Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - May 19 - May 25, 2018

Traveler: Jamie R. - Local specialist: Nicole and Bill Koch

We hiked the 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in mid-May, 2018. Our guide, Ruben, was really wonderful - very friendly, enthusiastic, and kind, good English, a font of information about local cultures and the natural world, and just great company. Nicole was patient, helpful, and responsive in the trip selection and preparation. The trek itself was really beautiful and rewarding - it turned out to be a great choice and we're really glad we did it. We LOVED the small-group format (max. 5 people) - and ended up being the only ones on the trip so Ruben was our private guide! We were very appreciate of having warm beds to sleep in (in modest lodging) because it got REALLY cold at night, below freezing at the highest elevation (bring many layers!!!). The food was quite yummy, sufficient, and we appreciated the local flavors. And in case you're wondering, the trip is a great value - you definitely get your money's worth!

A few caveats: we are in our 50's/60's and in good shape (we hike/work out regularly but are not "hard core fitness buffs". This hike was the hardest physical endeavor we've done - thank goodness we had beautiful, sunny, dry weather! We heard tales of misery about doing the hike in the rain (very muddy and slippery trails) and overcast skies - so I'd advise avoiding this trip during the rainy season November - April. There are a lot of loose rocks in many sections of the trail (though few steps, which we were thankful for) and several steep inclines/descents so hiking poles are a must! We had originally thought of also doing a bike trip, but are REALLY glad we decided not to, because we were worn out after the trek (diarrhea/sore bodies happen!) - we opted for cultural/historical tours through another great outfit, Unique Peru Tours. Oh, and make SURE you acclimate to the high altitude for at least 3 days before you attempt the hike, no matter how young and fit you are!

Thank you, Nicole and Ruben, for making this a wonderful, memorable trip!

Nicole and Bill Koch, local specialist, responded to this review:

Jamie thanks for the review! Your pictures are amazing and it looks like you had the trip of a lifetime! Please keep in touch and I will be sure to send you pictures of the kids I give the school supplies away to. Thank you for that thoughtful gift for the children of Peru!