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Welcome to the DOS MANOS 2012 Newsletter:
The Inca Trail Special!
In this extra-long edition of our newsletter we cover all things Inca Trail and Machu Picchu related. Our aim is to inform you so that you book your own trek or tour with confidence and ease…and we hope to show you a bit about the history and culture of Peru too. And on top of that, we are happy to offer you a discount if you book for one of our fixed departure dates! More Info...
How to Book the Inca Trail Trek: Our Five Step Stress-Free Guide
If you are reading this Newsletter, you probably want to trek the Inca Trail and you will want to know the best way to go about booking it. Here at Dos Manos, we handle a lot of these bookings and we are happy to share our knowledge about this sometimes tricky process with you. Read on for our 5 steps to booking your Inca Trail Trek without all the stress!
  So the Inca Trail Trek is Sold Out... Now What?
If you have ignored all the good advice in our article How to Book the Inca Trail Trek: Our Five Step Stress-Free Guide , or you are on a last minute trip,  then you might find yourself in Cusco, Peru and attempting to book the Inca Trail Trek without any options left to do the classic Inca Trail. Now what?? Don’t panic. There are plenty of other opportunities to visit Machu Picchu!
What to Pack for Your Inca Trail Trek: Our Eleven Essential Items
If you have booked an Inca Trail Trek, chances are you have been preparing somehow for your trip to Peru. Maybe you have already booked your flight and hotel. Maybe you have been reading a guidebook to learn about the history and culture. Maybe you have even been working out more to prepare for your trek. Travel takes some preparation and we want you to be perfectly prepared for your Inca Trail trek! If you want to read more, here is the link to our article What to Pack for Your Inca Trail Trek: Our Eleven Essential Items.
  How to be a Responsible Traveler
To visit Peruand the famous Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu and otherswithout causing it any harm, please follow the following guidelines both before and during your visit. By doing this you can be a responsible trekker and traveler!
What the Heck is Huayna Picchu Anyways
If you are interested in trekking the Inca Trail or visiting Machu Picchu by train, then you might also be interested in climbing Huayna Picchu. If you want to climb Huayna Picchu, as of 2012 you will need to pay an extra entrance fee of $60 if you are trekking the Inca Trail or $10 if you are on a different trek or tour. Huayna Picchu, which takes approximately and hour to climb, offers trekkers the chance to see the Machu Picchu ruins from a new and breathtaking point of view!
  Cusco... Before and After the Inca Trail Trek!
So you have trekked the famous Inca Trail and you still have a few days to spend in Cusco.  You might also have arrived in Cusco a few days before your trek to acclimatize. You might be wondering if there is anything else worth doing or seeing here in Cusco. Although Machu Picchu is the main attraction of course, there are still many interesting historical and cultural sights to see! Here at Dos Manos, we definitely recommend both the Cusco City Tour and the Sacred Valley Tour to travelers who want to experience the real Peru.
How Dos Manos Is a Responsible Travel Agency
Here at Dos Manos, we firmly believe in responsible tourism and treating our local staff and the local environment with the respect they deserve. 

We are happy to contribute to the local economy by providing jobs for local people as tour guides, cooks, and porters. Most importantly we pay all our local staff fairly; approximately 20% above the declared minimum wage here in Cusco, Peru.  Additionally, we buy all local products and eat local produce on our treks and tours. This ensures a high economic benefit to the local region.

We treat our local staff with the respect that they deserve. We provide them with their own sleeping tents and mats as well as ensure that they receive sufficient food instead of just leftovers, as some other agencies do.  We also respect the maximum weight of 20-25kg that porters are allowed to carry. By paying fairly and treating our local stafffairly you get the best service possible from happy staff!

We follow the leave no trace rules on all of our treks and tours to remote places. We always take all rubbish and other materials that do not belong in the natural environment with us when we leave and we use biodegradable products to do the dishes and in our portable toilets. We do our best to leave each site we visit exactly as we found it. We also keep to marked and designated trails to avoid disrupting or damaging delicate vegetation and wildlife. At Dos Manos, we do everything that we can to be a responsible travel agency!

We also do our very best to reduce, reuse, and recycle in the office located right in Cusco, Peru! We do everything online, including sending brochures and information about all of our treks and tours via the Internet in order to avoid using paper. We also collect plastic bottles in an effort to recycle. We do our daily best to be a responsible travel agency both on the trail and in the office!
  Inca Trail Trekker Testimonial
On the first morning we left Cusco around 5am to start our four day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu with Dos Manos Travel Agency. After driving about two hours through the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley we arrived at the entrance of the Inca Trail in Ollantaytambo. The trek started out nice and easy with our guide stopping often to tell us about native plants,  animals and inca ruins at Huayllabamba. Mid-day we stopped for lunch at one of the local houses along the trail. We were all so surprised about how great the food Dos Manos Travel Agency provided was! We had a delicious three course meal with soup, salad, a main dish and desert. After a relatively easy day of walking we arrived at our campsite for the night. When we arrived our porters had our tents set up, bowls of warm water for washing set up, and our “tea time” snacks and coca tea ready to be served. Between snack time and dinner we had a little free time to  get to know each other, but after dinner it was straight to bed so we’d be  ready for the second (and hardest) day on the trail.

Day 2 of the Inca Trail started out with an early morning breakfast. Again, the food was delicious – fresh fruit, omelettes, toast, porridge, and even hot chocolate! After breakfast, our guide introduced us to all the porters. The porters are the men who carry all our food, tents, and other provisions. Day 2 was meant to be the hardest day. We had to climb the highest pass. This pass, known as Warmiwañusca, or Dead Woman’s Pass, was pretty tough as the highest point is 4200m above sea level. When we finally made it to the top of the Warmiwañusca Pass we were in the clouds and the view was astonishing.  After a quick rest at the cold, misty top, we started the long decent down to our campsite for the night. Unfortunately, this night was quite rainy but we took advantage of the bad weather to get to know each other better.  Our guide Puma even told us creepy stories about bad Inca spirits lurking along the trail at night.

Day 3 was supposed to be an easier day than yesterday. We started out early again this morning. Today we got to see a few more Inca archaeological sites than the last two days. In the morning we saw the Runkurakay site. It is thought that this site was used as a resting point for the Inca messengers,chasquis, who would run through the Andes Mountains forming a type of relay to send messages from one community to another. As we continued on our trek, we were able to pass through a couple of Inca tunnels, which were really neat to see! After climbing the pass we came to the second main archaeological site, Phuyupatamarca, which has a series of intricate ceremonial baths.From Phuyupatamarca, we began our long decent down to our campsite for the night. After dinner our cooks surprised us with cake! After thanking the porters and cooks for all their hard work with a group tip, our guide Puma briefed us on what our final day would be like. It was another early night for most of us as we got ready for our final hike to Machu Picchu!

On day 4, we woke up very early! During the hike up to the Intipunku archaeological site (also known as the Gateway of the Sun) we were able to take a break and watch the sun rise over the mountains. The pinks, oranges and yellows were like nothing I’d seen before. But our journey didn’t stop here: once we were done taking photos we began the last 30 minutes of the trek to Machu Picchu. After a few more photo ops, we started our guided tour of Machu Picchu. It was incredible how much our guide Puma from Dos Manos Travel Agency knew so much about Machu Picchu!

Back in Cusco, after 4 great days together, we all said goodbye and promised to share our photos on Facebook. Overall, my experience on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with Dos Manos Travel Agency was great and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!!
 
POLL
What is MOST Important when booking YOUR Inca Trail Trek?
Vote number 50 – 100 – 150 and so on receive a 5% discount on any departure date!
Responsable Travel Agency
I look for a travel agency that protects the environment and respects its local staff; I want to know my money goes to a responsible agency.
 
Low Price
I am on a low budget and for me a low price is definitely the most important when choosing an agency for my Inca Trail or other treks.
 
Friendly and Efficient response
I only want to deal with a friendly agency with a hard-working staff that responds to my requests and questions quickly, in good English or other langauges.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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