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this trip begin with a long journal of car riding (about 6 hours including toilet break and lunch), the driver is local who doesn't speak English, although there's not much to confuse since we did some blog digging online about what to expect for this kind of tour. bewared there's about 2 hours riding on unpaved road, which including lots of bouncing and dusting along the road. Somehow the driver in Peru doesn't use A/C in car, they love to open the window for fresh air, but at the same time the dusting air comes in too, and without A/C in car where there are 17 people, the air is so hot and stuffy and uncomfortable. so at the end of the riding I am so desperate to get out just to cool down from the unbearable stuffy car.Following is the 3 hours walk along the train rail, the road is full of little rock which can hurt your feet after long walk, so be sure have a pair of good walking shoes. the walking journal is on your own, no guide will go with you besides other backpackers. it could be good or bad depend on what kind of trip you are looking for. The hardest part is when you get to Aguas Calientes to find the guide who can take you to the hostel, the briefing that was done the day before this tour only mention that we could meet our guide at the "main plaza" in Aguas Calientes, without giving us a map to tell us where the main plaza is. It could be my problem that I should've check on the web to located the main plaza before the walk, but it would be better if the briefing provide also the map of the Aguas Calientes town. Anyway after 30mins wondering and couldn't find the so call "main plaza", a local direct us to what he thought is main plaza (which turned out isn't) and I began to calling the contact number said that I don't find the guide, good thing is he then make calls to the guide and eventually the guide came to get us and walk us to our hostel then to dinner, along with briefing the next day's itinerary.the tour in Machu Picchu is great, they separate us from the Spanish speaking group who we originally riding with, so the whole tour is in English, the tour guide is very knowledgeable and informative. to note that we didnafter Machu Picchu tour we then continue on our own plan without follow the rest of tour back to Cusco. so I can't commend on the the back trip.overall it's a fair tour which including three meals and the food are good. just the communication could be better and the car riding could be better if the A/C was on in the car.
Overall the tour was okay. It wasn’t like the way I expected it to be. First of all, I would like to commend the bus driver for his driving skills. It was a tough long drive on such terrain. However, I feel disappointed that there is no tour guide on the long ride. We were not briefed how long the ride was or what to do or expect. Correct me if I’m wrong but I might have missed the briefing of the driver because it was spoken in Spanish and I am not familiar of the language. And it was worth noting that the bus is quite small for the bags of the travelers.
But, it is worth commending that the choice of foods were great and tasty. We do not know what are the name of the foods, but it was delicious.
Second, after arriving at Hidroelectrica, our driver gave us instructions in Spanish which we obviously cannot understand so we followed the rest of the group for a 3hrs trek. It was worth noting that if you’re not into trekking, you could also take the Peru Rail which is another form of payment. So yes, after 3 hours of trekking to the unknown place of rocks and stones without a guide, we finally reached Aguas Calientes. And to our mistake, it was actually in the plaza where we should meet. Yes, it was a miscommunication that happened because of language barrier. I do hope they gave us a tour guide throughout this trek.
So after we met the tour guide, he guided us towards our hostel. The hostel is clean and decent. It was alright if you’re not carrying a suitcase because there is no elevator there. It was near the plaza so there’s no problem. After settling ourselves for a few hours, we were asked to meet at 1930h to give us instructions for tomorrow when going to Machu Picchu. And yes, they gave us a choice of another 1hr hiking or we could take a bus and pay USD24 so it is easier for us. Obviously, we took the bus going to Machu Picchu for lesser hassle which we have to buy at the ticketing booth. He then told us the next day to meet at the entrance and find his flag. We looked for him everywhere but sadly, we were unable to see our tour guide again. We were left touring Machu Picchu on our own and just trying to sneakily listen to other tour guides to get some information about the place.
In order to prevent trekking again for 3hrs back to Hidroelectrica, we opted to take the Peru Rail (which again, is a separate payment from this). And then upon reaching the pick-up place for our bus going back to Cusco, we have to looked for the guy in charge of checking the people who are part of the tour. He was shouting all over the place not really knowing of if he has taken the attention of the person he is looking for. I highly suggest he buy some megaphone or maybe add a logo in the bus for us to know where to find it. It was so hot and the place is full of mosquitos so it is really irritating on our part. Also, we expected this tour to drop us off our hotel but apparently, they did not. They dropped some of us but not everyone. The driver insisted that we just take a taxi to our hotel which is like against what is written that this tour provides hotel pick-up and drop-off.
So yes, that is my full experience of this tour. I hope this would help you improve your service in order to make it better. The driver and the foods are great and the hostel is okay. But the language barrier and the presence of tour guides are something that must be improved on. If I were to rate it, I would probably give it a 5 out of 10. It would be better if the Peru Rail and the bus ride to Machu Picchu is already included or perhaps an option that is already part of the package. And it would be better if they do provide a drop off in the hotel.
Thanks to Viator for letting us try this tour and for being completely understanding of us despite all the hassles we’ve encountered. We greatly appreciated Viator and would definitely try booking another tour form here. It is one of the most accessible site for finding the perfect tour for you.