Climb Up: Peru – This is an TEN-DAY adventure (plus flight time) and is FANTASTIC!
You’ll be picked up at the airport in Cuzco and will be taken to your hotel to settle in. After a day of acclimatization, and getting to know the city, you will visit the Sacred Valley and other ancient sites, learning about Peruvian culture. Then, you will drive to the remote village of Palccoyo for a hike on the Rainbow Mountains—a great acclimatization day at 16,000ft. From here, you begin the four-day Salkantay Trail hike where, on day four you’ll catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu, which you’ll visit the next day. After a train ride to Ollantaytabmo and a bus ride to Cuzco for your last night there, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

With each step you have the opportunity to make the difference in the lives of children and families affected by HIV AIDS through the support of the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA).

Full details can be viewed by clicking on the ‘Apply Online’ link below or by reading out Climb Up Peru flyer.

Trip cost: $3800 + airfare

  • $2000 to AFCA. Tax receipts will be issued
  • $1800 to Steep Adventures. No tax receipt will be issued

If you’d like to join Climb Up Peru and there are particular dates when you’d like to climb, please contact Tanya at


No teams currently scheduled

Day 1
Arrive in Cusco
Lodging: Hotel (3 star or above)
Meals: On Own
Total Hiking: None

Day 2
Cusco—Free Day—Acclimating
Get acclimated and explore Cusco
Lodging: Hotel (3 star or above)
Meals: Breakfast, (Lunch/Dinner—On Own)
Total Hiking: Walking the ancient city

Day 3
Sacred Valley Tour
Depart the hotel at 8am for a guided tour of the Sacred Valley
Lodging: Hotel (3 star or above)
Meals: Breakfast, (Lunch/Dinner—On Own)
Total Hiking: Walking the ancient ruins

Day 4
Rainbow Mountains
Depart the hotel at 5am for a 3hr drive to the remote village of Palccoyo for a view of three rainbow mountains. This hike is not popular and overrun with crowds and will afford a great and easy hike in the high mountains of Peru. This will be a great acclimation day at 16,000 ft. and prepare everyone for the first day of hiking on the Salkantay Trail.
Lodging: Hotel (3 star or above)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner—On Own)
Total Hiking: Short, easy hike
Max Elevation: 16,000 ft

Day 5
Salkantay Hike
Depart the hotel in Cusco at 5am and drive to the trailhead. The distance of the first section is 9km and should take around 3 hours to complete. At Soraypampa we will have lunch and enjoy the views. During the ascent through the rocky valley you will see the magnificent Salkantay peak and possibly chinchillas running around. Salkantay is the second highest mountain of the Cusco region. Hiking to the top is the most difficult part of the trek and a great accomplishment!
The next 3 hours (7km) are spent ascending along a gravel and rocky path to reach Humantay Lake. You will see the beautiful Humantay glacier as well as witness your first magnificent sunset on the trail.
Lodging: Campground
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Total Hiking: 7.45 miles
Max Elevation: 15,090 ft

Day 6
Salkantay Trek
Today we begin our hike toward Salkantay Peak, the highest point of the trail. Following the Salkantay river on a gradual trail you will get spectacular views of the mountains. This is the most demanding part of the trek but also the most rewarding. You will have a 360 degree view of the 3 peaks: Salkantay, Humantay, and Pumasillo. After enjoying a break the next three hours are spent downhill along a gravel and rocky path before reaching Huayracmachay- our lunch spot. After lunch we continue on to the cloud forest, enjoying the vast change in scenery with colorful flowers and native plants.
Lodging: Campground
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Total Hiking: 13.7 miles
Max Elevation: 15,255 ft

Day 7
Salkantay Trek
Today we make our way to La Playa; walking through thick jungle and following the river bank of the Salkantay River on a gradual trail. Enroute we stop at several family hamlets to enjoy local fruits and vegetables (passion fruit, banana, coffee, avocado, mango, orange and papaya). If we are lucky, the famous bird called “the Cock of the Rocks” will make an appearance.
Lucmabamba, is small town surrounded by coffee trees and is home to many local families. Here we will have lunch and take a local bus to reach the Hydroelectric train.
Lodging: Campground
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Total Hiking: 11.2 miles
Elevation: 9,500 ft

Day 8
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. We take the first bus up to Machu Picchu and see the sun rise over the ruins. Your guide will spend 2 hours explain-ing the highlights and give you free time to explore the ruins on your own. If you have booked any additional hikes such as Huayna Picchu you will also have the time to hike these. Finally, you will return to Aguas Calientes, take a train back to Ollantaytambo, and bus back to Cusco. Once in Cusco, we transfer you back to your hotel.
Lodging: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, (Lunch/Dinner—On Own)
Total Hiking: Walking around Machu Picchu
Elevation: 7,972 ft

Day 9
Departure Day
Shuttle to the airport for departures.
Lodging: None
Meals: Breakfast (Cusco hotel)
Total Hiking: none

We recommend you pack carefully and lightly so you may enjoy the tour and the experience to its fullest! Here are suggested items:

  • Day pack with Rain cover or poncho to cover
  • Trekking shoes (waterproof is best)
  • Camping shoes/ sandals- to wear in the evenings
  • Extra socks (wool is best)
  • Hiking pants and shirts- layers
  • WARM CLOTHES- mornings and evenings are cold
    – Thermal base layer
    – Fleece and Sweater
    – Insulated Jacket
    – Stocking hat, gloves, scarf
  • Rain Jacket or Poncho
  • Rain pants
  • Camping pillow
  • Torch/ headlamp
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Lip Balm
  • Reusable water bottle or Bladder
  • Personal snacks (optional)
  • Personal medications
  • Camera/ extra battery
  • Cash (if you’d like to purchase souvenirs)
  • Toilet paper/tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer

Optional but recommended rentals (We will assist you with the rental process – let us know ahead of time if you want to rent)

  • Sleeping bag $32
  • Poles $22

The sleeping bag would be brand new or professionally cleaned for the user’s safety. For extra protection, bringing a sleeping bag liner is recommended for anyone renting a bag.

Thank you again for committing to helping children served by the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA)! Our Payment Policies and Procedures guide applies to everybody who commits to a Climb Up: Peru (CUP) fundraising trip, so please read this carefully.

There are two parts to payment:

  1. You will pay Steep Adventures directly for the trip portion of this adventure: $1800. Your $500 deposit is part of that overall cost. You will NOT receive a tax receipt for this portion.
  2. You may either fundraise the $2000 due to AFCA or you may pay that directly to AFCA. Both these portions must be paid in order to participate in this adventure. Tax receipts will be issued.

We hope the following guide proves helpful for those of you who are fund raising the financial support necessary to make your trip a reality. Be sure to review the information here before beginning your fundraising efforts. These guidelines are in place to ensure that you have the opportunity to join others in the mission of AFCA to help provide medicine to children in Africa affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.


Once you have applied for a CUP team, you must confirm your place on the team by submitting a non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $500 to Steep Adventures. The balance of trip payment (trip cost minus the $500 deposit) is due no later than 90 days prior to departure and you’ll receive reminders from Steep Adventures regarding this.


All payments toward your trek costs ($1800) must be made in U.S. dollars to Steep Adventures and designated to the Peru trek. Payments may be submitted by personal check, money order, ACH, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express (processing fee for credit card payments). Your trip payment covers your lodging, food (according to itinerary), guide, ground transportation, orientation materials, emergency medical insurance, and your park fees. Not covered are: donation to AFCA, costs of passports and visas; excess baggage charges; immunizations; trip cancellation insurance; international airfare; airport departure taxes; sightseeing, or meals not listed in each itinerary; laundry; communication charges; and gratuities.

Once you register for your trip, you will be directed to create your fundraising page, whether you are fundraising or not. You may pay the $2000 due to AFCA here or you may fundraise it. Participants and donors who submit funds by credit card will receive an automatic e-mail acknowledgment. You may also pay by check, with the check made out to AFCA and a sticky note with your name and Peru written on it. AFCA will notify you of any donations made directly to the office so you can thank donors. Any payments you submit toward the fundraising portion of your trip will automatically be credited toward satisfying your financial obligation only when coded as per the instructions above.

Checks and money orders must be made payable to AFCA and mailed to:

1520 Greening Lane
Harrisburg PA 17110

Your deposit and any payments you submit toward the cost of your trip will automatically be credited toward satisfying your financial obligation only when coded as per the coding donation section below.


1) Matching gifts– Contact your company’s matching gift officer prior to submitting a matching-gift form. Not all companies’ matching-gift policies allow for the matching of participation fees. If applying for matching gifts, notify AFCA.

Note: Matching gift funds may only be used to offset the final balance owed if they are received by AFCA at least 30 days before the trip departure.

2) Tax deductibility – Donations made to AFCA will receive a tax receipt. No tax receipt will be given for the cost of the trip, payable to Steep Adventures.

3) Acknowledging donations – All donors who contribute via check or money order payable to AFCA or who make a credit card donation designated to a CUP climber are sent acknowledgment letters by AFCA. Those who donate on line (via a personalized web page) receive a prompt e-mail confirmation that the donation was received. Checks should not be made payable directly to you

4) Funds raised in addition to the published trip cost – One of the stated purposes of the CUPeru program is to raise funds for children in Africa who are impacted by the AIDS pandemic. To remain consistent with our mission, AFCA is not able to roll additional funds over to a future CUP trip. AFCA will use any additional funding that you raise towards the children we support.

5) Fundraising for airfare – Funds raised in excess of the trip cost may not be used to cover all or part of a CUP team participant’s airfare. However, we recognize that some people may want to raise money for their airfare. Please do this on your own. Participants may still be able to claim their airfare as a tax-deductible expense even if the funds are paid directly from the participant to a vendor, as long as the trip is in pursuit of a charitable purpose. Team members will need to contact a tax adviser concerning their specific situation.


To cancel your booking, you must submit your request in writing by email at Cancellation fees will be applied per person according to the following schedule, based on the date we receive your written notification:

  • In advance of 60 days from departure – Refund of payments made minus $500 non-refundable deposit and any non-refundable payments made to suppliers
  • Under 60 days from departure – No refunds are possible

No refunds will be provided for any unused portion of a tour once the tour begins, including if you leave a tour for any reason or have to be removed from a tour. There are no exceptions to this cancellation and refund policy, including for reasons related to weather, terrorism, civil strife, personal, family or medical emergencies or any other circumstances beyond our control. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance.

Cancellations or Changes by Steep Adventures and Flexibility:

Steep Adventures reserves the right to cancel, alter or modify any tour without prior notice “for any reason”. You acknowledge that the amenities, accommodations, transportation, route, schedule, and itinerary may change without prior notice due to local circumstances or events, which may include mechanical breakdown, flight cancellations, illness, strikes, political disputes, weather, border crossing problems, and other unforeseeable factors. If, prior to departure, Steep Adventures make a significant change because of a problem with a supplier (e.g., bankruptcy), they will, as soon as reasonably possible, notify you of available alternatives.

Any changes may require a supplemental payment from you or result in a refund less any cancellation fees and nonrefundable deposits. If Steep Adventures cancel, which is rare, a check for a full refund will be issued to you less any airline ticket and hotel cancellation fees and nonrefundable deposits advanced to local suppliers. This refund will constitute full settlement of claims you may have arising out of our cancellation. No refunds will be provided due to cancellations or changes due to Force Majeure.


Once again, we appreciate your dedication to AFCA’s mission and your willingness to participate in a Climb up Peru trip. Thank you for complying with AFCA’s Payment Policies and Procedures guidelines and please let us know if we can be of any additional help.

Like all big mountain ranges, the peaks of the Andes generate and attract their own weather, making conditions impossible to predict. There are however two distinct seasons in the region, a wet season that occurs from November to March, and a dry season April through early October although as in other parts of the world this is changing and becoming a little bit less predictable.  The dry season is characterized by cold nights with temperatures near freezing or slightly below in Cusco and Puno, but sunny days, with an average daytime temperature in Cusco of approximately 20°C to 22°C (68°F to 72°F). This can be considered a stable pattern, but be prepared for a wide range of temperatures, from freezing nights, to snowy and windy conditions, to bright sunshine intensified by high altitude. The wide fluctuation in temperatures makes it important to bring layers so that you are always prepared.  The rainy season tends to have less diurnal temperature variation as the nights are warmer and the days not quite as hot due to the rains but when the sun does shine during this time of year the temperatures can be close to 25°C (77°F) but the sun’s intensity makes it feel much hotter.

The Amazon basin is almost always warm however there are sometimes cold temperatures that sweep down from the Andes, “friajes” which can catch people off guard.  During a friaje the temperatures can reach as low as 15°C (59°F) which feels very cold with the humidity and lack of infrastructure for these climates.  That being said, the day-time temperature is generally between 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F) at the lodges but higher in the cities as you do not benefit from the same shade protection.  Although it rains through the year in the Amazon basin, there is a marked rainy season during the same season as in the highlands during which there are many more mosquitos and you should be prepared for this.

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To obtain maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you choose your clothing and gear for this trip. Try to bring only what is necessary.

Hiking the Salkantay Trail is not a walk in the park. It’s also not Mt. Everest. So how do you train?

First, there is no technical climbing involved when hiking the Trail. This means you do not need ropes or rock climbing skills. But, you will be hiking uphill several miles each day with decreasing levels of oxygen. This makes cardio and endurance training essential.

We strongly encourage you to consult with your physician before registering for the climb. Talk you your doctor if you have any concerns, especially related to your heart, lungs and/or leg joints as this climb is physically demanding.

Once your doctor clears you to climb, it’s time to begin training. There are countless ways to approach training for your climb and the American Foundation for Children with AIDS does not endorse one training over another. Instead, we encourage you to do some research and create an exercise regimen that progressively builds your stamina and your cardio strength. Here are a few links to get your research started.

While we do not recommend one training over another we strongly encourage you to:

  • Hike often wearing the boots you will wear for your climb and progressively increase the length of your hikes. Include as much elevation as possible.
  • Hike wearing your day pack and build up to hiking with 20-25 lbs in your pack.

Each climber must raise a minimum of $2000 in order to participate in this event which will support AFCA’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not included in this fundraising goal are: trek cost (Steep Adventures), air fare, passport, visas, vaccinations, alcoholic beverages, tips, laundry, and souvenirs.

Fundraising can be a bit daunting, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from being part of Climb Up Peru. We are here to help you with brainstorming and to answer any questions you have. Please contact us at with questions but also check out our fundraising tips. Maybe one or two of them will help you get on your way to your fundraising goal.

If you would like to setup your own fundraising page or are looking to make a donation to a fundraiser’s individual webpage click here and setup your page or find the individual who you would like to support.


  1. Make a list of everyone that you know – friends, family, co-workers, professors, wedding guests, spouses/significant other’s family, people you do regular business with—dentists, doctors, gas stations, stores you regularly frequent, coffee shops, insurance agents, bakeries, brokers, gyms, anyone.
  2. Prioritize – put the people you know best first. Remember, people give to people. By asking the people you know best first, you will have success and it will make you more confident in asking those you don’t know too well.
  3. Download the sample letter and press release or create your own. Personalize it…make it exciting by printing it on brightly colored paper.
  4. Be specific. People like to know what is expected of them. If you know someone can only give $5 then ask them for $5. If someone can give $50, ask them for $50. By asking for a specific amount, you will be more effective.
  5. Keep track – get a 9×12 envelope and keep a record of everyone who has given you money and the amount and keep this record in the envelope along with the forms and checks. If someone gives you cash, deposit it to your account and write a check for that amount. Never send cash through the mail.
    Mail checks and the record form ahead of time to:American Foundation for Children with AIDS
    1520 Greening Lane
    Harrisburg, PA 17110
  6. Get the word out. You can hand people the letter, you can email it or you can mail it to them. To ensure that people will return the form with a check at a higher rate of return, put an extra size 9 self-addressed stamped envelope in the letter with your address on the outside.
    When you apply to join a team using the online registration form, your fundraising/donation page will be created automatically during the registration process. You can then direct potential donors to your web page where they can learn more about AFCA and your specific trip. This is a GREAT way to get the word out!
  7. Emphasize charity. American Foundation for Children with AIDS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so all donations you receive are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Make sure that checks are made out to the AFCA and make sure you keep track of who gives you cash and their addresses so we can send them a thank you note.
  8. Give thanks. It is important for you to personally thank your donors. AFCA will send a formal thank you to donors by mail.

You are ready to go! Keep remembering that you are asking people to help make a difference in the lives of others. Remind people that by giving a dollar a day, less than what they would spend on a cup of coffee, they can save a child’s life.

Please note:

$1800 is due to Steep Adventures and that covers guiding fees, food, lodging, park fees, and in-country transportation during the trip. No tax receipts will be issued for trip costs.

The fundraising portion of your trip ($2000) supports the charitable purpose of AFCA’s programs and you and your donors will receive a tax receipt for donations made to AFCA. Depending on your country of origin, your ticket cost may or may not be tax-deductible. Please consult a tax adviser concerning your specific situation.

Fundraising for airfare: Funds raised in excess of the trip cost will not be used to cover all or part of a participant’s airfare. However, we recognize that some people may want to raise money for their airfare. Please feel free to do so on your own. If paid out of pocket, participants may still be able to claim their airfare as a tax-deductible expense even if the funds are paid directly form the participant to a vendor, as long as the trip is in pursuit of a charitable purpose. Participants will need to contact a tax adviser concerning their specific situation.

AFCA is teaming up with Steep Adventures to provide you with a phenomenal trekking experience in Peru. From biking a rail trail to climbing to the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro… Steep Adventures® seeks to challenge each participant to do something amazing! Whether this is your first adventure trip or you are a seasoned veteran, Steep Adventures® trips are designed to unite participants around two common goals – successfully complete the challenge & meet the fundraising goal to do some good in the world. Steep Adventures partners with non-profits and charitable causes to support projects in the U.S. and around the world.

Michelle Deller, SA’s director, is a seasoned world traveler with an eye for the unexpected beauty around the corner. She has created a company that not only takes travelers to any corner of the world, but which also connects trekkers with organizations who need them.

Steep Adventures is located in historic Lancaster, PA but Michelle’s heart resides in every far flung place around the globe. You are in for a treat to travel with Michelle!