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Peru Treks Machu Picchu Cuzco

Inca Trail tour operator

Is a Tour Operator Required to See Machu Picchu or the Inca Trail?

If you’re considering a trek or tour to Machu Picchu or a hike on the Inca Trail, you might be tempted to plan your own trip and go it alone. Before you make any decisions, however, it’s important to understand what you can and cannot do without a fully licensed tour operator. Do You Need a Tour Guide for an Inca Trail Trek? No matter how experienced you are as a hiker or how much you’d like to trek the Inca Trail without a guide, the official Inca Trail regulations require all hikers to be a part of an organized group led by a duly licensed and authorized tour guide. Because only a limited number of companies have the required licensing and authorization, you must do your research and choose your tour agency carefully. Only licensed providers can purchase the necessary permits. Double-check that your agency is purchasing the permits, because they sell out quickly. You must also be careful when booking your trek because, unless you book with a direct provider of a Classic Inca Trail Trek, you will be handed off to an unknown third-party tour agency. It’s also important to note that tour operators are allowed to book up to 16 hikers per trek. If you find yourself in a group that size, you may not have a good experience if not enough guides, porters and other support team members are present. Likewise, some companies have last-minute cancellation policies if not enough people book a trek. That…

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…

Licensed Inca Trail Tour Operator

[cycloneslider id=”classic-inca-trail”]   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…

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! 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. OUR FOAM MATTRESSES: Thick Foam Mattresses are included to separate and insulate you from the ground. We are proud to be the only company providing thick foam mattresses for FREE to all of our clients. Our Thermarest Air Mattresses can be rented to add additional comfort!   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) 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. OUR TABLES & CHAIRS: The interior of the dining room includes tables and chairs. The tent has two doors on each…

Food on the Trek

[cycloneslider id=”food”]   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,…

Peru Trekking Holiday Comparison

PERU TREK COMPARISON Trek Name Difficulty Level Highlights Highest point Longest day Km/hours to walk Temperature (coldest camp at night) Acclimatisation ** 4 day classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Moderately 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 Picchu Moderately difficult* The 4 day Inca Trail at an easy pace 4,200 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 Picchu Very 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 September Recommended. 5 day Salkantay (alternative) trek to Machu Picchu Challenging* 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 MP Challenging * Salkantay trek for those who do not have the time for 5 days. 4,680m (Day 1) Day 1…

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:…

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…

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:  Short Inca Trail Trek 2D/1N  – Group Service Short Inca Trail Trek 2D/1N – Private Service Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu 4D/3N – Group Service Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu 4D/3N – Private Service  Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu 5D/4N  Salkantay & Inca Trail Machu Picchu 7D/6N  Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail 5D4N  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…

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 saulmanager@samtravelperu.com 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 operator. As a part of this, he wants to give back and improve the lives and living conditions of local communities through employing from them. Saul´s experience as a guide and porter has helped him gain an appreciation of what works and does not work well on treks…

Lares Trekking 5 Days

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 bus the next morning to Machu Picchu at 5:30am to enjoy the sunrise. Please have a look at the optional hikes and things to do at Machu Picchu below: [cycloneslider id=”huayna-picchu”] 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…

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

During the Alternative Trek or Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, your main luggage will be stored at our office in Cusco. 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 and animals. 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 (foam or air). This leaves you about 4 kilos for your personal gear. Please Note: This packing list is only for 3, 4, 5, 7, & 9 Day Treks. PASSPORT: You MUST take your original passport, a photocopy is not allowed. (Keep it in a plastic bag, in case of rain). SLEEPING BAGS: You will need a good warm sleeping bag for…

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 2017 – The 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!   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…

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