48 independent reviews for Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru

Reviews for Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru

SHOW
12
31
2
0
3

review 12 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We walked the Inca trail and not knowing how we would do at altitude it was a pleasant surprise to feel fine.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The holiday provider really organised a good trip and the organisation was excellent.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes they are very careful to carry out all their garbage and we stayed and supported the locals along the way.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A great experience.

review 4 Jun 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The staggering scenery throughout the trek, and the sense of achievement reaching the tops of passes, especially to look at Machu Picchu.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring hand sanitiser and wet-wipes. Don't try to bring too many luxuries with you - embrace the experience!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Efforts seemed to be made to reduce environmental impacts. I am not sure about the other items, since there were a handful of "middle" companies involved before you got to the staff.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Superb!

review 5 Aug 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Reaching the top of Dead Woman's Pass on the second day - that was the highest and most difficult point so it was a real feeling of achievement.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Slow down and enjoy the views! The hike was less challenging than we had anticipated and so we were able to take our time and not rush too much. I had considered using walking poles but in the end I was really glad that I didn't bring any along as I didn't need them at all. Also, you don't need to carry much water with you as you can buy it along the way and the porters can provide you with a refill every morning.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - for our group eight porters, a cook and a guide were all employed from the local area so it was helping local farmers to supplement their income. The porters were also very careful to make sure that everyone on the hike was respecting the local environment and leaving as little trace as possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great fun and an amazing experience. Thank you to our brilliant guide, the incredibly athletic and dedicated porters and to the guys in the UK who organised the trip for us; everything was perfect.

review 16 Oct 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part of the trek was on Day 2 where we hit the highest point of the trail at 4,732m. We encountered a small hailstorm when we were heading down. Fortunately, the hailstorm subsided after we break for lunch. We were greeted by wonderful scenery throughout the trek.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Because of the high altitude, it is advisable for trekkers to give themselves at least 3 days to acclimatise. Having a basic level of fitness would be ideal to allow for better appreciation of the whole trekking experience.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Every trekker can do his/her part in protecting environment. We have amongst us in the group people who picked up plastic bottles that were thrown along the trail. And by supporting the local crafts and visiting the area (without destroying the natural beauty of the trail), we can provide livelihood to the locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I'm generally happy with the holiday and would give it a 4/5 rating.

Read the operator's response here:

Many thanks for travelling with us - we appreciate your feedback.

review 27 Sep 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

A difficult question as the whole trip was memorable and exciting, but I think that the first view of Machu Picchu from the Sungate was probably the highlight! However our homestead stay on Lake Titicaca was a really memorable part of the holiday. We stayed on Amantani Island and our hosts were extremely kind and welcoming to the 5 of us and as our guide was as useful as a statue, they looked after U.S. And had us to the right place at the right time! It was a humbling experience that we would not have missed.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Leave the Inca trail to the last part of your holiday and give yourself lots of time to acclimatise to the altitude! There is no way we could have managed the trail after a couple of days as we all suffered some symptoms from the altitude.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local people definitely benefited from our trip, with the people on Uros, Amantani Islands and other guides and craft sellers getting business from us. From the beginning, we were given advice from our guides about looking after the environment and generally most people respected these guidelines.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was the chance of a lifetime and we grabbed it with both hands! A fantastic experience and I cannot recommend it enough!

review 5 Aug 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The view, it was breath taking from start to finish.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Warning about day one sleeping at -10 in front of Salkantay mountain.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great! Great tour guide, great chef. Happy days!

review 6 Oct 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

As well as the great trekking and superb scenery, the strong point of this trek is that it visits villages in the highlands of Peru and shows something of the way of life of local communities. One of our guides came from a village that we walked through, and we saw people in traditional (but everyday) costume herding llamas and alpacas in the mountains.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

As a reasonably fit 68 year old, I found the passes at over 4000 metres quite tough going in spite of having spent a week at altitude before starting. I would advise anyone to be well acclimatised before doing this kind of trek.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. The partner company in Cusco uses local guides and helpers, and has a good reputation for supporting local communities. Camping in villages also brings them money and support.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very well organised, well supported, a tough walk at times but certainly well worthwhile. I would recommend it to any reasonably fit person who wants to see the scenery and the life in the mountains near Cusco, and/or wants an alternative to the oversubscribed Inca Trail.

review 14 Sep 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Great experience. Lots of exercise! Beautiful views and sites throughout. The guide, camp chef, and porters work really hard to make the trip enjoyable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

For this trip we purchased a Sawyer personal water filter, and can't imagine doing without for travel in the future. Healthier than purification tablets. Reusable for 100,000 gallons of water. Saves all of those wasteful plastic bottles. Also bring a wide-brimmed hat, good suncream, bug repellent, 2 rolls of toilet paper, and a pack of wet wipes (good for daily deodorizing). Rent two walking sticks unless you are in awesome shape. Saves the knees and catches any falls. Tip your guide, chef, and porters well! An extra amount means little to us but a lot to them. At the end of the trip, donate any shoes or equipment that you may not need in the future. Ideally spend 3+ nights in Cusco before the trip. I have a sulfa-allergy and didn't want to take the acetazolamide (altitude medication) in case of a reaction, and it took me 5 days in Cusco before I felt normal.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All contact staff, guide and porters were local. Camp food was locally sourced (and surprisingly delicious!). Would have liked to see less plastic use (snack baggies could have been paper). Would like to see local drink/snack vendors along the way have beverages in glass recyclable containers if possible. Or recycling barrels at these sites.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great. Was a bit apprehensive that I could do the trek and manage the altitude, but so glad to have done it now!

review 26 May 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Trekking to 4215 meters high along the Inca Trail and watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu while at the Sungate.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You don't need all that clothing!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I'm not sure if I was able to benefit the local people and the environment. Perhaps I became more aware of things I take for granted, therefore taking a different position at my home.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Quite memorable. I trekked through the Andes Mountains. Next, Kilimanjaro??

review 9 Dec 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the trek itself, the experience was overshadowed by the dealings with the tour company in the lead up to the trek: - Poor communication on the ground with local employee to no fault of his own. My requested method of contact was denied by the tour company in the UK. The communication would have been made much easier and cheaper had this been honored. - Pricing difference between paying in USD and GBP is NOT made clear by the tour company. The exchange rate used is highly inflated from the current USD/GBP exchange rate. We unknowingly paid over £100 more for the privilege of paying in GBP but if this was made clear from the beginning, we would have instead immediately paid in USD. - The tour company made no attempt to negotiate when confronted about the difference and always insisted everything was on their terms, resulting in much stress right before the trek (obviously not the best preparation). We had to make a second payment plus fees in USD rather than them refunding the difference in price. It would have been much simpler and caused less stress if the UK pound difference was refunded. We however had to wait considerable time just get our first payment back putting us substantially out of pocket. Further to this, the tour company uses an intermediary company in Cusco and one of the cheapest trekking companies who also contract out the management of the tour including hiring porters and the guides. This meant 4 different companies were involved and communication on the ground was difficult to say the least. 1 – The UK tour company, 2 – Local partner, 3 – Local guide (separate company), 4 – contracted porters. It took a day and a half to get in contact with anyone on the ground and although I had requested email as my preferred method of contact, the tour company said this was not possible meaning expensive calls, bad Skype calls through hostel internet (the wifi was not strong anywhere) and the company REFUSING to listen that I could not get calls directly to the hostel as I didn’t have a phone in my room and the reception was extremely crowded. It would have been impossible. They instead resorted to leaving messages (without stating who it was). As there are so many companies involved, we did not know who left the message or who to contact. We then had to wait around the hostel that evening for a call when an email would be much more convenient. The tour company show no respect for the position of their clients and could of handled the whole situation so much better and made a more enjoyable experience.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You are much better off booking directly or going with a company who shows clear pricing, care for their customers and are willing to negotiate. And when booking directly you also know beforehand what company you will be dealing with rather than having numerous intermediaries and not knowing who will actually be running the trek. There are many more companies out there who show respect and ethics to their customers.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

This is questionable. The local trekking company charge $480USD if booking directly, which is well below the recommended minimum of $520USD to ensure fair porter wages and well below the $780USD we originally paid. In terms of benefit to local people we do feel that the company who the tour was eventually subcontracted to were ethical, treated porters well, encouraged sustainability and encouraged supporting local communities however as every single trek is subcontracted to a different company by the UK tour company’s intermediaries we would not know whether this is the case each time.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We were very lucky that despite the stress, the contracted guide was amazing meaning we had an extremely enjoyable experience. Given the Guide was contracted, I cannot be sure of the company's consistency. As far as dealing with this tour company, this was an extremely stressful experience I would preferred to have done without.

Read the operator's response here:

We're glad Loretta enjoyed the trek, found our partner companies to be ethical and was able to contact both them and us on many occasions in the days leading up to her trek. We have worked with these people/guides/porters/office staff - and employed some directly - for many years, and this shows our communication systems are open and working. In short, our trek is priced and advertised on both Responsible Travel and our own website in USD. Our own web holds a GBP price too. This is open and transparent. The customer chose to pay us in GBP at the published price. the customer could have chosen to pay us in USD had she so wished. We clearly indicate methods of payment to customers in emails and they always have a choice of which currency they can pay in. The GBP price reflects the exchange rate when prices are set and when we as a tour operator purchase our international currencies. There is nothing misleading about our business practice. We work hard to have good representatives in all of our chosen destinations. We spent many hours talking to this customer/our staff in Peru on the phone, albeit that the client was both rude and used rather blue language, working until 2130 local time to try work out a solution for the client. (We offered to call the hostel but the client preferred to talk to us via Skype from her hostel room, although the wifi was not the strongest there.) PRICE Our local operator had a last minute, low season price advertised on their website. We have no control over this. This sales price was for a different package to the type we offered - inferior tents, no personal porter to carry personal items etc. This was explained to the customer and one of the main reasons for the price difference. To be ethical, and treat porters well, every porter needs to be paid a reasonable wage, fed, have an Inca Trail permit bought for him as well as more benefits as ruled by the authorities. We not only comply with all the regulations, we also regularly give money to social community projects in Cusco, but also to the Cusco Porter Project and Amantani. We are very clear that we can take payments in USD, GBP sterling and many more currencies. We offer this service to all our clients. The customer was shown - very clearly - the USD and GBP sterling prices on all correspondence before booking, during booking and on our website. The customer was also shown - very clearly - the ways to pay in both GBP sterling and USD prior to booking and during the booking process. Indeed, credit cards incur a small fee and when we double checked with the customer that she had read about the fee, she said no and changed the card payment type. We were glad we had checked as we don't want people to pay fees unknowingly. We had even bought her Inca Trail permit in good faith because of the card change around. The permits were running low and must be bought at least 72 hours in advance. With the dates falling the way they had, if we had dallied, there is a good chance the client would not have had an Inca Trail permit for her chosen dates at all. CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES We always offer our customers a USD price and a GBP price and they can choose which way they pay. The prices are based on exchange rates actually available to us & as a UK company we have to forward buy our USD in order not to be at the whim of daily exchange rate fluctuations. Each customer is totally at liberty to choose the currency they pay in. We accept pretty much any world currency. Charging a fee, which covers the fee the bank charges us, is entirely normal business practice and something the customer was made aware of both before and during the booking process, and again once changing her payment currency. We agreed with this customer to refund her GBP payment and allow her to pay in USD - we have absolutely no problem with doing this, even though it was the day before the trek started she demanded this. PERUVIAN PARTNERS We have worked with our Peruvian partners for many years and this client need only contact one person in Cusco. This is a member of our staff in Cusco - this is not an intermediary, but a member of our staff that we pay a salary to. This person is there to help our customers should any problems arise. When our customers get ill or have an issue with strikes, or any accidents, then this person is there to look after the customer and make sure they get alternative arrangements sorted out, get to see a doctor, get to a hospital etc. Our staff member was able to help the client in the day or two before the trek as she was taken ill, offering advice and support, as we pay him to. We have a partner company in Lima that we have worked with for many years also. They are also there to ensure things go smoothly for our customers travelling in Peru, and this was explained to the client. This is a partner company and one of our local operators, that we have worked with for over 18 years. Our Inca Trail operator is ethical, and we have a long standing relationship with them also and many satisfied customers. We do not sub contract. We use carefully chosen local partners that we have many many years of working with, that we have chosen for good reason and that provide a good service. This is quite simply not true: "as every single trek is subcontracted". We use carefully selected partners we know personally and have worked with for many years. There not 4 intermediaries as she states. We have our own staff in Cusco and we use a local licensed trek operator, that we have worked with for many years, which contracts in the staff for a particular trek. CUSTOMER COMMENTS Please note the customer says: "we thoroughly enjoyed the trek itself" Also " In terms of benefit to local people we do feel that the company who the tour was eventually subcontracted to were ethical, treated porters well, encouraged sustainability and encouraged supporting local communities" - she is talking about our regular local Inca Trail operator that we always work with. CONCLUSION We feel the source of the complaint comes from the difference in the last minute/low season price on our local operator's website vs our price, but which are for differing standards of service. It is an unfair comparison. The exchange rate we use also seems to have upset the client - however, we offer payment in both GBP sterling and USD and we do not know why the passenger choose to pay in GBP sterling if the rate offended so much. They did not pay Usd 780 for their Inca trail trek. They paid the 2013 advertised price of GBP 482 each – our advertised price. We later agreed to refund this in full and they paid us the 2013 advertised Usd price of Usd 695 each. We are glad she enjoyed the trek to Machu Picchu and the services offered. We do, however, feel we offered a very good service from both the UK and in Peru to make sure everything went smoothly, very last minute. The customers booked just a couple of weeks before the start date.

review 20 Jul 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

As we came out of our dinner tent on the second night we all gasped, I saw what was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. With a huge valley opening up before us in front of our tents, the cloud sat below filling a huge valley with the mountains rising from the beneath the clouds! We looked up and the sky was just a carpet of stars - breathtakingly beautiful!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you layer your clothes, the temperature did vary alot during the day and also take trekking poles, they really helped!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

5* I really cannot rate anything higher - we were seriously impressed by everything!

review 3 Jan 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

All of it really, Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and of course the Inca Trail were all amazing places.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Check out the permit situation on Machu Picchu. We really wanted to do a couple of hikes up there which were free when we booked the holiday but needed a permission when we got there and our agency failed to inform us of it, so we only found out when we got there which was too late to get the tickets, which was very disappointing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, it definitely did.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was an amazing holiday, probably one of the best ever! The country and people are amazing, the scenery breath taking and very different to wherever you are and the organisation of the trip was perfect, apart from the little hiccup with the permits in Machu Pichu itself, but everything else was arranged perfectly, a lot better than expected.

review 3 May 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

A sense of achievement in completing the Inca Trail and discovering Machu Picchu were the highlights.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I booked my 3 night walking and camping Inca Trail / Machu Picchu trip as a solo female traveller. There was nothing in the blurb which explained under what circumstances I would be expected to share a tent. On arrival at the campsite on Day one of the trip I was presented with a tent to share with the solo male traveller in the group. I would advise verifying sleeping arrangements in advance with your tour guide at the briefing. I did ask the operator - in advance of travelling - who else would be travelling in the group and was advised a couple from South America. However, they clearly sub contract to a local company in Cusco who had joined up with another tour company and group comprising another couple and one solo male traveller, excluding guides and porters. Whilst it all worked out ok, the accommodation arrangements were not really ideal.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Local people were employed as tour guides, cooks and porters.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are a great holiday experience - if you are into walking, fantastic scenery and don't mind roughing things for a few nights.

Read the operator's response here:

It is certainly not normal that a single female would be asked to share a tent with a single male on any of our trekking tours. We apologise for this error - we are investigating exactly what happened and why the group was one tent short.

review 21 Nov 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Sitting at breakfast on the Inca Trail overlooking the Andes - it was the perfect breakfast on a perfect trip!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Tom from the tour company gives fantastic advice - ask him for as much advice as you need. Also do your research - check reviews of the hotels and companies in your itinerary to ensure they are what you expect. Take plenty of bug spray for the Amazon!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. All the companies and guides emphasized the importance of benefiting the environment and local people. The local guides we had were exceptional in terms of knowledge and service.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent! Doing the Inca Trail was a spiritual experience. Our guide, Wilo went out of his way to point out orchids, great photography spots and had fantastic knowledge of the history of the area. He displayed a real pride in his heritage. The biolodge in the Amazon was incredible - we saw some beautiful animals (about 20 Macaws on a claylick one morning). We definitely want to return one day.

review 21 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Peru itself - we saw many challenging views and vistas - they were all so different it is difficult to give a rating on "Most memorable" - however the third day of the Inca Trail was probably the most memorable - incredible scenery, knowing that you had done the hard bit - and still have Machu Picchu to look forward to!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go with a well organised travel agent (which we did). Although organising things yourself would be cheaper it is so much easier to have everything well planned before you get there. The days we had free for our own planning were often half wasted with us organising things! We also spent a lot of money on extras - try and get as much pre organised so you know exactly what you will spend before you get there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

In the Amazon rainforest definitely - and as Cusco's economy is totally tourist based if we don't go there the whole infrastructure would crumble. Visiting the Reed Islands on Lake Titicaca definitely did not minimize any environmental impact!! - but benefited them (apparently many of them live off the lakes in new houses!)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Incredibly memorable - we saw mountains, plains; rivers, lakes; sweated under sun; swore under rain, fished in snowstorms! Travelled by plane, taxi, bus and train; the holiday was educational, energetic and restful! Peruvian people were welcoming, generous with their time, and so keen for you to learn about their history and geography - leaving a lasting impression.

review 12 Apr 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking throught the rainforest, seeing Machu Picchu appear when fog goes away.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

1. Go during a more dry season. Fog and rain can spoil good sights. 2. Take walking sticks. They help. 3. Head torch. 4. Take it easy when walking.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Despite the rain and the fog, I am glad I went. It was very good.

review 24 Jun 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Getting back home on the plane after the saga had been finished.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Not to book with this company.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Poor, there was a strike which was out of the holidays control but the help and information and flexibility of decisions that needed to be made were not completed in the best interests of me.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you very much for your feedback. We apologise for any inconvenience caused due to the strike action which meant that there were no trains to and from Aguas Calientes and road disruption during the day at the end of your holiday. We were made aware of the threat of a strike in Peru the day that you were due to travel out of the UK and contacted you immediately although the only information was that there was a possibility of a strike. Strike threats and actions are constantly evolving situations which mean that there has to be a degree of flexibility within the realms of what is possible. In group situations, arrangements have to be made to cater to the majority. In Cusco, once the strike was confirmed, a solution was offered, and accepted. On analysis, we believe that there was a misunderstanding over exactly what these arrangements were. This is an issue which we are looking into so that we can ensure that in future our clients will have the exact picture of what these changes are and what they involve as far as possible in the circumstances. On the trail itself and in consultation with your guide you changed these arrangements in order to finish the trail early and get back to Cusco before the start of the strike and therefore catch your flights home successfully.

review 16 Sep 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The entire trail was amazing. As hard as it is to believe I enjoyed the trail more than Machu Picchu itself. It was amazing to be on the trail, felt like you were there by yourself. Allowed you time to get away, think, daydream and enjoy the surroundings. Once in a lifetime trip.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Enjoy the moment. I would definitely recommend exercising before taking this holiday. It isn't overly tough, but training will allow you more enjoyment from it. You won't be worried about the hikes each day and be able to focus on the holiday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the trail gives you opportunity to travel through local towns and support the economy within each. We camped at campsites and the impact on the environment was small.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

One of the best trips I have ever taken. Once in a Lifetime!! The overall enjoyment from the guide to the group, then factoring in the surroundings was amazing. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. I feel very privileged to be able to have this experience!!

review 24 Jan 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Friendship with all people in my trekking group. And of course, the sight of Machu Picchu at the end of the train on Day 4.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You may want to have good rain gears if you are doing this in rainy season (Nov - March). I was glad I had a waterproof jacket and a pair of pants (rather than a poncho) as well as a pair of good boots (instead of trekking shoes).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. We provided extra income for local porters. We did not leave any garbage (the trail was clean; garbage-free) behind.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Five-stars. The trail made the sight of Machu Picchu at the end much more rewarding. We had a really good mix of people -- from 9 year-old to 82 year-old, Asians, Europeans and Latin Americans -- we all made it to Machu Picchu! The guides did a good job of keeping the variety of people happy and managed to keep the group consisting of 22 people as a unified group! Camp meals were excellent -- much better than what I'd had with other adventure holidays.

review 8 Nov 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Finally reaching the sun gate on the last day of the trek and seeing machu picchu for the first time makes 3 days walking completely worthwhile.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do some preparation beforehand so that you can fully appreciate the trek - it isn´t too difficult and a generally good level of fitness should see you through without any problems.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The nature of the trek means that there is little contact with the locals, however the camps and guides ensured that our stay was as friendly to the environment as possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic trek that was definitely one of the highlights of my travels in Peru.

review 17 Sep 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

As I reached the top of Intipata Inca site & caught my first glimpse of Machu Picchu with the sunrise hitting the Andean Mountains in the background, one true memorable experience I will never forget.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Have a larger gap in between connecting flights and do not believe any of what the airline operators tell you with regard to your baggage, check it at each stage is my biggest and most helpful tip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Most definitely. We were encouraged to buy at the local markets we came across or specifically visited as we were told the money benefits the local community therefore my husband & i did just this. Also we abided by the rules set for walking the inca trail to ensure minimum impact on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

9/10. The only reason it was not 10/10 was because our luggage was lost at the beginning on the holiday and we did not receive it till 4 days later & one of our flights was delayed for 18 hours so we lost a valuable day of our holiday.

review 6 Jun 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The walking.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure they know where they are staying in Aguas Calientes before hand and drink lots of Coca tea.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

It was difficult to tell as we were one of many guide groups and I didn’t feel that our group was any better or any worse than the others. Some of the porters, however, seemed to have better equipment but I did discover that the ones we used on our trip were better paid than some of the others and that the porters vary each trip.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

9 out of 10. The only downsides were, 1. that we did not initially know which hotel we were staying in in Aguas Calientes which meant that we couldn’t shower and relax straight away after the trek, 2. We were informed by our guide that we would be picked up at the train station and driven to our hostel in Cusco but there was no one to pick us up. After 8 months of travelling however, the holiday seemed very luxurious and very enjoyable!

review 14 Apr 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Probably the walk (Inca trail) itself and learning about the Inca culture, something I knew very little about before this trip.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Prepare physically for the hike as Day 2 on the Day 4 trek is quite difficult. Layers is the key for clothing cause temperatures change very quickly and there are many micro climates. A good rain jacket is key, as is the ability to keep ones shoes dry. There is plenty of time at Macchu Pichu at the end of the walk. Water tablets a good thing. Don’t worry if you forget something, virtually everything is in Cusco. Give yourself a good 3-4 days to acclimatise in Cusco too.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. And taking clothes that you are happy to leave behind/ give to local people is a good thing as well. I left with a lower bag weight than when I started as I gave a stack of stuff away as I went.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great trip. Was a good 6months of planning but entirely worth it. Cusco is a great city and can easily spend 3-4 days there. Hard going to Lima after Cusco as Lima is just one big big city of people, Cusco very quaint.

review 10 Jul 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Days two and three of the walk. Day two was memorable because it’s very tough - you have to climb about 1200 metres (quite steep) but the feeling and views when you get to the top are fantastic. Day three is just a really nice walk, there's great scenery and lots of ruins. Machu Picchu of course is very impressive, but for me the walk there is the best part.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

At the end of the third day there's an option of taking a detour to a set of ruins called Intipata instead of going direct to the campsite. It only adds about 20 or 30 minutes walking but hardly anyone goes there so you have the place to yourself - definitely worth it. You don’t need much money with you, but it is normal to tip the porters, cooks and guides (normally at least $10), and Aguas Calientes is more expensive than other places in Peru. (Also just check there aren’t any strikes planned for when you're in Aguas Calientes as if there are it can be hard to get out!)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The holiday definitely benefits local people in that it provides jobs for porters. Some of the porters are full time, others are local farmers. The environmental impact is limited to just a two hour bus ride from Cusco to the start of the trail.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday was excellent - a fantastic experience. The guide (Raul Garcia Fuentes) was extremely helpful and the cook and porters amazing. It’s definitely worth trekking to Machu Picchu.

review 16 Sep 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The 2nd day of the hike was most memorable.... and most difficult!! The views were amazing, hiking in the dark to get to Macchu Picchu early morning was great and the spectacle of the ruins viewed from the sun gate definitely made the hike worth it! The guide was excellent, as were the porters (very strong and so much stamina), and the cook was also fabulous, accommodating my vegan diet with no problem.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Very warm clothes, very warm sleeping bag. Allow a little time to acclimatise to altitude. Don't fall into feeling bad if you're not keeping up with the group, its really important to hike at your own pace.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the porters seem to be paid adequately (and they also have tips), and they are not allowed to carry too much. The environment is well respected and the local people along the trail were able to make a living by the tourists that hike through

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely fantastic, from the moment the booking began with Tom at the tour operator, to the transfer back to Cusco airport and our journey home, I cannot fault it!

review 7 Jul 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We booked the Inca trail via responsible travel. It was as expected brilliant! Amazing sites, great knowledgeable guide, safe and well organised.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Booking through responsible travel was easy as could book in English, they were very good in terms of being flexible with me with how to reach me as was currently in Africa and provided all they said to a good standard.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - porters were treated well and we abided by all trail rules not to litter, preserve the area etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great, thanks!

review 23 Apr 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Inca Trail itself was amazing, it was incredibly fascinating to learn more about the Inca culture, and see some of their stone craftsmanship.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I would try to ensure that you are in a group with people who speak the same language. I was the only native-English speaking person, with everyone else speaking Spanish. It became difficult to converse with people, and I missed out on a lot of the information the guide was talking through once it came to translating to English.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

From a cash point of view, there were people in the same group as me who paid less than half what I paid (some less than a quarter of what I paid when they booked directly through the agency in Peru), so I’m not sure how much goes to benefiting local people. All the groups along the trail were extremely conscious of minimising their impact on the environment and took care a long the way.

Read the operator's response here:

We donate a portion of our profits to local projects in Cusco - both to the communities our porters come from and also to Huchuy Yachaq (www.huchuyyachaq.org). This is in addition to making sure all of our staff are well cared for and paid appropriately.

review 7 Apr 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Inca Trial – Peru.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book it in advance, I used this operator, be prepared for a bit more walking but you can't really be prepared for the altitude, coca tea helps!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, tourism helps a lot, the people there don't have too much money.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great time, unforgettable.

review 8 Nov 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The achievement of finishing the Inca trail.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

10/10. Organisation was superb, the advice and help prior to the trip was top notch, and the whole experience from booking to holiday was extremely good.

review 15 Jun 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Hiking for 4 days in a beautiful country.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring warm clothes! and make sure to go during the dry season.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic.

review 26 May 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We absolutely loved our trip to Peru. I have to say that the hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was our favorite. It was so unique and very beautiful. We loved our guide and the group we were hiking with. Machu Picchu was amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure that people really know the difficulty of the Inca Trail. There was an individual that had never hiked before and I think she was not aware of the difficulty of the trail. Just make sure it is explained well.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the money I'm sure helped go to the economy of Peru and we took our trash with us on the Inca Trail. The one concern was the second campsite after Dead Womans Pass and it seemed that the bathroom was so close to the stream, didn't know if this was the best thing for the environment?

review 6 Nov 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Coming up from the last steps to see Machu Picchu laid out like a jewel in front of me.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Definitely bring a water filter. Pack as light as possible. Buy a walking stick in Ollantaytambo. Bring lots of extra toilet paper and Pepto Bismol. Make sure you have extra batteries for cameras, since there won't be anywhere to charge them. Take a day in Aguas Calientes to recover from the hike-- we did and others we spoke to who left the same day they arrived were simply exhausted. Try to get back to Machu Picchu while refreshed to truly enjoy the place. Be sure you know where to get off of the train going back to Cusco; our ticket said 'Aguas Calientes to Cusco,' so we stayed on until the last stop only to find out our contact was not waiting for us. Apparently, he seemed to think that we were getting off at a different stop, but that hadn't been communicated to us, so we found our own taxi and managed to get our packs back on our own.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

For the scenery and accomplishment of the trip, it was spectacular. There were only two things that detracted from my experience. The water used for cooking was not filtered. Although I was scrupulous with my own water filter and the cooking itself was tasty, three out of the five people on our trip (including myself) came down with serious diarrhoea. Second, I'm a slow hiker and was constantly being chided by my guide to keep up with the rest of our group, which was a little frustrating. I was between 20 and 30 minutes slower than the rest of the pack, which I don't think was really out of line. I think my guide was trying to be encouraging-- he certainly was knowledgeable and personable-- but constantly being pushed to keep up detracted from my ability to really enjoy the scenery around me.

Read the operator's response here:

Firstly, we are glad that overall you enjoyed your Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. We are sorry to hear you had some problems and we've had a look into them. The cooking water and drinking water are obtained from streams coming down from the mountains. The INC (The Government authority which is responsible for the Trail, distributing permits, campsites etc) has channelled some of these streams and installed taps of sorts for cooks to obtain and use water. Every single agency uses the water form these sources. Whether it is for cooking or drinking the water is boiled before being handed out or used, which is enough to kill any bugs. At the pre-trek briefing that we give to all passengers, they are informed that if they wish, they can buy bottled water along the trek. There are a couple of points (near campsites) where locals sell water and other goodies (chocolates etc). We’ve noticed that quite a few people bring purifying tablets (they can also be bought in Cuzco) but it is also possible to buy water en route if you wish. We cannot provide bottled water en route - we would have to employ many porters to carry this and the price of the trek would rise considerably as well as increase the amount of plastic being produced and discarded in Peru. On our kit list which is sent to all trekkers, we recommend taking purification tablets as well as anti-diarrhoea tablets. Upset stomachs are, unfortunately, almost impossible to avoid on any trip or trek in Peru - we have been going for years and still suffer every time we go. Regarding the transfer in Cusco, we apologise for the confusion and missed transfer. We checked with our transfer rep and he said was there to collect these 2 passengers at Cusco train station as well as the 3 other people booked on the same trek. The 3 other people were the met at the train station in Cusco and transferred in successfully. Jesus rang the hotel next day but missed the passengers. We are very sorry for the confusion caused with this missed arrival transfer and have now told Jesus that in a situation like this, he must contact passengers at their hotel as soon as possible after a missed transfer of any type. We will also endeavour to make it easier for people to find Jesus at the train station. Regarding the guide, he is very experienced and a popular guide. We apologise if he came across as 'chiding' as in general he is a very genial fellow and gets good reviews from passengers. We have taken on board the comments and spoken to the guide and he will endeavour to remain encouraging rather than chiding.

review 5 Jul 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The end of the trek arriving at Machu Pichu has to be at the top of course, but I really liked the end of the third day, where we visited the ruins of Waynewayna next to the campsite. Truly impressive

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Plan for a few extra days in Cuzco and around the sacred valley, there is a lot to see apart from the trail.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The guides were very careful, however I have to admit that with all the groups camping together there were a lot of leftovers left behind. I did not see our cooking team doing this, but we did see other teams cleaning in the river, which they should not do.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, from every aspect really, food, tent preparation and most important guidance in the trail and walking pace to suit all physical abilities.

review 20 Jun 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu having trekked four days to get there!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring as much warm clothing as possible because it gets very cold in the Andes, and be prepared for blisters.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, all the porters were local and all rubbish etc was cleaned up everywhere we went.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely fantastic.

review 4 Jun 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The amazing views - ranging from snow capped mountains to cloud jungle and of course the ruins. The food was suprisingly very good.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Give yourself time (4 or 5 days) to get used to the altitude before the trek as those mountain passes are pretty hard work! Remember to take warm clothes for the night and also enough money to tip the porters who work very hard.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Our guide was very knowledgable of the trail, plants and animals. He also advised us not to litter, pick plants or stand on the ruins. The porters work very, very hard but speaking to them they seem to appreciate having employment. They aren´t paid a great amount so its important to tip them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

There are loads of different agancies in Cuzco offering similar treks but ours did seem to have particularly good guides, food and service. I really enjoyed myself and the trip was one of the the highlights of my travels in South America, despite being very tired by the end.

review 2 Jun 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We didn´t really know what to expect since this trek wasn´t ´The Inca Trail´, but we loved every minute of it and were glad that it wasn´t the main tourist route. The most exciting part of the trip was seeing the amazing views of snow-capped Andean mountains from the high passes we crossed (4700 and 4500m a.s.l). However the most memorable part of the trip was meeting all the children and native farmers we passed on the way who were so pleased and intrigued to see us.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take plenty of warm clothing as it gets cold at night at 4700m. Also, some hill climbing training would help but the altitude/lack of air slows you down anyway. Take your time and enjoy it - don´t race and take some gifts for the kids. We chose crayons and paper and were amazed at how appreciative they were.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely. The local operator was excellant and the guide we had explained how they provide good wages and working conditions for the wranglers and chef that accompanied us. We also learnt that they helped fund projects in the communities we visited (such as an additional teacher in the school and reforestation) and saw the benefits first hand.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Totally amazing. We went to Peru hoping to see Machu Picchu. We saw Machu Picchu at the end of our Lares Trek (which was cool), but i´m glad we got to see and meet real people along our trek - that for me is something far more important.

review 27 Apr 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The cloud forest and the flowers. The race to the sun gate was a bit unnecessary, but fun non-the-less.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring your own food, and disinfectant wipes. The trail is not the place to experiment with your body's tolerance to the local flora.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We didn't buy food from locals. Everything was purchased in Cuzco. All the trash was carried out, so that was good.

Read the operator's response here:

There are no shops or markets on the Inca Trail itself. Every group which starts the Inca Trail must have all its supplies bought and packed before starting the trek, so that it can be weighed and checked - this also means the porters' pack weights can be monitored by officials. The food and produce is sourced at Cusco and surrounding markets. We use small, local shops rather than any larger chains, sourcing food grown locally rather than shipped in to encourage and support local farmers and markets. The sun gate is the most congested part of the Inca Trail - almost every group and passenger trekking the Inca Trail wants to be at the sun gate for sunrise. Sheer numbers require an eary start to make sure people are in place for the sunrise over Machu Picchu - a magical moment that is a real highlight. We do offer alternative treks which do not take in the sun gate sunrise. It is a great place to see the sun rise and its popularity is reflected in that. It can get crowded - it is still a wonderful sight!

review 30 Jul 2007

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking the streets in the dark facing the very real possibility that we would have to spend the night on the streets.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I would not recommend this trip to any other travellers at all, I would advise them to book with an alternative company lest their trip turn into the kind of nightmare of incompetence ours did.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The hike itself was amazing, sadly the trip was ruined when we were forced to spend over five hours walking the streets of Aguas Caliente trying to find ourselves a hotel to stay in because despite having booked and paid for the night there over three months before, it seems someone forgot to book us a hotel and everywhere was booked as it was a national holiday. The next day when we were supposed to be collected from the train station and driven the hour and a half back to Cusco, again already paid for, we were instead forgotten again and had to take a taxi the entire way. Despite our small group having paid over 12 hundred pounds for the 4 night trip, the tour became a total comedy of errors.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for letting us know that the trek itself went well and you enjoyed it. We apologise for the mix up over the hotel in Aguas Calientes after the trek. Our local staff were able to sort out the hotel problem & find an alternative. We apologise it took a few hours to do so due to it being Peru's main national holiday weekend. After discussing the hotel booking problem with our local office in Cusco we have already put measures in place to ensure this sort of mix up does not happen again. Our customers, who choose to stay a night in a hotel after their trek are now given a paper voucher at their trek briefing in Cusco, with the Aguas Calientes hotel name and address. With regard to the train / bus combination returning from Aguas Calientes to Cusco, when our staff were called and informed that other tourists had filled up the bus and taken seats we had booked, our staff advised our customers to return to Cusco by taxi at no additional expense to themselves. We have also offered compensation for the hotel mix up.

review 31 Oct 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The trek to Machu Picchu.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Dress appropriately, in layers but dont bring too much. Save cash in soles to tip the porters because they really deserve it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We used local guides and porters, and there were stringent rules while hiking the Inca Trail.

review 28 Apr 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The variety of the country - jungle, high mountains, desert and the kindness of the people.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You need your passport for the Inca trail (we were not told this and only were allowed on due to having photocopies of passports, a driving licence and lots of smooth talking/begging of the officials by the guide).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - benefited locals as we gave tips direct to them and made donations to local charities, bought things from street/roadside vendors and stayed in small hostels. However, feel the tour operators should pay the porters on the Inca Trail much more than the measly govt. set minimum wage, which is still penutive for the efforts these guys go to and the hours they work. Also the porters should get life insurance on top of medical insurance. I hope we did not impact on the environment too much - tried to be really careful and not leave any litter etc.

Read the operator's response here:

Wages - The average wage paid by Inca Trail operators to their porters in 2005 was between 75 and 80 Peruvian Soles about US $23 (GB £12) for three and a quarter days work (most porters are back in their villages by 10am on the 4th day of the trek since they don't continue to Machu Picchu with the trekkers). This works out at about 22 Soles per day (US$6.5 per day). We pay our porters a basic rate of 100 Soles (29 Soles or US$8.5 per day). This complies with the Porter Law introduced in 2002 and approved by the Syndicate of Porters. We have also encouraged our porters to undertake a first-aid course (run by a local NGO) and over 90% of our porters have now completed this course. Porters who have received their first-aid certificate also earn an additional 5 Soles per trek. Not only does this extra income help the porters financially but it also helps to make them more professional and differentiate them from the many thousands of "casual" porters. This increases their self-esteem and confidence. We have also agreed to pay our porters an additional 5 Soles if they participate in an environmental awareness course which will be arranged later in 2006. To many people even a basic wage of 29 Soles (US$8.5) per day amounts to exploitation. By Western standards this appears to be low, however wages have to be seen in perspective, and in relation to what other people earn in Peru. Most of our porters depart on the Inca Trail at least 4 times a month. (4 x 3.25 = 13 days work) earning about 500 Soles ( 4 x 100 Soles plus tips of about 100 Soles). This is just a little less than the wage of a professional school teacher in Cusco who earn between 600 and 700 Soles for working 22 days per month. Teachers in the villages earn much less than this, some as little as 350 Soles per month. It should be noted that teachers have to study for a minimum of 5 yrs at a university or institute and often have to work the first couple of years for wages between 150 and 250 Soles per month!! A master tradesman such as a carpenter may charge about 25 Soles per day for his services and a labourer will charge about 15 Soles. A farmer in the villages earn about 8 Soles per day so a porter can earn about the same as a village school teacher and has enough left over to pay a neighbour to work his fields while he is away on the trail. Most porters are land owners and do not pay rent, so their outgoings are fairly minimal. Some trekking companies pay their porters as low as 20 Soles per day. Even though this wage is on the low side, the low wage itself does not amount to direct exploitation. It is how the porters are actually treated on the trail itself and their working conditions where the real exploitation can be seen. In 2002 the government actually passed the Porters Law which stated that each porter should be paid a minimum wage of 5.1 Soles per hour (about US$1.5). It has widely been accepted that this equates to about 100 Soles per Inca trail trek or 19.5 hrs work. At the time the reasons for introducing this law were politically motivated and had more to do with winning votes than actually looking after the porters' welfare. For this reason the law was largely ignored by the majority of companies in Cusco and the law was never been enforced. However in the last year porter welfare has become an important issue again (maybe since 2006 is an election year!) and the syndicate of porters has become more powerful so more companies are paying their porters 100 Soles or more.

review 12 Dec 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking through the Sun gate and seeing Machu Picchu spread across the opposite hill in the morning sun was an overwhelming experience. Also the views into the valleys from the high passes were breath-taking and the geography of the hills and valleys was remarkable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Spend time acclimatizing in Cuzco before going on the Inca trail. I would say at least three days - the pass on the second day of the trek is high (4200 m) and was tough mainly because of the altitude - at sea levelthis would have been a relatively easy 'walk-up' for a fit person.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Obviously there is environmental impact when thousands of people trek through the country side each month. However, there is employment and industry for locals because of this and I believe a net gain for locals. Machu Picchu is expensive to visit, but so it should be for rich foreigners. It is free for Peruvians on Sundays, and locals benefit from the money that foreigners introduce tot he local economies.

4. Any other comments?

It was terrific. Definitely a **** trip.

review 8 Jul 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Watching the shooting stars and Venus whilst waiting in the dark at the entrance to the Macchu Picchu gate at 0500am. Reaching Macchu Picchu at 0700 to watch the sunrise was exciting, exhilarating and with a massive sense of achievement after 4 tough days' trekking.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a good sleeping bag and walking boots and listen to the advice of your guides who really know their stuff. As they say, it's not a race and 'the last is first'.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Many local porters were employed as part of our group and the finite number of visitors on the Inca Trail ensured minimum impact on the environment and the Trail itself.

review 18 May 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Finally making it to the top of the first pass on the second day and seeing the view. Seeing Macchu Pichu just before the clouds rolled in after sunrise!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a warm sleeping bag and thermals - it is cold at night

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The Inca trail seems to be very well regulated now and the local company who ran the trek seemed fairly concerned about the treatment of the porters and not leaving any rubbish behind us.

review 6 Apr 2006

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Arriving at Machu picchu.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you're prepared for the altitude, rest for a few days before hand.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the porters were well looked after and the guide was very informative about the trail and all the environmental issues attatched to it.

review 1 Jun 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Had a fantastic holiday - all arrangements went superbly - quality of accommodation and food much better than anticipated - very good value for money. The most memorable part was seeing condors flying over Colca Canyon.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't take too much luggage on Inca Trail - it's not as cold as the all the guidebooks say - can buy hats, sticks, gloves, sweaters etc at start of trail - very cheap in UK terms - not worth carrying!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Local people were superb and felt able to give them money without patronising them - small change to take their photos, buy souvenirs from them etc - without beating them down on price too much, buy local fruit/fruit juice etc - very refreshing/very cheap and benefits them. Impact on environment is unavoidable but seemed to be kept to minimum. To update - I enjoyed Peru so much last year that I'm going back again this year with my wife - using this operator again. Thanks again for helping me to find an organisation which enabled me to really enjoy the adventure holiday of a lifetime last year - in the knowledge that they were putting something back into the country I got so much from. Thank you - keep up your good work!

review 1 Aug 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The entire experience! Trekking in all weathers from hot sun to snow to torrential rain! Great fun, an extremely trying trek and you get the chance to sample typical Peruvian dishes and see many typical Peruvian towns and farms you would never had the chance to see. You also get to trek through many different terrains, such as the snowy Salkantay pass in one morning and hot jungle by the afternoon – incredible. Also, having the chance to visit the hot springs in Santa Teresa, rather than the usual ones in Aguas Calientes. We did both and the ones at Aguas Calientes are filthy, expensive to enter and crowded. The ones at Santa Teresa are clean, free and quiet – perfect! Of course, Macchu Picchu also – it is a great feeling after 4 hard days trekking to reach such a stunning site.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you get all the relevant information such as what to take, such as thermals, sleeping bags etc. The other people on the trek who booked through other agencies had no idea what to expect and were not prepared for what they got – i.e. snow, rain! We were also informed the trek was extreme and very hard work and this is exactly what we got, others were told they would be walking 2 hours a day, not 8! Also, make sure you acclimatize in Cusco for 3 days before the trek – this definitely helped! There were 4 girls on our tour who arrived the evening before and had terrible altitude sickness the first two days of the trek and it ruined their whole experience.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I felt it benefited local people due to the amount of tourism money that is brought into the country through treks like this. I don't feel we had any major impact on the environment, although, the amount of visitors to Macchu Picchu and the effects this is having on the site can be quite a worry.

review 16 May 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I enjoyed everything very much. The third hiking day was the most beautiful. It was my favourite day. Overall, however, the trek was fantastic – the crew, the food, the equipment, the schedules. I cannot complain about a thing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring your own camping mattress for sure..

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I’m not sure about benefiting, but we certainly didn’t exploit the people or the environment.

review 23 Mar 2005

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing a toucan flying through the trees of the cloud forest while we walked along a quiet part of the trail.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Try and go with a small group so you can make the most of the guides and not feel part of a crowd - maximum 8.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes because the numbers were controlled and the porters seemed to be treated very well - given rain jackets etc.

Holiday Reviews

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

Read our review policy

Convert currencies