We chose to use Machu Picchu Viajes Peru for our 4 day 3 night inca trek to Machu Picchu. It was a reasonable price of $590 USD per person, which was a lot cheaper than most of the other agencies we found. It is important to note that the company contracts the guide, porters and chefs, and some companies do not treat their contractors well, but we were assured this company does.Our guide, Lucio, was great. He was knowledgeable, funny and gave us a lot of breaks while visiting the ruins.
Our trek started early, being picked up from our accommodation at 6am. We had a small group of Max and I and another couple (Nadine and Geoff) which was perfect. We drove from Cusco to Ollantaytambo for a short break then onto KM82 in Piscacucho. We started walking roughly around 10.30am and had lunch at 12.30pm. We then walked to our first campsite in Wayllabamba. This site was in a small village so we camped in a back yard.
Our meals consisted of a soup, a main and tea. Every day and every meal was a different soup and main which was impressive, but not always good for my sensitive stomach. The portions were huge so there was no need for snacks until the last day.
The second day started at 5.30am which coca tea, and we started walking at 6.45am. Breakfast was an omelette with toast. This was by far the hardest day as we started at 3,000m and the highest point was 4,200m. The last 150m was the worst part of the climb but we made it and we’re so proud of ourselves. The altitude definitely altered our ability to breathe and get to the top, meaning we took a lot of breaks! We descended to our second campsite Pacaymayo which was 3,600m. We had lunch around 1.30pm and wondered why we stopped so early, but when the rain and hail began, we were so thankful to be in our tents having a nap! At 5pm we had popcorn and tea which was a wonderful surprise but we were pretty full after for dinner at 6.30pm.
The third day started at 5.30am again with coca tea and we began walking at 6.30am. Breakfast was a pancake with toast. The original plan was to walk to Phuyupatamarca to camp, but instead we walked further to Wiñayhuayna, so we didn’t have to walk down a steep slope in the dark. We finally got to camp at 5pm so it was the longest day by far. The walk was a bit easier but was a bit undulating going up and down valleys. I was completely shattered/over it (see photo below) and opted to have a nap instead of going to another ruin and for popcorn and tea leaving all the food to Max and Geoff. At the last dinner, we tipped the porters and chefs. It is recommended that between the group each porter gets $100 soles and the chef a bit more ($140 soles). We had 3 porters and 1 chef due to the size of our group.
Our final day was tough. We were woken up at 3am as the porters had to leave early for a train and pack up the tents. We had an average breakfast of bread and tea and then waited until 5.30am to start walking as the checkpoint opened at 5.30am. We walked to the Sun Gate, where we got our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. We got to Machu Picchu at 8am where we took lots of photos and then had to go through another checkpoint before starting our tour of Machu Picchu. We finished up at 11.30am and bused into Machu Picchu town to have lunch and meet up with our guide one last time. We went to Chaski where Max tried alpaca and Geoff tried guinea pig. Nadine and I opted for more safe options of spaghetti bolognese and lasagna. Our train to Ollantaytambo left at 4.12pm and we finally got back to Cusco at 8.45pm. An extremely long day, but overall worth every moment of blood, sweat and tears.