Machu Picchu - Mountain Travel Sobek?

Old Nov 7th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Machu Picchu - Mountain Travel Sobek?

I'm thinking of joining a friend on this guided tour. Anyone heard of this company? Good or bad experiences?

The general itinerary is below. Thanks in advance for any input.

Day 1 - Meet in Lima, fly to Cuzco. Afternoon walking tour of the town. Overnight at Hotel Monasterio.

Day 2 - Visit Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, and Tambo Machay en route to the Urubamba Valley. Afternoon at the hilltop ruins of Pisac, with a hike to the valley floor.

Day 3 - Visit Chinchero, the earthworks at Moray, and hike to the salt pools below Maras.

Day 4 - By train to Km 104; hike to Machu Picchu, passing the ruins of Chachabamba and Winaywayna. Orientation walking tour of Machu Picchu. Overnight at Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

Day 5 - Explore Machu Picchu.

Day 6 - Morning free; late afternoon train to Cuzco.

Day 7 - Free day in Cuzco.

Day 8 - Fly to Lima. Afternoon tour, including the Gold Museum. Depart from Lima.
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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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Hi Jolie:
I visited back in 2001. I haven't heard of this particular company, as there are many, many companies that run treks to Machu Picchu. Another option is to go to Cuzco yourself and to explore and price out the various tours from guides. Most options include a 4 day backpacking trip, 2 day backpacking trip, or day trip. The options vary in the amount of "help" offered. Some trips provide porters that set up tents and cook for you. Be sure to choose a trip that complements your fitness level, as the 4-day hike is strenuous, especially due to the altitude.

I hope this helps!
Alba
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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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Alba4 - thank you for the good ideas. I do want to do a little more research on the different kinds of tours are available. My friend is already on the "Mountain Travel" tour so I would like to have something that over-laps with her tour, ideally. But I am researching the other options you suggeted. Thanks again.
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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By reputation, Mountain Travel Sobek is one of the oldest and most respected adventure travel companies around. I've been to their offices in Emeryville, Ca for a number of presentations and their trips look great. I don't think you have to worry about them with regards to reliability.

However, they are a US-based company and a high-end one at that, which means you're paying a premium for their service.

So, while they'll put together a first class trip, you'll be paying first class prices. Their itinerary land costs are about $3500, which is way more than you would spend if traveling independently. Granted, you're staying at the best accommodations Cuzco, LIma, and Machu Picchu have to offer and you're traveling on the luxury train; but, if that sort of thing isn't important to you, then you can visit the same places for much, much less. In fairness, MTS will also have the very best guides to show you around and you probably won't have to worry about a thing the entire trip. It's really about what you're comfortable with.

Just as a comparison, I was in Peru last July and did a fully supported 4-day Inca Trail trek, spent a few nights in Cuzco, a night in Aguas Caliente, then did a fully-supported Santa Cruz trek in the Cordillera Blanca, and had a couple of nights in Huaraz. This was a two-week trip, and the whole thing, including international airfare from SFO, was less than $3000. Mind you, I had to do all the arrangements myself, and there was nobody to look out for me when a number of things went wrong, but I was comfortable with that.
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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Actually, I just looked at their itinerary a bit more, and it's not that bad. It looks like most of the costs come from staying at the Hotel Monasterio for 5 nights. The Monasterio is a very beautiful hotel and is usually at the top of those "best of" lists for South America. It should be at $500 a night for a room. The Hotel Pueblo is around $200 a night. It looks like lodgings account for about half the costs of the trip.

So, given the luxury accomodations, you're probably paying a premium of about $500-800 over doing a similar trip with the same accommodations arranged independently.

You could easily put together a trip on your own that overlaps your friend's itinerary as much as you like for much less. Instead of paying $500 a night, you can get a nice hotel for $50 a night. Eating out is very cheap, and arranging tours is easily done through your hotel or any other agency.

If you are looking to hike the Inca Trail, then make sure you make those arrangements far in advance - at least 3 months.

It looks like the MTS itinerary has some free days built in where you could hang out with your friend.

A tremendous resource I used for planning my trip was the Andean Travel Web:

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/

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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 07:57 PM
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Thank you for the helpful advice. you've provided some great info for me to check out - exactly what I needed.
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