Inca Trail travel insurance for Machu Picchu is a must. In fact, most tour operators will require you to have ‘adequate’ cover.
But what does adequate mean?
What it doesn’t mean is standard travel insurance, as these policies don’t cut it at ‘high altitude’, so do not waste your time looking at them as they will be useless if an accident happens while you are on the Inca Trail, or indeed any of the alternative trails.
In this detailed article we will explain the main clauses that you should ensure your Inca Trail travel insurance policy covers.
Please Note: This article is based on our personal experience, extensive research on high altitude insurance providers and on feedback from 100s of previous Machu Picchu trekkers. We are however not insurance experts so please read all small print on policies that you consider and if in doubt consult a qualified insurance expert.
Trekking Insurance and High Altitude
The main consideration for your Inca Trail travel insurance is that it covers you for trekking over 4,000 meters. Most, if not all standard travel policies, will not cover you up to this altitude.
If you plan to trek the Inca Trail, the highest altitude you will reach is Dead Women’s Pass (ominous name, but it’s not that scary) at 4,200 meters. Alternative Machu Picchu trails like the Salkantay, Lares and Vilcabamba go even higher.
On the Salkantay Trail you traverse the Salkantay Pass at a maximum altitude of 4,600 meters, on the Lares you trek across the Hualcacassa Pass (4,425 meters), Qolqecasa (4,200 meters) and Auroracassa Pass (4,600 meters), and on the Vilcabamba Trail you will cover the Abra Malaga Pass (4,315 meters), Yanococha Pass (4,420 meters) and the Tulla Tacanca Pass (4,500 meters).
Even the Huchuy Qosqo Trail, the lowest of the alternative trails, goes beyond 4,000 meters.
We recommend using Inca Trail travel insurance from Worldnomads.com travel which includes cover for trekking over 4,000 meters. Use the calculator below to get a quick quote.
Accidents, Evacuations and Medical Treatment
Accidents on a Machu Picchu trek are rare but do occasionally occur. If you are unfortunate and experience bad altitude sickness symptoms, a serious or even minor fall (like a twisted ankle), or indeed any other number of issues that can go wrong when trekking in remote mountain and exerting your body at high altitude, then you will want good evacuation and medical treatment cover. The trails to Machu Picchu are remote and getting stuck in a small village with even the most innocuous ailment can spell disaster and be very costly.
The key thing to look for is that your policy Inca Trail travel insurance covers the cost of evacuation and proper medical treatment in the country you are trekking, i.e. Peru.
We recommend writing down your policy number and any emergency numbers and keeping this information on your person whilst trekking. Also inform your trekking partners / guide where this information is kept, and give the information to your operator so that they can act on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
Lost, Stolen, Damaged and Delayed Baggage
There are always a number of trekkers who suffer the irritation and unnecessary cost of lost, stolen, damaged our delayed baggage issues, either in Lima, or more often in Cusco. If this unfortunate event happens to you it can result in delaying your trek, bit more importantly will cost you quite a lot of money, as you will need to rent or buy trekking equipment in Cusco.
Most travel insurance policies include this cover as standard.
If you are carrying expensive equipment like a camera make sure that your policy limit exceeds this value. What’s the point of trekking to Machu Picchu without the means to capture the experience on your camera.
Top tip: Make sure to wear your trekking boots on all flights to Cusco, including your international flight to Lima, and keep valuable items like your GoPro or camera on you at all times. This way, if your baggage gets lost or stolen, you will have the most important piece of gear (your boots) and your most valuable item (your camera) kept safe and sound. Also, wearing your boots will help lighten your baggage.
Flight / Tour Cancellations, Interruptions, Delays
Flight and tour cancellations are rare, but flight interruptions, and particularly, delays are actually quite common in Cusco. If you are on a tight schedule with connecting flights then proper travel insurance that covers you for flight or tour cancellations, interruptions and delays is important.
Over and above this you should check that your tour operator is registered with ABTA / ATOL or equivalent.
Get an Insurance Quote
We do not sell insurnace, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote from our recommended insurance provider click Get a Quote.
Tags: Travel Insurance Peru, Travel Insurance for Peru, Inca Insurance, Inca Trail Insurance, Inca Trail Travel Insurance, Travel Insurance for Inca Trail, Travel Insurance for Machu Picchu
References: Inca Trail travel insurance from Worldnomads.com