Traveler Review: A trip that exceeded expectations

Learn more about Keith and Linda's adventure to Peru, including their Huayna Picchu trek at Machu Picchu!
Linda and Keith enjoying the view of Machu Picchu. Photo courtesy of Linda and Keith M.

Travelers Keith and Linda M. sent travel advisor Adrienne M. an email sharing the details of their trip to Peru on December 31st, just as 2013 came to an end. In their testimonial they reflected on the highlights of their trip, including a view of Machu Picchu from the top of Huyana Picchu, and spoke very highly of Adrienne’s close attention of detail and that of the Peru For Less team. This globe-trotting couple said that there as so many places to go and so little time, but would like to make it back to Peru in the future. 

A trip to Peru that exceeded expectations

“My wife and I had been on assignment in Brazil for 18 months and seen most of the major tourist attractions there.  We wanted to see something else in South America before returning to the USA and settled on Peru but didn’t know how best to proceed or who to contact for help and didn’t have much time to devote to a search.  I tried a AAA travel agent back home who recommended a well-known international travel company with a canned itinerary that provided no flexibility.  I tried a travel agency in Sao Paulo who suggested places outside of my interests.  I finally got a suggestion from a friend back home that travels extensively worldwide on business and he suggested Peru for Less. I emailed the company and was privileged to be assigned to work with Adrienne M.  I went to their website and reviewed everything I could about the company, sites and hotels.  I communicated a basic timeline and the locations we were interested in seeing and the level of hotels we desired to Adrienne and let her “do her thing.”

Although we “tweaked” the itinerary many times before making a final decision, what we ended up with far exceeded what we had ever hoped for—true “Raving Fans” service.  Although she may have felt inconvenienced by our numerous changes, she seemed to take it all in stride, made everything come out just right and we always felt like we were her only clients.

We were able to take in Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lima.  This “once in a lifetime” adventure for us turned out to be “out of sight.”  Cusco was as quaint and charming as pictured (would loved to have spent more time there) and our seats to the dinner show were right in front.  Visiting Machu Picchu was heavenly and visiting this wonder of the world will always be remembered.  Lima was a charming, historical, big city that needed more time to explore to properly appreciate. We took in the Larco Museum and Huaca Pucllana on our own and both were good choices.  We made it to Mama Panchita’s for lunch which had great ceviche and found a great little sandwich shop on Parque Kennedy called La Lucha, where a lot of local folks go.  The “pick up and drop offs” went off without a hitch.  The personal recommendations on what to see and where to eat were “right on; the local tour guides were excellent and really “knew their stuff;” the hotels were as good as or better than expected.  Even the 3- star El Mapi Hotel in Aguas Calientes could have been a 4-star as far as we could tell. We traveled on Peru Rail’s Expedition train going to Machu Picchu as well as the Vistadome on the return trip which provided a good perspective.  Although the Vistadome was definitely a step up, the Expedition was much nicer than we envisioned and very acceptable.  Be sure to book early if you want the Vistadome going both ways.

A few things that Adrienne did that went above and beyond our expectations included the following:  1) an upgrade on our midnight flight from São Paulo to Lima and 2) a personal guide instead of a small-group guide at Machu Picchu.  First, since our air travel is always economy class, when we boarded the plane we immediately went to coach to locate our seats and realized that there were no seat numbers in coach matching our tickets.  It turned out that somehow she had gotten us seats in 1st class.  Wow!  What a surprise!  On a long international flight to have all of the benefits that come with 1st class was an unexpected enjoyment for both of us.  Second, although my wife and I are no “spring chickens,” we had purchased tickets to climb Huayna Picchu in hopes that we could do the hike.  Adrienne had immediately preceded us on a visit to Machu Picchu and had climbed the mountain with her father and sent back pictures.  The photos looked daunting to say the least.  Not previously knowing how difficult that hike might be, we think she took pity on us (assuming that we would probably not complete the hike) and offered us a private guide for Machu Picchu instead of the small-group guide, which we gratefully accepted.  Our guide, Fabricio, was a “god send.”  He was phenomenal and really brought the site to life based on his personal knowledge and experiences.  He spent more than the allotted time with us which was truly appreciated.

Because my wife did not anticipate being able to complete the Huayna Picchu hike, she decided to go as far as she could, then turn around and go back: We made arrangements on when and where to meet up because I was fairly determined to give it my best shot.  To everyone’s surprise (especially my wife’s), she started the hike and kept right on going all the way to the top and back, just like the Energizer Bunny.  An unbelievable experience that turned out to be the “icing on the cake.”  I’m reasonably certain that if we could make the summit that you probably can, too.  Buy your tickets early so you don’t miss out.  If you change your mind, because the tickets are limited, I’m sure you can find people more than willing to take your place.

The people  in Peru were very friendly and the cities were quite clean.  Would I go back?  Absolutely!  There are numerous things I would still like to see in Peru. Would I use Peru/Latin America for Less?  Unquestionably!  They really are as good as the reviews sound.  Was Adrienne as good as described?  Without a doubt.  Thanks again for making this trip on of the highlights of 2013.

Keith & Linda M. – Tempe, AZ”

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