DAY 1 – CUSCO – HUMANTAY LAKE – CUSCO
Our day begins in Cusco when we are picked up from our hotel lobby at 4:30am to drive 3 hours to the starting point of the trek at Soraypampa located in the lush valley of the Apurimac River, where we will enjoy a hot breakfast prepared by our chef and fuel up for the hike ahead of us.
We travel uphill along a beautiful trail called the Camino Real and get higher in altitude. After reaching a tiny village with very few amenities, we continue even further uphil for about 1,200 feet in just 2 miles up a steep path. After conquering the last hill, we will gaze down on a turquoise lake below, which is surrounded by steep peaks and an impressive glaciers. The hike is dominated by Salkantay Peak, one of Peru’s most sacred mountains, 20,600 feet tall with towering snowcapped peaks. The equally impressive Humantay Peak, rising 19,412 feet, is also within view. Once we reach the presumably sacred lakeshore, we relax, enjoy a snack, go for a swim (if you want to join the Polar Bear club) or give thanks to Pachamama (Mother Earth). We will hike downhill to Soraypampa when we are ready and have a hot lunch while enjoying the breathtaking panoramic views and landscape. We drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
- Hot Breakfast & Lunch prepared by our chef
- Private transportation to and from your hotel in Cusco
- Fluent English & Spanish speaking expert trekking guide
- Fees to access private land
- First aid kit & Oxygen
- Small group experience (maximum 8 guests)
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Water: please bring at least 1L per person
- Voluntary Tips for guide, driver and cook
***We run our trips daily with a 2 person minimum. We take only small groups & private trips, to enhance the experience giving you the full attention of our guides and staff.
We just require a minimum of 2 people to book.
|No. OF PEOPLE||PRICE|
|2 people||$ 150 USD per person|
|3 people||$ 125 USD per person|
|4 people||$ 100 USD per person|
|5 people||$ 80 USD per person|
|6 people||$ 70 USD per person|
Please read the following information to help answer any questions you may have about our services.
ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
We will be waiting for you at Cusco airport for a private transfer to your hotel, please let us know your flight details at least 14 days prior to arrival. Look for somebody holding an orange sign reading ‘ORANGE NATION’ outside the arrivals hall. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter). We can pick you up any day!
The Briefing will be the night before the trek at 6pm in our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383; office 107 (first floor), next to SUBWAY restaurant, across the street from Sunat and the only 3 story building with 2 balconies.
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:
ABSOLUTELY! During the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free.
HOW TO BOOK
We will need the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). This information is necessary to purchase the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu the train tickets:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person in order to purchase your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket. You can make you deposit by clicking on the PAYPAL symbol on the top of our home page, or you can click on the PAYPAL symbol on our booking page.
WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?
You can pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco to avoid the additional 5.5% charged by PayPal. We have many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge by PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?
- 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 student 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.
- All students from 11 to 17 years have a $30 discount.
- Children between the ages 2 to 11 have a $40 discount.
- Children under the age of 2 are free.
- All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
- Send us a copy at email@example.com
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Unfortunately No. Once the tickets have been bought, the government does not allow any changes, so we cannot change any departure date after the tickets has been purchased. Tickets are also non transferable nor refundable. If you cancel your Machu Picchu Tour, the deposit is lost!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE INCA TRAIL?
DEFINITELY! You MUST bring your original passport with the SAME passport number you sent us to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket, other entrances and reservations. They will check when you enter Machu Picchu and to board the train.
In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, please send us a COPY of your old passport to secure your permit, and we can change it when we receive a COPY of your new passport 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 enter 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.
Remember to check your current passport to make sure it doesn’t expire within 6 months of your arrival to Peru!!! The Government of Peru is enforcing the existing law that requires all foreign travelers to have a passport valid for a minimum of six months past the time of entry into Peru. Peruvian authorities will deny entry into Peru for travelers not meeting this requirement.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
The weather is very unpredictable and always changing in the Andes Mountains, so it is difficult to say with any certainty. We recommend that you be prepared for warm weather, possible rain showers (Orange Nation provides rain ponchos) and a warm jacket in case of cold. We also recommend that you dress in layers so you may take off or put on clothes as needed.
The climate in Cusco has temperatures between 10º – 20º C, with warm days and cold nights. The best time to hike the Inca trail is between the months of April through October, when the weather is warm. During the months of June, July and August nights are very cold which is why Orange Nation rents good quality 4 season sleeping bags.
The rainy season is during the months of November through March, if you want to hike the Inca Trail during this season, bring warm clothes and be prepared for rain but there will be a beautiful landscape and colorful flowers.
The month of February, the Inca Trail is closed for safety, repairs and restoration.
The Average weather conditions on the Inca Trail:
- Dry Season: April – October
- Day temperature: 20ºC – 25ºC – Night temperature -1ºC – 7ºC
- Wet Season: November – March
- Day temperature: 17ºC – 22ºC – Night temperature 4ºC – 7ºC
WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as: shortness of breath, a discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche, quechua for high-altitude sickness.
Don’t do anything other than rest
If you travel from Lima to Cusco, the effect can be immediate. This lack of oxygen, scientifically known as hypoxia, begins to manifest itself at 7,874 ft (2,399 m) above sea level. That’s why right after landing in Cusco, visitors can feel fatigued and have difficulty walking. Walking one block could feel like walking ten blocks carrying a backpack full of rocks. It is advisable to take it really easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.
How do people feel after a night of drinking? Thirsty. That’s how you’ll feel when you arrive in Cusco. As already stated, the body dehydrates quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco. Also, avoid heavy meals since your stomach takes longer to digest food at high altitudes. A diet of low proteins and high carbs is advisable.
No one knew better the effects of high altitude than indigenous peoples. Coca is the best natural medicine to combat altitude sickness. It was even considered sacred because of its curative powers and is still used in the same way now as it was in the time of the Incas. It contains iron, vitamins A, B1, B2 and calcium, among other nutrients. Coca makes it easier for your bloodstream to absorb oxygen, suppresses hunger, combats fatigue, headaches and can ease your stomach. If you do not feel like chewing leaves (which can be bitter, apart from numbing your mouth), you can try drinking coca tea, which is most commonly found in the lobby of hotels in Cusco.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Our groups are between 2-6 persons. Orange Nation 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 your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFEL BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg / 15lbs. including sleeping bag, so 5kg / 11lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffel 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 duffel bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. A 30 to 50L backpack is sufficient.
IS THE TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?
The trail is fairly difficult and you should be prepared and healthy prior to starting. You have to be relatively fit and exercise regularly.
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 days in Cusco (3,350m / 11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip is appreciated. It means a lot to the staff, and their families, who will take care of you during the tour. It inspires better service and is a major part of the tourism industry across many ORANGE Nation destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less what you want, depending how you feel about the quality of service and the length of your tour.
ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?
We are a local sustainable & responsible tour operator which functions according to the ethical principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the indigenous communities respecting their culture and religion. We have trained all of our staff to know, understand and respect the local communities and the people living there.
WHAT TO BRING FOR A DAY HIKE:
- A lightweight, waterproof day pack
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Warm clothes and hiking pants
- Layers of clothes for variable temperatures
- Sun protection: sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses
- Extra plastic bags, especially in the wet season
- Rain poncho. (Provided by ORANGE NATION)
- Drinking water
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, tips, etc
- Walking sticks if needed (rentable with ORANGE NATION)
- Favorite snacks
- Toilet paper