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“Peru Treks”
Review of Inca Trail

Inca Trail
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4-Day Trek to Machu Picchu Through the Inca Trail
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The Inca Trail: 4-Day Trek to Machu Picchu
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Private Overnight Tour: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed December 2, 2013

We did the 4D/3N Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with Peru Treks and it was honestly not only the highlight of our trip to date but one of the most fantastic things we've ever done in our lives. Our guide Elistan and his assistant Ernesto were truly fantastic. Both spoke excellent English but were more than happy to chat in Spanish to help you practise if you wanted. Our group consisted of 14 people from teenagers to mid-fifties and everyone completed the journey. Whilst the trek is strenuous, it is not the most difficult that we've done in South America and there is plenty of opportunity to stop and rest at various Inca Cities along the way. We did not hire an extra porter and didn't feel like we needed one at all. If you do wish to hire an extra porter, do it for the entire journey as it's cheaper to prearrange for 4 days than it is to hire one when you're on the trek for only the second day. Elistan was full of information and truly passionate about the Inca's and his excitement was contagious. The most fantastic thing about Elistan and Ernesto was however, not their wealth of knowledge but their patience. Nobody was ever rushed, everybody took the trail at their own pace and Ernesto brought up the rear encouraging those who were struggling and ensuring no one was ever left behind. Infact, at one point, when most had made it to camp and were starting afternoon tea, the porters went back up the hill to bring tea and snacks to those who were behind. The food is incredible. Three full meals each day plus afternoon tea of popcorn, biscuits, cake, tea, coffee and hot chocolate, dinner and lunch are full four-course meals and breakfast is more than plentiful. They also catered for my food allergies perfectly and I didn't feel like I was eating anything of lesser quality than everyone else. Justino, our chef, was amazing.
One piece of advice; it gets very wet during November/December as it is the wet season. For 2 out of 4 days it absolutely bucketed down while we were hiking. Do get METAL walking poles to help with the steps, bring a good quality poncho and protect your back pack, belongings and most importantly, sleeping bag, with garbage bags and rain covers.
The Inca Trail is a must, if you're going to spend money visiting Machu Picchu we really encourage you to spend a little extra and complete the actual Inca Trail as opposed to catching the train or trekking another path. It is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. You would be crazy to book with anyone other than Peru Treks.

29  Thank Shannon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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690 - 694 of 1,901 reviews

Reviewed November 30, 2013

This trail was on my list for a while as the permits are normally booked out at least 2-3 months in advance. Finally I was able to complete the trail with my fiancée last month. There were two guides and 20 porters for a group of 12 people of different fitness levels. That wasn't a problem as people with slower pace would catch up at break stops with the rest of the group. Everyone was able to pack 6 kilos to be carried by the porters. It's amazing how fit the porters are as they were always ahead of us and had our tents set up and ready by the time we reached the camp site each day. In terms of the difficulty - day 1 is easy, day 2 and 3 are most challenging. On day 4 we got up at 3.30am and reached Machu Picchu early to beat the crowds. I believe this is the best way to enter Machu Picchu as it feels even more rewarding and magical after the big hike.

5  Thank Eva K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

What started as a trip with five friends from LA ended as a family of 14, 2 expert guides and 12 travelers from Brazil, England, and the US (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Deluth). Together we took the amazing trek that brought us to a crystal clear lake at the base of a glacier, over a 15,000 ft pass, into the homes of the local coffee growers and oh yes up to Macchu Picchu. Along the way we stopped to take in the quiet splendor, were shown the many different flora and fauna, and enjoyed the delicious food that was provided throughout the trip. Best of all was the lunch prepared and waiting for us on the otherside of the Salcontay Pass or maybe it was the fresh trout and cold beer at the end of another long afternoon's hike. Each day was met with excitement and the only disappointment was the final day when we said goodbye to our new familia.

3  Thank Corostone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

We just came back from the 4 day trek that we booked with PeruTreks. They are one of the cheapest companies (we paid 505 USD with a 40 USD student discount), but they are very well aware of porter welfare and the maximum group size is 16.
We were a group of 14, between the ages of 20 and mid-50s. All of us made it, including the 50-year-old-lady that had her right wrist in a cast. The Inca trail is not a Sunday stroll, day 1 is fairly easy ("inca-flat"), but nothing prepares you for the infamous Dead Woman's Pass on day 2. You climb 1200m, it takes about 5 hours to climb and then you descend about 600m to the camp. The good thing is, you're done trekking by approx. 2pm. Day 3 is totally ok until you reach the 3rd pass and descend 1000m on a staircase. I have never had problems with steps, so I just sort of climb down like some sort of monkey, but my fellow hikers really thought it is knee-killing (at the end I popped my knee as well, so I suppose it's sort of true). This day is the longest day, but it's also really beautiful walking past a variety of Inca cites (all beautiful) and ever-changing vegetation. On the last day you wake up at 3:30AM, pack your stuff, have a quick breakfast and you are off to the last checkpoint that opens at 5:30AM. Then it's about 1.5hrs to the famous Sun Gate. We spent about 20 mins at the sun gate to catch our breath and were lucky enough for the clouds to clear! This way we had our first glimpse into Macchu Picchu. And let me tell you something: I'm not a big fan of ancient cultures and mainly booked the trail because my travel partner was really into it, but that is something! I have to admit that the first sight of macchu picchu is clearly one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen - especially after the hardship of the hike. It's amazing, spectacular and breathtaking (also literally). After the descend to the ruins we had a 2 hour tour and then time to explore the ruins by ourselves. Met at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes for lunch, went to the hot springs (you can rent bathing suits and towels for 3 Soles each at places before the pools) and then caught the train to Ollantaytambo where a bus picked us up and dropped us close to Plaza de Armas at 1030PM.
I gotta say, whether you'll enjoy this trek or not, largely depends on the tour operator, your group dynamics and clearly on your determination and ambition.
1) Tour operator: Peru Treks was great. The porters are clearly not of this Earth, they carry about 25kg at a pace that is incredible. Camp was always set up when we got there, we never had to wait for lunch/dinner and the food was stellar! I have no idea how the cook does it, but you get an appetizer, soup, a main course, dessert, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, mate - anything you can imagine. And there are gluten-free and veggie options if you tell them ahead. The food is fresh and mostly regional with a few pleasant surprises. It was my friend's birthday and they even made a cake! I mean - how awesome is that? A CAKE when camping? I honestly have no idea how anybody can complain about the food. Another goodie: on Day 2 the porters went back up the mountain to bring tea and bread to the last people in our group that were still missing.
The camping equipment is fine, there are 2 people to a 4 person tent, so plenty of space for backpacks. They give you a complimentary sleeping pad and you can rent a sleeping bag from the company (we had our own stuff).
The communication beforehand was excellent and also on the trek we always knew what was going on. The guide never pushed us and let us walk at our own pace. The only thing that I can really complain about is that he was not too enthusiastic about information on the ruins and often repeated himself. However, I can see that the guide's enthusiasm really depends on how the group is which brings me to:
2) group dynamics. Unfortunately our group was pretty lame. All the people were kind and nice, but everybody seemed to lack a bit of color. maybe it's just the exhaustion you experience at the end of the day, but I have travelled on tours with more fun people. However, this is nothing any tour operator could influence, so you just gotta be lucky.
3) determination. Whether you can do this trek or not depends on yourself. I am 25, 160cm, about 65kg and of average fitness. Plus, I have slight anemia and I made the trek just fine even though it really gets tough at the altitude. But if you tell yourself that you can do it, you can. Our guide told us of a 6-year-old, a 85-year-old and 2 pregnant women who made the trek, plus the aforementioned lady with the broken wrist Also something you just got to get over are the bathrooms. Yes, they are rudimentary and you better bring your own toilet paper, but what do you expect when 500 people start this trek every day?
All in all, the trek was a good experience even though I probably wouldn't spend that amount of money again. I was fine with the stuff I brought which comprises: 1 sleeping bag (comfort zone until 3°C), sleeping pad ThermaRest, 1 spare t-shirt, flashlight, 1 pair of skiing-underwear, regular underwear, 1 spare pair of socks (in a plastic bag!), insect repellent (which was unnecessary), toilet paper, deodorant, sunscreen, bandana (it get's awfully hot when the sun is out), beanie, sunglasses, fleece, rain jacket, plastic poncho, a nut mix, first aid kit, 1.5 liter of water (you can buy bottled water on day 1 and 2. day 3 and 4 the operator provides you with boiled water), camera, rented walking stick (rented for 15 Soles in Ollantaytambo). Plus the trekking pants that I was wearing, a long sleeve shirt and walking boots. It's always a good idea to bring spare plastic bags, since EVERYTHING will be wet if you get into the kind of weather we had (constant rain/spray in the afternoon, fairly heavy rain at night). I did not hire an extra porter and it was all right, also on day 2.
So, as a conclusion:
Do it, choose a good operator and carry change.

30  Thank Isi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

My wife and I did this trip for our honeymoon. Was an incredible 2 weeks. Be prepared for hard walking, altitude sickness, and no showers or toilets for days. But if you can cope with that you're rewarded with amazing views, great walking, fantastic guides, monkey, tarantulas, macaws, piranhas and so much more. Would easily recommend this to anyone.

2  Thank Gareth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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