I am strongly thinking about booking the Peru Exploere trip.
I have always wanted to visit Peru particularly to do the Inca Trail. However i have just found out that there are no more permits available.
I have looked into the Moonstone trek as a substitute but I am a little weary about wether i would be able for it. I am aware that i will have to adjust to the altitude when we first hit the Andes regions. It'l be my first time to experience high altitude and I am concerned that the Moonstone trek may be asking a little to much of me. I am fairly active and fit and love the great outdoors. It has been a long term goal to trek in Peru but i would like to have a better idea of what il be getting myself in for with this particular trek.
I guess im basically asking do you have to be an experinced hiker to do this trek?
Any advice would really be appreciated.
You definitely don't need heaps of experience to do this trek and I'd say that if you can do a couple of days walking (5-7 hours per day) in the Lake District or Scottish mountains without too much trouble, then you have nothing to worry about. I wouldn't say that it's for people who have never trekked or hiked before, but it sounds like you are going to be fine. It's probably best if you call us to talk about your experience and we can describe the trek in more detail for you and how you are likely to find it. If you call our sales number, ask to speak to me (Dan Cockburn) or David Richardson (Walking Sales expert) as we have both trekked this beautiful and satisfying route.
We've just come back having chosen the Moonstone option rather than the traditional Inca trail.
You go higher, and the walking in some ways might be easier as no formal stone steps - just great Andean countryside and remoteness. Strongly suggest you have two walking poles, esp for the descent to lunch on day 3 towards the Inca Gate of the Wind. Drink plenty of water - which is refilled at each stop inc lunch (suggest carry 1.5 litre volume minimum)
As only small numbers on the Moonstone (5 plus guide in our case) there is flexibility on speed. The leisurely pace is at that of the slowest with plenty of rest stops and a leisurely lunch stop to recover energy. There is also a spare horse to carry anyone who is struggling for part of the upward journey.
Spectacular campsites - day 1 in a small village - you might want to donate school materials - we took pencils which were gratefully received. Day 2 - wilderness territory with llamas close by - the traditional stone oven barbeque of lamb excellent. Day 3 - the quarry above Ollantataytambo - an absolutely flat camp site and do get up for the dawn over Mt Veronica.
Enjoy your trek
I too am interested in taking the moonstone trek, but am slightly confused by whether this affords an opportunity to visit Machu Picchu (seems mad to go all the way and not see it)? If not in the schedule would there be time to visit on one of the first days before starting the hike?
Also interested in doing the jungle extension, so it would be great to hear any feedback about that!
Glad to hear that you're considering the Moonstone Trek - it's a really great hike and gets you well away from the crowds and into some beautiful remote areas. The trek does allow you to visit Machu Picchu on any of our itineraries - at the end of the hike, you take the train to Aguas Calientes, which is just below the ruins, and stay overnight. The people who have hiked the Inca Trail will hike down from Machu Picchu (but they won't have looked round the site) and meet you in Aguas Calientes that afternoon. The next morning, the whole group will go up to the ruins for a guided tour.
As mentioned in the earlier post, if you need any more information on the Moonstone Trek, please call the office and speak to either Dan Cockburn or David Richardson as they have both hiked this route.
Tim (Peru Trip Manager)
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