Our trip to Peru exceeded our expectations on every level. From my very first interaction with her, this travel agent demonstrated her care and concern for understanding the needs of our group, and the experiences we had while traveling confirmed at every step that she not only understood our needs but had to the keen ability and knowledge to know how to meet them. We traveled for 9 days as a multi-generational family of seven. Ages ranged from 7 to 78. My husband and I - the generation in the middle - lead a very active lifestyle, and with that information in hand our itinerary was planned so that we could get moving as much as we wanted to while the older and younger among us had options to take it a little easier. When we travel we prefer to stay in local boutique-type hotels, rather than large international chains, as much as possible. I communicated that preference to our agent and our itinerary was perfect in that regard. We stayed at quaint but clean and well equipped hotels at every one of our stops. The food was delicious, and there was a perfect balance of meals planned for us in advance and opportunities to explore dining options on our own. After this experience, I will be recommending a trip to Peru to everyone I know with an interest in travel, and will suggest they use this company to plan their trip. Can't say enough good things about it!
Far and away, the highlight of our trip was our local guide. Hand-selected by our tour company, our guide was so wonderful that we literally felt like she became part of our family, and we all shed some tears when we had to say goodbye in the departure area of the airport. It's hard to know where to begin in describing just how awesome our guide was, and how she made our trip so perfect. First, her knowledge is nothing short of awesome. She speaks fluent English (along with Spanish, a local dialect, and maybe some other languages too) and could talk endlessly (but not in a boring way) about the history, geography, and culture of each place that we visited. Her patience with the varying age groups in our multi-generational group was also amazing. She never hesitated to hang behind with the grandfather of the group (78 years old), who needed a bit more time to make the climbs in high altitude, and she her interactions with the children (ages 7, 9, 11) were firm but loving in a way that, as the mother, I sometimes wish I could be! She made the history and geography come alive for all of us, whatever our age. We plan to keep in touch with her and hope to reunite again.Aside from our guide, our favorite part of the trip was probably our venture to Machu Picchu. Words and pictures do not do the place justice - one must experience it for him or herself. From the train ride, to the town of Aguascalientes, to the site itself, the whole experience was nothing short of magical. We can't wait to go back!!
I don't think we would do anything differently for the first time through the trip, but if we go back, we do not feel the need to go back to the jungle again. We enjoyed the experiences, weather, pace and culture more in the Andes mountain regions that we visited. The jungle was very hot and of course full of bugs. We are very glad to have experienced it, and wouldn't change the fact that it was included on our itinerary, but if we go again, we will visit a different place in Peru after returning to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Cusco.
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