Im off to Peru soon and would like to book all the inca trail/machu picchu stuff in advance. Could anybody recommend a company to book through? Preferably one you have used yourself?
[ Edit: Edited on 24-Oct-2014, at 12:58 by 1985goldie ]
We did the four-day trail between Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014 with Peru Treks based in Cusco. The guides and porters were excellent and we meet some brilliant travellers in our group of sixteen. Would recommend them every time.
I hope you're going next year though - it looks like they're booked out for the remainder of this year.
Enjoy Machu Picchu!
Suppose you're traveling solo, where do you book tickets for Machu Picchu (entry tickets)?
And I don't want to go with a tour company, but on my own.
[ Edit: Edited on 25-Oct-2014, at 04:25 by VintageRider ]
VintageRider: The inca trail (3 day hike, with entry to Machu Picchu through the sun gate on the 4th day) can only be done with a registered tour company (and needs to be booked many months in advance, since it only has 500 spots available every day, most of which will be used by porters, so probably effectively ~200 tourists per day).
Machu Picchu itself can be done solo (travel to Aguas Calientes by train, walk or bus up to the entrance) - I think you can get a ticket for the day itself at the gate without any problems (is that still really the case? someone please correct me if I'm wrong, my memory about this information is ancient by this point) - probably also online and through various travel agencies, but I don't know if it has an official website / where would be best for that.
Oh, and to answer the original question: I went with United Mice (in 2008) on the recommendation of another travellerspoint member, and because they're well regarded for the treatment of their porters. Their trek itself was absolutely excellent; brilliant cook, wonderful guide. They leave earlier and go further than most other tour groups on the first day, which means you get to have long stretches of the hike early on without seeing other tour groups, which I at least found wonderful.
However, their communication was pretty bad (only 50% of emails responded to, slow responses, allergy information not passed on to cook despite having been supplied thrice, and my unique-to-them email address now gets spam, which probably means they had an email harvesting virus infecting their computer at some point). A friend who later (2011-ish?) travelled with them had similar stories about their communication. So, recommended, but with a very large caveat, which you'll need to be prepared for.
Preferably pick a tour operator from the top of this list. (Meh, it looks like that isn't being updated anymore, since it still says "2013". Shame! But should still be current enough for now.)
[ Edit: Edited on 25-Oct-2014, at 05:01 by Sander ]
For further reading, we have a pretty good article on the Inca Trail in the guide. There's also a link in there to an updated list of approved operators - over at Inca Trail Peru