Our Super Cool Porters
When you decided to book the 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you must have heard about the incredibly strong people that carry all your equipment and help the tourists/hikers all along the trail.
You will also learn that among them is a man who still has enough energy to cook amazing meals for our hikers without regular kitchen equipment, and in the middle of nowhere.Those people are our Incan Blood Super Porters and Cooks who work together to transport everything from site to site all along the Inca Trail.They are the most important people to us, and that is why we always ensure that we treat them well.
How many kilos does an Inka Trail Backpacker porter carry on the Inca Trail?
At Inka Trail Backpacker, we always guarantee that each of our Super Cool Porters carries only 16 kilos/34 pounds of our company gear and 4 kilos/8 pounds of their personal gear.
Does Inka Trail Backpacker care for their porters?
At Inka Trail Backpacker, we really care about our porters. That´s why we provide them with jackets, hiking boots, t-shirts, sunhats, warm hats, water canteens, sleeping bags,mattresses, health insurance, comfortable carrying bags and girdles to protect their spines, all for free. We always prioritize their health and safety—make sure you also show your appreciation for their extremely hard work!
We do not charge you less than other companies at the expense of our porters’ pay and wellbeing. Since the end of 2016, Inka Trail Backpacker has been paying our porters a wage of 260 Soles for the 4 day trek plus their transport cost. That is nearly 20% above the legally required minimum wage agreed with the Porters Union which makes Inka Trail Backpacker a competitive company that offers good benefits for them. Following talks with our porters, they have told us that they know of only few trekking companies that pay the same as us. Only two companies are paying slightly more (and charging their clients almost US$100 more than us). Of the remaining 170 other licensed trekking operators only about 60% are paying the legal wage and 40% pay less than the legal wage with some companies paying only 70% of legal wage. This is difficult to prove as their porters receive a low wage but are asked to sign receipts showing they received more!
However, improving porter welfare is not just about paying fair wages. It is important that the porters have adequate food, a warm and dry place to sleep, and access to medical attention just the same as any other member of the group.
The wages that the porters get paid are by no means high by Western standards but you have to look at wages relative to other professions in Peru. For example, a school teacher gets paid the equivalent of about US$350 per month and has trained for 5 years to become a professional. A porter, if he departs 4 times a month, receives about the same if you include his tips. Most porters are seasonal workers and have no formal qualifications. For just 16 days work per month they receive wages similar to a teacher who has to work 22 days. Inka Trail Backpacker also tries to help the porters in a different way such as financial and educational support for their families.