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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.
This tour was amazing!
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.
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!
This was an amazing, well organized tour!
From start to finish, the guides have every detail covered. They were very informative, patient, fun and interesting. They also brought 18 strangers together as friends by the second day.
Ruben, Paco and Jorge were always looking after you, checking on your daily well being and making sure you felt like a part of the group.
The porters were also very good. They were extremely respectful and hardworking. The harmony and respect that existed between the porters and the guides was very evident.
The food each day was wonderful! You should never miss a meal as you will need all the nutrients for your hikes.
Each morning the guides bring you coco tea with a very gentle wake up call while the porters prepare breakfast for you. Then after several hours of hiking, you'll stop at a point in the trail for a hot lunch that your porters have raced ahead to prepare for you. You then resume your hike to find your campsite set up for you and tea service ready prior to dinner. They couldn't make this any more convenient and comfortable!
Things you'll need:
Baby wipes, walking sticks, headlight, sun tan lotion, poncho, thermals, good hiking shoes (break them in at least two months prior), rain jacket, hat, toilet paper, energy bars and a one day water supply (you can buy water along the way), coco candy and/or leaves to chew on (you can buy all of this at the stop before the beginning of the trail in Ollyatatambo). The coco candy helped both with my altitude challenge and kept my throat from drying up with all the dust on the trail.
It's strongly recommended that you hire a porter IN ADVANCE to carry your sleeping bag and personals. Bring an extra bag to carry your camera, lotion, candies, toilet paper and poncho. The hike (especially on day 2 and 3) is very challenging with 100's of steep staircases. It seems counterproductive to not enjoy the scene if your battling with fatigue.
This was the best tour I have taken!
Incredible trip with amazing, friendly and knowledgeable guides. The trail is a must-do if you are looking to go to Machu Picchu as you will see things here that those who take the trainride in will miss. Scenic beauty, sleeping above the clouds, and coca tea every morning!
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