Inca Trail Independent Guides
Replies: 8 - Last Post: May 8, 2012 1:18 AM Last Post By: IncaKola
May 4, 2012 3:35 AM
Inca Trail Independent GuidesHi fellow travelers,
some friends of mine and myself are going to spent a few weeks in Peru in August and September and we're planning to hike on the Inca Trail (I know, there are cheaper/better/nicer alternatives but at least one time, we want to do the classic tour). Most of the posts in this forum are about the different "big companies" offering treks but in the LP Peru Guidebook it is said that it's also possible to do the Trail with an independent licensed guide, which would be cheaper if you were in a group of six or more people. As some people I know will be in South America at the time, we were thinking of meeting in Cuzco and doing the trip together (we would be 6-7 people then).
So my questions are:
Has somebody eyperience with doing the Inca Trail with an Independent Guide? Where can we contact one of those?
Is it really cheaper than with one of the big companies?
Is it still possible to somehow book ahead (we don't want to try our luck in Peru and then realize that we can't do the trail at all)?
It would be great if anyone had some advice for us. Thanks a lot in advance!
May 4, 2012 8:11 AM
1It's definitely possible to hike to Machupicchu with an independant Guide; try and contact the www.cuscoguides.com and see what they have to offer you.
May 4, 2012 9:44 AM
2Since you already have a group of 6 or 7 then you can have a private guided tour for your group for the same price. Therefore, it will be in private service with guide and porters, cook, etc. If you are going to the Inca trail in September you better book as soon as possible as permits are selling out quickly.
May 4, 2012 9:54 AM
May 4, 2012 1:02 PM
4Just to clear up a few things:
Independent Guides can not take porters or cooks with them, it would just be a Guide to show you the trail and campsites allocated, explain the sites and Guide you throughout MP.
It is also required you book in advance. See first if sport are available for the dates you are thinking to start on.
May 4, 2012 2:10 PM
Well, first you need to know that if you want to do the Inca Trail you have to make reservations in advance. This is because only 500 persons can take the tour per day. People usually make reservations 4 months in advance. I understand that you want to save money but in this kind of trek you can´t risk you life hiring independent guides who maybe are not prepared for this kind of tour. My recommendation is that look for companies that can offer you a good service and training guides. There are a lot of travel agencies that can offer you good deals for the Inca Trail tour and also offer you a good service and guarantee.
Hope it can help you.
May 5, 2012 11:37 AM
@All: Thank you very much for your helpful answers. I already know about the advance booking thats why I'm trying to figure it out now ;-)
@Trips_advisor7: Thanks for the link, I'll definitely check it out! We don't need porters, we'll store our luggage in Cuzco and carry only what we need for the Trail.
@aliza27: We're not looking for an ultra-cheap bargain offer, we'd just enjoy doing the trip in a smaller group and as the Guidebook says, for a group of our size it's probably better to go independently. Of course we'll give it a lot of thought!
Thanks again and greetings from Germany!
May 7, 2012 9:54 PM
7I doubt you will find it cheaper with an independant guide as most groups are about 15 people. If your group of six joined a regular tour group, thats more to disperse the costs. A lot of costs go to permits, train tickets, and entery fees. There is really not a room to go down in price unless you have more people to spread out the costs. The porters are used for nearly everygroup. They carry tents, food, and group gear. The "personal" porter is the optional one for your own daily gear such as sleeping bag ect.. If you are planning to bring your own tents and food then that can be an eniterly differant game. Campsites are definatly set-up for the larger groups and the guides and porters help to ensure you get a good spot each night. There are definatly better spots than others!
The trekking itself you can walk more or less independalty with just your own group of 6, meeting with the whole group for food and sites. Its really not a big deal as every camp site has a LOT of people, so you will not be alone regardless of your personal group size.
There are only two days remaining in Sept with more than 6 spots in a day, so I would book now.
When the tour operator goes to purchase permits they must have all the passport numbers with them for the entier group. Your passport must match your ticket. This is actaully enforced, and for good reason as it makes it easier to make reservations. Make sure you have all your groups info. I would start conacting tomorrow.
May 8, 2012 1:18 AM
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