Inca Trail

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Anonymous's picture

I am sure there are a number of readers of this message board who have hiked the Inca Trail in Peru.

I was looking for some recommendations for a reliable tour group. There are many choices on the web and (cynically) I suspect most subcontract to a local Peruvian outfit. Maybe bypassing the middleman is possible.

Any comments ?

Anonymous's picture
Michael S (not verified)

You can save quite a bit by booking yourself. I used explorandes. You need to have your permit in advance and that takes a little doing. Getting to and from the trail head isn't that hard. Go in the dry season... wear long sleeves and pants at all times... they got mosquitoes that laugh at DEET and will give you very itchy bites. Travel light, you'll smell bad by the end but it beats carrying excess clothes.

Anonymous's picture
E-man (not verified)

Book once you get to Cuzco. It won't be luxury but it is dirt cheap - at least it was when I went back in '98. Of course like all good things, they probably charge an arm and a leg now.

Anonymous's picture
Derek (not verified)
Hiked to Macchu Picchu in 2002

I hiked the Inca Trail in Sept '02 through an American outfit, The World Outdoors. They subcontracted to a local outfitter. The trip was pricey as it was a multi-sport trip- the actual Trail hike was 3 days/4 nights camping plus 4 days mtn/road biking, white water rafting and touristing.
The difference that I saw in guides was that our guides were more knowledgeable and spoke better English than the outfits that people hired locally. Plus, our food was better. Peru has something like 2,000 types of potatoes.

It's very easy to hire a local guide in Cuzco.It's a very easy hike, comparable to Long's Peak (14,000 ft) in Colorado since all your gear is carried by Sherpas. Lots of fleas in the town at Macchu Picchu's base, Aguas Caliente. Avoid the hot water springs as the water is luke warm and my legs were massacred by fleas in the short walk.

Drink some pisco sours but stay away from the chicha.

Anonymous's picture
Cheapskate (not verified)

How much are we talking about here? No one's mentioned any prices.

Anonymous's picture
Richard (not verified)

Prices from US based operators run from about $1800 to $3000 depending on level of luxury for a 9 day trip or so (including 4/5 days in a tent whilst hiking). Plus you have to buy the ticket to Lima ($600 to $900 roundtrip).

Doing it yourself will cut the trip cost to about $1500 or so per person. Maybe less though it seems that there are not as many dirt cheap options as there used to be.

Anonymous's picture
calfee guy (not verified)
Inca trail

Hotel recommendation:
Cusco, Hostal Rumi Punku
[email protected]
phone: (51)(84) 221102

Trek: Peru Treks & Adventures
e-mail: [email protected]
phone (office): (51)(84) 805863
mobile phone Tim (office mgr): (51)(84) 9937728

These guys had the best campsites, great food, and good porters. Be sure to stay in Cuzco for 2 days prior; you'll need it. Be sure to bring fresh batteries for your flashlight.

Anonymous's picture
broke (not verified)
free, once you got there

10 years ago I hiked it on my own, no guides, no barefoot porters, no money. just me and a few pages from a lonely planet guidebook which explained where to jump from the moving train. but I was a strapping young woman then.

not sure they still allow this.

Anonymous's picture
Derek (not verified)
Not free

well, no, since 2000, Peru has required that all trekkers hire a guide. Most major adventure travel companies have some form of an Inca Trail, Sacred valley, trek or hike for $1500-2500.

The true value in hiring a good, experienced guide with excellent English is the edumacation. There is a lot of Incan history and culture to be learned. many ruins to be seen between Cuzco and Macchu Picchu. A good guide is worth his or her weight in pisco sours if you want to learn about the Incas. They didn't have a written language for instance. They didn't use mortar or concrete in the stone buildings.

Anonymous's picture
Charlie Katz (not verified)
Watch out for the middleman

It was over 20 years ago, but I booked my trip with Sobek. When I got to Cuzco it was a Explorandes trip. It was a fantastic experience, but probably much pricier going through the middleman.

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