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St Oswald’s Hospice Machu Picchu Trek & Community Project

22nd Oct 2022 - 31st Oct 2022

11 days/Peru /Challenging

Overview

Starting off in Lima, you will take a short internal flight to Cusco to begin your challenge. After three days acclimatising and getting involved with hands-on tasks which can include painting, gardening and small building works through the community project, you will then commence your 4 day trek. You will be trekking along the Salkantay Inca Trail, acknowledged by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine as one of the 25 best treks in the world.

The Salkantay trail follows an ancient and remote Inca footpath, where massive snow-capped mountains collide with lush tropical rain forests, filled with wild strawberries and multitudes of butterflies. Off the beaten path, this trek is a delightful way to experience the land of the ancient Incas surrounded by spectacular snowy peaks, crossing high passes (up to 4600m) and with a unique view of Machu Picchu up across the valley on the final day trekking. You will spend the last night of the trek in the spa town of Aguas Calientes (which literally means ‘hot waters’) located at the foot of the site of Machu Picchu itself. The following morning you will take a short pre-dawn bus transfer to the ancient site to enjoy a guided tour of this magical city, starting with watching the sunrise. After returning to Cusco for your final night you will travel onwards to Lima before returning home.

There is also the option to extend your stay in this incredible country.

A challenging trip. You will be trekking over varying terrain, being exposed to high altitude (up to 4600m) and camping in basic campsites. You should be prepared for all weather conditions and variable temperatures. You will trek for four consecutive days, between 6 and 8 hours per day (variable depending on group pace) which may only be around 10-15km in length because of the hilly terrain. The activity level is high (and don’t forget the physical toll of the work you will do at the project for two days) so do not expect it to be easy; there will be some big hills to climb. You are required to train in preparation for this.

During the trek you will be accompanied by professional English-speaking local guides who have an excellent knowledge of local culture and hiking in the region. The guides are first aid trained and will support you throughout your journey. You will also be supported by professional cooks and muleteers from the local communities and a UK tour manager.

The terrain during the trek varies. The first day is generally flat but there is a constant gradual incline and you gain approximately 950m altitude. There may be some small streams to cross. The second day will start with a steep zigzagging ascent on rocky ground to the high pass, before an undulating descent through the rainforest where the terrain may be muddy and slippery. The final two days of trekking are undulating and you will trek on a mixture of jungle and alpine types of terrain which will be uneven and possibly muddy underfoot. There are a number of hills to climb including a steep climb through the coffee plantations on the final day. You must ensure your training includes plenty of hills to prepare your body for the hilly terrain you will experience.

The weather during the trip should be generally dry although light-moderate rain is to be expected, particularly on trek day 1. Temperatures will be dependent upon the weather and the altitude. The first two days of trekking are the coolest with a daily average of approx. 6°C to 15°C during the day, and dropping to approx. 0°C and -10°C at night. The third and fourth days of trekking through the jungle areas are warmer with temperatures of approx. 10°C – 25°C, and night temperatures dropping to approx. 0°C to -5°C.

Please note: the temperatures and conditions above are historically accurate for this time of year. Climate change impacts the seasons so you may experience uncharacteristic conditions which are out of our control. Should this happen the guide will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and ultimate safety of the group as a whole.

Your trek cooks will prepare hearty meals during the trek to ensure that you have plenty of energy for each day’s exertion. They will look after you brilliantly, bringing hot drinks to your tent each morning to help you wake up and pack your gear, before enjoying breakfast in the mess tent (hot drinks, bread, butter and jam, pancakes, scrambled eggs or oatmeal etc.). The cooks will prepare traditional Andean food for lunch and dinner which will include dishes such as soup, chicken, beef or lamb, fish with potatoes, quinoa, rice or pasta. Snacks include fruit, chocolate or sandwiches, hot drinks and popcorn.

Hot drinks are served at mealtimes (e.g. coffee, tea, hot chocolate) and there is also the option to have a cup of coca tea, which anecdotally helps people adjust to higher altitudes. If you have a particular preference for tea, coffee or hot chocolate (e.g. herbal tea or decaf coffee), please bring a small personal supply.

Boiled water is provided for your water bottles each day however we recommend that you chemically purify this for peace of mind.

You will spend the first two nights in hotels (Lima and Cusco); during the project days you will spend one night camping and then return to Cusco for another night in a hotel. During the trek you will spend three nights camping in tents and one night at a guesthouse in Aguas Calientes. After the trek you will spend one further night in Cusco. At camp you will stay in 3-man tents (two to a tent) to ensure you have plenty of space. You should bring your own sleeping mat.

There are en-suite facilities at the hotels. During the trek you will be provided with a bowl of hot water and soap each morning to freshen up for the day ahead. There may be basic, cold-water shower facilities available at some of the campsites (correct as of Oct 2020) so you should bring a small towel and biodegradable toiletries with you if you wish to pay to use these facilities.

While in hotels you will have en-suite bathroom facilities with flushing toilets. Toilet facilities at camp will either be a hole dug into the ground with a small privacy tent surrounding it, or a very basic pit latrine toilet block. Toilet paper is not provided so you will need to bring your own. If you use the toilet during the day whilst on the trail, you must carry out any toilet paper you use in a sanitary/nappy sack, to dispose of properly at camp. You must NEVER leave toilet paper or any other litter on the trail.

The minimum age is 18 (or 16-17 if accompanied by a parent/guardian). There is no upper age limit. An ideal candidate for the trek would be someone who is open minded, positive and determined, enjoys the challenges of being away from home, can cope with unpredictable situations, is interested in different cultures and is willing to be taken outside their comfort zone.

This trek is graded ‘challenging’ because you will be trekking over varying terrain, being exposed to high altitude (up to 4600m) and camping in basic campsites. You should be prepared for all weather conditions and variable temperatures. You will trek for four consecutive days, between 6 and 8 hours per day (variable depending on group pace) which may only be around 10-15km in length because of the hilly terrain. The activity level is high (and don’t forget the physical toll of the work you will do at the project for two days) so do not expect it to be easy; there will be some big hills to climb. You are required to train in preparation for this.

Get outside and start walking. If you’re not a regular walker, start slowly with short distances, then as you get more comfortable, increase your mileage and add in more challenging terrain until you can comfortably walk for several consecutive hours on hilly terrain. Hill walking should feature highly in your training to prepare your body for the terrain you will experience during the trek.

The maximum altitude on this trek is 4600m (Abra Salkantay high pass) however your exposure to high altitude will start from your arrival in Cusco (3400m). Altitudes of approximately 3000m and above are considered high altitude. Upon arriving in Cusco, it quickly becomes evident to un-acclimatised people that they are at a place of high altitude as simple activities such as walking upstairs feels more laboured than expected. The first day in Cusco is intended as an acclimatisation day, to give your body a chance to adjust. Further acclimatisation time is planned for your two days at the community project; when you ascend to approximately 4200m, then return to Cusco to rest before commencing the trek. These acclimatisation days are very important to help you cope with the altitude demands during the trek.

Your guides are very experienced in spotting the signs of altitude sickness but it is important that you also do your own research into the effects so you can be aware of how your body is adjusting. . Common mild symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, nausea, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep and fatigue. These generally subside after a few days, once your body acclimatises to the altitude. It is vital that you make your guides and tour manager aware of any symptoms immediately, so that you can be monitored. Your safety is our number one priority.

More information can be found at the NHS pages about altitude and the Travel Doctor website among other sources.

We require a medical form to be completed by everyone upon registering, and any pre-existing conditions, medications used and other medical issues must be specified. All your medical details are treated in the strictest confidence.

The information will be securely screened by a qualified medical professional, and details provided to your tour manager and local guides so our staff are adequately informed and prepared to support you during the trip. By completing this booking form you are giving consent for us to contact you confidentially with any follow up questions regarding your health.

If you declare any medical conditions you may be asked to provide more information, or we may request to contact your GP. We must be informed if any conditions or medication change, or if new conditions develop. If necessary confirmation of fitness to travel from your GP or specialist may be required.

In the event that your medical issues represent a concern for your safety and wellbeing, or the safety and wellbeing of others in the group, you may be recommended not to take part. If this happens your deposit will be refunded. Please note that we will never unreasonably deny participation on a trip nor contravene the Equality Act 2010.

Essentials

E-tickets + pre-departure info
Passport + copy
Insurance policy details
Pen for immigration forms
Cash (£) + Credit/ATM card(s)
LED head torch + spare batteries
Adaptor (multi prong option)
Sunglasses (preferably polarized)
Plastic bags (various sizes)
Mobile phone + charger
Camera + spare batteries

Clothing & Footwear

Hiking boots*
Casual shoes for sightseeing
Trainers for use around camp (optional)
Flip flops (e.g. for use in camp showers)
Trek socks (e.g. Bridgedale or Smartwool)
Underwear
Trek trousers (convertible is ideal)
Thermal base layer trousers & top
Non-cotton t-shirt
Non-cotton long sleeved layer (e.g. shirt)
Warm fleece
Warm jacket (e.g. down or Primaloft)
Waterproof jacket + trousers
Light poncho (can be bought locally)
Warm hat and a sun hat
Buff or bandana
Warm gloves or mittens and liner gloves
Protective gloves for project
Swimwear
Clothes and shoes for community project
Casual clothes for travel/free days

Hygiene

Shampoo/conditioner*
Toothbrush/toothpaste*
Antiperspirant/deodorant*
Shower gel/ shave kit / loofah*
Wet wipes*
Toilet paper* x2 rolls
Sun cream (high SPF)*
Hand sanitizer
Small travel towel
Feminine hygiene products*
Nappy sacks* (for used toilet paper)
Hair brush/comb

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
50% DEET insect repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol
Plasters/blister plasters
Imodium (Loperamide)
Rehydration (e.g. Dioralyte)
Muscle rub (tiger balm/Deep Heat)
Anti-histamine tablets/cream
Antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon)
Indigestion remedy (e.g. Gaviscon)
Lip balm with SPF protection
Scissors/tweezers
Zinc oxide tape (optional)
Spare glasses/contact lenses

Optional

Video camera + charger
iPod/MP3 player
Walking pole(s) with rubber tips
Portable power bank/powerpack
Books/playing cards

Luggage

Suitcase
Kit bag (carried by mules on trek)
Daypack (25-35 litres)
Small combination padlocks

Eating and Drinking

Energy snacks
2-litre water bottle (e.g. CamelBak)
1-litre standard water bottle (e.g. Sigg or Nalgene)
Water purification (e.g. Biox Aqua)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. NUUN)

Sleeping

Ear plugs (essential)
Sleeping bag (comfort -10°C)
Sleeping bag liner
Pyjamas (use your thermals on trek)

Please note: This list is not exhaustive and does not account for your personal taste or preference. It should be used as a guideline only. If you have any questions or queries regarding this list which are not answered in the sections above please contact info@different-travel.com.

*Please ensure you pack your boots in your hand baggage in the unlikely event your luggage is delayed or goes missing.

*Please consider eco-friendly or biodegradable options. Consider shopping at Little Footprint Gifts.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Saturday 22 October 2022):

UK Airport* – Lima
Depart a UK Airport* on an indirect flight to Lima. On arrival in Lima transfer to a hotel for an overnight stay.
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 (Sunday 23 October 2022):

Lima – Cusco
It’s an early start this morning for our short flight to Cusco (3400m). After arriving at the hotel the day is at your leisure to rest and acclimatise to the altitude, perhaps take in some of the local sights such as a visit to Cusco Cathedral, the markets, or just enjoy people-watching over a coffee in Plaza de Armas.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Days 3 –4 (Monday 24 – Tuesday 25 October 2022):

Cusco – Project – Cusco
The next two days will be spent assisting on a local community development project while acclimatising to the altitude (up to 4200m). Previous groups have repainted a school, helped repair a clinic or community centre, or created a vegetable garden. This time is invaluable for acclimatising to the altitude before starting the trek and also provides a great opportunity to get involved with the local community and see rural Peru. There will also be time to meet members of the community and learn about life in this part of Peru. You will camp close to the project on Monday night and will return to Cusco on Tuesday afternoon after completing your project tasks.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 (Wednesday 26 October 2022):

Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa
Today the trek begins. We transfer from Cusco very early this morning to take the winding mountain road to Mollepata (2900m), enjoying panoramic views en-route. After our pack horses are loaded and we are prepared, we commence the trek stopping for lunch at around midday. After lunch, we will continue hiking to our stunning campsite, Soraypampa (3850m), arriving late in the afternoon.
Trekking: Approx. 22km, 950m altitude gain
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 (Thursday 27 October 2022):

Soraypampa – Challway
Today the landscape changes drastically. After breakfast we leave the grassy terrain of camp behind and start the most difficult part of the trek, zigzagging uphill on dry and arid ground all morning to the high pass, Abra Salkantay (4600m). Upon reaching Abra Salkantay we admire spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of Mt. Salkantay (weather permitting) which rises to 6271m above sea level. After celebrating reaching the high pass we start our descent through the jungle to camp in Challway (2920m), stopping en-route for lunch.
Trekking: Approx. 21km, 750m altitude gain / 1620m altitude loss
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7 (Friday 28 October 2022):

Challway – Sahuayaco Playa
We trek through the rainforest today via the small town of Collpapampa, also called the “Forest Cloudy Brow” where waterfalls, thermal hot springs, fruit trees, and a wide arrange of tropical flowers and birdlife, such as hummingbirds, can be observed. From here we head to the Sahuayaco Playa campsite which is located next to a river where you can take a refreshing dip (2064m).
Trekking: Approx. 18km, 856m altitude loss
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8 (Saturday 29 October 2022):

Sahuayaco Playa – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes
After an early breakfast, we will ascend for around three hours to reach Llactapata (2700m) from where we can admire views of Machu Picchu from across the valley. On the way we pass coffee plantations, beautiful landscapes as well as diverse flora and fauna. After enjoying the view, we descend to Hidroelectrica, where we stop for lunch before taking the train to Aguas Calientes (2040m) where we check into our hotel for the night.
Trekking: Approx. 20km, 636m altitude gain, 660m altitude loss
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9 (Sunday 30 October 2022):

Machu Picchu – Cusco
This morning we depart before sunrise to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. We transfer by bus to the site and enjoy a guided tour of the city before having free time to explore the site, such as walking to the famous Sun Gate from where you see the picture postcard classic view of Machu Picchu. This afternoon we take the train to Poroy, followed by a short transfer back to Cusco where we check in for the night before going to a local restaurant for our farewell meal.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10-11 (Monday 31 October – Tuesday 1 November 2022):

Cusco – Lima – London*
Today we fly from Cusco to Lima before taking the indirect overnight flight back to London*, landing the next day.
Meals: Breakfast

OPTIONAL EXTENSION

Day 10 (Monday 31 October 2022):

Cusco – Puerto Maldonado – Capitanía
Early this morning, you will fly from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, Peru’s capital of biodiversity. Continue to Capitanía, a small river port, to board a motorized boat on the Madre de Dios River. You will be immersed in the natural surroundings of the jungle as you try to spot ronsoco, caimans, turtles, herons, cormorants and other native animal species.
You will arrive at your lodge and enjoy a welcome drink before settling in and having lunch. In the afternoon, accompanied by an expert guide, you’ll set off on a walking trail to discover the flora and fauna of the area. Over 540 species of bird, 100 species of mammal and a world-record 362 species of ant have been recorded here! Later this evening, after dinner at the lodge, there is a river trip to view the wildlife that appears after dark, such as capybaras, white caiman and nightjars.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11 (Tuesday 1 November 2022):

Canopy Walk
This morning we explore the canopy walkway, where you can walk through the treetops over 30m above the ground, where hundreds of species have built their habitat. Designed as a scientific research station this trail of platforms, observation decks and hanging bridges meanders through the virgin forest offering incredible birds-eye views of local species of plants, trees, birds and animals. After lunch back at the lodge, we head to Sandoval, a beautiful oxbow lake. You will board a dugout canoe and paddle through the mangroves in search of giant river otters, blue and yellow macaws, red howler monkeys, anacondas and black caimans.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12 (Wednesday 2 November 2022):

Madre de Dios River
After breakfast, head off by boat for about 20 minutes to reach a sandbank in the Madre de Dios River, which is home to some of the most beautiful and exotic birds in the world. Walk across the island to explore the floodplain that provides the island’s unique ecosystem, including the rare Amazonian umbrellabird. Later there is a chance to learn about life for the local Amazonian communities as you pay a visit to a native farm and learn about the tropical fruits and herbs which are grown here. There is some time to relax this afternoon and take in your surroundings, or perhaps enjoy a further final foray into the rainforest before dinner this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13-14 (Thursday 3 – Friday 4 November 2022):

Puerto Maldonado – Cusco – Lima – London*
After breakfast, it’s time to return to Puerto Maldonado Airport, from where we fly back to Lima, via Cusco. This evening depart on an overnight flight back to the UK.

*Flights from regional airports may be possible subject to a small supplement.

N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the itinerary but we cannot be held responsible for changes that occur outside of our control. In all circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the group’s health and safety.

Costs & How to pay

Option 1

Registration fee: £300
Fundraising: £4,390 for St Oswald’s Hospice

or

Option 2

Registration fee: £600 (can be paid in instalments)
Fundraising target: £4,090 for St Oswald’s Hospice

*Fundraising and self-funding options are available, with overall targets to be reached by 30th September 2021.

SPONSORSHIP

There is a minimum sponsorship amount for the tour that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • The minimum sponsorship must be paid to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.

FLEXI

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

Trip dates: Please note that the trip dates may be subject to change. We intend to operate this challenge during the autumn half term and at the time of writing half term dates had not been announced. The trip dates will be confirmed approximately 1 year in advance.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION

Minimum 2 people: £800 per person in twin room

Minimum 5 people: £750 per person in twin room

Minimum 10 people:  £700 per person in twin room

Single supplement: £125 per person

Extension Cost Includes:

  • Internal flights (including taxes)
  • All transfers and transport
  • Accommodation in 2/3 star lodge
  • All meals at the lodge
  • All permits, fees and taxes
  • All trips and excursions with a local guide

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

  • Personal expenses (such as drinks, laundry etc)
  • Any visas and vaccinations
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Optional tips

What's included

  • Return flights from the UK* to Cusco
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • Local transfers and transport
  • Accommodation in a hotel in Lima (1 night), Cusco (3 nights), guesthouse accommodation in Aguas Calientes (1 night), tents on project and trek (4 nights)
  • English-speaking local guides, horsemen and cooks on trek
  • Machu Picchu entrance fees
  • Trekking Permits
  • All meals
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

*Flights from regional airports may be possible subject to a small supplement.

What's not included

  • Any necessary vaccinations
  • Drinks, laundry and personal expenses
  • Spending money (tips and gratuities, souvenirs)
  • Transport to/from UK airports
  • Personal trek kit
  • Travel insurance

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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