The sustainable Tourism is very important policy for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to protect the ecology and its biodiversity
Inca Trail Sustainable Tourism is informative, supports the integrity, benefits the residents, conserves the resources; respects the culture and tradition; It means great trips. Satisfied one of the highly sectors contributing hugely in the economic development. Tourism does not only refer to the movement or travel of people from one place to another or one country to another or within or outside of one particular country alone; but now it includes whole range of activities such as lodging, footing, accommodation, transportation, including entertainment and other services involving in the travel. Tourism in Peru is one of the highly sectors contributing hugely in the economic development. Being a labor intensive service, tourism industry has been one of the major sources of employment and to some extent has been helping to reduce poverty level in the country.
The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu runs through a tiny mountainous region, but blessed with natural beauties. The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is popularly known for the picturesque mountain scenery. The Inca Trail has much more to offer, from steamy jungles to cultural heritages, historical and religious sites so as enormous amazing extremes.
«Sunrise Peru Trek», since his foundation has been concerned for the right use of the natural resources and the protection of the ecology, training his employees to promote sustainable tourism in the region.We support the regulation program at Machu Picchu Inca Sanctuary which helps to preserve the site; we were the first company to support the porter’s law under the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu regulation program; This program placed restrictions of the maximum weight, now a porter is allowed to carry 20 kilos before it was 50 kilos or more; Also this program considered a minimum salary increasing the pay to porters and insuring, as well assuring that they are provided with warm clothes, proper equipment and enough food.
For the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, We only allow a maximum of 12 people in a tour to assure your comfort and safety. We offer 1 licensed and highly recommended bilingual official tour guide for tours under 8 people (2 guides for tours with over 8 people) plus 1 chef, 1 chef assistant, and 1.5 porter for every tourist.
At «Sunrise Peru Trek», we offer attractive tours with affordable prices offering you a team of professionals in the field of leading travellers throughout all of Peru.
Thousands of people make the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu each year. They naturally complete the 45km mountainous trail in 4 days and 3 nights. For many, the experience is a trip of a lifetime and the fulfillment of a personal ambition. The satisfaction of having completed the trek and arriving at the spectacular Inca ruins of Machu Picchu is hard to beat. However, the feeling is even better if you know that all the porters helping you along the way have been well looked after and treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
Now that most trekkers on the Inca Trail take a trek organized by a local tour operator, the camping equipment (tents, dining tent, kitchen tent, tables, chairs, stove, gas bottle and food) is carried on the backs of human porters. Pack animals such as horses, mules and llamas are now banned from the trail. The prices that tour operators charge for this 4-day trek can vary considerably as can the rates of porter pay and conditions provided by each company. However, trying to find out if a company looks after its porters can be quite difficult. Often tour companies are not completely honest about the wages that they say that they pay their porters and real facts are difficult to verify. If you ask a porter how much he gets paid then very rarely you will get a straight answer.
How can you help?.- Inca Trail Sustainable Tourism
1. Book your trip with a responsible company / tour operator.
Currently, none of the trekking companies are perfect and there is still a lot of room for improvement. However, if you pay less than 480 USD for the Inca Trail, porter well-being is probably not a priority in the concerns of the company.
When booking with a company, you should ask how porters are treated saying this is important to you. Legal salary, decent meals and warm and dry environment.
2. Hiring a porter
Hiring a porter will make your trip more enjoyable, giving you time to enjoy the scenery instead of looking for your boots! People are also being given a job they really love and need to work.
3. Interacting with your porters
Talk to your porters, learning about their traditions and peoples. Share coca leaves with them. Even encourage them to sing some of their local songs. Most porters suffer from low self-esteem and shyness, so the first step is not to expect them to talk to you first.
The Peruvian government can be praised for introducing a new law in 2002 indicating that a porter must receive a minimum salary of 42 soles per day (about $15 USD). It can be said that only a few companies actually pay this salary; unfortunately, most companies have chosen to disregard this law and 30 soles seems to be the average salary companies pay their porters while some companies continue to pay salaries as low as 20 soles per day.
The maximum weight a porter can carry on the Inca Trail is limited to 20 kg. This includes his personal 5 kg. Each porter is weighed at the beginning of the route and then again at Wayllabamba at the start of the second day. This regulation was introduced in 2002 and has been strictly applied. Companies infringing this law receive penalties and risk losing their licenses. However, as with most regulations, many companies go to great efforts not to meet them.
Meals and sleeping conditions
The biggest difference between a responsible and an irresponsible society is how they care for their porters along the journey. Many porters are given very little to eat on the way. They have to wait and see how much the tourists have eaten so they can divide the leftovers among them accordingly. This leaves a lot of porters hungry and tired. In general, porters sleep together in the group diner and cooking tents.
The Quechua race has a history of being oppressed, first by the Incas, then by the Spaniards and then by the land owners. Only in relatively recent reforms have the Quechua people started to own their own land. Due to their long history of being dominated by others, many of them have low self-esteem. It’s important that you try to get involved with the porters in your group along the Inca Trail. Take some coca leaves to share with them and try to learn a couple of basic words in Quechua (the guide will be pleased to help you). Many of the porters have amazing stories to tell about the traditions and life in their villages. At the end of the journey, don’t forget to show you appreciate their work and value their contribution to the trek, by thanking them verbally and giving them a tip.
How much should I tip?
Tips for the guide and the chefk, it depends on the quality of the service you received and they are your decision. However, even when you think the food was horrible and the guide did not speak or explain well (which we hope was not the case), porters were probably the ones who worked the hardest carrying the camp equipment and shelter tents, so please don’t forget to tip them. The amount depends on you, but it is recommended that each porter in your group takes home an extra 40 to 55 soles. Try to bring a lot of small change so you can tip the porters directly. This is much better than giving the chef or the guide the money to be split up later among the porters because many times the money is distributed badly.
I have heard many stories in which the tourists have wanted to show their appreciation to the porters by giving them hundreds of dollars! Unfortunately, if the porters receive big tips they will often end up drinking at «Aguas Calientes» or Urubamba for several days after the trek spending all that money that didn’t go to their families where it is needed. Try to give a reasonable amount and if you want to help porters, you can contribute to one of the porter wellness projects in Cusco.
The Route Options to Reach Machu picchu
Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 days
This is a less energetic route and starts at kilometre 104 along the railroad from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The trail climbs up to Wiñay Wayna where you join the final stages of the Classic 4-day hike. From Wiñay Wayna, the trek continues to Machu Picchu. The trek has the advantage of allowing you to visit the beautiful ruins at Wiñay Wayna and also to experience at least part of the Inca trail...Read more
Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days
This is the most popular route trekked by hundreds of visitors each day. This beautiful trail starts at kilometre 82 (so called because it is 82 km along the railroad from Cusco to Machu Picchu) and takes in many of the Inca ruins including Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and of course Machu Picchu….Read more
Luxury Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days
This itinerary follows the same route as 4-day trek. However, you have the opportunity to visit the ruins of Llactapata. You’ll also camp at different less crowded campsites during your trek. You will arrive at Machu Picchu in the afternoon of the fourth day of the trek and see the sunset over Machu Picchu…Read more