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Machu Picchu, peru

elaineUK

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My daughter hopes to visit peru this summer - for an archaeological dig. But since she'll be in Lima, it seems only sensible to take some time off to visit Machu Picchu.
She is very keen to do one of the treks to get there. She's very fit and mountaineering is one of her many interests.

Information I have read have said there are tight regulations now and people must travel as a tour group. Also, they weren't very compliementary about the treks as they are overcrowded and not that pleasant.

Can anyone offer any recent experiences?

thanks
Elaine
 

zendala

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I haven't been so i have no first-hand knowledge, (it's on my list, though) but she may want to investigate a tour company. Doing it on you own is tough-you have you have to arrange porters and all that. The one that comes to mind is gap adventures in canada - . I used them to go on tour to costa rica and had a great time. The prices are really good and i think they only take 12 pp max. If you are traveling alone (most are), they will pair you with a same sex roomate. This is not the only company, though a ggogle search will likely find you plenty of info.

Good luck
 

elaineUK

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thank you for the advice.
Coincidentally, I have one of their brochures, but my daughter still hopes that she can "go it alone". GAP Adventures seem quite reasonably priced and although I understand the need to be independent, some things are more fun in a group!
But its the horror stories of overcrowded and litter ridden trails that puts her off the group treks.

So I was hoping someone at TUG will offer personal experience for me to feedback to her.

Elaine :)
 

zendala

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Good luck, hopefully someone on the bbs will have some info and respond...

But i don't know how many Tuggers are trekkers too. I don't think this BBS speaks to your target demographic.

Check out Lonely Planet's Thorntree. This forum chats more about adventure travel. There is a South America page and you may find more info there...esp. if she wants to go it alone. You can post your questions there and see what you find

Keep us updated, I'm curious to know what you find out :)
 

elaineUK

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Thank you for the link - hadn't known about it.
Also reminded me about Trip Advisor who have forums too.
Elaine ;)

PS How did you create the URL link without having the whole url text in the message?
 

Pedro

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elaineUK said:
thank you for the advice.
Coincidentally, I have one of their brochures, but my daughter still hopes that she can "go it alone". GAP Adventures seem quite reasonably priced and although I understand the need to be independent, some things are more fun in a group!
But its the horror stories of overcrowded and litter ridden trails that puts her off the group treks.

So I was hoping someone at TUG will offer personal experience for me to feedback to her.

Elaine :)

To get to Machu Pichu you have to fly to Cuzco. From there, you can take the train (a 4-hour ride) or you can trek all the way there (a 3-day trek). I will recommend (strongly) that she does not attempt that trek from Cuzco by herself. It is quite dangerous to do it alone as chances are she will be robbed if not worse. Going in a group is a lot safer since the guides keep guard overnight and ensure everybody is at least safe.

There is a lot of trekking she can do at Machu Pichu. For instance, there is a really nice hike to the top of the mountain you see in all the pictures of the ruins. The view from the top is very nice - make sure she has a camera with her! You can see the whole valley for miles and miles. I've hiked that mountain a few times and would do it again in a beat.
 

zendala

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elaineUK said:
PS How did you create the URL link without having the whole url text in the message?

If you are in the Advanced Reply Mode (not Quick reply) You just
1.highlight the words you want to hyperlink (in this case -Lonely Planet Thorntree)

2. Go to Insert Hyperlink - The icon with the little globe and link chain
It will ask you to insert the text you want to link - the text you highlighted should be there...

3.Click ok

4. then it will ask you to enter the URL (ww...) - which I just copied from the browser.

That's it. It not nec., but i like it b/c it makes posts look a little neater.

By the way, i wound up reading some on the site myself. Seems there is tons of info under the Machu Picchu FAQ.
Best times to go - updates in the regs
Tour companies/Recommendations/Prices
Alternative hikes
Other websites to search for info

You have to do some sifting b/c there's plenty of duplication, but looks like some good info there esp. from people who are going/have gone.
 
Last edited:

travel maniac

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I went on the 3 night 4 day trek from Cusco to Machu Pichu in 2002. They only allow travelers to go in an organized tour group so the only option is to go with a tour group. I would highly recommend that she take the trek - I wasn't in the best physical state but still enjoyed it immensly. Some may say it is overcrowded but it's all how you look at it - there were quite a few "gringos" like us on the trek but it was still beautiful.

I did not buy a tour package from Canada but bought it locally from Cusco. I paid US$175 for the trek, including a sleeping bag rental through a local agency called "Flamingo" located right in the main square (if you need more details, let me know and I can dig up the details). There are some other agencies that charge more but it should still be cheaper than buying it from here - look at it this way - you are buying it retail from here (like buying a TS from a developer!) while you're buying it wholesale from there (buying it resale!). Our group included five guys (including me, the oldest and 33 at that time!, three Brits and an Austrian) and our tour guide was a girl. We had around 6 porters carrying the tents and other cooking utensils. They made special vegetarian meals for me and I also did not have any problems throughout my 7 weeks travels in Peru, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.

The price also included one night accomodation in Aguas Calientes, which is the town at the base of Machu Pichu where you take the train to return to Cusco. I strongly suggest that she rest one night in Aguas Calientes. She should be able to get a good night's rest and the morning train journey is better than the evening train as you are able to see the mountains on the way back to Cusco.

One has to apply to go on the trek - the processing time can take anywhere from 2-4 days so I would suggest she do some homework if she's planning on buying local. If she goes with GAP, this may not be an issue but she certainly will end up paying more. I would also recommend strongly that she spend 3-4 days in cusco as it is a beautiful place and ther'e lots to see in the town as well as around it. A few days will also give her some time get acclimatised to the high altitude. Being an Archeologist, she may want to visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuman (also known as "sexy woman!" because of the way it sounds), Chinchero and Pisac. These are all within commuting distance from Cusco. I went to Chinchero and Ollantaytambo by local taxis/bus and on the way back to cusco, spent a night in Pisac. From Pisac to Cusco, I took a local bus and got down at the highest point and then walked back to Cusco (around 4 hours) - Sacsayhuman is on the way if you do this. Lonely Planet and other guidebooks (rough guides, etc.) have this info - I used lonely planet.

I am including these sites if they help. I'm sure your daughter will enjoy her trip.

www.latinamerica4less.com

www.go-today.com

Here's a link to a travel agency website that describes the trek (note that the second day is the toughest as you have to climb through the highest elevation on the trek - 4,200 metres or approx 14,000 feet, the dead woman's pass). They list the price as US$300 for the low season

http://www.perutreks.com/inca_trail_04d_itinerary.html
 
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