Salkantay trekking companies?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Aug 17, 2013 1:15 PM Last Post By: un_australian
Jan 21, 2013 11:50 AM
Salkantay trekking companies?Hello fellow travelers!
I'm planning a trip to Machu Picchu in June, and I'm looking to do the Salkantay trek instead of the classic Inca trail (a friend took Salkantay and her photos COMPLETELY sold me). So my question is what are some trekking companies you would recommend that can do the Salkantay trek? Reviews are kind of all over the place, and I've seen a lot of positive reviews for BioAndean Expeditions on tripadvisor.com, but I almost feel like there's TOO many happy reviews to the point that it looks a little fishy. I'm also hoping to do a 4D/3N trek because I've got pesky vacation hour budgets to work with (grownup problems...sigh), so companies that can do the trip in 4D/3N would be wonderful too! Thanks in advance for your help! :)
Jan 21, 2013 1:27 PM
1The following link has a good description and map of your trek- http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/treks/salkantay.html
It also has a list of trek operators- you probably can't go wrong with any of the first six or seven.
For your piece of mind, get a copy of LP's Peru and see which operators are mentioned and what kind of reviews they get. I ended up choosing the first one on the list and was 100% satisfied with their service. (I did the classic Inca Trail trek.)
Maybe the next few months will allow you to scrape up a bit of extra cash so you can go for the full trek. It would be a shame to spend so much money to go so far and then have to try to squeeze it all into four days.
Good luck in your planning/
Jan 21, 2013 2:51 PM
Glad you're thinking of doing this trek - it's lovely, very impressive.
Re. which company to use, I would strongly recommend visiting a couple of companies in Cusco and asking some questions. This is only way to find out for yourself if you like the look of them. Having done the trek myself, I would say not to worry too much about the company - all the companies cook the same food (the cooks work together in the kitchen-tents) and use the same campsites. Ask to have a look at the camping equipment - this is one thing which can vary quite a lot depending on who you go with. In particular, I would insist on an inflatable mattress - I did and slept like a baby. Others found themselves on spongy rollmats and were up shivering all night. It gets cold at night up there.
The iPeru office in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco has lists of complaints against particular companies for you to look at if you like. Bear in mind that some people consider "not enough green vegetables" as a valid reason for lodging a formal complaint against a trekking company, so these complaints books (+libro de reclamos+ in Spanish) have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
For what it's worth I visited BioAndean and was impressed, but went with another company and paid quite a bit less. There is a lot of variation in the prices quoted, anywhere between $150 and $500, incredibly, and having looked around me on the trek I couldn't really see why there should be such a difference...
The first day of the trek from Mollepata is actually not that interesting - cutting the first day off is not such a big deal!
Best of luck and have fun!!!
Jan 22, 2013 7:47 AM
3Alain Machaca Cruz is an official registered guide that volunteers at the South American Explorers Club Cusco. He is AMAZING and gives a lot of time and importance to all of his groups. You may want to contact him! Just email or call the Clubhouse :)
Feb 3, 2013 9:31 AM
Feb 3, 2013 10:01 AM
5It had a most unpromising name! "Friends of the Nature"!!! They were cheap and since I'd found out that everyone pretty much shares the facilities it didn't matter. Our guide wasn't what I'd call brilliant, but then again I enjoy trekking quietly. I speak Spanish so had plenty of time to chat with the arrieros.
Their office is on the main plaza de armas, on the side opposite the steps.
Mar 12, 2013 6:25 PM
6We recently completed a 5 day hike on the Salkantay Trek with (www.salkantaytrekking.com) and I have to say that it was a great experience overall. It was nice that our tour guide (wilfredo) and his crew are actual locals which made it a very authentic experience. First of, I was highly impressed by the details provided in preparing us for the journey, everything was on time and well thought out. Secondly, I was amazed by the service provided by the chef along with the rest of the porters. They displayed incredible diligence assisting us with the transportation of our personal belongings and materials for the trek, while getting to the campsite before us to set up our tents and prepare our meals, they were hands down the unsung heroes of the trip! Meanwhile our tour guide Raul was very entertaining and knowledgeable throughout the journey.
Overall, the service provided by Salkantay Trekking Company made it a very luxurious journey to the point all that’s left to do is to enjoy every moment with your friends.
I would highly recommend this team they are just an amazing group of people.
Apr 22, 2013 7:26 PM
Jun 10, 2013 4:38 AM
We used Salkantaytrekking.com (full name: Salkantay Trekking and Expeditions Specialists )in May 2013. Our experience with the company was generally poor. I would not recommend this company to others who are interested in the Salkantay trail. (details below)
The main problem with salkantaytrekking.com is their guide who was completely uninterested in completing the trail and would take any chance to use motor vehicles instead of actually trekking. He also often walked either 5 minutes ahead or 5 minutes behind the pack, presumably to avoid having to explain anything. The worst part of it was that he often teamed up with the locals to rip us off for very minor things. Furthermore, due to his mismanagement of our Machu Pichu entrance schedules, some of the people in our group ended up not being able to enter the facility on the planned day and had to prolong their stay for another day to visit Machu Pichu (this is not fun when you have trekked for a few days and the people affected were terribly dejected). This mess that he created also resulted in him giving us a very incomplete tour of the Machu Pichu which barely covered the basics. In brief, the guide had no interest in the trail but a lot of interest in our money.
Tour guide aside, other things were good. The camping locations were appropriately chosen, the equipment was alright, the horsemen carried our stuff in the rain without getting them wet. The best part had to be the chief who managed to cook very delicious meals (three courses for lunch and dinner) every day in the middle of nowhere. This chief was very impressive, but I learned that he was just one of several chiefs and others are not as good.
I hope you find this information useful.
Aug 17, 2013 1:15 PM
9polyglot, I've just been perusing (ha, pun was not intended but there you go - it happens ;-)) your blog post. Sounds great.
I'm thinking of trying this route on a bike - I've ridden from Alaska on dirt roads/tracks. What is your opinion of the viability of this idea? What percentage of the time would I be pushing and what percentage riding? Any ideas?
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