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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.
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!
Viator made booking the 4 day Inca Trail Trek a snap! A lot of hotels and tour companies in Peru don't take credit cards so you end up having to carry around a lot of cash, which isn't optimal. But being able to take care of the booking ahead of time was great. Also, the 4 day Inca Trail Trek was AMAZING! We were in a small group of 8 people. The porters carried all of our sleeping equipment and cooked us 3 meals a day. The food was delicious and your in the middle of the Andes! The camping gear was quality, sleeping bags with lots of down and sleeping bag liners. Over all 5 star camping. The hike wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. If you are in relatively decent shape you will have no problem. You are able to hike at your own pace through different ecosystems, some harsh and arid, others lush and almost tropical. The 4 day Inca Trail was definitely the highlight of our vacation. Note, if you have knee problems or even if you don't, get trekking poles they make the thousands of steps bearable.
This trip was THE HIGHLIGHT of our 3 week trip in Peru. The scenery is unbelievable, the days are tough but everyone in our group of 8 was able to do it (even some people who were really out of shape, albeit with difficulty). The tents and sleeping bags were acceptable. The food was surprisingly very tasty. The porters (I recommend you have them carry your stuff) are amazing!! We made some great friends, got some excellent photos and felt proud of our accomplishment. I recommend it to anyone who is willing to put in a little training time and a few days in Cusco beforehand to acclimate to the elevation. Enjoy!
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!
We were very happy with the service provided by the local operator but extremely disappointed with the service, or lack thereof provided by Viator.
I would provide details but there is inadequate characters allowed in this review.
The constant back and forth made the booking process tedious and the information we received differed from what we were told directly by the guide. Definitely left me unimpressed with this but the trek itself is incredible.
Had a great experience until the last day. We only had 1hr 30 mins to explore Machu Picchu before we had to leave to go to Aguas Calientes to collect pur train tickets from our guide even though it wasnt leaving for another 3hrs 30. I feel this was to suit him he also left the restaurant without paying the 3 of us remaining from the group had to pay for his meal!
The Inca trail was by far the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life! Although a great experience, there were a few things that I was very disaapointed by. These are the following
1. I had to chase up the booking company to find out when my tour guide was coming to the hotel to collect us. This information was not forthcoming. Quite stressful when it is the day before the tour and you have no idea what is going on !!
2. The tent provided was too small for 3 people. There should have been known upfront with provisions made accordingly.
3. Although our tour guide was very friendly, the quality of his english was below average and this resulted in us not quite understanding what he was saying at times. I do believe this limited the information we were able to absorb from him.
On a more positive - the food was excellent and the support provided by the tour guide to help us through the difficult times was very much appreciated!!
Lyn S USA
LOVED: the trek and our guide (Smith).
Food was great.
Hated: bathroom facilities in our designated camp areas were so awful, words cannot describe. Given the cost of the trek, more care might have been taken to designate someone to clean.
We paid for porters that were not hired ($125 for personal porter for 2 people).
Instructions for what was/was not included were unclear (i.e., sleeping bags, weight limits, etc.)
Attempts to communicate prior to trek, (via phone), were pretty useless.
Overall: would highly recommend our tour guide, Smith, as well as the Inca Trail itself.
Matthew Greiner United States of ...
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.
The trek itself was amazing, great views and a fun hike each day. The porters were great too but our guide spoke maybe 2 words of English so we never knew what the plan was. We were told one thing and something else would happen. We didn't get any info about any of the extra ruins, no communication.
The trek could have been a great one except the guide, his name Wander, was very unprofessional. He was not helpful during the trek. Gave us inaccurate info and we constantly had to ask How long today? How much further? etc.I wanted time to take pictures but felt pressured especially at Machu Picchu. where we had to hang around him because he hung onto the train tickets back to Agua Calientes. Was not helpful his English was poor although I was with a spanish speaking group one couple did not speak Spanish. I did fill out an evaluation in Aguas Calientes, in which I said it was good because he had stored our gear at a friend's restaurant and we were scheduled to leave three hours later so I did not want to jeopardize my not getting my gear and valuables.....I do want to return, but this trip.....was weird and strange. BTW, Wander owns a camping gear store in Cusco and was far more interested in seeing us spend money and then anything.....We had to buy drinking water during almost the entire trek except just at the very end...how convenient...Thwe Inca trail could have and should have been much better!!
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