I wanted to submit a review for our trip with Andean Treks on the Moonstone Trek to Ollataytambo and then on to Machu Picchu. We stayed in Cusco at the Costa Del Sol Ramada and absolutely loved it. Great rooms that are well taken care of with a courteous staff and good breakfast (included). Well positioned in the city with easy access to all amenities.
(Note: this is a long testimonial. You may read it in full, or scroll down to the rest of our testimonials.)
From the moment that we started our orientation to the trek we met our guide, Wilson Callañaupa, and knew that we were in for a treat. He told us all about Cusco and what to do there. His organizational prowess and intuition for our abilities and understanding were superb. When we actually started the trek I noticed that Wilson was communicating heavily with drivers, wranglers and the cook to make sure that things were not being missed. His lingual knowledge was also prevalent: speaking spanish, english and Quechua with ease and seamless transition. When one of us needed to stop for a restroom break in a small town he knew its exact location and coordinated the stop early for the cook to acquire some of his supplies as well.
My inability to have gluten was discussed between himself and the cook and I never had to worry about it after that. When we started to hike I could tell that there was a subtle testing process at work. Wilson would walk quickly for almost undetectable periods, evaluating if we could increase our pace. He also watched over his shoulder covertly and listened to our breathing to adjust his pace. He called frequent rests and asked us how we were doing to assess our physical fitness and altitude acclimation. When we wanted to push faster he intentionally slowed us, reminding us that we were not used to the altitude and would need to proceed slowly to acclimate better. This was well needed because later at higher altitudes we did in fact struggle more than we anticipated.
Wilson also started asking us our interests and finding key words to use as segways to Peruvian or Quechuan culture and history. He probed us to find out how interested we were in various aspects of Peru and started gaining our trust and respect on a personal level. He asked us about our families and culture in the US to have us in turn do the same with him. Finding out about his past and personal interests became something we were genuinely interested in and soon we were all joking and having long talks while we walked. Wilson's opinions on issues were completely shrouded and polite and took much probing to discover which is a breath of fresh air compared to the forceful nature of most US patriots' rantings and annoying behavior.
I completely enveloped myself in the calm and polite respectful nature of Wilson and the other employees that Andean Treks/Incan Tours provided us with. We would sit in the dining tent at the end of the day and laugh and joke and make light of the world. It was so comfortable and calm and Peruvian. The feeling that I got from Peru, with Wilson as my instrument of discovery, was one that I grew quickly to love and admire and require more of in the future. What a wonderful human being he is!
On top of all of this, we were astounded by Wilson's physical abilities. We challenged him to run on a steep grade once and he did so with a gazelle-like ability. It was uncanny and absolutely amazing. In fact, Argopito - our cook, was similarly marvelous in his physical fitness! At 55 years of age he was taking short cuts and bounding over sections of ground like he was a young man in his teens. Truly remarkable. We had an excellent time on this trek.
The food was amazing, the history and culture shared by Wilson exemplary, the jokes and laughter during the trip kept things light and the scenery was breathtaking and challenging as well. Wilson organized the trip perfectly to include our best photos and experiences. He scheduled things perfectly and managed us subtly to make sure that we kept on pace to assure the best parts were not missed.
Thank you so much Andean Treks and Inca Tours. Thank you so much to Wilson, Argopito, Don Antonio and Policarpo. We are already looking forward to our next trip with Wilson and Argopito and crew and will recommend this group and trek to many others! Please have any prospective clients feel free to contact me for my recommendation on this trip. It was truly "bucket-list" fulfilling!