Family tour - some hiking, some not - need recommends
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Sep 16, 2013 8:16 AM Last Post By: BrokenMeadows
Sep 11, 2013 1:24 PM
Family tour - some hiking, some not - need recommendsMy parents, sister, husband and I plan to go to Peru in May to see Machu Picchu. My husband and I would like to hike the Incan trail to get there, while my parents and sister would like to take the train. Does anyone know of any tours (already existing or affordable and customizable) that would allow for some to take the train and some to hike. We would still like to tour together as much as possible.
Thanks for your help!
Sep 12, 2013 7:31 AM
1Splitting the group is very common as a lot of people who travel in a group to Peru have no interest in giving up 4 days to walk the Inca trail.
First get your arrangements set up to do the hike. Then talk about what the others want to do or see. Lot of groups split up in either Cusco or Ollantaytambo--there are loads of things for them to do and see while you are doing your hike.
They really don't need a guide but there are plenty available to take your parents and sister around the Sacred Valley while you are walking. Any hotel/hostel can arrange for their tickets for the train to MP. Not sure if you can get the tickets yourself right now as I could not get them last fall because of Credit Card problems with rail companies. They could easily meet you at MP and you could then either stay in AC; Ollan; Cusco. Towns are only a few hours away from MP.
The only problem I see is that you are probably going to want to see the same things they did after you finish your hike. Maybe they should go to Puerto Maldanado while you do the hike? Only $28 for daylight trip over the Andes by bus . Hang around there for a day or two then bus back to Cusco and take train to MP to meet you? That way you could still all do the Sacred Valley together.
Sep 12, 2013 5:14 PM
2You don't really nee to arrange a tour in advance for parents and sisters.
If you want to do the Inca Trail, you need to book that in advance because daily permit is limited. If you trek other trails, you will get better rate once you're in Cuzco and work your bargaining skills.
Once a trek is picked, ask for time when you will arrive in MP. If Inca Trail, your family will likely meet you some where up inside Machu Picchu (say the Sun Gate). They can join your group in the tour of the site, or you can split off from your trek team and hire a guide at the entrance gate for your family. Just need to know approx time to meet up at the Sun Gate. If your family can't hike up there, pick another spot closer to ruin city to meet up.
If you do other trails, you will likely spend a night in Aguas Calientes. Buy a train ticket for your family to arrive on the same day as your trek.
For the rest of the time, get them to do some research in advance to figure what they want to see. Once in Cuzco, they can join local day tour for those sites or do on their own, or hire a personal guide. This will give them more freedom while probably not costing much more than having a guide with them to the end of MP trip.
At most major sites, including train ticket booths, there will be someone there who can speak some English. Peru is poor and different, but it is not Mars and most people are very friendly (due beware of friendly crooks and pickpocketers).
Sep 16, 2013 8:16 AM
3It will be very easy for you to take separate tours. You'll need to book the Inca Trail a few months in advance, and it's smart to book the train in advance too. A tour company will be happy to do both for you, but you can easily book the train and MP tickets yourself without paying an extra fee. This website has detailed information about getting to Machu Picchu by train.
Of course, you will have to separate your group for the days you are on the Inca Trail, but you can all meet up in Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu together.
It's highly recommended you contact a recommended Inca Trail tour company. Only Peruvian companies are able to provide tours of the Inca Trail, so booking with an international company means you're only paying extra fees. They will act as a middle man, overcharge you, and then sell your tour to a Peruvian company. Therefore, you can save money by booking directly with the Peruvian company. The companies listed on that website are known for responsible tourism, fair prices, and good, bilingual guides. You can also talk with the hotel you will be staying at, as many are more than happy to help with your arrangements.
Good luck, and have fun! Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
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