Please take the time to read the entire Logistics section in full. If you have questions, feel free to call the Alpine Ascents office or email us.
Make sure you have submitted the following paperwork to Alpine Ascents.
⎕ Flight itinerary
As there are many unforeseen circumstances that may occur during or leading up to the trip, we strongly recommend trip insurance for your expedition.
A variety of trip insurance options are available through different providers. We recommend Comprehensive Trip Insurance for your protection.
There are two basic policies: ‘standard trip insurance’ which can cover injuries or illness, or a ‘cancel for any reason’ addon which covers a wider variety of situations. Note – this addon is considerably more expensive, and if paid out only covers 75% of the trip fee. Please note this is just a summation of the policies available.
Please see complete specific policy information for our recommended policies..
Getting to Cusco, Peru
Please See Entry Requirements In the Covid 19 Section of This Page.
Note that trip dates include travel time from your home country. A day-to-day itinerary can be found with your confirmation letter.
Flight reservations for your expedition should be made as soon as possible. Please forward a copy of your flight itinerary before final purchase so we can review departure and arrival dates.
Alpine Ascents highly recommends the services of Charles Mulvehill at Scan East West Travel: [email protected] when making flight arrangements.
Alpine Ascents can make pick-up, hotel, and transport arrangements to meet individual itineraries.
Flying to Cusco, Peru
Arrival: Fly to Cusco, Peru, arriving on Day 2 of your itinerary. Those arriving on the scheduled date will be met at the airport by an Alpine Ascents guide or representative and taken to the hotel. Please look for an Alpine Ascents sign upon leaving customs.
Departure: You may fly out any time on the last day of your itinerary.
Early Arrival/Late Departure: We are happy to arrange an airport pick up for you if arriving early. For those arriving early or departing after the scheduled itinerary, we can make hotel and transport arrangements at an additional cost. Please contact our office in advance if you would like us to make additional reservations.
Visas & Passports
To enter Peru you must have a valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months past the end date of your journey. US citizens do not require a visa.
Climbers are responsible to determine and satisfy entry requirements for your passport/nationality. Alpine Ascents is happy to help in this process. US citizens can consult US State department website here: Peru International Travel Information
For climbers who prefer single room accommodations, these arrangements can be made for an additional fee. Be aware that private rooms are available at hotels during our trip, but not on the mountain.
For climbers choosing double room accommodations every effort will be made to pair you with another climber. A Single Room Supplement Fee will apply if a match cannot be made or there is a last minute cancellation. This will help keep our overall program pricing down since unlike other companies we do not charge more for smaller groups.
El Mercado Hotel
Calle 7 Cuartones 306, Cusco, Peru
Please refer to your Gear List:
You are required to bring every item on this list as described, so be as precise as possible when packing. We are happy to work closely with you on finding the proper gear.
If you plan to rent gear, your rental form must be submitted at least a month prior to expedition start date. Please call our office or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.
If you’re confused by items and/or language on the Gear List, we encourage you to refer to our Gear Guide for explanations on layering systems, differences between boots, etc.
Below are articles written by veteran Alpine Ascents guides that you may find helpful in preparing and packing for your expedition.
People generally take too much “stuff” rather than too little. Study each item before you pack it. Eliminate redundant items, extra changes of clothing, and excessive“nice to have” luxuries. You will benefit from traveling light because of the costs of excess baggage and because of the frequent loading and unloading of bags. Remember to review your airline’s weight limits and pack accordingly. Traveling light may be your key to summit success. Take everything on the required equipment list and little else.
Please review the Costs Include/ Do Not Include portion of the website, particularly which meals are provided. During your trip, you will only need cash for souvenirs and minor personal expenses, and any (optional) gratuities you would like to offer your guides and drivers. For purchasing souvenirs and minor personal expenses en route, we recommend bringing Nuevos Soles. Please make sure to bring small bills and coins. U.S. dollars are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops. There are several money exchange shops as well as banks to exchange currency. Cash machines (ATMs) are available in all major cities and major airports, and dispense your choice of either U.S. dollars or soles. Screen instructions are in English and Spanish.
Please note that even very slightly torn bills are generally not accepted in Peru. Do not accept bills are torn or taped as it will be difficult to pass them on. Additional expenses at the lodges (such as massages and alcoholic beverages), can be charged to your credit card, while tipping to guides can be offered in whatever currency is the most convenient. Although we prefer not to suggest tipping amounts, we feel obligated to pass on information that will help your trip run more smoothly. As tipping and expenses are a personal preference, the information below is merely a guideline.
If you need to leave the expedition early, you are responsible for all incurred expenses (evacuation fees, transport, extra hotel nights, etc). A comprehensive trip insurance plan is recommended, which can cover these costs in the event that they occur.
Tipping is in no way mandatory although it is an established tradition in Peru. If you decide to tip, we recommend carrying US Dollars or Peruvian Nuevos Soles in small denominations. Local and Western guides, drivers and support staff are generally tipped as follows. For clarity, all suggested amounts are in USD:
• Airport / Hotel Transfers: When the guide and driver take you between the hotel and the airport, a tip of $2 per person is appropriate.
• Hotel Arrivals / Departures: It is customary to tip hotel porters $1 per bag. For a single-night stay, there is no need to tip the cleaning staff. But for multiple night stays, a tip of $1 per day is much appreciated.
• Sightseeing Tours: For a full day tour, such as the scenic walking tour of old Cusco and the Incan ruins of Sacsayhuamán on Day 3 of the trip, we recommend tipping the guide between $5-10 and the driver between $5-7. This is a per person gratuity.
• Lodge Staff / Route Chefs / Mule-Drivers: The cost of the trip includes tips for lodge staff, route chefs, and mule drivers. The cost of the trip does not include tips for local and western guides.
• Guide Staff: The suggested amounts for local guides are USD $10 per day, per guest for the Lead Guide and USD $5 per day, per guest for the Assistant Guide. Western guides can accept and will greatly appreciate tips with a rough tipping guideline of $100 – $250 per trekker per guide but certainly not obligatory and based on level of service and personal comfort level.
• Restaurants: It’s customary to add an extra 10% if the service has been satisfactory
Cross Cultural Tips
We discourage handouts of candy, chewing gum and other such items to children you meet in cities and towns in Peru. “Junk food” is dangerous because dental care is not always available and handouts encourage children to beg. It is far better to leave packets of notebooks, reading materials, pencils or crayons that can be donated to local schools.
On the Mountain
Physiology Of Mountaineering
Dehydration, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude illness are all important health conditions to be aware of while climbing. Please read our overview of these physical factors:
Food & Water
We are aware of the potential monotony of expedition food and Alpine Ascents makes every effort to make meals a positive part of the climb. We take great care in our meal preparation, understanding the importance staying healthy, fueling effectively, and enjoying your food. Whenever possible, we use fresh ingredients from local markets in our pre-planned meals.
Tap water in Peru is not safe to drink. While in the city, use bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth. While climbing, Alpine Ascents guides will sterilize all water and climbers will fill water bottles at breakfast and dinner.
You may want to consult your physician for advice on treatments for gastrointestinal upsets that you may encounter on your trip. In the past, climbers have relied on antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin. Your doctor may recommend medications such as Lomotil or Imodium to stop diarrhea, and Compazine to prevent nausea.
Leave No Trace
Alpine Ascents International practices Leave No Trace principles on all expeditions. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Before your climb, please become familiar with Leave No Trace:
As guides, we spend time teaching the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices. There is nothing more rewarding than working hard to get high into the mountains, reaching a pristine campsite, witnessing incredible views, and having the feeling that no one has been there before.
Conversely, there is nothing more disheartening than working hard to climb a mountain, reaching a site and encountering trash, food waste, and toilet paper. Please read the seven LNT principles, and call the office if you have any questions about what you can do to plan ahead.
Please note that Covid protocols, both best practices and entry requirements, are changing frequently. While we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, we do carry out a variety of measures designed to mitigate the risk of illness for climbers and staff. It is important we work together with the same team-oriented perspective we rely on in climbing, and we greatly appreciate your partnership. Please take a few moments to thoroughly read the information below and know that we look to improve our operation as additional information about the virus becomes available.
We expect that all trekkers will be vaccinated and completed the waiting period (2 weeks after final vaccination) before joining our Salkantay expedition. Please contact us if getting vaccinated prior to the expedition is problematic.
Climbers will be asked to wear proper facemasks in all public places while not on the mountain. This includes while in towns, while being transported and while in hotel premises or during meals.
All climbers will need to arrive with a negative covid result completed 72 hours or less before departure to Peru. We will assist with obtaining tests before returning to the US (mandatory) before departing on homeward.
Based on recommendations and factors at time of departure we may opt to use multiple vehicles for transport to and from airport and to and from the trekking location in better social distancing.
Lodging will be in shared rooms and tents unless a single room is requested. Subject to change based on conditions.
Dining on the Mountain
Guides may opt to have outdoor dining and not use a dining tent should circumstances warrant.
If you experience fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea please immediately contact Alpine Ascents. Anyone experiencing these symptoms within 14 days of their trip date will be asked to reschedule their trip. All climbers may be verbally screened for these symptoms on arrival in Arusha
Hand washing and hand sanitizing facilities are provided throughout the program, We encourage you to regularly clean or sanitize your hands while on this journey, especially after touching your face, sneezing, coughing, using the bathroom, eating, or drinking. Common areas, high-touch surfaces, and restrooms are sanitized regularly.
We are committed to keeping our environment clean for your protection as well as ours.
BEFORE YOUR TRAVEL TO PERU
- Travelers entering the country must fill out a sworn statement (link) and also provide proof of negative results for one of the following tests before boarding the plane: a molecular test (PCR), an antigen test or a medical certificate of epidemiological discharge. PCR or antigen test results must be obtained no later than 72 hours prior to check-in. Best to carry a printed copy as well as a digital one.
- Note: On the link above, the page will load in Spanish, it is easiest to use google translate to reload the page in English.
- USA is listed out of alphabetical order, and can be found after Ecuador in the list. (USA appears as the standard Spanish abbreviation for USA – ‘EE.UU’ when the page is in Spanish).
- In the Type of Document box, select PAS and enter your passport number in the # of Document box.
- If you are unable to select PAS, you will need to disable any browser pop-up blockers or ad blockers.
- Enter your Date of Birth.
- Hit the ‘Search’ button to continue to the form.
- Fill out the Personal Information, Personal Itinerary, and Health Information sections of the form and submit by hitting the ‘Register’ button.
- Carry your digital boarding pass.
ARRIVAL IN PERU
- Upon arrival in Peru, visitors will need to take an antigen test within the first 24 hours. The test can be taken at any authorized laboratory or at your hotel in Lima or at your final destination (Cusco) – including the lab at Lima Airport. A negative result of this test will dispense the need for any form of confinement while you are in Peru. The passengers must pay for the test.
- The entrance of non-resident passengers from United Kingdom, South Africa and/or Brazil, or who have made a stopover in such countries in the last 14 days, is suspended from March 29 to April 11.
- The only requirement for domestic flights is a signed affidavit stating that no symptoms of COVID-19 are present.
- The use of mask to travel throughout the country is mandatory and the population is reminded of hand washing and social distancing constantly. MLP will hand out disposable masks and shields throughout the trip.
- What would be the procedure for travelers who already have been vaccinated? There are no exceptions at this time for vaccinated travelers and they must follow the same requirements as any other traveler.
- Where should I take the antigen test upon arrival? Can I do the antigen test in Cusco?
The test should be taken within the first 24 hours upon arriving in the country. You can take the test in the laboratory located in the parking lot of the Lima airport or in any laboratory authorized by MINSA (Peruvian Ministry of Health) upon arrival in Lima or at your final destination in Cusco. MLP has a list of these laboratories in Lima and Cusco. Our reservation team will assist you with making an appointment for an antigen test in Cusco in advance of your arrival. Time permitting, it is always best to spend two nights in Cusco prior to the start of the trek to better acclimate and enjoy this beautiful city. The test can be done at your hotel or a local lab. If you have booked only one night in Cusco prior to the start of the trip, you will need to take the test the afternoon of your arrival. We recommend arriving in Cusco before 12 noon as many laboratories close by 3 pm.
- Where can I take the PRC test to return to USA? May I do it in Cusco if I fly straight back to USA?
Yes, the PCR or molecular test can be taken in Cusco the morning after your trip or in Lima (in the city or at the airport) depending on your return flight schedule (in clinics, laboratories or at your hotel). Appointment will be made in advance by our reservations department, in coordination with your travel specialist and can be done at your hotel. Allow for a few hours to obtain results.
- How long does the antigen test result take?
The average time for the delivery of results in the airport laboratory or other facilities is 1 hour.
- What is the cost of the test?
For Antigen Tests price in Lima & Cusco: $60 USD. (60 minutes Delivered).
For PCR Tests Price in Lima: $120 USD (8 hrs. Delivered).
For PCR Tests Price in Cusco: $ 150 USD (24 hrs. Delivered).
- Can MLP staff assist travelers at the airport, or must they carry out the process of the test alone?
Only passengers with boarding pass are allowed to enter the lab at Lima Airport but our reservations department can make an appointment for you according to your travel schedule. The test could be taken at your hotel or in a laboratory or clinic. The passenger will make a direct payment to the supplier by credit card or cash.
- What is the procedure in case of a positive testing for COVID-19?
A traveler with positive antigen test must enter to confinement which will be carried out in a temporary isolation center in coordination with the local health authority.
- Will MLP guarantee entry permits for Machu Picchu with limited visitor numbers?
Yes, we can guarantee the entry permits if you confirm your trip at least 30 days prior to departure.
- Will the guides be vaccinated?
Most likely they will not be vaccinated until late summer. The vaccination program is managed by the government according to a priority list. Our guides undergo periodic testing and have been thoroughly trained on government approved protocols that promote the safety of our guests and that of our entire staff.
- Will the travelers be able to eat in local restaurants or will they need to eat at hotel?
Travelers will be able to eat in local restaurants following proper protocols.
- Body temperature will be taken at the entrance of the terminal. Passengers with temperature higher than 38°C (100.4 °F) will not be allowed to enter.
- The entrance to the airport will be carried out in the following way:
- Pedestrian entrance: Gates 1 and 2
- Vehicular access by the freeway: only for passengers. Without cost.
- To enter the terminal, check the door that corresponds you.
- Passengers with checked baggage, the entry is through doors 7 and 9.
- Passengers with hand luggage, door 11.
- Passengers who require special assistance, door 8.
- If you need to check-in luggage, you can do it at the counter of your airline, if you do not, head to the gate area directly.
- Head to the entrance of the boarding lounges. Place your boarding pass through the scanner machine. (TUUA)
- During security control, you will be instructed to comply with the correct placement of your belongings prior to the inspection.
- The use of trays is only for items not stored in your hand luggage, like clothes or big electronic items. Smaller items like watches, bracelets, and cellphones must be stored inside the hand luggage.
- It is not necessary to remove (remove your) footwear.
- When boarding, the line will be formed respecting the social distancing signs on the floor.
- You must place your boarding pass through the scanner machine to avoid contact and the exchange of documents with the airline staff.
- When boarding, travelers must follow the security protocols and present the necessary documents as required by their airline.
- Each passenger is responsible of checking the entry requirements of the destination country.
- After each flight, the boarding lounges are thoroughly disinfected.
Overall quality of the trip was fantastic. Just enough trekking to enjoy the mtns but also have some downtime to allow for people to relax and enjoy other things. Quality of the food and lodging first rate. Demeanor of the guides were excellent. Mountain lodges or peru guide super knowledgeable. No weakness.