We really enjoyed our 4 day Macchu Pichu jungle tour with Karikuy. We were given private hostel rooms during the trip and had a great guide (Pablo).
My husband, son and I had a fantastic experience. The trip was arranged flawlessly. The guide, Mario, met us in the hotel the night before (we had to change the meet time since we booked a day trip to Sacred Valley last minute, the agency rescheduled the meeting at a later time, everything was done through emails!). He came to meet us in the morning and brought us a bag to put our stuff in for our private porter, and carried our bag to the bus. We met the rest of the group and started the hiking. My husband and I were the slowest in our group (because we were the oldest!), there was always a guide and sometimes both guides staying with us. Mario would stay one step behind my husband to make sure he didn't fall down the steep steps! He offered to hold my husband but my husband insisted to walk by himself. They kept offering me to carry our backpacks and shared their drinks with us.The porters were all nice and amazingly carrying a "mountain load" of stuff and still walked like a puma. In my second day near the end, since we were so behind the group and it was getting dark and cold, two porters walked back to meet us and brought hot tea and sandwiches! I was amazed by the quality and variety of the food they cooked on the way, though most of them was carbs - which I read it should be! The view on the trek was beautiful and people we met were all humble and nice. I feel like I am connected with Peru and the Inka people! Overall, it was a great experience and we all want to go back! Other feedback: I think I read somewhere that the guides are supposed to have oxygen bottles for emergencies, but they didn't. Also it was not clear in the instructions that we have to carry our own pads - they are really light, and it wasn't an issue for us since we hired a private porter. But it will be good if it can be explained explicitly in the instructions. We also didn't know that we can hire porters for a day or two instead of all 4 days -- again this doesn't apply to us as we need a porter for the whole trip -- but it will be good to know the info ahead of time.
The Lares trek was absolutely phenomenal. Views were as of they were in a painting and my fiancée and I had so much fun climbing and chatting with our guide. We went in the low season so it was just us on the tour but it was great because we got to go at our pace instead of waiting for stragglers. The trail was well kept (but challenging!) and the places we stayed were great. The food though was fantastic. Our chef (and his wife who is in the picture) were great and made us traditional food that we were definitely impressed came out of the few things he had. It was also great not to have to carry everything we had, but just a day pack which was a benefit to the Lares trek. The train ride was interesting as well and we got to learn a lot just from sitting in the train. But all of that doesn’t compare to the tour we had from our guide inside Machu Picchu. We got to see a double rainbow over the ruins and we learned so much about the Inca people. The whole trip was amazing!
My husband and I went on the 2 day tour of Machu Picchu, with a sunrise climb of Waynu Picchu (pictured). Karikuy Tours took care of us from start to finish. They came to our hotel in Cusco about 6pm the night before to meet with us in person and answer all of our questions about what to bring and what to expect. They also give you all your tickets for the multiple buses, trains and entry points you go through and explained each one. I was pretty nervous catching the multiple buses and trains and finding our accom so I really appreciated this level of service! About 5am the next morning, a tour shuttle bus came to our hotel and picked us up. It took about 3 hours to drive to the train station. It took a bit of time to pick up all these other people from their hotels (which frankly is very annoying, long and tedious but it happened on every tour I went on so I think this is the standard in Cusco). From here, we boarded the train. We sat in economy but honestly I was super impressed with how clean and comfortable the train was. The ride to Aguas Calientes (the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu) was gorgeous and there’s windows on the roof so you can even see up! We were served drinks and snacks (all included) on our train ride. There was some confusion when we got off the train. Our guide was late to turn up so they sent someone else who spoke absolutely no English. Downloading an app onto your phone that works without wifi is a MUST. Fortunately, we managed to peek over this girls shoulder and see our names were written down on a piece of paper - sheer luck! Once our English-speaking tour guide turned up 15 minutes later, things got much easier. He arranged for a person from our hostel to take all our luggage back to our room (remember to lock your bags and keep all your valuables on you, I got to the hostel to find my bag completely open but nothing taken thankfully - but it’s not worth the risk!). Our guide then escorted us through Aguas Calientes, showed us the location of our hostel, and then took us to the bus that would take us up to Machu Picchu. He even told us the best side of the bus to sit on for the greatest view! The buses are comfortable and it takes 20-30mins to get up narrow winding roads. Our guide then accompanied us through the gate to Machu Picchu, showing us what tickets we needed to be scanned. It was pouring rain when we arrived and a complete whiteout. Despite this, we had an amazing time with our tour guide. We had a guide all to ourselves - just the two of us! He spoke amazing English and answered all our many questions, he was incredibly knowledgeable. You cannot go to Machu Picchu without getting a tour - there is soo much to learn! If somehow you find your own way to Machu Picchu, there are plenty of guides waiting outside the gates who speak great English and you can book on the spot. Our guide took us to get our passports stamped with the special Machu Picchu stamp! After our tour, he then left us, but not before explaining when and where to use all our remaining tickets. So helpful! Fortunately the whiteout cleared after 4 hours, and after exploring the wonder that is Machu Picchu by ourselves, we took the bus down the mountain and walked to our hostel. I don’t have high expectations for hostels, but no one in the hostel spoke English (this is when that app comes in handy!). Our bags that they were holding were also unzipped. The next day we took the bus back up the mountain ourselves to climb Waynu Picchu. We had much better weather this day and the view was simply amazing! However, when it was time to head down, all the bus drivers had gone on strike! We didn’t get refunded for our ticket, and my poor husband had busted his knee during the climb, so he had to hobble for over 2 hours down the mountain. There were loud protests in the square of Aguascalientes when we got to the bottom, but they weren’t violent thankfully. We ran to our hostel, grabbed our things, and just made the train with 5 minutes to spare. At the train station, a man from the tour company was waiting for us to drive us back to our hotel - thank goodness there were no other people in the car or multiple hotel stops, we were exhausted! All in all, the tour company were great compared to going it alone, but there were still a few cons. 3.5 stars.