The service provided by this travel company was amazing! I would highly recommend them to anyone considering a trip to South America (we went to Peru incl. Machu Picchu and Ecuador incl. the Galapagos). They were very flexible and made numerous great suggestions during the planning stages of our trip.
I am a very detailed person and our group was quite demanding but this company was incredible at processing the details and laying everything out so that it was easy to understand which gave us a lot of comfort that our interests were being looked after properly. They even made great suggestions for dinner for the nights that were not included in our tour price and also made the dinner reservations for us which I found very helpful. The hotels and the boat selected by the travel company for our stay were all amazing choices.
As part of the Zicasso service, I also had another travel company with which to compare and this company emerged the clear winner and I am thrilled that we selected them. A member of our group had traveled with another travel agency 3 times and noted that this trip was comparable to any of those trips but at a better price point which made me feel great about the value and high quality provided by this travel company. It was an awesome trip!
Machu Picchu is an incredible must-see experience! We were very lucky to have perfect weather for the first day that we visited the site and it was awe-inspiring. The Vistadome train ride to Machu Picchu was also a very memorable highlight of our trip. The Galapagos part of our trip on a luxury yacht was also amazing. The food and service on the boat were even much better than I was expecting with lots of food choices and great quality. Snorkeling in the Galapagos was the absolute best that I have ever done - even much better than Fiji which I thought was at the top.
We swam with the sea lions, turtles, sharks, numerous types of rays, and an endless amount of large schools of exotic fish. The animal and bird watching was also "one the top". There were lots of babies everywhere in February which was cool to see - baby Boobies, sea lions, iguanas, frigate birds, etc. That was very interesting... And of course, the hiking and walks in the Galapagos and Peru were also great. The group also enjoyed the old, historical sections of Cusco and Quito - lots of activity, history, churches, and great food and drink!
Our group agreed that the Sacred Valley part of the trip was a high degree of difficulty (lots of time spent driving over rough roads) for what we saw. It was very nice but the Incan ruins (Pisac and Ollantaytambo) paled by comparison with Machu Picchu and we weren't sure that those sites were worth the effort of all of the driving.
In retrospect, we would have gone straight from the Cusco airport to Machu Picchu (Aguas Caliente) and stayed there 2 nights instead of 1 to get used to the high altitude. After that, we would have gone to Cusco as we loved that city - 3 nights was the right amount of time there. Then we would have stayed 3 nights in Quito instead of 2.
The hotel in Quito that we used was probably the nicest hotel that I have ever stayed in and we loved the old part of the city so 3 nights there would have been better.
Lastly, for the departure from Quito (after the Galapagos), we should have stayed at the hotel right near the airport rather than at the Club hotel which was 30 minutes from the airport and although it was an interesting hotel, it wasn't very practical for a late arrival and an early departure.
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"Our journey to Quito and the Galapagos Islands was the trip of a lifetime."
"It was a very well designed trip. Our travel agent was easily available through every steps."
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