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18 May 2016
O.K. SAS was fabulous. Minor disappointment? I was led to believe that the group would be small...from 8 to 16 trekkers maximum. There were 20 trekkers in our group. The dining tent was very crowded as a result and my sleeping tent ended up on nasty slopes two nights....making it difficult to sleep while constantly sliding down hill. I felt that the larger group caused less space in the campgrounds and less comfortable locations. I would also note that the porters, who set up the tents, seemed to have the most level and comfortable tent sites. Cannot say that I blame them. But we were paying the bills right? This needs to be addressed.
I want to emphasis that I am an avid backpacker and camper. I am not afraid to rough it or get dirty. So I don't expect to be pampered and understand that sleeping on the ground cannot always be perfectly comfortable. But wanted to point out the shortcomings anyhow.
Beyond that the trek was near perfect. Our main guide Freddy was incredible. Funny , entertaining and rugged. All that one could expect. We had a great group of Americans, Brits, Canadians and Australians. Ages ranged from early 20s to me who celebrated his 69th birthday in the Andes. I was the oldest by 7 years and about 30 years older than the average.
The trek was brutal. Climbing the steps to DEAD WOMAN'S PASS at 13,820 ft. elevation is a major challenge. I spent 2 month adding to my normal good conditioning and needed every bit of the endurance. Myself, my 29 year old son, 35 year old son-in-law and very tough 32 year old Canadian finished at the front of the pack every day....usually from 30 min. to one hour ahead of the group as a whole.
It was he most difficult physical thing that I have ever done. My worse day in Army basic training did not compare. Of course I was a 22 year old way back in 1969 Get in the best shape you possible can before doing this trek. If so...you will enjoy it despite the challenge.
As everyone says the food during the hike was incredible. Five star quality and multi-course meals three times each day. I ate lightly as always when trekking. But each meal was a feast if one chose to indulge.
Prior to the trek we acclimated for 3 days in Cusco at an elevation of 11,000 + ft. I think that is absolutely necessary unless one lives at a high altitude normally. We hiked around the city and visited many sites....all of which prepared us for the elevations to come. Cusco is a beautiful city,with many glorious sites and warm friendly people.
Let me say something about the Hotel Marquese where we stayed in Cusco. We thought it was just marvelous. 400 years old with old world charm. Comfortable beds, pretty courtyard, abundant buffet breakfast each day and friendly, helpful, staff. It is located right next to SAS travel making connections very easy. If ever I travel to Cusco again....I will absolutely say at the Hotel Marquese.
Lastly I must add a word about Aquas Caliente. We stayed there at the Hostel VIAJEROS after our trek on the last day. I absolutely loved the small, relaxed environment of the village. No roads, no cars, just folks on the streets. We had a wonderful dinner there at a very nice resturant. Excellent meal. $15.00 U.S including drinks. The HOSTEL VIAJEROS was part of our package and only added $20.00 to the price. It is where the tour ends, our personal belongings were returned and we had an inclusive buffet lunch. I had read terrible reviews about that hostel and the food. Well things must have changed for it could not have been nicer. Food was good, the staff friendly and helpful the rooms comfortable. Yes it was a bit noisy...but after trekking for 4 days and sleeping in tents....we soon fell into a deep sleep of over 9 hours. What a bargain for only $20.00 including lunch breakfast the next morning.
So...it was a great time. The hardest thing that I have ever done. A memory maker for myself and 4 sons. If every I return....SAS Travel will be my number one choice. I wouldn't change a thing....save a few less trekkers and a more level camping site. Very minor complaint for sure!
Go for it!
26 November 2015
Amazing tour with very professional persons, awesome guide Freddy and top chef cooker; the porters are extraordinary guys.
13 October 2015
We had the best time with SAS Peru. Our guides Danny (Ramirez) and Ron were brilliant. Both are exceedingly helpful and always filled our days with knowledge and anecdotes. The company is very professional and the 4 day hike takes your through a stunning variety of terrains with a good level of exercise but enough breaks for the average person suffering from the altitude. As mentioned by others, the food is incredible. Seeing Machu Picchu on the 5th day was just the icing on the cake of a fantastic trip. Danny provided an in-depth tour of the site and was able to answer all questions. Unforgettable experience! Thanks so much Danny and Ron!
08 August 2015
My two daughters and I recently hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu with SAS. It was an awesome experience from beginning to end. Registration was easy & pre-trek information was helpful. Our guides, Aldo1 & Aldo2, were friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. The equipment was of good quality and clean. The food was unbelievable! We are vegetarians and our cooks went above and beyond providing us with delicious and varied dishes through out the trek. SAS did a superior job of providing us with a flawless experience. Thank you to our guides (especially Aldo 2 who stayed with and supported me as I struggled with altitude), our chaskis (porters), our cooks and everyone at SAS.
08 August 2015
I sent comments earlier on my experience with SAS on this tour and would like to add that our experience at the Margueses Hotel was also excellent! The service was friendly, room was comfortable and clean, breakfast tasty and we really appreciated being able to store our extra luggage there while hiking.
02 July 2015
Before we even arrived in Cusco, Robyn was a HUGE help in taking care of a number of details that were particular to our little group.
Then, when one member of our party didn't make it to Cusco on time for our tours, everyone in the office went out of their way to help us figure out what we could do with the time we had available.
On our last day, we must have been the only three with SAS that wanted a city tour. It seems like several agencies went together to pool their customers for a tour that was lead by a non-SAS guide. What a difference in quality between the guy from the other agency and Martin Martinez who guided our Sacred Valley tour. No comparison! I highly recommend SAS to anyone interested and will go with them again if the opportunity arises.
19 June 2015
SAS Travel “Passion for Peru” May 12, 2015
The Inca Trail was made even better by this amazing local company. I travelled with a group of mainly trekking novices walking for Macmillan Cancer Support, and SAS Travel was the provider of local support.
We were brilliantly looked after by the SAS team, who worked alongside the UK based company Discover Adventure, to deliver porters, cooks and guides for the group.
As well as our equipment being carried for us between camps, they prepared the campsites for us. They also cooked us a hot breakfast, and two course lunch and dinner every day. The 5 guides, including Eddy, Aldo and Ronny, with the group had a high level of historical information and local knowledge of plants and wildlife, and delivered it with real passion.
We didn't book direct, as it was included in the support package provided through Macmillan and Discover Adventure, but I would have no hesitation in recommending this excellent local company.
Derby, United Kingdom
5 of 5 starsReviewed Visited May 2015
07 June 2015
we just wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic trip along the Inca trail with the best tour guides ever! It's been 3 weeks ago now but we still talk about it and impress our friends with our story.
Rojo (Rogelio Gibaja Tapia), Hernie (Hernan QC) and Cesar were amazing!!! Especially Rojo who was our head leader loved to share proudly with us all his knowledge and wisdom about the Inca culture and history, as well as the nature along and around the trail. You could feel his love for the place where he grew up, still lives, works and cares for.
All three guides made us feel being part of their family and never felt bothered by any questions or concerns.
Hernie was the one who most of the time stayed patiently back with the last and very slow hikers. I know they deeply appreciated him for that.
Cesar was the "fun part" on the trip. Our group - a lot of strangers put together for 4 days - shared some crazy fun and laughters together with our guides.
Ricardo was our cook and I found it incredible what he and his helpers have put on the table for us (after carring it all around the trail). Huge Thank you to Ricardo on his fantastic cooking skills! I would have never expected that (even though we all learned that Peru in general has a great kitchen!) I found it so welcomed to see every night another way of napkin folds, it made me feel as we were eating in style!
The porters amazed me the whole way and I cannot get over the hard work they do just so we can have an unforgettable adventure. They all deserved our deepest respect!
We definitely will recommend your company to anyone who wants to do the trip. It was tough at times but all worth the sweat! Thank You!
01 June 2015
No podria dejar de no escribir sobre esta estupenda experiencia que he vivido en Peru bajo la organizacion de SAS hace un mes.
Mil gracias, antes de todo a nuestro guia Dani por su incansable apoyo. Siempre preocupado con nuestros estados, cansancios, necesidades... y siempre prevendo todo para que nuestro trek se desarollase de forma mas tranquila y para que disfrutasemos al maximo.
Muchas gracias igualmente, a los otros miembros: el super chef Casillas, su asistente Nicasio y el nuestro portador.
La comida preparada era divina...y sus sonrisas y disponibilidad me han tocado.
En general, todo muy bien organizado....los conocimientos de Dani sobre la cultura inca y peruana en general nos han largamente ayudado para sumergir en la cultura del Peru.
Gracias por todo!
31 May 2015
Our trip was great! In particular, Henry was a fantastic guide -- he was knowledgeable, warm, friendly, and treated us like family. Also, Casillas was a great chef -- he made us really delicious and healthful meals. Felt like fine dining our whole trek.
Overall, a great trip!
08 April 2015
As a general comment, SAS was an excellent company. Great people, great equipment, and great food. I never saw another group that had something or did something that we didn’t. I never found myself saying, “I wish our group did that.” SAS Travel is a great value when you do the math (Machu Picchu ticket, train ticket, bus tickets, meals, etc.). It really becomes an inexpensive excursion.
Eddy Wilfredo was our lead guide for the 4D/3N Inca Trail trek. I can honestly say that I could not have asked for a finer guide. Eddy is local to the Sacred Valley and clearly loves the Inca culture and history. He is extremely knowledgeable and a great communicator (even in English). Eddy did a great job explaining the big picture of the Inca culture and how the trail, sites, and cultural beliefs all tied together. On the trail, Eddy was always a positive, motivating force. He was calm and did not ever rush the hikers. Rather, he encouraged everyone to hike at their own pace, and he provided many opportunities for the group to gather back together.
In our group, we had one hiker who fell quite ill to altitude sickness. Eddy remained calm and went to Herculean efforts to help this hiker along the trail (the hiker ultimately finished the trek and made it to Machu Picchu). That would not have been the case without Eddy’s compassion and leadership. A truly superior guide!
Here are a few things I wish I had known (mid-March trek):
• I found it warm during the hike (mid-March trek). I always hiked in shorts and a t-shirt. I found that even in light or moderate rain, I tended to lean forward. My front stayed dry; my back was covered by my pack (pack cover is a must); and a wide-brimmed “boonie” hat kept the water out of my face. My arms would get wet, but that was rather refreshing.
• Nothing will dry. It rained every night, but generally cleared during the day. Being wet during the hike was no big deal. Just have dry clothes to change into.
• Camp shoes are nice. I always just used flip flops, but my son uses Teva sandals. I liked the sandals better. They allowed you to wear socks. It got a little cool in the evening. I wanted to take a break from my hiking boots, but my feet got cold during dinner.
• The tents were very waterproof. They did great. It rained every night (typically cleared during the day).
• Don’t worry about the pace. The guides were very patient. There are plenty of opportunities to catch up with the group. They encourage you to walk at your own pace. Guides will assist weaker hikers.
• The Inca Trail 4D/3N is no joke. Be in shape, have the proper gear, and take your altitude meds properly. You will enjoy the experience much more.
• When you get to Cusco, stop by the SAS Travel office (even before the 7 pm departure brief) to make sure that your name and passport number are correct on all of the paperwork.
• A Camelbak was great on the trail. It was also nice to have a bottle available for meals. They do a lot of tea at meals, but not a lot of water on the table.
• If you are a really fast hiker, bring a book. There will be time to kill. Don’t worry, it’s all good. My son’s (fast hiker) favorite “time” was the hour that he spent at Intipata sitting in the sun on the beautiful terraces. It was quiet and isolated.
• You won’t need Steri-pens, iodine tablets, or filters. Their boiled water is sufficient, safe, and provides the requisite volume.
26 December 2014
The Trek director Ilbert was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. So were Paulo and Marcial. All of the staff were competent and friendly. The trail cook prepared excellent meals, and the porters and others were terrific. I could not have asked for a better support team.
Hiking the Inca trail was a bit of a challenge for me. But with this support team it was amazingly safe and an excellent experience.
The Marquesas was a comfortable place to stay. It was clean and quiet and conveniently located in Cusco.
The kitchen staff prepared wonderful meals.
I highly recommend this to anyone.
18 December 2014
Hi Robyn and SAS Travel,
We returned from our trip to Peru 2 weeks ago. I just wanted to thank you and SAS for a fantastic time! Everything was perfect, We were always met at the airport, bus and train stations on time, the food on our tours was great and the Hotel Marqueses was beautiful! All of our guides along the way were knowlegable, friendly and accomodating to every ones needs. The staff at the Marqueses were friendly and helpful and I must give a special thank you to Liz in the breakfast area. Not only were the breakfasts at the hotel fantastic, Liz met us every day with a big smile and lots of information on the area and sights to see. She is a great asset to the Marqueses!
I highly recommend SAS Travel. Thanks again Robyn.
John and Ruth Swan
08 December 2014
Back in October this year we had a fantastic time walking the Inka Trail to Muchupicchu with SAS Travel, the food was 5 star, and our guide Fredd second to none. SAS helped make a holiday of a life time, it not only met our expectations but exceeded them. We also took up your recommendation and did the 2 day tour of Lake Titicaca and this just built on the experience. When setting out on the Lake Titicaca tour the three of us never though we would be dancing in national costume at 3800 meters, so a very big thank you to you and your team who helped make our holiday so unforgettable. Valerie Cook
08 December 2014
My husband and I just returned from the Inca Trail trek. It was one of the best experiences we have ever had. My husband has been on several other treks with different companies in different countries and said that SAS Travel was far superior. Our guide Alvaro was incredible -he was funny, warm, helpful, caring, and genuinely wanted everyone to have a great time. He was also extremely knowledgeable and taught us many things we will never forget. Anyone that treks with Alvaro is very lucky! We also had amazing food cooked by the incomparable Humbertto, it was a gourmet feast at every meal! Hernan was another fabulous guide that ensured we were all safe and comfortable as we trekked. And the porters did everything in their power to make this a memorable trip which it absolutely was. I highly recommend SAS Travel and hope that others are able to experience the Inca Trail trek with this wonderful group of individuals.
03 November 2014
Completed the 4 day 3 night Inka Trail. Amazing group, our guides Eder (very funny) and Havier were amazing hosts, they not only accommodated us in every way but also looked after us and kept us entertained. Eds knowledge was very useful. Our fantastic Chaskis (porters) were beautiful, very hardworking, humble men, always smiling. Our chef and sous chef prepared the most delicious and substantial meals, over feeding us. Definitely not what we expected. Would highly recommend. Thank you for the experience.
16 September 2014
mike was an excellent tour guide! thanks mike for looking after darragh!!!
16 September 2014
Thank for looking after me on the trek mike!!! great job.
10 September 2014
Edder and Hernan were phenomenal guides, who had so much patience and humour to get us through the trek!!! We saw so many amazing things, llamas, snow capped mountains, and even a shooting star before we even got to Machu Pichu. I can not recommend SAS travel enough, you guys are legendary. Thank you sooooooo much for everything!
24 August 2014
We had the experience of a lifetime! The Inca trail was magical and the service was outstanding on our trek August 5-8, 2014! Our guide, Felipe Salon, was knowledgeable, friendly, fun and supportive. He was the perfect guide and can't thank him enough!
The food the chef, Ricardo, cooked was fabulous! Wonderful hot meals 3 times a day exceeded our expectations. Our waiter and porter, Jose, was the sweetest and nicest man always making sure we were happy. All the porters were amazing! I can't believe the strength and dedication these men have and made it all possible for us to do this trek by carrying all our equipment and food! It was amazing watching them run up and down the mountain side with all that weight. Supermen!!!
We had a trip of a lifetime and SAS made it all possible! Thank you!