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Our fantastic Peru holiday – Inca Trail, Ausangate and more

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Inca Trail and more

Debby Waldron had a dream to trek the Inca Trail in Peru.

After persuading two friends – Jane and Rebecca – to come along, the trio set out with not only the Machu Picchu ruins in site, but higher passes.

Having just returned from her Andean Trails trip, Debby shares her Peru holiday experiences, and you can check more of her lovely photos on our Facebook page.

 

Arriero Ausangate Trek Peru

Ausangate Trek Peru

 

 

Debby writes:

THANKS TO EVERYONE AT ANDEAN TRAILS FOR A TRULY MEMORABLE HOLIDAY!

 

What was it that attracted you to Peru?

As a keen hiker I’ve always wanted to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I was aware that the relatively small number of permits to do this sell out quickly, so it was just a matter of deciding when to go really, and then a bit of gentle persuasion to get a couple of friends to join me…

 

What sort of trip were you looking for?

Two of us had walked to Everest Base Camp in 2011, which took 3 weeks, so when we realised that the Inca Trail is just 4 days long we decided that we needed more of a challenge! We wanted something quite tough and remote, and the Ausangate Trek seemed to tick those boxes.

We also wanted quite a lot of variety, rather than just a walking holiday, and the more I chatted to Kat at Andean Trails, the more I was able to tailor the trip to our precise requirements.

 

How was your holiday? (What did you think of Peru? Did everything go according to plan? What were the highlights?)

Our holiday was, in a word, fantastic! (In fact on the last night, we tried to make a list of our top 10 highlights, and were still going at 30!)

Peru is a stunningly beautiful place, and the people we met were all incredibly friendly, helpful, and passionate about their country.

The weather varied quite widely from scorching sunshine (in the Sacred Valley) to hailstones and dramatic thunderstorms (on the Ausangate trek).So did the scenery – from the scorched flatness of the Alti-plano to the frozen wastes and glaciers of the high mountain country, the cloud forests of the Inca Trail to the green and verdant flower-filled gardens in the Sacred Valley.  Oh and the islands of Lake Titicaca, which call to mind the Mediterranean.

 

cusco-festival-dancing-peru

Cusco

 

Cusco is a fabulous small city – yes it’s full of tourists but that means there are loads of great restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s also the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping. Everybody wants to sell you something, but nobody wants to annoy you, so even the haggling is all done with smiles and laughter.

Our trip went smoothly from start to finish, in spite of being quite a busy itinerary, transfers all worked, tickets materialised when we were told they would, we stayed in a variety of excellently located and comfortable hotels, and were shown around by some charming guides, especially Jesus in Cusco and Andreas who took us to Sillustani right at the end of the trip.

 

Some highlights, in no particular order and this is by no means an exhaustive list:

Walking through herds of gorgeous wild alpacas on the Ausangate trek.

The cutest children ever.

Ceviche – our new favourite food.

Walking on the Inca Trail for a day without seeing another soul.

The first glimpse of Machu Picchu at sun-rise.

Sitting in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, watching the world go by.

Arriving at the atmospheric, calm and beautiful site of Sillustani, and having the place to ourselves.

Walking for 5 full days without seeing a single Westerner – again on the Ausangate trek – such peace and remoteness is hard to find in the 21st Century, which makes it all the more valuable.

Hot springs.

The Salt Mines at Moray – stunningly beautiful, weird and wonderful.

Shopping for alpaca socks and jumpers.

 

Why did you choose Andean Trails to organise your tour?

Andean Trails was recommended to me by a friend who lives in Edinburgh.  As soon as I realised that we would be able to make a tour that suited our dates and our ever-growing wish-list, it was clear that this was going to be the best company to book through. It’s also great to have somebody at the end of a phone/email who knows what they are talking about, and I liked the idea of booking with an independent and local company rather than one of the big businesses.

 

Where next?

Patagonia  – can’t wait!

 

Contact us for more.

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