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William, William, William Willy...if you get this guide, you have lucked out. Truly. It was only my son 12 and I on this tour. We had mixed feelings about it being just us, our guide and the Porters. Other groups seemed to amount from 6 to 20 hikers and we thought we might miss out on the dinner time chat about the experiences. William made this experience incredibly engaging, fun and very educational. His knowledge is remarkable and it had my sone daily suggesting he write a book. I am not sure how Viator picks guides or even how this came together as there is a bit of a disconnect btwn us, Viator and our guide prior to beginning. However, upon meeting William and reviewing the schedule and expectations, we were provided with an incredible combination of experiences. It's a very tough trek but the rewards are more than worth the effort. I'll pass on writing on the tech aspects of this tour as many already have and their opinions are well worth reading. Top marks to William and our Porters. Incredible team.
I want to first start by thanking the tour operator and guide Ruben .C. for making our Inca trail trek wonderful.
Before the trip, I had a few questions about things I needed to prep and contacted Viator three times, however they only told me that the tour company would be contacting me. I think there is a little disconnect between Viator and the tour company because by the time our trip came, I still had not heard from anyone. Luckily we got to Cusco a couple days and after seeking out the tour company, we were informed that there would be a debriefing the day before. During this debriefing, we were told what to expect each day length, difficulty level, etc, number of group members, things to carry in a personal backpack, etc.
Peru is a beautiful country and you definitely get a glimpse of it on the Inca trail. Each day has a different breathtaking scenery and beautifully preserved. Ruben shared a wealth of knowledge and was very helpful in explaining any questions we had on the Inca ruins deepening my appreciation for Machu Picchu.
Here are some tips for other people but those might differ per operator:
1. Drinking water is available to buy for day 1 and 2, after they will provide boiled water.
2. Porter will only carry camping supply, food, and gear, you have to carry all personal items and sleeping bag. You can hire extra porter for a fee.
3. Cold at night and hot during the day in early July, be ready for rain!
4. Bring some snacks, breakfast is typically at 5am, lunch is around 11 to 12pm, and dinner is at 6pm.
5. Try to pack light and only bring stuff that you might need. We accidentally brought big multi-day backpacks with us but most hikers brought a standard size backpack.
6. Stay in Cusco a few days before the hike to acclimate to the altitude.
5. Bring your passport to get through the checkpoint.
6. Bring hiking poles.
7. Have fun and enjoy mother nature.
I tackled the Inca Trail as a group of 4. We had an absolutely amazing time with Camping Adventure Tours I think that's the name of the company. Our guide, William, was amazing! He was friendly, encouraging, helpful, and funny. Our team of porters and chef were great at making us feel comfortable and safe. I would highly recommend this team / company for anyone looking to take on the Inca Trail!
The inca trail done in the first week of November, 2015. Our guide, Alberto spoke English well enough to explain the inca/ruin/MP history.
Porters were always kind and helpful.
Nice delicious meals throughout the trail.
It will be one of the most memorable trips in my life.
After thoroughly researching the best way to see and experience Machu Pichu, I chose to backpack for four days on the Inca Trail during the full moon of May. Due to the popularity of this adventure, I booked the trip to Cuzco, Peru in November to be sure that I could get the dates that I wanted.
I also booked with a tour company that provided guides, and other necessary equipment for this trek. I chose to travel solo, so that meant that I would be sharing a tent with a stranger, to avoid problems, I purchased the lightest available tent that protects me from mosquitoes and rain and I also purchased a sleeping bag, an air mattress, air pillow, and shock absorbing poles to help my knees handle walking down deep steps. All the items are light weight and fitted very well in my Dry Pack backpack
The weather can be unpredictable, so I also packed a rain jacket with zippers on the armpits to allow ventilation and rain pants. I wore waterproof hiking boots to keep my feet dry and I took moleskin and hand sanitizer to protect my feet from blistering during the four day hike. Expedition weight underwear kept me warm at night, three extra pairs of padded socks, and pants that can convert to shorts completed my clothing selection.
Although I took two lipstick size flashlights, a better choice is a flashlight that you wear on your head, you will be needing both of your hands especially at night when its time to go to the bathroom.
Remember to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Toilet facilities are somewhat primitive by U. S. standards and consist of a hole in the floor, you must learn to squat and aim a totally new experience for me! I also wore a go pro camera on my wrist to make it easier to capture the scenery and I used my IPad at the campsite to take lots of great photos. You will be needing a small bag to carry your passport and camera as you enter Machu Pichu, the backpack and poles are stored at the entrance.
We had an excellent tour. There were a few things I wish we had known, or at least thought about a little more before we booked. Also note I am a 26 year-old active female
First, Viator is a tour broker, so until the actual tour company has been selected, no specific questions can be answered about the tour. For example when we were leaving, getting back, supplies provided, etc...
The trip was excellent, a few lessons learned from our end
1 Hire a porter to carry your bags/stuff . . . all you will want to carry is small backpack with water, especially on the hard days youll be exhausted from the hike, and you wont enjoy it at all if you are carrying a large backpack
2 Altitude sickness is a real thing - get medicine and buy cocoa leaves even if youre a big skier, its different here
3 Our baggage got lost on the airlines . . . I wish we would have carried on the essentials, so that we had the things we really needed, hiking shoes, hiking clothes, toiletries, flash lights, camera, etc
4 If you are traveling by yourself, request your own tent . . . otherwise you will share a tent with someone else that is traveling alone.
5 Skip the train upgrade. It was not worth the extra money.
6 Buy or rent hiking sticks. I did not think I needed these and I was completely wrong. You absolutely need them some of the days
7 Our trip had sleeping bags included in the price. They were in good shape, no need to bring your own
8 TIPS are NOT OPTIONAL. Even though it says they are, they were not, and we were pressured/guilted into giving a tip. That being said, everyone on the tour is not making much and has earned that tip in my opinion They told us that 50-75 sols 15-25 USD per porter/chef was typical. . . when we divided that among our group, everyone ended up tipping at least 30 USD a person and an additional 30-40 USD to the tour guides.
Good luck on your adventure! Have fun!
The challenge of this trip was the language barrier. I am an English speaking person, and requested for an English speaking guide. The two guides on my trip spoke very little English, and lacked the vocabulary to adequately describe the things we saw on the trip.
I enjoyed the journey, but was upset that I did not learn as much as I could have.
I felt well prepared for this trip in terms of the companies effort to make sure you had everything you needed prior to the hike and their information about each day of the hike given the night before. Each meal was a multi-course event (it all was good!), and snacks were provided. The guide was encouraging and informative throughout the 4 days. The hike itself was a challenge, but the guide stressed the importance of moving at your own pace and always made sure he was the last one in so no one was left behind. He offered tips to battle altitude which proved helpful. The only thing I did not realize was that you have to carry your own sleeping bag. They supply tents, sleeping bags ect, but be aware, although they carry tents and cooking supplies, you must carry your own sleeping bag!
I would highly recommend this experience overall!
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