I always rave about my trips with GAdventures but I still haven’t written about them. I’ve decided that I will do a little piece about my trip to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail. If you are going as a solo traveller you can also go on the train, here is how you can buy tickets for Machu Picchu. Make sure to check out our Inca Trail packing list here and if you won’t be hiking to Machu Picchu then check out a general Peru packing list here.
The price of the tour was fantastic, I was a little worried about the time of year because January is usually quite rainy apparently but that’s the only time I could really go. I ordered some hiking boots on amazon, along with a backpack and a few other bits and bobs and I felt like I was ready to go! You can check out my packing list for the Inca Trail here.
Lima to Cusco
I landed in Lima airport just around midnight and I was flying straight to Cusco from there. Flight to Cusco leave at like 3am, so there was plenty time to hang around and wait (yay…).
I landed in Cusco as the sun was coming up, this really made the flight quite magical. You could see the mountains on either side as you flew in with the colours of the sunrise, it was beautiful. I booked the airport transfer with GAdventures and they were right on time.
After a quick nap, I decided to explore. We weren’t meeting until the evening so I got ready to head out and then my roommate walked in. She was a British girl my age which was great. We met up with a slightly older Australian guy downstairs who was also with our tour group. He had been in Cusco for a couple of days so we all explored together. I wish I had more time in Cusco to explore some other places.
That evening we met the rest of our group, Canadians, Americans, Australians, and a few Brits and me. We were all around the same age group which was great. Our guide was Cho Cho and he seemed really cool as well and his partner Edison. They explained the trek and what we needed too pack in our day pack and what to put in our duffels for the porters to carry. They were excellent and answered any questions we had (which was a lot of them) and had us feeling comfortable right away. We picked what we needed for camping and we were ready!
That evening I went out for a bit of beer tasting and dinner with a few people before our tour started in the morning.
Cusco to Sacred Valley
We left Cusco and went to a lookout point and snapped some pictures and then it was on to the GAdventures womens weaving co-op to check out how they made their goods. It was amazing here, the women showed us how they dyed their wool and how they weaved the patterns. They had a beautiful shop with loads of items to choose from in so many colours. Everything was gorgeous and the money spent here is used to support the community. I bought myself a beautiful alpaca scarf which has proved to be invaluable on many of my other adventures, it is so warm!
From here it was time to head to the Sacred Valley, this is where it begins, the Inca Ruins and the excitement of the next few days! We walked around the ruins, it was so beautiful but so busy!
After this we headed to our GAdventures lunch stop, I was looking forward to this. By the way, Peruvian food is amazing! I told the guide I was gluten intolerant and they also made sure that I was well catered for. (Thanks GAdventures!). There was so much food and it was all so delicious, lots of quinoa and vegetables and corn breads and corn juices! Try everything once!
It was on to Ollantaytambo, this was our test to see if we were ready for the hike tomorrow. There were so many stairs!
When we got to the top I felt so unfit and unprepared. The ruins here and the views were just incredible.
That evening after picking up a few last minute necessities we all headed to dinner together. I had the alpaca dish with a pisco sour, and it was good. Alpaca tasted like beef, but it was really lean and tender.
Tomorrow our adventure started with a bus ride to km 82, this is the start of our hike. We all hit the hay early for our big day tomorrow.