Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

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Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby kristos86 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:17 am

Hi everyone, I've been STRONGLY debating booking the "Amazon To The Andes in Peru" trip which goes to Machu Picchu as well, and I was seeking some honest opinions from anyone who has been on this trip via GAdventures. I've read some mixed reviews (not in terms of the physical aspect of it), but a couple of pretty bad experiences from people who have booked through "G". I am still halfway over the fence already for this trip but I wanted to hear some more direct opinions. I would really appreciate the help!
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby leahlovestravel » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:39 am

I did Amazon to the Andes June 2012 and have nothing but positive things to say about the trip. Not sure what negative things you've read but I loved it. Is there something specific you were wondering?
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby kristos86 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:59 am

Thanks for the reply. Typically the only negative things I heard were about the travel transfers and one or two issues with group leaders. Granted the reviews I saw weren't terribly recent, but I was just hoping to hear a little work of mouth on the trip and what people thought of it on all levels. I'm planning on doing the hike, so I know what expected of me in terms of fitness and willingness. A couple of questions.

How were the accomodations (not including camping on the trail)?

Also, how did the tipping go? I know how it generally works from the itinerary, but I was just curious to know how many porters and CEOs there were. I would really love to tip well if the trip is great but if it costs me another few hundred dollars I would like to know how much extra to budget in.

Lastly, I know the altitude sickness is much less likely with the hike option and gradually going up in elevation, but was there any case where people did get sick? If so how is that handled. I'm planning on being totally prepared for this trip so this info would be helpful!
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby leahlovestravel » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:55 am

I had awesome guides. There was a main one in Cusco who was the lead guide on the hike. We received a new guide in the Amazon portion. On the hike, there were two assistant guides and about 24 or so porters for 15 hikers. We had a meeting on the hike and pooled the tips to give it to them all together. The porters sure do earn theirs! Amazing what they do. Sorry I can't remember exactly what we each gave but I want to say 100 sol ($40us) per hiker?? That got split between the porters, cooks, assistant guides. I think I tipped the main guide about half that at the end of the Andes portion of the trip. I did the same for the amazon guide.

Altitude, definitely DOES apply to the hike. And it effects everyone different. For me it was mostly I couldn't breath. There were definitely people that were effected by queasiness and headaches etc. One fellow in our group was so disoriented the first day in Cusco he couldn't write his name but someone got him some meds and it really helped. Other people didn't feel so much. The best tips are to drink the coca tea that is available everywhere and on the trail at camp. Stay very hydrated and get rest when you need it. Listen to your body. You may wish to get a prescription of Diamox to help with the altitude. We were all told to go at our own pace. Our guide was very keen on preventing sickness so all the above tips, he told us. One other tip he had was we should all bring an electrolyte of some sort. You can get Gatorade type drinks there but if you can, before you go check out an outdoors store or a running store and look for some tablets you can add to your water. I did this and was happy I did. Very light weight and easy to use. The brand I found was "nuun". They were all very caring and helpful. I was always the slowest one, and I mean slow, but they never minded and went out of there way to make me comfortable about it.

The accomodations were simple but clean for the most part in the towns. The one we stayed in Cusco was noisy at night if you were in a room facing the street so watch out for that. In Lima it was quite nice. In Ollantaytambo was super quiet.
The lodge in the amazon is lovely. There's a main lodge with a bar and a dining hall and you'll sleep in your own cabin/hut. There is no electricity except for a few hours in the evening they run a generator that helps if you need to charge batteries or anything. Other wise you'll use candles and flashlights. But I found the beds comfortable and there were mosquito nets for each bed. Critters can get in the cabins so they'll tell you if you have any food, there's a box/locker to keep things protected. Truth be told, I would have loved to have stayed there a few more days.

I have nothing but good things to say about my experience with the trip and with G Adventures.
I hope you find the same! Enjoy :)
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby markmol » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:48 am

hi
i did this trip in 2010 &like Leah have nothing but positive comments on G on this trip, the guides were very good the porters & cooks were amazing & the accomodation was clean & tidy. Also like Leah i think a few more days at the lodge would have been good.
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby kristos86 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:44 pm

Thanks so much guys. All of this is great information and I can't wait to book. If you have any additional advice feel free to shout it out, as I'll definitely keep it all in mind. I suppose I have a couple of basic questions left. (Sorry!)

1. Any advice on vaccinations pre-trip? I know there's that health form to fill out, but was just curious what you guys had to go through in this regard - more of a curiosity question.
2. For the hike I'm guessing just bring good sneakers? I would hate to be stuck for 27 miles of mountains with the wrong footwear!

Thanks again everyone!
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby collywobbles » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:15 pm

Hi Kristos86 :)

I did this trip a few years back. I wore hiking boots on the Inca Trail. I was glad I did as they supported my ankles during the trip. Some of our group wore sandles some wore runners whatever is comfortable for you. Just be aware trekking down from dead woman's pass over 2000 steps to negotiate can be tricky and they are uneven . Just make sure whatever you decide to wear is well broken in. You don't want blisters on your feet. Use poles if you have them. They help for balancing. A head lamp for the last day of trek. You start out very early and it is dark. I did get some vaccinations for the trip I also got the yellow fever jab but I think I did not really need it. I took some Diamox for altitude and they helped. plus the coca leaves. It is a fantastic trek. well worth the aches and pains after the trek :lol: If you need any more info feel free to ask.
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby graybeard » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:16 pm

There are a number of pre-existing threads on the Inca trail footwear that go into detail in this site.

But, to sum up, wear whatever you currently are comfortable HIKING (not walking) in. For most folks a simple pair of sneakers would not work due to lack of support and not being water-resistant. (Yes, it might rain!!). And the trail is often rocky which can be hard on your feet without a good sole. There are many uneven, old stone steps on some days that can be a challenge (rent the hiking poles!). No new shoes/boots unless you are a fan of blisters.
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby markmol » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:20 pm

hi
i am with the others on this, hiking boots, it rained while i did the trail & the stone steps were quite slippery, hire poles in Cuzco. With vaccinations i went to a travel doctor, told them where i was going & they let you know what jabs you need, I also got Diamox from them. It may be worth while asking about malaria tablets for when you go to the amazon.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby leahlovestravel » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:30 pm

Headlamp for hike is great but when you are in the Amazon, carry it in your hand or the bugs fly at your face :lol:
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby collywobbles » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:41 pm

leahlovestravel wrote:Headlamp for hike is great but when you are in the Amazon, carry it in your hand or the bugs fly at your face :lol:



:lol: oops forgot about the flies flying at your face aiming for the light buggers :)
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby markmol » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:01 pm

yes a lot of critters flying around at night time at the lodge
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby kristos86 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:12 pm

Thank you all so much for the feedback. I fell out of this conversation for a while, but I appreciate everyone's advice and feedback. I finally got to book my trip yesterday! Can't wait.
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby ramstar » Tue May 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Considering the "Inca Journey" tour, which treks up to Machu Picchu and does the Amazon. Any negatives to the trip? In the past, when I've considered "camping out" it has been to stay at a Holiday Inn. Is this too rustic a trip for me? Am I going to find bathrooms in the towns that are usable? Knowing the day trips leave early every morning, is there usually breakfast offered in the hotels or do you have to go out and find something?
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Re: Seeking Opinions of Machu Picchu trip with Gadventures

Postby IncaTrail50 » Wed May 29, 2013 4:42 am

Hey, Ramstar...I hear you on the camping out...my camping under the stars is usually "5 stars" :lol: but hiking the Inca Trail was my all-time favourite trip. The "bathrooms" are not so much fun but I reasoned it this way, was I going to forgo a 24hr-a-day amazing, astounding trip due to 10-15 minutes of inconvenience per day in a questionable bathroom? Barring stomach/intestinal upset that should be the extent of your time in the bathrooms. And frankly, the bathrooms along the Inca Trail were spas compared to some I've experienced since in other parts of the world! Also, since you'll sometimes be in those bathrooms after dark take comfort in knowing that your headlamp will only illuminate small areas, and the creepy-crawlies run from the light. :shock: :D
Kidding aside, don't let that stop you from going. I hadn't camped in over forty years, having stayed only in nice hotels traveling with my husband to his conferences. The camping on the Inca Trail is not like "real" camping. The cooks provide incredible food, the porters wake you every morning with tea and hot water for washing. They carry your extra clothes. I loved that camping trip so much I went to Africa with G, camping in Kenya and Tanzania. They make camping bearable for non-campers.
As for breakfasts, they will either provide it or tell you where to get it in time to be ready for departure on early mornings.
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