Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Cusco
You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter inside). We can pick you up on any date that is best suited to you prior to your trek!
The briefing for treks and tours will take place the night before your trekking departure at 6pm in our office, which is located at Garcilaso Street 210 , Office Nº:213 (2and Floor) in the la CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center
Can I store my luggage at your office?
Of course! During your trek or tour your primary luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel; both are at no cost to your. Please do not pack anything your main suitcase that your will need for your hike.
How to book our tours and treks?
FIRST, to book a tour or trek need you to fill out our booking form on our secure site, by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here the link BOOK NOW.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permits, entrances to Machu Picchu, or make hotel or train reservations (it is a government requirement) without the following information:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit of per person (the amount depends on which trek or tour you are booking) in order to purchase permits, entrances, and hotel and train reservations for your tour or trek. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL,
What about the balance?
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of email@example.com.
How do I qualify for the student discount?
- According to Peruvian Law you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need ISIC cards). For example if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
- All students from 12 to 17 years, the discount is $40.
- For children from the age of 2 to 12 the discount is $60.
- For children from the age of 0 to 2 are free.
- All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
- Send us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I get the student ISIC card discount?
- The ISIC Student Discount is US$25.
- You must have a valid current internationally accepted ISIC card in your name.
- You can apply for the ISIC Card at https://www.isic.org/
- You must provide a copy of your ISIC card at the time of your booking.
- Send us a copy at email@example.com
May I change the departure date after the tickets have beed bought?
Unfortunately the answer is “No” for the Inca Trail. Once the permits or entrance tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the permits or ticket has been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable.
In regards to Alternative Treks, it may be possible to change your date for an additional fee. Please contact the office as soon as possible if this occurs so we can assist you in this matter.
If you cancel your tour or trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!
Do I need my original passport on the Inca Trail and Alternative treks?
Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your Inca Trail Machu Picchu permit, entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket or other entrances and reservations depending on your choice of trek.
The rangers on the Inca Trail will check every day and it will be checked when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train.
In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or get on the train. They are very strict about this here!
What is the weather like on our treks & tours?
First I would say that the weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. You will have many different varieties of weather as you pass through the numerous microclimates and it will depend on the location. We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes for the evening and early morning time, and good rain gear in your day backpack in case of rain no matter the season. We suggest that you dress in layers.
What about altitude sickness?
In general if you exercise regularly and spend 2 to 3 days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatization to the altitude, you may be just fine.
The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. For more detailed information on Altitude Sickness click this link: Altitude Sickness.
We offer the Cusco City Tour and Sacred Valley tours that you can book while you are acclimatizing. Check out our day tours on our Main Page.
What about toilets on the trek?
It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by the female ones who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet!! SAM Travel Peru toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.
How many people are there per group?
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 4-6 persons. Sam Travel Peru specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized services.
Are we dropped at our hotel after your trek or tour?
Absolutely! Included in our packages is picking you up and dropping you off at your hotel on the return from your trek or tour. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too! Also, if you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before your trek (if your are doing the Inca Trail), we will pick you up there.
At what time does the train depart from Aguas calientes?
It will depend on the train availability (high season it could book out) but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore you we usually book the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu. You usually get back to Cusco at around 8pm.
Vistadome train upgrate; How much is it?
For sure you may upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and windows in the ceiling. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$57 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy (Cusco) train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to the Vistadome Train, the trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco), takes 3.5 hours, and then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at their hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take the bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many INCA TRAIL HIKE destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Are you sustainable?
Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator in that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and it´s people.