We booked a shorter, 6-day trip with Los Amigos de Huayhuash for our trek into the very remote Huayhuash range. It was like hiking with a close friend, they genuinely cared for your experience, that you were doing OK physically and enjoying the hike. We chose a smaller agency because a) the reviews were good for them and b) we knew the money was going directly to them rather than for paying for overhead or to a large business. We were thrilled with the trip. The organization ahead of time was excellent and well planned. We met our guide and the logistics coordinator in Huaraz for dinner to review trek plans and discuss details. This was helpful to get acquainted with the guide and familiar with what was about to happen. We helped with getting the food in Huaraz, so it is much more of an inclusive adventure covering aspects other than just the hiking. I found this a good experience because you get a more intimate understanding of how things actually work. The views on the trek were amazing, huge displays, similar to big sky country in the American west to an extent but with altitude. Five of the six passes we crossed were well above 15K ft/4K m.
A telling moment for me as it relates to comparisons with other operations was on the first day our donkeys showed up while another groups didn't show up until the next day and two people who booked their own donkeys through someone in Huaraz didn't show up until the first night. Both of those other groups had a lot of anxiety because of what they had to go through. I felt badly that their vacation was affected, but there were no such issues for us. The guides were excellent, knowledgeable of the local people, fluent in Spanish, English and French. I felt like they were really watching out for our well being and were genuine in their interest in guiding us. This isn't just a job for them, it's a passion.
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