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“Sacred valley + Machu Picchu trip with Alpaca Expeditions”
Review of Alpaca Expeditions

Alpaca Expeditions
Ranked #1 of 456 Outdoor Activities in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Alpaca Expeditions is an experienced culture and adventure travel company that creates customized tours for travelers visiting Peru. We will work with you to create the trip of a lifetime, whether you dream of trekking through the Andes on a 4 day climb to the lost city of the Incas or conquering the heights of Macchu Picchu through the indulgence of a luxurious train, let us make all your dreams come true. Alpaca Expeditions is the only company using satellite phones to operate adventure trekking tours to Machu Picchu as your safety is more important to us.
Union City, California
1 review
“Sacred valley + Machu Picchu trip with Alpaca Expeditions”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We did the Aplaca Expedition tour to Sacred valley and Machu Picchu. We had an amazing experience with the company.The guides were wonderful and everyone was super helpful. Bonnie always responded to emails within a day, there were a few instances where I felt that the folks at Alpaca went beyond my expectations:

- My husband left his jacket in the bus that went back to Cusco after dropping us at Ollyantatambo. We called Raul and asked him if he could get the jacket from the bus company. He told us not to worry about it and picked it up for us.

- When returning from Machu Picchu, our train was to arrive at 7:10 PM and we had a bus to Arequipa at 8:00 PM. The company sent a private car for us that took up straight to the bus stop so we could make it in time. Raul's brother was with us till we safely boarded our bus.

Overall, a very pleasant experience. I would highly recommend the company to anyone traveling to Machu Picchu.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank ReemaSardana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Alpaca Expeditions”
Reviewed January 20, 2013

We are a family of 4 that completed the Inca Trek with Alpaca Expeditions in early January. All I can say is they are amazing!! Alpaca was a pleasure to deal with right from day 1. Bonnie was quick to correspond to all my emails and questions. Once in Cusco, the staff met us and gave us a thorough explanation of what to expect. Sabino was our guide and I can't say enough good things about him. He is a gentle and lovely man who was very patient and extremely knowledgeable about Incan history as well as all things flora and fauna. He is funny and genuine. My husband and I (both mid 50's) faltered a bit but he stayed with us, very patiently waiting until we felt better (a bit of altitude sickness and not being in the best shape) - gently encouraging us along the whole way. We miss him a lot! Our family feels the experience was greatly enhanced by his presence (also we had the great good luck to be paired with a wonderful British couple who also made the experience even more special). The food was unexpectedly plentiful and delicious - all meals had many courses and even a baked cake! I don't know how Alejandro, the cook, did all that on one little burner! Also, half of us were vegetarians and he provided lots of dishes for them including some soy meat versions! Unbelievable considering all foods had to be carried on the back of the porters - no convenience stores along the way!

We also feel incredibly thankful to have used Alpaca as our tour company as we saw first hand how their porters were treated versus the other tour company's porters. Alpaca porters were properly outfitted with expedition clothing and most importantly proper hiking shoes - all of them! Most other porters that passed us were struggling under more weight and wearing torn and old sneakers, sometimes even ripped up old sandals! We appreciated the humanity and good will of Alpaca and saw how good humoured their porters were – it made the trip all the more pleasurable.

All in all the trip was something beyond words in its magnificence. And if the 45 km trek 4200 metres high was painful at times, the beauty of the surroundings far outweighed the difficulties. It is a trek that my family will treasure for the rest of our lives – we can’t thank Alpaca Tours enough for enhancing and heightening this very special journey.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
8 Thank MaryNiklesToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
Reviewed January 19, 2013

The overall message of this review is that Alpaca is awesome.

Of course, the Inca trail will be beautiful but Alpaca made the experience absolutely amazing.

Guide- Our guide, Sabino, was fantastic. Sabino is funny, lively, and knows a lot about the native flora and fauna and even more about Inca History. From what I´ve heard from hikers who used other companies, Alpaca provides a much deeper explanation of the ruins and the environment. He also has an inspiring story that really ties into the history of the incas.

Cook- Our cook was excellent. There was not a single day that I was not impressed by what he was able to do while cooking on the trail. He made everything from an anniversary cake for the couple on our trip who were celebrating their 11th anniversary to fresh lake trout ceviche. I never knew someone could cook like that using ingredients and tools that they carried on their backs through the Andes.

Porters- Again, very good. They would always be at our campsite before we arrived with a smile on their faces and a warm welcome. So impressive

Customer service- This is where Alpace really shines. They have the best customer service I have experienced, EVER. Not just in S. America. They reply quickly to all emails and are easy to work with. They helped me book my bus ticket to Puno after the trip even though that is not normally their job. In addition, Abel from the Alpaca office helped me go around Cusco to buy a day pack for my next hike (after the Inca trail was done). He ended up saving me a lot of money by helping me speak with shop owners. After that, Abel went with me to the bus station, helped me figure out how the bus system works AND waited with me until I got on the bus at 11 PM. He also asked that I message him the next day so he could make sure I arrived safely. He also offered to pick me up from the bus station and take me to my hotel or the airport upon my arrrival back in Cusco one week later! All of this was after my tour was over. How unbelievable is that!

Lastly, the company is just a great model of business ethics. Many other tour groups in Cusco use multiple websites to funnel you to a single service at different rates. Alpaca would never dream of doing this. Futhermore, Raul (the owner of Alpaca) has been a porter, chef, and guide on the Inca Trail, and he doesnt forget to treat his employees well. Alpaca has better compensation than other companies. They also provide the porters, guides, and chefs with Alpaca gear, including jackets, pants and waterproof shoes. This is a huge step up from other companies. Many of the porters from other tour groups wear sandals to do the 45 KM inca trail, while wearing 25 kilo packs! For me, treating your employees the right way is a sign of company that knows what its doing and has respect for the people that make it run.

If I ever do the Inca Trail again or if anyone I know is thinking of doing it, I would not even consider going with another company. Alpaca is the only option when doing the Inca Trail.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Kevin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

My wife and I booked the 2 day Inca Trail tour. It was an amazing experience. The company responded promptly to our emails before the tour began and maintained a level of professionalism throughout our trip. More info about our tour can be found on their site.

Pros
+ company met us the night before our hike at the hotel for final preparations
+ locally owned
+ porters/trail guides are outfitted well (some other companies have their employees working in terrible gear)
+ lunch was fabulous and food was in ample supply
+ Our guide was knowledgeable and keep a nice pace
+ Our guide and the company are passionate about what they do
+ our guide timed our approach to Machu so that it was barely populated when we arrived


Cons
— we had to bring our own water to ensure that we started well hydrated (tour company provided some)
— Guide was a little late our second day
—taxi ride to the train station was rough
— restaurant we ate at in Aquas Caliente was forgettable

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Yodafeesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent trip in all aspects”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

I took the Salkantay trek preceded by a day trip in the Sacred Valley. Both were very well planned and executed on short notice.

I first contacted Alpaca just two or three weeks before the actual trip, and they made it happen without a hitch. Bonnie and Raul were both very responsive, addressed my questions and were very flexible in customizing the trip.

Raul is very knowledgeable and passionate about Inca history and was able to offer an insider's perspective throughout. The porters and chef were fantastic! The quality of dishes Alberto was able to make was impressive -- tasty, healthful and plentiful -- and I had to keep myself from over-eating at each meal. They were definitely a fun group to trek with.

I can list various "extra efforts" but in the end, what distinguished the service was the passion to really make it a wonderful experience for the traveller, and the pleasant demeanor of the parties involved. It was really a great trip and I highly recommend Alpaca to anyone exploring a trip to Peru.

Finally, they do put in effort to hire locally, trek responsibly, and equip staff and travelers with quality gear. That makes a difference, especially compared to large operators and agencies that are disconnected from the local economy.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank keystone22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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