The Inca Trail can be hiked yearly round although the months of April till October are probably more comfortable since the weather is drier. June, July and August is in the high season when the Inca trail can become fully booked so, be sure to make the Inca trail reservations in advance. The 4-day Inca Trail is closed each year during the month of February to allow conservation work to take place. The months of January and March are in the wet season so hiking the trail can be a little miserable unless you have a good rain jacket and waterproof tent.
If you are searching in the web for information about the 4-day Inca Trail, you’ll find hundreds of tour companies offering this popular trek amongst their services. Many of these companies are acting only as agents for the relatively few specialist trekking companies that actually operate the trek. Prices for the 4-day Inca trail to Machu Picchu start at $440 USD per person for a basic service (including entrance fees and return on train) and can climb any where up to $1,000 depending on the service and how comfortable you want to be. Purchasing the trek directly with a local tour operator in Cusco can often be less than half the price of buying the trek in your own country through an agent.
Cusco is located in the southern mountain range of Peru at 3,400 meters above sea level; Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire from XII to XVI century. Cusco is one of the most visited cities as it is the largest and most comfortable city from which tourists can begin to visit Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and the trek the Inca trail. Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst.
The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro’s men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca.
Cusco, is located in southeastern Peru, its elevation is around 3,400 masl (11,200 ft). Cusco was the site of the historic capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a word heritage site in 1983 by UNESCO. It is a major tourist destination and receives almost 2 million visitors a year. It is designated as the Historical Capital of Peru. Many believe that the city of Cusco was planned as an effigy in the shape of a secred animal – PUMA. Under the Incas, the city had two sectors: the urin and hanan. Each was further divided to encompass two of the four provinces, the center of which was city of Cusco. A road led from each of these quarters to the corresponding quarter of the Empire. Each local leader was required to build a house in the city and live part of the year in Cusco, but only in the quarter that corresponded to the quarter of the empire in which he had territory. After the rule of Pachacuty, when an Inca died, his title went to one son and his property was given to a corporation controlled by his other relatives.
Health and Vaccination:
Before traveling to Peru, especially if you want to go to the jungle, you must get a yellow fever vaccination, obtain adequate health insurance and consult your doctor about the necessary immunization regions in the Peruvian jungle. In Manu, Tambopata, Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado area you should consider taking anti-malarial pills and a yellow fever shot is mandatory. Again, consult your personal physician. Cholera vaccinations are not necessary. Most cities have doctors who speak English and other European languages. There are also, many private clinics. Before your arrival, «SUNRISE PERU TREK» needs to know about any medical restrictions or medications you may need. Travelers with bad heart conditions, respiratory problems or high blood pressure must consult their doctors before traveling, as the city of Cusco is situated at an altitude over 3,400 meters above sea level. We recommend that each traveller bring their own basic medical kit.
Drinking tap water is not advisable in Peru. Bottled water is that you must use to drink. Water is available in most hotels and stores all over Peru. 3-4 liters of water per day is enough to avoid dehydration which can be a real problem in high altitudes like Cusco. Other ways you can avoid parasites is to boil and/or filter water or add purification tablets.
Currency and credit cards:
In 1991, the Peruvian government introduced the «Nuevo Sol», divided in 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and S/.10, 20, 50,100 and 200 banknotes or bills. US dollars are welcome at most shops, restaurants and service stations at the current exchange rate.
Most Shops and stores accept the most common credit cards, including Visa, Master card, Diners and American Express.
ATM cards can now be used in city locations: airports, bank machines and shopping centers. The main banking systems are: visa/plus, MasterCard/cirrus.
It’s possible to obtain local currency Nuevos Soles (sometimes dollars) with your card. Don’t forget, if there’s always a small service charge when you use credit and ATM cards. The use of traveller’s checks is welcome. When using a credit card makes sure you are charged the right amount for your purchase. In case of lost or stolen cards, don’t forget to have the telephone number of the bank in order to cancel your card.
Changing money on the street is very common but risky. Banks or «casas de cambio» are a better choice.
Important note: Old or damaged US bills (i.e. a very slight tear) either won’t be accepted or will be exchanged at lower rates. When exchanging cash be sure to have crisp, new bills. Bring bills of various denominations.
The price of food and services is included in a 18% national tax (airline tickets, included). In almost all restaurants, there is a 10% service charge. However, when in doubt consult your guide. Tax for international flights is $25 and $4.50 for domestic flights, which you will need to pay in cash at the airport.