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Animal Welfare

Animals deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion. Apu Andino prides itself on the quality of care given to our working animals. (We work with Mules and horses in our non-Inca Trail hikes).

No one is more concerned about animal welfare than our company. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about mules and horses, but if you have any other questions – please ask!

What kinds of animals do you use?

We use mule teams and single horses for emergencies while trekking. We use more mules and horses than regular companies in order they to carry less weight per trip.

How many animals do you have?

We do not own them; each horseman has a team of about 20 mules and 10 horses. There are 10 Apu Andino Horseman.

What are mules?

A mule is a hybrid cross of a male donkey and a female horse. We use mules because we believe they are well suited for work in our climate. The mule has been the work animal of choice for centuries.

Where do the animals come from?

Most of them come from Salkantay, Lares, Choquequirao, Ausangate & Ancascocha areas, in middle of the Andes. The average age of life is about 13 to 14, and they have them anywhere from 5 years old to 20+. Their cost approximately is 2000 to 3000 soles each (in the Andes), although some are much more expensive.

How long do the animals work each day?

Their work hours and days are very limited. They can work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, but this is the maximum.

If the animals are sweating, is that bad?

No, it’s actually good. Sweating is the animal’s way of cooling itself. We collaborate with our horseman with vitamin E supplement to the animals’ feed to promote sweating and also add electrolytes to their feed to replace necessary elements lost through sweating. Animals never go more than an hour without access to water.

Do your animals ever leave the city and go to the country?

As mentioned before, they come from Salkantay, Lares, Choquequirao, Ausangate & Ancascocha areas, in middle of the Andes. According to the hike we chose the closest place so they don’t cross long distances before each trip.

How often does the vet check the animals?

For our insistence, animals are seen by a vet a minimum of 2 times a year as needed. This is a requirement to work with us. This is part of our commitment to animal welfare.

How much do the animals weigh?

The average weight of our animals is 1200 pounds.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We hope this gives you a better idea about our services and our responsibilities.

Kind regards from Cusco,

Team Apu Andino