Keiran

Keiran

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Joined:

August 2018

  • 0 rating

    Inca trail - Trekking solo

    Unfortunately The Inca Trail can only be accessed alongside a licensed tour guide as permits are not granted to independent hikers. There are alternative hiking trails between Cusco/Ollantaytambo/Mollepata/Aguas Calientes area that allows you to trek independently without pre-purchased permits or guides. Maybe check out Choquequirao or Salkantay as a couple of options. If you book a group tour for Salkantay or Choquequirao do book locally in Cusco (not online from a foreign company) to keep your own costs down and keep the money in the community. For all of these treks take altitude sickness seriously. Allow about three days (minimum) acclimatisation period in Cusco before commencing your trek to allow a more enjoyable experience. If you're definitely wanting to hike "The Inca Trail", be aware that permits do sell out several months in advance and since permits are non-transferrable (you can't change the name of the hiker after purchase), you can't buy a last minute permit for somebody else who cancels their trek at the last minute. 10 months ago

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    Is it easy to get around Patagonia on your own?

    Hi, I travelled through Chilean Patagonia in a rental car with my boyfriend for about 5 weeks in January/Feb this year. We travelled the length of the Caretera Austral, meaning we stopped in Villa O'Higgins, not continuing down to Punta Arenas. For us, travelling independently was the best way for us to see this region and I wouldn't want to do it any other way. We loved the freedom of stopping anytime we wanted to appreciate a beautiful view, hang out in tiny towns, swim in crystal clear lakes, cook meals on our campstove (saving heaps on dining expenses), and setting up camp whenever we found somewhere pleasant. Car rental isn't cheap, nor is fuel, and campervan companies like Wicked and AndesCampers exist but cost a fortune and need prior reservation especially for peak season. Depending on your length of travel, comfort preferences and flexibility, it's worth knowing hitchhiking is a common form of travel along these routes if travelling during peak summer (Jan-mid Feb), as there's more traffic on roads to offer lifts. In fact heaps of Chilean University students do this on their summer holiday. We picked up over 20 hitchhikers outselves during our travels. In this case a lightweight tent and camping equipment would be advisable so don't need to book accommodation in advance. Note this part of Patagonia does require ferry rides in parts. If travelling independently on foot, you can book your ferry on arrival however if travelling with a vehicle in high season it's worth booking your ferry passages maybe a couple of weeks ahead or you may find it's booked out for four days or more when you reach tiny towns like Hornopiren. If you want to experience culture, try to make it to a minga. We went to the annual minga at Puerto Cisnes where we reunited with many of our previous hitchhikers and can say it was a true highlight and captures the welcoming atmosphere of this part of the world. As for touristy places... everybody who travels this route on Caretera Austral independently will almost certainly stop at each place on the way and seems to have similar travel speeds. Whoever you saw at yesterday's hiking trails, you're likely to spot them again along the way. 10 months ago