Peru & Ecuador

Old Apr 23rd, 2016, 01:49 PM
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Peru & Ecuador

Machu Picchu Physical activity ? Walking Sticks ? Also Galapogos Islands?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2016, 04:00 PM
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(I guess. Not really sure what you are asking)
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Old Apr 24th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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We are seniors over 65 and have some concerns about the level of physical
activity. Are there alternatives to climbing up Macchu Picchu. What are the
walking condtions on the Galapagos Islands ?
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Old Apr 24th, 2016, 02:59 PM
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I went to Peru about a year ago. I'm 65 this summer, and I was having a lot of problems with my knees when I went to Peru. We stayed in Ollantaytambo and took the train to MP for the day, and that was enough for me. I had no desire to do the 4 day trek! We hired a guide for a tour, and there were just the 2 of us, so we went at our own pace. We also saw other ruins and I have to say I was really impressed by the ruins in Ollantaytambo. We toured those on our own, and I obviously took my time. You can do as much or as little as you like.

If you click on my name, you'll find my trip report.

We didn't go to the Galapagos. I'd love to do that trip! Unfortunately it's not my budget right now.
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Old Apr 24th, 2016, 06:09 PM
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Machu Picchu is well worth the visit. If uncertain about fitness, skip the hike to Machu Picchu. The site itself has lots of steps, but if you take your time I don't see why you could not visit provided you are relatively mobile. Get to the site early and you can take your time exploring with lots of breaks.

Galapagos was definitely a highlight of the trip, and well worth the expense and time and effort taken to get there. Doing a boat cruise, not a lot of walking was done, snorkling twice a day (or resting on the beach if you don't enjoy swimming). We did two 'hikes', one on Bartolomé Island, which was up a hill. The walk was on board walks and plenty of stops on the way up and back. The other 'hike' was a 2-3km relatively flat walk on a sandy path. All other excursions we experienced were about 200-500m walk along a beach looking at animals, wildlife, geology, etc. The other consideration is getting in and out of pangas. The guides were very good at helping people in and out of the boat. We had an elderly man on our boat who had no problems getting in and out of the boat and did the walks slowly.

Click on my name for a review of our boat (we went 'tourist class', but it would give an indication of the experience you could have cruising the Galapagos).
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Old Apr 24th, 2016, 08:23 PM
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Let me explain the situation at Machu Picchu. Vast majority of visitors do not hike the Inca Trail to get there. Nor do they hike up from Aquas Caliente. Instead, there's a frequent shuttle bus that takes you to the main entrance.

The main entrance is basically the same level as the main sites of Machu Picchu. To visit the various parts, there will be some up and down stairs. Most are not very steep, and have railings. Plenty of older people do it. But there WILL be ups and downs. If even going up or down 20-30 fairly tall steps at a time is an issue for you, then you may need to reconsider.

From just inside the main entrance is a ramp that goes up to a higher platform for the "classic view" of Machu Picchu. No steps, but zig zag up for several hundred yards (distance, not elevations). And then one can continue up to the Sun Gate from there. Going up for that view is optional. If you feel not fit for it, then don't do it.

As for walking sticks, the tickets and signs say they are not allowed. But we see plenty of older visitors using them inside Machu Picchu. You don't want metal tips on your sticks to mark on the ancient stones.
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 12:11 AM
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For the Galapagos there is a lot of variation in itineraries. Some landing sites are harder than others, or more walking on top of lava rock, cobbles, and not JUST short distances on sand.

If you look at some websites of the big companies that go there, they will describe each landing and difficulty of the trail.

Balance and the ability to get in and out of the panga are most important.

Walking sticks are useful.
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