Governmental rules along the protected Inca Trail prohibit the use of mules or horses to carry camping equipment. Therefore farmers and laborers from around the local area are employed to make up an army of porters that carry anything and everything along the route, and make it possible for so many hikers to make this special trek.
Porters usually carry tents, cooking equipment, food and dining equipment. The porters may be small, but are strong and fit locals which are well accustomed to rigorous work at these high altitudes. Porter can often be seen running past the hikers, with large bundles of equipment carefully balanced on their backs high above them.
You can hire additional porters to carry your own personal equipment along the trail. Prices vary according to your trekking company, but are around $30 per 10 KG’s for 4 days. We recommend that you take advantage of additional porters, as carrying your own personal equipment along the Inca Trail can be a tough challenge, even for experienced trekkers.
It is customary to tip your Inca Trail porters towards the end of your trek. Your guides or trekking company will give you an indication of the correct amount to tip. Remember that most porters are men from small mountain communities that are trying to supplement their income. Contrary to what most trekking companies tell you, porters do not get paid very well for the work they do along the trail, and tips make up a large part of their earnings.
As a guide line each porter should receive 30 – 40 Soles from your group of trekkers. However there is not minimum or maximum tip that you can give.
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