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Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

Perth, Australia
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Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

Hi, I know this has been asked a few times on here already but people's experiences seem so hit and miss I thought I'd ask again! This is a budget trip so the main criteria is it should be cheap, but I don't want to miss out on anything (or use a company that treats staff particularly badly etc.).

The general consensus seems to be you can wait until you get out there to book, but I really need to leave on a specific date (6th April) - though could possibly go the day before as well. Would it be too risky to wait until I arrive in Cusco? (I'm planning on getting there on the third)

Also, this is my general plan for the trip - is there anything obvious I've missed or should change?

30th March - Arrive in Lima 11am

2nd April - Bus to Nazca in morning

3rd April - Flight over Nazca Lines in morning then bus to Cusco

6th April - Start Salkantay Trek

10th April - Finish Salkantay Trek

11th April - Fly to Lima and then back home

Thanks in advance!

Australia
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89 posts
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21. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

The cheaper companies differ in the following ways. Guides with only average English,average meals, larger groups, poor quality gear, more crowded campsites, day 4 is spent walking 3 hours along a train track (were as ours walked up part of the Inka trail), late train tickets back to Cusco on last day ( meaning a 1.30 am arrival). If you want a cheap experience I think it would be better to go it alone and carry your own gear than go with a cheap company.

Cusco, Peru
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22. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

kmiatae, for someone that did not do the trek with this company, you sure are complaining a lot about it, kind of gives the impression that you may work for one of the higher priced companies.

While I didn't see any comments from callumb99 about the gear, campsites, the day 4 hike, or the return time of the train, they did have positive comments regarding the food, staff, company and the group size, which was described as perfect.

There are different tour companies for everybody and if you read the initial post you would have noticed the comment that "This is a budget trip so the main criteria is it should be cheap". While you may prefer to pay more for a few little extras, not everybody travels that way. Since this post was obviously not intended for someone that travels like you, leave it alone. I am sure there are many budget travelers out there that appreciate it and will find it useful information.

Perth, Australia
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73 posts
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23. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

Expanding upon what I said before to address the (in my opinion - ridiculous) post above:

One guide spoke almost perfect English, the second spoke Spanish - which was appreciated by the Spanish/South Americans on the tour, and the rest of us who wanted to practise some Spanish along the way as well.

I have no idea what you call "average" or "good" meals, but I don't see how you could expect much better than the food we were served considering you're camped on the side of a mountain...

The group wasn't that big, and regardless, you do not have to walk as a group and invariably break away into smaller groups of 2/3/4. We were also never in "crowded campsites".

We did walk along the train tracks on the last trek-day (though most of the group took the train) - so what? We'd spent 3 days walking across breathtaking scenery already - what is the big deal? Not to mention it isn't "just a train track". You get to walk through tiny little villages and the scenery along most of it is still pretty good. I can't imagine walking part of the Inca trail was much better.

The people we encountered on the way who were going it alone made it clear several times each day that they were envious of our trek. The cheap treks don't cost much more than the ticket prices for Macchu Pichu and the train/bus anyway (in fact, a friend of mine in Cusco paid more to travel there and back by bus on a day trip than I did!) and there is an enormous difference in comfort between the tour and going alone. I'd go as far as to say that comparing the two is ridiculous.

Cusco, Peru
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24. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

Thanks for the additional information callumb99, I am sure that other travelers will appreciate your comments.

Boston...
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25. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

Thanks for the review, Callumb99! I'm planning my Peru trip for this winter, and i think I will go with Cuscoperuviajes as well. Hope the rest of your trip was great! Also thanks, Lyle, for sticking up for a fellow traveler!

Cusco, Peru
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26. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

We have traveled for many years before moving here to the Cusco region, and in those years we have learned that not all travelers are alike and what is good for one person is not always good for another.

To hear someone complain about a company they had not used just bothered me, especially when we have heard nothing but good comments from our guests about them.

I don’t think I would have said anything if kmiatae was complaining about a trek they had done with Viajes, or even if they had recommended another company that provided better service for the same price. But to complain with no actual justification or backing, it just seemed to be the lashing out of someone who may be employed by a competitor.

On a lighter note socrafts, I hope you enjoy your trip to this beautiful region. What month are you planning to travel?

chicago
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260 posts
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27. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

Has anyone done Classic Inka trail with this company? Are they operating this trek (nad other treks) themselves or just pull their customers with other cheap companies? Their price is at least $200 lower then other companies often mentioned here, but all reviews I can find are very positive. However I didn't find any of Inka trail, it's mostly about tours (plus one about Salkantay trek above). They are not on the list of licensed Inka trail operators on andeantravelweb.com but their list is from 2011 and e.g. Alpaca is not on it either (and I'm pretty sure Alpaca is a licensed trail operator).

Cusco, Peru
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28. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

No they don’t operate the Inca trail treks themselves, and I am not sure who they contract with. We haven’t had anyone do the Inca trail with them yet either, so far only Salkantay and the Inca jungle trek.

chicago
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29. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

Thank you. Do they subcontract Salkantay trek as well or guide themselves? Or pool with others depending on number of people that sign up so you never know who will operate the trek?

Cusco, Peru
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30. Re: Good Salkantay Trek companies + Itinerary advice

I believe they pool with others, I am actually going in to Cusco today so I will swing by and see what company they use for the treks.