How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru: Part 2

Last week we gave you our top tips on How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru, going over the basics like physical fitness, acclimatization, and the essential packing list to get you fit and ready to hit the trail. In between reps at the gym and checking off the items on your packing list, though, it’s easy to overlook some of the other important stuff as you prepare for a trek in Peru. Here are a few things you don’t want to forget about!

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There’s more to preparing for a trek in Peru than hitting the gym and checking off your packing list. Read on for more top tips! Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

Money

The local currency in Peru is called the sol (plural, soles), and it’s important to have some on hand as you move around the region. While some places accept US dollars, many – especially, small local shops and restaurants – do not. Make sure you have small denominations (bills of 20 soles or less!) and that the bills are in good condition.

Fun fact: The current form of the currency is formally called the “Nuevo Sol” which means “New Sun” in Spanish. It replaced the previous currency, the Inti, in the early 1990s. Inti also means “sun” – in Quechua, the indigenous language of the Andes.

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Peruvian currency is called the “Nuevo Sol”.

There are numerous ATMs in Cusco where you can withdraw cash in soles or US dollars, and currency exchange kiosks line the main street. Most ATMs will only dispense $200-300 at a time, though, so plan your cash needs accordingly!

Insurance

It’s impossible to predict what will happen on any journey, and so taking out comprehensive travel insurance is a smart way to prepare for a trek in Peru. Make sure you look for a policy that will cover health concerns, strikes, natural disasters, and anything else that could impact your ability to complete your trek. Specifically, you will want travel insurance that covers you for medical emergencies outside your home country. Read the fine print!

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Travelling to Peru is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience – make sure you’re prepared for anything that could happen!

Passport

It might seem obvious, but make sure you bring your passport with you when you prepare for a trek in Peru! If you are hiking the Inca Trail, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture may actually ask to see it in order to compare your name to those on the issued permits. AND you will also have the opportunity to get an official stamp at Machu Picchu – but only if you have your passport with you!

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Don’t forget your passport when you prepare for a trek in Peru!

How to prepare for a trek in Peru: The little extras

Most personal items and other supplies are available in Peru, but when you prepare for a trek in Peru, it’s a good idea to stock up before you leave home. Here are a few items that we consider a must:

  • travel-size hand sanitizer or wipes
  • insect repellent
  • sunscreen
  • lip balm
  • travel-size hand cream
  • toilet paper or facial tissue
  • small plastic bags (such as Ziploc bags) – so, so useful
  • band aids, mole skin or “second skin”
  • pain killers
  • altitude pills
  • anti-diarrhea pills
  • a course of antibiotics – just in case
  • feminine hygiene products
  • a headlamp or small flashlight
  • refillable water bottle
  • extra batteries for your camera or other equipment
  • a small daypack for on the trail
  • a swimsuit
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Preparing for a trek in Peru can seem daunting, but the Apus Peru team is here to help, with more packing and preparation tips.

There is so much to consider when you prepare for a trek in Peru, it can seem overwhelming! For more information on what to bring, see our Packing List, or contact our Customer Service team for more tips. And when you arrive to Cusco, remember that the best thing you can do to prepare for a trek in Peru is to spend those first few days taking it easy and drinking lots of coca leaf tea!

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How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru: Part 1

You’ve been dreaming about this your whole life. You’ve selected your dates, booked time off work, and now you’re finally going to take that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Peru: mysterious Machu Picchu, majestic Andean peaks, fascinating history, and rich, diverse culture await you. You’re all set! Right? But wait – now you’re wondering, what exactly do I have to do to prepare for a trek in Peru?!

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Read on for our top tips on how to prepare for a trek in Peru!

Peru is an amazing country, and trekking in the Andes a truly unforgettable experience. But you’ve probably never been somewhere quite like this, where life operates at a different pace, and the altitude starts at 3200m. So, preparing for a trek in Peru might seem a bit daunting. But fear not! We’ve got you covered. Here are our top tips for how to prepare for a trek in Peru:

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Peru is an amazing country, full of lively festivals and rich cultural traditions. Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

How to prepare for a trek in Peru: Prepare for everything!

Weather in the Andes is notoriously fickle, and it’s entirely possible to experience intense sun, freezing wind, chilling rain, and even snow or hail, all in the same day. Even in dry season (May-September), when rain is scarce, the temperature can range from 25˚C in the daytime to -5˚C, or less, at night. That’s a drastic change! In the mountains, weather can turn on a dime, so when you prepare for a trek in Peru, it’s best to expect the unexpected, and carry gear that will protect you from all the elements.

Don’t leave home without these clothing essentials:

  • a sun hat – believe us, sunscreen is not enough to protect you from the intense rays at high altitude!
  • a warm winter hat, toque or beanie – for those cold nights under the stars;
  • a headband – I swear by this to protect my ears from the biting wind!
  • a long scarf – a versatile piece that you can wrap around you for warmth or to protect you from the wind;
  • gloves and warm socks – to keep your digits toasty!
  • layers, layers, and more layers – so you can go from summer to winter wear in a flash;
  • a rainproof, windproof shell – make it lightweight and foldable for easy storage.
  • sunglasses – rain gear and sunglasses, at the same time? Believe me – it happens.
  • adequate footwear – good-quality, well broken-in trekking boots to protect your feet on the trail, AND flip flops or sandals for walking around the campsite, your hotel room or luxurious hot springs!
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Good quality gear is essential when preparing for a trek in Peru. Make sure you’re ready for rain, sun, and cold – anything is possible in the Andes! Photo by Megan Gaston.

How to prepare for a trek in Peru: Physical Preparation

As we mention in our blog Top 5 Things that Make the Inca Trail Awesome, the Inca Trail – like all hikes in the Andes – is no walk in the park. This is challenging stuff! The best way to prepare for a trek in Peru is to make sure you’re fit and well-acclimatized to the altitude before starting.

Before you leave home, try doing plenty of aerobic exercise like running, spinning or aerobics classes – Zumba is a personal favourite! Get out and do some one day hikes in your area, testing out how you feel walking for 4-6 hours at a time. If you’ve never slept in a tent in the great outdoors – or it’s been a while – now’s the time to roll out your sleeping bag and take a couple of camping trips, too.

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There’s nothing quite like sleeping under the stars, but if it’s been a while – or maybe never! – doing some camping before you leave home is a good way to prepare for a trek in Peru.

And possibly the #1 thing you can do to prepare for a trek in Peru is to make sure you have adequate time built into your itinerary to acclimatize to the altitude. We recommend a minimum of 3 days of acclimatization at high altitude before beginning any trek.

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Hiking at high altitude is never easy – make sure you take the time to acclimatize!

Stay tuned for more of our Top Tips for How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru – coming next week!

The best way to visit Kuelap & Gocta Falls

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUS – The best way to visit Kuelap & Gocta Falls!

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit Kuelap & Gocta Falls. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in Kuelap & Gocta Falls

 

Kuelap & Gocta Falls Travel Essentials – What you need to know about a visit to Kuelap & Gocta Falls

An Adventure Into The Unknown – This blog post is about a woman who decided to take a trip to Peru with her siblings. Unfortunately, their plans to visit the Machu Picchu ruins were canceled and they decided to make the best of their day and go exploring instead! A great post to read through!

An impressive View – This post is actually part two of a two-part post. You can find the first part here! This stunning location was only discovered several years ago – can you believe that? It’s definitely worth the trip just for the view alone!

 

Things to do in Kuelap & Gocta Falls

 

Hiking With Mermaids – I found this post to be fantastic – it’s an up close and honest opinion about the trek to Gocta Falls. It even mentions a fun folklore story about a mermaid who bathes in the pool under the waterfall.

Tour The Fortress – One of the best things to do in Chachapoyas is of course…to visit Kuelap! Such an impressive structure! It stills holds the remains of animal sacrifices thousands of years ago! Its current residents are a herd of llamas that tend to not be so friendly.

 

 

Where to eat in Kuelap & Gocta Falls

Food For The Trip – While this is not a post, it is a very informative list of restaurants that can be found in and around Chachapoyas. There are many reviews for each of the restaurant so you will know what to expect! If you click on the name of the restaurant, more information will pop up such as phone number, photos and the website of the restaurant itself.

 

Where to stay in Kuelap & Gocta Falls

Lodging It In Chachapoyas – There are many opportunities to find affordable and comfortable places to stay in Chachapoyas. This is a great and long list of hotels and hostels in the area. If you click on the name of the location, you’ll be able to see all of the features and have the option to book!

 

Things to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUSThings to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit the Sacred Valley. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in the Sacred Valley.

 

 

 

Sacred Valley Travel Essentials – What You Need To Know About a Visit To The Sacred Valley

Exploring The Sacred Valley – While this article does not provide a lot of text, what it does provide is many pictures to help paint an image of the region, especially for those who have never been. I find images to be helpful to gain a sense of what the culture, and community is like.

The Symbolism Is Strong With This One – This is a fun read that highlights the story of how the beloved ruins of the Sacred Valley came to be.

The photo below is just one example of these ruins. It shows a close up of the God Tunupa
overlooking the city of Ollantaytambo

Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

Hiking With Llamas…And Kids! – Peru is known for its many incredible trekking trails. This one just so happens to be kid friendly! You get the chance to get to hang out with some pretty cool llamas as well as hike with them – who wouldn’t want to do that?!

To Market, We Will Go – It’s no secret that the Cusco region hosts one of the world’s most famous markets drawing many tourists and visitors! As it is a tourist destination, it can be a little hectic at times, remain patient and take your time as this is one stop worth waiting for! Also, please note that some of the vendors may not enjoy having their photo taken, so please ask before doing so!

 

 

Festivals Galore – The Sacred Valley hosts some incredible and exciting festivals throughout the year! This is a great, and helpful calendar of sorts that highlights when each festival takes place as well as a short description of each. The festivals provide a chance to not only see but to take part in the culture.

Learning On Vacation – While visiting, why not take up a few fun and exciting classes? These are just a few that are offered through this particular group. You can take cooking classes, learn how to weave and even learn Spanish!

 

 

Another Path Less Traveled – Speaking of weaving, Apus Peru offers a tour designed to take you away from hiking the dirt trails and instead give you a glimpse at another village tradition – weaving! (don’t worry, we still go hiking). This particular village is one of three that our NGO Threads of Peru works with!

Where To Stay in the Sacred Valley

A Family Friendly Stay – If your looking for somewhere family friendly to stay – look no further! This blog post has you covered! Please note that these suggestions are not limited to just families – anyone can stay! I found this post to be helpful as it highlighted the pros and cons of each of the three main towns located in the Sacred Valley

 

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Photo via www.worldoftravelswithkids.com

 

 

The Best Of The Best – This is a longer list of suggestions on where to stay when visiting the Sacred Valley. Again, these are family friendly but not limited to just families. Each hotel has a fantastic little description along with it, as well as a photo!

Don’t Break The Bank – If you are a solo hiker, or even a couple looking for a quick and clean place to stay, this is a list of many hostels located in the region. With affordable prices, they might be a worthwhile option! I love that this site provides reviews of those who have visited previously so that you know what to expect from each.

Sacred Valley Hotel – recommendations from the folks at Apus Peru. These hotels have been tried and tested by people that work in the area.

 

 

 

 Where To Eat In The Sacred Valley

Looking For Food Fuel In The Sacred Valley – A fantastic travel website that breaks the restaurants down by not only area but cuisine type too! It uses a simple dollar sign to show the range of prices for each restaurant – how helpful! When clicking on each restaurant it will open a new page which has a short description, address, phone and website of each restaurant should they have one.

Ausangate Trek « why should someone do this trek? why is it special »

 

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¨Ausangate¨ or ¨Auzangate¨ is a mountain, located in the region of Ocongate, at an altitude of 6384 meters (20,945 ft), this is one of the highest mountains in the Cusco region and in fact the whole of Peru. The hike around the base of the Ausangate mountain includes  spectacular mountain scenery and highland wildlife. The Ausangate trek is becoming an increasingly popular trek, that is usually 5 days long but can be done in even 4 days).

The mountain is highly significant in Incan mythology. Every year the QollorRiti festival (Quechua for “snow star”) attracts thousands of Quechua pilgrims as well as an increasing number of tourists. It takes place one week before the Corpus Christi feast.

The region is inhabited by llama and alpaca herds, and constitutes one of the few remaining farming communities of its kind, in the world. During this hike you have to walk between lakes (each is a different color) and snow capped peaks, you can actually hear the slabs of ice as they crack, crumble, and finally crash to the waters below.

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 On the First day, you start to walk from Tinqui (the biggest town near to the Ausangate Mountain) to arrive in Upis, which is the first campsite and where it is possible to enjoy some beautiful hot springs.  On the second day, you have to climb the first pass  at 5 000 metres  to get to the Ausangate Lake for the second campsite. On the third day, you have to go to Jampa after climbing another 5000 meters pass, and if you don’t have time you could stay for the night. If you have time to continue, you can go to Pacchanta (it is possible to enjoy a dinner and a beer at the hot springs). You need to ascend  another pass at 5000 meters for this. On the fourth day, you return to Tinqui, from where you will be transported back to Cusco.

 To be honest, it is one of the most beautiful treks around Cusco, having awesome scenery every day. Compared to the Salkantay trek, it is quiet and remote during the hike, and even though it is a famous trek, you don’t have lots of tourism. In addition, the scenery is more beautiful than Salkatay in my opinion. Of course this trek is difficult, but not impossible. It will be easier to enjoy this trek with an expert guide, and all the equipment from Apus Peru .
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Apus Peru offers a number of Ausangate options!

5 day traditional Ausangate trek:

http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/ausangate_5days.html

The All new in 2016 Ausangate and Vinicunca Trek:

http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/ausangate_vinicunca_rainbowmountain.html

Also mentioned in this story is the Qollor Riti Piligrimage:

http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/qolloritty_pilgrimage_trek.html

 

2017 Peru Clean Up Trek departures

Peru Clean Up trek Departures scheduled…

Apus Peru is excited to announce the 2017 Clean Up trek Departures  have been scheduled…

We are announcing five ‘Clean Up in the Community’ treks to take place in March, April, May and June.  Please note that we offer a 25% off of our published prices for anyone wishing to participate in these scheduled group trips for up to 12 people.

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Choquequirao to Machu Picchu 9 day Trek:

(30 March – 7 April)

For Trek Details refer to this page http://www.apusperu.com/treks/choquequirao_machu_picchu.html

Places remaining:  12

 

Vinicunca the Rainbow Mountain Short Trek 2 days

(29 & 30 April)

For Trek Details refer to this page                                                                                           http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/vinicunca_rainbow_mountain2d.html

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Salkantay 5 days

(5 May – 9 May)

For trek details refer to this page                                                                                         http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/salkantay.html

3 people confirmed / 9 places remaining

 

Ausangate Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain Trek 4 days

(7 – 11 June)

A 4 day trek that includes the Rainbow mountain and then continues onto part of the Ausangate circuit and the Pacchanta hot springs – with the option to then join the QollorRiti Pilgrimage on Day5.

For trek details refer to this page                                                                              http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/ausangate_vinicunca_rainbowmountain.html

Note – The QollorRiti Pilgrimage would be subject to a 5% discount for doing a second trek, but not eligible for the Cleanup Trek Discount.

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Lares and Machu Picchu

(11 to 14 July)

For trek details refer to this page                                                                                 http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/lares_machu_picchu.html

This trek is designed to be 3 days of trekking, with a visit to Machu Picchu on the 4th day.  Then you return to Cusco to depart on the Virgen de Carmen Fiesta trip on the 15th July.

 

What is a Community Clean Up Trek/ How does it work?

In short – you do some cleaning up of the trail – and we give you a discounted trek.  All other aspects of the trek are the same! It’s a win-win – you get a discount in exchange for helping clean up the environment!

  • These tours will depart any day with 2 people, and will be according to our normal sliding scale which depends on the number of people in the group on the day of departure.
  • 25% discount across the board off the listed rates. The first four trekkers to book will be offered a free sleeping bag and walking stick!
  • No discounts, and no travel agents! ISIC discounts available.
  • You cannot combine any other discounts with this trek, eg, the trek combinations or SAE discount is not applicable.
  • Minimum 2, maximum 12.
  • BOOKINGS CLOSE 14 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. No exceptions.

Have you got your own Group of 5 plus?

We are open to suggestions from ALREADY existing groups of 5 plus people to routes and dates.  We will not be able to accommodate Clean Up Treks on dates when we are are close to booking out (or have limited staff or equipment available) or if a Clean Up Trek was recently done on the trek of your choice.

FOR ENQUIRIES: Please Contact Us

Comfort Camping On Your Peru Trek

Apus Peru Comfort Camping

What is it and why should you do it?

About five years ago, long before we heard the term “Glamping,” we at Apus Peru innovated a “Comfort Camping” option so that folks could relax in comfort after a long, hard day of trekking. We included such amenities as a real camp bed, large tents for extra comfort, and even portable hot showers to freshen up after the trek.

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Comfort Camping includes large tents for extra space.

With a dash of luxury, this new style of camping/ trek adventure is for people who want an ideal camping experience at the end of the day. It is for folks who love the idea of sleeping under the stars but who still want to indulge in those creature comforts after the large effort they have expended – in other words, they want the best of all worlds!

We at Apus Peru don’t like to overstate things – but some companies might call this “Luxury 4-Star Camping” or “Deluxe Camping”. This alternative for your Peru trip opens up camping to a wider range of people: folks who might not otherwise have the chance to experience camping in Peru will be likely to choose this option.

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Porters ascend the trail with comfort camping gear.

Comfort Camping enables you to concentrate on what is important: spending quality time with your family, friends, and loved ones. It allows your entire family to trek in comfort, and is a good choice for a multi-generational camping trip. That is not to say that you and your loved ones won’t be expending a strenuous effort during the daylight hours, as you climb Inca staircases at high altitude, and descend into verdant valleys; but at the end of the day, when everyone is likely to be hot, tired, and exhausted, the whole group will be able to relax in comfort.

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Relax in comfort after a day of climbing Inca staircases at high altitude and descending into verdant valleys.

The Comfort Camping option offers, among other things, a thicker Thermarest mattress that’s six inches off the ground, an inflatable pillow, deluxe sleeping bags, and a larger tent you can stand up and move about in. Perhaps best of all, you will be able to take a short hot shower after a day of intense physical exertion!

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Comfort Camping- Beds are up off the ground.

For more information and specific inclusions please refer to:

http://www.apus-peru.com/make-a-booking/comfort_camping.html

Many thanks to Apus Peru’s past client Patty Hinz for sharing the photos.