Selected one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013 
 

Andes Adventures FAQ

Celebrating our 20th year of extraordinary value in Adventure Travel

Andes Adventures was founded in 1995. We specialize exclusively in South America. Our all-inclusive itineraries provide high quality trips at prices that are unmatched by any other adventure travel company. A claim that we can proudly guarantee!

Compare us with other companies offering adventure travel, you will find that we charge a lot less for similar programs. We are able to provide these low prices and keep costs down because we plan, organize and operate all our trips directly. We do not use an operator in any of our destinations; that alone saves you at least 30% to 40% of the cost. For the same reason we can also guarantee the quality of our adventures. We do not work with travel agents; therefore no additional cost for commission is added to our prices saving you an additional 15% to 20%. We keep our overhead low, and we carefully control our office and printing expenses. Nevertheless, Andes Adventures never compromises the quality of the trips in any way. We include excellent accommodations, all meals, tours & many other extras. Compare our adventures and prices with other well known companies and you will find that our itineraries include much more than comparable trips.

Our packages are all-inclusive and save you in every category. See details below and compare to any other company.

  • All airport transfers and ground transportation as scheduled on itinerary.
  • All accommodations are based on double occupancy.
  • All off-trail accommodations in Perú are in fine hotels. When camping, we use roomy, high quality tents.
  • All accommodations in Ecuador are in fine hotels and beautiful historic haciendas. The Ecuador adventures do not include any camping nights.
  • All off-trail accommodations in Patagonia are in fine hotels. In Torres del Paine National Park we stay in very comfortable mountain lodgings (refugios). Bathrooms for men and for women are separate and they are shared among the group. Hot showers are available all day long. The Patagonia adventures do not include any camping nights – we spend all nights indoors. Options for private rooms in Torres del Paine National Park are subject to availability. Inquire and reserve early!
  • Andean Triangle accommodations in Chile, Bolivia & Peru are in fine hotels. Based on double occupancy, rooms are shared by two people. 2 nights are in rustic accommodations that we reserve entirely for us. We may share more than 2 per room among the group on those 2 nights only.
  • All meals are included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. (B, L, D) Vegetarian meals will be provided upon request in advance.
  • All sightseeing tours, including all Park entrance fees on the itinerary.
  • Services of professional tour guides/trip leaders.
  • All tips to porters and cooks on the trail.

Items that are not included in our trips: International airfare, internal flights, airport departure taxes, travel insurance (highly recommended), excess baggage fees, passport fees, Chilean reciprocityfee, Argentinean reciprocity fee, tips to trip leader, guides and local staff, additional hotel nights that may be needed to accommodate your airline schedule, items of personal nature such as: sleeping bag, personal gear, laundry, telephone calls, beverages, etc.

 

We are the pioneers in mountain Running Adventures in South America. We operate the finest organized Trekking & Hiking Adventures and sightseeing Tours in Peru, Patagonia, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador.

 

On our tours you fly, drive, take a train or sail. You stay at fine accommodations. The walking is limited and rated "easy to moderate". Some optional outdoor activities are offered. Tours are generally physically non-demanding.

On our trekking adventures, you will be staying at the same fine accommodations in the cities and on other days you will hike from camp to camp with a light daypack. You will be pleasantly surprised by the level of comfort that is provided in our camps! Porters and pack animals carry all the equipment and our staff takes care of everything while our cook prepares delicious meals. We provide spacious tents, dining tents, toilet tents, hot basin washing water and all camping equipment.

There is no camping on the Patagonia Hiking Adventure and the Andean Triangle Hiking Adventure -- we sleep indoors every night.

 

We offer a variety of options for all runners. All events on the ancient Inca trail are over mountainous terrain at altitudes ranging from 8,000’ to 13,779’ and includes 3 mountain passes and finish in the legendary “Lost city of the Incas” – Machu Picchu!  

Runners from 18 to 78 have participated in our running adventures. Many have not run a marathon. Some have never run on a trail before, or spent the night in a tent. If you run regularly, can comfortably run 10-15 miles in rolling terrain, and are fit and healthy, you should find our running adventures to be an exhilarating and rewarding experience. Our running adventures are for runners of all abilities. Plenty of support is provided on the trail so you can enjoy it at your own pace.

You will see archaeological sites only seen by those that complete the entire Inca trail. On the Inca Trail, you will sleep in a comfortable campground, and porters carry the gear.

It is our priority to assure your safety and to make sure you select the event that is the best suited for you, so that to have the most memorable experience on the Inca Trail.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Running Adventure

Run the Inca Trail in 2 days. This event is for runners of all abilities.

Inca Trail Classic

Run the Inca Trail in one day! The Classic is a strenuous event that has been offered since 1996. It is truly a classic trail run and most runners find it to be as difficult as a tough 50K trail run. Here is a Google Earth Flyover of Inca Trail Classic 30K course. The 26.2 mile Inca Trail Marathon is also run on this course, with mileage added.

Inca Trail Marathon (26.2 miles)

The Inca Trail Marathon is a very strenuous 26.2 mile event that should only be attempted by very experienced trail runners. Most runners find the Marathon to be as difficult as a tough 50M trail run. It is significantly more difficult than the Pikes Peak Marathon. If you have not completed a 50 mile trail run, we recommend you do the Classic distance. Here is the Elevation Profile of the Marathon course.   It was ranked #1 of the The World's 15 Toughest Marathons. With over 10,400' of elevation gain, 11,000' of elevation loss, two high passes (13,000' & 13,800'), and thousands of Inca steps we believe the Andes Adventures Inca Trail Marathon is the most difficult fully supported, regularly scheduled marathon in the world.

Have questions? Give us a call Toll Free at (800) 289-9470.

 

Andes Adventures organized the first Inca Trail Marathon in 1996, using mileages generally accepted at the time. See the article by Bruce Hoff, published in the September 1996 issue of UltraRunning Magazine.

Since then Andes Adventures has organized 34 Inca Trail Marathons. 100% of the participants have finished, and all runners have completed the course to Machu Picchu in one day.

Feedback from runners who have done the Marathon has been uniformly and enthusiastically positive. Given the difficulty of the Classic course and the time required to run it — 8 to 9 hours for a middle-of-the-pack runner — the historical mileages were believed to be accurate.

With improvements in GPS size, accuracy and battery life, we now have been able to measure the Classic course several times. Based on these (corrected) GPS tracks we have determined the Classic course is shorter than the traditional marathon distance.

In addition to the Classic 30K course, we are now offering a GPS measured 26.2 mile marathon option. It is significantly more difficult than the Pikes Peak Marathon. If you have not completed a 50 mile trail run, we recommend you do the Classic 30K. Here is the Elevation Profile of the Marathon course.   It was ranked #1 of the The World's 15 Toughest Marathons. With over 10,400' of elevation gain, 11,000' of elevation loss, two high passes (13,000' & 13,800'), and thousands of Inca steps we believe the Andes Adventures Inca Trail Marathon is the most difficult fully supported, regularly scheduled marathon in the world.

For more information see "How strong a runner do I need to be?"

Our trekking and tour groups in all Peru Adventures, including Inca Trail are always small - 4 to 16 participants maximum. Our Patagonia and Ecuador Hiking Adventures and Tours are 12 to 25 participants maximum.

Yes, we can arrange Private trips to Peru for individuals, families, clubs, institutions and corporations. Choose any date that fits your group's plans. If you are planning to hike the Inca Trail Trekking Adventure, permits have to be purchased at least 5 to 6 months in advance (depending on time of year) to guarantee the spaces. If you are planning to do the Wonders of Peru Tour without the hike, no permits are required; but if you want to hike to Machu Picchu instead of taking the train, the same advanced registration is required to obtain the permits. Please contact us for more information.

Our trips include accommodations in first class fine hotels. Many of our itineraries include links to the hotel web sites.

If you are traveling alone and prefer single accommodations you must pay the single supplement. If you are willing to share accommodations and reserve at least 120 days in advance, we will try our best to find a roommate and if that is not possible you will pay only 75% of the single supplement cost. If we find a roommate, but your roommate cancels before departure, the 75% of the single supplement will apply.(Does not apply to Galapagos trips.)

Do not be misled! There is only ONE Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!

There are NO alternate trails to Machu Picchu. None of the so called "alternate routes" arrive by trail in Machu Picchu. The ONLY trail that leads to Machu Picchu and enters Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (Intipunku) is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Here is a map that shows the difference.

If you are planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu, do not miss going on the original Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This is the only option you should consider!

All that is required is that you plan in advance, so that we can secure your Inca Trail permit. All legitimate Inca Trail treks require an Inca Trail permit. The permit system helps to ensure the Inca Trail is uncrowded, and that you have will have the best possible experience.

We guarantee the finest arrangements that are offered on the Inca Trail. You will not find better!

Note: Our hike option from Km 104 also enters Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate and also requires an Inca Trail permit. This hike is offered on some tour itineraries and connects with the last section of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Please contact us with any questions!

You can expect the finest arrangements offered on the Inca Trail. We provide first-class camping and trekking services by experienced Andean guides, camp and cook staff, assisted by Huayruro porters. All meals: Wake up tea, breakfast, lunch, tea meal and dinner. All quality group camping equipment: excellent personal tents, thermarest pads, dining and kitchen tents, tables, camp stools, toilet tents.

All meals are included on our trips. You will be treated to an extensive variety of fabulous Peruvian cuisine. We choose the finest restaurants in the cities to give you the opportunity to taste a great variety of local delicacies and flavors. In camps our cooks are experts in preparing nourishing wholesome and delicious meals in the most remote places. We will accommodate any special diet requests you may have including vegetarian, please request prior to the trip.

Our experienced local bilingual trip leaders/guides are the key to making each trip a unique adventure and we provide the very best. They have in-depth knowledge of the language, customs, culture and history. They take great pleasure in sharing their insights and expertise and will make your adventure an unforgettable experience. Leaders are detail oriented, making sure everything runs safely and smoothly.

As soon as you sign up, you will receive detailed pre-departure material, including information on the country, check list of items to bring, insurance and other information to help you prepare for your trip. Airline tickets and final trip details for the Patagonia and Andean Triangle trips will be sent about a month before departure.

Yes, we offer discounts for a party of 16 participants reserving at the same time and traveling together. Consult with us on the specific trip that you are considering.

For Perú, Patagonia, Ecuador and Galapagos Adventures:

Send us a completed application and a $500 deposit. A second payment of $500 is due 120 days prior to departure. Full payment must be received 60 days prior to departure (90 days for Galapagos).

We recommend you sign up as early as possible. Our group sizes are small and they fill up quickly.

Regulations limit the number of people on the Inca Trail. Permits are available only on a first-come, first serve basis. To guarantee your spot on the Inca Trail we recommend that you reserve at least 6 months in advance!

Regulations limit the number of people on the Inca Trail. Inca Trail permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis and are non-transferable. Permits are personal and issued with the name of the hiker and his/her passport number and cannot be used by anyone else. Even if there is a cancelation, that permit cannot be transferred to another hiker.

The sale of Inca Trail permits opens in January and permits sell very fast. The Inca Trail is closed in February.  Permits sell out about 5-6 months in advance.

  • For April, May and June Inca Trail Trekking Adventures, we recommend that you register in December at the VERY latest. We can guarantee the purchase of your Inca Trail permits. (these permits will not sell before January 1, but as soon as the sale of permits begins, they can sell-out anytime).
  • For July, August and September Inca Trail Trekking Adventures, we recommend that you register in February at the VERY latest.
  • For October Inca Trail Trekking Adventures, we recommend that you register in March-April at the VERY latest.
  • The trail is open November, December, January and March and we can offer a private departure anytime during this period. This is the rainy season in the Andes of Peru. In February the trail is closed.

Please note that Inca Trail permits can sell out earlier! (After that time we will accept more participants subject to availability of Inca Trail permits. If there are more available, we will continue to accept participants until permits are sold out.

Reserve in advance and benefit from our limited time discounts for early reservations. Subscribe to Our Newsletter! to be kept informed of the offers. Additionally buying your airline tickets in advance will allow you to get the best prices. Please fill out and return a Trip Reservation Form at the earliest possible date.

The dates for the 2015 Inca Trail Marathons are June 6 to June 13, 2015 and August 1 to August 9, 2015.

 

The date for the 2015 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Running Adventure is August 1 to August 9, 2015.

 

Regulations limit the number of people on the Inca Trail. Inca Trail permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis and are non-transferable. Permits are personal and issued with the name of the runner and his/her passport number and cannot be used by anyone else. Even if there is a cancelation, that permit cannot be transferred to another runner.

  • For the June event, we recommend that you register in December at the VERY latest.

  • For the August events, we recommend that you register in early February at the VERY latest.

Please note that Inca Trail permits can sell out earlier! After that time we will accept more participants subject to availability of Inca Trail permits. If there are more available, we will continue to accept participants until permits are sold out.

Reserve in advance and benefit from our limited time discounts for early reservations. Subscribe to Our Newsletter! to be kept informed of the offers. Additionally buying your airline tickets in advance will allow you to get the best prices. Please fill out and return a Trip Reservation Form at the earliest possible date.

We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance to protect your travel investment and cover trip cancellation, interruption, baggage loss and delay, emergency medical evacuation insurance and emergency medical expense insurance.

Andes Adventures offers optional travel insurance through Travel Insured International and through Travel Guard.  

Travel Insured offers several types of coverage. If you choose Travel Insured, we strongly recommend one of the Comprehensive Plans because of the Trip Cancellation benefit. The policy we suggest is the "Worldwide Trip Protector". Plans include a provision to waive the exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions if you purchase the coverage within 21 days of your initial trip deposit. You may view Travel Insured's plan details and purchase online. Travel Insured International insurance is not available to residents in the States of New York, Texas and Washington through Andes Adventures.

Travel Guard offers several types of coverage. If you choose Travel Guard, we strongly recommend one of the Comprehensive Plans because of the Trip Cancellation benefit. The policy we suggest is the Gold plan. Plans include a provision to waive the exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions if you purchase the coverage within 21 days of your initial trip deposit. You may view Travel Guard's plan details and purchase online.

Both programs offer similar coverage and prices fluctuate. Check both before purchasing. These plans are for USA and Canada residents only. Travel Insured International is available to all residents of Canada. Travel Guard is available to residents of Canada, but is not available to residents of Quebec through Andes Adventures. If you are coming from other countries, please check with a Travel Agent. Contact us if you have any questions

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to go to Peru, Ecuador, Chile or Argentina. U.S. citizens need a visa to go to Bolivia. Other nationalities do not require a visa. Please consult with us!

Cancellation fees are computed, as of the date we receive your written cancellation notice, as follows:

Cancellation Fees For Perú Adventures:

  • More than 90 days before departure - $200 + $150 for Inca Trail permit (if purchased)
  • 89 to 61 days before departure - $300 + $150 for Inca Trail permit
  • 60 to 31 days before departure - 50% of selling price + $150 for Inca Trail permit
  • 30 days or less to departure 100% of selling price

Cancellation Fees For Private Adventures in Perú:

  • More than 90 days before departure - $200 + $150 for Inca Trail permit (if purchased)
  • 89 to 61 days before departure - $300 + $150 for Inca Trail permit
  • 60 to 31 days before departure - 50% of selling price + $150 for Inca Trail permit
  • 30 days or less to departure 100% of selling price

Cancellation Fees For Patagonia, Ecuador, and Andean Triangle Adventures:

  • More than 90 days before departure - $300
  • 89 to 76 days before departure - $400 plus price of airline tickets (if issued)
  • 75 to 46 days before departure - 50% of selling price plus price of airline tickets (if issued)
  • 45 days or less to departure 100% of selling price


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Andes Adventures awarded Best Adventure Travel Companies 2009 by the editors of National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine.
Andes Adventures travel, trekking and running in Peru - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Ausangate, Huayhuash, Cordillera Blanca
1323 12th Street, Suite F - Santa Monica, CA  90401
Toll Free (800) 289-9470  ·   Phone (310) 395-5265  ·   FAX (310) 395-7343
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Selected one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013

Celebrating our 20th year of extraordinary value in Adventure Travel.
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Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control
including, weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.