I spent six weeks in Peru in September to October 2013, trekked with three different Cusco-based companies, and had a fabulous experience with Ayni Peru Expedition (http://www.ayni-peru.com/). I did an abbreviated version of Ayni’s alternative Salkantay trek in October and it was an amazing trip. Ayni offers the standard Salkantay trek as well as an alternative one that, as far as I could tell, is not offered by any other company. It is FANTASTIC – during my two days on the trek, I did not see a single other tourist and only a handful of locals, and the scenery is spectacular. If you are looking for a more wilderness experience, choose the alternative Salkantay trek. From all accounts, the standard Salkantay route is beautiful, too, but quite a bit more heavily trafficked. The equipment was top-notch – new tents and Thermarest sleeping pads. The other Cusco companies that I trekked with used foam mattresses and charged extra if you wanted a Thermarest. Foam mattresses are fine, but after trekking for 6 or 7 hours at altitude, a nice tent and Thermarest are really awesome, especially if you are feeling headachy or woozy from the altitude. The guide, Domingo, was fabulous and by far the best of the four guides I trekked with during my six weeks in Peru. He was funny and encouraging, spoke great English, and was super knowledgeable about the local area, customs, history, flora, and fauna, and also just clearly loved his job in a way that made the trip that much more fun. I was also really impressed by his and the company’s awareness of and commitment to environmental issues, to helping local communities in the area, and to fair treatment of muleteers, cooks, and other members of the team. It’s not nearly as common as you’d think - even among the more reputable, responsible trekking companies in Cusco. I had originally signed on to tour the Sacred Valley with another company, but changed my plans and went with Ayni instead, and had an experience that was every bit as fabulous as the trek. Highly recommended.