Peru FAQ

Why choose Inca Footsteps? With many years of experience organizing treks and tours, Inca Footsteps is one of the top operators in Peru and has built up an excellent record with our customers.

Peru FAQ

Do I need a visa?

Travelers with a US or Canadian passport do not need a visa to enter Peru for up to 90 days for tourism or business. For those traveling with a passport from another country other than the US or Canada; visit for more information. 


Is Peru safe?

We consider Peru a safe destination. After more than 12 years guiding trips to Peru, our travelers have never experienced a problem with safety, whether in the cities or trekking routes. You can receive an updated Consular Information Sheet from the US State Department’s website or call their hotline at 888-407-4747. 

How is the weather in Peru?

Peru's climate varies depending on where you visit.

On the coast it is usually quite hot although during the winter (April-August) it can get chilly early in the morning and at night.

In the Andes there are two main seasons - wet and dry. The wet season runs from November to April and is wet but usually warmer overall. The dry season runs from May to October and has hot clear days but cold nights.

The only one thing you can say about the weather in Peru is that it is difficult to accurately predict. You can beautifully clear hot days in the middle of the wet season and hail storms in the dry season - it's one of the beauties of Peru.

What vaccines do I need for Peru?

You should always consult your local travel clinic regarding vaccines. In general the regular vaccines such as Tetanus, Diptheria, Polio etc are recommended. If you are visiting the low-land jungle then Yellow Fever is recommended.


Will I be met at the airport?

Yes, if you arrive according to schedule or have arranged extra transfers through our office. Meeting instructions and local contact information will be given with your Final Documents. 


How much money should I bring?

Depending on the length of your trip, plan to bring $300-600 per person for spending money, tips, airport taxes and those meals not included in the itinerary. 


Should I bring cash or bank cards?

Cash is the easiest to exchange and most places accept US dollars. Credit or debit cards are also easy to use at most establishments. Be sure to check with your bank prior to your departure to inform them that you will be using your card in a foreign country. Traveler’s checks are less efficient and may take extra time and documentation to use. Find current exchange rates. 


Are ATM machines available?

Yes. There are ATM machines in the main cities such as Lima, Arequipa and Cusco. We recommend using the ones located inside some hotels, stores, restaurants or banks. Be cautious as some thieves may watch these machines and target tourists and others who take out large amounts of cash. Consult with your guide for safety recommendations on ATM’s or exchanging money. 


Do I need to be fit to do one of your treks?

All of our treks (the Inca Trail, Salkantay, Lares etc.) are moderately difficult, long and mountainous. We highly recommend that you are relatively fit and acclimatised to altitude (a minimum of 2 days at altitude) before undertaking them.  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.


How can I book a place on one of your treks/tours?

Check out our booking page for more information!


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 (20%). We also use it to secure cooks, porters and horses for our different treks.


How can I pay my deposit / final balance?

Deposits for treks can be paid using PayPal or Western Union.

  1. PayPal: (for alternative treks and Inca Trail and tour reservations deposits). To make your deposit by Paypal you need a PayPal account (+6% fees), the address to send your deposit to is
  2. Western Union: there are many agents around the world. Please contact us for more details

And the final balance for all our treks need to be paid in cash (Soles or US Dollars) 48 hours prior to departure at the latest. Payment must be made in cash at our office. 

Final balances for itineries should be paid 1 month prior to your trip.


What's altitude sickness?

What Causes Altitude Illnesses : 

The primary cause of altitude illnesses is going too high too quickly. Given time, your body can adapt to the decrease in oxygen at specific altitudes. This is known as acclimatization and generally takes 1 to 3 nights at a given altitude.   

Prevention of Altitude Illnesses: 

Prevention of altitude illnesses falls into two categories, proper acclimatization and preventive medications. Below are a few basic guidelines for proper acclimatization. Start below 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) and walk up.    

  •  Do not over-exert yourself or move higher for the first 24 hours.   
  •  If you go above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), only increase your sleeping elevation by 1,000 feet (305 meters) per day and for every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gained, take a rest day.     
  •  If you begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude illness, don't go higher until symptoms decrease     
  •  If symptoms increase, go down, down, down!    
  •  Keep in mind that different people will acclimatize at different rates. 
  •  Stay properly hydrated.
  •  Take it easy; don't over-exert yourself when you first get up to altitude.    
  •  Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills.     
  •  Eat a high carbohydrate diet while at altitude.    

Preventive Medications  (requiring prescriptions):

  • Diamox (Acetazolamide) changes acid balance which allows you to increase breathing and improve oxygen uptake - the same mechanism as in normal acclimatization, but faster
  • Dexamethasone (a steroid) is a drug that decreases brain and other swelling, helping to reverse the effects.


Is the number of visitors to Machu Picchu limited like those of the Inca Trail?

The number of visitors to the archeological site of Machu Picchu has a limit of 2500 per day, which is an attempt to keep in line with UNESCO recommendations. During July 2011, several visitors were unable to secure an entrance ticket when they arrived at Aguas Calientes. Therefore, it is recommended to book in advance, especially during the high season. The trains are usually full so make your reservations in advance. You can book your visit to MP only or a ticket including the Huayna Picchu trek.


What will the weather be like?

Peru’s weather varies drastically depending on the region and season. 


  • Andean Highlands (Cusco, Arequipa & Lake Titicaca): Cooler, with daytime highs in the upper 60’s to mid 70’s and nighttime lows between 30°F and 42°F. Weather is cooler yet sunnier and clearer during the dry season months of April through November. See more about Cusco weather.
  • Macchu Picchu: A sub-tropical cloud forest region that is warmer and more humid than Cusco and the Sacred Valley area. Daytime temperatures reach the lower to mid 80’s and nighttime temperatures fall to the upper 40’s to mid 50’s. Chances of showers year-round, but the driest months are May through September. See more about Machu Picchu weather.
  • The Amazon: Hot and humid, with daytime highs in the upper 80’s to mid 90’s and nighttime lows in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. Heat, rain and humidity are at their highest during the wet season months of December through April. Chances of rain year-round with the heaviest rains from January through March. See more about Iquitos weather.
  • The Coast (Lima and Paracas): Warm and generally overcast year-round, with little rain but high humidity. Hot and mostly clear during the summer months of January, February and March. Highs in the low 80’s and lows in the 60’s, with slightly cooler weather in June, July, and August. See more about Lima weather.


What is the elevation of Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is actually lower in elevation than Cusco (7,874′ versus 11,150′). 

Hows`s the shorter 2 day 1 night Inca Trail?

The shorter Inca Trail is for those visitoros with limited time on their hands or who just want to take things a little bit easier but still trek the Inca Trail. This trek starts at km104 and ascends to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna before continuing on to MP. Since you don't have much time at MP on the first day, most people spend the night at the town of Aguas Calientes and return to MP again the following day. This trail is subject to the Inca Trail regulations and trek permits must be reserved in advance as well.


What about sunrise at Machu Picchu?

Due to the mountain location, it is not possible to actually view the sunrise over the horizon from Machu Picchu. What is commonly referred to as sunrise at Machu Picchu occurs when the first light strikes the citadel itself. This happens between 6:30am and 7:20am depending on the month. The gates to the ruins open at about 6:00am which should allow anyone wishing to witness this phenomenon time to locate a special spot within the citadel. There are early buses up to the ruins from Machu Picchu Town for those staying at the Pueblo Hotel to enjoy 3-4 hours at Machu Picchu before most tourist trains arrive at about 10:00am


Is it possible to enter with a differente ID?

No, you need to carry a valid ID (passport) with the name you used during your booking to enter the park.    


What's an extra porter? Do I need one?

We always ask you if you want the help of a personal porter to carry your extra luggage (sleeping bag, sleeping mattress, clothes, etc). This is a good idea if you are not used to hiking. It helps you enjoy the trail more!  You can then walk with just your daypack carrying whatever you need for the day like water, sunblock, rain jacket, camera, snacks, etc. Keep it light!


What's the group size?

All our groups are maximum 08 with 14 porters. Normally our group tours are between 8 (with 14 porters)  in average.  


What about toilets?

Toilets have improved a lot in the last couple of years and all of the larger campsites have toilet blocks with flush toilets and running water. On the whole they are kept pretty clean. If you do need to go to the toilet between campsites then defecate well away from the trail and water supplies; dig a hole, or cover your feces with a rock, and take the paper with you in a bag to deposit in one of the several bins along the way. There are hot shower facilities in Wiñay Wayna on day 3, although they are usually unclean.

Important: As a sustainable tourism operator and to show how much we care for our porters we do NOT take portable toilets. 


What should I do as my trek date approaches?

Please come by the agency at least 48 hours prior to your tour to meet, finalise details, pay your balance and organise your pre-trek talk (if applicable - Inca Trail / alternative treks).


How is the food on the treks?

Many people comment that our food they eat on the treks is the best they get whilst in Peru.

A sample menu is as follows:

Breakfast - Porridge, toast, butter, jam, pancakes, fruit salad, yogurt with hot chocolate, coffee and a variety of teas.
Snack - Every day you are provided with a snack to eat whilst trekking, this is usually something like a power bar + fruit or biscuits + fruit.
Lunch - Soup + a main course ranging from Lomo Saltado, Causa Rellena, Trout, Spaghetti Bolagnese etc. served with rice and garlic bread
Happy Hour - Every afternoon around 5pm we serve hot chocolate, tea, popcorn, biscuits, bread and jam, etc.
Dinner - See the main courses served at lunch.


How do I train for my trip?

If you lead an active lifestyle (walking, cycling, swimming, tennis, etc. on a regular basis) you will do fine on a Grade I or II trip. For Grade III trips you should plan to jog or stair climb for at least 45 minutes 4-5 times per week (more frequency for a Grade IV trip). View more details on Trip Ratings. 


How do I adjust to the altitude?

Gradual exposure to higher elevations and time are the best ways to acclimatize. If possible, try to arrive to Cusco (elevation 11,150′) a day early. Drink plenty of water, eat lightly and avoid alcoholic beverages for the first day or two. Many travelers find that drinking coca tea is also effective. Upgrades are available to boutique hotels with an oxygen-enriched suite amenity. This is highly effective in countering the effects of altitude for a good night’s sleep. 


Where are we located?

Our office is Av. Garcilazo 180  seconf floor offic 102. (in front of serpost)


What are our opening hours?

We are open from 8:30am – 19:00 (Mon - Sat) and 4pm - 6pm (Sun).