IMG 2013 Peru Trekking Season Wrap-up
IMG Lead Guide Peter Anderson recently returned from guiding both Peruvian Andes treks for 2013. Here is what he had to say about each:
The Salkantay Trek
The Salkantay variation provided a new experience for me, as it was my first time guiding this program. I was impressed by the "off the beaten path" nature of the trek after leading three previous classic Inca Trail treks. The amount of tourists who utilize this unique route is much less and provided for much more of a wilderness and Peruvian mountain life experience. The trek is especially impressive due to the fact that it crosses a pass at nearly 15,000 feet as it traverses just below massive peaks and glaciers of the high Andes. While the trek is certainly more challenging than IMG's Classic Inca Trail Trek, it helps a lot that this trekking route allows the use of horses and mules to support the team (from carrying extra gear to carrying trekkers who need a bit of a break or are suffering from altitude illness). Over the last five years, traffic on this route has slowly been growing, and our local guide and I suspect its popularity will only continue to increase. If you want less traveled path to explore Machu Picchu, this IS the trek for you!
Classic Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
IMG's second trek was the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trek does not have the up close glacial views, but instead follows much more of the original Inca trail and ancient sites along the way. This was my fourth time on this route, and when asked if I get bored with repeating the same trek, the answer continues to be a definitive "NO!" Each step and site offers new opportunities to discover a new or unique joining of intricately fitted stones or a new path in one of the many Inca sites along the way. The group performed well as a team, and a friendlier and compatible group is hard to come by. With the leadership team of local guide Juan De La Cruz and me having worked both treks together, the trip was seamless. Apart from that, the weather was perfectly warm and comfortable with the only drops of rain starting to fall once on the train headed back to Cusco. While both treks offer unique and different experiences, overall, the Salkantay Trek is a little more physically demanding, yet the Classic Inca Trail covers a lot of terrain and has more up and down progress than imaginable. That said, all of our trekkers (even our eldest in her late 60's) were tired, but had no problem arriving to camp each day in fine form with smiling faces.
Each year, IMG evaluates the programs through seeking feedback from guests, the local guide and IMG lead guide to continually improve our programs. Join Peter for either of next year's treks for a unique and more awe inspiring trip than pictures can do justice.
Peter Anderson, IMG Guide