Why Llama Path?
LLama Path has changed the idea (on the whole Inca Trail) of the OLD tourism practices (abusive) to a real
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ( care for the environment, very good treatment for our
porters, and an honest tourist personal service).
Path in only 3 years has become the
leading company in RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
and this makes us feel proud and encourages us to improve our ideas and
(a licensed tour operator) is an agency that works with knowledgable,
experienced Tour Guides, really cares about the porters´ welfare, is
environmentally sensitive and believes strongly in sustainable tourism
in general. Llama Path has currently
created jobs for some 300 guides,
porters and cooks and contributes to the Peruvian government with 19%
taxes on all sales (overseas companies are exempt from paying this so do
not contribute to the Peruvian economy in this aspect).
We have recent
handwritten reports on our webpage that you can take a look at to help
you make your decision:
Also, in December last
year, the following article was published in the local press with regard
to the exemplary treatment of our porters:
Do I need to be fit?
Yes. As all our treks (the Inca Trail, Salkantay, Ausangate etc.) are moderately difficult, long and mountainous, we highly recommend that you are relatively fit - and acclimatised - before undertaking them
(stair master helps!). During the months (or at the very least, one month) before your trip, you should take regular, moderate exercise. We want you to have an amazing experience and the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the treks will be.
Since we go over heights of 4200m/13750ft to 5200m/17000ft during these treks, we also strongly suggest that you stay in Cusco (3334 metres/10900ft) or another high altitude city (Arequipa (2320m/7586ft) Puno (3850m/12589ft) for some days before leaving on any of these adventure trips. It generally takes 4 weeks to fully acclimatise, however a 4 to 5 day period in a high altitude city will give your body time to adjust and reduce the possibility of altitude sickness affecting you.
Some recommendations to help your body acclimatise are:
- Avoid over-exerting yourself when you first arrive (however, some gentle activity during the day is better than sleeping)
- Eat lots of carbohydrates
- Drink lots of fluids
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol
- Avoid taking sleeping pills
- Drink coca (ancient traditional leaf) tea
Why do I need to book in
advance and how far in advance should I book?
Due to regulations
brought in in 2002, the Inca Trail (5, 4 or 2 days) is limited to 500
people per day (including Guides, porters and cooks). It is therefore
necessary to book in advance to guarantee a place on the date you want
to leave. For Inca Trail treks in the high season (May,June, July,
August and September) it is advisable to book at least 5 months ahead.
How can I book a place
on the trail?
you want to confirm your reservation:
a, Send us the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Passport number (it is important that we receive the
passport number that you will use whilst on the trek; please advise if
you think you will change your passport before you do the Inca trail)
b, Confirm whether you are a student (it is necessary to
have a valid ISIC card to qualify as a student) and if so scan and email it. (We need to present a copy of
your card now and you will also need to take the original on the Inca
Trail. If for any reason, you will not have your original card when you
are going to enter the Inca Trail, please advise us as soon as you know
this - the Inca Trail authorities are extremely strict and will not
allow you to enter the Inca Trail if you have booked as a student but do
not have your original card at the time of entering).
c, Decide whether or not you want an extra porter who
would carry your personal belongings (the price of this service is
$100). By hiring a porter you will only need to carry a very small day
pack. (Please note, you can also share one porter between two people -
up to 7 kilos*
(7kl. includes sleeping bags and mats)–costing
each.) We provide you with a duffle bag in which to put your belongings
that your extra porter will carry. If you do not hire a porter, you will
carry your personal belongings including sleeping bag and sleeping
d, Pay a deposit
of $190 per person(the rest can be paid
once you arrive
e, Let us know if you have any special dietary
requirements or medical conditions that we should know about.
Why do I need to send a deposit?
We use your deposit (Non-
refundable) to pay official fees when making your official reservation.
For example, we need to pay tourist and porters entrance fees and taxes
(19%). We also use it to secure cooks, porters and horses for our different treks.
What options are there
to pay the deposit?
-Western Union is the safest and fastest way to wire money (especially
when availability is changing very quickly and reservations need to be made
ASAP!). You can send money from anywhere in the world in a few
minutes or online through
(Visa) - we have an online
payment system which you can use to pay with your credit/debit card. Go
to our homepage, click on 'payment on-line' and follow the instructions.
In this case, we ask you to pay an
additional 9% on the deposit to cover
Is an extra porter
really necessary and how many kilos do they carry for us?
adventure does not have to mean pain and
by hiring an extra porter that carries up to 14 kilos of your personal
belongings you will
definitely have time to enjoy, take your time and relax more. In
addition, you will be creating a job for one more porter and thus helping
us to help the local community.
In hiring an extra porter, you will only
need to carry a daypack containing water, sun cream, insect repellent, snacks and a coat.
Are the porters treated
believe our porters do a huge percentage of the
work on the Inca Trail and deserve to be treated well. All our porters are trained and equipped with
proper bags to carry the equipment, back supports, t-shirts for the day,
body warmers for the cold nights, ponchos for the rain, drinks, snacks and plenty of food.
Please see our section on our porters welfare but most importantly
see them while on the trail !!.
Please let us know if you see other groups' porters being better
treated than the LLAMA PATH PORTERS!!
Is there an age limit to
do the trail?
No, there is not an age limit but if you are older, we
advise you to have a medical check-up before your trip, try to aclimatize to the altitude (see
altitude sickness) and train for the trek. We have taken children as
young as 7
and people up to the age of 68 many times. Do not worry, we are here to
help you do it!! WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY....!
What if i am very slow
or want to see or enjoy more?
As long as you arrive at the camps before it gets dark all is perfectly
fine; the guides will keep you informed of distances and hours to be
covered after every break, as an average people walk at a rate of 1.8 km
per hour meaning a slow pace and resting while you are receiving
explanation about the Inca sites and environment from our guide.
For groups of 9 or more people you will always
have 2 professional guides ! goes with the last person in the group - if you the last
you will never be alone and the other guide will be at the front. In
case you have only 1 guide (for groups or 8 or less people) the guide always
goes with the last person in the group.
Why is there an
increment if there are 4 people or less in the group?
a very new and revolutionary system we are using
does that) and what we have heard from our tourists is that it is
and allows people to leave on the trail on the specific date they
want to leave and you don't have to wait for other people to join your
group- we require a minimun of 2 people !
increment (only if there are 4 people or less in your group
or in order to leave in special dates such as christmas, new years eve,
elections , etc - please
see our terms and conditions) is requested in order to
run the tour ourselves or in
order to pay more our staff that sacrifice their holidays or elections (you
get fined here if you don't vote). In Cusco, a widespread practice in agencies is to pass
tourists on to another company when they don´t have enough people to run the tour.
In this case, you would meet people from different agencies that have paid all kind of
price (sometimes less and sometimes more than what you have been charged) and
you would all have been promised different services.
the increment is also a bonus because
your trip becomes a kind of PRIVATE SERVICE
is a real advantage especially if you are in the mountains
trying to escape from the crowds) in this case
your tour will allow you to take your time, enjoy and see more!
Once I have booked my
place on the trail, can I change my departure date?
Unfortunately once your
reservation is officially confirmed with the Inca Trail Authorities (INC Reservation
is not possible to change or postpone your departure date. You would
need to make a new reservation with a new deposit for your new date (this
date needs to be one which is at least 5 days before or after your prior departure date). Please
that this is not an agency decision but a local
Where are the other
people in the group from?
You will find all our groups to be very mixed in: age,
gender, nationalities. There are cases when
our groups consist of only older people and in other cases
only younger people but as an agency we can't guarantee how old or where our
tourists will be from.
What`s the Imperial
It is a special service - all inclusive - to spoil you!
You could be honeymooners,
a family, a group of friends, etc. It is normally a small group (but
can also be a big group). In this service, we included private porters
who carry up to 7 kilos of personal belongings in duffle bags (provided by the agency).
No one you don't know/want joins your group unless this
is requested to share to lower the costs.
What about the food?
We have excellent trained cooks who will provide you with an incredible variety of dishes:
Breakfast: This varies depending on the difficulty of the day ahead. There will usually be a selection of some or all of the following - porridge, scambled eggs, pancakes, bread and jam. Drink-wise, you can have hot chocolate, coffee, English tea and/or a selection of herbal teas (chamomile, lemon grass or simply traditional coca tea).
*Lunch and Dinner: You will always have a bowl of soup followed by a main course (chicken, beef, fish etc. with rice or pasta). After this, a dessert and herbal drink will be provided.
Afternoon snacks (Happy Hour!): On finishing the trek every day we will have hot drinks, popcorn, biscuits, bread and jam,
chocolate, milo, etc, etc)
Snacks: Before beginning the trek for the day, you will be given - a piece of fruit, a chocolate bar, a small packet of biscuits and some sweets.
*Vegetarian/special diet options are available on request
Do you have a
We do provide vegetarian food on request. Please specify your dietary
requirments when making your
Do you provide us with
We provide you with water that has previously been boiled for at
least 5 minutes (you do
not need purification tablets). Therefore, you only need a
bottle of water for the
first part - till lunch time - of the first day and then from there on we
will re-fill your bottles all the way to Machu Picchu or to the end of
Are there many toilets
along the Inca trail?
There are several flush toilets along the trail and we highly
reconmend using them only (please avoid using nature)
How many people go in
The tents for all our treks are 4
man tents but actually 2 enter in each
thus allowing you more space and comfort. If you
travelling alone and there is an even number of people in your group, you will share the tent with somebody else
unless a single supplement is requested ($25).
Why and How much should we tip
Path fully complies with the porter's Law
(27608) requirements of payment and insurance. However, tipping (normally
on the 3rd night of your trek) is a tradition on the Inca Trail that has
been taking place for the (at least) 15 years as a way of showing the
porters your gratitude. Generally the groups prepare a collective tip
which is shared out between the cook, head porter and porters (cook and
head porter receive more than everyone else)
Please NOTE that
the amount you tip (or if you
tip) is a PERSONAL DESICION and it is not olbigatory.
Should we tip the
Tipping the guide is again a personal desicion. If you decide to tip we recommend that
it is according to his/her performance, knowledge and skills while on
Where do I store the
bags I don't need when I go on the trail?
All hostels and hotels in Cusco are
accustomed to trekkers leaving belongings whilst on the trek and will
have storage facilities at no extra cost. Optionally you can leave your
bags with us in our storage.
Where do I store the
bags before the Machu Picchu guided visit?
is a storage near the control gate where
tourists leave their personal belongings,please note that you can only
visit Machu Picchu with a small daypack and without food (
walking sticks are not allowed either
unless it is really necesary i.e. age of tourists etc.) ; this
storage service is sometimes free
and sometimes you get charged
3 soles ( you are in Peru) !
What if I get ill and
need to turn back?
We have a very low rate of people turning
back once on the trek.Our priority is to help you complete it; all our guides
properly trained and carry a first aid kit and a bottle of oxygen
for emergencies. Please do not think about this (you are in good hands!)
What about the weather?.
Cusco dry season starts in April to
October, the days are usually sunny and hot but temperatures drop
abruptly after 5-6 pm until 7-8 am.
Weather is very changeable
from November to March and heavy rains are expected from December to March,
the plus side it's not as cold as it is in the dry
Please note: Temperatures are for
the Valley of Cusco at 3400masl. And temperatures change depending on the
altitude (higher altitude = colder or viceversa)
Also note that it could be a bit more wet on the 3rd and
on the 4th day of the Inca Trail (cloud forest
Can we avoid the crowds?
If you choose to do the Inca trail, we want it to be the crowning experience of your South America trip. We therefore have some recommendations for a quieter trek:
- As the dry highland months coincide with the high tourist season (due to vacations in North America and Europe) there are generally a lot of tourists on the Inca Trail at this time. If you want to avoid the crowds and have a more relaxing trail, we suggest that you hike it in March, April, May, October or November, although there is a possibility of rain in these months.
- Another alternative to avoid crowds is to hike the trail in * 5 days and 4 nights . During this tour, you will have more time to 'take it easy' and explore the trail (Inca Sites, flora, bird-watching etc.). You camp in places behind the normal campsites, where fewer people camp and as you are camping at higher altitudes, the views of mountains and sunrises will be amazing. (Please note that due to the higher altitudes, these campsites are a little colder than those on the 4 day Inca Trail.)
* This 5 day, 4 night Inca Trail is also suitable for older people or anyone who wants to walk a little bit more leisurely.
- Please feel free to ask if you have any other