When trekking Peru, your guide is your key to exploring the Andes. From years of trail expertise to natural and historical knowledge, your guide will open the possibilities of your trek. Whether you’re exploring ruins near Cusco or headed out for three days through the mountains, an experienced guide can offer you a unique Peru experience that no one else receives.
Every Killa Expeditions guide has more than a dozen years of experience. They’ve attended guiding school, taken English classes and are fully prepared to help trekkers feel like they have a home in Cusco.
Guides start their longer treks by checking in with their groups the night before they leave. Everyone gathers together and the guides run through the itinerary, the maps, the needed supplies and what the trekkers can expect. They cover important aspects of the trek like altitude sickness, what will happen if there is a problem on the trail and what should be carried in your bags.
The First Day
If you think a 4am wake up call is early to start a trek, the guides are up even earlier. By the time they swing by your hotel at 5am, the van is fully loaded, the porters are packed and making their way to the trailhead and everything from food and water has been planned out.
When you arrive at the trailhead, they’ve made sure everyone is accounted for, the supplies are ready to go and the entire team of cooks, porters and trekkers understands how each day will progress.
They’re double checking for sleeping bags, sunscreen, water and all the other necessities that could have been forgotten.
On The Trail
While on the trail, the guides’ most important job is navigation. Some trails which are heavily trafficked and well traveled, like the Inca Trail, are easier to navigate than lesser known trails, the Ancascocha Trail.
It’s the guide’s duty to watch the group, set the pace and help navigate when the trail disappears into the rocky plains of the highlands or marshy mountain passes.
They watch how much people are eating and drinking and are always vigilant for altitude sickness. Every break is a check in between trekker and guide and no one is left behind. They watch the pace of the group and change the plan as needed. Sometimes that means stopping earlier to camp or trekking further when the group is doing well.
During the days, the guides also serve as teachers, pointing out Incan ruins, plants, animals and other intricacies along the trail. They might highlight the condors gliding over the mountains and teach the group of their cultural importance. They know the height of each pass, each mountain and understand their importance to the surrounding cultures.
At camp, the guides rest. They continue to make sure the trekkers’ needs are met, but they hand off much of the work to the cooks and porters for the afternoon.
After dinner, the guides run the group through the following days’ schedule so everyone is prepared.
If everyone is doing well, camp is a leisurely time for the guides. But they are also the first point of contact if anyone grows sick or hurt. Before bed, they make it clear which tent is theirs and remind the group from illness to injury, they’ve seen it all and not to hesitate waking them up.
The Last Day
On the last day of the trek, the guides assist with the final arrangements from getting the tips to the trekking staff to getting each trekker back to their hotels.
By this point, everyone is happily exhausted and looking forward to that first shower after several days in the mountains. But the guides don’t rest until the van is packed, every trekker has been safely dropped off at their hotel and the last of the cleaning and unpacking is finished.