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Minimalist option for the "short" Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu?

Minimalist option for the "short" Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu?

Old Aug 13th, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Minimalist option for the "short" Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu?

I've been hoping for several decades to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and it looks like a good possibility for May 2013. Unfortunately my spouse is not all that enthusiastic for a 3-day hike and cold-weather camping. That leaves the so-called 2-day trek from the km-104 railroad stop to Machu Picchu (actually just a day hike, with the night at an Aguas Calientes hotel and the second day touring the ruins) . We have an aversion to tour groups, so we were thinking of doing a private trip - just the two of us with a guide. We also don't really need a tour company to take care of the transportation and hotel for us. That leaves just the 1-day hike on the trail that requires the use of a tour company. We were thinking of spending the previous night in Ollantaytambo rather than Cusco, avoiding a portion of the long early-morning train ride to get to the trail head.

Does anyone have suggestions for an Inca Trail outfit that will do JUST the day hike from km-104, while we take responsibility for everything else?
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 12:41 AM
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If you have "an aversion to tour groups" then why not consider an alternative to the usual MP trek where you will encounter many. We trekked from Lares to Ollantaytambo and saw virtually no other groups over the 3 day/2 nights. A link to our blog with details and photos

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...4700/tpod.html

Within that entry you will find the contact info for our guide Miguel who may be able to help with a shorter trek.

Ollantaytambo is a great place to stay pre or post trek.
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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Thanks, Crellston. Part of the appeal of the 2-day Inca Trail hike is that it's not as strenuous as the 4-day trek or the various alternates, such as Lares. As for group tours, we're in our late-50s/early-60s, and I wouldn't want us to slow down a group of younger hikers (my wife isn't a strong hiker)... or find ourselves slowed by group members even slower than us. Encountering others now and then on the trail isn't a concern, but being a part of a group with up to 16 participants doesn't appeal to us.
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 05:57 AM
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I've hiked the 1 day Inca Trail several times with small groups and we absolutely love it! It's the best of both worlds. It gives you a taste of the Peruvian outdoors without the hardship associated with camping & 4-day hike.
You have to get a permit so it's best to do it by January 2013 if you plan to hike in May. We hardly saw any other people on the trail at all. There were times when the students I was traveling with went ahead of me and I thought I was alone!! It was glorious.
The operator should coordinate your logistics.
You board the early train in Ollantaytambo on the day you hike, so you will probably want to stay in Ollantaytambo.

Have fun!
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 07:05 AM
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I'm sure any of the operators authorized to do the trail could arrange this for you. You'll probably pay more than if you went with a group because essentially you're requesting a private tour with your own guide.
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 07:23 AM
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Jeff - Yes; that's exactly what I'm looking for. I was just looking for recommendations of companies (or even individual guides) that would do that service - a day hike of the short Inca Trail, starting from Ollantaytambo - competently and for a reasonable price.
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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SAS Travel specifically mentions on its site that it can do the two-day trek as a private tour for groups as small as two people. They must get enough requests for it.

www.sastravelperu.com
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Old Aug 14th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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The 2 days Inca trail is a great option to reach Machu Picchu.
It's important to tell you that to get into the Inca's path, you need to get an authorization and also some travel agencies are allowed to offer get it.
It's not possible to hike any of the treks without a guide and this guide needs to have a certification.
If you're planning to hike it on January, needs to get your authorization papers with at least 3 months of anticipation.
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Old Aug 31st, 2012, 03:56 PM
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You can only do hiking on the Inca Trail with a liscenced tour agency. Also there must be permits available in order to the Inca Trail so book at least 3 to 4 months in advance.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:28 AM
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Balto- I too am looking for the short version hike to Machu Picchu. We will be there in June. Have you picked a tour company and what are your plans?
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Hello Balto: We just booked our 2 day Inca Trail with Chaska Tours in Cusco for August 2013, shortened the 8 day by one to fit in with our itinerary. There is a lot of value with their package, including a fantastic looking 2 day visit in the Sacred Valley, and walking tour of Cusco. They look after everything from the minute we get off the plane, till we leave; transfers, train tickets, guide, wide variety of choice of hotels, and more. It seems we will hook up with other people at certain times, but not all the time--mostly "self-direct." We are the same age as you, but don't feel younger people who are more fit than us would be doing the short trail, based on our experience in the Grand Canyon recently, and on the ski hills. Everybody gets tired no matter how old we are.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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May 2013 is sold out at this point for all operators and all treks.

June is nearly gone.
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