Peru - Inca Trail - Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek

Discussion in 'Travel' started by BuggerAll, Aug 12, 2010.

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  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Mrs BA and I are going on the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek in October this year. I'd be grateful for some kit advice.

    The company the trip have given us a kit list that recommends 4 seasons sleeping bags and Arctic over mittens and so on.

    Do we really need that sort of thing. I suspect they are covering their arrse on a very worse case scenario but if I don't really need it I don't want to lug it all the way to Peru. Quite apart from anything else unless its bloody cold I would not want to get into a 4 seasons bag as I would be cooking in my own juices.

    I've tried various websites and Google but I can't get an idea of what the temperature is likely to be in October.
  2. Sorry to ask such a forward question, but how much did this cost you and can you PM me details of where you booked. This is one place I want to see before I shuffle of this Earth, Mrs The Hun not so interested but I'll drag her regardless one day.

    Hope you have a great holiday mate, JEALOUS as hell!
  3. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

  4. This is also on my list "to do". Try Discover Adventure too. Enjoy BA
  5. BA, You will need a good doss bag, and I would recommend a Thermarest (or similar) as well. Mrs P and I did it a few years ago and it's great, but whilst it can be hot in the day the temperature drops a lot once the sun goes down. IIRC we used our Snugpak Softie 3's with polyprop liners and wore our thermal's in bed too! (We were using the same sleeping bags later in the trip in warmer places, too, so it made sense.)

    We had gloves and hats but nothing as extreme as has been suggested to you. I have no idea how cold it might be in October, but it's the Southern hemisphere spring, we did it in their Autumn. I'll see if I can dig out some pictured to remind myself what we were wearing. I know you'll have a great time, though.
  6. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

  7. Hey BuggerAll.

    As Pitster says, it gets cold at night. The trek you're doing is not in itself hard (although my crowd had the benefit of 6 months in the Mountains of SA as acclimatisation), so I honestly wouldn't go overboard on it. When I went up (I didn't do the trail, I just came in from Aguas Calientes/the bottom/main entrance - friends I'd done more serious treks with had done it and lamented it, so I just did the cheap option - it is well worth seeing, that's for sure.), I recall freezing my arrse off when I set off at 4 or 5am, but once the sun came out, it was fantastic.

    Unfortunately I was only there from January to July so I completely missed the time period you're looking at; however, I was recently (till the funding got pulled/never materialised) in the process of planning an AT Exped to Peru, & the area I was looking at, the trekking season ended in September; after that, the weather closed in and the mountain passes became ever more uncrossable. Now, that area is a couple of thousand meters higher than where you're going, but you'd be safe assuming that's a general trend.

    So, yeah, don't go overboard, but just be prepared for the possibility of being wet in the day, and cold at night. But, there's also the possibility that you'll be scorched in the day, too. Thinking hard, actually, I can't recall many times when it was not cold in the Andes at night.

    Best of luck anyway. You're gonna love it. I'm mega enthusiastic about Peru so if I can be of any further help, ask away!
  8. BA, I am jealous! I am planning a trip to South America, if I can talk my CEO into a year's unpaid leave!

    In regard to your kit (sleeping bag) issue there is a solution. You can get a lighter (mid wight) sleeping bag, but compliment it with one of those foil like sheets paramedics use, can't remember the name of them sorry. Some friends of mine who hiked through the Himalayas swear by them. The sheet keeps you warm (with clothes layers and sleeping bag at altitude). They got them through a first aid supplier.

    Hope this is of help,and I hope you and Mrs BA have a brilliant trip:)
  9. My Son & his G/F spent 6 months touring S. America finishing in April this year, he started in Brazil, & by using mainly local buses visited Argentina, Uraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia finishing off in Panama!
    He recomends yomping over some of the Southern Glaciers & icefields of Argentina & Chile in Patagonia, virtually no one else around! The Andes in Bolivia, visiting silver mines, The Atacama Desert, a recently discovered lost city in the jungle of Colombia where they were guarded by the Colombian Army and a fantastic yacht cruise stopping at a few desert Islands from Colombia to Panama! He couldn't get to Machu Pichu as the roads were closed by floods!
    There were many other places he found to be good, a Ranch in Argentina, where the owner , ex Argentine SF's, had a massive collection of LIVE weapons & ammo! Buenos Aires, where huge steak meals & good wine were incredibaly cheap, Sucre in Bolivia where he bought exposives & blasting caps in the local market, where they were on open sale, for the silver miners (apparently its a traditional gift) ! A flight over the mysterious huge drawings in the Atacama Desert! The bus where they were videoed boarding in case the bus was hijacked and they were taken hostage!! I've told him he should write a book!
  10. I did this trek but in May rather than October. It was bloody cold at night and although I can't remember what sort of sleeping bag I had I do remember going to sleep wearing hat, gloves, fleece etc. I've attached a link to the company I went with and you might find their trip notes useful. Hope you have a fab trip, I loved it!

    PS Do try the coca tea; it's an acquired taste but quite nice once you get used to it!

    Inca Trail trek | Walk to Machu Picchu | Peru Trekking Holidays
  11. I am in Peru now (in Chiclayo) on the coast up north and I can tell you that it gets very chilly at night. There is usually a bit of wind chill to contend with too if you are out and about at night. In this part of Peru the mornings are also quite cold, but everything warms up once the sun gets going, usually late morning. Hope that helps.
  12. Oh and one other thing...... keep a very tight hold on your belongings, these people steal because they like doing it and they will lift anything that isn't screwed down.
  13. Abit harsh perhaps, but a fair warning nonetheless. In 6 months I never had a thing stolen. Then again, friends got their bus hijacked, and 2 friends got mugged. It's like any place in the world; there are alot of good people, but there are also always going to be bad apples. The difference is that, over there, the rule of law isn't strong, and there's a strong culture of corruption/look the other way within the Police, so long as nobody is harmed; in my first week over there, I saw a Policeman in Quito, Ecuador, crowbarring his way into a car! Also important is, us Gringos stand out a mile, and white skin is seen, for various deep rooted cultural, economic and political reasons, as a sign of wealth. You could be the shabbiest looking grot known to man, but if you've white skin, they'll still have this prejudice about you that you're minted. This kind of feeds into a culture of "Well, they've got money, and as long as nobody's being hurt, we'll look the other way" - ie, it makes you fair game.

    At some point you just have to laugh about it, but for goodness sake don't ruin your trip by becoming paranoid about everyone around you. There are alot of good people. I've seen tourists drop their wallet in the middle of a city, and a South American immediately run up to them and hand it back. In particular I recall a nice gentleman coming up to us to practice his English, and warn us about staying away from certain parts of town at night. The average Peruvian is kind, genuine and hospitable.

    Don't be fooled into thinking there is some magic higher proportion of thugs, pickpockets and thieves over there compared to in the UK. It's not a national hobby. It's just that if you're white skinned, you're high up the target list. Take precautions to deal with it (at the least, a moneybelt - although a thigh pouch is a better solution), and then enjoy one of the finest countries on earth.
  14. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    Did macchu Picchu back in about 1995...when i was fit enough.....went in thier winter July/August time...didn't find it too cold myself but i'm used to it.

    Took the train from Cusco up to a point called Km88, which is basically a load of huts on the side of the traintrack...then a 4 day treck to MP.....great trip.

    One thing i would say is that at MP the guards were very keen to get you off the hill and back to the bottom again...we just ignored them and kept wandering round, some people were ushered to the gate and pointed down the hill....only got to see 10% of the site.

    Try to get to the entry gate (can't remember the name of it, but it's a little way short of MP) early...the sun rise is meant to be worth it...we didn't and regretted it.



    p.s. if you have the time in Cusco I found Sacsayhuaman almost more interesting than MP, not as big or impressive but the stonework was out of this world. Also the main square was very impressive in Cusco...great Spanish era church in it.
  15. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    We're back! There are not enough superlatives to describe the views, both geological and architectural. It was quite hard work. We 'camped' for 8 nights. Did a total of about 128 k's but on some days we we were only visiting local. The lowest point was 1,900m and the highest was 4,600m.

    We were very lucky with the weather. The first few days were a little hot and we were climbing a lot and most of the group found it hard going. I found it easier when it cooled and what was supposed to be one of the hardest days trekkiing to the snow line was quite easy.

    My lightweight sleeping bag more than sufficed. On the one cooler night I kept my buffalo shirt on. Only put on a Gortex once, at the snow line when we stopped to take photos and wait for the group to catch up but I would still recommend people to carry stuff as we were lucky and it could get cooler.

    Choquequirao was perhaps more interesting that MP. Partly because we were the only people there. MP was overrun with tourists.

    Pisco Sours, Cusqueña , Alpaca (really very tasty) and Guinea Pig (lots of bones)

    We booked through KE who subcontracted to Amazonas Explorers who I would be more than happy to recommend. There were 2 Canadians and an American in our group what had booked direct with Amazonas with no hassle.