour guides, porters, chefs, camping equipment, firt aid equipment and preparedness and if we are we part of the union. Those companies that do not have a tour operator license for the Inca Trail, do not have one because they cannot meet the standards required by the government.  

 

BEFORE BOOKING WITH A TRAVEL AGENCY IT IS VITAL TO UNDERSTAND

WHY BOOKING WITH A LICENSED INCA TRAIL TOUR OPERATOR IS SO IMPORTANT! 

The amount of registered tour operators that run, sell, and operate their own Inca Trail packages is limited! SAM Travel Peru is one of the primary companies that is able to do this.

The most important thing is that not all agencies are licensed tour operators, thus their operation and quality of services has not been evaluated by the government because they cannot meet the standards. 

There are two types of companies that will try to sell you an Inca trail package: registered tour  operators and middle men, otherwise known as endosars.  

If you book with a company that is a middle man, you will pay higher prices and there is no way to know the quality of the service being provided by the third party servicers that they use.

A licensed tour operator can guarantee 100% of their services because they are providing all of the services directly with their own guides, chefs, porters, and drivers etc.

If you book with a licensed tour operator, the advocate that you speak with are the ones you will be working with directly, so if you have any concerns you can go to them and get your needs meet quickly.

Please fill free to search our website: www.samtravelperu.com   we do have the most competitive prices and unique tours and package in Cusco

 

-The SAM Travel Peru team!

 

 

 

Our Equipment

Our team (guides, cooks, porters, horsemen) and our equipment are what really makes SAM Travel Peru stand out from all  of our competitors.

Please take the time to look at the information on what we really offer you in comparison to our competitors!

Tents

OUR TENTS:

Enjoy a good night sleep in our 4 season igloo waterproof, spacious and professional EUREKA tent. All our tents are 4 person tents.  ONLY 2 people will sleep in each, leaving lots of room to spread out comfortably and store your duffel bag. They also include a little vestibule in front, giving you some extra outdoor space to leave your boots and walking poles so you don’t have to bring the dirt inside.

OURTENTSSAMTRAVELPERU

Mattresses

OUR FOAM MATTRESSES:

Comfortable foam mattresses are included to separate and insulate you from the ground. We are proud to be the only company providing comfortable foam mattresses for FREE to all of our clients.

Our Thermarest Air Mattresses can be rented to add additional comfort!

Rented Equipment

ADDITIONAL RENTED EQUIPMENT:

  • Coleman Sleeping bags -15 c°: $20 USD per person
  • Thermarest Air Mattress: $20 USD per person
  • Blackjack Trekking Poles: $15 USD (1-5 days)  -$20 USD (6-9 days)

Kitchen/Dining Tents

OUR KITCHEN & DINING TENTS:

The dining tent is used as our room to get together during meals or tea time; and it gives us a chance to sit down, relax and chat before and after our meals.

OURKITCHENDININGTENTS

Tables/Chairs

OUR TABLES & CHAIRS:

The interior of the dining room includes tables and chairs. The tent has two doors on each side, which will be adapted according to the day’s conditions (sunny days, windy days and rainy days).

food-in-the-inca-trail

Transportation

OUR TRANSPORTATION:

We use late model vehicles for reliability and safety. Our drivers are fully licenced and very professional.

OURTRANSPORTATION

Toilets

OUR CAMPING TOILET:

This has been very much appreciated by most of our clients, especially by our female trekkers, who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet! SAM Travel Peru toilet facilities have an individual tent  and a “camping toilet with a seat.”  Check out the picture below which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite.  At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the facilities supplied by the government which can be dirty.

We protect our environment by using Responsible and Sustainable facilities.  We make a hole 30 cm deep under the seat and the waste goes right in.  At the end of our stay we will fill it in without creating any contamination to the environment, SAM Travel Peru will NOT use any chemicals which can contaminate the environment.  We do NOT put the waste into plastics  or  biodegradable plastics, because they are still distructive to our environment and we really care about protecting our earth.

We protect our crew with our toilet procedures. They will not have to touch the waste because it is in the hole. We really care about protecting our team (guides, porters, cook) Our TEAM is what really makes SAM Travel Peru stand out from all of the other competitors.

TIPS: Please always take your own toilet paper with you and put it into the plastic bag provided!

OURCAMPINGTOILETsamtravelperucusco

Porters

OUR SUPER COOL PORTERS

We provide the following  items to our porters and cooks for free: Jacket, sun hat, warm hat, t-shirt, pants, hiking boots, conmfortable duffle bags, canteen, girdle for protecting their spine, sleeping bags, mattress and insurance.

Hiking the Inca Trail or other alternative treks with SAM Travel Peru Travel is a life changing experience, fully portered trek where your comfort and enjoyment are our first priority. We make sure that you get the best experience of your holidays in Peru while you interact with locals, explore fantastic sites and re-discover remote ancient Inca towns and buildings, speaking some Quechua words and learning the fascinating Inka history. Immerse yourself in the stunning landscape and simply feel the magic of Mother Nature (Pachamama) and the Andes, while we carry your gear, prepare your meals, set up your tents avoiding crowded campsites while you sit back and relax.

ourporterssamtravelperu
sam-travel-peru-cusco

Emergency Horse

OUR EMERGENCY HORSE

Available for some treks only in case of emergenices!

OUREMERGENCYHORSE

Our Mules and Horses

Animals deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion. SAM Travel Peru treats their packing horses and mules with dignity and respect. (We work with mules and horses for our alternative treks ONLY).

No one is more concerned about animal welfare than our company. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about mules and horses,  if you have any other questions – please ask!

What kinds of animals do we use?

We use mules and horses for emergencies while trekking. We use more mules and horses than other companies allowing them each to carry less weight per trip.

How many animals do we have?

We do not own them; each horseman has a team of about 20 mules and 10 horses. There are 7 SAM Travel Peru horsemen.

How long do the animals work each day?

Their work hours and days are very limited. They can work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, this is the maximum we allow.

If the animals are sweating, is that bad?

No, it’s actually good. Sweating is the animal’s way of cooling itself. We collaborate with our horseman with vitamin E supplements into the animal´s feed to promote sweating and also add electrolytes to their feed to replace necessary elements lost through sweating. Animals never go more than an hour without access to water.

How often does the vet check the animals?

As an example, our animals are seen by a vet a minimum of 2 times a year or as needed. This is a requirement to work with us. This is part of our commitment to animal welfare.

How much do the animals weigh?

The average weight of our animals is 1,200 pounds.

Food on the Trek

The primary ingredients found in nearly every Peruvian dish are rice, potatoes, chicken, pork, lamb and fish. Most of these meals include “aji”, or better known as a Peruvian hot pepper. They vary in colour from yellow red, including the famous red rocoto pepper

Today, more than 2,000 varieties of potato can be found in the Cusco region. They range in color from purple to blue, and yellow to brown. Sizes and textures vary as well. Some are as small as nuts, others can be as large as oranges and in the highland region they process the potatoes by dehydrating them.

Meals while trekking with SAM TRAVEL PERU

Breakfast:

1st Breakfast: is at 5:30am: Porridge, toast, butter, jam, pancakes, fruit salad and yogurt. You can have a hot chocolate, coffee and a large selection of tea is available; English breakfast tea, herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon grass or simply our traditional coca tea.
2nd Breakfast: is at 6:00am: Omelettes, bread, hot chocolate, coffee, English breakfast tea, herbal
teas such as chamomile, lemon grass or simply our traditional coca tea.
3rd Breakfast: is at 4:00am: This day we have cake for breakfast! Dessert first!

Lunches:

1st Lunch: The appetizer is a scrumptious avocado, main course is a fresh steamed trout dish with a beautiful red dressing, served with garlic bread and a bowl of soup!  Drinks available: berry juice, herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon grass or simply traditional coca tea.
2nd Lunch: Maiz (fresh corn) soup with garlic bread, an asparagus appetizer and our main course is lomo saltado, rice, and vegetables. Soy meat is available for vegetarians. Please notify your guide before the trek if you have any specific dietary needs.
Drinks: Herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon grass or simply traditional coca tea.
3rd Lunch: The appetizer is a delicious Causa Rellena (local mashed potatoes with tuna sauce in it) the main course will be quinoa soup, steak, beans, salad, wheat, sweet potatoes and garlic bread. Drinks: maracuya juice, herbal teas chamomile, lemon grass or simply traditional coca tea.

Dinners:

1st Dinner: Vegetable soup, spaghetti with 2 delicious sauces. Dessert is freshly made chocolate pudding.
Drinks: Chamomile to help you to relax and sleep, black tea, lemon grass and coca tea .
2nd Dinner: Chicken drumsticks, rice, mashed potato and salad. A yummy hot dessert made from maizena.
Drinks: A hot cup of tea, chamomile or any other kind of tea as above. You’ll sleep well this night!
3rd Dinner: Another amazing supper! Rolled chicken with a mouth watering dressing and pasta, served with a Russian salad. Dessert is slices of peach, jelly and wine!

Afternoon Snack Time or High Tea:

High tea: Every afternoon at around 5pm you will have a variety of snacks such as with popcorn, biscuits, wantan, jam and butter. Chocolate, tea, etc.  And of course……… it´s time to play cards!!

Hot toddy: A special drink made with alcohol, sugar, hot water, lemon, cinnamon tea and a slice of apple – nothing like warming up!!

Bed Time: 20:00pm – Time to ask for your hot water bottle, especially on the 1st and 2nd nights!!!

Snacks: Every morning before leaving camp you will be given a bag containing your snacks for the walk until lunch; this usually contains a power bar, biscuits, fruit and more.

 YET THERE’S MORE: CHOCOLATE CAKE ON TREK FOR ALL OF THE SURVIVORS!!

*Vegetarian and special diet requirements are available on request.

SOME OF OUR TYPICAL DISHES ARE:

 Pachamanca: This is a typical dish from the desert. It consists of lamb, pork, meat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a tamale. First one has to the heat rocks on the floor using firewood. When they are hot enough, the food is placed inside a sack and buried in the hot rocks. The food has to be repeatedly checked to see when it is ready because the temperature fluctuates so much.
Papa la Huancaina: Potatoes served with a special spicy sauce, olives, lettuce and egg.
Papa Rellena: meat-stuffed into potato patties.
Rocoto Relleno: Typical dish with meat, onions, peanuts, milk and eggs. Everything is baked inside of the delicious rocoto (pepper), with potatoes and cheese.
Seco de Frejoles: Boiled beans with a lamb stew in green sauce, always served with white rice and raw onions seasoned with lemon and aji.
Roast Cuy or Guinea pig: Is considered a delicacy and is traditionally served on very special occasions.
Lomo Saltado: This is a traditional Peruvian dish made with sliced beef, hot chillies, and french fries. It is a very easy dish to make. I would like to add that it’s very popular with the more finicky.
Arroz con Pollo: A Peruvian version of Arroz con Pollo; this chicken and rice dish is made in two skillets and is flavored with cilantro, chilli pepper and orange juice.
Pasta: This recipe uses spaghetti squash in place of pasta to make a plate full of vegetables.
Red Salad: If you love beetroot you will love this!!
Traditional Peruvian Chicken Soup: Aguadito de Pollo is a light version of the Peruvian Chicken Chowder (Chupe de Pollo).”
Cream of Asparagus Soup: A yummy creamy asparagus soup.

 

Peru Trekking Holiday Comparison

PERU TREK COMPARISON

Trek NameDifficulty LevelHighlightsHighest pointLongest day Km/hours to walkTemperature (coldest camp at night)Acclimatisation **
4 day classic Inca Trail to Machu PicchuModerately difficult*Inca sites, flora and fauna, beautiful scenery.4,200 m (day 2)Day 2 – about 16 kms. This can take up to 10 hours walking.– 2 to -4°C

Cold season June til August

Recommended
5 day classic Inca Trail to Machu PicchuModerately difficult*The 4 day Inca Trail at an easy pace4,200 m (day 3)Day 3 – 14 kms more or less. This can take up to 8 – 10 hours walking..-2 to -4°C at the 2nd and 3rd camp

Cold season June til August

Recommended
7 day Inca Trail and Salkantay to Machu PicchuVery Difficult*Trek away from the crowds and after enjoy the Inca Trail. Beautiful views of Salkantay!5,100m (day 3)Day 3 and 5 16kms or more

This can take up to 10 hours walking.

Days:1,2,3, 5  -2 to – 6°C May til SeptemberRecommended.
5 day Salkantay (alternative) trek to Machu PicchuChallenging*Trek away from the crowds. Diverse flora and fauna beautiful scenery.4,680m (Day 2)Day 2- 16kms

Day 3- 20kms

This can take up to 9 hours

1st night: -5°C 2nd night -2°C

June til August

Recommended.
4 day Salkantay (alternative) trek to MPChallenging *Salkantay trek for those who do not have the time for 5 days.4,680m (Day 1)Day 1 about 18 kms. This can take up to 10 hours walk time.Day 1: 0°C to -2°C

June til August

Recommended.
4 day Lares (alternative) trekFairly difficult*Trek away from the crowds and experience Andean culture.4,800m (Day 2)Day 2 about 12 kms. This can take up to 8 hours walk time.Day 1 and 2; -2 to -4°C

June til September

Recommended.
5 day Vilcabamba trek to Machu PicchuChallenging*A diverse trek, from jungle to high Andes Inca sites. Very diverse flora and fauna. With stunning scenery.4,700m (Day 3).Day 3 and 4 About 15kms.

This can take up to 10 hours walk time.

Day 3: -2 to -4°C

June til September

Recommended.
3 day Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu PicchuFairly easy*A relaxed trek visiting a Pre Inca site with amazing views of the Sacred Valley.3,900m. Day 1Day 1

About 10kms. This can take up to 8 hours walking.

Day 1: 0°C to -2°C

June til August

 If you have the time.
5 day AusangateVery Difficult*A trek for the love of trekking. Stunning views the whole way.5,000m On day 2 and 3.Day 1,2,3 and 4 -5 to – 8°C

May til September

Strongly Recommended.
7 day AusangateVery Difficult*A trek for the love of trekking. Stunning views the whole way, visit the largest lake in the Cusco region.Days 2, 3,4 and 5

Approx 5000m.

Day 3

9 and a half hours

Every day: -5 to – 8°C

May til September

Strongly Recommended.
4 Day ChoquequiraoChallenging*Perfect for those who want the full Inca experience, visit an untouched Inca site.3100 metersEvery day is more or less the same distance.5°C May til SeptemberRecommended

 

Altitude Sickness Information

What is altitude sickness?

Let’s start by looking at what high altitude means. High altitude starts to have an effect on our bodies from between 1,500m – 2,000m (4921ft – 6561ft) when our bodies start to react differently to make up for the changes in oxygen levels.

So, as you go higher the air pressure gets lower (the air gets ‘thinner’) so that for every breath there will be less oxygen for your body. Your body gradually adapts to getting less oxygen – you breathe faster and deeper and the body produces more red blood cells. This takes time so this is why if you go from low to high altitude too quickly, you may feel symptoms of altitude sickness until your body acclimatizes.

Cusco is located at an altitude of 3,400 meters (11,200ft) and it is common for many visitors to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness or ‘soroche’ as it is known locally. It’s hard to tell if you will be affected by altitude sickness as some people can be more susceptible than others regardless of age, sex or physical condition.

How might altitude sickness affect my trip?

Mild altitude sickness should not interfere too much with your normal activity. Symptoms are usually felt within 12 – 24 hours of arrival and tend to subside within 3 days.  It is recommended to give yourself 2 to 3 days to adjust to the altitude before doing a trek!

Symptoms of Altitude Sickness

Common mild symptoms of altitude sickness may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Disturbed sleep

Eight tips to avoid altitude sickness in Cusco

  1. Relax and take it easy!. Take a few days at the start of your trip to acclimatize to the altitude before attempting any treks or strenuous activity. This is the easiest advice we can share, take it easy for the first few days and your body will thank you later…
  2. Get lots of sleep. Sleep is the best remeday of all!  Do not be afraid to just sleep it off as your body adjusts.
  3. Avoid alcohol & drugs.  This includes sleeping tablets and tranquilizers as these can all make the symptoms worse.
  4. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated prior to and throughout your trip is crucial to avoiding unpleasant altitude sickness symptoms.
  5. Drink coca tea. Nearly every hotel in Cusco and the Sacred Valley offers fresh coca tea to guests and for a good reason too! Coca tea is completely safe to drink and a cup or two each day can ease altitude symptoms.
  6. Go lower and acclimatize. Head straight to the lower altitude of the Sacred Valley or Machu Picchu. Believe it or not, Cusco is at an altitude of 3400m (11,154ft) so heading to Pisac or Urubamba at 2,900m (9,514ft) or Machu Picchu at 2,400m (7,874ft) can make a huge difference
  7. Get an Oxishot! Oxishot is a small dischargeable can that contains 8 litres of oxygen that you can take when you arrive in Cusco and anytime you need a boost. It can help reduce headaches and fatigue associated with altitude sickness.
  8. Visit your doctor. If you are still worried before you to travel, head to your doctor and ask for an acetazolamide prescription (also known as brand name Diamox) which can be taken to help avoid altitude sickness symptoms
  9. Medical practitioners and hospitals in Cusco are well used to treating altitude sickness, so if something does go wrong there are medical facilities available.

For more detailed information on altitude sickness visit: WebMD

Why Book with SAM Travel Peru

We are an adventure travel Specialist Company based in Cusco, a Direct local tour operator with high quality service at affordable prices. Have a read of our tour programmes and compare it with others. We are the only tour operator offering the most customised tour and trekking packages while in Cusco & Machu Picchu!

SAM Travel Peru – Local Tour Operator

There are at least 10 good reasons to travel with SAM Travel Peru:

1. Unique trekking Routes: SAM Travel Peru is the specialist in creating unique trekking routes, following only the cowboy’s way on the original Inca Trail through the Andes Mountain Range. Trekking off the beaten track and camping at places no one else does!! No other trek and tour operators do this!

2. Unique Trekking & Tour programmes: We have the most customised tour programmes to meet our clients needs when looking for something different other than the classic tours or treks. Our adventure hikes and tours are  carefully and specifically designed, their details can be found ONLY on this site.

3. Personalised attention: SAM Travel Peru has a lot of experience in touring throughout Peru. We are a family owned business that provides personalised attention from the very beginning to the very end of our treks and tours.

4. Treks & tours are operated by SAM Travel Peru: All our treks and tours are strictly and only operated by SAM TRAVEL PERU with our professional staff. SAM Travel Peru will never pass you onto another company we will work with you until we get it right….

5. Our staff are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about offering you a great service!!

6. Our holidays are Environmentally Friendly, Sustainable & Responsible in Tourism! SAM Travel Peru provides uniforms: jacket, t-shirt, cap and pants to our staff for free. They are paid immediately after their job is completed.

 7. Great guides: We carefully choose the best guides who are passionate about trekking in the Andes. Most of them have a degree in Archeology, Anthropology and Biology. All of our staff are trained by the RED CROSS in first aid.

8. Fabulous Cooks: Delicious and abundant Buffet style meals, Peruvian and International Cuisine are prepared by our professional and dedicated cooks from a mixture of local and exotic produce. We also cater for vegetarians and special diet requirements.  “Im sure you will enjoy your high tea & hot toddy with SAM Travel Peru.”

9. Recent equipment: We purchase new equipment every year in a 2 -3 year rotation and are constantly seeking out the most comfortable brands to use. We include inflatable mattress´s to all of our clients.

10. Departures every day: SAM Travel Peru know how important it is to trust in a reliable operator  to create your adventure of a lifetime while in Peru.

11. Small groups and personalised service: To get high quality service is not about quantity, nor is it about cheap prices and large groups…. We have a fair-price for the best service in small groups, while trekking through our unique paths.

SAM Travel Peru is your best choice if you truly want to enjoy your trek and tour in Peru.

SAM Travel Peru team!!

 

Inca Trail vs Alternative Trek to Machu Picchu

WHAT IS AN INCA TRAIL TREK?

The Classic Inca Trail Trek is one of the most popular hikes in the world, it leads to the mysterious citadel of Machu Picchu through the Sun gate. It is also know for its high quality spectacular arequeological ruins along the Inca trail. Since 2001 the Peruvian government has enforced a quota and permit regulation, in order to preserve the 500 year-old trail. 

Below are all of the SAM Travel Treks that are part of the Inca Trail: 

WHAT IS AN ALTERNATIVE TREK?

An alternative trek is an alternative option of a trek instead of the classic Inca Trail, also in the Andes Mountains and Cusco region.  The classic Inca Trail Trek is one of the most popular and well know, but unfortunately it sells out very quickly and bookings must be made well in advance.

There are some great alternative treks that still lead to Machu Picchu.  These are gaining in more popularity as they are more well known.  These are not restricted by the government so they are available any time of the year.  The two most popular are the Lares trek 4D/3N or the Salkantay trek 5D/4N.  There are others that do not end at Machu Picchu such as Choquequirao 5/4N, a new lost city of the Incas larger than Machu Picchu.

The actual hiking views on these Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu might be even more spectacular than what you see on the Inca Trail but instead of hiking directly into the ruins, you end up at, Aguas Calientes and spend the night there in a hotel. These treks tend to be less crowded and you still have the Machu Picchu tour the next day and in fact get to the ruins 2 hours before the Inca Trail trekkers and hopefully with views of the sun rising over the mountains.

All Alternative Treks of Sam Travel that end at Machu Picchu are:

What makes the Inca Trail so Special

What Makes the Inca Trail so Special?

  • It’s one of the most famous treks in the world
  • It hikes right into Machu Picchu using the Royal Road of the Incas – no other trek does this
  • You arrive at the Sun Gate with an impressive view over Machu Picchu at dawn
  • It has a wonderful array of stunning ruins every day
  • Breathtaking scenery – from snowcapped mountains to dense lush cloud forest and jungle
  • Good facilities and toilets are available at the campsites
  • Despite large amounts of people, there are still moments for solitude in the mountains
  • Sense of completing a very famous trek
  • Hiking through the ancient path to Machu Picchu

What’s Not so Good about the Inca Trail?

  • 500 people depart every day. (this includes tourists and trekking staff)
  • You need to book about 4 months in advance for high season and you MUST make the date you booked for. No changes  are allowed. If someone cancels then their permit will not be used. There is no waiting list
  • Many groups are as large as 25 people. (SAM Travel Peru maximum group size is just 8 people)
  • Campsites are very full, with full facilities – it’s not exactly a wilderness or adventure camping experience
  • It’s a bit like a highway with many people on the trek
  • Locals can be a bit tired of seeing tourists

What makes Alternative Treks So Special

Good Aspects of the Alternative Treks

  • Trekking “OFF the beaten track,” exploring new places no one else goes
  • On some of the treks you may be the only group departing that day
  • A sense of adventure and discovering new trails
  • Real wilderness camping
  • Isolation and remote atmosphere
  • Incredible Mountainous views and lots of wildlife
  • Lots of herds of Alpaca, Llamas, and Vicuña
  • What is lacking in ruins is usually made up by cultural interaction and the meeting of locals
  • You still get to trek to Machu Picchu and experience the same tour of Machu Picchu as the Inca Trail
  • You get to be at Machu Picchu in time for Sun Rise

Not so good aspects of the alternative trails

  • You don’t walk into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, because you get the bus up to Machu Picchu.
  • They are not as well known (but are becoming more well known such as the Lares & Salkantay treks) therefore there may be some concerns that you are making the best choice for you.
  • There are not the high quality spectacular ruins along the other treks that you will find along the Inca trail.
  • You will need to spend the night before your Machu Picchu visit in Aguas Calientes, we recommend you take the bus up in the morning of your visit.
  • When you get home, no one is going to say “WOW,” “You did the Lares or Salkantay trek!” (That is changing as they become more well known)

SAM Travel Peru Staff for Treks & Tours

Our office team is the backbone to our whole operation at SAM Travel Peru and it’s because of them, we run smoothly 24/7. From the moment, you are in contact with us until the moment your tour or trek ends, they organize everything down to the finest detail so that your trip is a memorable one. Our goal is to ensure the best quality service for our clients. For this reason, many of the office staff are also aspiring guides, who are working alongside the permanent office staff.

Saul Alvares Montalvo
Owner and Founder of SAM Travel Peru

Owner and Founder of SAM Travel Peru

Prior to becoming the owner and founder of SAM Travel Peru, Saul Alvarez Montalvo worked as a porter for a couple years and then, over the next 4 years, he worked as a guide. He conducted more than 200 Inca Trail treks and other alternative treks throughout the Andes. He has also toured with groups throughout the country of Peru. His passion and enthusiasm for the Andes mountains, Incan culture and knowledge of plants was always highlighted and appreciated by tourists. He has accomplished his childhood dream to become the owner and founder of a tour and trekking agency. As a part of this, he wants to give back and improve the lives and living conditions of local communities through employing them and supporting them with service projects.

Saul’s experience as a guide and porter has helped him gain an appreciation of what works and does not work well on treks and within tourism. Now as the owner of SAM Travel Peru, he is involved in every aspect of making sure his business runs smoothly, which keeps him on his toes. Despite his impressive workload, he keeps everything in tip top shape and all with a smile on his face.

OFFICE STAFF

Ana Flores
Sales and Operations Manager
Dioselina Ccapatinta Montalvo
Sales and Marketing Manager
Eigner E. Huanca Roca
Sales and Operations Manager
Edison Escalante Bello
Sales and Operations Manager

OUR GUIDES

Our team of guides are native to Cusco and speak Spanish and English fluently with the majority of them also speaking Quechua (the native language of Peru). Our guides hold degrees in tourism and have a minimum experience of 2 years under their belts.They receive extensive training every year, reviewing their first aid skills. among other topics. Our guides always carry first aid kits, oxygen and satellite phones. They are prepared with evacuation plans for any route and are very resourceful!

They are very knowledgeable and passionate about their Inca heritage and history. They are dedicated to continued personal development to ensure you receive the most accurate information about everything there is to know within tourism.

Cliser Ramos Torres
Tour Leader
Raymer Herrera Tumpay
Tour Leader
William Alfredo Quispe Huanca
Tour Leader
Edy Pumacahua Dueñas
Tour Leader
Marcelino Alcca Challco
Tour Leader
Elio N. Quispe Fernandez
Tour Leader
Miguel Quispe Mayorga
Tour Leader
Wilber Carrasco Huaman
Tour Leader
Ronald Troncoso Santos
Tour Leader
Elio Roque Gota
Tour Leader
Adolfo Arce Quispe
Tour Leader
Miguel Quispe
Tour Leader

OUR CHEFS

Our professional chefs create delicious, gourmet buffet style meals on our treks. They prepare Peruvian and International Cuisine and always use local produce to promote healthy nutrition apart from supporting the local farmers. They can cater to special dietary needs such as vegan, gluten free and more.

hilario
Chef
Jose Villanueva
Chef
Eulogio
Chef

OUR PORTERS

We employ about 90 porters from local communities. They all are farmers by trade and are native Quechua speakers. They are mainly from the villages of Huacawasi, Calca and Patacancha. We refer to our super porters as the” Orange Machine”. This is because they work hard during the treks but carrying duffel bags, camping gear, and more! It is important to us that we employ porters from local villages because we are supporting them to become self-efficient and helping communities grow their economy to better the quality of lives.

SAM Travel Peru makes sure that all of our porters and their families are supported in many ways. We also help their children with their educational needs and supply them with educational materials such as notebooks, textbooks, writing utensils and more!.¨

Extra Hikes and Things to do in Machu Picchu after the Guided Tour!

Enjoy the strategic location of the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu and the surrounding lush canyon from the different angled view points such as: Huayna Picchu Mountain, Sun Gate, Machu Picchu Mountain (not to be confused with the citadel itself), Llactapata Inca ruins, Putukusi Mountain and the Inca bridge section.

Those who are doing the Inca Trail will see Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate, which is one of the highlights of why people choose the Inca Trail Trek.   Those doing alternative treks arrive to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. After the last day of your trek, you will stay a night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and take the early bus the next morning to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunrise.

Please have a look at the optional hikes and things to do at Machu Picchu below:

Huaynapicchu Mt

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HUAYNA PICCHU

Huayna Picchu (which translated from Quechua means Young Mountain) is 2,667m/8,750ft above sea level and is part of the Andean foothills. Huayna Picchu is well known for being part of the vast majority of the panoramic photos of Machu Picchu citadel. Climbing Huayna Picchu, you may see some archaeological sites, including the Temple of the Moon built in a natural cave. At the top of Huayna Picchu, there are small terraces and some buildings that were a part of an astronomical observatory and is a point of guardianship to the citadel.

PLEASE NOTE:

***The climb to Huayna Picchu is steep and can be slippery when wet.  Please evaluate your ability to climb it before booking.

***This is an optional trek within Machu Picchu Citadel that does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.  

***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7 to 8am or 10 to 11am.  If you arrive 5 minutes late, you will not be allowed to enter! 

ARE THE ENTRANCE TICKETS LIMITED?

Yes! They are limited to 400 hikers per day so you will need to plan early to book this extra hike. At least 2 to 3 months in advance.  We will purchase the permit for you with your trek, if tickets are available.

 Schedules for hiking up to Huayna Picchu:

  • First schedule: 7 – 8 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for alternative treks. 
  • Second schedule: 10 – 11 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for Inca trail treks. 

***This is the time you start the hike.  It takes approximately 2 hours (roundtrip) to hike Huayna Picchu.

PRICES

  • For trekkers of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Alternative treks to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Tours to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person

What is the difference in buying a ticket to Huayna Picchu with and without the Inca Trail?

  1. When we buy the permit for the Inca Trail trek, the Machu Picchu entrance is included with it. The government only sells the Inca Trail permits as a combined ticket with Machu Picchu entrance.  It does not allow us to add on the Huayna Picchu entrance with the combined permit.
  2. In order for our Inca Trail trekkers to climb Huayna Picchu, we have to buy another entrance ticket to Machu Picchu combined with the Huayna Picchu entrance ticket. It is not possible to buy just a Huayna Picchu entrance ticket by itself!
  3. Salkantray/Lares Treks and other alternative treks do not need an Inca Trail permit, thus we can just buy a Machu Picchu entrance combined with the Huayna Picchu entrance together.

Machu Picchu Mt

MACHUPICCHUMOUNTAIN

MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN

The great Machu Picchu mountain rises more than 652m/2,139ft above the Sacred City of Machu Picchu and is located at 3,082m/10,111ft above sea level.  It offers some breath taking views of Machu Picchu, a uniqueness like no other place in the world. It is seated at the base of the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. Thousands are drawn everyday, by the unique energy emanating from the earth at Machu Picchu,  which is considered sacred to the Inca civilization. Machu Picchu Mountain’s summit was used by Inca priests to perform rituals on special dates and is a place of worship of the Apu Salkantay.

***This is an optional trek within Machu Picchu that does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after you tour of Machu Picchu.  

***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7 to 8am or 9 to 10am.  If you arrive 5 minutes late you will not be allowed to enter! 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The amount of time to climb Machu Picchu mountain depends on the physical condition of the individual and can range from 1 to 1.5 hours to climb or 2 to 3 hours (round-trip). From the top, you have incredible views of Machu Picchu and the last part of the Classic Inca Trail.  You can also admire the amazing canyon formed by the slope of the Vilcanota river with green mountains on one side and on the other side the mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba,  and the snowy summit of Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574ft) and more.

The climb to Machu Picchu Mountain is considered moderate to difficult but not challenging. An average physical condition is required.  During the rainy season, the road can be very slippery, making the ascent more difficult.

Schedules for hiking up to Machu Picchu Mountain:

  • First schedule: 7 – 8 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for alternative treks.
  • Second schedule: 9 – 10 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for Inca Trail treks.

***This is the time you start the hike.  It takes approximately 3 hours (roundtrip) to hike Machu Picchu Mountain.

PRICES

  • For trekkers of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Alternative treks to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Tours to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person

What is the difference in tickets for the Inca Trail and alternative treks?

  1. When we buy the permit for the Inca Trail trek, the Machu Picchu entrance is already included with it. The government only sells the Inca Trail permits as a combined ticket with Machu Picchu entrance.  It does not allow us to add on Machu Picchu Mountain entrance with the combined permit.
  2. In order for our Inca Trail trekkers to climb Machu Picchu Mountain, we have to buy another entrance ticket to Machu Picchu combined with the Machu Picchu entrance ticket. It is not possible to buy just a Machu Picchu Mountain entrance ticket by itself!
  3. Salkantray/Lares Treks and other alternative treks do not need an Inca Trail permit, thus we can just buy a Machu Picchu entrance combined with the Machu Picchu Mountain entrance together.

Llactapata

LLACTAPATA

Llactapata Inca Ruins give a fantastic angled view to Machu Picchu from where you may enjoy the strategic location of the citadel and of course the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is our camping site on the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu and the Inca Jungle Trek, a speciality of SAM Travel Peru. This picture has been taken from LLactapata Inca ruins.

Sun Gate


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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUN GATE

You always have the opportunity to walk to the Sun Gate for free, it takes 1 hour to get to the top and 1 hour to get back.

For travellers who trek the Inca Trail, they enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, also called Inti Punku, and watch the sunrise. For those who don’t do this multi-day trek, it’s still possible to enjoy the impressive views from the Sun Gate without the cost of an additional ticket.

The trail is a gradual up hill climb with a few sections of stairs, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone with a fear of heights. It takes between 40-60 minutes walking at a steady pace to reach the top. The surrounding mountains and beautiful valleys should be all the motivation you will need to reach the summit.

Inka Bridge

INKA BRIDGE

The trail to the Inca Bridge wraps around the backside of a mountain in the opposite direction of the Machu Picchu ruins. A special ticket is not needed to walk the path, although daily traffic to the Inca Bridge is documented. Each visitor must log their name in a book at the entrance and then sign out. It’s about a 20-minute hike along a fairly narrow path towards the bridge. While the climb isn’t steep, some of the drop-offs along the edges may make some people uneasy.

The Inca Bridge is made of a few narrow logs perched above a sheer vertical drop – it´s believed to have served as a secret entrance to Machu Picchu. Crossing the bridge itself is strictly forbidden today for safety reasons but you can take as many photos as you like. On the return hike, you’re likely to ponder whether or not you would have the courage to cross the bridge if you lived during the time of the Incas.

Putukusi Mountain


PUTUKUSIMOUNTAIN

PUTUKUSI MOUNTAIN

When heading for Machu Picchu, climbers often want a bird’s eye view of the ruins and most head up to the summit of the famous Huayna Picchu. This mountain makes the backdrop for Machu Picchu. Wait! There’s another mountain just a little further away from the ruins. Visited less frequently, this mountain also gives the climber great views: Putukusi (also spelled Putucusi) lays directly across the Urubamba River from the ruins of Machu Picchu.

The summit has wide open views over Machu Picchu as well as the surrounding valleys and mountain peaks. It’s best to get there early (around 6:00 am) to see the ruins before the crowds enter Machu Picchu. Also, the light is best at that time of the day.

Aguas Calientes is a small village surrounded by rugged impenetrable mountains in the eastern part of Peru’s Oriental Cordillera . The entire town exists for one sole purpose: to serve the millions of yearly visitors to Machu Picchu.

Right next to Aguas Calientes, even closer than Machu Picchu, Putukusi is a sheer cliff, a jungle coated mountain rising the better part of two thousand feet up from the valley. On a clear day, it’s possible to see Machu Picchu with snow-capped Salkantay behind it, which is an absolutely spectacular sight. Putukusi is the best and almost only thing to do in the Aguas Calientes area that doesn’t involve Machu Picchu and doesn’t require paying an entry fee.

The mountain, like all others in the area, is composed of near vertical, perfectly smooth stone walls with steep gullies intersecting them. The walls are entirely covered by cloud forest.

The trail leading up the mountain is more vertical than horizontal; that seems to be the general pattern among the mountains here. When looking out at Machu Picchu from the summit of Putukusi, it is interesting to ponder why the Incas chose to build their empire in such a rugged place. Surely the incredible beauty of the landscape inspired them and they thought of themselves as standing in the presence of their gods. The wilderness here is some of the most pristine left anywhere on earth. It is interesting to imagine that there might be another “Machu Picchu” hidden in these mountains that today nobody knows even exists.

Packing Checklist for 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 day Trek

During the Alternative Trek or Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be stored at our office in Cusco or at your Cusco hotel. You will receive a small duffel bag at your briefing in which you can pack your clothes and sleeping bag for 3-4 days. Your team of porters or horses (depending on trek) will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trek. Please note: you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group. Please plan to carry your day backpack containing your personal belongings such as your camera, water and sunscreen, etc. By Peruvian law, a duffel bag must not weigh more than 7 kilograms (15lbs). This limit is set to protect the health of the porters or horses. All bags will be weighed before being accepted. If you require more than 7 kilograms, it will then be your responsibility to carry the extra weight with your day pack. In this 7 kilos, please count 2 kilos for your sleeping bag and 1 kilo for your sleeping pad. This leaves you about 4 kilos for your personal gear.

Please Note: This packing list is only for 3, 4, 5 & 7 day treks.

PASSPORT: You MUST take your original passport, a photocopy is not acceptable. (Keep it in a plastic bag, in case of rain).

SLEEPING BAGS: You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the Inca Trail trek. We recommend you bring your own sleeping bag. However, you can rent one from SAM Travel for $20 USD per person, that is guaranteed to be warm, clean and have a liner. If you are planning to purchase a sleeping bag, it is a good idea to purchase a four season (or -10 C) sleeping bag during the winter months. For other months, you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -4/-5 C) sleeping bag, although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given as a guideline only.

INFLATABLE MATTRESSES: It is recommended to have an inflatable mattress for comfort but not required. SAM Travel Peru foam mattresses are included within the package price. If you would like to rent an inflatable high quality Thermarest mattress, we have them available to rent for $20 USD per person. If you rent the air mattress, you still get the foam mattress to put under it.

WALKING POLES: It is highly recommended that you have walking poles for your trek. SAM Travel Peru has professional extendable poles available to rent for $15 USD a pair, per person.

WATERPROOF, WELL WORN IN WALKING BOOTS: Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet, the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip, then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well worn in pair!

WATERPROOF CLOTHING: A plastic poncho is recommended, which is provided by SAM during your briefing. Some trekkers also like to bring waterproof trousers, however, a poncho will be sufficient if it covers your bag, body and most of your legs.

PLASTIC BAGS: Keep your belongings and clothes dry inside the duffel. Bags are included in your duffel, which you receive during your briefing. We recommend that you wrap everything in plastic because the duffels are not waterproof.

TOILET PAPER:  This is an important item to bring during the trek! Bring small plastic bags for rubbish, which can be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters at camp.

SMALL TOWEL AND BASIC PERSONAL TOILETRIES: There are showers available at the campsite on the third night. Bring travel size shampoo and shower gel, if you would like to use it, plus wet wipes for the rest of the trek.

WATER BOTTLE: Bring one large (1.5 liter) or two or three small water bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied when possible, usually after meal times.

WARM CLOTHING FOR THE NIGHT TIME: Fleece, long pants, woolen hat, gloves.

THERMAL UNDERWEAR: If trekking in winter or if you tend to feel the cold easily.

WALKING CLOTHING – YOU NEED TO LAYER UP: e.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts.

PERSONAL MEDICATION AND BASIC FIRST AID KIT: Band aids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration salts, and any other medication prescribed by your doctor.

CAMERA AND EXTRA BATTERIES, MEMORY CARDS OR FILM: Please note: there are no electrical outlets on the Inca Trail so make sure you fully charge up/or have spare batteries!

SNACKS: Chocolates, chips, crackers, granola bars, or energy bars etc. Additional snacks are provided during the trek, but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case.

 FLASHLIGHT: This is very important! (and extra batteries)

FOR THE SUN: Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat

INSECT REPELLENT: Tropical strength

ANTISEPTIC HAND GEL

SWIMWEAR FOR AGUAS CALIENTES HOT SPRINGS: Towels can be rented for 3 soles.

FLIP FLOPS / SANDALS: If you wish to have a shower on the third night.

Please visit the Inca Trail Trek or Alternative trek to Machu Picchu page for more information about each trek and if you are looking for the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, visit this page for information on securing Inca Trail Permits.

Can I get US dollars out of ATMs in Cusco?

Yes, most ATMs in Cusco give you the choice of withdrawing cash in US dollars or Peruvian soles. Banks in Cusco take VISA cards in their ATMs but only a couple banks will accept Mastercard for an extra fee. Depending on which country your card is from, the limit on how many dollars you can withdraw per day may be as low as $200.

Classic Inca Trail Trek Availability & Permits 2018

INCA TRAIL AVAILABILITY & PERMITS 2018 – JANUARY – DECEMBER 2018

CLASSIC INCA TRAIL 3, 4, 5, & 7 DAYS TREKS

SAM Travel Peru has Guaranteed and Flexible Departure Dates, we only need a minimum of 2 trekkers and a maximum of 8 for all of our listed tours.

NOTE: February 2017The 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 days Inca Trail is closed for maintenance – We can operate ONLY the LARES TREK to Machu Picchu and any TOURS to Machu Picchu during February.

The Classic Inca Trail its available on any date that its best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 hikers!

To check the Inca Trail Availability & Permits 2018, please check on each month of your choice!

 

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RENEWAL OR CHANGE OF NAME ON PASSPORT

If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you mustsend us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them.  We can then make the change with the government before you arrive.  The extra cost to do the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and Train.)

If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one).  You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trial, Machu Picchu or Train.  If  you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!

ISIC CARD 

If you make a trek booking at the student price must send us a copy of your ISIC card at the time you pay the trek deposit.  If you fail to bring your Original ISIC card on the trek, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek. “You will not be given the opportunity to pay the difference in price!”

Luxury Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca Tour

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Cusco, City Tour & Archaeological Ruins

Upon your arrival to Cusco, we will pick you up at the airport to transport you to your hotel.  The morning is free time to rest in your hotel to acclimate.

In the afternoon, we will pick you up from your hotel and proceed to visit the Imperial City. It is a living example of the mix of Andean and Spanish culture. We start the tour at the Convent of Santo Domingo built over the Koricancha, which was the Ancient Inca Palace and the main worship center of the Sun God. You are given plenty of time to enjoy these beautiful sights. From there, we visit the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman, with its impressive Inca architecture, which dominates the city. Finally, we explore the archaeological sites of Q’enqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, which are located in the northeast section of the city.  You will return to your hotel in Cusco in the early evening.

  • 4* Accommodations  Hotel Costa del Sol Ramada, Casa Andina Private Collection & Novotel
  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 2: Sacred Valley – Pisac to Ollantaytambo

We will pick you up at your hotel at 7:30am, with our private van and head towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas, taking the direct route to Pisac.  We stop first at the Mirador of Taray to enjoy a classic view of the Urubamba valley and its traditional farming villages. You will see how the agriculture in the Sacred Valley has changed little in the past five hundred years. Onward, we drive to the archaeological site of Pisac, where you can see the biggest Inca cemetery with more than 2,000 tombs. There, we can admire the incredible farming terraces carved into the mountain, explore the Inca tunnel and the religious area of this important citadel. Here, we will spend about 2 hours, exploring the Inca city. Then, we head down to the colorful market of Pisac, spend about 20 minutes visiting it and then drive to Urubamba for lunch.

With timeless charm, we visit the archeological site of Moray also known as “The Greenhouse of the Incas” a deep bowl of architectural wonder. Levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl, which was excavated by the Incas. The terraces have varied microclimates depending on how deep into the bowl they are placed.  Archeologists believe that they were used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their crops.

Continuing on our journey to the colonial town of Maras, we look down onto the pre-Inca salt mine. Thousands of saltpans have been passed down through countless generations and used for salt extraction since before Inca times. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt laden water, which is diverted into saltpans and evaporated to produce salt. This is one of the few places in the world where you can find naturally pink salt!

Finally, we drive to Ollantaytambo, having time to explore the age old and bustling Inca village and the massive Inca Ruins, with a tour provided by our guide. Visit the ruins of the Sun Temple at the top of the formidable terraces and learn about the importance of this site for the Inca during the beginning of the Spanish conquest.

After time for dinner, we take the train to Aguas Calientes, where you spend the night in our hotel. The train departs Ollantaytambo at 19:04 and arrives in Aguas Calientes at 20:45.

  • 4* Accommodations: El Mapi or Tierra Viva Machupicchu (superior room)
  • Meal: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 3: Machu Picchu & Train back to Cusco

This is the day you have been waiting for! After breakfast at the hotel, we take the early bus to Machu Picchu citadel, and tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site: an unforgettable experience. On your 2.5 hours private tour, your guide will expertly direct you through the enigmatic ruins and its most important sites. You will see the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry, the House of the Inka, the urban areas, agricultural terraces and many different types of architecture.. Once the guided tour is over, you will have some free time to explore the site on your own, to relax, or to meditate.

Extra Possible Activities:

  • Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain; appreciate the beauty & magnificence of Machu Picchu.
  • You will be given some extra time to walk to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku.

The optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or the hot springs.

Train to Cusco: You will descend to Aguas Calientes, have lunch, and later on board the 14:55 or 15:20 Vistadome train for the return trip to Cusco train station on the Vistadome train and then, we will transfer you to your hotel arriving around 8pm.

  • 4* Accommodations: Hotel Costa del Sol Ramada, Casa Andina Private Collection & Novotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Light Meal on Train

Day 4: Cusco to Puno by Andean Explorer Train

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up at 10am from your hotel in Cusco and transferred to the train station.  There, you will board the most luxurious train to Puno, the Belmond Andean Train.

The Belmond Andean Explorer train features an open-air observatory car, allowing you to take in the majestic views while enjoying the typical music and dances of the Peruvian Highlands. During your trip, you will have the chance to take panoramic pictures of some of the quaint essential Andean landscapes.

During the trip, lunch, & breakfast offers the finest in gourmet food. The quality of our personalized service is guaranteed.  You will sleep in your own private cabin as you travel to Puno arriving at around 7am.

Upon arrival, reception and transfer to your Puno Hotel.

  • Accommodations: Cabin overnight on the train
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch on train

Day 5: Full Day to Lake Titicaca (Uros Floating Islands & Taquile)

You will have a 6:00 am breakfast on the train and be transferred to the Port of Puno for your tour at 8:30am.  Our first stop will be Uros Floating Islands. The Uros are natives, who live on these man-made islands created from Totora reeds grown on Lake Titicaca. Their houses are built on top while the cooking is done outside the homes to avoid fires. After spending time at the Island of Uros, you will proceed to the Island of Taquile. Here, you will notice that the locals speak Aymara instead of the predominant Quechua. The Island of Taquile was once a part of the Inca Empire. The influence can be seen in the buildings these people create. Once you arrive on the island, you will get a briefing, traditional dances, artisanal craft displays and lunch. In the afternoon, the boat will take you back to Puno. From the port of Puno, you will be transfer to your hotel.

  • 4* Accommodations: Casa Andina Premium Puno and Sonesta Hotel Puno
  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: DEPARTURE FROM PUNO

After having breakfast at the hotel, enjoy your remaining time in Puno. Then, in the late morning or afternoon we will drop you off at the airport to take your plane back to Lima.

  • Meal: Breakfast

Inclusions

INCLUDED

  • Transfer in from Cusco airport
  • Pick up at hotel for tours
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Private transportation to visit all Inca Archeological sites for tours
  • Expedition train Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  •  Vistadome Train from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
  • One way trip Cusco to Puno Belmond Andean Train
  • Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • 4 night’s accommodation at 3 star hotels or 4 star hotel depending on your choice
  • 1 night accommodation on the Belmond Andean train with your own private cabin.
  • 4 breakfasts in your hotel and train (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Private guided Tours of Cusco, Sacred Valley, & Moray & Salt Mines
  • All entrances to archeological sites & others
  • Private guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Group guided tour of the Uros Floating Islands & Taquile as a part of your train service
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Tax
  • Water for tours

NOT INCLUDED

  • International or domestic flights
  • Tips for guides and SAM team members
  • Single supplement -$50 USD (for solo travelers)
  • Meals where not otherwise stated
  • Optional: Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes –10 soles per person
  • Optional:  Huayna Picchu Mountain – $75 USD per person
  • Optional:  Machu Picchu Mountain – $75 USD per person
  • Transfer out to the Juliaca airport

**Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are optional treks within Machu Picchu Citadel which do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour. 

Price

Our 6 day tour of Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca can only be booked to start on a Saturday because the Belmond Andean Luxury train only runs on Tuesday and we must have 2 persons minimum for the tour

PRICES: 

$687 USD per person without hotels (train is separate additional price depending on cabin choice)

$887 USD per person with 3* hotels (train is separate additional price depending on cabin choice)

$1,087 USD per person with 4* hotels (train is a separate additional price, depending on cabin choice)

*** With 4* hotels a deposit of $525 USD is required because in Peru all hotels and train have to be paid for 30 days in advance.  

ANDEAN EXPLORER TRAIN PRICES:

$730 USD per person: 2 Twin Beds Cabin (double occupancy)

$825 USD per person: 1 Junior Double Bed Cabin (double occupancy)

$915 USD per person: 1 Deluxe Double Bed Cabin (double occupancy)

 ***Other option 1 day Peru Rail Titicaca Luxury Day Train Cusco to Puno $260 USD per person.  (will need to add an extra night hotel in Puno)

DISCOUNTS

  • 18 to 25 years old: $30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: $40 USD.  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.

EXTRAS 

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 USD
  • Single supplement: $50 USD per night 3* (for solo travellers with single room)
  • Single supplement: $100 USD per night 4* (for solo travellers with single room)
  • Upgrade to 5 star  hotels upon request

**Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are optional treks within Machu Picchu Citadel which do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour. 

Why SAM

WHY CHOOSE SAM TRAVEL

SAM Travel Peru is a family owned travel agency and a local tour operator based in Cusco with personal experience over many years of trekking. SAM Travel Peru is a 1oo% Cusqueñian Company without any shareholders.

 Our dream as a locally based company is to create small personalized tours & treks strictly and only operated by local professional staff catering in PERSONALIZED and HIGH QUALITY SERVICE.  

We take pride in having a reputation as being a RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE tour operator. Our staff are our extended family. We ensure they are supported financially by offering them a fair salary. We are proud of our team without them , we wouldn’t be able to offer the best service and lifetime experiences to our clients.

SAM Travel Peru knows how important it is to trust in a reliable honest operator to create your adventure of a lifetime while in Peru. Check out our reviews and certificates of excellence on, TRIPADVISOR for yourself! Also we are highly recommended on Conde Nast Travelers,  Lonely Planet and by many blogs like: Salkantay/Inka Trail ! July 14th to 20th 2016  Trek de Lares 4 hours, “It’s the journey, not the destination…”Lares Pass – Day 3Trekking in the Sacred Valley.

SMALL GROUPS

In an effort to provide a more personalized service to our passengers, we at SAM Travel Peru  have a policy to keep our groups small.  With private tours we do 2 to 8 persons. By keeping our groups small, this sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with much larger groups.

OUR TOUR GUIDES

We are so proud of our guides! They are highly professional and speak fluent English. They are very knowledgeable and passionate for Incan heritage and history.  Our guides are dedicated to continuous personal and professional development. They do research to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories in Incan and Andean culture. Our crew is fun lovinggreat sportsmen and well-educated. They all hold degrees in one of the following: Archaeology, Tourism, Botany, History or Anthropology.

OUR SERVICE PROJECTS

SAM Travel Peru  have always believed that we should give back to the local isolated communities.  Therefore, as part of our commitment to responsible tourism, we always do many service projects and hire locally.

SAM Travel Peru is so proud to be able to support these people, not only employing them but go back to our grassroots as they share with their families. It makes us happy to have this holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!

Important Info

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR TOUR

Please read carefully the following information as it will answer all of your questions about our services and tours

ARRIVAL TO CUSCO

You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal.

THE BRIEFING

The briefing will take place the night before the trek at 6pm in our office, which is located at Calle Santa Teresa  Nº383 ; 107 (second floor). We are next to SUBWAY sandwich shop and share a lobby with Hotel Casona Corrales.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE?

Of course! During the Machu Picchu Tour your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are for free.

HOW TO BOOK THE TOUR?

FIRST, to book your Cusco City to Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca Tour, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here the link BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an an entrance to Machu Picchu or the train without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person in order to purchase a your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money.  You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL.  To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of samtravelperu@gmail.com. 

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?

  1. According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need ISIC cards). For example: if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
  2. All students from 12 to 17 years, the discount is $40 USD.
  3. For children from the age of 2 to 12 the discount is $60 USD.
  4. For children from the age of 0 to 2 are free.
  5. All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
  6. Send us a copy at info@samtravelperu.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

Unfortunately, the answer is No. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the tickets has been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable.  If you cancel your Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca Tour, the deposit is not refundable at all!

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT? 

Yes! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket, other entrances and reservations.

In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 USD per person.  We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.

If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you.  You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter into Machu Picchu or the train.  If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter into Machu Picchu or get on the train.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE TOUR?

The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. We recommend to always dress in layers as it is more easier to adjust to the different climates.

ARE WE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE TOUR?

Absolutely!! Hotel pick ups and drop offs are included with all of our packages! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley, we will drop you off there and vice versa.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

In general, if you exercise regularly and spend a couple of days in Cusco or the Sacred Valley, you will be able to acclimate normally. It usually take between 24 hours to 2 days.

The recommended remedies for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. See our detailed information about Altitude Sickness under FAQS.

TRAIN INFORMATION

Our package includes the 14:55 or 15:20 Vistadome train for the way from Aguas Calientes to Poroy or Ollantaytambo, then we drive you back to Cusco in our van, arriving 19:00 – 19:30. If you have an extra hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, we will buy the later Vistadome train at 15:20 or 16:22.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the tour.  It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your tour. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?

Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator that incorporates universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.

Packing Checklist

WHAT TO BRING

  • A small backpack or carry bag (larger not allowed on the train or in Machu Picchu)
  • Changes of clothing
  • Comfortable shoes or runners
  • Camera
  • Water to drink
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • A fleece or jacket
  • Warm jacket for nights
  • Basic toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent for mosquitoes
  • Hat for the sun
  • Some extra money for lunch, snacks and souvenirs
  • Original passport (cannot enter Machu Picchu without it)

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