This was an exceptional trip. We were a party of seven. My daughter had decided that Machu Picchu would be her 30th birthday trip. I was suppose to arrange things. After some time trying to figure things out on the internet, I realized that Zicasso (who had arranged a trip for me to Greece) did Peru tours too. They put me in touch with this travel agent and everything was done. What a relief!!!
The trip was arranged perfectly. The hotels the travel company chose were fantastic. The food they arranged (like the lunch at Hacienda Sarapampa, the outside hot picnic lunch on the Moray tour, dinner at the Huaca Pucallan ruins) was great! We did not have to worry about anything. We were taken from place to place and did not have to bother about luggage, tickets etc. The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful.
Our travel agency also did a good job arranging the schedule to help with the altitude. I had a lot of trouble even though I took the altitude medicine. It is not clear we could have done the Inca Trail hike the first day. However, we did the shorter (and lower hikes) and worked our way up. Our travel agent (and the travel company) also kept an eye on how things were going. We got e-mails, checking up, making sure all was well.
This was a fantastic trip. Worry free, everything arranged so we just enjoyed. There is no way I could have arranged this myself (and even if I did I would have worried the whole time about details). It was well worth the cost. I highly recommend them and will use them again.
The whole trip was amazing. However, if I had to pick, walking the last part of the Inca Trail and coming out at the Sun gate to see Machu Picchu below (and seeing Huayna Picchu that we were climbing the next day). Somehow, the tour guide arranged the timing so we missed the crowds. I should mention that the Belmont Hiram Bingham dinner train ride down to Cusco was also a favorite especially with my son-in-law. It was on his 'list' - a luxury dinner on an train winding through the mountains (and I got credit:-)
Everything was perfect. The only thing I would have done was added a couple extra days to the trip and stayed one extra night at the hotel in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. In particular, we did not get enough time at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu hotel. It would have been fun to explore more of what that hotel had to offer.
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