MONTREK, MONY AND GANESA TRAVEL
These companies managed to lose or steal my pack within five minutes of my arrival. They put our bags into one taxi and the group members into another, and when we arrived at the bus, my pack was gone. Whether this was premeditated or just irresponsibility is unclear, but it contained over 400 dollars of clothes and equipment needed for the trek. The company then convinced me to go on the trek anyway, even though I didn´t have enough clothes for the extreme temperatures near the pass. They promised that the trip would be refunded either way, but that since the equipment and supplies were already bought, I might as well go on the trek and give them three days to look for my pack.
After the trek, I met with the owners of the company and they were dishonest and unhelpful. They kept trying to convince me that the U.S. would pay for all new equipment for me. I explained that I have no travel insurance that they were responsible for the bag, since I handed it over to them. They have no insurance, and they weren´t even willing to refund the trip, even after telling me that earlier.
The police in Huaraz were helpful and kind, but it quickly became clear that there isn´t much they can do. Even after threatening Montrek·Ganesa that I would write to all major travel guides and post this information on this blog, they claimed that they didn´t have any money to give me. Do not recommend this agency. Other tourists should use their buying power to ensure that these companies are held accountable.
the bus lines give you a trakking ticket for your belongings but in the case of the bus Cavassa ... they are not responsible if they loose it or missplace it. they will try to cover with 50 soles ($15 usd) or if you give them a hard time they will go as far as 150 soles (45usd) even if you know they are keeping your stuff.
Unique Suggestions: check your luggages as they go into the bus and also as soon as the bus door opens to download. (especially in the LIMA terminals)
Fun Alternatives: Take buses that do not stop to pick up passangers in the middle of the road. Usually the busses that cost a little more will not stop.
Sometimes you read something and think it could never happen to you. I guess that sometimes you are wrong too. I was walking through the outdoor market in Huaraz one afternoon with Doreen just ahead of me so I could keep an eye on her and my day bag slung over one shoulder and firmly in the grips of my hand as my camera was within. I felt a warm wet liquid land on my neck and thought, “great, a bird crapped on me,” but kept walking just the same, figuring I could wipe it off when I got outside the moving crowd more easily. A kind old woman nudged me from behind and explained there was something on my neck, but I just smiled like I knew and kept moving. She persisted but I paid little attention to her and made my way out of the market area and finally checked just what it was that had landed on me. It was sticky and brown, and smelled sweet. I wiped it off best I could with my handkerchief but I would need to return to the hostel to properly clean it up. On the way back, I remembered I had read of a ploy where someone would squirt some caramel on a tourist who was carrying a day bag or backpack. They would then offer to help you clean it off as if they didn’t know where it came from. While you were busy doing the same, an accomplice would grab your belongings. I guess if my Spanish were better or the woman spoke English, I may have been distracted but as it was, I couldn’t be bothered to have a conversation about bird crap in a crowded marketplace. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss.