What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The most inspirational moment was definitely the first time Machu Picchu came into view. We arrived in the morning and it was covered in shade. Slowly as the sun came up the shade moved across the site until it was finally fully in the sun!
What were the highlights of your trip, including anything that you did which was specific or unique to your tour?
Macchu Pichu and the Inca Trail was the main highlight. Trekking along the trail and looking DOWN on clouds was awesome. Other highlights were the home stay on Amantani on Lake Titicaca, watching a local football league match and the drive into La Paz as the views on the way in are amazing! I can still see the sunrise over Machu Picchu and the drive into La Paz as clear now as I did then!
What did you think of your tour leader?
Superb, very friendly, very passionate and very helpful! Everyone loved him and he was very genuine!
What was it like travelling in a group?
Awesome, our group ALL got on, went out together as a group for meals etc nearly 100% of the time! On the Inca Trail we all helped each other out and encouraged those struggling. One lady twisted her ankle and 4 porters carried her for the remaining half of the day and the first half of the following day. We saw another group (from another company!!!) where a lady was crying, struggling with the altitude and had a panic attack. The rest of her group wanted to leave her and continue and her tour leader was not helpful at all. On the last morning of the trail we saw them again and the customer told the tour leader to “go away” and leave her alone due to how he was with her earlier in the trail!
Do you feel that you got under the skin of a country?
A lot of the places we visited were quite touristy (which is no real surprise as that’s what we were there for). Our tour leader did take those of us who wanted to a football match and also to local family run restaurants. He even took us to a Peruvian nightclub (everyone on the trip went including couples in their 50’s! where we had our own VIP area and VIP service!
Do you feel your holiday benefited local people and/or was it responsible?
Yes, all accommodation was locally run and at the home stay everyone was told by the tour leader it was expected of us to buy things for the family. We were told to buy foods like rice, milk, pasta etc rather than presents clothes etc... So that helped!
What was your accommodation like?
Surprisingly good, better than I expected! All accommodation was clean and comfortable. There were some issues with hot water for one or two of the rooms, but this was rectified!
Types of transport used whilst on the tour? Your experiences…
Private minibus, local buses/coaches and train. The buses for the longer journeys had fully recline-able seats, leg rests and toilets. However you were restricted with the toilets – you can catch my drift on this!!! All very good, on train from Aguas Calientes we had free/complimentary steward/stewardess service!
Do you feel the tour was value for money?
What was the food like? What were the places you ate like?
We ate at all sorts of places. from local vendors, local restaurants to chains. I tried Alpaca for the first time which was beautiful, however the Guinea pig was too pricey for me to try on my budget, other people tried it though. We always went to somewhere that catered for everybody’s tastes/diets. HOWEVER the service is not the best and I would be very patient when eating out as they don’t like to rush the food out! The food at the home stay was okay too, a little bland but considering it was cooked on an open fire it was nice and warm and very filing!
What were the local people like?
Amazing, very friendly and welcoming and very accommodating too. All the Peruvians seemed to smile ALL the time. Everyone, from hotel reception staff, to hotel maids, bus drivers, cleaners, shop assistants EVERYONE was friendly and helpful and a great advert for their country!
What was atmosphere of the country/the place(s) you visited like?
Lima was busy, a typical city but my favourite places were Cusco and Aguas Calientes as the ambience and vibe of the place was chilled but quite cosmopolitan. There were lots of travellers from Europeans, Aussies, Kiwis etc and everyone just talked to anyone.
What rating would you give the tour?
What advice would you give to other potential travellers?
No need to take sleeping bag on the trip as you can hire this for the Inca Trail, along with walking poles/stocks. I took far too many clothes as you could get laundry done as most places and buy t-shirts etc cheaply too. Most UK people booked with an agent and they all did a Spanish course/placement for 1 - 2 weeks (through another company beforehand). I think this is an excellent idea and definitely something for us to consider doing!!! At home stay we took balloons, colouring pencils, paper etc for the children and they loved that.
Tour price from USD 2432 for 15. Plus a local payment of pp
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