The trip was exceptional in all phases - planning, support, and execution. My agent listened carefully to what I wanted and incorporated my desires with her knowledge of the ground to put together a perfect plan. Staying the first two nights in Sacred Valley instead of Cusco was a bit of a surprise to me, but it was clearly to aid us in the altitude adjustment, and it worked. My wife had a bit of a headache the first morning. I had no effects.She worked through a local travel specialist to support the plan. The travel specialist were on time, every time. Every transfer and every tour was done professionally. The guides we had in the Sacred Valley and for Inca Trail/Machu Picchu (Darwin) were fabulous. The travel specialist also coordinated the hook-ups for the three local train journeys, the boat trip on Lake Titicaca, and the trip to the airport in Juliaca - again, done to perfection.
I most enjoyed the one-day Inca Trail hike and the visit to Machu Picchu; however, every part of the trip surpassed my expectations. - Learning how the Incas used the Moray Ruins as an agricultural research and development station was fascinating. - The ongoing history and family ownership of the Maras Salt Pools were equally amazing. - Seeing the agricultural terraces at Ollantaytambo and the food storage 'silos' on the mountain-side across the valley really made me wonder why the Incas were so advanced and none of the native nations in North America had reached such a stage of development even a couple of centuries later. - I love train travel and the local train trip across the Andes to Puno was very well done. Comfortable cars, good entertainment, superb food. - The Uros floating villages were an interesting look at another culture. I loved the mix of relying on nature, combined with solar panels, cell coverage and community latrines.
I would probably want to spend a day in Cusco. We arrived at 21:00 on a rainy night and left early the next morning, so saw nothing of the sights of Cusco.
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