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“Moonstone Trek”

Inca Land Adventures
Ranked #177 of 911 Tours in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Small Group Specialist Inca Land Adventures is one of the top trekking agencies in Cusco. Offering treks that no other agency provides, along routes that few ever visit, we guarantee that we can give you the trip of a lifetime. Our treks have been tailored to provide you with the best experience possible, no matter what your fitness level; from short one day hikes to epic 12 day treks that take you to the remotest corners of the Andes, we have something for everyone. We offer all the classic Inca Trail treks as well as a whole host of alternative treks that will leave you spoilt for choice. Some of our treks are more culturally-focused, such as the Huchuy Qosqo trek, while others are pure physical challenge, like the epic Climbing Salkantay trek. We also pride ourselves on our private service; we will alter our treks to suit your needs and desires! For those that are aiming to improve their photography skills whilst trekking, our sister company Pho
Reviewed March 12, 2013

I did the Moonstone Trek, also called Valle de la Luna, with Flavio, from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The trek took us five days, and for a while I felt like we were the only people on the planet. Hardly anybody treks this route, but I can't understand why. It's so incredibly beautiful. We started from a dirt road which follows the train tracks as they descend into the Valle Sagrado. We took a steep uphill into the sun, up to some pre-Inca ruins with a commanding view of the valley below. From there we descended into some small villages where the children ran out to greet us, and they didn't even ask for caramelos or dinero.

From there, it was a long climb up and over the only pass on the trek, and when we got there, we could see all the way from Salcantay to Ausangate to Nevado Veronica. What an amazing view. And the pass wasn't even that high, as Andean passes go, at 4400 meters. We descended to our next campground and had an incredible night under the stars. I've never seen as many stars, the Milky Way was so bright, and I could even see the Andromeda Galaxy.

From there, we took a narrow trail that hugged a cliff, a little bit scary if you don't like heights, until we started to parallel an ancient Inca aqueduct. The scale and precision of the construction was amazing. We followed that aqueduct for several kilometers until it took us to an incredible Inca construction overlooking the entire Valle Sagrado and Nevado Veronica. From there, we descended towards Ollantaytambo, visiting an amazing Inca stone quarry along the way. We saw the place where the Incas milled the stones for the Ollantaytambo ruins, and the stone ramps they used to slide the huge rectangular stones down the mountain. But the true highlight of the trek, and one of Flavio's secrets, is the cave of mummies, hidden within the quarry. There are several Inca skeletons in there, most with deformed craniums, and one that is nearly intact. It was truly humbling to be in the presence of the bones and textiles.

After visiting the Ollantaytambo ruins, we spent our 5th and last day in Machu Picchu to conclude an amazing adventure.

7  Thank Jonathan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 - 57 of 72 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2013

After DAYS of researching online on which tour company to use for a two day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu + Wayna Picchu hike I finally decided based on the good reviews to go with Flavio and Inca Land Adventures. That was the best decision from my entire trip to Peru! Flavio was extremely helpful leading up to the trip answering all of my many questions in a timely manner and providing lots of information about other activities/hotels. There was a group of eight of us and he advised us on the best way to get started on the Inca Trail given we needed to meet up with him in Ollantaytambo because we were traveling previously to that. He arranged everything perfectly for us to get on the train from Ollantaytambo and meet him at the 2 day trail trek start. I had gotten very dehydrated from altitude and not drinking enough water and was very sick (nauseous) and just miserable and Flavio was so patient with me, made sure to get me drinking a lot of water and gatorade type drinks and CARRIED MY PACK along with his for the first half of the day so that I wouldn't have to deal with the weight of it while sick. I couldn't have made it along the trail without his help and encouragement. He literally sat down next to me at the start of the trail as I was sick and debating if I wanted to even do this now and he said: "If you don't want to go, you don't have to go, but if you want to fight, we'll all fight with you." I was really feeling guilty that I would hold my friends back because I wasn't feeling well and very slow and he really made me feel like I could do this - and I did! I was hiking much slower than my friends in the group and Flavio kept hanging back with me for stretches and then leaving me to hike slowly with my boyfriend for a bit while he ran up ahead to talk with the rest of our friends who were farther ahead. He did a great job making sure slow sick me and the rest of the group all had a great hike and learned a lot along the way about the ruins we saw on the way and about Peruvian culture. The lunches packed were really great and looked amazing...I just wish I had been able to eat more of them but being sick I ended up just nibbling. Towards the end of the day I was feeling better and more hydrated and it was so amazing to arrive at Machu Picchu through the sun gate! We toured Machu Picchu and Flavio was so informative showing us around and then leaving us to explore for a bit before coordinating our bus tickets back to Aguas Calientes, taking us to our hotel, and arranging dinner. We toured Machu Picchu again and hiked Wayna Picchu the second day with everything arranged by Flavio and took a train and short van ride back to Cusco that night.

A few days later Flavio took us on the included walking city tour of Cusco and we really enjoyed him showing us around, teaching us about the culture and history of Cusco and taking us around a local market and letting us try a bunch of new fruits we'd never even seen before!

Flavio and Inca Land Adventures are organized, friendly, know their stuff (history, culture, best spots to check out), have excellent prices for the services they offer, and to top it off have a great sense of humor too. I felt like I left Peru with a new friend, not just a great experience.

5  Thank Delphia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

My wife and I did this 8 day hike to Machu Picchu called the Choquekirap route. It was fantastic to visit several inca ruins sites without all the crowds. Most of the time we were the only ones there. We camped close to the Choquekirao site and were able to walk through at night with a full moon. It was pretty awesome. The guide, cooks and horseman were great. Food was much better than expected. Edson our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Edson got up at 4am and stood in line at Machu Picchu for us so we could be the 1st ones there in the morning.
That was very special.
The only thing strange on the hike was after leaving Yanama (an incredibly beautiful little community in the mountains) we hiked past some road construction over a mountain pass. Hopefully they will find a better rout around this area in the future.
I highly recommend Inca Land Adventures. Flavio communicates well and often and took care of all the details so the trip went very smoothly.

1  Thank Jeff G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

I had a great time on this tour (I went in July 2012). My guide (Edson) was great and spoke both English and Spanish. Very knowledgeable and funny. Was good to chat with at night and during the trek. Food was great (and vegetarian for me was no problem!). Easy to deal with and loved the trek. The best part was the some of the bigger companies have too many people on the tours and it's not personal at all. This company was not like that at all, and I really appreciated it so much more while I kept seeing these huge groups everywhere else.

4  Thank yatesbeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Just to start off, I did the 9 day, 8 nights trip and even after strenuous hiking for that long I still had an amazing time. I went in a group of 4. Flavio and his crew did an exceptional job taking care of us and always knew what to do next. Flavio is very intelligent and could answer any question I had. All of the gear he has is top of the line. Horses are treated with respect. Food was incredible, actually it was better food than I could make myself in a stocked kitchen and an actual stove. They also are really good about supporting the local villages. We went through a town and bought trout there, had fresh ceviche that night.

Overall, a great experience. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Thank lreynoso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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