We know you will have many questions about our adventures and have tried to answer the most common ones here. However, if not we certainly would love the opportunity to answer any additional questions you might have!
WHAT IS THE WEATHER GOING TO BE LIKE IN PERU?
Because Peru is near the equator, the average high temperature in Cusco ranges very little, from 64 to 67 degrees Farhrenheit over the course of the year. The average low ranges a bit more, from 34 to 46 degrees. Temperatures will be about five degrees warmer in Lima and 10 degrees colder on the trek. The more important factor is rain. The rainy season in Cusco runs from about mid-November to mid-March and is the least attractive time to trek. During the rest of the year, expect nice hiking weather during the day with cool nights.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TREK?
If you are booking a trek that requires an Inca Trail Pass (the Classic trek) you should book your trek at least four months in advance and earlier for the months of June, July and August. Trail passes are limited and you simply won't get one if you wait too long. For other treks, you can book as little as four weeks in advance.
WHY ARE YOUR PRICES SO HIGH (OR SO LOW)?
Our tour prices are moderate. You will find some companies that promote total luxury and you will pay twice as much for the pleasure. You can find other companies that offer cheap, no-thrills treks. Unfortunately, on the lower end, you often get what you pay for. With Zephyr Adventures you are assured of an experienced US-based travel partner that can answer all your questions, who makes sure you are on the right trip, and prepares you in advance to maximize your experience. You don't want to take risks with your Peru vacation, especially if you plan to trek to almost 14,000 feet.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET TO PERU AND WHERE DO WE MEET?
We will send you information about flights to Peru after you book your trek. We meet you in Cusco, Peru, the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu and you are responsible for getting to and from Peru (we will give you detailed travel information). Our Classic Inca Trail trek provides airport-to-airport service and our local agency will meet you at the airport in Cusco.
HOW HIGH DO WE TREK AND WILL I BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH THE ALTITUDE?
The highest altitude we reach on our Classic Inca Trail trek is 13,860 feet. This is not comparable to similar heights in North America; in Peru we are much closer to the equator and the climate is much milder. Nevertheless, the effects of altitude are the same and you will feel them: light headache, possible nausea, dizziness, etc. We do not expect you to have any prior experience with altitude. On our Sacred Valley Trek, the highest altitude we reach is in Cusco at 11,220 feet. You should have limited effects on this version of the trek. Click here for more information about altitude and acclimatization.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT ADAPT WELL TO THE ALTITUDE?
The solution to severe altitude problems is always to descend. If you have symptoms of altitude sickness on the trek that do not go away, we will make the decision to evacuate you. This generally means turning around (if you are not over the highest pass) or continuing on to our destination (if you have crossed the pass). Thousands of people hike the Inca Trail each year and most do not have serious issues.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WANT TO EXTEND MY VACATION IN PERU?
There are many other things to see and do in the country and we will make recommendations in our Pre-Departure Packet. The Amazon rainforest, Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines, the Colca Canyon, Arequipa and the coast are all possible destinations.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT AND VISA?
You must have a passport valid for at least six months upon entry to Peru. If you do not have a passport, you should check with your local Passport Agency now to get the process started. North Americans and most Europeans receive a travel visa to Peru upon entry at the airport, so you don't need to get this in advance.
DO I NEED TO GET IMMUNIZATIONS?
No immunizations are required for entry to Peru. However, you should still consult with a travel doctor about what immunizations you should have. Recommended shots might include:
:: Tetanus & Diphtheria You should have been immunized as a kid but these shots require a booster every 10 years.
:: Hepatitis A You should strongly consider getting a shot to prevent this food- and water-borne disease.
:: Hepatitis B This is a blood- or semen-borne disease that you are at risk of contracting if you have sex, have a blood transfusion, or come into contact with infected needles (possibly in a hospital).
AM I FIT ENOUGH TO DO THIS?
The Classic Inca Trail Trek (our most difficult trek) has been completed by hundreds of thousands of people. Chances are good you can do it too, provided you are not extremely overweight or have other health issues that preclude you. If you are not currently physically fit, you may need to establish a training regimen to make your trip more enjoyable. Mental perseverance also goes a long way in helping you achieve your goal of completing the Inca Trail! Click here for an explanation of our difficulty level rating and here for an overview and comparison of all our treks (including difficulty levels). The hiking will be challenging for some people and quite moderate for others. While being in shape is not necessarily a predictor of how you will do at altitude, it will certainly help you on the hikes themselves. We recommend you start working out several months in advance of the trip if you are not already doing so. You should be aware that you likely will experience some mild forms of altitude sickness such as slight headaches or an upset stomach. Additionally, you should be aware that you are traveling to a developing country where sanitation and services are not up to the standard you experience at home, although we make every effort to ensure your good health while you are with us.
FOR WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THESE TREKS?
People looking for a challenging and culturally interesting vacation. Machu Picchu is one of the most amazing places on the earth and is that much better after having spent four days walking there on the Inca Trail. If you are active, willing to brave a foreign culture, and looking for a little adventure, come join us in Peru!
WHAT ARE YOUR PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION POLICIES?
Click here to see this information.
WHAT ARE THE HOTELS AND MEALS LIKE?
We stay in excellent hotels and prefer local, centrally-located inns or luxury retreats isolated from the local culture. We eat in nice restaurants and offer you both renowned restaurants and small cafes in an out-of-the-way street. Giving you a quality, authentic experience is our goal.
DO YOU RECOMMEND TRAVEL INSURANCE?
In most cases, absolutely! Click here for more information.
WILL YOU HELP ME MAKE MY TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS?
You are responsible for getting to and from the trip location and this transportation is not included in the trip price. However, our Pre-Departure Information is very detailed and you will find it helpful when making your own travel arrangements.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO PACK?
Your Pre-Departure Information will include a very detailed packing list for you!
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TRIP?
Contact us for a detailed itinerary that we can email to you. Or simply ask us the questions you want answers to! We welcome your phone calls or emails.
If you provide us with information via one of our online forms, we will use that information only to communicate with you. We will not sell or share your private information with any other parties (with the exception of necessary information to our Peruvian partners).