Turtle, Ecuador

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3 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019

    Moonstone Trek and more

    Wonderful trip — cleverly varied itinerary with a mix of challenging trekking, history & local life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trek up to the pass at Accoccassa (4625m). and the view of Mt Veronica.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Don’t be put off by the altitude — it is extreme (see Accoccassa (4625m), followed by an evening in a camp also above 4000m, but we (a very mixed group) managed it. 2. If you can, get an extra day in Cusco to acclimatise. Well worth it, both to get used to the altitude and also to have more time to look around — depending on flights, you might not get long in Cusco on the way home. One day _less_ in Cusco on the way in could well leave you struggling with the altitude. We were stuck in Bogota after our flight was cancelled due to local electrical storms (well looked after by Avianca, once they made up their mind to cancel the flight); a day at 2640m does not prepare you for 3000-4000m. 3. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art – MAP Cusco (https://mapcusco.pe/en/) is well worth a visit (and is open on Sundays). 4. Ollantaytambo is a wonderful place to visit and walk around (not only because it is the first “civilisation” after the 4 days trekking...although the first shower was very welcome). Obviously, there’s no guarantee of Top Gear filming in the main square (don’t know when the episode airs, but the cars were very loud!), or the local schools rehearsing for a festival, but the town and temples are fascinating. 5. The international departure lounge at Cusco airport has just one (very) small cafe. Stay in the domestic lounge (up the escalator to the left of the entrance to International) for food, bar & shops, if you can.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Lajos Hanzel

    A fantastic trek and Machu Picchu

    Memorable hike in the Andes without any other turist on the trek, fantastic valleys and mountains plus 1 day Inka trail reaching Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. This was an all-in-one trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After an Exhausting steep hike to 4600m ridge suddenly getting the first glimps of Mt. Veronika...wow!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanks to our leader, Fabrizio, I know much more about Peruvian life, culture and the Inka history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Add an extra day in Cusco for acclimatisation just in case your flight is delayed or cancelled.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Chris Hull

    Enjoyable Peruvian trekking

    This is a great trip to visit Cusco, The Andes and Machu Picchu, including physical, culinary and cultural delights. As with all activity at altitude, a good fitness level is no guarantee that altitude symptoms will not occur, however it will certainly make the trekking more manageable and help assure that the group remains together. The Moonstone Trek provides the opportunity for high Andean trekking away from the crowds that can be experienced on the "Inca Trail". However, from discussions with other travelers, the Inca Trail offers greater variety of flora whilst trekking in the cloud forest. The landscape on the trek is stunning, but generally involves fairly barren and rugged mountain-scapes, as might be expected at such altitudes. Visiting in July, the days were warm to hot and the nights often sub-zero, requiring a range of clothing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s difficult to identify a single highlight, but Machu Picchu is set in a stunning landscape and a marvel to behold, whilst Cusco offers a more Spanish colonial feel and waking-up on a mountainside always stimulates the senses.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio, our main tour leader, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No amount of training can counter the impact of altitude, but a good fitness level should help assure enjoyment whilst trekking and even walking around Cusco. A good sleeping bag and warm layers will help with avoiding the evening/night cold and getting a sound sleep.