I would like to share some of my experience on the Inca Trail. I just did it for the first time two months ago and I totally recommend it. The Inca Trail has a a mix of everything. It starts in the dry highlands and finishes in the cloud forest where Machu Picchu is located. During the four days hike you experience the vegetation and weather change everyday. I remember it was amazing to wake up in the highlands on the third day and go to sleep in the could forest at the end of the trek. But the Inca Trail was not just about nature but also about culture and mysticism. The route has many archaeological sites that enrich the experience and let you dream for a while and imagine how Peru was back on the old days. I can't explain how happy I was when I reached Machu Picchu; the ruins illuminated by the first sun rays in the morning is a combined effort of men and nature in order to show you one of the most impressive things you will ever see in your life.
Conclusion> DO IT!
Tips> Be sure to pick the right travel agency. We met some English fellows that were left behind by their guides. It's safe anyway but you don't to have the feeling of being lost there. It was also hard for me to find a right place on the web full of information before my departure. During the trek I met some people travelling with a travel agency that has very good information of their site. I committed to recommend it so here it is: http://blog.peruviansoul.com/inca-trail-to-machu-picchu/
Equipment: You will exactly what you need on the blog I just recommended
Hiking on the Inca Trail in Peru is perhaps the most incredible active travel experience in the world. What you might not realize is there is more than one Inca Trail: you can hike the well-worn stones of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu…take a lodge-based high-altitude trek with stunning views of Ausangate, or enjoy an off-the-beaten-path tour among the villages of the Lares region.
Inca Trail Hiking with Zephyr Adventures operates their Peru trips in conjunction with an excellent Cusco-based company, which means that while you get the benefit of booking with Americans who have traveled to Peru and have actually hiked the trekking routes, you also receive the guidance and expertise of oustanding local Peruvian guides who have lived and played on these trails their entire lives.
Equipment: Once you book your trek Zephyr Adventures sends you a detailed packing list.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when packing for your trek on the Inca Trail is that you will not need as much “stuff” as you think. Read more: http://incatrailhiking.com/blog/2010/04/15/a-packing-list-for-the-inca-trail/
Hi. My girlfriend and I are planning on doing the Salkantay Trek departing July 30th from Cuzco. We'd love to have others join us (only 03 person). We are going with the All Trek Tour Operator mentioned by Mario was they seem to be socially responsible and environmentally conscious. Our trip is listed on the Trekkers wanted section www.alltrekcusco.com We've had a good experience dealing with them so far.
Equipment: What you need to bring/carry:
Sleeping bag (can be hired from our office for US$3 per day)
Sleeping mattress (we will provide you with this)
Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for a few dollars)
Strong, comfortable footwear
One complete change of clothing (you can afford to carry more changes of clothing if you hire a personal porters, see options below)
Sweater and jacket (something warm)
Water bottle and purification tablets (Micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in Cusco)
Flashlight and batteries
Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
Sun block (sun protection cream
Toiletries, towel and toilet paper
Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc,
Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries
Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek)
You also need to bring your original passport on the trail.
the bad comments are unhelpful and the low prices is help.
I had the best expierence in my travel to Peru in specially Cusco, and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with this company. I recomend you All Trek company that give you confidence,I particulary recomend you to contac with this tour operator “www.alltrekcusco.com”. This company is very responsible and its services are really good. I made a reservation for the Inca trail trek, I choose this company for your chiper prices I and my friends we had some problems with the spaces and the fear to send money. Now I warmly recommend this company because I am satisfied with the services , also are some other as good operators as All Trek although their prices are excessive.
Watch out for this company. They show very cheap prices but when i tried to transfer the money through western union, I was informed by the operator that the person receiving the money was blacklisted for fraud. I contacted them and they couldnt give me any answer but to make the transfer to another person who worked there. I checked this through a bank and they told me the same thing. We booked through another company and when we were in cusco asked our guide about all trek cusco and he had never heard about it. We passed by their office and it was closed when all others companies were opened. Very suspicious, may be it is not strange that they offer so cheap prices. Be careful.
Hiking the Inca Trail can now only be done through a licensed tour operator, and if you don't know someone who's done the Inca Trail, picking a tour guide might as well be a crapshoot. My group of 14 friends and I chose - - Peru Treks and Adventure - - http://www.perutreks.com/ - and WE LOVED THEM. ... All through the planning process, they were incredibly helpful in answering my questions, and when we got to Cusco, they came to our hotel and gave us our briefing. For such a large group, we had 2 guides - Washington and Hubert, who were both fabulous. They both spoke English, and were funny, and understanding to our needs (ok, we were slow). At the ruins, along the way and at Machu Picchu they were informative and told us so much - we learned so much from them. The porters on our trip also need to be recognized. They were truly great as well - not only did they carry all our stuff, but they put up our tents, cook delicious meals, and even gave us warm water to wash our hands in! .... I would highly recommend Peru Treks and Adventure if you are thinking about doing the Inca Trail.
Equipment: Not sure if this is the right category for my recommendation, but Peru Treks provided great equipment. It rained on us 2 nights, and our tents were nice and dry. The tents, however are great if you're less than 6 feet tall though. If you're taller, you may hit the sides, or else sleep diagonally.
There were a number of things during this tour that exceeded my expectations: Quality of the food was excellent, Diversity of the trail was amazing, The porters and the cook did a great job ,they were always ready for us. The hot water on 3rd day morning was such a nice experience.
I will recomended All Trek Cusco Tour operator
Equipment: The two guides were very nice and friendly with us. I enjoyed the trip very much.
Cusco is a good base to make trekking plans for Machu Pichu. There are a number of operators located close to Plaza de Armas and most hotels/hostals can also arrange trekking for you.
We used Andean Life located on Calle Plateros off the Plaza de Armas. I saw a number of different tour operators on this same street, but we chose Andean Life because they came highly recommended from a friend. You can book with them online and pay 3 days before start of the trek. US$ or local currency accepted, but there is a surcharge for VISA and TC.
Andean Life has treks through out the year every day of the week except Sundays. They usually make groups of upto 10 people per trekking team with 2-3 guides per team. We met and made friends with a wonderful bunch of people from all over the world on this trip! Unforgettable experience!
If time allows, try and do the 4 day Inca trail instead of the 2 day. The 2nd day in the Andes on the 4 day trail is the most exhausting, but most definetly also the most rewarding...
I think the Inca trail is absolutely extreme sport when you are not acostumbrated to the altitude. You climb up to more than 4000 m twice and pass valleys of 2500m or lower...so it´s an up and down til Machu Picchu at about 2600 m again.