We used Zicasso to get started on a Peruvian vacation. I had never used this service though I had vague remembrances of the name. We received 2 prompt quotations for our 8 day excursion for a family of 5. The 3rd quotation came through well after I had already decided upon one of the earlier 2. That was too bad. But I am very gratified with the service provided by this travel company as led by our agent. He addressed my every wish and request.
We were met by local company. They are all exceptional - well appointed, true ambassadors of Peru, and knowledgeable. Their English was impeccable. I can't say enough the first member of the travel team who introduced us to Peru and the Sacred Valley. He is so articulate and so pleasant. We enjoyed our 2 days spent with him. He taught us about the enduring offerings of the Incas. We saw the salt mines, Maray, and the ruins at Ollayntatambo. We drank local beer in the Sacred Valley and spoke of his origins and his agrarian life.
. If you are going to Aguas Calientes and are staying overnight - don't miss the Inka Del Terra. An idyllic accommodation nestled within the forest, below Macchu Picchu mountain and right against the railroad tracks. Stay 2nights if you can. Luxuriate and relax after hectic climbing. Enjoy the dinner and breakfast there. Have a spa treatment in the Andean sauna. You won't be sorry.
Sacred Valley is a must- the salt mines, Ollaytatambo Sacred ruins, Incan history - what memories! Accommodation: I can't say the hospitality at the villas in the Sacred Valley was memorable - but the hotel is beautifully appointed. The rooms are fabulous, as are the grounds. Take your yoga mat! Don't eat at the hotel for dinner. Consider a taxi to Urubamba (the town) for a night out. We loved Huacatay!
We ended back up in Cusco - after staying in nature at the previous hotels, this hotel felt stuffy. The breakfast is great. The staff is good. The rooms are stuffy and stodgy -nothing like Inka Del Terra.
Do your shopping in a reputable store and enjoy all the Peruvian handicrafts made of baby alpaca. Enjoy the people -especially in the Sacred valley where it feels less touristy and more authentic.
Know what you want - great food or great accommodation or great excursions. Have a bit of an idea as to what makes a vacation memorable for you. My kids loved white water rafting in Cusco. Go horse back riding in Urubamba if that's your thing. Or ATV riding, zip lining, trekking the Incan Trail. This country is special. The food is delicious. And the people are kind.
River rafting outside Cusco.
Visiting ollaytatambo, Salt mines and Maray in Sacred Valley. Taking pics of the beautiful people, eating the gorgeous food.
Macchu Picchu mountain is a must - an extra ticket and a difficult climb - so worth it!
Making new friends among the travelers.
Stay 2 nights in Aguas at the Inka Del Terra.
Not stay at the hotel in Cusco.
Not rush out of the hotel to catch a very late night flight out of Lima where there is nothing t do. Lima is overcrowded. Driving is difficult. Sights are hardly seen. If you must eat at Maido of Astrid and Gaston then do so. But Lima is a ware of a long day spent waiting for the 1:30am flight home. Take a nap at a hotel or arrive from Cusco later in the day.
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