Classic inca trail amazing experience – review of alpaca expeditions, cusco, peru – tripadvisor grade 6 electricity unit ontario

####

I did the 4D/ 3N classic inca trail trek with my friend it was unforgettable albeit exhausting. Before we even began the trek, Alpaca answered all of our questions and helped with everything related to booking our trek. The team supporting your trek can make or break the experience and our Alpaca team exceeded my expectations! We had an amazing time with our guide Henry and assistant guide Marcial. Henry knew everything about the trail and the Incan people and answered all of the questions (with photos) that we asked along the way. Both of them kept us motivated every day with music, cheers and more. They broke the days into manageable sections – hike 1 hr to here, 40 min to the next site, etc. I would have had a hard time finishing (especially day 2) without Henry or Marcial‘s support. After all the hours of hiking, our porters clapped us into camp each evening and provided warm water to wash our hands and faces. I brought my own sleeping mat and the porters blew it up for me every evening!! We had Happy Hour before dinner with tea, hot chocolate, popcorn, other snacks and two delicious cakes. I’m still so amazed that our chef Julio Caesar and souls chef Alejandro made and decorated cakes at altitude on a little gas stove. Julio Caesar did an incredible job with the food the whole trek. We ate like kings at every meal never went hungry. There was a mix of traditional dishes (quinoa porridge, lomo saltaldo, corn ceviche, chicken and mango ceviche, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, ) and more western dishes (pancakes, pasta, quiche, pizza, chicken). We had a large team of porters supporting us and couldn’t have done the trek without all of their hard work and they went above and beyond (blowing up my personal camping pad, cheering us on the trail, taking care of one of our fellow hikers who was sick, taking group photos). Thank you to our amazing team Julio Cesar, Alejandro, Gregorio Huillca, Gregorio peck, Isidro, Marco, Facundo, Wilbert, Santos, Julian, Ignacio, Roberto, Aldolfo, Ruben, Cosme, Esteban, Russo, America, and Nicolas.

I came in with low expectations because I’m not one to hire a company to take me camping. Plus, I’m penny-pinching pretty hard right now with life circumstances. But I can say this with full confidence: This trek was worth every penny and every minute. Context: we were a group of six, relatively fit 26-28 year olds from Colorado. We’re avid hikers/campers, but not fanatics. We did the 5 day, 5 night Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. My GF and I rented sleeping bags and pads because we’re traveling on after Peru – they’re equipment more than did the job. The trek: this is one of the most beautiful things we’ve ever done… and all six of us have been to most US national parks, Iceland, and a good number of countries. Every day was absolutely stunning. In fact, Machu Picchu itself was underwhelming compared to the things we saw in the first 4 days… and Machu Picchu is gorgeous. The difficulty: the trek was long (5-6 hours of hiking a day), but not unnecessarily difficult, mostly because you’re not carrying a heavy load. It’s difficult to quantify difficulty, but if you can do a 14er without having an ambulance on speed-dial, then you should be fine, but be cognizant of your physical ability, especially when you’re at 16,000ft. The six of us were consistently beat, but never in despair. If you’re up for a challenge, I’d strongly recommend taking this hard route over the Inca Trail. Alpaca’s service: this is where Alpaca earns it’s stripes. We all left the trail agreeing that the trek was far more pleasant than an all inclusive resort. The food was consistently better than any restaurant we visited in Cusco, the accommodations make you almost forget that you’re camping, and, most importantly, the staff (guide, porters, cook) were all unbelievably attentive. I’m not sure I can go camping again after being so spoiled by the staff. The word "glamping" doesn’t do it justice. If it wasn’t for the 20km a day, I would have put on 10lbs… the food was that good. And Alpaca is serious about their impact. Unlike some of the other outfitters we saw, our staff packed in and packed out EVERYTHING and put a TON of emphasis on giving back to the communities. We genuinely got the sense that they care about their land and people. Our guide: Alvin was the cherry on top. He made our trip. Firstly, Alvin was super knowledgable about the history, culture, and environment of the area. He was like a walking encyclopedia. Secondly, he never failed to make our trek fun, even when we were dropping dead after hiking uphill for two hours. Thirdly, and most importantly, he was constantly approachable. He was honest with us and never tried to sugarcoat or upsell anything. Every guide’s job is to make his tour like him… but I can honestly say that I’d be glad to stay in contact with Alvin for years to come. I hope he visits us one day so we can guide him around the Rockies. Great job Alvin, Raul (owner), and everyone else in AE. You run an incredible operation.

My husband and I used Alpaca Expeditions ("Alpaca") for the 4 day/ 3 night Inca trail hike to Machu Picchu and had an AMAZING time. My review focuses on 1) our guide, Reynaldo Quillhuaman, 2) the qualities of the company that make Alpaca a very good choice, and 3) how the experience impacted me. First, our guide, Reynaldo Quillhuaman, was a coach, historian, naturalist, friend, brother, and leader. I will never ever forget him, ever. I was usually the last hiker in our group of 6. He encouraged me along the way, challenged me in believing in my own strength, taught me an energy-efficient way to climb steep stairs on the trek, he asked to carry my day pack for parts of the journey, and he literally held my hand and forearm to help stabilize me across wet, slippery rocks. His humor, compassion, history lessons, and passion for Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and the rich history of Peru was inspiring. Second, Alpaca lived up its nickname, the Green Machine. All logistics pre-trek went smoothly, and on the trail, the team operates like a well-oiled machine. The team of chaskis (porters) are impressive with their strength, organization, and commarderie. The meals during the trek are traditional fare and are well-balanced and healthy. The chef, Raymundo, baked a birthday cake for my husband during the trek; the cake was mouthwatering delicious! I always felt safe, comfortable, and confident with this team. Third, learning about the Inca trail, the Inca history, and seeing the amazing landscapes, archeological sites, and vegetation brought greater perspective to my life. Do this trek to be part of an legacy bigger than yourself, to grow in knowledge of your own strength, and to be humbled by the other amazing people, chaskis, and guides who are on this journey with you.

A HUGE thank you to Alpaca Expeditions and our wonderful team: Ivan, Pedro, Antonio, John Urbano, and Uriel. We had a family of four (ages 50’s and 20’s) and did the 8 day/7night trek through Choquequero and Machu Piccu. The trek is not for the faint of heart! But we all felt better than expected and had the help of our emergency horse, who took a couple of our day packs on the tougher uphills. The food was absolutely amazing, as was the company. This 8 day trek took us through the most amazing villages and peaks/valleys– and the best part was that hardly any other trekkers were around (especially between Choquequero and Maccu Piccu). In fact, by the time we got to Maccu Piccu we were a little startled by all the people around! Machu Piccu is absolutely amazing, however, we were surprised to realize that it was not even the best highlight from our trip. Alpaca Expeditions was easy to book, flexible (started on the day we preferred), reasonable ($$), and took care of the details A-Z. We are currently missing our wake-up calls with coca tea every morning. 10/10