True Mountain Travellers

Traveling is one of those things that naturally gives rise to queries, concerns and doubts, so we’re here to put your mind at ease. Which trip is right for me and family? do I need visa to enter Peru? How much do I tip in my tour? Should I need to take my own cutlery, plates for hike? For questions frequent and otherwise. Do not hesitate to email us, it will be an honor to help and recommend you, due your interests.

Our goal is that all travelers should love Peru, without inconvenience due to lack true information while traveling to Machu Picchu.

Below you can see some questions that travelers generally ask.

General Questions

Peru’s weather varies depending on where you will go.
On the coast it’s usually quite hot although during the winter (April-August) it get chilly during early mornings and at night.
In the mountains there are two main seasons – wet and dry. The wet season runs from November to April and it rain but usually warmer overall. The dry season runs from May to October and has hot clear days but cold during nights.
The only one thing you can say about the weather in Peru is that it’s difficult to accurately predict. You can beautifully clear hot days in the middle of the rain season and hail storms in the dry season – it’s one of the beauties of Andes Peru.

You should always consult about it your local travel clinic regarding vaccines. In general the regular vaccines such as Tetanus, Diptheria, Polio etc is recommended. If you are traveling the low-land rainforest-jungle then Yellow Fever is recommended.

There is no low season for Machu Picchu, so the Inkan ruins could always be crowded. Best time to visit could be early in the morning before the huge crowds come, but there is no real way to avoid other travelers.  The Inka citadel is a huge area, with lots of terraces. Good running shoes or hiking boots are preferred for your excursion.  If you are doing 1 of the extra hikes, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountaña, hiking boots with good traction will be better.

Please remember that you’ll need your original passport to get inside the Machu Picchu. No large bags are allowed in the park max 25 lt., so you will need to leave them at your hotel, or check them at the front gate. The park rangers are diligent about the rules, please make sure to be courteous and respectful.

Many people are surprised to learn that the Machu Picchu mountains falls within a subtropical climate category. It’s filled with orchids, bromeliads and some pesky insects. Also known as the Cloud Forest, Machu Picchu is surrounded by higher andes mountain peaks, frequently shrouded in mist. This is perhaps one of the reasons that the Spanish never found it. It is considerably lower altitude (hotter and more humid) than Cusco and many of the other areas.

The weather changes very often in Machu Picchu. Typically, during the dry season (April-November) the early mornings are foggy, and could be chilly. In the late mornings, the clouds clear up and the sun comes out, so it can get quite very hot. Layers that it’s easy to peel off or add on, are best. Sun hat, suncream, insect repellent are essentials. However, please keep in mind that sometimes there is still raining in June and sunshine in December. A rain jacket is highly recommended, no matter what season you travel. When it rains, the ancient stones can become slippery, so having shoes with a good tread is helpful, and perhaps, a rubber-tipped walking poles.

The wet season is from mid-November to mid-April, with February being the rainiest month. The Inca Trail is closed in February, although the Machu Picchu Inka site are still open.

Of course, weather is unpredictable. No matter what month you are visiting Machu Picchu, please remember to take with you rain gear, including a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves.

Cusco region is located in the southeast site of Peru, and has one of the highest elevations of all the cities in South America (3,400 m/11,200 ft). The city has a lot tourist destinations to offer, including historical sites, museums, restaurants, a great nightlife and shops. Cusco is full of cobblestone streets, so good walking shoes will be helpful. You can easily walk from place to other, but taxis are plentiful and safe. The airport is only a 10 minute drive from the Cusco main square.

Cusco is also surrounded by the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which is a little lower in altitude than Cusco city and beautiful. Some travelers prefer to head down to the sacred valley first, to slowly adjust to the altitude. The valley has a lot of beautiful inca sites to visit, including Pisaq, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Maras/salt mines, Moray, Tipon and many others

Cusco also has two seasons – the dry season and the wet season. The dry season is from May through September and the rain season is from October through April. The weather on the Cusco area is not predictable, so we have experienced raining days during our dry season and sunshine during the rain season. Be prepared for all type of this weather.

The temperature doesn’t vary a lot of throughout the year. the days can usually be between 15-20 degrees Celsius (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit). However, once the sun goes down, it’s cold temperature, because of the decrease in oxygen levels at this high altitude. You will need a warm jacket for the evenings in the Cusco city because it’ll fall to 1-5 degrees Celsius (35 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you are heading down within the Sacred Valley directly from the Cusco airport, expect warmer temperatures on both ends (about 10 degrees warmer).

NOTE: Please do not go by what you read on weather-predicting websites regarding rain in Cusco. Cusco is also the name of the entire municipality, including all of Sacred Valley area, which includes many micro-climates. Those places are never correct for the area. The region is too big and there are a lot of weather changes. Be prepared for anything!

We’re proud to say that the only complaints we get about our food is that there is very much of it. Many people comment that the food they eat on the hikes to Machu Picchu is the best they get whilst in Peru.

A sample menu is as follows:

Breakfast – Porridge, toast, butter, jam, pancakes, fruit salad, yogurt with hot chocolate, coffee and a variety of teas.

Snack – Every day you are provided with a snack to eat whilst trekking, this is usually something like a power bar + fruit or biscuits + fruit.

Lunch – Soup + a main course ranging from Lomo Saltado, Causa Rellena, Trout, Spaghetti Bolagnese etc. served with rice and garlic bread

Happy Hour – Every afternoon around 5pm we serve hot chocolate, tea, popcorn, biscuits, bread and jam, etc.

Dinner – See the main courses served at lunch.

All of our treks (the Inka Trail, Lares trek, Salkantay, Ausangate etc.) are moderately difficult, long and mountainous. We highly recommend that you are relatively fit and acclimated to altitude (a minimum of 2 days at altitude) before undertaking them.  During the months (or at the very least, one month) before your trek, you should take regular, moderate exercise.  Our goal is you have an amazing experience and the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the hikes will be.

Please check it out the booking page for more information!

We will your deposit (Non-refundable) to pay official fees when making your official reservation. For example, we need to pay travelers and porters entrance fees and taxes (18%). We also use it to secure cooks, porters and horses for our different tours.

Deposits can be paid using those methods provided below. Bank transfers are not recommended as they can take up to three working days to clear! Final balances for hikes need to be paid in cash (US$) in our office in Cusco 48 hours prior to your tour.

Deposits for tours – treks could be paid using any of the methods below.

Final balances for treks can be paid via PayPal – up to 1 week prior to trek departure. Final balances for treks must be paid 48 hours prior to departure at the latest. If it is’t paid within this timeframe, we reserve the right to cancel the tour. Payment should be made in cash at our office.

Please contact with the travel operator at least 48 hours prior to your trek to meet, finalize details, pay your balance and organize the pre-trek talk.

Trekking packing list

  • Passport (must be the one you used to book with us)
  • Valid Green ISIC Card if you booked as students
  • Day pack (max 25L, or you’ll need to check it for the Machu Picchu tour)
  • Water Storage: Camel back or bottles (recommended 2 to 3 liters of water storage)
  • Waterproof, lightweight hiking boots
  • Sleeping bag (-10 degrees celsius) – optional to rent from us
  • Headlamps
  • 3-4 quick dry t-shirts
  • 1-2 long sleeve layers
  • 2 hiking/yoga pants
  • Fresh undergarments for each day
  • Fleece
  • Warm jacket for nights
  • Comfortable shoes for the camping site
  • Rain gears with pants
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries: Toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand wipes, hand sanitizer, sunblock, chapstick
  • Bug spray
  • First Aid: band aids, mole skin, Diamox, Tylenol, any medications
  • Camera with extra batteries

True mountain traveler provides student discounts $30 with a valid ISIC card. Please let us know at the time of booking that you have this card and send us a scanned copy for our records. University cards are not accepted.

Tips for guides, cook and porters are not included in the price of the trek. Rather, it’s something extra to present to your staff after you experience a special time on the Tour. However, you must be aware that the tips are not mandatory.

You will only have access to your duffel bags at breakfast and dinner time at the camping site. This is due to facilitate the work of the porters and they can leave faster than other groups.

After catching a bus down to Aguas Calientes, trekkers will take a two hour train ride along the Sacred Valley of the incas, and arrive to Ollantaytambo. From there, an TMT bus will be waiting to take traveler on the the two hour trip back to Cusco city. The group will return to Cusco between 7 and 11 p.m., depending on what time the train leaves Aguas Calientes according how early you booked.

Huayna Picchu is the mountain located directly behind the site of Machu Picchu. It is approximately 300 meters high from Machu Picchu Inca ruins, and it takes about 2 hours to hike up and down. It is recommended to plan for 45 minutes to reach the the top, 15 minutes to enjoy the view, and another 30 minutes to descend. You need to book in advance to climb. The tickets are $75, per person, but only 400 people can climb it per day. The 400 tickets are divided in two groups: 200 hikers are allowed to start early 7 am, and 200 more hikers can being at 10 a.m. For both start time tickets are according when was booked and your guide will give you at the Check Point. Please speak with your tour guide the night before you arrive to Machu Picchu, if you booked for this optional hike.

You will have about 2 hour guided tour of the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu. After the tour ends, you will have approximately other 2 additional hours to explore the ruins again on your own.

If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can either e-mail us, or contact us through phone. Please see the Contact Us page on our website for more information.

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