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We completed the Inca Trail with SAS in July 2007. It was the highlight of our month-long trip around Peru. Thank you so much for making the hike so enjoyable, it was an unforgettable experience. We could not have done it without the porters - your hard work was very much appreciated - and thanks to the expert guides, Javier and Rodney: we\'re family!read more
This was sent to us by a super family and thought if you wanted some good info on the real details of the Lares trek this is well worth the read.
We took the Lares Trek which is an alternative trek to the classic Inca Trail trek but ends up at the same place – the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu.
Our trek started with a bus ride from Cusco to Lares via a number of smallish towns on the river. From Lares we unloaded the bus, put on our packs and started our hike. The first day’s hike took us a bit up and down but mostly uphill and to our first campsite at Huacahuasi village. Along the way we passed thru canyons, farmland, remote villages and saw many ancient ruins.
Day 2 of the trek started with a visit to a local village and to meet with a typical family. The people of this village live largely without infrastructure that we take for granted. They have some electricity but no running water, no sewerage, no roads, no drainage, no telephone, no internet but they do have a mobile phone tower! And for heating and cooking they burn alpaca and llama poo in little stove heaters in their houses. The adults and children do not wear proper shoes. All they have are sandals made from re-cycled car tyres. And they wear these sandals no matter what the weather is. They also mostly wear typical Andean clothes – knitted ponchos, pants and hats with the occasional pair of store-bought tracksuit pants. And in their houses the Andean people keep their guinea pigs. Sometimes up to 20 of them. They are not in a cage or anything, they just run amok and try and hide under the beds or in holes in the walls behind the fireplace. When the time is right – usually a special occasion – the family will select one or two of them and well, dinner is served. After the family we visited the local school and donated some pencils and books that we brought with us. The schools have such little access to resources that they almost come to rely on the passing tourist trade to bring with them necessary supplies.
We then commenced our hike to Ipsaychocho Pass. This was a hard hike. All uphill to 4,400m. At this altitude, Kiel and I got sick too. Fortunately for us after reaching the pass it was downhill from there to our next camp site at Patacancha Village. It is amazing how much better you feel when you descend, even 500m lower is enough to make you feel 100% again.
Day 3 was a terrific 16km, 1,000m downhill hike to the ancient town of Ollantaytambo again passing thru canyons, farmland, small villages and ancient ruins. Joanne and Zali were feeling better enough by now and caught a bus to Ollantaytambo and met us at the town square for lunch. From there we all caught the back-packers train to Aguas Caliente, the tiny tourist town at the base of Machu Picchu where we stayed the night in a hotel. It was nice to have a proper mattress and toilet again.
Day 4 was an early start for the final leg of the trek – the near vertical climb up the final 400m to Machu Picchu. Once at Machu Picchu we spent the rest of the day with our guide exploring the ruins of this ancient lost city. This was truly an amazing place. The engineering involved to build a city out of giant stone blocks on top of a mountain, having regard to the orbit of the earth around the sun and the phases of the moon etc was just mind-blowing. It is truly a wonder of the world.
THANK YOU! SAS provided us with a fantastic experience in Cusco. After we left Cusco we dealt with other agencies who weren\'t as honest, punctual, thorough, helpful or worth our money. Also, SAS refunded our money for a tour that couldn\'t happen because of teacher strikes. In the US they NEVER would have given us a full refund. We have already recommended SAS to fellow travelers we met along the way and future travelers to Peru. Thank you for giving us a wonderful experience in your beautiful country. We\'ll be back to do the rest of the tours!read more
Dear SAS Travel,
I just wanted to let you know how strongly I felt about my 4 day Macchu
Picchu trek! (3rd June 2007) It truly was the adventure of a lifetime for
me. It would not have been so without the expert guidance from your
amazing guides. They were tireless, encouraging and their knowledge was
endless. Their enthusiasm was uplifting!
Whilst I was there it was my birthday, you can imagine my surprise on
receiving a birthday cake that morning.
I really feel that the company went the extra mile for each individual
on the trek and for that I\'d like to THANK YOU!
A huge special THANKS please needs to be passed on to Saul and Efra , for
reasons beyond my control I didn\'t get to say it myself.
Again THANK YOU
My husband and I returned last week from a fantastic 2 week vacation in
Peru. When we first started planning this trip, 6 months ago, we found
many recommendations in travel books for SAS Tours Peru. We talked to a man by the name of \"Ruben\". He
immediately began to put our plans together for our trip. He always
replied to my emails, took care of reservations promptly and checked and
double checked to make sure everything was taken care of for us.
My husband went on the 4 day trek to Machu Picchu, we both did the 1/2
day city tour of Cuzco, 1 day tour to the Sacred Valley, the tour to the
Nazca lines, with airplane ride, and the boat trip to the Balestos
Islands. He set up a tour for me to join my husband at Machu Picchu,
with train tickets, accomodations in Aguas Calientes, meals, bus to Machu
Picchu and also picking me up and delivering me to different
transportation modes. Also Ruben helped set up our accomodations in Cuzco
for 7 nights.
As we were waiting at the airport in Lima to return home, we talked about
how every single detail of our trip had gone perfectly. There was not a
single thing that went wrong. We really appreciated how there was always
someone at the airport, or bus terminal or train station to pick us up and
always someone there to pick us up at our hotels to deliver us. They
were friendly, courteous, and prompt .
When we first arrived in Cuzco, we visited the SAS Travel office and
confirmed all of our plans and tours. Ruben was very helpful and his
personal interest in making our stay in Peru enjoyable and fun was very
evident. He kept telling us that we should have \"no worries, Senor Rich\".
He made sure that I was ok while in Cuzco by myself. We checked back with
him after Machu Picchu about our next plans and everything was in place.
Thank you SAS for a great vacation. We were impressed with everyone that
we came in contact with from SAS.
Thank you Ruben for taking care of our every need and desire to make this
a trip of a life time.
Peru is a country full of wonderful sights and wonderful people.
We will not hesitate to recommend your company to others.
Donna and Rich Seifert
Portland, Oregon USA
Cracking Trip by SAS. Thanks to our guides Dicbar, Eric/Eddie and all the porters!
Anyone going to Peru should use SAS, no questions asked!
what an excellant team never thought it would be so great who could forget the early morning coca tea at 0430 in the morning the trek would nothave been the same without you,the inca trail was just out of this world,
many thanks for looking after us
Truly an adventure of a lifetime! Thank you so much to our fearless guides, Saul, Efra and Abraham who were the icing on my birthday cake! I will never be the same.
Keep up the enless suply of enthusiasm and encouragment.
We did the four day trek as part of our honeymoon and it was one of the most fabulous experiences of our lives. We arrived at Machu Picchu feeling like we had \'earned\' the right to be there, after following in the footsteps of the Incas. Our guide, Hilbert was wonderful, very knowledgeable and with an endless supply of terrible jokes! Fermin, the other guide, was also great, and the porters were, well, quite unbelievable really. They carried such heavy loads, making our lives a lot easier, and still managed a smile for us all when we arrived into camp every evening. The chefs somehow managed to present the best trail food we had ever eaten with minimal cooking equipment.
And last but not least, our fellow group members, if you read this, you were a great bunch, glad to share the experience with you all!
We would definitely recommend SAS Travel.
My wife and i completed the Inca Trail on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support and can not thank all of the staff at SAS travel enough. You made the trip so memorable for us both. Special thanks to Alex & Abraham who helped Sue down the steep steps. Also special thanks to the Chaski\'s and Chef\'s (amazing to see in action).
Tony & Sue
I have just completed the Inca Trail on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support and I have to say the service SAS provided was phenomenal. You exceeded all expectations.
Special thanks go to the guides Saul, Raul, Alex, Silvario, Abraham, Ernesto, Efraim and Orlando, you made us feel part of the family (sorry about the spelling and if I missed anyone). You were all fabulous and had exceptional knowledge all of which made the journey highly memorable.
Thanks also go to the chaski (you should see these guys they are amazing), the chefs and everyone else who made the trip so special.
I will happily recommend you and hopefully will be able to book with you in the near future.
Many thanks again for making this trip unforgettable
I shall never forget the amazing experience we have just shared trekking the Inca Trail. Our guides Saul, Julio, Raul and Banderas could not have done a better job. The passion they share for their culture is incredible and contagious. I thank them for the extra help they gave me whilst I was so unwell, they were tireless and inspiring.
The porters were incredible. They work so hard for so very little.
I will recommend SAS Travel to anyone and hope to return to Peru again soon.
Words can\'t describe how amazing the Inka Trail hike is. I had an incredible time. The trip was extremely well planned. Our main guide, Evert, was one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met. There was not a flower he did not know or an anthropological, or archeological, question he could not answer. After the Inka Trail with him, one should earn three credits for college. Evert was assisted by the caring and helpful Cezar.
The food prepared by Julio, and his assistent, (also Julio) was truly gourmet, and this on a gas burner in the middle of nowhere. I have Celiac disease and NOT ONCE did he accidently feed me gluten. I was stunned at his ability to produce such great gluten free meals alongside the regular meals. All this while also producing lactose free meals for one of my fellow hikers.
I will be recommending SAS Peru to everyone. The big surprise - flush toilets - at every campsite. Well done to the Peruvian Parks, the trail is pristine, you can\'t believe it is so well used.
My only complaint was the rafting trip I took prior. It was billed at 3+ but was actually just a float down ripples. Nothing even a good 2. Very disappointing.
Thank you SAS I will be back, my best vacation EVER!
My wife and I took the two day hike along the Inca Trail in late March--early April. We were initially concerned when we couldn\'t get into part of a group due to high demand and had to book a \"private\" guide just for the two of us. We shouldn\'t have worried, Justin was terrific. A great guy, used to dealing with people from all over the world. Very personable, with a positive, can do attitude. He was extremely knowledgeable and as a Quechan native a direct descendant of those who lived in the Inca Empire, Justin really made the whole Inca experience come alive for us explaining the stone cutting techniques, history, culture, religion, food, astronomy, plants and animals of the Sacred Valley. You could tell he was proud to be a Quechan, but more importantly as we stood on Machu Picchu shortly after sunrise he made it easier for us to feel how the Incas who lived here felt. While the hike was challenging, it was much easier with his encouragement. We didn\'t have enough time to adjust to altitude and I had had altitude sickness the night before, my first in Cusco. Nonetheless, I carried my own 20lb pack for the entire two days and my wife managed just fine. We ended up climbing Wayna Picchu, which I would recommend to anyone who is physically fit. Outstanding views though I should note that the amount and steepness of the steps is tiring and can be intimidating. Take your time and enjoy it all. A great vacation, exactly what I needed to get away from Manhattan city life.read more
Two friends and I just returned from 9 days travelling in Peru and taking part in the Lares Valley trek and Tambo Jungle Lodge excursion. We could not be more pleased with the experience. As three guys fresh out of university, the tours were incredible, the guides (Henry for Lares and Carlos for jungle) were second to none and expressed a true passion for their jobs and homeland. It was truly a moving experience and I would recommend it to anyone.read more
Initially we wanted to do the Inca Trail but as it was fully booked for months in advance we decided on the Lares Valley Trek. This trek could not have been better. The SAS team we had led by Henry were unbelieveable. They could not have done anymore for us. From our first lunch prepared by Philio & Raul right up until we got back to Cusco we were looked after like royalty. We would like to give a special thanks to Henry our guide, his passion and knowledge about everything Peruvian was amazing. We have done many tours in the past but never have we seen such dedication by any guide. We would have no hesitation in recommending SAS to anyone, they were highly recommended to us by other travellers we met and now we know why. Thanks again Henry & SAS, we hope to see you again in the future.read more
I took your tour over a year ago and am realizing I may never have commented: you were fantastic! I loved Leo and our other tour guides, and the food and service were impeccable. I still refer people to you. Thank you!read more
Almost a year has passed since my visit to Peru. In Cusco, a quiet woman tied an Inca cross around my neck -- promising it would bring good luck as long as it remained attached to me. Eleven months later, I wake to find the thin twine still standing guard over my future...and the good luck has certainly followed.
Before the trek, I worried I would suffer in the high altitudes. Upon reaching Dead Woman\'s Pass, I kept proclaiming, \"I have never felt so alive!\" Our tour guides, Virgilio and Alex, were exceptional, as were the porters and chefs. I think about my fellow hikers all the time.
If you are contemplating a trip to the Andes...do it! SAS met every expectation and is worth every penny. Few adventures will change your life, so seize them when they cross your path.
I am forever grateful.
We just wanted to stop by and let you know how much we enjoyed the Machu Picchu tour with SAS.
Our guides were Carlos and Raul. We took part in the three day trek on March 10th and just can not express how happy we were with not only the amazing guides and their enthusiasm but with the hard working porters and great food.
We little Canadians just want to thank you for putting together such a well organised tour. An experience we will never forget.
Nell and Aimee