Why Choose Us?
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE ACTION PERU TREKS? WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
Below is our bulleted list…..
Actually, this will not be a list of that sort. Back when we started the company, we had a traditional bulleted list. There were many things on our list that other excellent companies had on their lists. Over time, seeing people on the trails, hearing feedback, we know what ACTUALLY makes us different.
Of course, we believe we are the best company to go with. We would not be good business people if that was not the case. However, there are over 800 companies that operate treks in Cusco and choosing one can be overwhelming. Things that we consider essential might not seem that way to some. We are not the cheapest company out there, but also not the most expensive. That is public information. However, we have a level of service that if someone doesn’t say their trek was perfect, we are unhappy. When you add up the value for a trek, including hidden fees that some companies might have, our prices are as good as every other company out there. Regardless, the most important thing is that no matter who you choose, you want to know what you are getting for your money.
So this is our combination “Why trek with us?” and “What to look for in a company?” If a company does not offer the things we offer, that doesn´t mean they are a bad company. It just means that everyone should be transparent. These are factors to consider when looking at prices and value.
We want people to have an incredible time in Peru. There are many ways to do that and many excellent companies! We want you to be an informed trekker!
- General Considerations: There are many companies that will do your booking and then contract with another agency to do the actual trek or tour. You want to make sure you know exactly which agency will be running your trek.
- Action Peru Treks: We would never trust another company to operate tours or treks for us!!
- General Considerations: There are many tour operators based in Cusco, however there are also many large operators based in other countries. That might not be important to you, however you should know if your agency specializes in this area or is a general agency.
- One reason this matters is that the taxes from local companies go back into the Peruvian economy, facilitating growth in infrastructure, public works and education. If a company is based elsewhere, the revenue from services provided and taxes is not returned to the Peruvian economy.
- On the plus side, many of these large international agencies are successful because they have a long history of excellence and are trustworthy. There is definitely something to be said for that.
- Action Peru Treks: We are 100% local. All of our employees live in Cusco. Every dime spent (on services and taxes) remains in the community.
- Considerations: Some companies include a personal porter and some don´t. You may not want a porter or horse to carry your gear. Just make sure you know if there is a fee or not. This is the number one area where you see significant cost differences/hidden charges. This problem (hidden fees for porters) is solved with three simple questions:
- If a porter is included, how much will they carry?
- If a personal porter is not provided, how much will it cost to hire one?
- If I hire a personal porter, how much will they carry?
- Action Peru Treks: All of our treks include either a horse or personal porter to carry 6 kg / 8 kg. of your personal gear, for no charge.
- General Considerations: Companies use hotels from basic hostels to three star and up. Find out what level of hotel you will be staying at. You also want to know how much it will cost to upgrade to a higher level of hotel.
- Action Peru Treks: A very nice 3 star hotel is included in the price of all of our treks and tours. If you are interested in upgrading to a specific hotel, we can give you a price quote.
- General Considerations: Most companies do not include breakfast on the first day of the trek. In general, make sure to clarify which meals are included with your tour or trek.
- Action Peru Treks: We include breakfast for most of our treks. The only meal not included is lunch on the final day.
- We do not include breakfast for our tours. Many of our tours do not include meals in general except for dinner in Aguas Calientes and breakfast on the day of your Machu Picchu visit.
- General Considerations: It is not common for companies to do this. There are some that offer lunch (included in the trek price) on the final day either at the Tinkuy Buffet at the Sanctuary Lodge or in at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes.
- Action Peru Treks: We do not provide lunch on the final day. If you would like to eat lunch at the Tinkuy Buffet at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the price is US $45.
- General Considerations: There are two basic types of mattresses: foam and inflatable. Find out what type your company uses. If it is a foam mattress, you might want to know how much more it would cost for an inflatable mattress. If it is a foam mattress, find out how many inches thick it is.
- Action Peru Treks: We provide Thermarest inflatable mattresses at no extra charge.
- General Considerations: Some do, some don´t!!
- Action Peru Treks: We provide comfortable, fluffy pillows for all of our camping treks.
- General Considerations: You definitely don´t want to drink the water without purification! Find out if you will be provided water. If not, how will you get water? If you are provided water, how is it purified?
- Action Peru Treks: For the first day of the trek, water is not provided until the camp on the first night. We recommend that you bring 2 L of water for the first day. After that, all water will be provided for you for the remainder of the trek. We purify the water by boiling.
- General Considerations: You will hear a lot of things about group size…the definition of small groups varies depending on who you are talking to (anywhere from 3 trekkers to 16 trekkers). Make sure you know how big your group will be. If it is 9 or more people, in general you should have an extra guide provided.
- Action Peru Treks: Our average group size is 3 to 6. On the rare occassion that the group is 9 or more, there will be two guides.
- General Considerations: If you are using any company that provides meals, there is no excuse to not provide specific diets. I believe this is a deal breaker. If your diet can´t be accommodated, this is a legitimate reason to walk away. Also, there should not be an extra charge for accommodating various diets.
- Action Peru Treks: We will accommodate any and all diets for no charge. We recently had a group of four trekkers with diverse diets. There were 2 trekkers with regular diets, one trekker with a vegetarian diet and one individual who had a serious potato allergy and also ate gluten free. Our chefs will figure it out and everyone will eat fantastically!
- General Considerations: Just make sure this is clear. There is a big difference in price (much cheaper), but also in comfort for taking a public bus.
- Action Peru Treks: Our private tourist van will pick you up, always. When you are with us or we are providing you a service, you will NEVER be on a public bus.
- General Considerations: Make sure when you are looking at tour prices to find out whether this is the case. The partial ticket (for the Sacred Valley) costs US $23. The full ticket costs US $43. This can make a big difference when you calculate final cost!
- Action Peru Treks: In general, we do not include the cost of tourist tickets in our tour prices.
- General Considerations: If dinner in Aguas Calientes is not included, you need to consider that in your price. If it is included, what kind of restaurant is it? You will sometimes hear this dinner referred to as a “Celebratory Dinner.”
- Action Peru Treks: Dinner is included for all of our treks and tours involving Aguas Calientes. Not only that, the restaurant we use is the nicest restaurant in Aguas Calientes…Indio Feliz.
- Action Peru Treks: We use Expedition trains for all trains departing Ollantaytambo for Aguas Calientes. Our price for upgrade to a Vistadome train (on the way back from Aguas Calientes) is US $35.
- General Considerations: Round trip bus tickets cost US $24 per person. It is also possible to hike up to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes and back down for no charge.
- Action Peru Treks: Yes. All bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and vice versa are included in our trek/tour prices.
- General Considerations: There are some public toilets on the treks, however most are not in good shape. Many are “squat toilets.” Ask your company what toilet facilities you will have available (including potential portable toilets). It is not common for companies to provide toilet paper.
- Action Peru Treks: We have a portable toilet and toilet tent on all treks. The toilet and tent are available at all lunch locations and all camps. We provide toilet paper with the portable toilet, however you will want to bring your own for the trekking segments where the portable toilet is not available.
- General Considerations: Tents and hotel rooms are generally based on double occupancy. So if you want a private room or tent, you will likely need to pay a fee.
- Action Peru Treks: There is a fee of US $30 for a private tent. For a single occupancy hotel room, the fee is US $35.
- The exception is for odd numbered groups. You will not pay extra to be in a single room or private tent if it is because there are an odd number of trekkers.
- General Considerations: This is so variable that I would need to write a treatise! Basically, just ask your company and then consider if you think that number of support staff is adequate for the trek you are contemplating.
- Action Peru Treks: All groups of 2 or more hikers will have a chef and an assistant chef. Here is the link for support staff details for the Inca Trail and support staff for the Alternative Treks.
- General Considerations: This is shameful that this is a question that has to be asked. You will see a lot of bragging about health insurance, treating porters well, etc. However, those things are actually mandated by law. It is sad that our industry requires a law to make sure the porters are taken care of and treated with basic human dignity. This is the link to the Peruvian law for porters. If your company is not complying with this, please report it to the appropriate authorities.
- Action Peru Treks: We refuse to bragg about things that are the absolute minimum required by law and by standards of common decency. On top of the basic requirements, we pay significantly more than other companies. All of our porters have top of the line clothing and equipment. More important is that our porters are our friends and family and they are treated that way.
- General Considerations: All guides should be trained in first aid, CPR and have emergency first aid kits. We are proud that first aid and medical care on the trails and treks are very good (for all companies). Not only that, it is truly a group effort. Health of trekkers and tourists transcends company guidelines or rivalries. If you have an issue, the community will come together to take care of you.
- Action Peru Treks: In addition to first aid, our guides go through first responder training. If you have to be removed from the trails, it will be done either by the porters (on a stretcher) for the Inca Trail or by horse with one of the muleteers for alternative treks.
- General Considerations: This depends on the time of your train and whether it is going to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) or towards Ollantaytambo. Most companies use the Expedition train. I have seen upgrade fees as low as US $20 and as high as US $65 one way or US $100 round trip. I will tell you that the US $65 figure is WAY too high! You can look at the Perurail website yourself to see prices.
- Action Peru Treks: We use the Vistadome train for some train rides from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (therefore there is no upgrade fee for those train rides). For return trains, we use the Expedition train. Our upgrade fee for a Vistadome train ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy is US $35.
- General Considerations: Most companies will offer rentals and prices vary. Some things to consider: Inquire if the equipment is in good shape. Are the sleeping bags clean? What season rating do they have? Does the weight of the sleeping bag count towards your 8 kg of personal gear? How much do the sleeping bags weigh?
- Action Peru Treks: We rent hiking poles for US $20 per pair. Our sleeping bags are 4 season, thoroughly washed after every use and donated after 4 uses. A Four season sleeping bag is rated for –12 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower. The cost for a sleeping bag rental is US $25. The sleeping bag does count as part of your 8 kg personal gear weight limit. Our sleeping bags weigh 2.75 kg.