Hiking the Salkantay trail with a group
We are used to traveling alone and determining our own schedule for the day. The idea that we were going to do a 5 day trek with a fixed group, with a fixed schedule, was new to us. The big question we had was whether we were doing the right thing. It turned out to be the best time of all.
If you hike with a group, you hike with a local who knows everything and prepared everything to perfection. They know the way and can offer immediate assistance when needed. For us it was important to hike with a group because we were going to hike at a high altitudes for the first time, so we wanted to have an expert who could see the symptoms of altitude sickness. In addition, they can share information about the environment that would otherwise be lost.
In our group, we were 6 travelers, 1 guide, 2 cooks, and 1 porter (they carried cooking equipment, tents, and other necessities with the help of donkeys). If you do the same trek as us, the group is small, which makes it great. In some organizations, they hike with 40 people with only 2 guides. We don’t like walking in such large groups, in our opinion, it makes the experience much less special.
- Simple, because everything is arranged (entrance fees to Machu Picchu, accommodation, food, drinks). All you need to bring are your own necessities (more information in the chapter on what to bring for the Salkantay trek);
- Traveling with a well-known organization means that your guides and porters are specialists who know the route well. Above all, they know what to do if things go wrong. After all, they are responsible for your safety;
- A local guide can always tell you first-hand experiences;
- The carriers make sure that you only have to carry a backpack and nothing else. You don’t have to carry your tent, mat and other heavy equipment;
- You meet new people who become your friends.
- It is more expensive compared to doing it independently. For us, the extra cost was worth it;
- If you are used to doing everything at your own pace and schedule, it may take some time to get used to traveling with a group.