Last year, I was contacted by a Calgary-based tour company: Spices Tours. They have traditionally focused on tours to the Far East and to France and Spain, but they asked if I could develop a Peru trip as some of their clients have been asking about Machu Picchu!
As Peru is a passion for me, I put together what I consider to be the ideal itinerary – and I added the option of the Inca Trail. After a fun info-session several people signed up for the tour on the spot!
To that end, I fully expect to be leading a custom, small-group tour to Peru starting March 25, 2016.
I have guided many groups through Peru over the years for different companies. Obviously Machu Picchu is the highlight and most famous attraction, but there is so much to see and discover from desert, to condor viewing to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca – the World’s highest navigable lake.
I will continue to lead group tours to Peru and throughout South America, but this opportunity to customize a special trip with high-end hotels and the very best sites is simply a thrill!
The Inca Trail
The hike / trek from Cusco to the Sacred City of Machu Picchu may be the most famous hike on Earth. The trip involves three nights camping (fairly luxurious) and four days of trekking, including an early start the last day with a visit to the site itself.
Only 5-10% of visitors to Machu Picchu walk there, partly because numbers are strictly controlled and also due to altitude. There are many, many steps on the hike, but for the regular enthusiastic walker the trip is not particularly difficult, but altitude can be a challenge. The highest point is 4200 meters – roughly 14000 ft. The site itself is much lower – so expect a burst of energy.
Deciding if the Inca Trail is right for you:
- Make sure to acclimatize for several days in advance (our tour is designed with this in mind).
- Current research suggests medical treatments for altitude (including Diamox) are more treatments for symptoms rather than preventative. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of fluids. Coca tea and coca leafs are excellent (and delicious).
- Understand you will be camping – all food is included and you will carry a pack (but a porter may be hired).
- Age is NOT a major issue – altitude takes time, but cannot be powered through!
- Four days is a lot, but there is so much to see along the way!
- There is no ‘turning back’… of course one can leave the trail for medical reasons, but the route is rather remote.
- The trail is excellent and was, of course, built by the Incas, but can be fairly un-even.
- It is a wonderful experience and worth the effort – but evaluate your fitness level!
The group size is capped, but there are still some spaces. If you are interested in the full tour – with or without the Inca Trail (but always including Machu Picchu), please email us at Twomey Travel or contact Spices Tours directly!