So I'm spending 5-6 months travelling in South America, I have a friend who will be with me for 3-4 weeks, of course she wants to do the Inca trail & it's closed in Feb when she will be there.
I know there's a train that goes up that she may want to take, but as I have more time than her, should I wait until March, miss the Buenos Aires Tango festival & revisit the trail by foot, or is the site just as incredible having not done the steep climb?
Alternatively, is there anything else people can recommend in Peru that is just as cool & avaliable at this time?
I recently traveled to both Peru and BA. My suggestion would be to take the train and make the Tango festival. The festival is a lot of fun. Hiking the Inca trail, while rewarding, is definitely a miserable experience. Especially during that time because it may be raining. Macchu Piccu is what everyone really wants to see, not so much the trail. This is all just IMO. Good luck and safe travels!
There is more than one trail that leads to MP. Try looking up sites such as SAS who do these and see what you can come up with. Almost certain these won't be closed too.
I personally loved the trek. Had a great set of guides and we heard fabulous stories, met great people and generally had a good time. We did it at the end of March culminating in arriving at MP on my birthday which was fantastic.
But as noted above, don't miss out on something else. I defo think you can do an alternative trail (which will also be 1/2 the price).
I did the Salkantay Trek as an alternative to the Inca Trail because I wasn't interesting in paying the crazy fees that are attached to the Inca Trail. It was a fantastic hike and ended at Aguas Calientes. I don't know about doing it in Feb, but if it's open then I recommend it. If you don't want to do the hike, MP is still very much worth visiting and not doing the hike will by no means take away from the experience of visiting the sight.
There are lots of other great things to see in the country, and you may find that MP isn't even your highlight. Arequipa is a wonderful city and well worth a visit. Nearby is Colca Canyon which has some great hiking if you don't get to do any at MP. Huacachina, just south of Lima is really cool and not to be missed. Lake Titicaca is also really beautiful and a must see. And of course, the trip up to MP is worth it for other reasons because Cusco itself, as well as the Sacred Valley, is filled with interesting things to see and do.
ah, that's the exact trek I was referring to, or at least trying to!!
I echo the thoughts ont he other places. Been to them all and absolutely brilliant. Remember the nazca lines too.
Colca Canyon was stunning at times. I'd do the longer 3 day trek though as it gives you time to appreciate the oasis at the bottom!!
Arequipa is great for acclimatising to the altitude too. Lake Titicacca is beautiful. Uros islands. Go to the islands via the Bolivian side from Cocacobana too. Fantastic part of the experience.
Great, Thankyou all for your advice- it's totally put my mind at ease! We will take the train up if the weather isin't great when we get there & will be in B.A in time for Tango!
Just to stick an oar in - I was in Macchu Picchu last July and I did the original Inca trail and it was one of the best experiences I had in South America - It was bloody tough - I am not a mad fit person, and I'm a smoker, but it was worth the effort and I think it was the best way to go and see Macchu Picchu, I think that I personally would have been underwhelmed if I had of come up by train or by one of the other treks that you get the bus up from Agus Calientes instead of arriving through the sun gate.
But anyway thats my view - also in relation to the other post about companies - We also used SAS and they have all the alternative treks and i would highly recommend them.