This challenge is operated by Different Travel, ATOL 6706 for The Salvation Army, registered charity number 214779
Salkantay Inca Trail Trek & Community Project 28 September – 8 October 2013 About Peru At 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third largest country in South America and five times larger than the UK. Geographically, Peru can be split into three main regions: the Andes Mountains, the Amazonian lowlands and the Pacific coastal strip. Peru borders Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and the western strip hugs the Pacific Ocean. The country possesses an enormous biological diversity and the flora and fauna are largely determined by the Andes and the Amazon River. Peru‟s population of 28 million can be said to be bi-cultural in that there are two distinct cultural groups. The mestizo (indigenous and mixed Spanish descent) and the campesinos (rural Indian highlanders) are culturally quite different. Peru is unequalled in South America for its archaeological and historical wealth and has witnessed many key cultures and civilisations although the most well-known is the Incas, even though it was only dominant for around 100 years. The Salkantay trek challenge promises a journey into magnificent lost cities, astounding natural diversity and the opportunity to make a positive contribution to one of the world‟s poorer countries.
Machu Picchu For many visitors to South America Machu Picchu tops the list of must-see destinations. The awe inspiring Inca site is instantly recognisable throughout the world and reaching Machu Picchu at a height of 2,380m and first setting eyes on the scene is one of the most tremendous and exhilarating feelings you will ever experience. The city of Machu Picchu was hidden by the lush vegetation of this region until 1911 and is probably one of the best-preserved ancient kingdoms in the world. The quality of the buildings and their inaccessibility has inspired numerous theories about their purpose over the years.
Cusco and the Sacred Valley Cusco, once the head of the mighty Inca Empire, is one of the most fascinating and mystical cities in the world. Full of history, dramatic scenery and the host of many fiestas and carnivals, it is the gateway to world heritage listed Machu Picchu. Situated at an altitude of 3,310m it requires time to acclimatise. The city is an eclectic mix of Inca and Spanish architecture; everywhere you look are the remains of original Inca walls, doorways and arches.
Project Before starting your trek you will spend two days assisting at a community project in the Sacred Valley near Cusco. You will be involved in activities such as basic construction work, painting and decorating, gardening and refurbishment. You will camp overnight in the village that you will be assisting and you will have the opportunity to meet the local people, learn about the way of life in the area and enjoy the stunning surroundings. As a team you will make a huge difference to the community and in addition these days are very important for acclimatisation as you will be at up to 4,200m.
This challenge is operated by Different Travel, ATOL 6706 for The Salvation Army, registered charity number 214779
The Trek Set off on a 4-day trek along the „Salkantay Route‟, named by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine as one of the 25 best treks in the world. The Salkantay trail follows an ancient and remote Inca footpath where massive snowcapped mountains collide with lush tropical rain forests with its wild strawberries and multitudes of butterflies. Off the beaten path, this trek is a delightful way to experience the land of the ancient Incas, surrounded by spectacular snowy peaks, crossing high passes (up to 4600m), and with an amazing view over Machu Picchu to be enjoyed on the last day trekking. Spend the last night in Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu before exploring this magical city the following day. This trek is accompanied by local guides, cooks and horsemen and a Different Travel UK tour manager. Each day‟s trek is between 5 and 8 hours in duration (variable depending on group pace) and you will stay in tents during the trek, apart from in Aguas Calientes where you will stay at a guesthouse before taking a coach up to Machu Picchu early the following morning. The terrain will vary throughout the 4 days including some days when you will trek uphill for the majority of the day, some days through the jungle, and some days where you will trek through small villages on fairly flat terrain. Most days the terrain will be undulating with gradual ascents followed by gradual descents. Temperatures will be dependent upon the weather which may be rainy and cold or dry and sunny. You should be prepared for all weather conditions. On average the temperature will range between 5 to 15C during the day and -10C to 5C at night. This trek is graded challenging because of the combination of 4 long days of trekking over varying terrain, high altitude on some parts of the trek the fact you are camping. It is advised that you are of a good fitness level before departure to ensure fast recovery from each day‟s exertions. An ideal candidate for the trek would be someone who regularly exercises or someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone and trying something new. If you do not already regularly exercise it is crucial that you start training before departure to ensure your best chance of success on the challenge. It is possible to complete the challenge without training but it will be difficult and may hinder your experience. We require a medical form to be completed by everyone upon registering, and any pre-existing conditions, medications used and other medical issues must be noted and (if relevant) signed off by your GP. Any conditions that develop must be declared and a new medical form completed and signed. Altitude The altitude you experience on this trek is up to 4600m which is significant and as such there is a likelihood of altitude related sickness. Your guides are very experienced in spotting the signs of altitude sickness but it is important that you also do your own some research into the effects so you can be aware of how your body is adjusting. A great source of information can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Altitude-sickness/Pages/Introduction.aspx or http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/altitude.htm. Common mild symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, nausea, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep and fatigue. These generally subside after a few days, once your body acclimatises to the
This challenge is operated by Different Travel, ATOL 6706 for The Salvation Army, registered charity number 214779
altitude. It is vital that you make your guides and tour manager aware of any symptoms immediately so you can be monitored. Important info about altitude: If you begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude sickness, don't go higher until symptoms decrease. If symptoms increase, you must descend immediately. Your tour guide and tour manager‟s decision for you to descend must be respected. Different people acclimatise at different rates. You must keep aware of your own symptoms. Stay well hydrated. You need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least three litres per day from water, soup, tea, juices etc.). Urine output should be copious and clear to pale yellow. Take it easy and don't overexert yourself when you first arrive at altitude. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquillisers, sleeping pills and opiates such as codeine. These decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of symptoms. Eat a high calorie diet while at altitude. Acclimatisation is inhibited by overexertion, dehydration, and alcohol. You may wish to see your GP about Acetazolamide (Diamox) medication which, when taken prior to arrival in a high altitude area, may help you acclimatise faster and avoid altitude sickness. Please note that this medication is unlicensed prescription only medication in the UK and because it is unlicensed some GPs may not wish to prescribe it. You must have a thorough consultation with your GP about the drug, how it works and the common side effects. Upon arrival in Peru please do not take altitude medication that a fellow participant gives you – only take medication that has been prescribed to you by a medical doctor.
What is included? Trip Includes: Flights from the UK (including airline taxes & charges), all transfers & transport in Peru, accommodation in a 3* hotel in Lima and Cusco, guesthouse accommodation in Aguas Calientes, tents and sleeping mats on trek, all meals, expert English-speaking Peruvian guides on trek, horsemen and cooks, trekking permits, and a UK Different Travel tour manager who will ensure the entire trip runs smoothly. Trip Does Not Include: Personal expenses such as drinks, souvenirs, etc., any vaccinations required, travel insurance, tips (approx. £10-25 per person) and personal trekking kit.
Itinerary Day 1 (Saturday 28th September): London – Lima Depart London for Lima via the USA or a European hub. On arrival in Lima transfer to a hotel for overnight stay. Day 2 (Sunday 29th September): Lima - Cusco An early start this morning for our short flight to Cusco (3300m). On arrival you will be met by your guide and transfer to your hotel. Take it easy or enjoy some of the local sights at a gentle pace for the rest of the day as you acclimatise to the altitude. Days 3 – Day 4 (Monday 30th September – Tuesday 1st October): Cusco area Meet and work alongside the local people as you spend 2 days assisting on a local community development project. There is also plenty of time to further explore the surrounding area. You will be camping close to the project. Day 5 (Wednesday 2nd October): Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa Leave Cusco early for the drive to Mollepata (2900m), enjoying panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay enroute. After the pack horses are loaded and we are prepared, we commence our trek stopping for lunch at around midday. After lunch, we will continue hiking toward Soraypampa (3850m), arriving at our stunning campsite in the afternoon. Day 6 (Thursday 3rd October): Soraypampa – Challway Today the landscape changes drastically, from dry and arid to snowy peaks and then descending down into tropical areas. After a nutritious breakfast, we will start the most difficult part of the trek, hiking uphill almost all morning to the highest point of the trek, Abra Salkantay (4600m). Weather permitting, from here we can admire spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of Mt. Salkantay which rises to 6271 meters above sea level. After lunch we trek for approximately 3 hours on a gentle descent to arrive at our camp in Challway (2920m). Day 7 (Friday 4th October): Challway – Collpapampa – Sahuayaco Playa Trek for about 6 hours today via the small town of Collpapampa, also called the “Forest Cloudy Brow” where waterfalls, thermal hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora, and birds can be observed. From here we head to the Sahuayaco Playa campsite which is located next to a river where you can take a refreshing dip (2064m). Day 8 (Saturday 5th October): Sahuayaco Playa - Llactapata – Aguas Calientes After an early breakfast, we will ascend for around three hours to reach Llactapata (2700m) from where we can admire views of Machu Picchu from across the valley. On the way we pass coffee plantations, beautiful landscapes as well as diverse flora and fauna. After enjoying the view, we take the descending trail down to the Hidroelectrica, where we stop for lunch. After a rest we take the train to Aguas Calientes (2040m) where we check into our hotel for the night. Day 9 (Sunday 6th October): Machu Picchu – Cusco This morning we depart before sunrise to visit the ancient city of Machu Picchu. We will transfer by bus and enjoy a guided tour of the city. You will then have free time to walk around, climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain (optional and subject to availability) or hike up to the Sun Gate where you can experience spectacular views of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it. Later this afternoon we take the train to Poroy and a short transfer back to Cusco. Day 10 (Monday 7th October): Fly back to Lima this morning and spend a final afternoon exploring Lima before an overnight flight to the UK via the USA or European hubs. Day 11 (Tuesday 8th October): Arrive into London this morning.
BEFORE YOU GO: AN A-Z OF INFORMATION ON PERU A is for Arrival. Your passport should be valid for minimum 6 months after your departure from Peru. British citizens do not currently require visa to visit Peru. Upon arrival you will need to complete a white immigration card (Tarjeta Andina de Migración, Tarjeta Internacional de Embarque/Desembarque). Fill it in completely and present it at the airport together with your passport. You MUST keep this safe as you will be required to hand this to the immigration officials upon leaving Peru. Losing it will result in delays and often, a fine. Please note that if your flights transit the USA, you will need to apply for an authorisation to travel (known as ESTA) under the USA visa waiver scheme. This can be done online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ at a cost of around £10 by credit/debit card. Please print a copy of the completed ESTA form and take this with you for when you pass through USA immigration to ensure a speedy process. If you already have a valid ESTA, please ensure you update it with the flight details on this document. A is also for Altitude. Please see feature above. Most people will encounter some symptoms on arrival in Cusco and at some points during the trek. Keeping well hydrated and eating well is very important and you may find it helps to drink the local „mate de coca‟ (coca tea), which you will frequently be offered. When you arrive at a place of high altitude you should rest, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food. Altitude sickness tends to sneak up on you and its symptoms may not be apparent at first. If you start to feel unwell inform your tour escort and guide to ensure your condition can be monitored. Please see http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/altitude.htm for more information. B is for Begging. You can expect to be asked for ‘propina’ (pennies) and sweets from very persistent children (and occasionally adults) in Peru. Groups of children around the Plaza de Armas in Cusco will try to sell you postcards or finger puppets. We respectfully request that you do not give to beggars or children as it encourages reliance on tourists. Please speak to your local guide for more information on ways to give appropriately. B is also for Books/further reading. The Inca Trail Trek and Machu Picchu Trailblazer Guide (Sep 2011). ISBN 978-1905864157. £12.99 Lonely Planet Discover Peru: Country Guide (June 2011). ISBN 978-1742200026. £15.99 Rough Guide to Peru (October 2012). ISBN 978-1405389853 £15.99 B is also for Boots. You will need to wear hiking boots so please ensure you have some well in advance of departure so you can break them in properly. Make sure you try on lots of pairs before you choose some. You would be recommended to wear your boots on the plane just in case there are any problems/delays with your luggage. Comfortable boots are one of the most difficult pieces of luggage to replace/hire at short notice. B is also for Bottle. You will need a bottle for water. Ideally you will bring a CamelBak hydration system (recommended to ensure you drink plenty of fluid as you trek) but also recommended is a 1l metal Sigg bottle as a backup. The Sigg bottle can sometimes be filled with hot water at some campsites and then double up as a hot water bottle at night! C is for Communications. The country code from UK to Peru is +51 and to call the UK you will need to dial 0044 and omit the first 0 from the phone number e.g. to call 01234 567890 you would dial 00441234 567890. The country has a comprehensive mobile phone network across the country. It is thus quite likely that your mobile phone will work. Remember your charger and to switch to the international roaming option with your phone provider. Whilst in the hotel you may access the internet and e-mail and cyber cafes have sprung up in major towns and cities usually costing around US$1per hour. C is also for Clothing: The clothing you bring will need to allow for both the warmth of the days and the chill of the nights. To best achieve this you should bring non-cotton technical base layers
and use the layering system for maximum comfort. During the day you may only need a t-shirt and lightweight trekking trousers but you may need to add a long sleeved mid-layer or fleece or waterproofs, in particular when you stop for lunch and in the afternoons when the weather begins to get cooler. These layers can then be removed once it dries up/warms up again / you start moving again. Please see the packing list below for more details. D is for Day pack. Throughout the trek your daypack is your responsibility and you will be carrying your own so don‟t make it too heavy. We recommend a 25-30 litre pack with a chest strap and hip belt. It is likely to weigh around 8kgs when packed so please take this equivalent with you during your training trips. You will need to carry essentials with you as you will not have access to your main luggage during the day as it will be carried by horses/mules. Essentials include waterproofs, fleece, sun hat, sunglasses, gloves, warm hat, sun cream, water bottle, tissues/wet wipes, plastic bags/nappy sacks for used toilet paper, hand sanitizer, basic first aid kit, head torch, camera and spare memory cards and batteries. D is also for Dehydration. This is a potential problem caused by diarrhoea or vomiting, or just the exertions of the day. Daytime temperatures can rise to 20C during some sections of the trek so it is wise to consume at least 2l of bottled water to avoid the risk of dehydration with additional fluids being taken in the form of soups, hot drinks and juice. You should bring a good supply of rehydration salts such as Dioralyte with you. Also recommended are electrolyte tablets which you add to your purified drinking water to turn it into a sports drink to help prevent dehydration before it begins. It is a great addition for those people who find it difficult to drink plain water. A recommended brand is called NUUN http://www.nuun.co.uk which offers electrolyte tablets in a large range of flavours. They can be purchased in outdoors stores and online for around £6 for 12 tablets. See also W is for Water. D is also for Dietary Requirements. The majority of special diets, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc., can be catered for. Please ensure that you notify us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking or as soon as possible. D is also for Discount. Nomad Travel have kindly offered a 10% discount against any purchase of kit and equipment online or in-store and 10% discount off vaccinations at their travel clinics. Also Cotswold Outdoor are offering our clients 15% discount for use at their stores or online. Please contact us for a voucher. D is also for Departure Tax. Departure tax is now included in the cost of the international and domestic flights and is not payable separately (correct as of November 2012). E is also for Environment. The wonderful environment of the Sacred Valley region is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and number of trekkers threatens to destroy the very beauty which attracts us in the first place. We are extremely environmentally conscious and aim to minimise our impact as much as possible. Garbage disposal is a major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. We are well motivated towards ecofriendly practices and carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily disposed of at camp. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy. E is for Etiquette. Always endeavour to be polite and respectful and take your lead from the local people around you in terms of what is acceptable or not. Peru is a bicultural society where what may be culturally appropriate for the „mestizo‟ is rude or offensive to the „campesinos‟ so you need to be extra sensitive. When in public places or during project work, long shorts and a t-shirt would be fine but you should respect the preferences and cultural norms of those around you – i.e. no bikinis, hot pants, halter neck tops etc.! If you show respect then it will be reciprocated. E is also for Expenses. You will require small amounts of cash for various things throughout the trip, including tipping, drinks, snacks and other personal expenses. As a guideline, around £200 in
Peruvian Soles should be sufficient although of course it depends on how many drinks and souvenirs you wish to purchase! You can purchase soft drinks and snacks at some of the campsites, as well as occasional opportunities to pay for a warm shower. Ensure you take plenty of low denomination notes with you as change is difficult to come by. Please note that it is becoming increasingly difficult to exchange travellersâ€&#x; cheques and as such these are perhaps best avoided. There are lots of ATMs in Cusco and Lima if you wish to withdraw cash, but be aware that your bank may charge for overseas withdrawals and transactions and some banks block overseas transactions so inform your bank before departure. There are no places to withdraw cash along the trail. E is also for Electricity. Electricity is 220v 60HZ. Outlets in Peru are either two flat parallel prongs (US style) or two small round pins (European style). F is also for First Aid kit. You should have a small first aid kit of essential items which is for your own personal use. You must ensure you have access to your own first aid kit in your daypack. Suggested items to include: personal prescription medicine, Diamox (see your GP), Paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters/blister plasters, insect repellent (containing 50% DEET), anti-histamine tablets, Imodium (loperamide), rehydration sachets, lip balm with SPF, antiseptic cream, Strepsils, tiger balm/Deep Heat, zinc oxide tape etc. F is for Food. On this trip we provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. The food is plentiful and delicious based on a combination of Peruvian and European dishes. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. Local fruit may be available for purchase along the trail. G is for Gloves. It can get very cold during the trek days and keeping your hands warm will help keep your entire body warm. Windproof and ideally waterproof gloves are recommended. F is also for Fitness. This tour is graded challenging so a good general level of fitness is required. Please note that most of the trail involves ascending and descending uneven terrain and this can be very tiring particularly in conjunction with the altitude. It is very important that you start a programme of training before your departure including walking and cardiovascular workouts to improve both your stamina and your ability to walk up and down gradients. This is not an â€žeasyâ€&#x; trek or comparable to trekking in the UK, so adequate fitness preparations must be made prior to arrival. Training tips will be provided upon booking. DTC has the right to refuse anyone who they feel is not fit enough for the challenge. H is for Haggling. When purchasing items from markets and shops where prices are not listed you are expected to haggle. Please do so with respect, and pay a fair price. H is also for Head Torch. This is essential for finding your way to the toilet at night or reading in the evenings etc. The Petzl Tikka headlamp is an example of a very high quality head torch but there are some very good inexpensive head torches available if you shop around. Please ensure you take an LED torch, as ones with bulbs are not bright enough, and bring some spare batteries. H is also for Health. Different Travel regrets that we cannot provide medical advice on recommendations on vaccinations you should have. You MUST see your own GP or travel health professional for a personalised medical assessment. Please note that failure to be adequately vaccinated and protected against diseases can sometimes invalidate travel insurance policies as it is considered that you have not taken necessary precautions. You are advised to seek medical advice at least 8 weeks before travelling to ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. If your GP does not specialise in travel vaccinations, please contact the Nomad Travel Health Clinic. Different Travel and Nomad have teamed up to offer you a 10% discount on kit and vaccinations (discount code given on booking). For general information on vaccinations, visit http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk but your GP or travel health professional should be the first stop for an in depth consultation tailored to your medical history.
Altitude sickness medication (Diamox) may be prescribed by some GPs but it is unlicensed and a thorough consultation should be sought. Never take medication given to you by other climbers or your teammates as you cannot be sure if you will have an adverse reaction to it, or how well the tablets have been kept. Only take medication prescribed by your own GP so ensure you leave plenty of time before departure (6 months - 8 weeks) to arrange an appointment. H is also for Hygiene. During the trek, there will be limited bathing facilities available including one campsite where a warm shower is available at a fee (correct as of November 2012). There may also be an opportunity to bathe in local rivers, currents/conditions permitting. On the final night of the trek you will stay in a guesthouse with shower facilities. You are advised to bring a large pack of baby wipes for when bathing is not available and use natural, biodegradable soap/shampoo so as not to contaminate the ground, or nearby water sources which may be used for irrigation or consumption. Lush products are particularly good. I is for Insurance. Different Travel will do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, certain risks are involved and should be recognised by participants. Thus, the purchase of short-term travel insurance for our expeditions, such as a policy from Campbell Irvine, is mandatory. Travel Insurance is a cost effective way to protect yourself and your equipment in the event of problems due to cancelled trips, delays, medical problems, baggage loss or damage. Please ensure that your policy covers emergency helicopter airlifting/evacuation as well as trekking at altitudes up to 5554m. http://www.campbellirvine.com/asp/quotationChooseSTMT.asp?aid=111 Please note most travel insurance policies protect you before departure too so it is advised to buy insurance as close to booking as possible to protect the loss of your registration fee as a result of cancellation due to injury, illness etc. K is for Kit bag. You will need a trek kit bag which will be carried by mules. This will contain your entire luggage for the trek including your sleeping bag. It must be strong, light and waterproof. The North Face Base Camp duffle bag is an example of a decent kit bag but please shop around as there are many available in outdoors stores. It is handy to bring lots of various size plastic bags to put particular items inside (such as your sleeping bag) in case of poor weather. The weight limit for the bag and its contents is 8kg per person so please check the weight of your trek kit before departure to ensure you do not exceed this. You will also need a day pack (see above). Luggage you do not need for the trek can be left at the hotel in Cusco in your suitcase. K is also for Kit hire. Sleeping bags, hiking poles and other kit may be available for hire in Peru. Please contact us for details. L is for Language. The main languages of Peru are Spanish and Quechua (the preferred indigenous language of the Highland areas). You could also consider taking up a short Spanish language course before your trip. Here are a few useful phrases & numbers in Spanish: Hola, como esta/estas? – Hello, how are you? 1 – uno Muy bien gracias - I'm fine 2 – dos Por favor - Please 3 – tres Bueno - Good 4 – cuatro Permiso - Excuse me 5 – cinco Gracias- Thank you 6 – seis Adios - Goodbye 7 – siete Si - Yes 8 – ocho No – No 9 – nueve Lo siento - I am sorry 10 – diez L is also for Laundry. Laundry facilities are available at the hotel in Cusco and charged by weight. L is also for Luggage. You will need the following 3 luggage items. 1. A small daypack at around 25-30 litres which you will carry yourself during the trek. This should
have a hip belt and chest strap for optimal comfort. 2. A suitcase/large rucksack to hold your entire luggage for when you check in on the airline. 3. A waterproof kit bag to hold your trek luggage which is carried by the porters. It would also be worth taking some combination padlocks to secure your luggage. Any luggage not required for the trek can be left securely at the hotel in Cusco. See D is for Daypack and K is for Kit bag. M is for Money. The unit of currency is the Nuevo Sol (plural – soles) which is divided up into 100 centimos (cents). Try to break down notes wherever possible as there always seems to be a shortage of smaller denominations. ATM machines are generally available and dispense both Soles and US Dollars. Traveller‟s cheques are not easy to cash and are best avoided. You can purchase Soles from bureaux de changes in the UK. You are suggested to order this in advance and request low denomination notes. See also E is for Expenses. N is for Nibbles. High energy snacks, chocolate and sweets are essential during your trek. Dried fruit, nuts – especially walnuts and almonds, Kendal mint cake, bananas, popcorn, energy bars such as Mulebar, Clif bars, etc. P is for Photocopies. Remember to leave a photocopy of all your documents (insurance details, flight numbers, passport, credit/debit cards etc.) with a reliable person in the UK. Should you lose anything you can make a call to retrieve your information. It is also recommended to scan these documents and email them to yourself too. P is also for Photography. When taking photographs of the local people, it would be wisest to ask their permission. Taking a photograph of someone without their permission, especially in rural areas, can cause offence. Older people, particularly ladies prefer not to be photographed but in contrast young children are often very keen to be photographed. P is also for Porters and horsemen. On the Salkantay trek, porters are replaced by mules and horses to carry luggage. The animals are well looked after and will go ahead of the group to meet you at camp. P is also for Poverty. It is important not to underestimate the psychological impact of viewing poverty, and a sense of helplessness and guilt that often comes from it. Some people respond to such sights by feeling they must do everything they can to help everyone they can. The risk with this is that it leads to disappointment and disillusionment as no one person can do everything. The secret is to recognise the signs (raised levels of stress, feeling emotional, guilty, frustrated and angry), and to set realistic goals about what you can and cannot do. We also recommend that you avoid acting on impulse – especially when it comes to giving away money. People may seem genuine, but very many people still regard tourists as „cash cows‟ and act dishonestly and unethically. We respectfully request that you do not hand money to beggars. R is for Religion. The Inca religion was displaced by Roman Catholicism from the 16th century onwards. Today the official statistics are that around 93% of the population is Catholic. In reality for the majority religious life means a mixture of Catholic beliefs and indigenous beliefs based on animism and deity worship. S is for Safety. Peru recognises that tourism plays an important part in its developing economy and has taken great steps in the last few years to change its poor security record. You'll find a lot more police, especially plain clothed officers, in the towns and cities most frequently visited by tourists. Although assaults are rare, petty theft can be prevalent. What Peruvian thieves are expert at, however, is making the most of a good opportunity – a moment‟s lapse in a tourist's concentration is their business. Long bus trips, crowded streets and packed trains are all their territory. So the message is – be alert and exercise common sense.
S is for Sleeping bag. You will be staying in tents during the trek and it will be very cold at night at the higher altitude campsites. You will need a “5 season” sleeping bag which has a comfort rating of at least -10C. It is important that you check that the degrees rating for your sleeping bag is COMFORT and not EXTREME. The difference between the two is that the comfort rating is the temperature at which a person in good health, having eaten a hot meal and sleeping in a sheltered environment will feel comfortable. The extreme rating is the temperature at which a person in good health, having eaten and sleeping in a sheltered place will survive. Please contact us for more advice. S is also for Sleeping bag liner. A silk or thermal sleeping bag liner is also highly recommended as it adds an extra layer of insulation to your sleeping bag but also helps to keep it clean from sweat and dirt. You sweat around 300ml in a sleeping bag each night and without a liner this will absorb into your sleeping bag and will get very smelly. It is also handy to have if you get too hot and night and unzip your sleeping bag but want to be covered by something. S is also for Sleeping mat. A foam sleeping pad is provided but you may wish to bring your own. An inflatable „Thermarest‟ style mat is recommended if you wish to bring your own mat. S is also for Socks. It is important that the socks you choose are of good quality, non-cotton and will not slip down or sag in your boots which is one of the main causes of blisters. During your trek you will be wearing your breathable, waterproof boots and so you should wear socks to compliment these. Cotton socks absorb sweat and hinder its evaporation, making them damp and therefore likely to rub against your feet, causing blisters. Socks containing Coolmax (a brand of polyester), nylon, or Merino wool all have wicking properties. This means that instead of the fabric absorbing sweat, it pulls it away from the skin for it to evaporate. Socks like this compliment the breathability of your boots, and your feet will stay cool and you will avoid blisters. Liner socks are also a worthwhile consideration. S is for Sunglasses. These are important as they will protect your eyes from the sun which can be very bright during some areas on the trek as it reflects off the snowcapped mountains. Polarized sunglasses are best but 100% UV protection is fine and taking a spare pair is recommended. T is also for Tickets (or e-tickets). These will be sent to you 2 weeks before departure. T is for Tipping. While tipping is not mandatory it is expected and greatly appreciated. A suggested guideline of tips for your guide/porters is £10-25 plus tips for the driver or anyone else you feel has provided a good service and you wish to tip. T is also for Toilets. During the trek there are no flushable toilet facilities. Toilets will consist of a hole dug in the ground with a tent erected over the hole for privacy. You will need to bring your own toilet paper (one roll per person) as this is not provided. Please do not dispose of toilet paper on the trails; you must put it in a sanitary disposal bag or nappy sack and dispose of it properly at camp. T is also for Towel. During the trek there may be the opportunity to bathe, and in Aguas Calientes you may wish to visit the thermal baths. In this event, you will need a towel to dry yourself. A highly absorbent but lightweight and fast drying trek towel such as http://www.nomadtravel.co.uk/catalog/view/travelproof-luxury-travel-towel-large is recommended. W is also for Water. Bottled water is not provided for you on this trek but at some of the campsites you can purchase bottled mineral water. Boiled water will be provided for you which you are recommended to purify as all tap water on this trip is undrinkable (this includes the tap water at the hotel). You must not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth or drink the tap water, only use bottled or purified water. A highly recommended purification is „Biox Aqua‟ tablets which contains
chlorine dioxide. This kills 99.9% of all known bacteria plus cysts such as cryptosporidium and giardia and doesnâ€&#x;t leave water tasting of chemicals. W is also for Weather. Peruâ€&#x;s climate varies with its topography and altitude. During the trek there may be some rain, but it could also be bright and sunny. Daytime temperatures could rise to 25C in the bright sunshine and during the jungle sections of the trek, or drop to 0C in the higher altitude regions of the first few days. Night time temperatures will range from 10C to -15C depending on the altitude. Z is for Zinc Oxide tape. When your boots start to rub against your feet, you can apply zinc oxide tape to the hot spot to stop a blister developing. Prevention is better than cure! All information correct at the time of writing (Nov 2012).
Packing List Clothing Hiking boots
Essentials E-tickets + pre-departure info
Trainers for camp (optional)
Passport & copy
Video camera + charger
Trek socks (e.g. Bridgedale)
Insurance policy information
Spare batteries / chargers
Pen for immigration forms
Mobile phone + charger
Trek trousers x2
Cash (Soles) / ATM cards
Thermal base layer trousers & top
Sunglasses (preferably polarized) Adaptor - two flat pins (USA) and two round pins (European)
Non-cotton t-shirt Non-cotton long sleeved base layers Warm fleece
LED head torch + spare batteries Luggage
Waterproof jacket + trousers
Books/playing cards Plastic bags (including nappy bags for used toilet paper)
Lightweight warm jacket
Camera + spare batteries
Trek kit bag (carried by mules)
Suitcase for checked luggage
Poncho (can be bought locally)
Daypack (30-35 litres)
Small combination padlocks
First Aid Kit
Gloves Old clothes + work gloves for project
Altitude medicine (see your GP)
Shampoo / conditioner
50% DEET insect repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol Plasters & blister plasters e.g. Compeed
Energy snacks 2 litre hydration system (e.g. CamelBak)
Backup 1l bottle (e.g. Sigg)
Muscle rub (tiger balm/Deep Heat)
Sun cream (high SPF)
Water purification (e.g. Biox Aqua)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. NUUN)
Antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon)
Small travel towel
Indigestion remedy (e.g. Gaviscon)
Feminine care products
Eating and drinking
Shower gel/ shave kit / loofah
Lip balm with SPF protection Scissors/tweezers
Eye mask / Ear plugs
Throat lozenges (e.g. Strepsils)
Sleeping bag (comfort -10C)
Zinc oxide tape (optional)
Sleeping bag liner (silk or thermal)
Spare glasses/contact lenses
This list is not exhaustive and does not account for your own personal preferences; please use this as a guideline only. If there are any questions or queries regarding the items on this list, please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the items on the packing list Foot/leg wear Hiking boots: Hiking boots are essential. The important part is that you have good foot and ankle support and comfortable soles and well broken in footwear! Boots with Vibram soles are a good choice. Do not bring boots you have never worn before. You should wear your boots on the plane to avoid them getting lost or delayed if there is a problem with your luggage. Trainers: good for evenings at camp and during your time at the project. Socks: Non-cotton socks (e.g. Smart wool or Bridgedale) are advised as they provide comfort and minimal movement. When wet, cotton socks can cause blistering more quickly than wool or synthetic. Trekking trousers/pants: 2 lightweight pairs, ideally convertible to allow for a variety of weather conditions. One on, one spare in case the others get wet. Waterproof trousers: keeps your trousers dry in the rain and can protect you from the wind Base layer trousers (Long johns): As you ascend, the temperatures will reduce, particularly at night; base layer trousers are wicking and breathable and will help keep you dry and warm. Body wear Base layer tops (long sleeve): it is essential that these are non-cotton, wicking and breathable to keep you comfortable and dry. Technical layers dry very fast when wet/sweaty. If you choose cotton, it will absorb sweat and get heavy and cold, and because it dries very slowly it will reduce your body temperature leading to the risk of hypothermia. Breathable T-shirts: 2 t-shirts is plenty for the trek. Choose synthetic technical t-shirts for the reason above. Fleece jacket and mid layer: 1 lightweight fleece and a mid-layer will keep you warm in the evenings and can be used to layer during the days if the temperature drops. Windproof/waterproof jacket: Fairly long length with a hood Lightweight warm jacket: This could be a thicker windproof fleece or a lightly padded thin jacket (e.g. Primaloft) which you can use to keep warm in the evenings after hiking. The most important thing to remember is to dress in the layering system for comfort and safety (non-cotton base layer, warm layer and waterproof). Miscellaneous Sunhat or cap: to prevent sunburn and reduce the sunâ€&#x;s glare Warm hat: It can be very cold in the mountains. Sunglasses: preferably polarised to reduce glare from any snow still on the mountains Daypack: around 25-35 litres capacity with a hip belt and chest strap. It is wise to try some on to feel which fit best â€“ there are ladies fit daypacks and standard fit so please ask store staff for details. Torch / Flashlight and batteries: LED head torches are extremely useful and wind up LED torches are very cheap and effective as a backup. Small Towel: an ultra-absorbent travel towel may be useful if you bathe in the river/pools on the trek. TravelProof Travel Towel is recommended. Trekking poles: They are useful for reducing pressure on your knees during long ascents and descents. Sleeping bag: The comfort rating is not the same as the extreme rating. The extreme rating shows you the temperature that the sleeping bag will keep you alive at, the comfort rating will show you the temperature you will sleep comfortably at. Cheap sleeping bags usually use the extreme rating. Check this carefully. The Snugpak Softie Winter has a comfort rating of -10C which would be suitable for most people. Please contact us for more recommendations.