Paul, with this South American travel agency, was great to work with. We had lots of questions and decisions to make and he worked with us and patiently answered all of our questions, via e-mail and several phone calls from Peru. We even had the pleasure of meeting him while we were in Cusco, Peru. He convinced us to start off slowly (2 days to acclimate to the altitude) in Cusco instead of going directly to the Sacred Valley (which is at a lower altitude). He was right - there was lots more to do in Cusco over those two days. We had a great visit to the Sacred Valley after spending those two days in Cusco.
All the details of the trip were planned and scheduled so that we didn't have to worry about how to get from point A to point B. The guides were knowledgeable, fun, and easy to understand. There were no snafus! We were well taken care of!
The trip itself - Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands - was an amazing adventure! Machu Picchu was certainly the most memorable. It had been on our bucket list for years. It was raining when we first got up there but the rain stopped almost immediately and the lingering wisps of clouds on the surrounding mountains were a photographers dream! Our guide was fun and certainly knew the good spots for taking our photo with the site in the background. We went up the next day without a guide as well.
We got upgraded to a suite at our hotel (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo) at Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) and it was the most amazing room we've ever stayed in! Too bad it was only for one night.
We loved the catamaran we were on in the Galapagos - 16 guests total. It turned out to be a great mix of people from around the world. The islands we visited were varied and each island had its own population of particular animals. I guess that's what the Galapagos is all about! Being able to stand so close to the animals and birds was remarkable.
Within the 15 day tour, we had 8 different hotel stays plus 5 days on a catamaran, and 7 airline legs which was rather exhausting! I'm not sure how that could be rectified since we had specific places we wanted to go. We stayed in wonderful hotels and our travel agent planned it so that we did not have to get up really early to get to the airport! And they built in enough downtime as well.
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