Last month Mandy and Bob packed their bags and embarked on a high altitude journey far from their home in New Jersey, USA. The couple headed south to Peru, set to explore the cobbled streets of Cusco and hike the Salkantay Trail all the way to Machu Picchu. Expert travel advisor Liz W. helped them overcome their pre-travel nerves about not being able to communicate in Spanish by planning their transportation, tours and hotel reservations which let them enjoy a worry-free trip. Mandy tells us more about their trip highlights and favorite destinations!
We had a fantastic trip and enjoyed every moment of being in Peru. Peru for Less did a commendable job (of course you deserve the most credit here). Being very limited in speaking Spanish, we were slightly nervous but the tours/drivers were always on time and as expected, which alleviated many of our fears.
We felt that the companies that you used had wonderful tour guides who were knowledgeable and friendly. They were so awesome that we made a couple of extra stops (to a Llama and Alpaca farm in the Sacred Valley as well as to the Salkantay Lake, Santa Teresa Hot Springs, and zip lining near Santa Teresa — this last one was at our request when we heard about it from another tourist during our Sacred Valley tour).
The Wayki trek personnel were our favorites. The food was so varied and we felt that we were able to really see Peru from more than just a tourist vantage. Once we became friendly with the trek guide, Franklin, he told us all kinds of things about Peru and even answered some of our more difficult questions about the state of the country. Franklin had many local connections and used them to get us prime camping spots and a discount on the zip line. Basically, all of the people we interacted with were wonderful.
Our hotels were great too, and as expected for the rating that we chose. We were very happy to have the luxury hotel in Aguas Calientes and appreciate you making that happen for us after the long trek. Every hotel was accommodating and willing to store our luggage upon request. I do think we liked the Lima hotels the least by comparison, but they were still fine and clean.
Two thoughts for the future: I ended up taking tennis shoes because I have hiking boots that pinch if I go too far. Really, though, there were still many wet areas to trudge through even in the dry season. I know that the website said that tennis shoes were fine, but I think it may be better to recommend that people only bring solid boots. On the plus side, I only got my feet wet once and I did not get any blisters, probably because the tennis shoes are more comfortable.
Secondly, we were surprised with how difficult the trek was physically. We workout every day and still found many parts challenging. True, if our guide had not allowed us to choose any extras we maybe would not have been as sore, but I do think a stronger mention of this up front would be good. We were happy to do it, but the guide did mention that other people occasionally have to take oxygen or ride the mules when it is too hard.
Our favorite destination… that is actually difficult. I liked the second day on the trek as we climbed to the highest point and then descended. The campsite was beautiful and so nice after a long day. Bob’s favorite spot was the hot springs at Santa Teresa.
If we ever want to go to Latin America again, it will certainly be through Peru for Less. Thank you for all of your attentiveness in getting our trip set up to fit our needs.
Trip itineraries and different travel preferences are important variables to consider when figuring out the trip. Let our team of experts at Latin America for Less help you! Talk to a travel advisor today