Going to Machu Picchu has been on my travel bucket list for many years. After finding an Aguas Calientes hotel on the National Geographic's list of the best eco-hotels in the world I decided I had to go to Peru. Fortunately I found Zicasso travel which connected me with this travel agent. He sent me a proposal that offered a wonderful Peru experience, not just Machu Picchu. Over the 7 months of trip planning my travel agent answered all of my questions and suggestions, often on the same day I wrote them. By the time we left for our Peru trip we felt very confident about traveling to a corner of the world we had never been to before. The trip went very smoothly; there usually was someone to meet us at every transition in our vacation and our personal tour guides (provided through a local tour company) were excellent. If you are traveling to Peru, especially for your first time, I highly recommend this travel agent and this travel company!
There were so many aspects of the trip that were wonderful. Of course the trip to Machu Picchu was the climax of the trip. It really was spectacular! While we did have some issues with altitude sickness in Cusco and The Sacred Valley, it was not a problem at Machu Picchu (which is at a lower altitude) so climbing up steep stairs and exploring the ruins -- while challenging physically for our early 50's bodies -- was not prohibitive.
We were surprised at the quality of the food. Most of the places where we ate prized themselves in their Earth-to-table values, usually using food grown nearby (usually at their own gardens) and including a multitude of local flavors that left us continually full and content.
This is difficult. We had never been to Peru and we didn't expect we would ever make it back so we wanted to get as broad of a Peru experience as possible. But that meant staying at 5 hotels in 9 days. Travel days took up a lot of our vacation time, though some of the travel was on the road, which isn't a bad way of seeing Peru. I might try to cut down on travel, though you would be missing something valuable in the process.
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