Most Inspirational Moment
View of Machu Picchu from Sun Gate
Thoughts on Group Leader
Awesome. Mike is best tour guide ever. Well organised, efficient, calm in the face of problems, good humoured at all times, great company, knowledgable and informative.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Better exchange rate in Peru than in UK and several bureaux d'echange in Cusco accept sterling, which would save losing twice on exchange rate, so wait until arrival to buy currency if you will have time before setting off on trek.
Try to obtain several single sols as most public toilets cost one sol. If you take photos of people they will expect a sol.
Don't underestimate amount of tipping: we each tipped support staff (porters and chefs) around 250 sols between them and the assistant guide around 80 sols for the 4 day trek. We each tipped the main guide about 150 sols, which was recommended by Trip Adviser and on the assumption that he got paid more by Exodus but, with hindsight, perhaps we should have given him more given how hard he worked and how much value he added to the whole trip.
A lightweight lamp for your tent would be useful as there isn't much daylight left when you arrive at camp and you get up in the dark. A headtorch is essential and either a spare or spare batteries.
I think more people who didn't take Diamox felt unwell than who did so, on balance, I would say take it. I wouldn't recommend coca leaves, though, as I suspect they gave me a headache (and they taste disgusting).
We had the opportunity to leave stuff at the hotel in Ollantaytambo whilst on trek and pick it up after the trek before going onto Aguas Callientes, where we spent 2 nights instead of 1 because of a rail strike, so it is probably worth leaving a set of clean clothes there.
Eating out is very good value. Meals at non-touristy restaurants cost under 50 sols including a drink. Touristy restaurants c 70-80 sols, including a drink. A local beer costs 6-8 s, a glass of wine or pisco sour 15-20 s.
If you want to try guinea pig, do so at the restaurant recommended by the tour guide. Alpaca is good at most restaurants.
Souvenirs at markets are good value.
I think I spent 1300 sols in total, including 5 hats and a scarf, meals and tips.
I would highly recommend doing this trip with Exodus