- Wayki Trek Av. Pardo # 506 Paseo de los Heroesrecommended Wayki TrekI had an incredible experience hiking the Inca Trail with Wayki Trek. I'm so glad we went with this operator rather than a larger, more well known group-- Wayki is indigenous owned and they give back ... read moreto the Quechua community and treat their porters well. Our group was smaller, with two guides for twelve of us, and a dozen more porters and cooks. Our guides were knowledgeable and made the trip so much fun with their friendliness and laughter. Every meal was outstanding, and all of the equipment (tents, sleeping bags, mats, etc.) we used was good quality. We participated in the home-stay experience prior to our hike, and this also was something we'll remember forever. We met our porters in their village, saw their homes and families, helped with some farming, and enjoyed meals and dancing at the home of one of the porters. This experience made our interactions on the trail with the porters so much more meaningful. We had the best time with Wayki Trek and I'd highly recommend them to anyone.Joanne G.
Agreed on the above with checking the weather for Cusco/Inca Trail, January may not be possible. We went in early May and had awesome weather with no rain. Wayki is locally owned and they include a night's stay at their porters' village to understand more about their lives, which was a wonderful experience.
- Andean OverlandCalle Queshua 236, Cusco, Perurecommended Andean OverlandI trekked the Inca Trail with this local company and had a great time. The local guides were enthusiastic and had studied up on history and culture, which made the walk more educational and ... read moreenlightening. The cooks and porters were also awesome, even when a few in our group got altitude sickness and lagged behind.Sara Benson
All of the major trekking companies have sample itineraries on their websites. Your main choice will be whether to do the 3- or 4-day trek, and I'd advise the latter. You can book your trek online in advance - treks tend to fill up a month or more ahead of time. Have a good trip!
recommended CuscoI would suggest looking up the explorandes tour group. We went with them with only 4 of us on private guiding adventures. Relatively inexpensive and excellent! www.explorandes.com
recommended Machu PicchuA place both spiritually and physically beautiful. A monument to monuments. Machu Picchu is an otherworldly dream, lost in the remote recesses of the Peruvian Andes. Whether your interest is in ... read morehistory, culture, spirituality, geography or adventure sports, you'll find something both memorable and magical in Machu Picchu.
recommended San BartoloQuiet little resort town on the beautiful Peruvian coast south of Lima. Great local surf spots and an ideal base for accessing other good surfing in this region.Arlo Hemphill
Not sure if you plan to spend more time in Peru aside from the trail, but the plus side to it being the rainy season on the trail is that it is also the sunny season on the coast. January is prime beach season in Peru and the resort towns to the south of Lima are stunning. Surfing is very popular in Peru and there are surf breaks, lessons and travel guides available for all skill levels.
- Plaza de ArmasPlaza de Armas, Cuzco Perurecommended Plaza de ArmasExotic and familiar all at once, this is the part of Cusco to best base yourself. A beautiful plaza lined with historic buildings and throngs of great hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and travel ... read moreagencies. The Plaza itself is beautiful and elegant, but my high rating is for the area and its surrounds as a place to base your visit. Just awesome.Arlo Hemphill
Jenny, unfortunately January is not the best time to hike the Inca Trail. It is the height of the rainy season and the trail could even be closed due to excessive mudslides and inundation. You'll want to check this in advance and keep a close watch. Other than that one concern, the itinerary is pretty easy. Make your way to Cuzco and orient yourself around or near the Plaza de Armas - this is the main tourist part of town, with tons of great restaurants, hotels and hostels, and more travel help than you could ever hope for. Unless you happen to be coming from a similarly high altitude location, you will want to plan to spend a few days in Cuzco,, acclimatizing to the altitude before you begin to hike. During this time, there is plenty to see historically and culturally within Cuzco itself, or take day trips out to the many ruins and cultural sites that surround the city. Arranging a guide/porter and purchasing park entrance fees can also all be handled in Cuzco at that time (in fact, you'll likely be very tired and a bit dizzy feeling on your first day or two, so plan to drink plenty of water, sleep and take it easy - arranging travel and enjoying a few good meals is the PERFECT way to spend a day or two when you first get there). When you are ready to hike, you will need to book train tickets towards Macchu Picchu. It is worth buying the first class tickets for the extra comfort and room you will have. There are three main places that people depart the train - 1. The beginning of the trail (a hike of 3 days to Macchu Picchu), 2. The short hike (a 1 day hike) or to Macchu Picchu itself. Most people also only do the hike in the one direction, so you will take the train back to Cuzco at the end.