Below there are answers to frequently asked questions that will help you to prepare well for the trek. If you have any additional questions, we will be happy to answer them via e-mail.

  • Pre Trek Briefing
  • Trek Difficulty
  • Altitude
  • Insurance 
  • Equipment
  • What to bring?
  • Hiring Extra Equipment
  • Luggage Storage & Load Limits
  • Emergency horse/mule
  • Water
  • Cooking & meals
  • Bathing and showers
  • Toilets
  • Medical Kit
  • Train tickets
  • How much money should I take?
  • Tips
  • Feedback
  • Responsible tourism
  • Gifts
  • Safety
Before the trek (preferably at least two days before) we will meet you for a briefing about your trek. At this time your guide (or a representative of the agency if your guide is on a trip) will explain the route you will take on your trek and answer any last minute questions that you may have about the trek. The briefing should only be ½ an hour. Your final payment to our Administrator is also usually done at the pre-trek briefing. 
We described the trek difficulties based on our experience. It depends though on your fitness, experience and many other factors including your health on the day. Trekking in the Andes is never easy, but most people can do it as long as they have average fitness and a good attitude. We strongly suggest that you inform us about your level of fitness and any medical conditions that you have. 
We strongly recommend that you acclimatize for 2-3 days in a high place (like Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Arequipa or Lake Titicaca) before attempting any of our hikes. Altitude can affect anyone at moderate to high altitude (generally anything over 3,000 metres). Age, level of fitness and strength is no indication of how well you will fare at altitude. Be aware that altitude sickness can be serious, so if your guide advises you to rest or descend, please do as instructed. As most of our treks are a mixture of ascents and descents, altitude sickness is often short term and suffering from it does not necessarily mean you will be unable to complete the trek. Drugs are available to combat the effects of altitude sickness, for more information please ask your doctor. 
We strongly recommend that you have your own travel insurance prior to booking one of our treks or tours.  Passengers have responsibility to ensure that their travel or medical insurance policy covers the activity or sport in which they are participating. 
Please see each page for specific notes in regard to the equipment that is carried on each tour. 
Each web page has a specific list of what to bring for your trek. However, remember that the weather in the Andes can be very unpredictable and you should be prepared for bad weather. Peru is located in the southern hemisphere meaning the winter extends from June to August. In the winter months daytime temperatures can be hot & sunny, but the nights can be very cold. During the summer it can be warm and rainy during the day and quite cold at night. It is usual to encounter some rain all year round so we recommend buying a poncho in Cusco.When packing try to bring a range of layers so that you can take off or add clothes as required in the ever changing Andean weather.
Depending on your needs we can hire the following to you: – Sleeping Bag suitable for -5deg. ($4.00 per day) – Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -10deg. ($5.00 per day) – for the suggestion which sleeping bag you need, please consult “what to bring on the trek” section of the sepcific site for your trek; it also depends on your individual preference. – Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($2.00 per day) – two sticks are recommended for tough hikes to aid balance especially on steep descents and ascents. – Mule – $10.00 per day – most people find our allowance of 7 kg of luggage to be carried by mules sufficient and carry additionally their own day pack weighting up to 5-10kg – a change of clothes and wet weather gear etc. However, if you think that you will have much luggage or you want a very light day pack (eg. just camera and water) then it’s advisable that you hire an extra mule 
Included in your trek is allowance of 7 kg of luggage per person to be carried by mules. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the muleteers travel at a different pace than the group. Additionally most people carry their own day pack weighting up to 5-10kg – a change of clothes and wet weather gear etc. During the trek we advise you to store your excessive luggage at your hotel in Cusco. 
We send an “emergency” horse or mule on your trips which is to be used in case of emergency, sprained ankle or even if you have been sick and feel weak. If you are walking particularly slowly, your guide may advise you to use the horse so that the group reaches their campsite in good time. Please also note that this is not a “horse” as considered by Western standards, it is more like a cross between a mule and a horse and it will not be comfortable to ride for long periods of time. If you seriously think you require a “riding horse” please discuss it with us. It should also be noted that in extremely wet, muddy or steep conditions sometimes it is inadvisable to ride the horse for safety reasons. Note: an emergency mule is not included on some treks, (specifically the Classic Inca Trail) so you should carefully check your list of inclusions for specific information. 
We generally recommend that you start out from Cusco with 1-2 litres of water. You should also bring a refillable water bottle with you. During the day, when you are hiking you can fill up from streams, on the advice of your guide. You should use purification tablets for this water. Each morning you will be offered boiled water for your use and you can fill up your bottles before setting out. As people have different requirements for water (ie some people drink a lot and others less) it is important that you take responsibility for ensuring you have enough water each day. You need to communicate your needs (via the guide) to the cook. 
Our cooks serve hygienically prepared food properly balanced for your needs during the trek. If you are a vegetarian or have specially dietary requirements and/or allergies, please specify on your booking form and remind us at your briefing. Water is boiled for three minutes before being used for cooking and raw vegetables, if served, are washed in boiled/ purified water. 
There are few opportunities for bathing in the rivers on our treks. There are cold water shower facilities on some of our treks. However, in the evening and morning, please ask your cook to warm some water for you to wash your hands and face. 
Depending on the tour you take, we provide toilet tents at each of the campsites or you can use the existing facilities. During the day, your guide carries a pick or lightweight shovel. Should you need to use this, please ask him/her. Remember also to bring your toilet paper but please, don’t leave it on the surface.
Each trip departs with a basic medical kit and an oxygen bottle. We advise that you bring your own medications if you have any special needs. Be aware that we do not include altitude tablets in our kit. 
For backpacker trains the timetable is 2.30pm and 6pm, and you return to Cusco approximately 3-4 hours later. A representative of the agency will meet the train in Ollantaytambo and transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco. We apologise in advance if we cannot get either of these times, if we cannot we have endeavored to do so. Some people want early trains, some people like later trains, it all depends on personal preference and it’s impossible to anticipate people’s preference. If you want to change your train ticket, you can do so by paying $10 extra (approx.) in Aguas Calientes, depending on availability on the day. Please also note that in high season (normally July-August) the trains to Machu Picchu and back again are completely over-subscribed and it’s difficult to get tickets, even with several weeks notice. This is why we are insistent that your send your passport details asap! In the case that Apus Trek is not able to obtain train tickets for you we will provide a car that returns via the Abra de Malaga to Cusco (approx 6 hours of travelling). 
Please review what is included in your trek in order to estimate what you should take. Along the way you can buy snacks and souvenirs, mostly of a non expensive nature. Most people also like to enjoy a nice meal and some drinks in Aguas Calientes on the night you arrive from your trek. Aguas Calientes is generally more expensive than other parts of Peru, so expect things to cost more there. Finally, bring money to tip your staff and your guides. (Please see below) There is an ATM in Aguas Calientes, but don’t rely on it working so we suggest you take ample to cover your expenses while there. 
Tips vary and depend on the traveller’s satisfaction with the quality of the service rendered. Although our staff is paid just above local industry rates, and we include all meals and transportation, they do appreciate tips. Deciding how much to tip the porters, the cook and guide is a difficult moment at the end of the trek. Generally speaking, if the group have been pleased with the service then try to ensure that each porter/muleteer takes home an extra 10-15 soles per day of trek, cook 20-25 soles per day of trek, and the guide as you feel is appropriate. These amounts are shared between all members of the group, and are not individual tips. We believe that ultimately, tipping the guide and cook should be dependent on the quality of the service that you received. 
Your guide should give you a feedback form to complete on the final day. We would greatly appreciate if you could take the time to complete this form and give us your impressions of your journey. If we don’t receive this form, we will email you for your comments. It is most important that we have your feedback on all aspects of the journey.
We recommend that you read our web site on the responsible tourism. If you wish to bring gifts please consider those which might convey a positive image. This includes fruit – oranges and apples. Children in the high Andes rarely eat fruit, and you are encouraging a healthy eating behaviour. The drawback is that fruit is heavy to carry. Other ideas include Dried fruit & Bread Try to avoid anything that has packaging which will inevitably become litter. Pens and paper are often suggested. Shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste are all purchasable at cheap prices in Cusco and encourage healthy behaviours but do come in packaging. (The packaging then becomes litter). If you want to contribute very positively, you can bring simple reading books or picture books (in Spanish) and ask that you accompany your guide to the local school to give them to the teacher. If you wish to give cash when arriving in a community, ask to see the President, Secretary and/or Treasurer of the Community or the Parents Association. Then, ensure that your gift is witnessed by several people and that the donation is written in the ‘Actas’ or recordbook of the community. 
If you wish to bring a gift from your home country please bring something useful, simple and not too expensive., so it doesn’t break down the traditional concept of ayni – that is, that exchanges should be reciprocal. Therefore while it is nice to give – also consider the long term implications and what it means for these traditional communities. 
Trekking in the Andes is generally pretty safe. There is minimal theft – it does sometimes occur on the more touristed routes (ie Salkantay). Be cautious, not paranoid! We do recommend always sleeping with your valuables (ie money belt, passports) near your heads or in your sleeping bag. Your camera and day packs should be kept between you or near your heads – never near the flap of your tent. Shoes should be stored inside!