Overall we had a great experience with this travel agency and I'm glad we chose them for our Peru trip. They were the most price competitive among the three agencies that we considered and I believe they delivered the best value for our travel dollars.
During the pre-trip planning process, they were easy to work with and very accommodating when I requested changes to the proposed itinerary. The one thing I would like to see improved is their response time to emails. The other two agencies that I was working with responded within 24 hours (often less), but sometimes it took this travel agency two or three days to reply. But once they did reply, the response was always thorough and completely addressed my questions.
We have always been independent travelers and have never used a travel agent but since this was our first trip to South America, I wanted everything to be taken care of and our travel agency did a great job in this regard. Everything was planned down to the last detail and we felt very well taken care of every step of the way. When our train was delayed, our guide and driver waited over six hours at the other end and found a way to communicate and reassure us that they would be there waiting for us no matter when we arrived. The local guides that our travel agency used were all good and one in particular, who did our half day Cusco tour and full day Sacred Valley tour, was excellent.
Machu Picchu is breathtaking! Experiencing South America for the first time and learning about Andean history and culture was fascinating. The scenery of Peru is very unique and unlike any place we have ever been. Highly recommended!
Our two favorite hotels on this trip: The hotel in Cusco (rooms a little on the small side but still very nice, beautiful common areas, great central location and fantastic service) and the hotel in Lima (beautiful rooms and bathrooms, great service on par with a Ritz Carlton level hotel and a really good deal price-wise).
I would pay more and stay at nicer hotels. In general, the photos that I saw from our travel agent and on the hotel websites made the rooms look a lot nicer than they actually were.
I would go to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu first before Cusco. I'm not sure why but our itinerary had us go from Lima to Cusco (for 1 night), then to Sacred Valley, MP and then back to Cusco (for 2 nights). It seemed like it would have been more efficient to just go to Cusco once.
I would stay at each hotel for at least two nights. The only two stops that I would be ok staying one night is at the hotel by the Lima Airport upon arrival and the night in Aguas Calientes so we can go back to Machu Picchu again the next morning for our second visit. Staying at least two nights at all the other stops would make the trip much more relaxing and enjoyable.
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