Machu Picchu / Inca Trail

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 11, 2009 4:34 AM GMT
    Hey guys,
    My friends and I are planning a trip to Peru. It's part of my post-graduation plans to travel the world! icon_smile.gif I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for hiking tour operators for the inca trail, machu picchu, and peru in general. Has anyone been? Thanks.

    J

  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Jun 13, 2009 10:14 AM GMT
    Not been but http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=31343004 - be careful about taking a telephoto lens if using an SLR.

    I've used this company's sister company a couple of times without problem
    http://www.footloose.com/tours/cla.html , bit expensive though.
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    Jun 14, 2009 4:02 PM GMT
    I was very pleased with Llama Path. Very professional, knowledgeable guide, good food.
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    Jun 14, 2009 4:14 PM GMT
    I used Inkanatura (www.inkanatura.com) to book. Enjoyed my hike, even though I had altitude sickness.

    As for camera equipment, I used a 70-200mm f2.8 lens with a 2X extender... icon_smile.gif Without the extender, the lens is fast enough for most purposes, though it is heavy when carrying it on the hike.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jun 14, 2009 4:58 PM GMT
    You'll need to plan WAY in advance if you want to do the Inca Trail. It's limited to a certain number of people per day... i think 500. You have to make reservations. The government is trying to preserve the trail.

    I did another trail-- more difficult-- called Salkantay. It's totally awesome, and takes on a different route to the ruins.

    We made our reservations with an agency called Dos Manos (dosmanosperu.com). They were incredible. 2 mules, a muleteer and a cook, and a tour guide.... and we paid only $300 total for four people for the week. When we would arrive at a stop for lunch, it would be ready for us already. And dinner-- well, there would be tables set up, all of our camping stuff, tents, etc... and they would cook us a four-course meal over the campfire.

    OK... here, you can check this website: [url]http://www.incatrailreservations.com/inca_trail/inca_trail_permits_4days.html/url]

    As of just now, I checked and the first available day to get a permit for the Incan trail is September 23rd.... but I HIGHLY recommend Salkantay...

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    Jun 14, 2009 5:30 PM GMT
    Make sure you spend a few days in Cuzco before you start the hike so you won't have altitude sickness on the hike.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jun 14, 2009 8:01 PM GMT
    When i went a couple years ago, we met friends in Cuzco who had been riding their bicycles from the southern tip of the continent, on their way home to columbus, ohio. Erica, who is an awesome athlete (and after so many miles) got altitude sickness when we were on the hike to Machu Picchu.

    You DEFINITELY need to spend at least 48 hours in Cuzco before the hike.

    I cannot recommend a better vacation, BTW. It's SO cheap, and fantastic, and you will have seen one of the wonders of the world...

    when you spend time in Cuzco, stay at a hostel. They are cheap, they'll feed you breakfast, and in most of them you'll have your own room, private bathroom, etc... just like a normal hotel. And you'll meet awesome people!

    One thing that sticks out about Cuzco... is that for a small city, it's a WORLD city. It is a crossroads for hikers from all over the world who consider this the most awesome hike of their lives. It's so easy to meet people.

    There are "jazz" bars in the city... but it's like Incan/Andean jazz fusion! Awesome stuff. Oh, and I know a [gay] bartender at one of the gay bars there if you are interested...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 14, 2009 8:08 PM GMT
    wow thanks for this thread. i have been thinking of going for some time....Now i just need to find someone to go with.
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    Jun 14, 2009 9:10 PM GMT
    Don't wait for someone to go with. You may never go! I did the trip alone and loved it. Actually, I went overland from Rio to Lima through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia by myself and had a blast. You can't do the hike alone anyway so you HAVE to go with a group. You definitely won't be lonely on the hike. I made some great friends on the hike and even went to Sweden to visit them the next year.
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    Jun 25, 2009 5:33 PM GMT
    Thanks for the helpful advice, everyone. I'm booking my trip by the end of the week.

    Kew1, that really sucks. I just bought a DSLR with a 18-250mm telephoto lens. I guess I won't be bringing it with me.
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    Oct 10, 2011 11:54 PM GMT
    kew1 saidNot been but http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=31343004 - be careful about taking a telephoto lens if using an SLR.


    From the link above:

    "I just wanted to share something very unpleasant that happened to me today at Machu Picchu's entrance:
    1. They charge you 300 USd for bringing your tripod into their Inca city. Their argument is that tripods are for professionals only.
    2. The lens debate: ANY lens over 200mm is considered professional, and thus must also pay the 300 Usd."


    Can anyone here verify this is true? I was there in 2005 with a DSLR, a 300mm lens, and a tripod and no one said a word about it. There wasn't even anyone there TO say anything. Once I passed through the sun gate, I saw very few park personnel and the only prohibition mentioned was about umbrellas. Nothing about cameras.

    If this is indeed the case now, I'm glad I went when I did. I like the photo I got of Machu Picchu, but no way in hell I'd pay $300 to get it.