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This is the best way to experience Machu Picchu! Our guide, Carlitos, was professional, knowledgeable, and skilled. He let us keep a pace that worked for us and had a lot to teach about the jungle and history of Peru. The adventures were all very fun as well, and if you aren't up to any part of it, you can easily opt out and continue with the rest of the adventure afterwards. The hikes are spectacularly beautiful. The food quality was also really high, so you'll be taken care of those few days. They do accommodate to food restrictions, especially if you let them know ahead of time. We aren't vegetarian but were still offered this option at every meal. The best part is that you get to stay with a local family in the jungle for one of the nights. They also include a trip to resort-quality hot springs which are incredible, and you have an option to do a cable car across the river, which is basically a sit-in zipline. Really, the tour description can't do justice to four days of incredible experiences, opportunities, and views. TIP: bring lots of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Most of the places you go and stay don't provide toilet paper or soap. Also, PLEASE request Carlitos if you do this tour. He was such a wonderful guide and that really made the difference for our experience.
We also did the Wayna Picchu add-on to the trip. We absolutely loved it and the views are worth it. This is a VERY strenuous and steep hike, so only do if you are very fit and up for the adventure. I would not bring children on this hike. The stairs are steep and narrow for most of the 2-hour hike, and for much of it they are near the cliff edge with dangerous falls to the side and behind. Be very careful and only do it if you are fit.
This was a very fun experience, and a once in a life time opportunity. Before I begin the review I want to say that our guide Carlitos was amazing. He spoke perfectly in English, and knew all about the history of Peru, and a bunch of other interesting information along the way. Also, the food on the tour is amazing, every meal was delicious, and was definitely enough to fill your stomach, A for food. The first day is very busy, because it contains the biking and the rafting. Our biking experience was hindered because of heavy rain, and in the end only two of us ended up finishing the bike ride our guides bike broke towards the end of the ride so myself and another girl finished ourselves. After doing a similar bike ride in Bolivia, it was clear these bikes were not as good as the ones we had used there, and going down such a steep hill I had wished the brakes were a little bit better. overall the ride was scary because of the rain and fog, but still a fun experience. Next is the rafting, it was very fun, and the guide was a friendly and funny guy. Nothing crazy about the rafting, we saw some coca plantations and some birds. We had the opportunity to jump into the water a couple of times, and you stop half way through to play a game on the beach. You then hike a bit more up to a beautiful house in the woods where you sleep for the night.
The next day is a lot of walking, but the end of the day at the hot springs is very nice. The hostel you stay at that night is not bad but our room had no windows so everything was damp in the morning.
The next day is zip-lining which is great. You get some amazing views, and they let you swing upside-down if you want. You then hike to the city right under Machu Picchu. This was my one complaint about the tour. The hostel you stay at there is absolutely not acceptable. The rooms were gross, we had no windows, going to the outside, but also above our door and in our washroom that led right to the hall. There was a giant crack in our ceiling that was filled with mud, and was dripping throughout the night. Not to mention everything was extremely damp, and our bathroom was filled with mould. This place was not good and should not be part of this tour.
Overall it was an amazing trip, and I would recommend it to everyone, I would just make sure to ask about the hostel on the last night.
We loved the experience and the activities that were provided during the trip, but unfortunately there were some downsides to it as well.
Our guide was not very knowledgable, and we had to look up a lot of information ourselves. He tried to talk us into making choices that made things more convenient for him e.g. taking the bus instead of hiking and jumped on the bus during our second half of the mountain biking part. We were two women traveling solo and for some reasons the only ones on the booking, and in many situations he did not entirely behave appropriately, making comments, calling us sexy, finding excuses to get close to us and questioning us around our romantic relationships. He continued to be late in the mornings, sometimes to the point that we were running late for the next activity, and he kept forgetting our names. I'm choosing not to disclose his name, but I do think the company should vet the guides' behavior more closely when sending them on a private tour with two ladies. The hostel choices were rather poor, and in the ladder one, we had some shocking illegal activity that had the hostel call the police on them.
All in all, the experience itself and the trip were definitely more than worth it though, and except for the mentioned above, everything was neatly organized, and the participating companies like rafting and ziplining were professional and well done!
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