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INCA TRAIL TREK TERMS AND CONDITIONS (updated 01 February 2016)
Please note that the trek deposit is non-refundable. The deposit is used to reserve space within the group. Once we have made a trek reservation with the government authorities we cannot then change any details of the reservation (your name, passport number or departure date). If you have to cancel your trek booking government authorities will not let us fill your cancelled spaces with other clients, we just have to depart with a smaller less-economic group. The trek permit once purchased is non-refundable & non-transferable.
(i) Trek cancellation prior to 7pm two days prior to trek departure (after having paid the trek deposit): Loss of trek deposit. All other payments will be refunded in full. Note that if the trek balance is not received prior to 7pm two days before trek departure then the trek will be deemed to have been cancelled and the deposit cannot be returned. Once we have bought the trek permits it should be noted that we cannot then substitute other trekkers in your place if you have to cancel. The Inca Trail trek permit, bus ticket and train ticket will not be returned.
[Please note that the trek permit is non-refundable and non-transferable either to another person or another date and upon cancellation we do not receive any form of credit from the government. Upon cancellation the trek permit has to be submitted to government at the start of the trek and recorded as "Void". It cannot be used to enter Machu Picchu. In order to visit Machu Picchu you will have to buy a new entrance ticket, train ticket, bus tickets etc]. The purchase of new Machu Picchu entrance tickets are subject to availability.
(ii) Trek cancellation between 7pm two days before trek departure and prior to entering the check point at the start of the Inca Trail (i.e. once you have paid for the trek in full and before your trek permit is validated at the start of the trek): Only the train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and the bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes will be returned to you. If you have hired the services of a porter we cannot refund your payment and the porter will continue on the Inca Trail as originally contracted to do so. If you have hired a sleeping bag and it has not been used we will refund this amount in full.
[Please note that the trek permit is non-refundable and non-transferable either to another person or another date and upon cancellation we do not receive any form of credit from the government. Upon cancellation the trek permit has to be submitted to government at the start of the trek and recorded as "Void". It cannot normally be used to enter Machu Picchu. In order to enter Machu Picchu you will have to buy a new entrance ticket] In order to use the trek permit to enter Machu Picchu on the planned date government regulations require you to physically pass through the checkpoint at the start of the trail (see cancellation clause below). However if you are too ill to make it to the start of the trek we will make every effort to try to validate your permit at the checkpoint so you can use it to enter Machu Picchu although this isn't officially permitted so you may have to buy a new Machu Picchu entrance ticket subject to availability as indicated above.
If you have to cancel the Inca Trail trek but still plan to visit Machu Picchu you will be responsible for making your own arrangements to get to Machu Picchu and liable for any associated transport, entrance fees and accommodation costs.
iii) Once you have started the Inca Trail (and passed through the check point at the start of the Inca Trail) we can only return your unused train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and your bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes. We cannot make any cash refunds. Failure to be able to continue with the trek will be treated as a cancellation. If you are unable to continue the trek for any reason we will arrange to have you accompanied back to your hotel in Cusco (costs of additional nights accommodation to be met by yourselves). Usually you will be accompanied by either our main guide or assistant guide (for groups of 8 or more) but depending on the situation you may have to be accompanied by another member of the trekking group such as a porter or guide from another company. Any costs associated with returning to Cusco must be met by yourselves (i.e. taxi fare approx US$40 or public transport much cheaper, medical expenses etc..). If you feel that you are well enough to continue to Aguas Calientes and want to try to join the group at Machu Picchu then any costs associated with you and any person accompanying you to Aguas Calientes & Machu Picchu must be met by yourselves. These costs include all transport and accommodation costs (for you, the guide and any friends accompanying you) and any medical expenses (thankfully this is a very rare event). Additional costs may include overnight accommodation in Ollantaytambo, the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, up to 2 nights accommodation in Aguas Calientes, bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and meals. (the guide can stay in basic budget accommodation so an estimate of additional guide costs would be around US$120 to be paid directly to the guide). Since your trek permit was already activated at the start of the trek it should be valid for you to use to enter Machu Picchu on the planned date to join the group and continue your tour. If for any reason the trek permit is not valid then you will have to pay a re-entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
In the event of any trek cancellation or additional unforeseen costs Peru Treks will be happy to cooperate in providing any necessary documentation to enable a legitimate insurance claim. It is a requirement that all clients have suitable travel insurance and Peru Treks cannot be responsible for any additional costs due to client cancellation, illness, unfitness or inability to continue the trek.
It should be noted Peru Treks is a professional, responsible tour operator with an excellent reputation for quality and service. We have no intention of cancelling any of our clients trek reservations.
(i) Cancellation of Trek due to failure to purchase your Inca Trail trek permit: If in the event that Peru Treks has to cancel your trek due to failure or inability to purchase your trek permit we will notify you by email as soon as we become aware of such matters. We may offer you an alternative trek departure date. If an alternative date is not acceptable to you we will hold your trek deposit payment for your collection in our office in Cusco less any PayPal/bank charges associated with receiving your deposit. If you are unable to come to the office to collect your deposit we will return it to you by PayPal less the transfer charges related with receiving and sending it to you. (In some circumstances PayPal may not charge any fees for refunds made within 60 days)
(ii) Cancellation of Trek due to matters outside of the control of Peru Treks (Force Majeure). See section 7 below. If in the event that Peru Treks has to cancel your trek due to Force Majeure Peru Treks will do its best to offer an alternative 4 day trek in place of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We will obviously try to include a visit to Machu Picchu as part of any alternative trek itinerary but depending on the circumstances this may not always be possible (i.e. if Machu Picchu is closed or routes to and/or from Machu Picchu are not passable). Participation in an alternative trek of our choosing will be mandatory and, although the opinions of the group will be taken into account, the final decision as to the route will be made by Peru Treks. Non participation in the alternative trek will be treated as a cancellation of the trek by the client (see section 1 above). If Peru Treks is unable to offer a suitable alternative trek or Peru Treks feels that there are not enough people willing to participate in the alternative trek to make it economically viable then we will cancel the trek and refund only the proportion of the cost of the trek that has not already been spent or committed to operating the trek. The amount spent or committed to operating the trek could include, but not limited to, entrances fees, train tickets, guide and porter wages, contracted buses, perishable goods, office overheads, administration fees, PayPal/bank charges etc We will aim to make any such refunds within 60 days of the planned trek departure date. You will have to reclaim the remaining proportion from your travel insurance. Unfortunately the trek deposit and trek balance (if paid) will not be refunded to clients if the trek is cancelled due to Force Majeure and / or the client decides not to participate in an alternative trek although Peru Treks will provide clients with suitable documentation so that clients can claim a refund from their insurance companies. All clients are required to have travel insurance to cover such an event.
As we publish our prices well in advance, we may occasionally be faced with significant cost increases due to factors over which we have no control. As such we reserve the right to impose surcharges (or price decreases) up to 1 day before departure due to increases in Inca Trail trek permits (entrance fee), unfavourable exchange rates, increases in train fares or other transport costs, taxes, sudden increases in legal minimum wages or if government action should require us to do so.
Our Inca Trail trek prices are based upon the following third party costs which are outside of our control: (info updated 01 February 2016)
1: Inca Trail entrance fee is 300 Peruvian Soles (S/.254 + S/.46 sales tax) which is about US$94 and 43 Soles, about US$14 for all of our porters. The price paid for the entrance fee is clearly marked on the trek permit. This price includes entrance to Machu Picchu. The government reserves the right to increase the entrance fee at any time throughout the year and may only give us one or two weeks notice.
2: Included in the price of the trek is the one-way journey on the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on the Peru Rail Expedition service or similar which currently costs US$78 per person. (details of service and price can be checked on the Peru Rail website www.perurail.com).The Peru Rail website states that they reserve the right to change the price at anytime. There is also the possibility that Peru Rail will no longer sell a one-way ticket and will only sell return tickets i.e. Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo. If this is the case it is possible that the price of the ticket could double!! However this is unlikely. We will try to do everything in our control to keep the price of the ticket to as low as possible but clients must be prepared for such increases in the price of the train ticket. Peru Rail currently runs a monopoly service so we don't have an alternative (Peru Rail is 50% owned by Orient Express, a British company which is registered in Bermuda and listed in the NY stock exchange).
3. Included in the price of the trek is the bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes which costs US$12 per person. It is not anticipated that these costs will increase during 2016. The price paid for the bus ticket is clearly marked on the ticket.
4. Local sales taxes known as IGV are included in the price of the Inca Trail trek. The currently rate of IGV is 18%. It is not anticipated that this rate will increase during 2016.
5. Exchange Rate. The Inca Trail trek price for 2016 is based on an exchange rate of 1 USD = 3.25 Peruvian Soles. Although we accept payment for the trek in US dollars the majority of our expenses are in Peruvian Soles (trek permits, office & porter wages, food, taxes). Peru Treks will absorb any change in costs up to 15 points difference from 3.25. i.e. if the exchange rate falls to 3.10 we will not ask you to pay any additional surcharge. If however the value of the US dollar falls below 3.10 we will ask you to pay a US$10 surcharge, if the value falls below 3.00 we will ask you to pay a US$15 surcharge, below 2.9 we will ask you to pay a US$20 surcharge etc etc. Peru Treks will have to show any calculations to clearly justify such surcharges. In the last 5 years we have never requested an exchange rate surcharge to be paid.
If any of the third party costs listed above change to increase the cost of the trek we will immediately update the trek price listed on our website (apart from the exchange rate which can continue to go up and down throughout the year so the website will not be updated to reflect these cost changes). Clients will be liable for paying any increased cost of the Inca Trail trek upon arrival in Cusco.
Peru Treks trek itineraries have been designed to provide participants with an exposure to the true nature of the environment visited and therefore involve an element of personal risk and exposure to potential hazards over and above those associated with normal "package" holidays. The client acknowledges that the nature of the tour is adventurous and that such activities may involve a significant amount of personal risk.
At all times the decision of the company's guide or representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety and well being of the tour group. The client must at all times strictly comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of Peru. Should the client fail to comply with the above, or should the client interfere with the well being of the group then the guide or company representative may order the client to leave the tour without recourse to any refund.
The client must be in possession of a valid passport and all visas required for the whole of the journey and the client accepts responsibility for obtaining the same. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
We will buy your Inca Trail trek permit using the passport numbers that you send us with your trek booking application. You must bring these same passports with you to Cusco and take them on the Inca Trail. If the number in your passport is different from the number on the trek permit, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund.
If a client is claiming a student discount then they must bring a valid International Student Identity Card (ISIC) on the trek. The card will be checked at the start of the trek by government workers and failure to provide a valid card will prevent entry to the Inca Trail and no refund offered. Clients will not be offered the opportunity to pay the difference between a student and standard trek permit as government regulations prohibit this.
Failure to bring the required travel documents will be treated as a cancellation of the trek by the client (see section 1 above). Government regulations do not offer the option of buying a new trek permit using a new passport number even at full price.
The company will do its best to minimize the effects of matters outside its control, but cannot accept any liability or additional associated costs, either directly or indirectly, for these matters which include political disputes, industrial action, unforeseeable climate, road blocks, landslides on the Inca Trail, problems with the railway between Aguas Calientes and Cusco, delayed trains, changes to minimum wages etc. In order to avoid strike action which has been planned on certain days the group may have to depart for the Inca Trail in the evening before the planned trek departure date. Peru Treks will not be responsible for any costs associated with unused or partly used accommodation services due to this earlier than planned departure. Failure to agree to depart at this earlier time will be considered a trek cancellation by the client. If all or part of the Inca Trail or Machu Picchu is closed due to Force Majeure then Peru Treks will do its best to provide an alternative trek itinerary which may or may not include a visit to Machu Picchu. Unfortunately the trek deposit and balance (if paid) will not be refunded to clients if the trek is cancelled due to Force Majeure and / or the client decides not to participate in an alternative trek although Peru Treks will provide clients with suitable documentation so that clients can claim a refund from their insurance companies.
The campsite at Wiñay Wayna and the narrow section of the Inca Trail between Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu are sensitive to landslides and erosion and at times may be closed to public access particularly during the wet season. If Wiñay Wayna campsite is closed then the group may have to camp at Phuyupatamarca or continue to Aguas Calientes to spend the night before visiting Machu Picchu on the final day. There are no extra costs associated with staying at Phutupatamarca campsite. If the group stays in Aguas Calientes then Peru Treks will offer basic mixed-dorm style accommodation on the floor of a local restaurant (no extra cost) or camping at a private campsite (additional camping fees will apply). Clients wanting to stay in hotels can do so at their own expense. Peru Treks include for a one-way bus ticket between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes (current price US$12pp). Clients will have to pay for the optional additional 2 bus trips required to visit Machu Picchu on the final day of the trek (walking takes about 1 hour and is free). If Wiñay Wayna campsite is open but the trail between Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu is closed then the group will have to follow an alternative route via km104 and Aguas Calientes. This alternative route will involve an additional bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (current price US$12pp) which clients will be responsible for paying (walking takes about 1 hour and is free). Peru Treks will do our best to minimize any disruption caused by factors outside of our control.
It is the client's responsibility for obtaining sufficient personal travel insurance. The client is willing to accept full responsibility for insurance up to limits that the client may require. This insurance must cover personal accident, medical expenses, air ambulance, loss of effects, repatriation costs and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury delay or inconvenience occurring to the client. It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. When obtaining travel insurance the client must ensure that the insurer is aware of the type of travel to be undertaken.
The Company shall not be liable for any damage or loss if the failure to carry out the contract is: 1) attributable to the client 2) attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services contracted for and the event is unforeseeable or unavoidable 3) due to unforeseen and unusual circumstances beyond the company's control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had to be exercised. 4) due to political disputes, industrial action, climate or other matters of a similar nature and any other force majeure. 5) due to an event which the company, even with all due care could not foresee or forestall. Any liability is limited to the full price paid for the tour. In all cases the company specifically excludes all liability for indirect or consequential loss or expense, including loss of profits.
If a client has a complaint against the company the client must first inform the trek guide or company representative while on the tour in order that the guide/representative can attempt to rectify the matter. Any further complaint must be put in writing to the company within 7 days of the end of the tour.
Due to political and cultural differences, as well as generally tougher physical conditions, travel to the areas we visit involves risks other than those we take in our daily lives. It is important clients make themselves aware of the risks involved, and are responsible for making their travel plans accordingly.
At all times your contract will be with Peru Treks. The name Peru Treks refers to Inca Trail Peru Treks S.A.C (licensed Inca Trail tour operator 540 Avenida Pardo, Cusco).
Peru Treks & Adventure Tour Operator
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Specialists, working to help the community
Office Address: Avenida Pardo 540 (in the corner of the small park), Cusco, Peru
Telephone: 00 51 84 222722 (from overseas), 084 222722 (from within Peru), 222722 (from Cusco)