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OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Money

Visa

Vaccinations

Flights

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

Typical day

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Clothing and equipment

Toilets

Phone and WiFi

Safety

Emergencies

Training

Training weekends

Level of Difficulty

The Trek to Machu Picchu Challenge is graded as Tough. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind and with previous trekking experience.  You will need a good level of fitness in order to undertake this challenge. You can tell your supporters that on your Trek to Machu Picchu Challenge you will be:

  • Trekking an average of 6-8 hours per day.
  • Trekking at high altitude.
  • The maximum altitude reached is 4600 meters above sea level
  • Trekking through remote areas where facilities are basic.

Money

Currency: Peru uses the Sol as its currency, USD$ are also widely used. For up to date currency exchange, go to www.xe.com. You should ideally bring a combination of Soles and dollars, or bring dollars that you can change into Soles on arrival in Peru.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are welcomed in Lima and Cusco (Visa, MasterCard, Diners and American Express), but take cash for small towns or pueblos. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants.

ATMs: You will find ATMs in both Lima and Cusco. Most of them are located in the airport, the city centre or near banks.

How much to bring: You will not need a large amount of money during this trip, as most expenses are included. You should only need money for tips, food & drink (additional), gifts and souvenirs. There are a wide range of souvenirs to buy, including rugs, ponchos, and jewellery. On average around £150- £200 + a credit card in case of an emergency, should suffice. Keep in mind that, other than at the start and end of the trip, you will be in the mountains away from any foreign exchanges or banks. We therefore recommend that you carry some cash. You will mainly need soles and just enough dollars for the staff tips for this trip.

Tipping: Tipping is personal and at your sole discretion. You should only tip if you feel that you have received good service. We recommend approx. US$10 per person per day (approx $70) and this should be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge who will distribute it among the support team, including guides, assistant guides cooks, and porters.

Visa

British citizens do not require a visa for Peru. When entering Peru, participants will be asked to fill out a white embarkation card. This piece of paper is very important. You cannot leave the country without a copy; however, if you do happen to lose it you are able to buy another for a small fee on departure. Ensure your entry stamp is legible as it is required by hotels for the exoneration of Peruvian tax. You must hold a full ten-year passport with at least six months to run from the end of your challenge, and at least one blank page for your visa and entry/exit stamps.

Vaccinations

For up to date vaccination information please check the NHS Government website ‘Fit for Travel’ at: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspxb.  Although the Charity Challenge team are travel professionals, they are not medical experts and we would encourage you to visit your GP or travel nurse to discuss vaccination requirements.

Flights

You will be flying from London Heathrow Airport to Cusco via Lima. The flights are booked either with Avianca or LAN airlines. The journey will take approx. 16 hours including stops (Bogota or Madrid and Lima). Internally, you will fly from Lima to Cusco with a local airline. This flight takes approximately 55mins. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport. If you choose to book your own flights you must confirm with the Charity Challenge office before paying otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance).

If flying with LAN via Madrid, Madrid Airport conducts strict security checks regarding hand luggage. You will not be able to take any liquids purchased in Ecuador's duty free back through Madrid.

At Lima airport please ensure that you collect your luggage from the luggage belt as you will have to clear customs and then re-check it in for your domestic flight.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Group Size

Each Group is intended to be a minimum of 16 people in order to run and a maximum of approximately 30 people. We will be able to run this challenge for 10 to 15 people by charging a small group supplement of £75 which will be added to your final balance invoice (self funders) or charged to your charity (minimum sponsorship or flexi).

Leadership

We employ a number of first aid qualified challenge leaders, all of whom speak fluent English. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Climate

Peru's climate has two seasons – wet and dry – though the weather varies depending on the geographical region. In the Andes there is a dry season (April to October) and a wet season (mid November to March). The average temperature throughout the year goes from around 8.5°C/47.3°F (June to August) to around 10.8°C/51.4°F (September to May). In the Andes the temperature can drop up to 15º from day to night-time, especially at higher altitudes during the challenge.  As the trip goes from the Andes to the cloud forest you can expect to experience all different types of weather and should be suitably equipped to cover this. Temperatures can likely to go below freezing at night especially at campsites and during the day will be relatively warm making for pleasant hiking weather. Expect some rain, hot sunshine, humid jungle conditions, as well as dry, cold high altitude conditions.

Terrain

The route is mountainous. There will be several uphill sections, especially on day 2 and 3 of the trek itself. On day 4 of the trek you will have to climb several steep steps under humid and hot conditions. Walking poles are strongly advised.

Luggage allowance and valuables

As no formal clothes are needed, luggage should be kept to the absolute minimum – details of what to pack are provided in your Kit List. Your main kit bag, or rucksack, must not exceed 23kgs in weight, but for the five days you are away from Cusco you can safely store any extra belongings at the hotel.

The packing information for Peru is different for other challenges, so listen carefully! When you set off on your trek, you will leave your main bag at the hotel in Cusco, which will have any extra toiletries or casual clothes that you don't need. This bag will be staying at Cusco until the end of your challenge.

During the camping, you will be given a holdall that will carry your sleeping bag and any trekking gear that you need for the 4 trekking days. This will be transported by mule during the challenge and the weight will not exceed 7Kg by passenger. You will carry a daypack for your daily needs such as suncream, waterproofs, camera etc.

You can bring a dry bag only if you have already one, as dry bags will be provided in country.

While we will do everything to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions, the general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces and rings. Your flight tickets can be left in a safe in the hotel in Cusco or with the ground handler and collected on your departure. You must take your passport with you during the trek. It should be kept in a plastic bag to protect it from damp or water damage.

Responsible Tourism

It is our aim to make your challenge experience unforgettable. We also wish to contribute positively towards the communities and the destinations that we visit.

On your trek to Machu Picchu we commit to the following:

Wherever possible using local leaders and support staff:

  • Your challenge leader for your Machu Picchu trek will be a local, well trained and knowledgeable professional leader. All our leaders for this challenge are either native from or long term residents of Peru. This will ensure that you not only will have a much higher level of engagement with the local culture, but also knowledge of the environment, local ways of living, history and experiences from the locals.
  • During your trek you will pass through lots of communities.  We support these communities by asking our ground handlers to employ support staff straight from them.  For example, the chefs Mr. Porfirio Horhuela, Bernardo Borda or Julio Yepes and his team of assistant chefs Gabriel, Nicolas and Elizar will be providing you with delicious meal after your hard day of trekking.  Not only does ensure that the money is going straight back in to the community but it also means that you can learn so much more from them about their culture and lives,. We also camp on lands owned by the community and pay them fees.  This allows them to improve their campsites by building public bathrooms and showers and therefore supporting local sustainable businesses.  These are camps such as Cuncani, Huacahausi and Rumira.  
  • The support of our local staff does not stop after your challenge has finished.  Our ground handler provides annual training on safety, group management, environmental protection management, and First Aid amongst other things. This continued support throughout the year empowers our local leaders and helps to keep them up to date with best practice.

 

Using local produce and reducing our plastic footprint:

  • In order to have the freshest food and the best water we source it along the way from the local areas /campsites / communities of Cuncani and Huacahuasi.  Where possible you will have delicious potatoes and trout fished from the fresh flowing rivers.  The water is not only the tastiest water but helps to cut down on our use of plastic bottles, and of course all this fresh water will help you to stay hydrated.

 

Animal Welfare:

  • We use mules for our treks and have a set weight limits that a mule is allowed to carry which is  45Kg.  If there is anything more that needs carrying we do not overload the mules but either provide more mules or provide a support vehicle.  We recommend that participant personal luggage does not exceed the 7Kg for the trek to help us with this.

Typical day

During the trekking days we rise early and pack up camp after breakfast, then trek carrying only daypacks for 6 to 8 hours, stopping for lunch en route. You will have plenty of time to stop and view the remarkable scenery. The trek zone is remote and home to rare flora and fauna. The evenings are spent in beautifully located camps/hotels, situated in the shadows of nearby mountain peaks. The food and facilities are generally good.

Accommodation

In Lima, Cusco, and Aguas Calientes the accommodation will be in small, local-run hotels (2 or 3 star), and rooms are for two or three people sharing. During the trek you will camp in spacious two person dome tents. If you would like your own room/tent, this can be arranged if there is availability but there will be a single room supplement. Please let Charity Challenge know if you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with.

Food & Drink

The meals we provide are nutritionally balanced and well suited to the environment and altitude. Breakfast will usually include cereals, bread, fresh fruit, juice and coffee. Lunches will either be in the form of a snack pack given out at breakfast to be carried in the daypack, or set up along the route, or taken in a local restaurant. Dinner always includes a soup/starter, main course and a dessert. The vegetarian food is excellent. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any dietary requirements or allergies.

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks. You don’t need a clean pair every day, but enough to make sure you have dry socks each morning. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality gore-tex waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, and technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. Walking poles are also recommended, as a preventative as well as for anyone with any pre-existing leg injuries or niggles. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here, and once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Toilets

Toilet tents are supplied during the challenge. They are set up near the campsite at specific locations away from watercourses. Toilet paper is provided. You will be provided with warm water for washing. A portable toilet will be set up at all meal stops and camps. During the actual trekking day, you will have to make use of the bushes and rocks, please ensure you have a few nappy bags just in case, to dispose of used toilet roll.

Phone and WiFi

During your stay in Cusco and Aguas Calientes you will have good wi-fi access and phone signal. On camping days there will be no wi-fi and phone signal will be extremely limited.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of its participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Our Challenge Safe brand formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the activity itself. Your welfare is paramount!

In terms of your Trek to Machu Picchu Challenge , there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • You will be trekking at high altitude. The highest altitude is 4600 meters.
  • You will be flying from Lima (sea level) to Cusco (3350meters).
  • There are 2 days of acclimatization built into this itinerary.
  • You will be trekking through remote areas where facilities are basic.

Emergencies

The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people’s walking abilities. This is allowed for. There will be a staff member at the back of the group at all times to ensure that you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace. In the event of an emergency on Machu Picchu, all guides and leaders are maintaining contact via radio, and the backup vehicle will not be far away. If somebody is unable to walk at all, then we can transport him or her from one location to the next.

Training

This challenge is graded ‘Tough’, which means that a good level of fitness is definitely required! Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be able to complete the trek, as long as they train regularly over a period of at least three months leading up to altitude. Don’t forget that the temperature and the altitudes are different from the UK – the highest pass on this trek is 4,440m. While strength is important, endurance training should be your primary focus. Walking up hills and climbing stairs are both ways to condition your lower body. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. Take long hikes (6-8 hours) with a weighted pack, up and down hills or on small mountains (weigh your pack with water containers and pour out the water before your descent to minimise knee stress).

Training weekends

We offer superb training weekends across various locations in the UK, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. These training weekends not only help you become physically prepared for the challenge, but our experienced instructors and leaders will talk you through your clothing and equipment, camp craft, health and wellbeing, trekking skills (walking on different terrain/at altitude/at night/using walking poles), teamwork on expedition and many more themes designed to make you get the most out of your challenge. The weekends are great ways for you to get out into the mountains of the UK, while also meeting other Charity Challengers and sharing your experiences. To read more about our training weekends, including dates and prices, check out our dedicated page.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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