How to Prepare for the Trek of your Lifetime
From the moment you decide to book a tour with us, each helpful member of staff will strive to help you wherever they can. However, there are several things that fall upon you, the traveler, to organize in order to prepare for the days of trekking that lie ahead.
Before you start a trek through the mountains of Peru, it is essential to know about the differences in the altitude. It is very possible that you will feel the effects of altitude sickness one arrival in Cusco and also at the higher points along the trekking trails around the region. It is highly recommended to arrive in Cusco a few days before your trek in order to acclimatize . You must also make sure you stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Also try and avoid alcoholic drinks at least the day before a trek if possible!
Know your ability
Although we invite people from all around the world to take part on our adventures, we do recommend that you know your level of fitness. We like to personally tailor our trekking routes to suit the traveler and therefore if you know you are at the peak of your fitness we will be sure to get your hearts pumping. However, if you are keen to trek but are aware that your fitness is not what it once was, we will ensure a pace that matches your ability. We will also be sure to have our wonderful horses ready to accompany us if the altitude or trekking becomes too much.
In order to prepare for any trekking trip we recommend doing some exercise in the weeks leading up to the trek. This doesn’t have to be an intensive fitness routine, however the more you do, the more prepared you will be. The best type of training to prepare for a trek at high altitude is aerobic training which refers to activities that raise your heart rate for twenty minutes. This includes activities like long-distance running, swimming, cycling and brisk long-distance walking. These exercises help build your cardiovascular system, which is key for treks to Machu Picchu, as a strong cardiovascular system is much better at processing oxygen.
What to bring
Part of the beauty of the Salkantay Trek is the diversity which you will experience along the way; you will descend from chilly heights down into subtropical cloud forest. However with such a wonderfully diverse trek comes the struggle of what to pack. While it is important not to overpack, these are the essentials you must not forget:
The key to dressing for the trek islayers; the mornings will certainly be cold, however as soon as you start trekking, the layers will come off as quickly as they went one. We therefore recommend a jacket which is easy to pack away and a light waterproof jacket. Hiking boots are obvious, but don’t forget to bring a change of comfortable shoes to wear around the camp. Also bring a warm hat, scarf and gloves as well as a sun hat. If you plan on visiting the hot springs in Santa Teresa then you will need to pack a swimsuit.
The final night on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, will be spent in Aguas Calientes and you may therefore wish to bring a final outfit to change into to wear out in the town. You will visit Machu Picchu the following day so make sure you are comfortable as you will still be on your feet all day (but remember, this will be the outfit featured in those Machu Picchu photos)!
Our tours are fully catered with a large breakfast at the Ecocamps sending you well on your way each morning. Depending on the day, you will either get a delicious meal at the camp or a lunch box filled with goodies. As well as afternoon snacks our wonderful chefs will cook up an incredible three-course meal each evening. However, feel free to bring extra snacks if you would like.
Even when hiking in the cold valley surrounded by glistening glaciers, it is likely the sun will be shining so definitely bring a high-factor sun cream in your day-bag. After passing the snow-capped mountains we shall be in a cloud forest surrounded by a rich abundance of flora and fauna. This includes insects, so do not forget mosquito repellent and after-bite cream. Walking sticks are optional, but can be particularly useful as they ease the weight on your knees while going downhill and help hugely on steep climbs.
This trek is a trip of a lifetime and you will surely want to take stunning photos along the way. Don’t forget to bring your cables and chargers as all of our Ecocamps have electricity plugs in the domes as well as in the communal lobby and dining areas.
Finally, do not forget to bring your passport along on the trek as you will need it to access Machu Picchu on the last day of the trip.
Now that you feel more prepared, check out our various programs to decide which tour suits you best.