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Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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Road Scholar
Program #19937RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Richard Smith Jul 24, 2014 at 04:13 PM

Anyone signed up for the Nov 4-15 trip? We (Margy and Dick) are considering extending for an extra day, the 15th in Lima. Is anyone else?
Ernie Hurwitz Jul 24, 2014 at 04:39 PM

greetings, dick: ernie and i (kaveri) are on the november trip, but we will not be extending.
Helen Berkman Jul 29, 2014 at 11:53 AM

If you do stay an extra day or two in Lima, I highly recommend Second Home Peru in Barranco. Barranco is lovely and has lots more character than Miraflores. And Second Home Peru is marvelous - a real gem! Check it out on Trip Advisor before you decide on anywhere else.
Kathleen Hirsch Jul 30, 2014 at 11:44 PM

Dear Helen: Help! Have RS booking me at the Miraflores for 4 nights after the hike. However, after reading your post, now I am thinking about asking them if they can switch me to Second Home Peru in Barranco. I am alone so night life is out. So will probably stroll during daytime. My tour leaves in 7 days, so I would really appreciate your opinion although you basically gave it. I do like not the run of the mill tourist towns. This sounds like it may be one. On the other hand, I don't want to be too bored. Actually I am glad I checked this Board tonight. Thank you for your reply in advance. Kathy Hirsch
Helen Berkman Jul 31, 2014 at 11:41 AM

If you have 4 days all in Lima - I would say 2 days in Barranco and 2 in Miraflores might be a good option-although you can walk from one to the other - they are about - 45 minutes apart on foot. Second Home will get you a driver to the airport for $22. Go to Museo Larco for sure, and also you can rent a bike in Miraflores and ride along the Malecon.
Kathleen Hirsch Jul 31, 2014 at 01:23 PM

Thanks Helen. Right...what's one more hotel change!? Just wrote to Holbrook to see if they can do that for me. Thanks very much, Kathy
Kathleen Hirsch Jul 31, 2014 at 05:01 PM

Dear Helen: Woops too late. They are booked for my dates and so have requested to be on stand-by. Thanks anyway. Kathy

Ernie Hurwitz Jul 16, 2014 at 08:54 PM

that was me, kaveri, who hiked in a skirt, not my husband ernie!
Bev Schrage Jul 21, 2014 at 03:58 PM

Hi Kaveri, I have no experience hiking in other than trousers--usually the zip-off variety. I have read advice to take bug repellent so there is likely to be insects. sorry that is all I have to add for your query.

Ernie Hurwitz Jul 16, 2014 at 08:53 PM

i trekked/hiked in a skirt in nepal and found it very comfortable. do you think will it be okay for this trip to MP in November?

Bev Schrage Jul 02, 2014 at 05:03 PM

Thanks everyone for generously sharing your experience and tips. We are busy training for this great trip.
Betsy Noyce Jul 02, 2014 at 05:29 PM

Betsy didn't mention it, but our guide, Paco, who was PHENOMINAL, had a young daughter, so as a gift, we bought himand her an age appropriate story book in Spanish to read together. There was a very nice, upscale book store in Cusco. Jeff

Madeleine Jul 02, 2014 at 02:16 PM

Helen Berkman and I were on the same trip, and I agree with what she wrote. RS includes tips in the price of the tour, but whether you want to give an additional tip to a guide or others is totally up to you.

Regarding the other question . . . “Is there any need for cash beyond that?” . . . I’ll share what I did based on recommendations in Internet blogs. This approach worked well for me.

I did not arrive early or stay beyond the scheduled Road Scholar tour, so everything was pre-paid. I took two credit cards and an ATM card but didn’t use any of them . . . thank you Road Scholar! I brought $200 in US dollars . . . one $50 bill, some $20s & $10s, several $5s, and about twenty $1 dollar bills.

Since you fly into Lima, and your first-night hotel is directly adjacent to the airport . . . a 2-minute walk . . . you don’t need any currency for a taxi.

You could probably skip converting to Peruvian Sols altogether, but I wanted to interact with the locals (especially those selling goods in the markets, etc.) in their currency. The bloggers indicated this was a sign of respect.

While in the Sacred Valley, some of us asked one of the guides where we could convert dollars to Peruvian Sols. He took us to a tiny ‘money exchange’ storefront in one of the towns. (This in itself was quite interesting to me.) The agent studied the $50 bill I gave her very carefully for any tears, wrinkles, etc. The bloggers made me aware that in Peru, they will *not* accept old, torn, damaged or wrinkled dollar bills at money exchange shops. (I even ironed the $$ I took to Peru to make them look crisper.)

What did I spend the Sols on?
-I’m not a big shopper, but I wanted a few small souvenirs.
-Bathroom entrance fees, e.g., along a few trails and especially at Machu Picchu. You don’t want to be delayed there!
-A beer at the ‘Cross Keys Pub’ in Cusco. See the reference to this pub on page 259 in Mark Adam’s wonderful book, ‘Turn Right at Machu Picchu.’ I read this book before I left home . . . and once again when I returned home. (The Glossary in the back of the book is very helpful for pronunciations and understanding the significance of various sites, and historical terms and references, etc.)
-Water at the airport for my trip home.

Note: Spend any Sols you have left over before you go through the security checkpoint at the Lima airport. Once I went through, the stores I went to wanted US dollars, so I came home with a bit of change. Enjoy your adventure of a lifetime!
Madeleine Jul 02, 2014 at 02:21 PM

FYI: The bathroom fees were normally 1 Sol. So I kept several of these coins (along with tissues / toilet paper) with me at all times.

Helen Berkman Jul 02, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The RS policy is very clear that no tipping is required - it's already covered in your trip costs, and I have been on other RS trips where this is similarly stressed. On our Inca Trail trip there were 16 of us and 28 porters/chefs so no way we could have fairly or evenly tipped 28 porters additionally. That's why the policy is particularly good for a trip like this and one of the things I really like about RS. So I would strongly recommend you heed the RS policy and do not fret about it - they really do mean it. I've met veteran RS trippers on other trips and they all say the same - no extra tipping is needed.
A couple of folks in our group tipped our guides some extra in Cusco on the last day but most did not. A nice gesture but mainly symbolic.

Betsy Noyce Jul 02, 2014 at 07:30 AM

Tipping is such an individual decision. We are so appreciative of Road Scholar's policy.
Our group was tiny-4- and we did tip along the lines of what others have mentioned here. In our case the money was pooled by our guide and then distributed among the porters (9) with the cook and toilet tent person receiving slightly more. We were encouraged not to tip individually.
Whatever you decide will be fine and it can be a last minute decision, of course. We have found it hard not to tip , but we also know that RS takes good care of its staff and that is comforting.
This is just a fabulous trip. You will love it I am sure.

Mike Chesnut Jul 02, 2014 at 04:26 AM

We had one member who wanted to collect a tip .We were not 100 % convinced we should (due to RS policy) We did leave $20 each to 1) guides and 2) to porters) who were wonderful, I believe most ote
Mike Chesnut Jul 02, 2014 at 05:03 AM

i believe most others did leave at least a 10 to 20 dollar tip( 1 dollar was approx 2.60 sol We were not entirely in agreement with tipping because of RS written Policy but we are not cheap so left $20 for each of us (40) to be divide among porters and 2 guides. Not much but we believe every one left something

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Our Value Promise To You

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at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
31 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
1 Performances
2 Flights during the program


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