Six things that may surprise you on a trek in the Andes!

Even for experienced campers and trekkers, a trip in the Andes is often a unique experience with new challenges.  Here are a few ideas and suggestions to take into consideration as you prepare for your trek!

Trekking in the Andes is challenging – but easier if properly acclimatised. Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

  • Altitude can greatly influence how you feel and what you are capable of. Depending on how long you are in Cusco or other high-altitude areas before you depart, the altitude of most Apus Peru treks can be very physically challenging!  For this reason we recommend at least 2, ideally 3 days at altitude pre trek, in order for your body to acclimatize and to recover from any symptoms of altitude sickness. During this time, it is a good idea to drink plenty of water, try the coca tea (it works 🙂 ) eat lightly and get plenty of rest the first day. After that, mild to moderate physical exercise can help you prepare for your trek.
  • You will get very dirty! Depending on the length of your trek, quite a long time can pass without an opportunity to shower or bathe.  While most people expect plenty of sweat during a long day of trekking, there is also dust and mud to deal with depending on the season. Wet wipes, plenty of clean socks and liquid hand sanitizer go a long way toward making you feel comfortable at the end of the day.

Trekkers on the hike to Huchuy Qosqo, a little known ruin in the Sacred Valley. Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

  • Reading up on the region and route before departure will enhance your experience. The Andes and Cusco area have rich cultural histories and natural diversity, which you will be experiencing first hand! Our guides are well prepared to teach you about all of this, but arriving in Cusco with background knowledge in areas you are interested in will provide context and allow for deeper understanding.
  • The sun is extremely strong! Sunshine and UV rays are much stronger close to the equator and at high altitudes. You will be very happy to have your wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunblock once your trek is underway! If you have lighter skin or are especially sensitive to the sun, lightweight clothing to cover your arms and legs is useful for sunny days.

Guide Herbert provides an overview of the ruins at Huchuy Qosqo. Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

  • Communicating with your guide before and during your trek is important. Our guides are professionally trained and experienced in what they do. That said, every client is different! Letting your guide know about any new medical issues or dietary requests before departure helps them prepare. Updates regarding how you are feeling, walking pace, if you need more drinking water, or any other question or concern will help your guide ensure that you have a rewarding and enjoyable experience during your trek.
  • Be prepared for surprises. Many times, the most memorable events on a trek are the ones you don’t anticipate! Because Apus Peru tries to give our clients unique, “off the beaten path” experiences, treks and tours often include unplanned sights and opportunities. Keeping an open mind can help you make the most of your trip!
Nosey llama, early morning misty clouds and Machu Picchu!!

Nosey llama, early morning misty clouds and Machu Picchu!!

Many thanks to Amanda Zenick for this article, updated for 2015

For more information please visit our pre trip planning page on our website:

http://www.apus-peru.com/trip-planning/

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