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Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
Trip Information Packet
Hike the Inca Trail from Cuzco, Peru to Machu Picchu with Joel Malm. Joel will lead
daily leadership devotionals on the trail. Your final day of hiking will end in Machu
Picchu, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World. The theme of the hike will be Simplify
Spend the day acclimatizing to 11,000ft altitude
PM Start hike Distance:12kms Time: 4.5 hours
Arrive at Machu Picchu Sun Gate at sunrise
The trip is open to any male age 17 or up (below 17 must be accompanied by a parent).
We encourage fathers to bring their sons over the age of 12. The hike is moderately
challenging. Anyone in good shape will be able to complete the hike successfully.
The Inca Trail is highly regulated and only a small number of people are allowed on the
trail each day. You must reserve your place early. The trail books up months in
advance. Do not procrastinate on reserving your spot. Send in your deposit and a copy
of your passport as soon as possible to secure your place on the expedition.
Total Cost: $1450 + airfare
At application submission
June 1, 2011
Optional trip costs
Upon arrival in Cuzco
By credit card online at summitleaders.org/
(a fee is charged for use of a credit card, to avoid this charge you can mail in
After online payment mail your application to the address below.
Checks should be made to COMMISSION EXPEDITIONS
With your initial payment please send a photocopy of your passport. This is
required to obtain a permit for your Inca Trail hike. Included in trip costs:
All meals and lodging In-country transportation fees All outfitting fees and entry fees to Inca Trail
Incidental expenses (water, cold drinks, etc)
Lima and Cusco airport departure fee ($40)
You must have a passport to visit Peru. In the U.S., passports are issued by the State Department. U.S. passport Information is available at http://state.gov/travelandbusiness. Info for Canadian passports can be found at http://www.ppt.gc.ca. To acquire a passport for the first time in the U.S. you will need to go to the post office in your area that provides the service. Bring your birth certificate and 2 passport pictures. Passport pictures can be taken at any Walgreens, CVS, or similar stores – most post offices also offer photo service, but it costs a little more. Normal processing time for a new passport is around 4 weeks. If you need it sooner you can pay an additional fee for expedited processing, the post office clerk will give you this option.
A visa is permission from a country to enter and travel there. The U.S. and Canada have visa agreements with Peru that allow us to simply arrive in the country and be granted access. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen please check with the Peruvian Embassy to verify visa entry requirements. http://embassyofperu.us
Although shots are not required to visit Peru you are encouraged to check with a physician or the CDC to see which vaccinations are recommended. We will be in the mountains for the climb, so it is not necessary to take malaria medication in the region of Peru we will be visiting. To find out what shots are recommended and/or necessary visit http://cdc.gov/travel.
It is a very wise decision to obtain travel insurance as many North American health insurance companies do not offer coverage abroad. You can buy travel insurance that includes coverage for medical and emergency evacuation and medical care (approx. $3 per day).
There are companies that offer insurance for periods as short as one day. One we have found particularly helpful is Good Neighbor Insurance run by the Gullison family, former missionaries who now provide travel insurance for short-term travel.
Their number is (866) 636-9100 or visit http://gninsurance.com.
Pre-Trip Information (cont’d)
You are encouraged to bring U.S. dollars in cash. We strongly discourage traveler’s cheques as they are nearly impossible to cash anywhere but at a bank and many banks won’t even accept them. Dollars are accepted almost everywhere in Peru. It is important that you bring crisp, non-faded U.S. dollars. Peruvian banks and money changers are very picky about money being in perfect condition.
ATMs are everywhere in Peru and nearly all U.S. debit cards work at ATMs in Peru. ATMs work well because they always give you the best exchange rate of the day and you can get your money in Peruvian soles (or dollars if you prefer).
If you plan to use your ATM card abroad it is very important that you let
your bank know before you leave the country. If your bank has not been advised
they will often put a lock on your account if they see withdrawals in foreign
countries thinking them to be theft or fraud. Try to use ATM’s that don’t require
you insert your card. In the event of a problem in the transaction the machine
may keep your card. This can cause major problems. When possible use a
machine that you can simply slide your card in and out in one movement.
At the time of this publication the approximate exchange rate is:
Keeping in touch
You can acquire a prepaid mobile phone in Peru for under $50. The
phone will work on almost all parts of the trail.
Upon arrival you will have access to a phone to call the United States or Canada. Another option for phone, via the internet, is http://skype.com. Skype allows you to call the U.S. for .02 cents per minute. If you call someone else who has skype it is free.
GSM phones – GSM is the system used by most of the world for mobile phone service. There are 4 GSM bands 850/900/1800/1900. You can buy a GSM chip for compatible phones that come with prepaid minutes for relatively cheap prices in most countries. For more info on GSM service coverage around the world visit gsmworld.com.
You will have access to the internet while in Cuzco. On the trail
there will be no internet access
The Inca Trail Leadership Summit will base from Cuzco, Peru. The airport code for Cuzco is CUZ. All Summit Leaders team members need to be in Cuzco, Peru by August 2, 2011. This will give one day for acclimatization prior to departure. Money Saving Tip:
It is cheaper to book flights from your U.S. departure city to Lima (LIM) and then catch a regional Peruvian airline to Cuzco. Most U.S.-Peru flights arrive in the early morning so you can catch the first flight out to Cuzco. Below are recommended airlines for regional travel in Peru:
Average airfare from Lima to Cuzco is around $150. You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements. If you would prefer Summit Leaders arrange your flights there will be a $100 service fee applied to your total cost. Once you have booked your flight please send your itinerary to the trip coordinator. [email protected]
For any questions regarding travel contact the trip coordinator Joel Malm at [email protected]
or call (210) 317-6406
you will stay in a hotel (at least 3 star rating), double-occupancy. If you
have special rooming requests please contact the trip coordinator. If you prefer
single occupancy rooms you will be asked to pay the difference in price. On the trail
you will be camping in tents provided by the expedition outfitter.
Most tents will be double occupancy. If you prefer single please advise the trip
coordinator and you will be asked to pay the difference in price.
On The Trail
Anyone in relatively good shape will be able to successfully complete the Inca Trail. It is important to remember that at times the hike will take you to altitudes above 10,000ft (3,200m). When you arrive in Cuzco you will be at 11,000ft. Please read the section on altitude and climbing below. The hike will run an average of 7-10 miles per day at altitude. The climb can be very steep in certain places. The better shape you are in the less trouble you should have with altitude. Begin physical preparation at least 3 months prior to the trip. Cardiovascular exercise is recommended, at least 30 minutes per day.
June is winter in Peru and is the dry season in the Cuzco region. Rain is unlikely, but prepare by bringing a poncho to carry in your daypack. At night the temperature will be between 28˚-35˚F (-2˚-2˚C). During the day, if cloud cover is minimal the temperature can reach 70˚F (21˚C). Pants and short-sleeved shirts can be worn. Shorts may even be comfortable during the hike.
Food will be prepared for you on the trip by expedition staff. The food will be local cuisine and may not be what you are accustomed to. The food is safe to eat and all reasonable efforts will be made to create a menu that is pleasing to everyone, but flexibility will be required from team members.
Porters will be available to carry your large bag for a small additional fee. You are welcome to carry your large backpack with you, but we recommend you contract a porter beforehand and carry a simple daypack with you during the hike. Your large bag will be available at the evening base camp. If you want to contract a porter make sure you advise the staff before hand, as deciding mid-trail will result in a higher price for the service.
Gear Packing List
Below is a list of gear we recommend you bring. Items with an asterisk can be
rented in Cuzco at a minimal cost. Required
Large Internal Frame Backpack or Large Duffle Bag (soft sided)
Water bottles (Nalgene or Camelback recommended)*
Sunscreen (weatherproof, Bullfrog recommended)
Clothes (for entire trip, washing facilities not available)
Shirts (several long-sleeved recommended)
Convertible Pants (zip-off legs for shorts)
Mountain Climbing 101
If you have never climbed a major mountain the following information is very important to
ensure that you are prepared for your climb.
Good physical health is a must when involved in a Leadership Summit. Endurance and stamina
are imperative for the success of the team. If you do not currently have a physical fitness
program for yourself you should check with your doctor and following his guidelines begin
immediately to get in shape. We recommend an intense cardio vascular workout as well as work
with weights for lower body strength. Do not procrastinate when it comes to physical fitness or
you will jeopardize your safety and likelihood of a successful trip.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
Altitude sickness (AMS) is a very real thing and no one is immune to it. Physical fitness will help
reduce your chances of getting AMS but ultimately the best way to beat AMS is through slow
acclimatization. Summit Leaders expedition guides will climb at a very slow pace in an effort to
ensure a successful climb for the entire team however, as every person is different, it is difficult to
predict how each individual’s body will react to the altitude. The following are several preemptive
measures to help you reduce your chances of sickness.
1. Drink lots of water prior to departure. In general, the average person doesn’t drink enough
water. Flying also increases dehydration rates in your body. You should double or triple your
intake of water two weeks prior to departure. While climbing it is imperative that you drink water
all the time. You should never allow yourself to become thirsty. Four to five liters of water are a
minimum amount that should be consumed per day while climbing. We will provide sufficient
water for the climb while on the mountain.
2. With your doctor’s approval begin taking one or two aspirin a day two weeks prior to your
departure. This will begin to thin your blood and help your adjustment to the altitude.
3. Acetazolamide (Diamox) is an anti-altitude sickness medication that can be acquired through a
doctor’s prescription. The medication must be taken prior to climbing. Taking Diamox after
contracting AMS symptoms will not help the situation. You must decide prior to the climb if you
are going to take the medication. Diamox has its problems, one of the most annoying is a tingling
sensation in your extremities that can become very uncomfortable and annoying while climbing.
Other side effects are ringing in the ears, nausea, frequent urination, and changes in sense of
taste. Individuals with sulfa allergies must not take it. Summit Leaders staff discourages the use
of Diamox and prefers natural forms of avoiding AMS.
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