This spring I am planning on taking a trip to hike the inca trail to see Machu Picchu. it is something ive wanted to do for a long time so im just gonna go for it. The plan is to go in april, as to avoid most of the rainy season, but also to attempt to beat the hordes of people who go during the high/dry season. So basically I am just looking to book with a tour (and noramlly when I travel I would do this once I'm in the country) but I have heard that i should have this all sorted before I enter peru to ensure I get a spot. So my question then is simply this: if you have hiked the inca trail before with a specific tour group, who did u go with and would u recomend that group to me? Ive heard u can do it over 2 to 4 days, and I'd probably be more inclined to take the 4 day treck as I am outdoorsy but not more than averagely fit.
Also, any hints or tips about the experience anyone wants to mention would be of interest.
I have yet to investigate other things I would like to do in peru, but could spend about a month in the area, so any other must sees would be cool to note as well
Thanks so much!
The 2 day inca trail is barely worthy of the name; it's a hike up from the railway to a point about an hour away from the end of the inca trail, seeing two (very impressive) inca sites around there, and then hiking that hour to the end of the inca trail, entering and leaving machu picchu to stay the night in aguas calientes, after which the second day is just seeing machu picchu along with all the tourists who came by train.
The 4 day inca trail is two and a half days of hiking, camping an hour away from the end of the inca trail for your third night, and then hiking into machu picchu before sunrise on the 4th day. Definitely much more worth it.
I did this with United Mice, which I can give a mixed recomendation for: the hike itself was very well organized, and our group was just four people which was awesome (they had two cancellations from the original six) plus they leave earlier and hike further than any other group on the first day, which means you see far fewer other tourists, but they were really bad with communication before the tour leaves; both between the head office and you (half the emails you send them don't get answered), and between the office and the guide/cook. (Despite telling the office about my brother's food allergies three times, the cook wasn't aware of it.)
In general, I'd recommend picking a tour company from the top of this list (ideally one with both smiley and checkmark).
Well, I highly recommended Wayki Trek, you can easily find them on web.
I am not advertising for them, but my 4days hike was perfect in June 2010. 6 of us (4 British, 1 American, 1 Malaysian), 2 guides, 1 cook, 9 porters. Everyone is wonderful. The porters were so nice to me. I had a sore feet after the 1st day hike, they got me warm water to sooke my feet.
Our guide made sure we take our time, watch our back. 1 lady was having problem, he was with her most time and share her bag some part of the journey. This kind of things is very important because you can never sure you are fit enough, high altitude, different food, etc.
The best part, our cook, Celio, very nice young shine quechua boy, made us an Mango Cake with Icing. All of us were in tear because there was no baking equipment with us.
I had a wonderful time, not just hike the InKa Trail, but sharing and knowing the Quechua people and their culture. By the way, Wayki Trek is fully run by Quechua.
Do you know Quechua actually have a culture of Trial Marriage - Celio was telling us he is going to get married next spring, he and his fiance already have a daughter, so , we asked, don't your culture against it. They said no, they waited. He smile every time he mentioned his family.
Enjoy your Inka Trail, it was the best 4 days out of my 3 months trip there.
Since there is no html link, you can also check out the non-profit organzation web called
Andean Travel Web Guide To Peru